“It is strange, I thought, how we always recognize our best memories in hindsight.”
Title: A Girl Like That
Author: Tanaz Bhathena
Date Published: February 27, 2018
Number of Pages: 378 pages
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers
I listened to an audiobook copy of this book via Scribd.
Full disclosure: If you click the link above & decide to sign up, I’ll get a month’s worth of subscription for free. This is such a great help for a struggling reader/blogger like me. Thanks!
📚 Series? No.
📚 Genre? YA Contemporary.
📚 Cliffhanger? No.
⚠ Content Warnings: Death. Abuse. Rape. Bullying. Car Accident.
⚠ Book Tags : Religious differences. Indian and Arabic culture. Female sexuality. Expat life. Girl on girl hate.
Book Blurb from Goodreads
A timeless exploration of high-stakes romance, self-discovery, and the lengths we go to love and be loved.
Sixteen-year-old Zarin Wadia is many things: a bright and vivacious student, an orphan, a risk taker. She’s also the kind of girl that parents warn their kids to stay away from: a troublemaker whose many romances are the subject of endless gossip at school. You don’t want to get involved with a girl like that, they say. So how is it that eighteen-year-old Porus Dumasia has only ever had eyes for her? And how did Zarin and Porus end up dead in a car together, crashed on the side of a highway in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia? When the religious police arrive on the scene, everything everyone thought they knew about Zarin is questioned. And as her story is pieced together, told through multiple perspectives, it becomes clear that she was far more than just a girl like that.
About the Author
Tanaz Bhathena is a two-time nominee of the Ontario Library Association’s White Pine Award, most recently for her novel, The Beauty of the Moment. Her acclaimed novel, A Girl Like That, was named a Best Book of the Year by numerous outlets including The Globe and Mail, Seventeen, and The Times of India. She is also the author of a fantasy novel called Hunted by the Sky, releasing on June 23, 2020. Her short stories have appeared in various publications including The Hindu, Blackbird, Witness, and Room.
The book is about:
Told in the eyes of the characters as ghosts, Zarin died in a car accident with Porus, a guy she bestfriend-zoned. This book is set in Saudi Arabia, and our lead is an Indian expat studying at an international school in the country. The story revolved around Zarin’s life, at home, her relationships with family and the people at her school, and the way men in her life had treated her.
What drew me in:
Like always, the cover of this book is stunning and it drew me in. However, I was not expecting how heavy this read actually is.
Characters & connections:
If you are a woman (or at least a compassionate person), this story will hit you quite hard. At times, you’ll have to take a break and exhale all the heavy feelings because many scenes can hurt a lot. Zarin was very misunderstood throughout the story and she deserved a better life. Throughout her journey, I felt so much of her pain and her loss.. and the way she had to deal with so much at a very young age.
Everything I liked:
The good parts about this book is seeing the harsh realities of life, and maybe hoping that some people use this to make the most of their life and what they can become. I also appreciate seeing the differences in cultures, religions, and beliefs that are not the same as mine. It all comes down to a beautiful learning experience and that’s what makes the journey worthwhile.
A Girl Like That can be a hard book to read, so tread lightly if you decide to pick this up as your next choice. The themes discussed are much needed at this time, but some scenes can be triggering for people who’ve experienced this before. The pacing is not the fastest, but the topics it discusses can make you feel uncomfortable.. in a way that awakens something inside of you. There’s some room to get the message across better, but the efforts of the author are clearly felt and heard.
My Book Rating Breakdown
🌼 Main Character:⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Significant Other: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Support Characters:⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Writing Style:⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Character Development:⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Pacing: ⭐⭐⭐☆☆
🌼 Ending: ⭐⭐⭐☆☆
🌼 Unputdownability: ⭐⭐⭐☆☆
🌼 Book Cover:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
☁ FINAL VERDICT: 3.8/5 ☁
♡ , Yna the Mood Reader