A Girl Like That

A Girl Like That

Book - 2018
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In Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, sixteen-year-old half-Hindu/half-Parsi Zarin Wadia is the class troublemaker and top subject for the school rumor blogs, regularly leaving class to smoke cigarettes in cars with boys, but she also desperately wants to grow up and move out of her aunt and uncle's house, perhaps realizing too late that Porus, another non-Muslim Indian who risks deportation but remains devoted to Zarin, could help her escape.
Publisher: New York :, Farrar Straus Giroux,, 2018.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780374305444
Branch Call Number: Y FIC BHAT
Characteristics: 378 pages ; 22 cm


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Nov 19, 2019

Opened up whole new world of Saudi Arabia. This story is very disturbing. Protagonist of the story was behaving like any other teenager which is forbidden in Muslim country. Hence she was considered as bad girl. I deeply felt she was trying to fill the gap of her mothers love by behaving aggressively. Poor girl!
Well written. Story line is okey, but I liked the facts about women’s right which is shown in the book.

Mar 07, 2019

Hurry up and read this 2019 White Pine Nominee author who is coming to BCRL May 7, 2019 from 9:45-11am!

A girl like that, is such a unique, and beautifully written book. No matter how many books you read, they always end up being similar, this book has a completely different story, culture, setting, country, and it is just so raw and heartfelt. This is Tanaz’s first novel and seeing the power she has with words, I have no doubt that all her future endeavors will provoke emotions in the audience greatly. Zarin Wadia, a sixteen-year-old is a troubled teen, who hides her true self behind the mask of confidence, rebelliousness, and stubbornness. After being neglected by her aunt and physically beaten up almost daily, Zarin seeks attention from boys in grocery stores and school just to aggravate her aunt. She has put up a wall so that nobody can hurt or love her. Paras, a boy different from all other, only sees the best in her despite her daily teasing, mocking and frustration. This scares Zarin and makes her feel vulnerable and she feels affection, and comfort with Paras, something she hasn’t felt for 10 years after her parent’s tragic death. Zarin and Paras both die in a car accident, with no fault of their own, and as destiny had brought them together, destiny tears them apart. As they lay dead on the road, the religious police make a visit and ask all kinds of questions from her uncle and aunt, eager to judge Zarin based off her gender, status, religion, as if these things define her, instead of seeing a deceased little girl who will dearly be missed. This book shows the cultural differences, gender inequality, and status rankings in a spotlight. There are no biting words for Tanaz, she knows her culture and she is proud of it, but she acknowledges the lacking of equality in Asian countries. I love how culturally appropriate this book is and the contrast of Zarin being this girl who I wish would become the voice in those developing countries who would finally let the boys know that the girls had as much chance of being a boy as the boys did of being girls. So instead of looking at our physical bodies which have evolved a thousand years ago from monkeys, our thinking should also evolve from that of an animal, where male are considered the superior. I would recommend this book to everyone to read at least once to gain knowledge of what’s happening directly across the world, and put our energy into spreading equality all around the world like an epidemic. Manraaj

Feb 19, 2019

Taking place in Saudi Arabia, A Girl Like That depicts the experiences of teenagers through a variety of perspectives, showing the different mental health issues and drama they are dealing with. The main character, Zarin, has had a very difficult life and is forced to deal with many problems that come her way, including her relationships at home and at school. Coupled with romance, this novel tells the story of Zarin before her death in a car accident, displaying the dark and heavy themes laced within the text. The author’s writing was so elegant and thoughtful that my mind was blown when I least expected it, leaving me recalling the subtle hints given that lead to such events. Throughout the novel, my heart was shattered and healed, continuing this cycle until the very last page. I did not believe I would enjoy this book, thinking it would be a typical romance novel; however, I was taken on a rollercoaster ride and was in shock once all the pieces of the puzzle fit. Topics including sexual assault, abuse, and bullying are incorporated and I would highly recommend this novel if you are not sensitive to these issues. 4/5. @booklover327 of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

"A timeless exploration of high-stakes romance, self-discovery, and the lengths we go to love and be loved." This quote from the book perfectly describes this book. This book's fantastically written, down to every detail. Tanaz captures a vivid story in 4 incredibly detailed perspectives and tackles complicated issues (race, class, identity and faith) that our society faces today. The characters in this story are wonderfully detailed. Zarin Wadia, the character this story revolves around, faces many challenges in both her social life (school) and her personal life (at home/with Porus). She reflects bad decisions that even kids make today. Zarin felt isolated and friendless, so she resorted to smoking. Zarin makes a speech in her English class. She stands up for her thoughts, but in the end, what can you do? Tanaz got me to think deeper into this book. This book is a wonderful story to share and read. I enjoyed reading this book, where the story starts at the present, then goes back into the past to help the reader acknowledge what influenced or caused this ending. Bravo Tanaz! This book is truly great and I hope MANY people enjoy. 5/5 Stars (definitely a 6/5 though!) @EMBookWorm14 of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

mko123 Aug 02, 2018

There are two levels going on in this book: a 16-year-old's tough experiences in a world overwhelmed by social media and rumor, and a view from the after-life, or heaven. The disturbing things that happen could take place anywhere, though they are amplified in the restrictive, misogynistic Saudia Arabia. It is a mean world this girl lives in, but the overall message is that ultimately, love wins.

EverythingTouches Jul 05, 2018

Well written with insight into how girls are treated in middle eastern society and how it influences them. Also, the double standard afforded to men. Delicate yet raw. I haven’t read about this topic before in relation to middle eastern culture. Because of this, the effects of this book will stay with me.

Jul 02, 2018

Despite the twisting plot and the confusing storyline, I found this book to be amazing. I adore stories and movies that make you feel things and I went through a billion different emotions at once. Zarin's story is so incredible that you almost wish it were based on a true story but at the same time you feel that nobody should ever have to endure something so awful. Yet all over the world for the longest time, things like this have been going on. I feel that this story is a very good example of real life, a smack of reality right in the face.

Apr 08, 2018

This book begins with Zarin and Porus viewing their dead bodies from above after a car wreck in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The book then flashes back to what led them to that point. Zarin is failed by every single person in her life, with the exception of Porus. She is bullied and gossiped about by everyone at her school. There are numerous references to real places and monuments in Jeddah. The book could have explained life in Jeddah even more. I could never figure out who was Saudi and who wasn't, or even what languages the characters were speaking to each other. Jeddah is a big city, but this book made Jeddah seem very small

Mar 27, 2018

This was a difficult book to read. It has a very unique set up and one I feel like readers might have a hard time with at first. I want to say, very clearly: STICK WITH THIS STORY. Zarin's story is heartbreaking, hurtful, and it will make you angry. I found myself feeling a roller-coaster of emotions going through this book, and I think it's because it reminds me how cruel people can be.

In a lot of ways, this book reminded me of Jennifer Mathieu's The Truth About Alice, except we actually get the points of view from the deceased characters. Many of the perspectives we get talk in depth about Zarin and Porus during their time alive and even in death. As the reader you start to question what is fact and fiction from many of the perspective characters. Reading from certain characters at times were so uncomfortable, because you get a sense of ugliness that is hiding in them. You also see how much of a role family can play in fact and fiction as well.

Zarin's story is hard to read because it looks at not only a girl who may be breaking cultural practices, but she wants to be her own person and everyone has assumed the worst about her. That she is a slut, that she's unpredictable, that she has the wrong agenda. A lot of my favourite chapters were when I got to be inside Zarin's head and get a sense of what she was thinking and feeling. She takes so much abuse in this story, and yet she is so strong at the same time.

And the topics discussed hurt. You see religious prejudice, you see sexism, you see displacement, but there is also hope in this story. It's a twinkle, but it's there, and it feels so unexpected and so important. There are just so many complicated parts to A Girl Like That, and I feel not knowing too much about this story is what makes it such a compelling read. Beautifully written, heartbreaking and painful, this is a must read debut that offers so much insight into one girl's existence, and if you can juggle the points of view, it's a rewarding novel.


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