I got a nice note from the author of this book recently sugesting I might enjoy it, and she was right. It's a book that has a lot going on. There's a cultural element (the main character's father is Indian and her mother is American), there's a boy/girl element, there's a friend struggle, and there's a bit of self realization happening as well.
Interestingly, I expected the boy/girl element to do something different than it turned out to, and I was quite pleasantly surprised to be surprised. What did happen that's quite typical and annoying, but undoubtedly quite true to life, is that the girl went for the cute boy who's pretty much a jerk. WHAT was she thinking? But anyway, she did finally figure that out.
The Indian culture part (you DO remember I was from India in a former life, right?) was, as always, fascinating. The Indian aunt in this story, though, was unbelievable. Not that I didn't believe the writing, I just couldn't believe the nonsense she was pulling AND getting away with! The dad was too, in some ways, although I'm typically going to believe an adult over a child (sorry, kids), too, so his was easier to believe. Plus Sang, the main character, did do some stupid stuff she shouldn't have.
I felt really bad for Sang about the rift between her and her former bet friend. It was very strange, and sad, because her friend clearly needed someone, but she was hurting too much to really know what to do. At one point in the story Sang tells Gina's parents about something Gina has done, and Gina gets SUPER angry with Sang. But it was the right thing to do, and it took a lot of courage. Some really bad things might have resulted if she'd held back what she knew. Growing up can be really hard, because sometimes friends do things that might endanger themselves or others, and then you have to decided whether you can risk the friendship by telling. But really, you do, even if it's hard.
I will be ordering this book for the library in the future. For now it's available at the Multnomah County Library..