Coverart for item
The Resource A girl like that, Tanaz Bhathena

A girl like that, Tanaz Bhathena

Label
A girl like that
Title
A girl like that
Statement of responsibility
Tanaz Bhathena
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
In Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, sixteen-year-old half-Hindu/half-Parsi Zarin Wadia is the class troublemaker and top subject for the school rumour 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 realising too late that Porus, another non-Muslim Indian who risks deportation but remains devoted to Zarin, could help her escape. When the two end up dead in a car on a highway in Jeddah, it becomes clear she was far more than a "girl like that."
Storyline
Tone
Character
Award
  • Amelia Bloomer List, 2019.
  • OLA Best Bets, 2018
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ Gr 8 Up—When Zarin and her friend Porus die in a car accident in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, everyone, from the religious police to Zarin's classmates, is suspicious—was Porus one of Zarin's many romantic liaisons? Only the deceased teens know the truth, and as their spirits hover above the wreckage, they look back on what led up to this point. Raised by her aunt and uncle, Zarin knows that her origins are a shameful secret to her family ("Illegitimate. Half-Hindu. Gangster's daughter."). Her domineering aunt, who fears seeing Zarin follow the same path as her "loose" mother, keeps a tight grip on the girl, to no avail. After the teen and her family move from Mumbai, India, to Jeddah, she defies convention, dating boys and smoking, but reconnecting with gentle Porus, who's been entranced by Zarin since they met as children. He helps to soften her hard exterior. Bhathena's lithe prose effortlessly wends between past and present. This contemplative novel is primarily narrated by the two young people, both outsiders as non-Muslims and Indians in Saudi Arabia, but the author also incorporates the perspectives of "insiders": Zarin's ex-boyfriend Abdullah; his righteous sister, Mishal, who bullies Zarin for her wayward behavior; and Farhan, the popular but predatory student on whom Zarin nurses a crush. Though these many voices aren't always distinct, together they portray a restrictive society that attempts to subdue every woman, whether a stickler for the rules like Mishal, or a rebel like Zarin. VERDICT A powerful debut; for most collections.—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal --Mahnaz Dar (Reviewed 02/01/2018) (School Library Journal, vol 64, issue 2, p97)
  • /* Starred Review */ Bhathena makes an impressive debut with this eye-opening novel about a free-spirited girl in present-day Saudi Arabia. Orphaned at a young age, Zarin Wadia moves in with her uncle and abusive aunt, who constantly shames and beats her. “Some people hide, some people fight to cover up their shame,” Zarin explains. “I was always the kind of person who fought.” Her treatment at school is even worse—she’s shunned for being different (she’s Zoroastrian, for starters) and responds by smoking cigarettes and sneaking out with boys. After Zarin gets reacquainted with a childhood friend, Porus, she becomes dependent on him for escape, protection, and the type of gentle affection she has not felt since her mother’s death. Readers know from the outset that Zarin and Porus die in a gruesome car accident, and their reflective post-death narratives share space with chapters written from the perspectives of others in their orbits. Bhathena’s novel should spur heated discussions about sexist double standards and the ways societies restrict, control, and punish women and girls. Ages 14–up. Agent: Eleanor Jackson, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. (Feb.)
			 --Staff (Reviewed 11/27/2017) (Publishers Weekly, vol 264, issue 48, p)
  • When Zarin Wadia dies in a car crash with a boy named Porus, no one in her South Asian community in Jeddah is surprised—what else would you expect from a girl like that? Originally from Mumbai, half-Parsi, half-Hindu Zarin moved in with her aunt and uncle after her mother died. The family relocated to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to escape rumors about Zarin's mother's death, plunging her into a world of abuse and gender-based restrictions against which she rebelled. It was only after Porus, a Parsi friend from Mumbai, moved to Jeddah for work that Zarin began to reconsider her behavior—and her capacity for love. Featuring a diverse cast of Arab and South Asian characters of various classes and faiths, the story is a gripping and nuanced portrait of how teens, both boys and girls, react to patriarchy (the novel contains graphic descriptions of abuse and sexual assault). Bhathena's prose can be stilted, and her excessive use of multiple voices limits both character development and the resolution of some storylines. In addition, the beginning and ending chapters narrated by Zarin's ghost feel disjointed from the otherwise searingly realistic narrative. All in all, though, the book is a fast-paced, fascinating read about a community rarely seen in young adult novels in the West. A refreshingly nuanced narrative about gender in the Middle East. (Romance. 16-adult) (Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2018)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10620742
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Bhathena, Tanaz
Index
no index present
Intended audience
  • Young Adult
  • 890
Intended audience source
Lexile
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 8
  • 12
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • East Indians
  • Dating (Social customs)
  • Rape
  • Bullying
  • Religion
  • High schools
  • Schools
  • Jeddah (Saudi Arabia)
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Saudi Arabia
Target audience
adolescent
Label
A girl like that, Tanaz Bhathena
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
000060482407
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
First edition.
Extent
378 pages
Isbn
9780374305444
Lccn
2017011020
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)974484569
Label
A girl like that, Tanaz Bhathena
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
000060482407
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
First edition.
Extent
378 pages
Isbn
9780374305444
Lccn
2017011020
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)974484569

Library Locations

    • Lionel Bowen Library and Community CentreBorrow it
      669-673 Anzac Parade, Marouba, NSW, 2035, AU
      -33.938111 151.237977
Processing Feedback ...