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A Girl Like That
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A Girl Like That
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In this young adult debut set in Saudi Arabia, where the law forbids romantic relationships outside of marriage, two teens fall in love with tragic consequences. Sixteen-year-old Zarin Wadia is many...
In this young adult debut set in Saudi Arabia, where the law forbids romantic relationships outside of marriage, two teens fall in love with tragic consequences. Sixteen-year-old Zarin Wadia is many...
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  • In this young adult debut set in Saudi Arabia, where the law forbids romantic relationships outside of marriage, two teens fall in love with tragic consequences. Sixteen-year-old Zarin Wadia is many things: an Indian girl, a bright and vivacious student, an orphan, a troublemaker whose romantic entanglements are the subject of endless gossip among the girls in her school. "You don't want to get involved with a girl like that," they say. So how is it that Porus, a Parsi boy, 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 the highway in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia? When the religious police arrive, everything everyone thought they knew about Zarin is called into question.

 

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Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from November 27, 2017
    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.

  • AudioFile Magazine When teenaged Zarin and Porus are found dead in a car on the side of a highway in Saudi Arabia, their community is abuzz with speculation and gossip. As their ghosts watch the investigation unfold, listeners are taken through their lives in a series of flashbacks. Told through multiple perspectives by four narrators--Firdous Bamji, Neil Shah, Soneela Nankani, Lameece Issaq--the story depicts complex family dynamics, restrictive social pressures, and a world in which a young woman's inaccurate reputation pollutes every aspect of her life. This piece is rich in cultural detail, with strong phrasing and deliberate pacing, as the narrators work to build a complete picture from overlapping stories and experiences. K.S.B. � AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine

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Bahrain, Egypt, Hong Kong, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen

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