Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Review: The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hiranandani

Publisher: Random House
Release Date: January 10th, 2012
Number of Pages: 224
Where I got this book: Netgalley e-ARC
My rating: 5/5

Goodreads Summary:

"After her father loses his job, Sonia Nadhamuni, half Indian and half Jewish American, finds herself yanked out of private school and thrown into the unfamiliar world of public education. For the first time, Sonia's mixed heritage makes her classmates ask questions—questions Sonia doesn't always know how to answer—as she navigates between a group of popular girls who want her to try out for the cheerleading squad and other students who aren't part of the "in" crowd.

At the same time that Sonia is trying to make new friends, she's dealing with what it means to have an out-of-work parent—it's hard for her family to adjust to their changed circumstances. And then, one day, Sonia's father goes missing. Now Sonia wonders if she ever really knew him. As she begins to look for answers, she must decide what really matters and who her true friends are—and whether her two halves, no matter how different, can make her a whole."


A big thank you to Random House and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book!

I just thought this book was a winner all the way around - a perfect book for the middle grade age group. It deals with many issues that will hit home with middle schoolers: popularity, identity, new schools, friend problems and family problems.

Sonia loves her life - she has a great best friend - Sam, a fabulous private school called Community, and a quirky, but loving family. Then one day her father brings home the news that he has lost his job and Sonia's world is turned upside down. She finds out that she can no longer go to the private school that she loves so much; she will have to go to public school where she doesn't know anyone. This drives a wedge between her and Sam, and all of a sudden Sonia feels like she doesn't have a friend in the world. Her family is not the happy, fun family it once was. Her dad is depressed and quick to anger. Her mom is stressed out and worried. And Sonia's little sister, Natasha...well, she's just six.

Things start to look up when Sonia befriends one of the most popular girls, Kate, and discovers she has a talent for cheerleading. She joins the squad and finally begins to feel like she might be starting to fit in. But then, something absolutely horrible happens - her father disappears. Once again, her world is upside down. But now she is beginning to see who her real friends are. And she begins to realize what the important things in life really are.

I absolutely adored Sonia, and I think that most young readers will too. She is trying to figure out who she is. She is Indian on her father's side, Jewish (well, sort of) on her mother's side, and is often mistaken as African American. She is basically just trying to find her place in the world. The events that happen with school and especially with her father will keep the reader enthralled until the very end. I highly, highly recommend this book! A wonderful debut for Hiranandani - I will definitely be looking for more from her in the future!


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