Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Book Review: The Whole Story of Half a Girl

The Whole Story of Half a Girl
By Veera Hiranandani

Sonia’s father loses his job, which means Sonia has to switch schools (no more private school for her) and adjust to the unfamiliar world of public education. At her new school, she has to navigate the world of receiving grades, being asked questions about her ethnicity, and who does and does not belong to the “in” crowd. All of this is on top of how she has to adjust to having a depressed, out-of-work parent at home. And then one day, her father disappears….

I really don't know what to think about this book. Sonia's issues of having to deal with a new school and new friends are all too real, and they're things any middle school girl can relate to. And in today's economy, the presence of a parent losing his or her job and having depression are, unfortunately, also things many middle schoolers can relate to as well.

But there just seemed to be too many....details that didn't seem to work somehow. The characterization of Sonia's mother doesn't seem to jive with someone who would send her daughters to a private school that doesn't give out grades. The only thing we ever know about Sonia's sister Natasha, is that she's six, and she plays the drums. Apparently there isn't anything else for the reader to know. And then there's the title. Seriously? This is Sonia's WHOLE STORY?

And sometimes, there are simply characters that, for no good reason, don't sit well with you. At one point early in the book, Sonia's father calls her a spoiled brat. And while calling one's offspring that is certainly not to be emulated, I couldn't help but think the exact same thing as I read: that Sonia IS a spoiled brat, and that all she wants is to go back to her prestigious private school where everyone liked her.

That isn't to say that this book doesn't have merit. As I said, I have mixed feelings about it. And sometimes, logic doesn't always come into play regarding a book.

For someone wishing to read about moving to a new town or a new school, this could be a good read.

As well as someone who just wants some mindless chic lit.

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