A Girl Like That

A Girl Like That

A timeless exploration of high-stakes romance, self-discovery, and the lengths we go to love and be loved. Sixteen-year-old Zarin Wadia is many things: a bright and vivacious student, an orphan, a risk taker. She’s also the kind of girl that parents warn their kids to stay away from: a troublemaker whose many romances are the subject of endless gossip at school.  You don'...

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Title:A Girl Like That
Author:Tanaz Bhathena
Rating:
Edition Language:English

A Girl Like That Reviews

  • Anna Priemaza

    A GIRL LIKE THAT completely blew me away, but be warned: this book will break your heart a thousand times, so that by the time you’re done reading, a thousand and one little heart pieces will be thrumming in your chest cavity like tiny, weeping hummingbirds.

    Abuse. Death. Rape culture. Religion. Bullying. Mental health. Cultural norms. There is so much heaviness in this book, but Tanaz writes about it all with such profound honesty and depth that although you're forced to confront the ugly terri

    A GIRL LIKE THAT completely blew me away, but be warned: this book will break your heart a thousand times, so that by the time you’re done reading, a thousand and one little heart pieces will be thrumming in your chest cavity like tiny, weeping hummingbirds.

    Abuse. Death. Rape culture. Religion. Bullying. Mental health. Cultural norms. There is so much heaviness in this book, but Tanaz writes about it all with such profound honesty and depth that although you're forced to confront the ugly terribleness of it all on every page, you don't feel burdened down with it. Aside from the fact that your heart constantly breaks, of course.

    The book starts with the two main characters already dead, then goes back and tells the story of how it all came to be, so as I read the book, I kept telling myself to not get attached to the characters. “They're going to die; don't get attached” was my mantra. And I failed miserably. Tanaz makes it absolutely impossible to not get attached to these brilliant, complex, flawed but still wonderful characters.

    I am completely in awe of this book, and of Tanaz's ability to craft a complex, riveting, vivid, heartbreaking, terrible, honest story. Do not miss reading this one.

  • Laurie Flynn

    I had the privilege of reading A GIRL LIKE THAT in advance of its 2018 release date, and I was completely enraptured by its beauty and power. The story starts with the aftermath of a car accident that kills that two main characters, Zarin and Porus. It's certainly not a traditional beginning to a story, but that just adds to the uniqueness of this book- there's literally nothing else like it out there. Different perspectives- from Zarin, Porus, and other people in their lives- unravel the events

    I had the privilege of reading A GIRL LIKE THAT in advance of its 2018 release date, and I was completely enraptured by its beauty and power. The story starts with the aftermath of a car accident that kills that two main characters, Zarin and Porus. It's certainly not a traditional beginning to a story, but that just adds to the uniqueness of this book- there's literally nothing else like it out there. Different perspectives- from Zarin, Porus, and other people in their lives- unravel the events leading up to the accident and unearth more details about each character and their relationships with each other.

    Tanaz Bhathena writes complicated girls with such mastery and complexity. Zarin is not your traditional female protagonist, and I loved her for her feisty, rebellious, spontaneous nature. I liked that she wasn't perfect and was sometimes cruel to the people who loved her, because this just made her feel more real. I wanted to underline so many passages in this book, because so much struck a chord with me. Not to mention, the writing is utterly beautiful. Tanaz writes with such elegance and command, and is able to use language in such an original way.

    Everything about A GIRL LIKE THAT is incredibly evocative, including the setting in Jeddah, which plays its own role in the story as much as the characters. I felt totally transported to a place and culture I have never visited, but could visualize so well in my head thanks to rich, lyrical details.

    I don't want to give too much away, but A GIRL LIKE THAT doesn't shy away from heavy issues. It's a brave book, a story that will resonate with so many readers. I can't wait to read whatever Tanaz Bhathena writes next.

  • Emily Murphy

    This book is beautiful, jarring, unique, and incredibly written. Jeddah comes alive amidst the threaded perspectives--some of which span even from beyond death. As the characters' lives weave together and darken, and the tension and dread build, this book cracked my heart into a bunch of little pieces. Bhathena doesn't shy away from uncomfortable scenes, characters, and questions, and that's what (to me) makes this book so important.

    I couldn't put the story down, even as sadness welled up in me

    This book is beautiful, jarring, unique, and incredibly written. Jeddah comes alive amidst the threaded perspectives--some of which span even from beyond death. As the characters' lives weave together and darken, and the tension and dread build, this book cracked my heart into a bunch of little pieces. Bhathena doesn't shy away from uncomfortable scenes, characters, and questions, and that's what (to me) makes this book so important.

    I couldn't put the story down, even as sadness welled up in me, as I grew more attached to the characters and dreaded the moment when an ill-fated friendship and love would end. Tanaz Bhathena is exceedingly talented and there is not a doubt in my mind that she is going to be one to watch.

  • Carlie Sorosiak

    completely broke my heart in a million ways, some expected and others not. I was not prepared for the sheer beauty of this writing, which—coupled with the plot—tore me to pieces yet also left me with a profound sense of hope. Every sentence is so carefully constructed, but at the same time, everything feels effortless and smooth. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that

    You will love some of these characters. You will

    completely broke my heart in a million ways, some expected and others not. I was not prepared for the sheer beauty of this writing, which—coupled with the plot—tore me to pieces yet also left me with a profound sense of hope. Every sentence is so carefully constructed, but at the same time, everything feels effortless and smooth. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that

    You will love some of these characters. You will hate some of these characters. But above all, you will form an unbreakable attachment to their complexity and realness. The book begins with a terrible road accident, narrated by two teenagers who are newly dead. You know this from the beginning, and yet Tanaz’s writing is so unbelievably special that I couldn’t help but bond with them, even when I knew their eventual fate.

    and it’s also a difficult one: difficult in that it exposes the reader to a variety of topics (rape culture, religious expectations, domestic abuse) that other writers may not tackle so openly, so courageously, and with such grace. It is shocking and eye opening and honest and so very needed. It’s also an #ownvoices novel, which I especially appreciate.

    I recommend

    without hesitation for any reader who wants to dive head first into a complex tale of love, religion, and culture.

  • Laurie

    STOP EVERYTHING YOU ARE DOING AND READ A GIRL LIKE THAT by Tanaz Bhathena. This is one of the most important works of fiction I have ever read – right up there with THE FAULT IN OUR STARS in its depth, complexity and powerful beauty. I sat down to read a few pages of this incredible book and tore through the story in one sitting.

    A GIRL LIKE THAT is told from the alternative points of view of a group of teens living in Saudi Arabia. The teens are of a variety of ethnicities and religious affilia

    STOP EVERYTHING YOU ARE DOING AND READ A GIRL LIKE THAT by Tanaz Bhathena. This is one of the most important works of fiction I have ever read – right up there with THE FAULT IN OUR STARS in its depth, complexity and powerful beauty. I sat down to read a few pages of this incredible book and tore through the story in one sitting.

    A GIRL LIKE THAT is told from the alternative points of view of a group of teens living in Saudi Arabia. The teens are of a variety of ethnicities and religious affiliations – Muslim, non-Muslim, Arab, Indian and mixed-race.

    *SPOILER ALERT*

    The narrative revolves around a 16 y.o. girl named Zarin, the other teenagers’ interactions with Zarin, and the teens’ reactions to horrific incidents that happen to her. These incidents result in Zarin being bullied at school and online by virtually the entire community.

    Talk about high stakes - how about teenaged hero Porus (with his false birth certificate) who sticks by Zarin and stands up to her bullies even though it may mean deportation.

    *END SPOILER ALERT*

    This is a book about what it means to love and about standing up against injustice at huge personal risk. It’s about the effects of the oppression of young women on everyone (men and women both) and the consequences of dividing ourselves by strict cultural, religious and racial lines. And, ultimately, it’s a book about daring to step outside those lines to choose humanity over division.

    I came away from reading this #ownvoices book changed and wanting to be more like Porus.

    BE AWARE – This book deals frankly with bullying, racism, rape, sexuality in an oppressive environment, mental illness, illegal drugs and the systemic abuse of women.

  • Kayla

    Here's what you should know about Tanaz Bhathena's

    :

    This is a story about how love—and its absence—can shape a person's life, and it is a story framed with death. It was tragic in a way that reminded me of Ro

    Here's what you should know about Tanaz Bhathena's

    :

    This is a story about how love—and its absence—can shape a person's life, and it is a story framed with death. It was tragic in a way that reminded me of Romeo and Juliet, with a star-crossed relationship that never truly had a chance to grow into something.

    With its two main characters dead from page one and the way its multi-POV structure builds, this book isn't so much about *what* has happened as *how* it happened—and the *how* is brilliantly executed, bits of information unfolding in careful detail to form a complete picture.

    This is not a happy book, and it is not a light read, but it is an

    read. It was fascinating to read about a culture so different from the one in which I was raised—I so appreciated the author's #ownvoices perspective for the opportunity to experience this world so authentically through her characters' eyes.

    This book is full of beautiful writing that is, at times, purposefully rough so as not to sugarcoat things made more of grit than sweetness.

    In addition to the quote at the top of this review, I also loved lines like:

    and

    and

    Aside from the beautiful writing, I also found main character Porus's loyalty to be quite lovely and inspiring: he is loyal to the point of risking his life, his job, his relationship with his only living family. He's loyal when people tell him he doesn't have to be—even that he *shouldn't* be. His love is so fierce that he's willing to do whatever it takes to be there for the person he loves, even though his love isn't completely reciprocated.

    In short, you should not come casually to

    —it is not a breezy sort of book, but one with weight, and it will leave a real and lasting impact on you—but you should definitely pick it up if you are at all interested in the unusual, the beautiful, or the heartbreaking-but-important.

  • Paige

    Full review here:

    One of the best books I’ve ever read. So sad yet so beautiful.

  • Korrina  (OwlCrate)

    Phew. That was a book that required 100% of my attention. It wasn't an easy read for me, but definitely a worthwhile one. I feel like this story is really important and will stay with me for a long time.

  • Dahlia

    WOW. Not that I wasn't expecting the book to be really good, but it was just...really good in ways I wasn't expecting. There's so much interesting discussion of cultural nuance re: India and the Middle East and being an expat and mental health and sexism and different religions that rarely get rep in YA (I had incorrectly assumed the main character would be Muslim; she is in fact Zoroastrian) and then on top of that you get the whole BEFORE I FALL/IF I STAY conceit

    a book that stands up ther

    WOW. Not that I wasn't expecting the book to be really good, but it was just...really good in ways I wasn't expecting. There's so much interesting discussion of cultural nuance re: India and the Middle East and being an expat and mental health and sexism and different religions that rarely get rep in YA (I had incorrectly assumed the main character would be Muslim; she is in fact Zoroastrian) and then on top of that you get the whole BEFORE I FALL/IF I STAY conceit

    a book that stands up there with some of the best #MeToo YAs

    there is just so much interesting characterization, especially with 4 POVs being juggled and a decent amount of insight into a 5th character, and...man. Yeah. Way to enter YA with a bang, Tanaz Bhathena. I look forward to literally whatever you bring to the table next.

    CW:

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