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

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.


Ah, it's great to read a book with a main character who isn't a White American! Sonia is a character that a lot of teen girls can relate to as well - she's having to move to a new school, try and fit in and she's trying new things - tougher stuff like questioning who she is and her religion and simpler things, like eating ham for the first time. She makes friends with a popular cheerleader, Kate, who introduces Sonia to her way of life, which isn't as strict as Sonia's and this causes Sonia to rebel against her parents rules at times. Kate and Sonia lead very different lives and it was interesting to see Kate's in comparision with Sonia's, as Kate's lifestyle is one I'm used to reading about in Young Adult books. Although not a long book and not filled with action and suspense, The Whole Story of Half a Girl is a novel that makes you think about different ways of life. It also covers tougher subjects such as depression, which us always hovering in the background. Another thing that interested me was the different reactions to Sonia herself - a lot of the students asked questions, asking if she's Indian, which Sonia doesn't really know yet. One person got it mixed up with Native American! Sonia never quite fits in, which bothers her but in the end she learns that it doesn't really matter anyway.

5/5

Received free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

1 comment:

  1. I really loved that Sonia wasn't a white American because I know my reading needs to be more diverse. Sonia was such a lovely girl and I really felt for her as she went through her struggles, especially her family difficulties.

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