Author: Veera Hiranandani
Published by: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Summary from Goodreads: 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.
A delightful coming of age story about a modern girl was is part Jewish, part Indian and 100% confused. Sonia's life gets upended when her father loses his job and she is forced to transfer from her small tight-knit school that she's grown up in to a public middle school. Life is tough at this age. You had to feel bad for Sonia who not only gets thrust into a public education after coming from a school with no grade assignments and only 1 teacher who sticks with the same class for multiple years, but also leaving all her friends and everything she knows.
Like all new kids it takes Sonia awhile to find out who her true friends are. She meets Kate who seems fun, super nice, and popular, but at times acts a bit uneasy around Sonia. I wasn't really sure what to think of Kate. She seemed really nice at first, but then you'd catch these glimpses that seemed like she was almost embarrassed by Sonia. That is one thing I can't tolerate in a friend. Sure we all do things to embarrass ourselves and others, but to be embarrassed by someone because of who they are is just plain rude! I started to get a bad vibe from Kate at that point, but like Sonia's parents I had to trust Sonia to make her own decisions.
Like moving to a new school isn't enough of a transition, things at home are not what they used to be. Sonia's father is very moody and depressed since he lost his job and it takes it's toll on the whole family. Everyone feels alone and awkward at times, but it takes Sonia a while find her footing and to realize what's really important in life.
While the novel was a little young for my usual taste, Veera Hiranandani did an good job and making the little everyday situations come to life. Everything seemed so real and it was almost as if you could transpose this novel into your own childhood. It was a bit slow at times and I felt the chapters just sort of ended without a true transition, but overall a delightful read.