I have trouble reading books when I do not like the main character. I struggled with this book for that very reason, and for that very reason I think this is a quality text. If it was not so well written I would have given up on it. I am glad I finished it and I would recommend to HS readers. This is definitely a high school pick – the teenage characters use drugs and alcohol with abandon. This does concern me, so I recommend with caution.
Reshma is one of the most driven teens I have ever encountered in YA fiction. She is a stunningly hard worker, determined student and unabashedly in the face of anyone who tries to stop her. In her quest to be valedictorian and earn early admission to Stanford she concludes that she must have a literary agent and a published YA novel . The problem is, she really is not a typical young adult. She needs to assemble all the tropes of YA in order to write her novel: a best friend, a boyfriend, etc. I enjoyed the first person narrative technique (we are reading the book as she writes it, the reader is her literary agent)
Nothing ever goes as planned and Reshma must re-evaluate both her strategies and her goals. At this point, difficult YA characters often become lovable. I would not call Reshma lovable et the end, but she has earned my respect.
Check out the author’s blog post about this book.
Source: ARC from publisher
Audience : High school only