The Marvelous Mirza Girls by Sheba Karim
To cure her post–senior year slump, made worse by the loss of her aunt Sonia, Noreen is ready to follow her mom on a gap year trip to New Delhi, hoping India can lessen her grief and bring her voice back.
In the world’s most polluted city, Noreen soon meets kind, handsome Kabir, who introduces her to the wonders of this magical, complicated place. With Kabir’s help—plus Bollywood celebrities, fourteenth-century ruins, karaoke parties, and Sufi saints—Noreen begins to rediscover her joyful voice.
But when a family scandal erupts, Noreen and Kabir must face complicated questions in their own relationship: What does it mean to truly stand by someone—and what are the boundaries of love?
Expected publication: May 18th 2021 by Quill Tree Books
I ended up really enjoying this after being a bit concerned at the beginning.
Noreen was still grieving the loss of her aunt. She felt her absence everywhere. When her mom had to go to India for work, Noreen decided to go with. Her aunt had always wanted to go, so Noreen wanted to go for her. She put off college and they left. While Noreen still struggled with grief in India, she also fell in love. She met a boy, Kabir, and started spending as much time with her as possible. He took her to different places around India and introduced her to his friends. I could tell that it helped her become more comfortable even though she was an outsider. Noreen wants to be a writer, but couldn’t write after her aunt died. Being in India and with Kabir started to help with that. I’ve never been to India, but Noreen talked a lot about the places she went, the people, the sexism, and the air quality. It was interesting to read about. I really enjoyed all the holy places they visited.
Noreen had a very “best friend” type of relationship with her mom that I loved. They were able to talk about anything without much judgement. This is definitely a more mature YA. Noreen is 18 and Kabir is 24. They have sex, smoke pot, go to parties, etc. A lot of the book focuses on the metoo movement and how women are treated in India.
I gave this book 4 stars. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my earc.
Warnings for religious prejudices, sexism, talk of sexual assault and harassment, grief, drugs, alcohol, sex, mention of things like abduction and shooting, father issues.
Have you read this? Is it on your TBR?