Monday, April 12, 2004

Friday I finished what is quite possibly the longest YA novel I've ever read, Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier. At 500 pages, it's packed but never feels padded or too long. It's about one of those summers that change your life. There's A Boy, of course. And a friendship crisis. And discovering your parents are actual people. The main character is a first generation American - her parents are from India. I can't vouch for the accuracy of the emotional conflict there, but it sure felt real. While this is about Dimple discovering and coming to terms with her dual cultures, it is also about being a teenager with well-meaning parents and a best friend who can also be your worst enemy. I can vouch for the accuracy of that emotional conflict. There are nicely drawn parallels between Dimple's photography and her awakening to the world around her. And there are drag queens and gay relatives and subtle racism tells and clothes and shoes and lots and lots of music. Good stuff.

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