Thursday, June 28, 2012

Review: Bras, Boys, and Blunders by Vidya Samson

Title: Bras, Boys, and Blunders: Juliet and Romeo in Bahrain
Author: Vidya Samson
Year Published: 2012

Genre: YA fiction
Pages: 195
Rating: 4 out of 5

Challenges: Middle East Challenge
Geography Connection (my Google Reading map): Bahrain


FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of the pdf from the author for review

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): What's a girl gotta do to get her first bra, her first kiss, her first love? IF you thought the Middle East was all about fatwas and burkhas, think again. Join the fun as Veena, a naive teen from India, bungles her way through adolescence on the island of Bahrain. Laugh out loud as she deals with the intricacies of stubborn bras, crazy parents, racist classmates, first love, and the No-No Club, an abstinence club that degenerates into the Yes-Yes Club.

Review: This book is a fast and fun read with a great sense of humor. We follow Veena as she navigates life in Bahrain at a private Christian school that has a decidedly international flavor (Indian, White, and Arab). Veena is fifteen and ready to be more than just the smartest girl in class, but she also can't get herself to speak to a boy (it would seem inappropriate), break the rules (she would get in trouble), or stand up to her crazy mother. Luckily her best friend has a little more umph to her and helps her along the way.

The story does deal with some issues that are familiar to most of us: rebellion, wanting to please others versus pleasing ourselves, crushes, and teasing. What I liked most is that the book manages to deal with these issues without being preachy. Veena deals with them well and not well, just like people do in real life. There are also no awful tragedies, no death, no illness, no violence, quite a refreshing change from much of the YA literature out there.

For a fun read that will make you smile and root for the main character, this is a winner.

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