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Skunk Girl

If Nina Khan were to rate herself on the unofficial Pakistani prestige point system – the one she’s sure all the aunties and uncles use to determine the most attractive marriage prospects for their children – her scoring might go something like this:

+2 points for getting excellent grades
–3 points for failing to live up to expectations set by genius older sister
+4 points If Nina Khan were to rate herself on the unofficial Pakistani prestige point system – the one she’s sure all the aunties and uncles use to determine the most attractive marriage prospects for their children – her scoring might go something like this:

+2 points for getting excellent grades
–3 points for failing to live up to expectations set by genius older sister
+4 points for dutifully obeying parents and never, ever going to parties, no matter how antisocial that makes her seem to everyone at Deer Hook High
–1 point for harboring secret jealousy of her best friends, who are allowed to date like normal teenagers
+2 points for never drinking an alcoholic beverage
–10 points for obsessing about Asher Richelli, who talks to Nina like she’s not a freak at all, even though he knows that she has a disturbing line of hair running down her back

In this wryly funny debut novel, the smart, sassy, and utterly lovable Nina Khan tackles friends, family, and love, and learns that it’s possible to embrace two very different cultures – even if things can get a little bit, well, hairy. . more

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Skunk Girl is the emotional journey of a teenager called Nina.

Nina lives in small-town Deer Hook, population 11,250. In her school, with it’s expected coterie of snobbish cheerleaders, handsome jocks and loving (but sometimes clueless) friends, brown-skinned Nina feels like the odd-one out.

The fact that she is a Pakistani-Muslim and comes from a conservative household means that she’s often envious of the freedom that her friends take for granted. While being a fairly intelligent studen Skunk Girl is the emotional journey of a teenager called Nina.

Nina lives in small-town Deer Hook, population 11,250. In her school, with it’s expected coterie of snobbish cheerleaders, handsome jocks and loving (but sometimes clueless) friends, brown-skinned Nina feels like the odd-one out.

The fact that she is a Pakistani-Muslim and comes from a conservative household means that she’s often envious of the freedom that her friends take for granted. While being a fairly intelligent student herself, she has to constantly face comparisons with her super nerd, Harvard attending sister : Sonia. Nina suffers the secret pangs of being a fairly-hairy teenager and the added shock of discovering a thick strip of soft hair running down the center of her back (ergo, the title). She isn’t allowed out on weekends and is constantly under her parents’ radar, lest she becomes ‘Americanized’ or as her aunt would scathingly put it,”umreecanized”.

So what happens when you throw in an handsome Italian boy called Asher Richelli who despite being wooed by the most popular girl (and Nina’s nemesis), appears to be interested in the go-nowhere Nina?

I liked the book. I really did. Far more than I had anticipated. Coming from a fairly conservative South-Indian family myself, I associated with Nina’s teenage frustrations. And maybe I enjoyed it more for the trips down memory-lane that it took me. I read out snarky sections to my mum and she gave me the cheeky smile cum weary resignation, as we remembered similar incidents.

Many might complain that Nina whined. A Lot. Let me just tell you that it’s NOT an exaggeration. I whined and whinged. An embarrassing LOT! Maybe now, as an adult, I understand where my parents were coming from. Evolved thought-processes have taken their time to settle in. But yep, teendom was an angry canvas of red-faced me, bawling out at the unfairness of it all.

Nina Khan’s story is believable and entertaining. It has a nice vein of self-deprecating humour running through it. The ending could either be termed as realistic or a bit surprising, consider your outlook. Either which way, it’s a story by an author who has immersed herself into her plot and used it to maximum effect.
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I’m actually going to start this review by telling you a little bit about me. Just trust me and go with it. I read lots of blogs, but I very seldom read through the actual reviews. I hate being spoiled and even though most bloggers give adequate spoiler warnings, I’d rather be completely surprised when I pick up a book. So, you will often hear see me say that I had no idea what a book was about before picking it up. I also never go to the library with a list. I go, pick up any new books I have o I’m actually going to start this review by telling you a little bit about me. Just trust me and go with it. I read lots of blogs, but I very seldom read through the actual reviews. I hate being spoiled and even though most bloggers give adequate spoiler warnings, I’d rather be completely surprised when I pick up a book. So, you will often hear see me say that I had no idea what a book was about before picking it up. I also never go to the library with a list. I go, pick up any new books I have on hold, and browse the shelves looking for something to catch my eye. This is how I found Skunk Girl. I didn’t remember who had read it, what it was about, or if it was even good for that matter. I recognized it, laughed at the inside cover, and placed it in my bag. I was in no real hurry to read it since I had so many other goodies in my pile, but when I finally did, boy was I surprised.

Nina Khan just wants to be a normal teenager, except she’s kind of a freak. She’s hairy, Muslim, and under lockdown by her very strict, Pakistani parents. Luckily for her though, her American friends love her anyway. Nina is used to the social restrictions her family believes in; however, when cutie Asher Richelli starts paying her attention, she is determined to break away. In the end Nina learns that her family really isn’t that bad and that some of the things she wished for are overrated.

I loved Nina’s story. She was such a diverse character! I know, I know – it’s mostly because she is a person of color with a completely different culture than my own, but I had to say it. Nina’s narrative takes us straight into her head and lets us see, and feel, and think the things that she is seeing, and feeling, and thinking. Feeling so close to a character is always a good thing in my book, and her witty humor only added to my love for this debut novel. I hear Karim is working on a new book, and I cannot wait to read it.

I think it is so important for stories like Nina’s to be told. Please check out Reading in Color and S. Krishna’s Books if you aren’t already familiar. Both of these blogs feature books by and/or about people of color, and both hold challenges with tons of suggestions for books like Skunk Girl.

Skunk Girl book. Read 94 reviews from the world’s largest community for readers. If Nina Khan were to rate herself on the unofficial Pakistani prestige p…

Skunk Girl

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Om Skunk Girl

If Nina Khan were to rate herself on the unofficial Pakistani prestige point system – the one she’s sure all the aunties and uncles use to determine the most attractive marriage prospects for their children – her scoring might go something like this: +2 points for getting excellent grades -3 points for failing to live up to expectations set by genius older sister +4 points for dutifully obeying parents and never, ever going to parties, no matter how antisocial that makes her seem to everyone at Deer Hook High -1 point for harboring secret jealousy of her best friends, who are allowed to date like normal teenagers +2 points for never drinking an alcoholic beverage -10 points for obsessing about Asher Richelli, who talks to Nina like she’s not a freak at all, even though he knows that she has a disturbing line of hair running down her back In this wryly funny debut novel, the smart, sassy, and utterly lovable Nina Khan tackles friends, family, and love, and learns that it’s possible to embrace two very different cultures – even if things can get a little bit, well, hairy.

Kjøp «Skunk Girl» av Sheba Karim som e-bok på ark.no. Les boken på din telefon/nettbrett med ARK-appen eller på din Kindle.