That Thing About Bollywood
Sonali bottles up her feelings so much that her younger brother sometimes calls her a robot. But it's definitely safer that way. Her parents are arguing nonstop, and her best friend seems to like a new friend better lately. When she hears that her parents are separating, Sonali's world takes a magical turn: she sometimes bursts out into (incredibly embarrassing) Bollywood song and dance numbers when her emotions become too strong.
This is an extremely rare example of a realistic fiction book I'd almost prefer to see as a film, just to enjoy the song and dance breaks. They're described beautifully, and it is comical to picture the wind machine effects and the classmates as backup dancers, but even a reader with a love of jazz hands can't help but cringe at Sonali's discomfort. It is a book that doesn't give our protagonist a win anywhere through the middle, so it's a bit of a slog to get her through the pain. However, many readers will connect to her struggles to keep a handle on her best friend, her grades, and her family relationships.
" I didn't know how to explain those complex feelings to him, to express myself properly. All I could do was snap back, 'I'm not jealous!' "
If you like this book, you may also like . . .