Thursday, May 29, 2014

Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier

Photographer and American teenage girl Dimple Lala is most at home when she's shooting the world around her - especially her glamorous best friend Gwyn. But for all the focus Dimple has through the lens, she's hilariously unaware of her surroundings: her Indian family, her self-absorbed friend, the boys she has dated.

It isn't until Gwyn becomes obsessed with Indian culture (and an Indian boy) that Dimple realizes her cultural heritage is much more interesting than she'd believed - and maybe, it's also a bigger part of her identity than she'd realized.

This book takes a slightly unusual twist to an identity story: more about a first-generation American rediscovering her Indian culture, rather than the more-common story of trying to fit into white America. Teens will recognize Dimple's struggle to find herself, even if they don't identify with her race.

I don't know much about India and I was sometimes a bit lost in the descriptions, but also intrigued enough to research my lackings. It's a book full of colorful, busy descriptions of food, fabrics, sounds, and sights.

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