Skunk Girl by Sheba Karim 15yr old Nina Khan is Pakistani Muslim girl who wants to obey her parents and have a little fun. The Khan's live in Deer Hook, a small town in upstate New York. Nina is not looking forward to junior year thanks to strict parents and older sister Sonia, the genius. She thinks this year to be a lot of SAT prep work and no parties on the weekend. Some YA second generation Americans books fall into a cliche trap. Where the main character must excel in academics, with strict parents they hate and a one dimensional story line In this debut novel Karim finds a beautiful balance avoiding the predictable. Nina is a very good student but her grades are never mentioned. She doesn't like all her parents rules but doesn't hate them for it. Karim doesn't portray the parents has strict and unfeeling, she remembers to show their softer side. Nina embraces who she is and is not ashamed of being a Pakistani Muslim. I also love that the author took the time to fully develop Nina's best friends Bridget and Helena with distinguishable personalities. Through their friendship we learn more about Nina, who is fun, smart and hairy. When puberty hits Nina hair follicles go into over drive.
"One, morning freshman year I woke up and was covered in hair. The hair was in vary degrees of thickness and density. I fell asleep a human and woke a gorilla."
Nina dubs herself skunk girl, after Asher, the boy she likes notices a strip of hair running down the center of her back. Skunk girl was a very fun read filled with a lot of laugh out loud moments. March 31 is the scheduled release date.
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