Recommended Fiction Book List for the 2019 In the Margins Book Award
Seventeen-year-old Jaya Mehta detests wealth, secrets, and privilege, though he has them all. His family is Indian, originally from Gujarat. Rasa Santos, like many in Hawaii, is of mixed ethnicity. All she has are siblings, three of them, plus a mother who controls men like a black widow spider and leaves her children whenever she wants to. Neither Jaya nor Rasa have ever known real love or close familynot until their chance meeting one sunny day on a mountain in Hau’ula.
The unlikely love that blooms between them must survive the stranglehold their respective pasts have on them. Each of their present identities has been shaped by years of extreme family struggles. By the time they cross paths, Jaya is a transgender outsider with depressive tendencies and the stunningly beautiful Rasa thinks sex is her only power until a violent pimp takes over her life. Will their love transcend and pull them forward, or will they remain stuck and separate in the chaos of their pasts?
Sonia Patel ’s YA debut, Rani Patel In Full Effect , was a finalist for the Morris Award, was listed among the YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, and was named by Kirkus Reviews as one of the Best Teen Books of 2016. Patel is a psychiatrist who works with children and adults. She was trained at Stanford University and the University of Hawaii. She lives and practices in Hawaii.
|Publisher:||Cinco Puntos Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)|
|Age Range:||11 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Sonia Patel knows teenagers inside and out. As a child and adolescent psychiatrist, trained at Stanford University and the University of Hawaii, she has spent over fifteen years listening to and understanding the psyche of teenagers from all walks of life. She’s also been a teenage girl herself, growing up on Moloka’i as a first generation Gujarati-American.
As a writer, Sonia is passionate about giving voice to the underrepresented youth she treats. Her YA debut featuring a Gujarati-Indian American teen, Rani Patel In Full Effect , was a finalist for the Morris Award and was listed on YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults and Kirkus’ Reviews Best Teen Books of 2016. Her second YA novel, with a Gujarati-Indian trans boy and a mixed ethnicity girl, Jaya and Rasa: A Love Story , was selected for the 2019 In the Margins Book Award Recommended Fiction Book List. She chose South Korea as the setting for her third YA novel, Bloody Seoul , because of her extensive treatment experience with Korean and Korean American teens on Oahu (and her love for the Korean gangster film genre).
Watch Sonia's video for the Child Mind Institute, where she speaks about her experience with anxiety and depression, and the words of wisdom she would tell her younger self.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Thank you to the Kid Lit Exchange Network for providing me with a free review copy of the book - all opinions are my own. Wow. This book was intense. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it was pretty difficult to read. It’s one of those books that really draws you in and makes you take a good hard look at what’s going on in the lives of people around you. Patel didn’t sugarcoat the struggles of her characters, which, unfortunately, are the struggles of many teens around the world. As difficult and horrible as those struggles are, I saw this story as a tribute to them and their perseverance and strength. I have to be honest and admit that I don’t know what else to say about this book. It’s taken me days to write this much because I can’t find the words to express my thoughts. It’s an intensely emotional read that is going to make plenty of people uncomfortable, but I think that’s an important part of the reading experience. And I think everyone should read this book. I do want to say to the author: thank you for adding your voice to the mix of teen lit. Jaya and Rasa’s stories are ones that need to be heard and you’ve done an amazing job of bringing them to life. Highly recommend.
Excellent book! Never read anything like it. Heavy , important topics.