Review: A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena

5:21 PM

A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena | Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5)

Breathtaking, mesmerizing and utterly heartbreaking. A Girl Like That is bound to be one of the most loved contemporary releases this year and for good reason. Armed with a sort of cattiness that you'll only find in teenagers, this is a story worth looking into because it rings true to real life. Bhathena captures youth beautifully and embraces all its complexities, crafting a witty and vicious coming of age story.

It's bittersweet and captivating, something that you simply cannot put down.  A Girl Like That is truly and completely special.

And because of the subject matter of this book, it's not going to be for everyone. There are a lot of trigger warnings I should specify: sexual harassment, abuse, death, drug abuse, bullying and more. As always, take care of yourself if you find any of the above mentioned subjects triggering.

Needless to say, a lot is tackled in the pages of A Girl Like That and each topic is very important to discuss. Bhathena doesn't hold back in her portrayal of each and will certainly hit you straight on with emotion. She handles each topic as carefully, yet honestly, as a good writer should--showing us that she has a very promising career ahead of her.

Let's start with characters: I loved them. Zarin, our main character, and the story's signature girl-like-that, is a highly layered young woman with a trail of gossip following her. Due to her reputation, one that is fueled only by her smoking habit and the fact that she has kissed a few boys, she has very few friends and her home-life is not much more warm to her. I knew right away that I would love and feel sympathetic towards her and sure enough, my heart broke for Zarin from start to finish.

The things that she is subjected to in her brief life pains me. It pains me even further that when we meet her, she is already dead. I wanted to cry multiple times throughout this book and honestly did.

So much about her will call to Bhathena's readers. She is very much so just a girl. The way that her peers and her only living family members treat her is appalling. The exploration of various levels of abuse and bullying was pretty spot-on and will make you think.

One thing was certain--this story was not only thought provoking but deeply moving. It takes a true talent to craft such a story and Tanaz Bhathena is certainly a talent. She truly destroyed me with this story and how it all ended; reminding us that sometimes, people who are treated unfairly are left with nothing. And that at the end of the day, sometimes the people who treat us in such ways are left behind and never face up to their actions.

Overall, this book made me feel many things and I cannot stress how much I loved it. And how much I had hoped the ending wouldn't be so.

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