How did I get it?:
I bought it!
Sixteen-year-old Zarin Wadia is many things: a bright and vivacious student, an orphan, a risk taker. She’s also the kind of girl that parents warn their kids to stay away from: a troublemaker whose many romances are the subject of endless gossip at school. You don’t want to get involved with a girl like that, they say. So how is it that eighteen-year-old Porus Dumasia has only ever had eyes for her? And how did Zarin and Porus end up dead in a car together, crashed on the side of a highway in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia? When the religious police arrive on the scene, everything everyone thought they knew about Zarin is questioned. And as her story is pieced together, told through multiple perspectives, it becomes clear that she was far more than just a girl like that.
I decided to read another 2018 debut so I picked up A Girl Like That which I had heard mixed things about. I’m glad I took the time to read it, although I didn’t find it overly memorable. At the start of the book, we find that Zarin and her friend Porus have been killed in a car crash. We, as readers, then follow Zarin’s story told through different points of views.
Zarin, who is from Mumbai, lives with relatives after the death of her parents. Zarin begins to rebel. She starts dating boys and smoking which is certainly disapproved of within her culture. At first, it’s to wind up her aunt but then it becomes a way to act to prove to others that she’s not who people expect her to be. Zarin becomes a target for bullies at school. She is slut-shamed because she doesn’t comply with her cultural norms.
I liked how through different points of views, we could find out that the girl that Zarin seemed to be wasn’t the girl she really was. Zarin was actually a traumatised girl who had experienced some horrific things in her life. Zarin’s actions were simply curious about sex and boys. Zarin didn’t understand how males were treated so differently to girls. It is interesting to read a book that so openly discusses double standards that there are in society.
I do appreciate stories that involve characters from different faiths other than my own. I can’t say if it was represented accurately, but I certainly found it interesting to follow. I wasn’t overly impressed with the ending of this story which is why I haven’t rated it four stars. However, I did think it was an intriguing read about love, religion and culture. Just beware that there is some very heavy content including rape.
Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars