MY RATING: 4 stars
RELEASE DATE: October 3rd 2017
I was lucky enough to receive an e-ARC of this book through Netgalley, so thank you so much to First Second Books for giving me this opportunity!
So this book wasn’t really what I expected, here’s the goodreads synopsis:
Pashmina tells the story of an Indian-American girl who struggles to fit in at high school, then discovers more about her family’s history with the help of her mother’s magical pashmina.
And that is the basic plotline but I guess I was just expecting it to be YA since the main character is in high school but it definitely read a lot younger than that so more middle grade than YA.
That being said, I thought the story was actually really interesting. I really appreciate seeing more South Asian MCs in popular books as of late. The book focuses a lot on the cultural aspect of India and I like how Nidhi Chanani constantly used Indian terms in the story without feeling the need to explain it. It just felt like a very natural depiction of Indian culture through a modern lens.
I initially thought it was going to be a really light read but there are a lot of really important topics weaved in to the story, such as the feminist aspect of it: emphasizing on women’s choice and how there are still a lot of backward views regarding that in the world today. It also focuses on the touristy-view of a country vs the reality, and I thought that was really well dealt with since the book highlights how you could have an almost Utopian ideal of a country such as India but in reality there’s still so many issues like poverty and unemployment of women in the smaller villages.
The art was probably my favorite thing about the story though, oh my gosh it was so gorgeous. It was very neat and to the point and I especially loved the fact that the fantasy scenes were in vivid color as opposed to the monochromatic reality, which once again really emphasized the contrast between reality and fantasy.
The only reason I gave this book a 4 stars is because I felt like the story was too rushed. I mean, I understand that it is a graphic novel and it obviously can’t tell a story the same way a 500 page novel can but I just felt like everything progressed waayy too quickly. That being said, I think it is a really unique diverse read!