12 December 2011

Post 457: The Whole Story of a Half Girl

The Whole Story of a Half Girl by Veera Hiranandani. ISBN: 9780385741286 (eGalley - publishes January 12, 2012).

This story is spot on in dealing with a parent who has depression: the erratic behavior, the changes in relationships, broken trust. That Sonia, the protagonist, is also dealing with her own uncertainties regarding her identity and transitioning into a new school and young adulthood... or at least teenagerdom. My own father had a similar mental break down at about the same age, so this story was somewhat triggering for me.

Although I did not have to contend with the racial issues Sonia dealt with (her being half Indian), I did feel out of place with my classmates since I was always the "new kid." Being a military brat was always somewhat lonely, especially while attending public schools where some kids had been best friends since birth. In some ways this became more pronounced as I grew older and it was harder to "break in" to these relationships in order to form my own friendships, but with age comes wisdom and I realized they had traded a bit of freedom for their loyalty.

As difficult as it was for me to grow up without long term relationships, it has given me an advantage in that I was able to form an identity without as much influence from my peers. Unlike other people my age, I knew and even expected that my peer group was likely to change, if not in their interests and tastes, then because I moved schools. Knowing that I would never really fit in made it easier for me to avoid following the crowd. The few times I tried to fit in never worked out for me, so while I may have been the only one in my class to admit to liking The Scarlet Letter and reading or doing homework in my spare time (i.e. lunch/between classes), at least I was never surprised by friends moving to college and never speaking to me again.

I had a lonely upbringing, but perhaps that is what has made my current existence more bearable. I am simply used to it.

My review can be found on Goodreads.
LibsNote: Advance reader copy provided by Netgalley.

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