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03 January 2012

Review: The Whole Story of Half a Girl

The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hiranandani is the second book I read for the 2012 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi, The Story Siren.
Here is the summary from Goodreads:
After her father loses his job, Sonia Nadhamuni, half Indian and half Jewish American, finds herself yanked out of private school and thrown into the unfamiliar world of public education. For the first time, Sonia's mixed heritage makes her classmates ask questions—questions Sonia doesn't always know how to answer—as she navigates between a group of popular girls who want her to try out for the cheerleading squad and other students who aren't part of the "in" crowd.

At the same time that Sonia is trying to make new friends, she's dealing with what it means to have an out-of-work parent—it's hard for her family to adjust to their changed circumstances. And then, one day, Sonia's father goes missing. Now Sonia wonders if she ever really knew him. As she begins to look for answers, she must decide what really matters and who her true friends are—and whether her two halves, no matter how different, can make her a whole.

I don't know where to start with this review.  I thought the book was ok, but I wasn't overly wowed.  However, I can see how Middle Schoolers would connect with Sonia and really understand what she is going through.  There were times when I really liked Sonia, but there were times when I just wished she would snap out of it.  But again, thats middle school (and quite possibly why I don't teach middle school).

It wasn't the worst book I ever read, nor was it the best.  However, I would recommend it to my students.  

Publication date:  January 10, 2012

I was able to download this book for free via Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  


  1. Thank you for stopping by my blog today! And I'm so glad you liked my review of Cinder, and my class's Cinderella story. :) I read your About Me section, and think it's awesome that you're an ELL teacher! I taught reading and English one-on-one to ELL students, as well as in different classrooms throughout the school. Mine were all Latino, and mostly in Kindergarten through 3rd grades. I loved it, and it was SO rewarding. Such sweet children. :)

    This book sounds kind of "eh" to me. It's too bad you didn't like it more, but great that you found something your students might like! I'm participating in The Story Siren's DAC as well, so I'll be paying attention to which books you select.

    New follower!

    - Jana @

  2. I just requested this book from netgalley, since I am curious about the multicultural/self identity aspect. Would you mind elaborating on why you thought the book was mediocre? The topic is not interesting, lack of character development, believability, or just not your cup of tea.

  3. It was a lot of factors that made it "meh"....
    1. the characters were wishy-washy---sometimes they were believeable, sometimes not.
    2. parts of the story seemed formulaic

    I really just thought it had the potential to be more, but it didn't quite get there.


Gold stars given to good comments.