By Varsha Bajaj
Review By Fatima Khan, Associate Producer, ReadingWithYourKids.com
I loved this book!!! This book is about 13 year old Abby Spencer wanting to know the history of her unknown dad. She realizes something about her father that could change her life. An allergic reaction to coconut convinces Abby’s mom, Meredith, that she should contact abby’s dad, who returned to India after their college affair. She wrote to tell him she was pregnant, but he never answered. She later learned he’d become a Bollywood star and never told Abby. Once he learns of her existence, he whisks Abby to Mumbai for a visit. She becomes fond of her Indian grandmother and gets to know and respect her dad.
There is a little romance between Abby and a boy she meets in Mumbai who happens to live in Dallas, TX. It’s an okay romance, appropriately clean for the young ages of the characters. The main conflict in this book is how Abby tries to connect to the father she never knew and trying to hide their father-daughter relationship from the press who surround her father like vultures. The moment they discover the truth, they would tear Abby apart. She had to grow accustomed to fame and learn how to deal when life becomes difficult. This book was very honest. Abby didn’t care about the fame or how much money her father had. She just wanted to know her father, she wanted to know her culture even if she hadn’t realized it yet
And it was so much fun to experience India through Abby’s eyes. She is exposed not only to the lavish lifestyle of her father, but also to the extreme poverty literally right outside the gates of his mansion, which I feel is an accurate representation of the extremes and contradictions you will witness when visiting India or any other similar country. The descriptions of Mumbai, from the streets to the food made me feel proud to be an Indian.
I would give this book 5 stars out of 5 and would recommend it to middle and maybe high schoolers. I could relate this book to my life because I am from India and so is Abby’s dad. She describes her environment in Mumbai. Overall, I loved this book! I found this book to be super cute and a lot of fun. It’s definitely a fairy tale type of a story, but that is part of its charm.
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