STARRED REVIEW
August 2016

Blurred lines between fact and fiction

By Rahul Kanakia
Review by
Indian-American Reshma Kapoor isn’t the smartest or the most beloved at her Silicon Valley high school, but she is the best. Through careful study and manipulation of the grading system, she has become valedictorian. But with sub-standard SAT scores and meager extracurriculars, she’s not the ideal student for Stanford, her dream school. After her op-ed is published by the Huffington Post and a literary agent contacts her, Reshma realizes that she finally has her hook into Stanford. She will write a YA novel, using herself as the protagonist. She’s willing to do anything—from blackmailing her way into a friendship to threatening to sue anyone who might oppose her—to move her story arc along.
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Indian-American Reshma Kapoor isn’t the smartest or the most beloved at her Silicon Valley high school, but she is the best. Through careful study and manipulation of the grading system, she has become valedictorian. But with sub-standard SAT scores and meager extracurriculars, she’s not the ideal student for Stanford, her dream school. After her op-ed is published by the Huffington Post and a literary agent contacts her, Reshma realizes that she finally has her hook into Stanford. She will write a YA novel, using herself as the protagonist. She’s willing to do anything—from blackmailing her way into a friendship to threatening to sue anyone who might oppose her—to move her story arc along.

Rahul Kanakia’s debut is a definitive metafiction experience. Readers will question whether Reshma is a satirical antihero who reflects today’s convoluted race relations, education system and need for fame, or simply a teen who wants acceptance and love. Readers may not always like Reshma, but they won’t forget her story.

 

This article was originally published in the August 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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By Rahul Kanakia
Disney-Hyperion
ISBN 9781484723876

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