“[T]here are only two types of people who spend their Friday nights in high school at home—Pakistani Muslim girls and future serial killers.”
Although Nina Khan was born and raised in small-town Deer Hook, N.Y., and has never visited her parents’ homeland, she must adhere to their rigid cultural and religious beliefs, including no sleepovers, alcohol or dating. With dark skin, a wide bottom and an overabundance of body hair that makes her a “skunk girl,” what are her chances of dating in the predominantly fair-skinned, closed-minded town anyway? But when Italian Asher transfers to her high school, she dreams of romance for the first time. In this debut, episodic novel, rife with smart, self-deprecating humor and set in the 1990s just as a phenomenon known as e-mail is gaining interest, Nina searches for identity and emerging independence while accepting the reality of her home life.
For another look at a teen making tough choices as an outsider in her own country, pair with Randa Abdel-Fattah’s Does My Head Look Big in This? (2007). (Historical fiction. YA)