Shy high school senior Nisha, brown-skinned and dark-haired, tries to balance her parents’ strict and traditional Sri Lankan Tamil expectations and values with the freedoms of the liberal Canadian society she is growing up in.
Her parents are pushing her to become a doctor, but what Nisha really enjoys is writing, especially pouring out her frustrations in her anonymous blog, Confessions of a Sri Lankan Girl. When Nisha is assigned to work on a creative-writing project with a white boy named Todd, they both realize that they have been waiting to get to know each other better. Nisha knows that dating a boy outside her culture and heritage would be sacrilegious, a cause of much shame to her parents and much gossip in her extended community. Nisha and Todd’s interracial, forbidden relationship should be exciting, but Nisha’s narration is uninspired and fails to provide any tension or true drama. The representation of immigrant South Asian family and culture is realistic but does not rise above stereotype, and the abrupt resolution of her conservative parents’ disapproval of both her relationship with a non-Tamil boy and her passion to write feels unrealistic and therefore cannot satisfy.
Although this coming-of-age story deals with an interracial relationship and immigrant angst, limp writing, one-dimensional characters, and sweet but simplistic motivations sink it. (Fiction. 12-16)