“Born Confused” Tanuja Desai Hidier

Rated 4 stars **** ebook. ARC. Published April 29, 2014. Push (Scholastic Inc.) (First published in the U.K. in 2002.)

BornConfusedDimple Lala is turning seventeen. Despite being born in New Jersey, being Indian always seemed to get in the way of feeling American and “normal.” Dimple feels fat, and thinks she’s not Indian enough and not American enough. She is shy next to her slim, blond and outgoing BFF, and has always let Gwyn take the lead in her life. The only time she feels unique and herself is when she’s taking photographs and developing her photos.

Her parents’ customs and way of dress annoy her. With confusion about her cultural identity blinding her to reason Dimple is determined to undermine her parents in their attempt to arrange a date with Karsh, a “suitable” Indian boy.

Within a short time Gwyn becomes enamored, and tries to become Indian in an attempt to woo him. The saris and Indian jewelry Dimple has always refused to wear look better on Gwyn and, as Dimple watches Karsh and Gwyn slipping away, her search for meaning in her life deepens.

Alone, adrift and forced to look within, Dimple’s thoughts slowly morph into rediscovery, love and introspection. With loss comes gain, as sadness and confusion lead to happiness and clarity.

The many Indian words, terms and customs would have been better deciphered if a glossary had accompanied the book, but Dimple’s story will resound with readers caught between two worlds; their “new” American world and the “old” world of their ancestry.

Recommended for readers aged 14 and older.



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