Published by Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 27th 2018
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A timeless exploration of high-stakes romance, self-discovery, and the lengths we go to love and be loved.
Sixteen-year-old Zarin Wadia is many things: a bright and vivacious student, an orphan, a risk taker. She’s also the kind of girl that parents warn their kids to stay away from: a troublemaker whose many romances are the subject of endless gossip at school. You don't want to get involved with a girl like that, they say. So how is it that eighteen-year-old Porus Dumasia has only ever had eyes for her? And how did Zarin and Porus end up dead in a car together, crashed on the side of a highway in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia? When the religious police arrive on the scene, everything everyone thought they knew about Zarin is questioned. And as her story is pieced together, told through multiple perspectives, it becomes clear that she was far more than just a girl like that.
This beautifully written debut novel from Tanaz Bhathena reveals a rich and wonderful new world to readers. It tackles complicated issues of race, identity, class, and religion, and paints a portrait of teenage ambition, angst, and alienation that feels both inventive and universal.
Playlist for A Girl Like That
I don’t listen to music while I write, but I often find inspiration for my books and characters listening to the car radio or watching YouTube videos. While not every song perfectly fits my characters (isn’t it totally epic when that happens?) I often find pieces that work with certain scenes or fit the overall themes of the book.
Here are a few songs that inspired me over the years as I wrote A Girl Like That:
- “Bad Girls” by M.I.A.
There’s a recklessness in this song that I relate to my MC, Zarin. I also like that there are a couple of images in the music video that are very specific to Saudi Arabia—like drifting—and it features several badass women along with M.I.A. If this novel was a movie, I could totally see this as a background intro song.
- “Just Go To Hell Dil” (Dear Zindagi) by Sunidhi Chauhan
“Dil” means “heart” in Hindi and the lyrics fit both Zarin and Porus at different points in the novel.
- “Kaari Kaari” (Pink) by Qurat Ul Ain Balouch
“Kaari” means “dark” in Hindi and the lyrics talk about a night that never ends. This is a pretty dark song specific to certain key scenes in the book.
- “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten
Every dark night comes to an end and this song is all about reclaiming your power, resonating with a pivotal moment in the book.
- “Story of My Life” by One Direction
The lyrics in this song work for both Zarin and Porus—especially during the latter half of the book. I imagine this track playing in the background when they’re in Porus’s car.
- “All of Me” by John Legend
This song is perfect for Porus as he (unlike Zarin) is a total romantic. 🙂
*~~About the Author~~*
Don’t forget to come back tomorrow to check out another enchantingly epic #EE18ers post! 😉