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A Girl Like That

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  3,748 ratings  ·  823 reviews
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'
Hardcover, 378 pages
Published February 27th 2018 by Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers
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Nina (LetsWasteTime) I am not Muslim myself but from what I remember it does not criticize any of the teachings of the Quran. It does, however, criticize the way women are…moreI am not Muslim myself but from what I remember it does not criticize any of the teachings of the Quran. It does, however, criticize the way women are treated in Saudi Arabian as well as Indian culture and openly exposes how women suffer from the violent sexism.(less)
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Average rating 3.70  · 
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 ·  3,748 ratings  ·  823 reviews

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Elena May
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What is happening? Why am I reading a contemporary teen drama? And why am I enjoying it so much??

Okay, “enjoying” is a strange word here. It’s a sad, heartbreaking book. And yet, I was so immersed in the story that I stayed up late at night reading, and, more shockingly, I got up early to squeeze in an hour or two of reading before going to work. And I’m not a morning person.

I’m normally not into contemporary realistic teen stories. Historical? Sure! Fantasy or sci fi? Perfect! But contemporary?
Elle (ellexamines)
A Girl Like That begins as we see Zarin and Porus holding hands and walking off to their deaths. It’s a moment that is horrible and beautiful all at once, and the book never quite stops being that.

So first of all, this is one of the most intense & heartbreaking books I have read, ever, and I think that's worth knowing going in. But at the same time, it’s an incredibly important book about how the culture of Saudi Arabia is tailor-made to alienate its people; how it teaches boy that sexual assau
Mar 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
This is officially the worst book I’ve read, ever, which is not something I say lightly. It’s a contemporary young adult novel set in Saudi Arabia that’s supposedly meant to bravely expose rape culture, but all it does is expose the author’s own islamophobia and girl-on-girl hate. Now, it’s a subtle islamophobia, and I suppose a subtle hate if you’re not looking for it, and maybe that’s why it’s gone largely unnoticed so far. But if anything, it’s more glaringly harmful for its subtlety. Let me ...more
Korrina  (OwlCrate)
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Phew. That was a book that required 100% of my attention. It wasn't an easy read for me, but definitely a worthwhile one. I feel like this story is really important and will stay with me for a long time. ...more
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

There were a lot of upcoming titles for 2018 with PoC leads that I was highly anticipating, and Tanaz Bhathena's A GIRL LIKE THAT was one of them. All I knew about it was that it was set in Saudi Arabia(!) and featured a female protagonist who was being slut-shamed for not fitting in with cultural norms, despite other much more interesting aspects of her life, like being an Indian Zoroastrian(!), and both a good student and a rebel.

I did
Anna Priemaza
A GIRL LIKE THAT completely blew me away, but be warned: this book will break your heart a thousand times, so that by the time you’re done reading, a thousand and one little heart pieces will be thrumming in your chest cavity like tiny, weeping hummingbirds.

Abuse. Death. Rape culture. Religion. Bullying. Mental health. Cultural norms. There is so much heaviness in this book, but Tanaz writes about it all with such profound honesty and depth that although you're forced to confront the ugly terri
April (Aprilius Maximus)
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
More like a 4.5 stars. This was so different from anything I've ever read before. I learnt so much reading it and it really brought out a lot of different emotions in me! ...more
Trigger Warning Bullying, Sexual Abuse, Domestic Abuse
When people say you’re wrong so many times over so many years, when they call you a bad person, you begin to believe them. You begin to hide your face again – to anyone – you will be judged. Sometimes, it gets so bad that you begin to wonder if life is worth living.

Zarin Wadia was a 16 year-old Zoroastrian from Mumbai who's living in Jeddah with her aunt and uncle. Her mother was a bar dancer and her father was a underworld Mafia
✨    jami   ✨
"My story is different from Zarin and Mishal's. Yet it does not make their stories any less true, nor does it diminish the reality of living in a world that still defines girls in various ways without letting them define themselves"

The author’s note of this book struck me so much because I thought it so perfectly and so succinctly captured the heart of this book – women existing as whole, oftentimes messy people who are fighting for respect and the right to exist outside of what society has
Saajid Hosein
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Hola, can you help me find my weave?"

- Dora, the shookethed explorer (2018).
Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
Sep 21, 2019 rated it liked it
***one of my oldest reviews***

✴️Genre: YA/Teen/Romance/fiction ✴️Deals with : Abuse, child neglect, rape, race, death, teenage insecurities.

☑️ The story in brief:
Zarin is a 16 year old orphan living with her aunt who herself is facing mental health issues. The only highlight in the everyday life is the husband of her aunt who shows understanding & support when it becomes unbearable for Zarin when it comes to the everyday taunts of her aunt; haunting her whenever possible how much of a disgrace t
Carlie Sorosiak
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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A Girl Like That completely broke my heart in a million ways, some expected and others not. I was not prepared for the sheer beauty of this writing, which—coupled with the plot—tore me to pieces yet also left me with a profound sense of hope. Every sentence is so carefully constructed, but at the same time, everything feels effortless and smooth. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Tanaz’s writing is of the most elegant I’ve ever read in YA.

You will love some of these characters. You w
WOW. Not that I wasn't expecting the book to be really good, but it was just...really good in ways I wasn't expecting. There's so much interesting discussion of cultural nuance re: India and the Middle East and being an expat and mental health and sexism and different religions that rarely get rep in YA (I had incorrectly assumed the main character would be Muslim; she is in fact Zoroastrian) and then on top of that you get the whole BEFORE I FALL/IF I STAY conceit and a book that stands up ther ...more
S.A. Chakraborty
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have been looking forward to this book for over a year, and it left me just as emotionally devastated as I expected. This is a heavy book, one that left me continuously having to remind myself that these people were not real and I should not be grieving them like they were... but damn. A beautiful, sad story about young love but also the terrible ways we box in both our girls and boys with adult insecurities around sex and honor. One of those stories that will haunt me for a long time.
Aimee ♥ | Aimee, Always
Well, this book is HEAVY! Lots of dark themes, and the writing made it a bit harder to absorb. That, plus the fact that nothing happens in the entire first half of the book made this so hard to get into, but after a while I think I managed to appreciate this book a lot. Plus I adored the sort-of-love-interest-but-not-really, Porus. ♥

Full review to come!
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Trigger warnings:
Sexual Assault — Rape — Child abuse (physical abuse) — Death — Bullying  — Domestic Violence — Graphic Car Accident — Death of a pet — Depression

Author’s Note
My own story is different from Zarin’s and Mishal’s. Yet it does not make their stories any less true, nor does it diminish the reality of living in a world that still defines girls in various ways without letting them define themselves.
This book is a love letter to them all.

I really have to start reading the synopsis o
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Full review here:

One of the best books I’ve ever read. So sad yet so beautiful.
Apr 06, 2018 rated it did not like it
1.5 stars

Honestly, I was bored for almost the entirety of the book. Several POVs caused the narrative to spread too thin; too many ideas going on at once. For a novel heavy on rape culture, there is absolutely nothing in the synopsis that tells this. There is one little mention of it before the title page, in little print that can easily be overlooked, especially when using the ebook version. That wasn't enough for me & is very misleading. It left a bitter taste in my mouth. I also was a bit con
Laurie Flynn
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I had the privilege of reading A GIRL LIKE THAT in advance of its 2018 release date, and I was completely enraptured by its beauty and power. The story starts with the aftermath of a car accident that kills that two main characters, Zarin and Porus. It's certainly not a traditional beginning to a story, but that just adds to the uniqueness of this book- there's literally nothing else like it out there. Different perspectives- from Zarin, Porus, and other people in their lives- unravel the events ...more
Oct 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
STOP EVERYTHING YOU ARE DOING AND READ A GIRL LIKE THAT by Tanaz Bhathena. This is one of the most important works of fiction I have ever read – right up there with THE FAULT IN OUR STARS in its depth, complexity and powerful beauty. I sat down to read a few pages of this incredible book and tore through the story in one sitting.
A GIRL LIKE THAT is told from the alternative points of view of a group of teens living in Saudi Arabia. The teens are of a variety of ethnicities and religious affilia
Resh (The Book Satchel)
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was fast paced and engaging. I read it in one sitting because the writing was captivating enough to keep me on the edge.

Zarin Wadia; she is 'a girl like that'.

Zarin does not give a damn that she is branded a slut, rebel etc by her teachers, aunty, friends and mostly everyone. Enter Porus Dumasia, who falls in love with her though she considers him a friend. The story begins with a car crash killing Porus and Zarin and then a string of speculations follow.

- fast paced
- god storytel
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars.

It is unfortunate that I did not end up liking this. It was one of the books I was looking forward to being released this year.

The writing is what led to me not liking it. The author was overly descriptive and I got bored with how descriptive the writing was. It was more of the author telling me things than showing. A good novel has both showing and telling.

The characters were complex and the novel addressed a lot of things that don't normally get discussed. I think it is great that
Trigger warnings: death, car accident, slut shaming, bullying, mental health, date rape, drugging of unknowing girls, domestic violence/child abuse, misogyny, death of a parent (in the past).

This was a way tougher read than I anticipated it being. I mean, given that the story starts with the main character being dead, it was never going to be a particularly easy read. But there was so much more going on here than I'd anticipated.

It's an incredibly compelling story, essentially told in reverse f
Laura (bbliophile)
DNF. I really don't appreciate it when a book that focuses so heavily on sexual assault/r*pe doesn't have any mention of that in the blurb. ...more
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
A Girl Like That isn't at all what I was expecting. This book is dark: it's about rape culture, sexual assault, and the pervasive mistreatment of women and girls around the globe. These are important topics, and we need YA books to work through them. But all that being said, I didn't love this book. I can see other readers enjoying this book, but it just didn't work for me. Disclaimer: I'm not an OV reviewer, and you should start with OV reviews!

A Girl Like That has a lot to say about the role m
Faith Simon
Dec 16, 2018 rated it liked it
I... sort of don't know what to say about this book? I mean, all I've heard about this is rave reviews, and sure it tackles some serious subject matter, but now that I've finished the entire story I'm just... underwhelmed?
This book takes place in a non-Western setting which is great in its own right, and deals with subjects of slut-shaming, sexual assault, abuse, among other things, and so the book can be praised highly for these things. But the story? That's arguable.
The synopsis tells reader
Yna the Mood Reader
Apr 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
“It is strange, I thought, how we always recognize our best memories in hindsight.”

📚 Series? No.
📚 Genre? YA Contemporary.
📚 Cliffhanger? No.

⚠ Content Warnings:  Death. Abuse. Rape. Bullying. Car Accident.
⚠ Book Tags :  Religious differences. Indian and Arabic culture. Female sexuality. Expat life. Girl on girl hate.

The book is about:
Told in the eyes of the characters as ghosts, Zarin died in a car accident with Porus, a guy she bestfriend-zoned. This book is set in Saudi Arabia, and
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Sometimes, life does not go the way we want it to and we can't really change that. But it doesn't matter as long as we have someone to love us. Love is more important than anything else in this world. And you deserve love just as much as anyone else."

Here's what you should know about Tanaz Bhathena's What We Left Behind:

It is heartbreaking. This is a story about how love—and its absence—can shape a person's life, and it is a story framed with death. It was tragic in a way that reminded me of Ro
Cori Reed
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a powerful and emotional read that left me feeling like I was the one who had been in a car crash. Zarin's life is one of tragedy and hurt, but as a character you feel her jump off the page trying to fight back. Very well done.

This isn't a happy book, but it will teach you things.
There's a lot of good stuff going on in this book, but at the end, none of it coalesced enough to engage me more than thinking that there was a lot of good stuff going on. Maybe it's the fact the book is told from so many points of view that all sound the same.

Zarin is "one of those girls" with a reputation in her Saudi high school. She's not Saudi herself, but rather, her family moved to Jeddah from India. She's often talked about, gossiped about for being a girl who breaks the established rule
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Fourth Member Revisited 1 7 Jun 04, 2018 09:12AM  
The Book Bound So...: March 2018 | A Girl Like That 2 36 Mar 18, 2018 01:43AM  

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Tanaz Bhathena writes books for young adults. Her latest novel, Hunted by the Sky, was named a Best Book of the Year by the CBC and USBBY, with the sequel Rising like a Storm releasing on June 22, 2021. Her novel, The Beauty of the Moment, won the Nautilus Gold Award for Young Adult Fiction and was nominated for the Ontario Library Association’s White Pine Award. Her acclaimed debut, A Girl Like T ...more

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