Christina's Reviews > Karma

Karma by Cathy Ostlere
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bookshelves: 2013, college, sj-library, young-adult, review

Karma was one of those impulse reads that I picked up mainly for the pretty cover (isn’t that the reason for all impulse reads?). While I didn’t know what to expect from the book, I was pleasantly surprised in some aspects, not so much in others.

Karma is the story of Maya, a half-Hindu half-Sikh teenager, who is traveling to India with her father to spread the ashes of her recently deceased mother. The first night Maya and her father, whom she calls Bapu, arrive, the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated and the country is thrown into a state of chaos. Separated from her father, Maya must survive the repercussions of a country in turmoil

The history was very attractive to me. I loved the idea of learning about India, a place I have not really read much about. I had never heard of the massacre following the assassination of Indira Gandhi or the assassination of Indira Gandhi for that matter. But, regardless, the historical backdrop proved to be one of the best aspects of the novel. It was both interesting and enlightening.

However, I felt the novel was overly long. Even though it is in verse, the novel is still over 500 pages long and could have easily been shortened. The pacing felt slow at times, and I have to wonder about the free verse. I understand free verse is just that: free. But I felt that at times any poetic rhythm was lost to me, and I just began to read it as a novel with really short chapters.

Maya and Sandeep also tended to become annoying at times. Maya does not act grateful at all when she is taken in by strangers. Sandeep, depicted as a player with a history, only hears Maya’s name and is instantly head over heels for the girl. He hadn’t even met her! This I found to be unrealistic.

I will give Ostlere kudos for a well-crafted ending. Despite the novel’s faults, I felt satisfied in the end. A good change of pace!
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Reading Progress

February 5, 2013 – Shelved
February 7, 2013 – Started Reading
February 7, 2013 – Shelved as: 2013
February 7, 2013 – Shelved as: college
February 7, 2013 –
page 88
February 7, 2013 – Shelved as: sj-library
February 7, 2013 – Shelved as: young-adult
February 8, 2013 –
page 207
February 9, 2013 –
page 336
February 10, 2013 –
page 476
February 10, 2013 – Finished Reading
February 11, 2013 – Shelved as: review

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