Shine, Coconut Moon
Summary: Seventeen-year-old Samar--a.k.a. Sam--has never known much about her Indian heritage. Her mom has deliberately kept Sam away from her old-fashioned family. It's never bothered Sam, who is busy with school, friends, and a really cute but demanding boyfriend.
But things change after 9/11. A gut in a turban shows up at Sam's house, and he turns out to be her uncle. He wants to reconcile the family and teach Sam about her Sikh heritage. Sam isn't sure what to do, until a girl at school calls her a coconut - brown on the outside, white on the inside. That decides it: Why shouldn't Sam get to know her family? What is her mom so afraid of? Then some boys attack her uncle, shouting, "Go back home, Osama!" and Sam realizes she could be in danger - and also discovers how dangerous ignorance can be. Sam will need all her smarts and savvy to try to bridge the two worlds and make them both her own.
Review: I wasn't sure of this book at first, and had a hard time really getting into it. It didn't really catch my interest at first. But after the first 3 or 4 chapters, it started getting better and I wanted to find out what Samar would decide to do. While her uncle was trying to reconnect with both Sam and her mom, he and her mom had different opinions on Sam learning more about her family. So that made it kind of interesting, because Sam would go to Uncle Sandeep to see if he'd give her more information than her mom would. I don't see how Mike, Sam's boyfriend, suddenly started being so ignorant when they'd been going out for a while before. I liked him in the beginning but he turned into a jerk real quick. This was a fun read, and I think most of us can relate to it. Who hasn't wondered about their past or relatives they've never met, at some point? This book won't be one of my favorites, but it was fun and interesting. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to read something a bit different from the normal YA novels.
Overall rating: 4/5