May 17, 2010

Shine, Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger

Date Started: May 16, 2010
Date Finished: May 17, 2010

Summary:  Samar, aka Sammy or Wally, has gone through life never questioned who she was or what it meant to be Sikh. Her mother has hidden that aspect of her life away from her. When Sam's Uncle Sandeep shows up on her doorstep after September 11, 2001, Samar begins to wonder about her family and their hidden history. Sam now has to navigate her way through racist attacks on her uncle that remind her of all the comments and teasing she received as a child. Sam also wants to know more about her family and even more about herself in the process. 


Likes: Sam's character was interesting. I felt that I could relate to her, even though she was a part of a different culture. I also found it cool to learn about the Sikh culture as the character was finding it. I connected with Sam simply because I felt like I never fit in and it is just my mom and I. I enjoyed reading about her friends and learning about how characters, such as Molly, view people of color outside of her friends that she knows. Balvir reminded me of girls that I met in college who grew up in that sort of repressed environment  only to start wildin' out in college. I felt that most of the characters were fully rounded and likable.

Dislikes: The ending was wrapped up a little too neatly, but I guess that was the only way to end the story. I was so scared for Sandeep's safety that it made me nervous because I was scared something entirely terrible was going to happen. Luckily what happens isn't that bad, but its still kind of scary. Mike was a jackass, I don't care how many hours he had to work. So were his friends. Racist bastards. 


Overall: I recommend this book to anyone who's ever been made fun of for their skin color or aspects of this culture. I also connected with Samar in her search to find herself by joining forums and looking through ethnic blogs and websites because I did (am currently doing) the same thing.

While I was reading this and the story flashbacked to the times where Samar was made fun of, I remember this girl in one of my Mad Science classes that was Middle Eastern. Some kid was making fun of her making stereotypical Native American noises when she proudly,though shyly declares "I'm an Indian from India." but the boy wouldn't let up. There wasn't much I could have done about it because I was too out of range to intervene, but I did let her be my assistant for one of the experiments. It just made me think of how things have somewhat gotten better (I hope they aren't calling that girl doo-doo skin), but they still have a long way to go.

2 comments:

MissAttitude said...

The ending was definitely scary and a bit disheartening, but it all mostly works out.

I also connected with Samar and her search to find herself by looking at various ethnic websites, I think that's an expeirence that most people of color can relate to. I also connected when she was called a "coconut", how many of us have been accused of only looking to be of color but in actuality we "sound and act white"?

I'm really glad you read and liked this book!

Najela said...

I also connected when she was called a "coconut", how many of us have been accused of only looking to be of color but in actuality we "sound and act white" I totally agree. Since when did speaking proper English become an exclusively white thing to do. *sigh* I'll never get it.

Thanks for the recommendation. I don't think I would have found this book if you hadn't featured it on your blog.=)

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