Feb 03, 2020LPL_WillG rated this title 4.5 out of 5 stars
The first thing I noticed when reading Sonia Patel’s debut novel is how easily you can tell she has rapped for a long time. With short, concise paragraphs and even stings at the end of sentences this book has hip hop storytelling in its DNA. This style of storytelling is perfect for our main character Rani’s story, because just like Public Enemy she's fighting the power. Whether that power is the patriarchal and severely sexist Indian culture she grew up with, corporate interests trying to redevelop the island or the high school hierarchy where her heritage makes her an outlier, Rani’s life and environment fuels her musical passions which turn into some of the best rap/slam poetry I’ve ever read in a YA book. There’s also a thick layer of 90s nostalgia with references to contemporary hip hop and Hawaiian culture fully entwined into the story. So if you like stories about finding yourself and your people when life throws you for a loop, I would highly recommend this book!