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Rani Patel In Full Effect
Cover of Rani Patel In Full Effect
Rani Patel In Full Effect
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Almost seventeen, Rani Patel appears to be a kick-ass Indian girl breaking cultural norms as a hip-hop performer in full effect. But in truth, she's a nerdy flat-chested nobody who lives with her Gujarati immigrant parents on the remote Hawaiian island of Moloka'i, isolated from her high school peers by the unsettling norms of Indian culture where "husband is God." Her parents' traditionally arranged marriage is a sham. Her dad turns to her for all his needs—even the intimate ones. When Rani catches him two-timing with a woman barely older than herself, she feels like a widow and, like widows in India are often made to do, she shaves off her hair. Her sexy bald head and hard-driving rhyming skills attract the attention of Mark, the hot older customer who frequents her parents' store and is closer in age to her dad than to her. Mark makes the moves on her and Rani goes with it. He leads Rani into 4eva Flowin', an underground hip hop crew—and into other things she's never done. Rani ignores the red flags. Her naive choices look like they will undo her but ultimately give her the chance to discover her strengths and restore the things she thought she'd lost, including her mother.

Sonia Patel is a psychiatrist who works with children and adults. She was trained at Stanford University and the University of Hawaii. She lives and practices in Hawaii. Rani Patel In Full Effect is her first young adult novel.

Almost seventeen, Rani Patel appears to be a kick-ass Indian girl breaking cultural norms as a hip-hop performer in full effect. But in truth, she's a nerdy flat-chested nobody who lives with her Gujarati immigrant parents on the remote Hawaiian island of Moloka'i, isolated from her high school peers by the unsettling norms of Indian culture where "husband is God." Her parents' traditionally arranged marriage is a sham. Her dad turns to her for all his needs—even the intimate ones. When Rani catches him two-timing with a woman barely older than herself, she feels like a widow and, like widows in India are often made to do, she shaves off her hair. Her sexy bald head and hard-driving rhyming skills attract the attention of Mark, the hot older customer who frequents her parents' store and is closer in age to her dad than to her. Mark makes the moves on her and Rani goes with it. He leads Rani into 4eva Flowin', an underground hip hop crew—and into other things she's never done. Rani ignores the red flags. Her naive choices look like they will undo her but ultimately give her the chance to discover her strengths and restore the things she thought she'd lost, including her mother.

Sonia Patel is a psychiatrist who works with children and adults. She was trained at Stanford University and the University of Hawaii. She lives and practices in Hawaii. Rani Patel In Full Effect is her first young adult novel.

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  • Library copies:
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  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
    590
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:
    2 - 3

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Awards-
About the Author-
  • Sonia Patel: Sonia Patel is a child and adolescent psychiatrist, trained at Stanford University and the University of Hawaii. She lives and practices in Hawaii. Rani Patel in Full Effect is her first young adult novel.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from August 1, 2016
    Rani Patel, a Gujarati Indian teenager working in her family’s restaurant and convenience store on the Hawaiian island of Moloka’i, has been sexually abused by her father, something the 16-year-old has kept secret from her overworked and withdrawn mother. With her father’s new girlfriend in the picture, Rani struggles with her identity, shaving her head and flirting with the much older Mark, despite warnings from her friend Omar and crush Pono. Invited to perform for an underground rap group, Rani finds validation through her alter ego, MC Sutra, as she becomes the first female rapper on the island. Meanwhile, she and her mother search for the strength to reject the harmful men in their lives and form a stronger bond between themselves. Patel sets her powerful debut novel in 1991, filling it with bygone rap references and an electric verbal blend of Gujarati, slang, Hawaiian pidgin, and the rhymes Rani crafts. Patel compassionately portrays Rani’s entangled emotions, lack of self-confidence, and burgeoning sense of empowerment as she moves forward from trauma. Ages 12–up.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from July 15, 2016
    Rani Patel, daughter of Gujarati immigrants, feels isolated for more than one reason on the Hawaiian island of Molokai in 1991.Readers first meet Rani as she shaves her head following her discovery of her father's affair with a "barely out-of-adolescence homewrecker." That this is the traditional gesture of a widow takes on ever greater significance as the story progresses. Her mother distant, her crush on the handsome, (mostly) Native Hawaiian Pono unrequited, Rani's only comfort is in hip-hop and the rhymes she lays down--until Mark, a hot, older haole who works at a nearby resort and patronizes her family's convenience store, shows some interest in her slam poems and in her. When, as MC Sutra, Rani's invited to audition for hip-hop club 4eva Flowin', she finds community--and complication. Rani relates her tale in an energetic, often wry present-tense account that effortlessly enfolds unitalicized Hawaiian and Gujarati as well as Hawaiian pidgin and hip-hop slang; import if not exact meaning should be clear to readers, and a glossary fills in the gaps. Rap's political side is, like Rani, "in full effect," as she takes on some of the traditions that have critically injured her family in electric slam poems. Author Patel is a psychiatrist, and a concluding note explains that although Rani's recovery from incest is unrealistically speedy, it can stand as a model for victims. A powerfully particular, 100 percent genuine character commands this gutsy debut. (Historical fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from October 1, 2016

    Gr 10 Up-On Molokai in the early 1990s, Rani Patel lives the life of the ultimate outsider. A quiet class council member of Indian descent whose relationship with her parents is deeply dysfunctional, she takes comfort only in hip-hop and rap. Her unrequited crushes on two local guys lead her into the underground rap scene, where she tests her skills as MC Sutra, but as she begins to forge an identity, her family and romantic relationships threaten to pull her under. Rani is a flawed character whose poor choices make her somewhat unlikable but also reflect a realistic reaction to her troubled family past-her mother ignores her, and her father sees her as a wife replacement (the book contains instances of incest). The teen seeks love and acceptance wherever she can find it, and through rap she is able to express her struggles and discover a community that embraces her unreservedly. The dialogue, which incorporates a bit of Hawaiian pidgin, Gujarati, and hip-hop slang, can require the use of the included glossary but enhances the understanding of Rani's place at the convergence of multiple cultures. Her story will appeal to readers who prefer gritty, darker fiction without a pat, happy ending, and characters who don't always overcome their challenges but must face them repeatedly. VERDICT A strong, unique choice for YA collections.-Marian McLeod, Convent of the Sacred Heart, Greenwich, CT

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Cinco Puntos Press
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