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i'm your protagonist-Reshma Kapoor-and if you have the free time to read this book, then you're probably nothing like me.
Reshma is a college counselor's dream. She's the top-ranked senior at her ultra-competitive Silicon Valley high school, with a spotless academic record and a long roster of extracurriculars. But there are plenty of perfect students in the country, and if Reshma wants to get into Stanford, and into med school after that, she needs the hook to beat them all.
What's a habitual over-achiever to do? Land herself a literary agent, of course. Which is exactly what Reshma does after agent Linda Montrose spots an article she wrote for Huffington Post. Linda wants to represent Reshma, and, with her new agent's help scoring a book deal, Reshma knows she'll finally have the key to Stanford.
But she's convinced no one would want to read a novel about a study machine like her. To make herself a more relatable protagonist, she must start doing all the regular American girl stuff she normally ignores. For starters, she has to make a friend, then get a boyfriend. And she's already planned the perfect ending: after struggling for three hundred pages with her own perfectionism, Reshma will learn that meaningful relationships can be more important than success-a character arc librarians and critics alike will enjoy.
Of course, even with a mastermind like Reshma in charge, things can't always go as planned. And when the valedictorian spot begins to slip from her grasp, she'll have to decide just how far she'll go for that satisfying ending. (Note: It's pretty far.)
In this wholly unique, wickedly funny debut novel, Rahul Kanakia consciously uses the rules of storytelling-and then breaks them to pieces.
From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Any student who has ever been the victim of a teacher's favoritism toward a classmate or felt the sting of subtle but undeniable discrimination will love to hate Reshma Kapoor. Determined to get into Stanford despite her relatively low SAT scores, she'll stop at nothing to be top of her class. But to guarantee her acceptance, Reshma needs to stand out from all of the other Silicon Valley overachievers, and she thinks she's found the perfect hook. She's going to publish a novel before the end of senior year. There's just one problem; her publisher wants a story that young people will appreciate, but Reshma knows nothing about being a normal teen. So she assigns herself a six-week research project in which she must make a friend, attend a party, find a boyfriend, and have sex—and she is not afraid to use blackmail. Just as she's beginning to accomplish her goals, however, she's accused of plagiarism. Everything she's worked so hard for her entire academic career is on the line. But there is not a defeatist bone in Reshma's body, and she won't go down without dragging everyone else with her. Teens will relate to the outrageous academic pressure, subjective bias, ethnic discrimination, and cutthroat business dealings that have led to Reshma's deplorable behavior. Her encounters with friend Alex and her unbalanced therapist will keep readers laughing. VERDICT This book will do well among teens wherever academic expectations run high.—Cary Frostick, formerly at Mary Riley Styles Public Library, Falls Church, VA
Age: 12 and up
Number of Pages: 352
Author: Rahul Kanakia
Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 8.8 inches
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