Rani Patel in Full Effect was recently reviewed in The New York Times Book Review! The YA novel follows heroine Rani Patel, a young 16-year-old Indian woman who loves to rap. After catching her father with a woman barely older than herself, Rani shaves her hair in an act of spiteful rebellion. One day, an older man named Mark comes to her parent’s store where Rani works; she goes along with him, a decision that ultimately leads her to spiral into a series of poorly thought-out decisions. Following Rani’s journey permits the reader to experience Rani’s painful and fruitful growth throughout the novel.
“Rani pours herself into rap, finding heroes like LL Cool J and Queen Latifah, inspirations for her own slam poems. She joins a hip-hop crew, rapping as MC Sutra. The novel is punctuated by her raps, which express ‘the large and in charge person / I want the world to see.’…Though suffering is at the core of this debut novel, it’s also about living through pain by harnessing what brings happiness. And the dip into ’90s nostalgia, not to mention the awesome Rani persevering and conquering as MC Sutra — but more important, as herself — makes reading [the book] well worth it.” –The New York Times, Nov. 11, 2016
Other praise for Rani Patel in Full Effect:
“A powerfully particular, 100 percent genuine character commands this gutsy debut.”—Kirkus Reviews, Oct. 11th, 2016
“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.”—Publishers Weekly, Aug. 1, 2016
“[Rani] 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…Verdict: A strong, unique choice for YA collections.”—School Library Journal, Oct. 11, 2016
“Rani’s voice, oscillating from righteous anger to thrilling pride, swooning crushes, and heartbreaking insecurity, will resonate with many…Vivid, bold, and passionate.”—Booklist, Sep. 1, 2016
“Sixteen-year-old Rani Patel is always the odd one out: she’s the only Gujarati Indian girl on the tiny Hawaiian island of Moloka’i, where she moved when she was 12, and the only girl she knows who writes rap…Readers will find a kindred spirit in Rani through Sonia Patel’s skillful crafting of her internal battle…Rani’s deeply felt but uneven rhymes, combined with the book’s effortless inclusion of Gujarati and Hawaiian pidgin, create a distinct adolescent voice.”—Shelf Awareness, Oct. 14, 2016