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Born Confused
Cover of Born Confused
Born Confused
Born Confused Series, Book 1
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Dimple Lala doesn't know what to think. Her parents are from India, and she's spent her whole life resisting their traditions. Then suddenly she gets to high school and everything Indian is trendy. Now things are more complicated than ever. At seventeen, she's still recovering from a year-old break up and her best friend isn't around the way she used to be. To make matters worse, her parents arrange for her to meet a "suitable boy." Of course, it doesn't go well—until Dimple goes to a club and finds him spinning a magical web of words and music. Suddenly the boy is suitable because of his sheer unsuitability, and complications ensue.

This is a funny, thoughtful story about finding yourself, finding your friends, finding love, and finding your culture—sometimes where you least expect it.

Dimple Lala doesn't know what to think. Her parents are from India, and she's spent her whole life resisting their traditions. Then suddenly she gets to high school and everything Indian is trendy. Now things are more complicated than ever. At seventeen, she's still recovering from a year-old break up and her best friend isn't around the way she used to be. To make matters worse, her parents arrange for her to meet a "suitable boy." Of course, it doesn't go well—until Dimple goes to a club and finds him spinning a magical web of words and music. Suddenly the boy is suitable because of his sheer unsuitability, and complications ensue.

This is a funny, thoughtful story about finding yourself, finding your friends, finding love, and finding your culture—sometimes where you least expect it.

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    1
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  • Text Difficulty:
    9 - 12

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Awards-
About the Author-
  • Tanuja Desai Hidier was born and raised in the United States. She has worked as a filmmaker and a magazine editor. She now lives in England where she is the lead singer/lyricist in a rock band.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Dimple Lala is torn between the traditional life of her Indian parents and the desirable life of an adolescent young woman in the USA. Her choices are colorfully recounted by Marguerite Gavin, who reads with the rhythm of ankle bells and sitar in her soul. But the speed with which she pushes the story forth is too fast. Both the headlong force of the narration and the multiple mispronunciations are disappointing. The quality of Gavin's voice is most appealing, and her regional accents make the scenes picturesque. With a more attentive director and greater precision in pronunciation, this production would be improved. J.P. (c) AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from October 28, 2002
    In this enlightening first novel, Hidier offers readers an engrossing, personal account of the Indian-American experience through the eyes of an insightful narrator. Dimple Lala, a New Jersey teen interested in photography, has been confused about her identity since she entered the world the "wrong way," causing her mother "twelve treacherous hours of painful labor." Her fascination with photography reveals Dimple's keen sense of perception as well as her role as an observer rather than a participant. "Not quite Indian, and not quite American," Dimple unsuccessfully tries to blend in, riding on the coattails of her blue-eyed, blonde best friend, Gwyn. The author nimbly describes the shared outsider status that drew together the two, "the rich little girl who lived like an orphan and the brown little girl who existed as if she were still umbilically attached to her parents."During Dimple's 17th year, however, the tables suddenly turn when Dimple's parents introduce her to Karsh Kapoor, the son of their close friends from India. Through their meeting, the author reveals Dimple's mother's own secret creative aspirations (to become a dancer in her youth) as well as another first-generation teen's attempt to straddle both cultures. When Gwyn becomes infatuated with Karsh, Dimple helps Gwyn become a suitable girlfriend for him, even as she gradually comes to admire Karsh herself. In the process, the heroine embarks on a journey of self-discovery. On one level, the book explores the growing pains, rebellious phases, peer pressures and first love experienced universally by teens. On a deeper level, it celebrates a harmonious blending of cultures as it traces one adolescent's bumpy trek towards self-actualization. If a few subplots take the main action on a slight detour (e.g., Gwyn's relationship with her high school–cum-college boyfriend, etc.), the sparkling prose will carry readers along. The author seamlessly integrates descriptions of Indian food, dress and customs, often spiced with Dimple's sarcastic commentary. But even as Dimple distances herself from her family's traditions, her sense of respect and genuine affection for her accomplished parents (both doctors) are never far from the surface. The author poetically captures the essence of her characters and the richness of seemingly insignificant moments. Absorbing and intoxicating, this book is sure to leave a lasting impression. Ages 13-up.

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    Blackstone Publishing
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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Born Confused
Born Confused
Born Confused Series, Book 1
Tanuja Desai Hidier
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