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 all the slam poetry well worth it.
A powerfully particular, 100 percent genuine character commands this gutsy debut.
Patel sets her powerful debut novel in 1991, filling it with an electric 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.
Commendably and strikingly stands out in the YA landscape...Rani’s voice, oscillating from righteous anger to thrilling pride, swooning crushes, and heartbreaking insecurity, will resonate with many, even those with little to no familiarity with Rani’s background. Vivid, bold, and passionate.
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.
Patel pays equal respects to Rani’s damage and to her potential, to her past and to the present and future she’s writing for herself with every rhyme. She presents not only a totally fresh heroine but an underused setting: through Rani you can smell the salt air of Moloka’i, and taste the rose water kulfi her mother makes for her. This book is a must-read.
Rani’s environment leaps off the page in vivid and satisfying detail, from the winding roads and small shops of Moloka’i to the intricacies of ’90s hip-hop fashion...Author Sonia Patel is a psychiatrist, and her determination to portray Rani’s response to trauma truthfully is unrelenting. Rani’s past affects her choices again and again, despite her undeniable intelligence and drive. As young readers root for Rani, they will gain a deeper understanding of abuse and addiction throughthis powerful and gripping novel.
This book gutted me. Sonia Patel knocked it out of the f*cking park. Buy this book.
This book is an open wound. Sonia Patel does not sugar coat or try to weave a fairy tale from heartbreak, sorrow, and patriarchy. You know, the kinds of things intended to bend and break girls who rap and chop all their hair off. Girls like Rani. But Rani writes words. Words that go boom. And in Rani Patel In Full Effect, so does Patel.
As I read this book I thought of all the young girls, including myself at her age, looking for love in all the wrong places, whose experiences with their fathers shape their future interactions with men. Rani shows us the power every girl has inside themselves to break the cycle of abuse and reminds us that self love is what frees us up to become the amazing beings we are.