Article, Booktalks

Born Confused Booktalk

  • Grades: 9–12

That summer, when everything in her life changed, it all was wonderful and terrible and incredibly clear and totally confused, all at the same time.

It was the summer she turned 17, and her life fell apart. It was the summer she learned about family secrets and family strengths. It was the summer she began to see herself, her family, her world through different eyes. It was the summer she discovered herself.

Dimple didn’t really know who she was. In America, she was too Indian. In India, she was too American. There was no world she fit into completely. It felt like she had been born confused, and things had gone from bad to worse. The only time she felt real and genuine was when she was taking pictures, looking at the world through the eye of her camera, capturing moments in time.

Her best friend, Gwyn, was the positive to her negative, the cool one contrasting to her geekiness, the confident one contrasting to her shyness. It was Gwyn who helped define her life, who had always been there for her, who was in most of the pictures she took, the one who shared all her secrets.

And then there was Karsh, son of a friend of her mother’s, the kind of nice Indian boy her parents wanted her to marry. Dimple was so angry at her parents for making her meet him, that she didn’t notice how attractive he was, and didn’t let herself get interested in him. In fact, she told Gwyn that she wasn’t interested in him, and that Gwyn was welcome to him. That made Gwyn take a second look, and she decided she was interested in him. And the way Gwyn described him to Dimple, he did sound really cool, even to Dimple. Days later, when Dimple met Karsh at a club where he was a DJ, she realized how much they had in common, how much she liked him, and decided to give him a second chance. But then Gwyn walked up, elbowed Dimple aside, and began flirting with Karsh. And not just flirting, but also telling Karsh all the things Dimple had said about their first meeting — things Dimple no longer felt — for example that he was like Titanic without the romance, that Gywn was welcome to him, that Dimple had another guy, anyway. By the end of the evening, Karsh and Gwyn were an item, and Dimple had been left in the dust.

What can you do when your best friend betrays you, and uses your own words against you, says she wants to be a part of your family, and even tries to become more Indian than you are? Dimple is going to have to figure out what she's going to do, because that’s just where her life has taken her. And the first step, she realizes, is to figure out who she is, where she’s going and what she really wants. She may have been born confused, but she’s determined she’s not going to stay that way!

This Booktalk was written by librarian and booktalking expert Joni R. Bodart

 

  • Subjects:
    Family Life, Asian and Asian American, Pride and Self-Esteem, Tolerance and Acceptance, Friends and Friendship, Understanding Self and Others
top