Sarah's Stars

Kashmira Sheth. Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet
Hyperion.  $21.99  ISBN 0-7868-3857-4  243 pg.
Reviewed by Aleen, Age 12

Jeeta is bored by the constant marriage arrangements of her two older sisters.  She wishes it could all be over and dreads when it will be her turn, the expensive parties and many meetings with potential husbands.  Jeeta’s mother is also dreading the task of getting a suitable husband for Jeeta but for a different reason.  With Jeeta’s “sharp tongue and dark skin” Mommy encourages Jeeta to say yes to the first man who says yes to her!  Jeeta wonders if there is a way to walk the thin line between independence and the traditional arranged marriage. Then she falls in love with her friend’s cousin Neel and secretly starts seeing him against her mother’s orders.  Will Jeeta be strong enough to be independent and be able to strike out on her own path of marriage?

I enjoyed reading this captivating novel written by Kashmira Sheth because I like reading about cultures different from mine, realizing how many women and girls live so differently from how I do in Canada.  I recommend this novel for girls eleven and up.  The plot was interesting and kept me entertained throughout the whole book.  The conflicts in this novel were different than ones I had read about before and I liked the change in material. Although the story was excellent, I thought that the ending was too short and I wished there was more detail to it.  If a sequel comes out I would really be keen on reading it just to find out what happens next to the headstrong Jeeta and her quiet sisters.

I rate Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet four stars.

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