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Karma Hardcover – March 31, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
Maya's journey to a country she barely knows, let alone understands, is jarring. Each of her emotions jumps off the page in flowing, vivid verse. Historical events are weaved flawlessly into story, making everything even more tense. The half of the book from Sandeep's POV is just as well-written as Maya's half. His emotions, though much more sarcastic, are as raw and honest. Each of them has their own story to tell, they just happen to come together.
Ostlere gives the reader a view into the life of a girl torn between two worlds and two religions. Hindu and Sikh people war against one another and Maya feels caught in the middle, part of each, but never really comfortable with either. I was drawn in by the massacre - and it is a massacre, with violence and death - and couldn't help but continue to turn the pages. Maya and Sandeep still linger in my mind. As does the message the book sends. Despite the difficult subject matter, Karma is an addicting read. A quick one too. The ARC tops out at 521 pages, but I read it in day, unable to put it down.
Karma is part historical fiction, part coming-of-age, but 100% heartfelt.Read more ›
I do feel the main character acts/speaks a little older than her age at times, she was raised differently than I and then goes through this horrid experience, so I can look past such a thing.
I hope the lack of reviews does not mirror how this book as sold, because it deserves to be read and shared with others. Pick it up. You won't be disappointed.
Forgive my ignorance.
I've been converted.
KARMA just didn't let me go. I was unfamiliar with the backstory ---- 1984 India, and the riots and political instability after Indira Gandhi's assassination ---- but what drew me in were the characters and the writing.
Ostlere's words just flow along the page (The imagery! The lyricism! The emotion! The gorgeous, gorgeous details!), and free verse was the perfect choice to highlight the urgency of the story. It's by no means a short book, but I flew through the pages, mesmerized by Maya's journey.
I love Maya. She's multicultural ---- of Indian heritage, born and raised in Canada, half-Hindu and half-Sikh ---- but she's a multidimensional, fully realized 15-year-old girl whose multiculturalism is just a part of who she is. She has crushes on boys, she's betrayed by her best friend, she wrestles with her parents' expectations, and she struggles to discover who she is in a ridiculously confusing and contradictory world. I connected with her immediately.
Her mother commits suicide, and she must bring her ashes to India with her grieving father. And then riots break out, and she's separated from her father in a foreign, dangerous place. Her traumas have only just begun.
Then we meet Sandeep, the other narrator, who speaks when Maya can't. I love Sandeep. He's impulsive and funny, charming, loyal, and desperate to prove himself.Read more ›
Overall I thought this story was fantastic. Even though this book is over 500 pages it's very fast paced. It only took me a few days to read it. Cathy Ostlere did a great job with this novel. I experienced a lot of emotions while reading Kharma. It's funny how a few words can say so much sometimes. This novel is written in beautifully constructed verse. It is a must read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book truly captures India and it's beauty and the story was just extraordinary! So realistic and I got quite emotional. I will highly recommend this book for all readers!Published on August 18, 2014 by Jane Flegel
It kind of took you all over the place and just couldn't quite get into it. For me it wasn't my cup of tea.Published on October 7, 2013 by Gisele Laviolette
This book was very good and easy to read but very sad and depressing and kinda long but still very good and you'll want to know how it ends.Published on September 3, 2013 by Lisa
I bought this book for my niece but I ended up reading it myself too. We both loved it. It is written in prose. Very beautiful. Read morePublished on March 18, 2013 by vp
Maya has lived in Canada with her Indian parents all her life. Now, her and her father are making their way back to India with her mother's ashes. Read morePublished on October 8, 2012 by Brittany Moore
I picked up this book because of the long-form poetry in which it is written, a rare and--when well done--beautiful method for creating a story. Read morePublished on March 4, 2012 by Michael Charney
I am an avid reader of young adult fiction. I was hesitant at first to read an entire novel in prose, but I am so glad that I did! Read morePublished on December 19, 2011 by ashaivite
Oh wow. This was a very different YA verse novel that had me glued to the chair. Maya, aka Jiva, has a Hindu mother and a Sikh father who create a life for themselves and Maya in a... Read morePublished on October 23, 2011 by Milw. Writer
We read this book for our South Asian reading group as part of a collection of books themed around the 1984 Sikh genocide in India. Read morePublished on October 8, 2011 by Brent Shaw