The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

* Picture from Amazon *

Format read: Paperback

Genre: South Asian

Rating: 6 out of 10

Plot: Udayan and Subhash grew up so similar to each other that people mistook them for twins instead of just brothers.  As the boys grow up, Udayan is drawn into an extremist group and ultimately makes a decision that destroys his family.

Opinion: This wasn’t my favorite book by Jhumpa Lahiri.  While I was drawn into the story, I felt like it dragged at points, and I was frustrated by the behaviors of several of the characters in the story.

Next book: Life in al-Barzakh from Death until Resurrection by Muhammad Mustafa al-Jibaly


Positive by Paige Rawl

* Picture from Amazon *

Format read: Hardback

Genre: Memoir

Rating: 7 out of 10

Plot: Paige was infected with HIV by her mother who unknowingly carried the virus.  While she was fortunate to have been diagnosed a year after treatments became available, she still suffered through bullying about her HIV status after she let it slip to a girl she thought was her best friend.  This memoir is the story of how she overcame the stigma of being HIV positive and the bullying to be an inspiration to others.

Opinion: I thought this book was well-written and a must-read for teenagers or those who work with teenagers.  It’s surprising that someone of her generation would still deal with the stigma of HIV considering they’ve lived almost their whole lives in a time when there have been treatments available for HIV.  I’m glad she was able to use her situation to be a blessing to others.

Next book: The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri