Praise

All I know is that this cover CALLED to me for some reason. And what I got was this glorious book about finding yourself while trapped between two very different worlds. I loved how Rani was both a strong, independent American girl and also a loving, proud Indian betiya. Yes, she was rebelling and lying and sneaking around because she was in love, but she refused to let the boy she was in love with denigrate her family or culture. I love that she couldn’t find the right words at first—because how many times have we all obsessed about what we should have said in painful situations?—but that she FINDS the right words later on. I love Rani passionately! And I loved that the relationships I was rooting for in this YA romance were for Rani and her awesome best friend Kate, and Rani and the beautiful strong Indian women in her life. I actually can’t say enough good things about this book. It is brilliant! Ellen Oh, author and co-founder of We Need Diverse Books.

 

"American Betiya thoughtfully examines cross-cultural boundaries, first love, the first steps of independence from family, and the power of art to transform and heal. I loved Rani's fierce, heartfelt, and beautifully told journey." — Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces

 

“American Betiya explores the passion of teen romance, the steady and supportive (but sometimes overpowering) outpouring of love from family and community, and above all, the importance of learning to take care of oneself. In Rani, Rajurkar paints a tender portrait of a South Asian teen who is navigating boundaries, experimenting with self-expression, and ultimately, garnering the strength to speak up for herself. This gentle story about self-care and self-discovery, lightly sprinkled with humor, will surely be enjoyed by many young readers.” -Padma Venkatraman, author of The Bridge Home, Winner of the Walter Award 

 

"Beautifully written and completely heartfelt. Rani is a funny, lovable, searching protagonist. This book is a gem." -Lauren Fox, critically acclaimed author of Send for Me, an NBC Today Show "Read with Jenna" 2021 February Pick

 

American Betiya is a brave, beautiful exploration of identity—those thrust upon us, and those we forge for ourselves.” —Elana K. Arnold, critically acclaimed and award-winning author of Damsel and What Girls are Made of 

 

"American Betiya is a heartfelt story about the complex and intimate relationship between culture and a young person trying to find their place in the world. I was immediately captivated by Rani’s unique voice, and her raw sincerity kept me hooked through every step of her journey. This book is overflowing with honesty, and stunningly beautiful.” —Akemi Dawn Bowman, award-winning author of Starfish and the upcoming The Infinity Courts series 

 

"Laced with poetic and rich writing, American Betiya candidly captures the heartbreaking impetuousness of that all-consuming first love, the tightrope we walk as we seek to navigate cultural tensions, and, most importantly, the risks we must take to spread our wings and find ourselves.” —Gae Polisner, award-winning author of The Memory of Things 

 

“This is a book that doesn’t shy away from risks taken, mistakes made, bridges crossed and broken, boundaries pushed and the understanding that comes from testing love and finding the places where it crumbles and where it holds.”  
—Nandini Bajpai, author of A Match Made in Mehendi

 

"A beautiful, nuanced exploration of self-actualization, love, sex, and the complicated intersection of all three. From its witty banter and feminist overtones to its portrayal of the dire consequences of gaslighting and cultural appropriation, I loved every minute of this exquisite story. I can’t wait to read what Anuradha D. Rajurkar writes next!"  Nora Shalaway Carpenter, The Edge of Anything, a Kirkus Book of 2020, and Rural Voices: 15 Authors Challenge Assumptions about Small-Town America, an NPR Best Book of 2020

 

"An eye-opening, edgy, emotional exploration of identity, love, family and clashing culture, American Betiya is an unputdownable must-read." —Liza Wiemer, author of YALSA nominee and Sydney Taylor Book Award Notable for Young Adults The Assignment