Teen Book Review: In the Key of Nira Ghani by Natasha Deen

Hello all! It’s Sarah!

I received this as an eARC eons ago from Edelweiss, but I finally got around to reading it.


Nira has grown up the child of West Indian immigrants. While her family doesn’t have much money, her parents have specific expectations for how she should behave and what her future should look like. Nira just wants to be invisible, which is super hard to do when you are the only brown person at school and wear bargain basement clothes. Nira seeks solace with her best friend Emily and her pocket trumpet Georgia. Nira hopes to become a professional musician and when the opportunity to try out for a jazz competition presents itself, she is driven to make that happen. However, this flourishing musician side of her attracts the notice of the hottest guy at school and his fumbling racist friend. Nira feels that her best friend is replacing her, that the hot guy could never fall for her, and that her parents will never let her be happy and play her trumpet. Nira’s grandmother uses tea to solve all of her problems, though she may be onto something. Is there a way for everyone to be happy?


I appreciated the character arc of the cousin. While Farrah starts off as a brat, throughout the plot the reader truly gets to know her and understand where she is coming from. In fact, this is the best part of the novel. I was interested in Nira’s story, though I truly responded to her cousin. I think the twist at the end was unnecessary and extreme. I feel that the same character arcs could have been achieved without the measures that were taken. It was a solidly middle of the road book.




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