A graphic novel about a magical Pashmina that takes an Indian American teenager home to the country she’s always wanted to see? I WAS IN.
The fact that this was a graphic novel only made me want to read it more, and when a lovely book fairy from HarperCollins sent out an email asking if I would like to read it, I JUMPED. I LOVE diverse books, and I especially LOVE diverse books with brown protagonists. (and on the cover, no less!)
I read the entirety of Pashmina in under an hour and I quite loved it.
Let’s break it down:
I WAS SO SOLD ON WHAT THIS BOOK WAS BASED ON. I absolutely love travelling my own country and coming across these hidden jewels of places and the FOOD here is ABSOLUTELY delicious. This book combined the complicatedness of a mother-daughter relationship, with the understanding of one’s identity and home and all it the form of adorable graphics and I LOVED IT!
WRITING AND ILLUSTRATIONS:
Both of these were absolutely spectacular, the illustrations in particular. I feel like graphic novels are SO SO underrated and this book, with its adorable Indian food, the elephant, the peacock and the female power was all kinds of brilliant. There wasn’t much writing, and I focused more on the illustrations, though.
Here’s where it got a little trick for me, and the reason I’m not rating this book with 5 stars: THE TIMELINES WERE VAGUE. I don’t mean that this book wasn’t told in a non-linear style, because it WAS, it’s just that things in the book kept JUMPING AHEAD WITH NO WARNING. Or flashing back with no warning.
- The novel, in the beginning kept jumping between days and occasions with NO WARNING. It would be the end of one day and with no “A few days later,” or “A few months later,” it jumped between Diwali, the birth of a baby, submitting and winning a contest and I WAS CONFUSED.
- I also feel like the conclusion about the Pashmina and the Goddess Shakthi were also vague (or too complicated) and it could definitely have been done in a better, clearer fashion.
Pashmina, and especially the illustrations inside were ultra-cute (YES for diverse books with lots of food in them) and I would definitely recommend it. I just wish there were certain plot points that were explained in a clearer manner. 4 stars.