Karma

Written by: Cathy Ostlere

Published by: The Penguin Group

ISBN: 978-1-59514-338-9

Genre: Historical Fiction

Awards: Alberta Literary Awards, South Asia Book Award (SABA), Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book Award, W.O. Mitchell Award, Ontario Library Association Best Bets List, YALSA, Best Fiction for Young Adults, BOOKLIST, Editor's Choice, Best Books for Young Adults.

Review

Karma's in-depth descriptions and extravagant details enhance the readers experience to the maximum, with beautiful images of orange Saris and grand pianos dancing through the mind. Never before have I read a book that grabbed my attention and held it so earnestly throughout the entire book. Karma tells a tale of two star crossed lovers, a girl whose family crumbles apart after her mother's suicide, leaving her alone in a burning building in the middle of New Delhi. As well as a boy, saved from a sandstorm, destined to a life of servitude and poverty. Maya has always been pulled between the two beliefs of her parents, and Sandeep haunted by the loss of recollection of his past.


Karma is told from first person, in a diary form, split into two halves. One half is from Maya/Jiva's point of view, the second from Sandeep's point of view. This format really interested me, and I don't think I've ever read a book that pulled it off so well. Unlike other books I have read that were written this way, it seemed as though passion was hanging off of every word, like it wasn't meant for the eyes of others to see. Many times when I read books like this, they lose the true purpose of what a diary does, hold secrets and memories. Not only is Karma lavished with emotions, the plot is executed perfectly. The author not only managed to keep the reader in mind, but subtly pulling the story along through poems.

Additional Reviews

Further Expolorations

  • The sari is an important item in Karma, click here to learn about the sari.
  • One big event in Karma was the anti-Sikh riots of 1984, click here to learn about them.
  • Jiva was half Sikh, click here to learn more about this religion.
  • Jiva was also half Hindu, click here to learn more about this religion.

Partner Titles

Work Cited

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"Karma, by Cathy Ostlere." The Globe and Mail. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.


"Nine Beliefs of Hinduism." Basics of Hinduism. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.


"Orchards." Goodreads. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.


"Reading Nook: Review: Karma - Cathy Ostlere." Reading Nook: Review: Karma - Cathy Ostlere. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.


"Sari Facts." Sari Safari. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.


"Three Rivers Rising." Goodreads. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.