I am so honored to be a part of the blog tour celebrating The Girl in the Broken Mirror! This book sounds absolutely amazing and I’m so thrilled to share this post with you all. I have a post from the author discussing what she hopes readers will get from reading the book and then there’s some information about the book and the author.
TW for rape/sexual assault!
Thanks so much for having me on your amazing blog, Kourtni, I’m so happy to be here! It’s such a wonderful feeling knowing my book is out in the world!
The Girl in the Broken Mirror is a pretty hard-hitting book. There have been very few YA books about the subject of rape because it’s not easy to write about and it can be hard to read about. The main character in the book is Jay – a fifteen-year-old British Asian girl – and once you start reading the book and get inside her head, Jay and her story take you into her world. Jay is also struggling with a major culture clash, going from a very liberal home to an extremely strict one. The culture clash is more than just about culture – it’s about two opposing views of how a girl should behave, what she should and shouldn’t wear, what she can and cannot do – and I think lots of teens experience this no matter what their background or ethnicity.
I also think it’s important that books that deal with rape and sexual assault are written for teen and young adult readers as it has become increasingly clear that the scale of this crime is so widespread. It affects all communities in the UK and across the rest of the world. And it has a devastating effect on girls and women. This has to be acknowledged if society is to deal with it.
It’s also important that girls know where to go for help, for counseling, and for justice.
I know of only four other teen/YA books about rape, and all these books are excellent:
- Speak by Laurie Halse Andersen
- Asking for it by Louise O’Neill
- No Virgin by Anne Cassidy
So, what would I like readers to take away from the book?
I would like I hope all young people will pick up the book – whether they are girls or boys, because it is as relevant to both sexes. In this #metoo and #timesup climate, it’s of paramount importance for both girls and boys to be aware of the boundaries, of the rights and wrongs of their actions, of the consequences, the repercussions, and the emotional and physical trauma of the act of sexual assault/abuse and rape.
I want girls not to feel in any way guilty or to blame for what might have happened to them. Society can be quick to point the finger at a girl, blaming her for dressing or behaving in a particular way. But she is never to blame. She should never feel guilty or ashamed or feel that she is to blame. I would like girls to know that there is help out there for them, that they are not alone. There are agencies, people, counselors out there who can help them. There is always hope and there is always a future for them.
I hope adults pick up the book too. I hope it opens their eyes to the pressure a teenager faces trying to be part of two worlds – the world at home and the world beyond their front door. I hope it brings some kind of understanding as to why the things they don’t want to talk about, those cultural taboos, need to be talked about in order to bring about change.
Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Kourtni! I’d love to hear your readers’ thoughts on The Girl in the Broken Mirror. They can follow me on Twitter too – @savitakalhan
About the Book
Jay’s creative writing exercise is to write a fairy tale, to end with ‘they lived happily ever after’. But the way her life is panning out she’s not sure it will ever reach that stage. A powerful moving gripping story which explores themes of family, loyalty and culture clash but is ultimately about hope and understanding.
About the Author
Savita Kalhan was born in India, but now lives in the UK and studied at the University of Wales. She has traveled extensively, and lived in the Middle East for several years, where she taught English.
She is keen on tennis, boxing and running. She is an avid allotmenteer and somehow manages to fit in some writing, reading and blogging too! She now lives in North London with her husband, her son, and her lion of a cat, Marley.
Her new YA book – The Girl in the Broken Mirror will be published on May 1st by Troika Books.