Jaya and Rasa

A Love Story



By: Sonia Patel
Jaya’s a rich kid. Rasa’s motherless and broke. Opposite sides of the tracks. Romeo and Juliet, on fair Oahu. Seventeen-year-old Jaya Mehta detests wealth, secrets, and privilege, though he has them all. His family is Indian, originally from Gujarat. Rasa Santos, like many in Hawaii, is of mixed ethnicity. All she has are siblings, three of them, plus a mother who controls men like a black widow spider and leaves her children whenever she wants to. Neither Jaya nor Rasa have ever known real love or close family—not until their chance meeting one sunny day on a mountain in Hau’ula.
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Categories: All Books | Fiction | Young Adult

Description

Jaya’s a rich kid. Rasa’s motherless and broke. Opposite sides of the tracks. Romeo and Juliet, on fair Oahu.
  Seventeen-year-old Jaya Mehta detests wealth, secrets, and privilege, though he has them all. His family is Indian, originally from Gujarat. Rasa Santos, like many in Hawaii, is of mixed ethnicity. All she has are siblings, three of them, plus a mother who controls men like a black widow spider and leaves her children whenever she wants to. Neither Jaya nor Rasa have ever known real love or close family—not until their chance meeting one sunny day on a mountain in Hau'ula. The unlikely love that blooms between them must survive the stranglehold their respective pasts have on them. Each of their present identities has been shaped by years of extreme family struggles. By the time they cross paths, Jaya is a transgender outsider with depressive tendencies and the stunningly beautiful Rasa thinks sex is her only power until a violent pimp takes over her life. Will their love transcend and pull them forward, or will they remain stuck and separate in the chaos of their pasts? Sonia PatelÍs YA debut, Rani Patel In Full Effect, was a finalist for the Morris Award, was listed on YALSAÍs Best Fiction for Young Adults, and was named by Kirkus Reviews as one of the Best Teen Books of 2016. Patel is a psychiatrist who works with children and adults. She was trained at Stanford University and the University of Hawaii. She lives and practices in Hawaii.

Awards and Accomodations

Recommended Fiction Booklist, 2019 In the Margins Book Award

9 reviews for Jaya and Rasa

  1. Building Diverse Bookshelves
    Sonia Patel does not hold back from confronting the dirt and scars defining so many young people’s lives today. Her years of experience as a child and adolescent psychiatrist shine through the pages of this book as she deftly handles themes of isolation, desperation, and redemption.

  2. The Loud Library Lady
    Powerful, raw and completely unfiltered mature YA that deals with incredibly complex topics.

  3. Booklist Online
    Patel’s captivating prose and memorable characters immerse readers in a tense situation … A moving story of the healing powers of unconditional love.

  4. Kirkus Reviews
    Patel has written a book so intense and messy that it may just reflect real life in a way that neither fairy-tale endings nor outright tragedies can do.

  5. Utopia State of Mind
    Full of diversity and complex issues, Jaya and Rasa: A Love Story is a must read for anyone who wants to read about two complex and incredibly endearing main characters. Their struggle for love, acceptance, and safety, is one that is, at times, difficult to read, but entirely necessary, because of the weight of the topics it discusses.

  6. Publishers Weekly
    Sonia Patel (author of Rani Patel in Full Effect) writes with fierce simplicity throughout, allowing the gritty beauty of her story to shine.

  7. Brit+Co
    An unforgettable and brave love story … you’ll be rooting for these two from page one.

  8. Midwest Book Review
    Unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended for both high school and community library YA Fiction collections.

  9. BookPage
    Patel has struck a balance of sensuality and youthful tenderness in their courtship, clearly conveying the difference between healthy and abusive sexual encounters. With an open-ended but hopeful final scene, Jaya and Rasa will appeal to teen readers hungry for more diverse—but still romantic—realistic fiction. —Annie Metcalf

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