Rani Patel In Full Effect

By: Sonia Patel
Rani finds empowerment on stage as MC Sutra, “Call my solution a female revolution/Retribution in the form of rhyme electrocution.”
Categories: All Books | Fiction | Young Adult


Rani finds empowerment on stage as MC Sutra, "Call my solution a female revolution/Retribution in the form of rhyme electrocution."

When Rani's father leaves her mother for another woman, Rani shaves her head in mourning. The visibility of her act of rebellion propels her onto the stage as a hip-hop performer and into a romantic relationship with a man who is much older. The whirlwind romance, coming on the heels of her father's abandonment, make her begin to understand how her father's sexual abuse wounded her in deeper ways than she, or her mother, have ever been able to acknowledge.

Meanwhile, she seeks solace in making lyrics and performing as well as in her boyfriend's arms. Rani's friends warn her about him but she fails to listen, feeling as though she finally has something and somebody that makes her feel good about herself —not recognizing that her own talent in hip-hop makes her feel secure, smart, and confident in ways her boyfriend does not. Indeed, as the relationship continues, Rani discovers her boyfriend's drug use and falls victim to his abuse. Losing herself just as she finds herself, Rani discovers her need to speak out against those who would silence her —no matter the personal danger it leads her into.

Listen to author Sonia Patel's playlist on Spotify:

Watch Sonia spittin' 16-year-old Rani's rhymes:

Awards and Accomodations

2017 William C. Morris Award Finalist
2017 Amelia Bloomer List Recommended Feminist Literature For Birth Through 18
BEA Young Author Buzz Author
Book Page Top 10 Best Teen Book 2016
BookExpo America Editor's Buzz Selection 2016
Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Books 2016
Multnomah County Library Best Books 2016
New York Public Library 50 Best Teen Books 2016
Starred Reviews from Kirkus, Booklist Online, Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal
Texas Library Associations Top 10 Teen Books 2017
The Volumes Bookcafe Staff's Best 20 of 2016
15 Essential Novels Of The #MeToo Movement, Bustle

13 reviews for Rani Patel In Full Effect

  1. Booklist
    Debut author Sonia Patel offers a unique perspective in Rani, whose punchy first-person narrative, peppered with early-’90s hip-hop references, Hawaiian, Hawaiian pidgin, Gujurati phrases, and her own slick rhymes packed with an empowering feminist message, commendably and strikingly stands out in the YA landscape.

  2. Kirkus Reviews
    A powerfully particular, 100 percent genuine character commands this gutsy debut.

  3. Publishers Weekly
    Sonia Patel sets her powerful debut novel in 1991, filling it with bygone rap references and an electric verbal blend of Gujarati, slang, Hawaiian pidgin, and the rhymes Rani crafts. Patel compassionately portrays Rani’s entangled emotions, lack of self-confidence, and burgeoning sense of empowerment as she moves forward from trauma.

  4. School Library Journal
    [Rani’s] story will appeal to readers who prefer gritty, darker fiction without a pat, happy ending, and characters who don’t always overcome their challenges but must face them repeatedly. A strong, unique choice for YA collections.

  5. The Globe and Mail
    You haven’t heard this voice in YA before.

  6. BookPage
    Rani’s environment leaps off the page in vivid and satisfying detail, from the winding roads and small shops of Moloka’i to the intricacies of ’90s hip-hop fashion. … Author Sonia Patel is a psychiatrist, and her determination to portray Rani’s response to trauma truthfully is unrelenting.

  7. Rich In Color
    Rani Patel’s story spoke to me with power and intensity. I felt Rani’s pain, but also her energy, determination and her hope for healing … Get it soon especially if you enjoy references to 90s hip-hop.

  8. Anderson’s Bookshop
    This book is so amazing and incredibly well-written and unique, and there is no punch left unpunched. This book gutted me. Sonia Patel knocked it out of the f*cking park. Buy this book.

  9. Midwest Book Review
    Rani Patel In Full Effect by child and adolescent psychiatrist Sonia Patel is an extraordinary and deftly crafted novel that will have particular and special appeal to young readers ages 12 to 18.

  10. Isabel Quintero, author of Gabi, A Girl In Pieces
    This book is an open wound. Sonia Patel does not sugar coat…heartbreak, sorrow, and patriarchy, the kinds of things intended to bend and break girls who rap. Girls like Rani. But Rani writes words. Words that go boom. And in Rani Patel in Full Effect, so does Patel.

  11. Bustle, “21 Best New YA Novels”
    Rani Patel is a kickass, girl-power hip hop performer, but that’s her secret life. As the daughter of Gujarati immigrants, she’s been taught to believe that “husband is God,” and has to live under their cultural norms on a remote Hawaiian island.

  12. Cleaver Magazine
    Rani Patel, MC Sutra herself, is so much more than a character on the page. … Rani shows us the power every girl has inside themselves to break the cycle of abuse and reminds us that self love is what frees us up to become the amazing beings we are.

  13. The Riveter Magazine
    One of our favorite reads this fall is marketed for young adults, but make no mistake: Rani Patel in Full Effect will hit you just as hard, if not harder, than any “adult” title.

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