Imprint:Viking Books for Young Readers
Audience:Teenage: Age (years) 12, Grade (US) 7
Dimensions:8.5in x 5.88 x 1.19 in | 1.02 lb
Page Count:368 pages
EMPOWERING GIRLS WITH BODY HAIR: Anyone who has ever struggled with facial or body hair will relate to TJ’s journey and cheer her on—but this is particularly relevant for brown girls: how they’re seen and judged and how they live in their bodies. The ups and downs TJ faces in attempting to prove her resolution deal with with nuance, empathy, and respect for girls no matter what they choose to do or look like, just like in Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’ and Leah Johnson’s You Should See Me in a Crown.
SIKH IDENTITY: TJ’s family is Sikh, and while TJ and her parents aren’t actively religious, her cousin Simran and her family are. This book engages thoughtfully with TJ and her cousin’s differences—and their love and respect for each other.
SWOONY ENEMIES-TO-LOVERS ROM-COM: TJ’s romance with her debate rival Charlie is charming, sexy, and fun. Their sweet and funny enemies-to-lovers relationship, banter, and steamy chemistry will have readers swooning.
DEBATE SETTING: This book is a propulsive, exciting, and accessible entry into the world of competitive debate, like Peyton Thomas’s Both Sides Now and What’s Not to Love by Austin Siegemund-Broka and Emily Wibberly.
COMMERCIAL ROMANCE WITH POWERFUL THEMES: This is a commercial, fun, and thoughtful rom-com with a sparkling voice—which digs deep into big topics like feminism, body image, the beauty and wellness industry, what girls of color face in this world, and more.
DEBUT AUTHOR TO WATCH: Jesmeen Kaur Deo is an Indo-Canadian writer and student from Northern British Columbia. TJ Powar Has Something to Prove is her debut. We signed Jesmeen up for two books in a heated house pre-empt ahead of an auction. She is a talent to watch and is willing to do whatever it takes to promote this book.
“TJ Powar Has Something To Prove is unlike any book I’ve read before. It’s unflinchingly honest, real, and raw in its examination of body image. Every hairy brown girl will see a reflection of their lives in its page.”—Adiba Jaigirdar, author of Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating and The Henna Wars
“With an iconic heroine, delightful banter and a deeply felt message, this debut proves many times over that Jesmeen Kaur Deo is an invaluable new voice. TJ Powar Has Something to Prove is rife with insight and rich with rom-com joy, often on the same page.”—Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka, authors of If I’m Being Honest
“There’s much to appreciate about this book…fans of school stories will enjoy the humor, romance, and fun characters who navigate lost relationships, friendships that endure, and reminders that some people will always have your back—no matter how hairy it may be.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Filled with heart, humor, and a swoon-worthy academic rivals-to-lovers romance of my dreams, Jesmeen Kaur Deo proves self-worth isn’t up for debate. Be It Resolved That I’ll be a forever fan!”—Jessica Parra, author of Rubi Ramos’ Recipe for Success
*“In [a] poignant debut…Deo delivers a refreshing take on the familiar self-love narrative, portraying characters across the Indian diaspora whose determination to be themselves, irrespective of Western cultural perspectives, drives home the idea that the perception of oneself through a singular lens is often incomplete.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)