Cover Image: The Girl and the Goddess

The Girl and the Goddess

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Member Reviews

Thanks to NetGalley and Ebury Press for this ARC. 

So before I wrote this review I checked my notes from reading it and at the end I've put 'just wow' so that might give you some insight as to the time of this review!

This book is written in prose and interspersed with Hindu mythology and illustrations. It follows the life of Paro; from before she was born, her childhood and up to her time at University. 
It's hard to describe this book because I feel that it's something that you have to experience yourself but I will say that it's an empowering, feminist, queer, body celebratory, heritage embracing emotional rollercoaster. 

The book deals with a lot of heavy subjects including racism, sexual assault, sexism, societal expectations (especially for Desi women) whilst also threading through visits from gender fluid Hindu deities who tell Paro (and the reader) a story that is relevant to whatever struggle she is going through at that time. 
I LOVE Hindu mythology so I loved this part just as much if not more than that main story, as well as the absolutely fierce unapologetic and awe inspiring deities.

My heart absolutely ACHED for Paro, and especially life as a queer individual in India. Until reading this book I was unaware that Section 377 in India was only repealed in 2018!!! 

'Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code is a section of the Indian Penal Code introduced in 1861 during the British rule of India. Modelled on the Buggery Act of 1533, it makes sexual activities "against the order of nature" illegal.'

This book made me cry and ngl I'm getting emosh writing this review because it's all coming back to me. All I can say is Nikita I love you, I love this story and I will be recommending it to everyone.

CW: homophobia, biphobia, misogyny, sexism, racism, religious bigotry, sexual assault, rape, child abuse, paedophilia, violence, xenophobia, islamophobia, hate crime, genocide, violence, body shaming
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Beautiful and revitalizing poetry that will make you realize why Gill is such a staple on Tumblr and their quotes is used in so many posts about love. 
Couldn't put it down!
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Wow I am so blown away with the depth of this novel. Nikita Gill usage of multiple forms such as verse and classic novel does take some getting use to but overall it just adds to the beauty of the novel. It was clear Gill had a real passion and a message she was determined to share with the world. The journey she takes the reader on through the novel has such an emotional depth to it you just can't put the book down. This is a true bisexual journey you watch a young girl on with the "people" on her life. 

I would definitely recommend the book to people to read a more emotionally raw coming of age period in every girls life. This book is very powerful and reflective to many many people.
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This is one of those books that is practically impossible to review. Things I can say that might be helpful:
-Brilliant bisexual rep.
-It feels like in every line, the author carved out a bit more of her heart to give to the reader.
-This is a book that would be best read over a long time, preferably with a cup of tea; partly because it's quite emotionally overwhelming at times, partly because there's so much going on that needs unpacking, and simply because the language deserves it. I hope to reread it at a slower pace at some point, preferably with a hard copy (because the cover looks so beautiful, and I want a copy).
-It deals a lot with the partisan of India.
-It interweaves Hindu Mythology in a way that is achingly beautiful.
-This book feels like it's partly told in verse, partly outright poetry. It works so well.
-Just as good as Nikita Gill's other books, but with a massive increase in the amount of emotional depth.
-Content warnings: Sexual assault (of a minor and as an adult), rampant homophobia, rampant racism (including a racially motivated attack), imperialism + its effects.

ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
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I didn’t realise this book was a novel in verse until quite far into the book. I enjoyed the story, learning about Paro, her childhood and experiences. I, however, struggled to connect with the characters and the plot, and felt like I was just drifting through the book with no connection to it. Saying that, the themes and some elements were stunning - weaving a story of childhood, sexuality and coming of age.

I also loved the pictures included and they added to my enjoyment and looked stunning even on my Kindle. 

Overall, I didn’t enjoy this as much as I normally do with Nikita Gill’s writing, but it was a fresh way of writing a novel, and I still loved it.
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This book was as beautiful as I thought it would be.  The fact it was a novel in verse surprised me, but I loved that it did! It was so rich, thoughtful and awakened me, but at the same time deals with some dark topics perfectly. 
I loved this author before I read this, but I have a much deeper love and appreciation for her now. 
An easy five stars, and a book I’m so excited to have read, and then bought.
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This was the book I really needed to read. And Nikita Gill.never  disappoints.
Her poems and stories are so beautiful and well crafted. 
I just was in tears most of the time.
Please do read this book.
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A delicate, bold, powerful masterpiece.

Nikita Gill has been one of my favorite poets for a long time now, but with this book, I'm pretty sure she up the game - not only hers but for the entire genre. This showcases her craft the best way possible, it really is a masterpiece. The way she tells the tale of Paro through hurtful, intense, and lovely reveries keeps the reader at the edge of his seat. 

I legit couldn't put this book down until I've finished it. This is amazing.
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Got lucky enough to have this masterpiece in the middle of a festival of goddesses!

This was my first Gill, and I’m thoroughly impressed.

More than poetry, it was more like a verse novel. You follow Paro, a Kashmiri girl, from her childhood to womanhood who is taught the ways of life by gods and goddesses themselves.

The book deals with several dark topics, all too real and relatable. Paro, like a true goddess, fights every monstrosity that society throws at her- war and separation from loved ones, misogyny, sexism, patriarchy, bigotry, body shaming, child abuse, sexual assaults, homophobia.

I’ve never read quite something like this before and I’m still a bit stunned, actually. The world is sinister and full of asuras, yet when you need it most & least expect it, a goddess comes, she takes you by hand and leads you out of the poisonous fog that blurs your vision all while she recounts a story-her story.

I’m absolutely in awe at the way Author has woven Indian mythology’s most popular and celebrated legends of our gods & goddesses like Durga, Draupadi, Shashti, Lakshmi, Kali, Sita, Ganesh, with a mortal’s constant endeavors as they try to make sense of themselves and this unforgiving world.

It also becomes quite unnerving as you hear the same tales from a goddess’s perspectives-a woman’s perspective-a perspective we tend to often erase to suit our own palette.

My personal favorite parts were “How to leave a paradise”, “The Sailor” and every story those god and goddess told, especially Shikhandi’s.

I can’t help but love Nikita for (not at all subtly) pointing out the deep-rooted, often glossed over connection between Indian mythology with homosexuality. I’d just had a huge discussion/debate on this two weeks ago with my cousin and grandmother- with a goal is to-one homophobic less at a time.

I wish this book was in my regional language, so I could make every woman in my family read it.

PS. Those stunning illustrations!💖

Thanks to NetGalley and Ebury Publishing for this eARC in exchange for an honest review!
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This book was so beautiful and unique. I loved that it was written in verse and only the god's stories were actually written in novel style. It took me a while to realise that this book was more autobiografic than an actual story. And still, all of this made me love this book even more. It is such a strong and important book and very informative about Hindu religion (at least it was for me, because so far I mad heard of only two of these gods and godesses mentioned in here). I can't believe how magical and beautiful this book was - despite it digging into some very serious topics.
I love how empowering this book was, especially on feminism. And I was very happy to know there actually is a trans sexual god in the Hindu religion. How body positive this book. It's perspective on bisexuality.
There was literally nothing I did not love about this book and I have nothing but respect for that author. I am looking forward to read more by her!
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review by NetGalley, but I don't think I can do this book credit. It was an amazing magical experience and I can't wait to read it over and over again.
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The Girl and the Goddess immediately captivates you with Nikita Gill's unique use of verse, prose and enchanting illustrations so that by the time you're hooked, you're in love with the nature of the main character, Paro.

This book is about a bisexual Kashmir girl who moves to Delhi and later London. Gill takes us on a journey unlike any other, giving us an intimate glimpse into the pure and innocent relationship Paro has with the Gods and Goddesses of her people. 

I was not immediately comfortable with the use of verse as I'm unused to it but I have become a huge fan simply because of how much more it drew me into Paro's world, so much so, I didn't want to leave! 
Praises to Gill for this work of art.

I would recommend this book to everyone honestly, but most of all to young people who are still trying to navigate the world like they actually belong here, I hope this book gives you hope.

 Thank you NetGalley and Ebury Press for the ARC of The Girl and The Goddess by Nikita Gill for an honest review, a great honor.
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What a powerful and incredible story about girls, empowerment, love, and goddess. So many lessons told beautifully. 

“There is nothing to fix. There is nothing broken about you.”
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This was an incredibly informative book of poetry, and was beautifully written. Not my usual go to poetry style but I learnt alot and felt like I got to know the author too through her work.
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‘The Girl and the Goddess’ follows Paro, a girl with a strong will, a full heart and much to learn. Born into a family reeling from the ruptures of Partition, we follow her as she crosses the lines between childhood, teenage discovery and realising her adult self.

Nikita Gill is one of my all-time favourite poets, exploring so many different themes and journeys through her works, and this collection was no different; however, this one might be my new favourite.

Gill explores poetry in a unique, fresh way with ‘The Girl and the Goddess’, going deeper into the art and telling a narrative from the first page to the last about a girl named Paro who is journeying through life. Along the way, we discover new things about Paro, from her background to her discovered sexuality, as we go throughout her life. It makes for an incredibly inspiring read, Paro being someone we immediately side with and encourage to continue with her life regardless of the trauma and tragedy that follows behind her.
Paro made for a brilliant storyteller, with varied forms such as prose and verse, we discover her characteristics and personality as she moves through childhood, her desires through teenage years, and then her self acceptance into adulthood. It made for a breath-taking read, one that I’m going to be returning to again and again. Paro was a sheer delight to read about, one which I paced myself as much as I could to ensure the story would never end. However, Gill’s works are addictive, and I simply couldn’t put the book down.

Gill’s writings as a whole were raw and emotional, leaving a scar on you long after you’ve finished reading, and this book was no exception. Simplistic and yet so beautiful, her poems continue to awe and inspire you, guiding you through the tale and empowering you at the end.

Overall, I adored this book. I highly recommend it to anyone who’s intrigued by poetry, and maybe even those who aren’t. It’s a beautiful introduction to modern poetry and the cover makes a gorgeous addition to your bookshelves.
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I love this women work, she write like no other. She story is strong and meaning full, every women and girl should read these this author as it will speak to you on so many levels
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an e-arc of The Girl and The Goddess. 

This was a novel written in verse following the life of Paro from childhood to young adulthood facing the challenges of being a woman in India. We move through the book with Paro and learn about the experiences that have shaped her and follow her as she finds herself with the help from gods and goddesses. Trauma, anxiety, race, sexuality, friendship, family and gender are all explored and touched upon in this beautifully atmospheric, emotional tale. Hindu mythology is drawn upon to teach Paro how to navigate life in such a compelling way that it was hard to put this book down. 

I really enjoyed this. It was stunning, heartbreaking and empowering.
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Beautifully illustrated throughout this is a brilliant novel in verse exploring Hindu mythology in a tale of becoming and examining who we are and where we come from.

TW: Characters in this book persevere through: Anxiety, Bigotry, Biphobia, Body shaming, Bullying, Child abuse, Depression, Guilt, Homophobia, Internalised misogyny, Misogyny/ sexism, Poverty, Racism, Sexual assault, Terrorism, Violence, War.
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I loved Nikita's poetry books and this was no different. This was her first full novel told in verse. I am a sucker for these kinds of books as they are pretty quick to read and It's easier to understand than books filled with full pages. I jumped at the chance to review this as I am such a fan of her work. I've followed her forever on instagram and i was so excited for this book.

This book was a little different to her usual style of poetry and verse but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I couldn't stop reading this book. It was so interesting to learn about other cultures and see what life is like for other religions and I actually learnt a lot in this book about partition and Hinduism that I wasn't aware of. I especially loved learning about the different Gods and Goddesses and them coming to life for Paro and helping her through the troubles she faced.

This wasn't as easy book to read at all, at times I was left gobsmacked by what Paro had to go through and how she had to hide who she was and how much she wanted to be normal and not be bisexual. I also felt so sorry for her for the bullying she was going through from people in her own community.

Although i'm a white reviewer and this book had a lot of things I couldn't relate to personally I felt for Paro so much and just wanted to give her a big cuddle.
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An absolutely beautiful read, set out  in verse, it’s very emotive as you read it. The bit about her school days was particularly touching to read, I could completely emphasise  (not the same experience for,e but enough that it rang so true with me) stunningly beautiful writing, dealing with a range of issues from bullying to racism,anxiety and depression to body shaming, it touches on many issues. Power reading

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
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This is a beautiful book and incredibly well written.

I loved the running theme and I loved the every word.

This book is heart-breaking in places, while also filling you with strength and wonder in others.

There were some phrases and poems that made me sit back and think for a while, and I truly love when this happens.
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