This coming of age novel was recommended to me by Rida and while I didn’t like it as much as I had hoped to, I did find it very stark and honest in its portrayal of life on the poor side in Paris, France. I don’t know about you guys but I have a very selective way of thinking about Paris. To me, it is the city of lights, romance and fluffy pastries. Before I read this book, I didn’t think about the people who populated the city, who breathe, live and animate this city. There’s this authenticity in the narrator’s voice, this matter of fact manner of relating facts that I could not help but respond to.It did not surprise me when I read the author’s biography and found that the author experienced the same life she writes about. I don’t know whether it is the translation but this novel reads less like a fictional piece and more like documentary – raw, real and right there, in front of you. Doria’s observations about the hierarchy, the pain of being a girl when your father wanted a boy, wearing clothes that make other people smirk and laugh – these are just so on point. So on point that the line between reality and fictionality blurs significantly.Some people have claimed this to be the French Catcher in the Rye and I don’t know if this comparison is apt. I do know that while the novel has no beginning, middle and end, there is no main narrative, it does give you a slice of the pie and ask that you taste it and make up your own mind about how much you like it. So yeah, while I didn’t love it unequivocally, it has merit and if you want to experience life in a very different pair of shoes, you should read this.