Fifteen-year-old Sangeet’s life has pretty much gone down the toilet since her lying, stealing aunt moved in with them. Thanks to Chachi, Sang’s family thinks she’s a bulimic lying thief. On top of that, she’s having boy troubles (not the least of which is, she’s not allowed to date!), and her best friend, Gina, isn’t speaking to her!

Sang’s got to set things straight—and bring Chachi down.

WHAT I MEANT… is an engaging and funny first novel from a talented author. In Sang, Marie Lamba creates a three-dimensional character with her own unique voice that she just can’t make people hear over the lies of her Chachi. The rest of the colorful cast of characters populating this novel are equally well-developed.

WHAT I MEANT… is an easy, fun read that I almost managed to read in one sitting (if only life didn’t get in the way of reading!). It’s not going to be on my list of all-time favorite books, but it is certainly worth reading and well-written, with its relatable protagonist (who, by the way is half Indian and half Italian—but this is not an “issue” book about being biracial, it’s just a good book about a regular fifteen year old girl who happens to have that background) making this novel quite enjoyable.

This is why I urge you all to help Marie Lamba! Because of low preorders from chain bookstores, the initial print run of this book has been cut, and there will be no paperback and no sequel! I for one really want to know what happens to Sang, and will be very disappointed without a sequel. So go! Bother the people at your local Borders, Books-A-Million, Barnes & Noble, whatever. Get all your friends to do the same! Even if you don’t buy the book (which you should, but maybe can’t afford to), get them to order copies (say you want it, and they’ll order it, but they can’t make you buy it).

Four Stars