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Bhangra Babes    by Narinder Dhami order for
Bhangra Babes
by Narinder Dhami
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2006 (2005)
Hardcover, Paperback
* *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

The final installment of Narinder Dhami's adventures of the Dhillon sisters - Amber, Jazz, and Geena - is Bhangra Babes. Amber spins the story in dialogue-dominant narrative, including deliciously descriptive and humorous comments, as the girls follow one inspiration to another, leading to ever bigger problems, and finally - success ... sort of!

It's the beginning of the new school year, and Geena has graduated to upper school. The newly-appointed head of the lower school, Mr. Jai Arora, asks Amber to help a new girl, Korin Kohli, with a gloomy attitude. Without knowing the circumstances of Korin's background, and why she's in a funk, Amber gives back to her as much as she gets. Around the corner is classmate George Botley, who has developed over the summer months into a deep-voiced, attractive young man. George has always been a delicate thorn in Amber's side, as her admirer over many school years.

Auntie (Dad's sister who has been the girls' caregiver since their Mom died) is getting married to Jai Arora, an arrangement the sisters successfully pulled off. Happy for the couple - as well as for themselves that Auntie will be moving out - the trio will finally be on their own. Unless, of course, Dad hires a housekeeper and a babysitter to take Auntie's place. Mr. Arora's Auntie becomes the 'interfering Auntie' in Auntie Dhillon's life, as she sets out to take over the wedding plans. So Amber comes up with great ideas to get Jai's Auntie involved in volunteer work.

Amber, Jazz, and Geena vie for the attention of a new 'Golden Boy', wealthy and handsome Ragbir Gill - Rocky, a narcissistic would-be rapper. According to Amber, Rocky has a 'smile that could melt chocolate at twenty paces', and is a Brad Pitt look-alike. The sisters make a bet as to which of them will gain Rocky's affections - the winner will have the other two sisters as slaves. In her efforts to impress the 'thinks-he-has-talent' and lover of bhangra music, Amber makes a deal for Rocky to perform his first gig at Auntie's wedding. The other side of the deal is that Rocky must get close to Korin (lifting the Korin burden from Amber).

Narinder Dhami's trilogy began the Dhillon sisters' experiences with Bindi Babes, followed by Bollywood Babes. Though Bhangra Babes is a stand-alone story, I encourage reading the first two in the series for the pleasure of it all. The Dhillon sisters are delightful in their parlance, and though they experience frazzled ups and downs in their plans and strategies, they teach that it's what's on the inside, not the outside, that counts.

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