Nevertheless she is "different" from her peers both because of her cultural background and because she's a "brainiac" whose father drives her mercilessly to achieve in her chosen field. For a debut novel, the book is very well written and covers a lot of ground in a relatively small number of pages. It's just under 300 pages long which probably isn't long enough to do justice to everything Lalwani seems to be trying to achieve here. I noticed that the reviews for the book were mixed and I can understand why. The writing style is masterful and it is easy to relate to Rumi and her challenges. However, some of the other characters are more two-dimensional (particularly Rumi's parents) and it's a bit difficult to get a handle on them. The ending is also a little forced and melodramatic.
While this is not necessarily a book for young readers, I suspect some teen readers might benefit from looking at it. It certainly brings to the fore problems of being "different" and the awkwardness of growing up when it's difficult to find a niche in the world. In terms of younger readers, there are a couple of "sexual awakening" scenes, but nothing too explicit. Thus, I wouldn't necessarily recommend this book for a tween audience, but older teens should be fine with it.
I haven't read anything else by Lalwani, but I'm certainly going to look out for her other writing in the future.