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When You Ask Me Where I'm Going

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Perfect for fans of Rupi Kaur and Elizabeth Acevedo, Jasmin Kaur’s stunning debut novel is a collection of poetry, illustrations, and prose. scream so that one day a hundred years from now another sister will not have to dry her tears wondering where in history she lost her voice The six sections of the book explore what itmeans to be ayoung woman living in a world that doesn’t Perfect for fans of Rupi Kaur and Elizabeth Acevedo, Jasmin Kaur’s stunning debut novel is a collection of poetry, illustrations, and prose. scream so that one day a hundred years from now another sister will not have to dry her tears wondering where in history she lost her voice The six sections of the book explore what it means to be a young woman living in a world that doesn’t always hear her and tell the story of Kiran as she flees a history of trauma and raises her daughter, Sahaara, while living undocumented in North America. Delving into current cultural conversations including sexual assault, mental health, feminism, and immigration, this narrative of resilience, healing, empowerment, and love will galvanize readers to fight for what is right in their world.


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Perfect for fans of Rupi Kaur and Elizabeth Acevedo, Jasmin Kaur’s stunning debut novel is a collection of poetry, illustrations, and prose. scream so that one day a hundred years from now another sister will not have to dry her tears wondering where in history she lost her voice The six sections of the book explore what itmeans to be ayoung woman living in a world that doesn’t Perfect for fans of Rupi Kaur and Elizabeth Acevedo, Jasmin Kaur’s stunning debut novel is a collection of poetry, illustrations, and prose. scream so that one day a hundred years from now another sister will not have to dry her tears wondering where in history she lost her voice The six sections of the book explore what it means to be a young woman living in a world that doesn’t always hear her and tell the story of Kiran as she flees a history of trauma and raises her daughter, Sahaara, while living undocumented in North America. Delving into current cultural conversations including sexual assault, mental health, feminism, and immigration, this narrative of resilience, healing, empowerment, and love will galvanize readers to fight for what is right in their world.

30 review for When You Ask Me Where I'm Going

  1. 4 out of 5

    Beatrice Masaluñga

    Beautiful and emotionally powerful. From beginning till the end, I’m drawn by this collection. Its message was so loud and clear that it creeps into my heart and soul. Admittedly, it was quite draining especially when the author talks about violence and mental health. Each poems felt personal and that makes this collection even more precious. So much feels.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sara Jovanovic

    Without a doubt one of the strongest collections I read this year. I only recently heard of Jasmin Kaur because of her poem Scream, and I knew I had to check out her debut as soon as it comes out. Her writing style is flawless and she effortlessly manages to incorporate so many strong emotions into her pieces. This was a really unique poetry collection, and one that made me feel a lot. I loved how Jasmine wrote this using many different forms, not strictly poems. They had a depth to them and I Without a doubt one of the strongest collections I read this year. I only recently heard of Jasmin Kaur because of her poem Scream, and I knew I had to check out her debut as soon as it comes out. Her writing style is flawless and she effortlessly manages to incorporate so many strong emotions into her pieces. This was a really unique poetry collection, and one that made me feel a lot. I loved how Jasmine wrote this using many different forms, not strictly poems. They had a depth to them and I loved the topics she wrote about. I can't say I didn't have high expectations for this, but I've managed to get even more than I wanted. And now I just want to read every single thing Jasmine writes next. think about it i am told to stop thinking so much and i wonder why it is that in order to survive in this world i must not use my mind.

  3. 5 out of 5

    The Nerd Daily

    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Beth Mowbray When You Ask Me Where I’m Going is a thought-provoking debut novel which weaves together poetry, prose, and illustrations in a rare and extraordinary fashion. The foundation of this book is the narrative of a young immigrant mother escaping a history of trauma to live undocumented and raise her daughter in North America. This core body of prose is surrounded by poems and artwork that explores and embraces a broad range of issues Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Beth Mowbray When You Ask Me Where I’m Going is a thought-provoking debut novel which weaves together poetry, prose, and illustrations in a rare and extraordinary fashion. The foundation of this book is the narrative of a young immigrant mother escaping a history of trauma to live undocumented and raise her daughter in North America. This core body of prose is surrounded by poems and artwork that explores and embraces a broad range of issues related to culture, immigration, feminism, stigma, and much more. Perhaps a daunting concept to other debut writers, Kaur censors herself little in this book. With a dynamic, resounding voice she explores themes that are profound yet easy to consider and engage with throughout the text. Dividing the book into six sections, Kaur groups the lessons and insight she imparts into topics named primarily for parts of the human body: “skin,” “nerve,” and “heart,” for example. Within these sections she then tackles a multitude of themes that resonate within our contemporary personal and political worlds—race, ethnicity, and discrimination; trauma, abuse, and mental health in the context of interpersonal relationships; the daunting journey of motherhood, made a heavier task by the compounding external factors of today’s society. Perhaps the greatest theme, however, the theme underlying all others, is that of identity. How we define ourselves, our inherent value and worth, as well as how it is defined for us by others based upon their own (often skewed) lens of people and the world around them. Kaur explores the idea of being assessed by one’s appearance rather than what is underneath or held inside. She conveys the pain of being categorized as “other” based on one’s race, ethnicity, or culture and fighting the pressure to fit a certain “mold” formed by the assumptions of others. She explores the process of learning to be comfortable as oneself rather than being trapped by the meaning all too often assigned by others when you are part of a certain group. And she then underlines these ideas by providing a historical context, both personal and global. Tagged for ages 14+, this deeply moving work is sure to draw both young and older adults. Raw and introspective, both painful and uplifting to read, When You Ask Me Where I’m Going seamlessly conveys a vast spectrum of emotions in a very real way that the reader can easily connect with. Much of the subject matter is quite difficult to process, however Kaur does not flinch, does not hide from it. She writes with anger and outrage, with confidence and empathy, with sadness and hope. Her authorial voice is crisp and clear, bold and determined. Kaur expresses a genuine desire to embrace life and to see the world – in fact, to see each human being – do better.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Damanpreet Singh

    Five stars. As a brown man, I learned a lot about the challenges that Sikh women face through reading this book and it was a humbling experience. This book needs to reach kaurs, South Asians and the rest of the world. It's so amazing to see our experiences as Punjabis captured in a book like this. The poetry was deep and insightful into the author's mind as a young, Punjabi woman living abroad. The short story of Kiran and her daughter left me wanting more. Even though we only saw a short amount Five stars. As a brown man, I learned a lot about the challenges that Sikh women face through reading this book and it was a humbling experience. This book needs to reach kaurs, South Asians and the rest of the world. It's so amazing to see our experiences as Punjabis captured in a book like this. The poetry was deep and insightful into the author's mind as a young, Punjabi woman living abroad. The short story of Kiran and her daughter left me wanting more. Even though we only saw a short amount of their story, I feel connected to them and reeled from the cliffhanger that Kaur left us on. I hope their story doesn't end there. I can't wait until the rest of the world gets to read this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jaiden Shahi

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book is very captivating. I really liked how the author used different voices and types of storytelling (poem, short story). The political poems in this book are very relevant to this day and age but the book is timeless. I read this poem to my mom and it made me tear up: a woman once offered me a pencil and i thanked her profusely another offered me life again and again and i never got around to thanking her.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sahibajot Kaur

    Jasmin Kaur’s ability to capture emotion with such depth, intensity and clarity, creates a reading experience of joy and wonder. Having read nuggets of her poetry on Instagram, I can’t wait to get my hands on this book!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Manveer Sihota

    This book is impeccably written and it’s flow is smoother than butter! It’s always amazing seeing the perspective of women of colour in a society where their voices are often drowned out. On top of that, this book gives voice to a Sikh woman, which is an underrepresented group within an underrepresented group. All in all an amazing read! Definitely recommend.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Harsharin Kaur

    In terms of layout and content, this book is unlike any book that I've read before! I loved how Jasmin didn't stick to the typical structure of a book, and there was an interchange of poetry, prose, illustrations, and short story. The book left me quite somber, and each and every piece of writing had me in a reflective state.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tanya Scrimbit

    This beautiful poets words touch my heart on such a profound level, I always go back to a time in my life where I really needed those kind and gentle words for my fragile soul. As I near 48, the words speak to my 25 year old inner self on levels I'm still discovering and coming to terms with. Thank you Jasmin for taking me back to a place I'm still learning to be at peace with. To a place I am still nurturing, forgiving, learning to love and most of all learning to understand. I always look This beautiful poets words touch my heart on such a profound level, I always go back to a time in my life where I really needed those kind and gentle words for my fragile soul. As I near 48, the words speak to my 25 year old inner self on levels I'm still discovering and coming to terms with. Thank you Jasmin for taking me back to a place I'm still learning to be at peace with. To a place I am still nurturing, forgiving, learning to love and most of all learning to understand. I always look forward to your daily writings and most of all cannot wait to finally read this book I have heard so much about. Your beauty bounces off the page and brightens my days. Thank you.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tamin Atwal

    Jasmin Kaur speaks and writes very eloquently. Her writing style touches the heart and makes a huge social statement at the same time. Hey writing has the ability to move you to tears. For this I'm so excited to get my hands on this book! I can't wait. Jasmin Kaur speaks and writes very eloquently. Her writing style touches the heart and makes a huge social statement at the same time. Hey writing has the ability to move you to tears. For this I'm so excited to get my hands on this book! 💕 I can't wait.

  11. 5 out of 5

    GURVINDER

    Eagerly anticipated! If Jasmin’s previous works are anything to go by, this will surely be an enthralling read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Damanjit Singh

    can't wait to finally read this book! jasmin kaur is a talented story teller, organizer, educator, and poet whose deft economy of words bears the weight of multitudes of human experience.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amy Bruestle

    First off, let me say that I was given this book in exchange for an honest review... And boy oh boy am I glad! I love writing poetry myself, at least I used to. I haven’t written any in a while, but now that I have read this it makes me want to get my poetry journal out and see what I can come up with! That is saying a lot, because I really don’t get inspired easily! This book was extremely POWERFUL and MEANINGFUL. At least to me it was. Such profound poetry and important truths and realities First off, let me say that I was given this book in exchange for an honest review... And boy oh boy am I glad! I love writing poetry myself, at least I used to. I haven’t written any in a while, but now that I have read this it makes me want to get my poetry journal out and see what I can come up with! That is saying a lot, because I really don’t get inspired easily! This book was extremely POWERFUL and MEANINGFUL. At least to me it was. Such profound poetry and important truths and realities being expressed in such a clever way! The artwork made the book that much more fun to read as well, while the design and placing of the words made you think. It really was a perfect combination of beauty and point! I am so glad I had the chance to read this, and even more glad that I get to say that I am a proud owner of this book so I can get it out and look back on it whenever I want! I have taken so many quotes from this book and used them on so many things since reading it!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Chloe

    I'm not much of a poetry reader, but this book definitely pushed me to re-evaluate my stance on contemporary poetry. Jasmin Kaur packs so many relevant, hard-hitting topics into a small number of words. Each one felt carefully selected and beautifully expressed. Between the illustrations, poetry, and sections of prose, the book is so varied it never gets tiresome. What captivated me most though was the fictional story of Kiran and Sahaara. My only wish is that it was longer! It felt a little I'm not much of a poetry reader, but this book definitely pushed me to re-evaluate my stance on contemporary poetry. Jasmin Kaur packs so many relevant, hard-hitting topics into a small number of words. Each one felt carefully selected and beautifully expressed. Between the illustrations, poetry, and sections of prose, the book is so varied it never gets tiresome. What captivated me most though was the fictional story of Kiran and Sahaara. My only wish is that it was longer! It felt a little disjointed smack dab in the middle of this semi-autobiographical poetry and left me with many unanswered questions. Ultimately though, I would recommend this book to anyone looking to branch out and step into poetry. It's the perfect blend, meaning that there were several relatable moments for me as a reader (discussions of trauma, growth, women's empowerment, etc), but there were many parts that were wholly new and unfamiliar as well. Kaur has a very thoughtful, fresh perspective that we don't often hear from—her words hold a certain weight and importance. Very excited for this book to come out this October.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Arjun

    I've been following Jasmin for a long time and have always found her poetry profound and enthralling. I can't wait to get this book!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    See my full review here: https://www.yabookscentral.com/yafict... WHEN YOU ASK ME WHERE I'M GOING is an absolutely gorgeous collection that reaches to touch the soul. In poems, prose, and drawings, Kaur evokes a multitude of emotions from laughter to tears in beautifully written and illustrated words. It is hard to do this collection justice, but I feel as though I have peeked inside someone personal journal and left feeling all new feelings and with such depth. What I loved: Putting into words See my full review here: https://www.yabookscentral.com/yafict... WHEN YOU ASK ME WHERE I'M GOING is an absolutely gorgeous collection that reaches to touch the soul. In poems, prose, and drawings, Kaur evokes a multitude of emotions from laughter to tears in beautifully written and illustrated words. It is hard to do this collection justice, but I feel as though I have peeked inside someone personal journal and left feeling all new feelings and with such depth. What I loved: Putting into words how much this collection made me feel is difficult. This book spoke to my soul, and there are so many beautiful poems and written pieces that are complimented by intriguing illustrations. The book covers a number of topics in ways that evoke emotion and thoughts. I really loved it, even when they were not comfortable. Through this book, there are many lessons about feminism and immigration that appeal and educate. I would add warnings for mental illness, sexual assault, domestic abuse, and racism. Final verdict: This gorgeous collection is one I would highly recommend in general, but especially if you want a deep exploration of life. This book feels like a delicious look into a personal journal, and it really pulls the readers in and connects with them and their emotions. Would recommend to older YA readers.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Casey (caseydillabooks)

    A collection of illustrated poems and prose in the vein of #instragrampoets like Rupi Kaur (and less-so Elizabeth Acevedo, as the comp states). I generally find this genre of poetry oversimplified and not particularly artful, but I do appreciate how topical it is and I think it will resonate with teens and those with whom Rupi has struck a cord.

  18. 4 out of 5

    R Singh

    A very well written book which is very thought evoking - as is always to be expected from any of Jasmin Kaur’s work. A must read!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Gugan Kaur

    Jasmin’s work is amazing! Really appreciate the work and space she creates for brown women!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jasjit Mankoo

    Can't wait to finally read this book, I've been a fan of Jasmin Kaur's work ever since I discovered her on Instagram. I'm very excited to own the collection when it is released.

  21. 4 out of 5

    ellie

    how do you feel today? (like my lungs are not collapsing. like everything is not a mistake. like i am not a mistake. like i do not need to erase myself to fix myself. like i am not a single branch floating in an upset sea. like there is something right out there. that maybe. just maybe. it is for me.) ...we are all colored in different shades of compromise...that fear overrides truth. that we deal ideals like decks of cards / abandoning the hands that no longer work / in our favor as easily as lied how do you feel today? (like my lungs are not collapsing. like everything is not a mistake. like i am not a mistake. like i do not need to erase myself to fix myself. like i am not a single branch floating in an upset sea. like there is something right out there. that maybe. just maybe. it is for me.) ...we are all colored in different shades of compromise...that fear overrides truth. that we deal ideals like decks of cards / abandoning the hands that no longer work / in our favor as easily as lied when / we said we cared about each other

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jamie (Books and Ladders)

    See this review and more on Books and Ladders! Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book and chose to review it. This in no way impacts my opinion. I absolutely loved this. It had such a good mix of poetry that spoke from the heart of someone who wanted to be heard as a person and as an immigrant. I loved the mix between the poetry, illustrations, and prose. I feel like I will get more out of this each time I read it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mieke

    scream so that one day a hundred years from now another sister will not have to dry her tears wondering where in history she lost her voice I should stop listening to poetry books in audio format! I really enjoyed this book and the beautiful poems, but I believe that if I read them myself physically that I would've enjoyed them a lot mroe. Still happy I picked this up, the topics discussed are incredibly important.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    For some reason, I didn't like this at all. It was so meh, it hurt.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Josefa

    It was beautiful: a journey about self-love, self-acceptance and resilience It was beautiful: a journey about self-love, self-acceptance and resilience 💗

  26. 4 out of 5

    Brittany | thebookishfiiasco

    ‘she asks when do things start getting better? and i tell her that they don’t until better is demanded. that we are products of struggle and sometimes there is no way to convince the heart that this is beautiful.’ . articulating my experience with this book is difficult to cultivate into a succinct post, and i will try. this book harnesses beauty, trauma, and truth, inside and out. it pulls you in— invites you and hooks you with each word and line. this is not a simple, linear story or a straightforward ‘she asks when do things start getting better? and i tell her that they don’t until better is demanded. that we are products of struggle and sometimes there is no way to convince the heart that this is beautiful.’ . articulating my experience with this book is difficult to cultivate into a succinct post, and i will try. this book harnesses beauty, trauma, and truth, inside and out. it pulls you in— invites you and hooks you with each word and line. this is not a simple, linear story or a straightforward collection of poems. this book encourages you to travel through perspectives and experiences unlike your own and face the realities that are often overlooked or dismissed. it is a beautiful, heavy, and worthwhile experience that i recommend you have. i’m intrigued to see the varying perspectives and thoughts that readers have of this, especially women readers, as i’m feeling like this one is going to be on my mind for some time, and i imagine it would be on yours, too. . thank you, @booksparks for including me in #yafrc2019!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lizz DiCesare

    “i’m not here to be your example of the good girl until i’m your warning sign for the wayward one” To all my fellow fans of poetry and prose, if you haven’t added When You Ask Me Where I’m Going by Jasmin Kaur to your TBR yet, please do so right now! This book is absolutely beautiful. I finished it over a week ago but haven’t been able to write a review yet because how do you even begin to describe a book packed full of so much emotion? I always have a difficult time reviewing books I loved, “i’m not here to be your example of the good girl until i’m your warning sign for the wayward one” To all my fellow fans of poetry and prose, if you haven’t added When You Ask Me Where I’m Going by Jasmin Kaur to your TBR yet, please do so right now! This book is absolutely beautiful. I finished it over a week ago but haven’t been able to write a review yet because how do you even begin to describe a book packed full of so much emotion? I always have a difficult time reviewing books I loved, because all I want to do is scream “THIS BOOK WAS SO INCREDIBLE, IT MADE ME CRY AND STOP AND THINK ABOUT MYSELF AND THE WORLD, AND EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ IT RIGHT NOW!!” If you don’t have enough time to read my full review, I fully stand by this single, all-caps line. In all seriousness though, When You Ask Me Where I’m Going is a stunning debut book. It uses poetry, prose, and illustrations to speak about topics of feminism, identity, love, race, ethnicity, motherhood, and more. It’s rare to see such difficult topics written about so eloquently. The language Jasmin uses is simple, yet packs a punch that will cause you to stop and reflect on yourself, your community, and society as whole. The book is divided into six sections, all named after parts of one’s body/self: skin, muscle, lung, nerve, heart, and light. Each section explores different topics, and ties everything up before moving on to the next part. It’s a nice way of breaking the book up, and allows for breaks in reading if you need it. "SCREAM so that one day a hundred years from now another sister will not have to dry her tears wondering where in history she lost her voice" The theme that stood out the most to me from this book was that of identity. In When You Ask Me Where I’m Going, Jasmin writes at length about her own personal experiences, and those that people within her community have gone through as well. It’s very personal, and will let you stop and reflect on how others are treated, and how it may differ from your own experiences. I’d recommend this book to any woman looking for something to read (since it deals with so many issues and topics we frequently experience), as well as fans of Rupi Kaur. The writing style and tone is similar to Rupi’s poetry, although Jasmin clearly displays her own unique voice in her writing. Thank you to Harper Collins Canada and HCC Frenzy for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. When You Ask Me Where I’m Going was released on October 1, 2019, and is available wherever books are sold.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lizzy // The Bookish Unicorn

    A wonderful novel in verse that uses poems, short stories, and illustrations to explore many topics such as: domestic abuse, sexual violence, police violence, racism, feminism, living as a Punjabi in white cities, sexism, mental illness (anxiety, depression), self love, and immigration. I have some of my favorites below: "i'm not here to be your example of the good girl until i'm your warning sign for the wayward one" "this art spans far beyond image. it has the potential to heal you. to break you. A wonderful novel in verse that uses poems, short stories, and illustrations to explore many topics such as: domestic abuse, sexual violence, police violence, racism, feminism, living as a Punjabi in white cities, sexism, mental illness (anxiety, depression), self love, and immigration. I have some of my favorites below: "i'm not here to be your example of the good girl until i'm your warning sign for the wayward one" "this art spans far beyond image. it has the potential to heal you. to break you. to expand you. to birth a new you. your work. your heart. mean so much more than the hollow gaze of a hollow audience. love, the way your art draws air into your own lungs has always been reason enough." "of course pain matters. but it's not a weapon that should be pointed at anyone least of all those who you call loved ones. the pain explains but it doesn't justify. it never justifies."

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sargunvir

    My dislike for instapoetry and Rupi Kaur almost made me not want to pick this book up. But I have been following Jasmin's insta for a bit, not for poetry, but because of her political views (honestly, she's helped me reconcile so many things bc of her outspokenness on so many taboo issues in the Sikh community it's not even funny). Boy am I glad I didn't pass this up. The majority of the poems are simple and powerful (there were some that I did think could be improved but I was impressed My dislike for instapoetry and Rupi Kaur almost made me not want to pick this book up. But I have been following Jasmin's insta for a bit, not for poetry, but because of her political views (honestly, she's helped me reconcile so many things bc of her outspokenness on so many taboo issues in the Sikh community it's not even funny). Boy am I glad I didn't pass this up. The majority of the poems are simple and powerful (there were some that I did think could be improved but I was impressed overall). As Australian Sikh a lot of them truly resonated with the soul. I have a newfound respect for the genre of instapoetry, one that I did not have before (I'm snobby when it comes to poetry, might as well admit it). I hope to see more of Jasmin's work in the coming years and I hope she keeps writing excellent content.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alishia

    3.5 this book was good!! I just didn't connect with a good chunk of it. However, some of the poems within it resignated with me well. I think it is a great cultural representation in a poetry format and that is uniquely intriguing. It is also very feministic in its approach of poetry and I adored this. Great work!

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