Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

Nailed it! Everything I liked about the Percy Jackson books- the smart-alec teenager, the improbable friendships and the depth of knowledge of mythology- are all present in this book. The mythology is the Hindu tales and legends of the epic tales of ancient India. There is a super helpful and quite tongue-in-cheek glossary in the back.

Aru Shah is a great character. A little more vulnerable than Percy Jackson, she is still sarcastic, but maintains a gentleness and empathy that works well as she navigates this strange new aspect of her life. She is protective of her new friends, Boo and Mini, a sort of sister she meets for the first time. 

My favorite thing about this book was how creatively they solve problems and overcome obstacles. It is about thinking about things in a different way and turning their weaknesses into strengths. For example, Aru Shah is constantly in trouble for lying, but at one point she thinks, "Maybe it wasn't lying as much as it was applying some imagination. Looking at something from another angle." This concept of changing perceptions is a constant theme and keeps the book fun and refreshing.

Plus, I learned a LOT about Hindu mythonlogy!

There will be a second book in April of 2019, which is way too long to wait!