Her Story: Ladies In Literature 2020 with Tanaz Bhathena


Her Story: Ladies In Literature is a special, month-long series on Pop! Goes The Reader in which we celebrate the literary female role models whose stories have inspired and empowered us since time immemorial. From Harriet M. Welsch to Anne Shirley, Becky Bloomwood to Hermione Granger, Her Story: Ladies In Literature is a series created for women, by women as authors answer the question: “Who’s your heroine?” You can find a complete list of the participants and their scheduled guest post dates Here!



About Tanaz Bhathena

Tanaz Bhathena writes books for young adults. Her sophomore novel, The Beauty of the Moment, won the Nautilus Gold Award for Young Adult Fiction and has also been nominated for the Ontario Library Association’s White Pine Award. Her acclaimed debut, A Girl Like That, was named a Best Book of the Year by numerous outlets including The Globe and Mail, Seventeen, and The Times of India. Her latest book, Hunted By The Sky, (releasing June 23 2020) is the first of a YA fantasy duology set in a world inspired by medieval India. Her short stories have appeared in various publications including The Hindu, Blackbird, Witness, and Room.

Born in India and raised in Saudi Arabia and Canada, Tanaz lives in Mississauga, Ontario, with her family.

Author Links: WebsiteInstagramGoodreads


I first read Katniss Everdeen’s story in the summer of 2012 and she drew me into her world from the very beginning — a smart, contrary, introverted girl with a single-minded focus on what she needed to do — survive a brutal reality show called the Hunger Games and take care of her family.

You only need to look at me once to know that I am not like Katniss Everdeen. I can’t shoot arrows, set traps, or hunt game. I doubt I would survive a day alone in the woods. But I have always related her on a deeper level — her “obliviousness” when it comes to boys and romance, her survival instincts, her craving for good food and cheese buns.

My father was hospitalized twice during the COVID 19 pandemic — once because of a heart attack, and again due to serious side effects from the medication. And, all of a sudden, I found myself channeling Katniss Everdeen and her one track mind.

Hold your emotions in check. Show up for the day job and keep the office running. Get groceries and medicine. Clean. Cook. Do line edits for the next book. Attend virtual writing panels. Pray.

Katiniss’s mentor Haymitch told her to “Stay alive.” I told myself to “Stay focused.” To get to the next day. To keep it together for dad and for mom.

Not all of us can shoot arrows. But every heart holds a warrior. There may come a time in life when we’re pushed out of our comfort zones. When we’re forced to take up arms and fight like Katniss — or like Gul, the protagonist from my latest book, Hunted By The Sky.

We do fight.

We always do, for the people we love.


Title Hunted By The Sky
Author Tanaz Bhathena
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre Fantasy
Publication Date June 23rd 2020 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Find It On GoodreadsAmazonChaptersThe Book DepositoryBarnes & NobleIndieBound

Exploring identity, class struggles, and high-stakes romance, Tanaz Bhathena’s Hunted By The Sky is a gripping adventure set in a world inspired by medieval India.

Gul has spent her life running. She has a star-shaped birthmark on her arm, and in the kingdom of Ambar, girls with such birthmarks have been disappearing for years. Gul’s mark is what caused her parents’ murder at the hand of King Lohar’s ruthless soldiers and forced her into hiding to protect her own life. So when a group of rebel women called the Sisters of the Golden Lotus rescue her, take her in, and train her in warrior magic, Gul wants only one thing: revenge.

Cavas lives in the tenements, and he’s just about ready to sign his life over to the king’s army. His father is terminally ill, and Cavas will do anything to save him. But sparks fly when he meets a mysterious girl – Gul ― in the capital’s bazaar, and as the chemistry between them undeniably grows, he becomes entangled in a mission of vengeance ― and discovers a magic he never expected to find.

Dangerous circumstances have brought Gul and Cavas together at the king’s domain in Ambar Fort…a world with secrets deadlier than their own.




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Jen is a thirty-something Canadian book blogger and bibliophile currently residing in the wilds of suburbia. Aside from a penchant for older men, particularly those with the surnames Firth, Elba and Norton, Jen is also passionately interested in running, Mad Men, and Marilyn Monroe. In addition to being a voracious reader and self-proclaimed television addict, Jen is also an aspiring children and youth services librarian who would like to pursue a MLIS and better help readers find the perfect book for them.

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