Introducing Aru Shah

Hello, and welcome to Culturess’s first ever Character Interview, featuring one of the first ever Pandava sisters — Aru Shah!

You may recognize Aru Shah from the cover of the first book in her own series, the first book under Rick Riordan’s mythology imprint. Aru Shah and the End of Time is arriving this March, but we’re presenting this introduction to her ahead of time.

Q: Hello, Aru! Welcome to Culturess!

Aru: My first interview! HOORAY! Do you want my autograph? No? Hmpf. Fine. You could’ve sold it on eBay for, like, a bajillion dollars but whatever. 

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Aru: I’m awesome and descended of awesome-ness. My mom is the archaeologist that runs the Museum off Peachtree Street! Everything in there is haunted and cursed and—what? No . . . I definitely don’t lie. Why would you think that? I don’t know what else to say about me. Am I supposed to say I like long walks on the beach and dinner by candlelight? Because I really hate long walks on the beach. I always stub my toe on a shell. And I hate candlelit dinners because then I can’t see what’s in front of me and no way am I eating that. Oh, and I’m 12. Yay.

Q: If you had a free day with nothing to do, what would you do?

Aru: Watch all the extended Lord of The Rings movies with my mom while we eat insta-noodles. But I know those movies are really long . . . and mom travels a lot. She’s like super famous. So maybe just one of them. Definitely Return of the King.

Q: If you could spend a day with someone you admire (alive, dead or fictional) who would it be?

Aru: . . . Legolas. 

Q: When do you consider it an appropriate time to lie?

Aru: Er, why are you asking me that? I don’t know? Never? 

Q: Where would you live, if you could live anywhere in the world?

Aru: Paris. Duh.

Q: What do you always keep on you?

Aru: Well, I would keep my phone with me but mom won’t let me have one. Rude. So, I guess I’d take my museum badge. It looks super official. You can put it in your wallet and open it and close it really fast like a cop! 

Q:If you were in need of comforting, what would be the best thing that someone could do for you?

Aru: Tell me I’m right and I did nothing wrong. Because I probably didn’t. 

Q: If you could teach everyone in the world one thing, what would it be?

Aru: That there’s no such thing as “Indian language,” so don’t ask me if I “speak Indian.” *gets pecked on the head by Boo, her guardian pigeon* OUCH! Okay, fine, and also . . . just . . . I dunno. Remember that you don’t know everyone’s backstory so just go easy on other people. And world peace.

Q: What do you like best about yourself?

Aru: Pretty much everything.

Q: What do you like the least about yourself?

Aru: Nothing. *pauses* Okay, fine, I really don’t like how my eyebrows act like star-crossed lovers desperate to reach each other. STOP TRYING TO BE TOGETHER. 

Q: What unusual hobbies or interests do you have?

Aru: I quote a lot of movies. 

 Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?

Aru: People who breathe with their mouth open and just leave their mouth open all the time.

Q: What has been the happiest day of your life so far?

Aru: One time, Mom’s flight got canceled and we watched all these Bollywood movies together! And she let me act out this whole scene! And even change the ending and tell a totally different story! And she liked it so much she wrote it down. Also, there was a bunch of leftover birthday cake in the fridge for the party that we threw Sherillyn, our security guard, so we just ate cake and watched movies and it was awesome.

Q: If the world needed to know one thing about you, what would it be?

Aru: I’m not a liar.

Aru Shah and the End of Time releases March 27. Stay tuned to Culturess for more on the book — including a review!