Reviewed By – Millie M
This book was beautifully written and incredibly gripping. Set in the post 9/11 US, it tells the story of Shadi. She is a Muslim High School student trying to get through the year after a series of difficult events - which we discover through flashbacks.
As I was reading, I got to know the characters more. Not only because of what was happening in the present, but also what they had been through previously. I loved the array of characters and the way they bounced off each other. I felt like I was in the moment with them while reading; they were crafted in a way that made them easy to relate to.
Although an emotional rollercoaster, this was definitely worth the read. I would recommend it to mature readers (those aged 13+) as it covers a range of heavy topics. Tahereh Mafi is clearly an incredibly talented writer; I will be looking closely for future releases. I loved this novel! I rate it 5/5 stars.
From bestselling author of the Shatter Me series and the National Book Award-nominated A Very Large Expanse of Sea, Tahereh Mafi, comes a stunning novel about love and loneliness, navigating dual-identity as a Muslim teenager in America, and reclaiming your right to joy.
It's 2003. It's been several months since the US officially declared war on Iraq, and the political world has evolved. Shadi, who wears hijab (a visible allegiance to Islam) keeps her head down. Hate crimes are spiking. Undercover FBI agents are infiltrating mosques and interrogating members of the congregation, and the local Muslim community is beginning to fracture. Shadi hears the fights after services, the arguments between families about what it means to be Muslim, about what they should be doing and saying as a community but she does not engage.
She's too busy drowning in her own troubles to find the time to deal with bigots.
Shadi is named for joy, but she's haunted by sorrow. Her brother is dead, her father is dying, her mother is falling apart, and her best friend has mysteriously dropped out of her life. And then, of course, there's the small matter of her heart
It's broken. Shadi has tried to navigate the remains of her quickly-shattering world by soldiering through, saying nothing, until finally, one day, everything changes.
Perfect for fans of the Shatter Me series as well as Angie Thomas's The Hate U Give and Nicola Yoon's The Sun is Also A Star.