OVERALL : ☆☆☆☆☆
If I could compile a list of books for my younger self to read, this book would be at the top of the list. I read through this one so fast, barely wanted to put it down. The writing, the characters.. I simply love every single thing about All American Muslim Girl.
All American Muslim Girl by: Nadine Jolie Courtney
Published by: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Published on: 12/11/19
” Allie Abraham has it all going for her—she’s a straight-A student, with good friends and a close-knit family, and she’s dating cute, popular, and sweet Wells Henderson. One problem: Wells’s father is Jack Henderson, America’s most famous conservative shock jock…and Allie hasn’t told Wells that her family is Muslim. It’s not like Allie’s religion is a secret, exactly. It’s just that her parents don’t practice and raised her to keep her Islamic heritage to herself. But as Allie witnesses ever-growing Islamophobia in her small town and across the nation, she begins to embrace her faith—studying it, practicing it, and facing hatred and misunderstanding for it. Who is Allie, if she sheds the façade of the “perfect” all-American girl? What does it mean to be a “Good Muslim?” And can a Muslim girl in America ever truly fit in?
ALL-AMERICAN MUSLIM GIRL is a relevant, relatable story of being caught between two worlds, and the struggles and hard-won joys of finding your place. “
I designed this as this is my favourite quote!
Courtney writes a beautiful story that mixes heritage in with growing up in a western society. The pressures, the expectations, the yearning – all of it! I kept tearing up on my commutes to placement reading this, I was completely unable to control my tears. It is so lovely to see a muslim character, a young muslim girl, be free to explore her faith, her relationships so freely. The atmosphere that this book cacophonies you in; like I am back at home with all my family, eating and drinking and laughing and just enjoying each other. I rarely get to read a book with a mood that feels like two warm, loving arms wrapped around me.
The topics in this book, I feel were very well handled. Allie’s journey of exploration throughout this whole story was such an integral part that really solidified it for me. It was very interesting watching her grow into her faith, especially from the perspective of someone who has always known what Islam was and has had many questions answered. We take so many things for granted – but for those who didn’t grow up with faith as a centre of their lives, it is very much an expedition. A pilgrimage of discoveries.
The characters in the book were delicate, finishing touches to Allie’s artwork of faith exploration. From her mum; who was always very supportive and allowed her to make her own choices.Allie’s dad was very interesting as a character; someone who experienced Islam from a young age but did not want to suffocate his child by entering their lives around religion; instead he focused on raising Allie on the science hypothesis. Allie’s grandma was a sweet influence on her, with her focusing on learning Arabic to communicate with her properly. I loved this effort from Allie, because of her efforts she was able to really connect with her whole family better.
Dua, Shamsah, Samira, Fatima, Leila were probably my favourite part of this story. The friendship that these girls have and how they have added Allie to their group makes my heart want to burst 💖 I love the issues the group tackled, their trust in each other, their laughter and their cries. So wholesome.
The love aspect of this book was quite sweet, however I don’t really have much to say about it. I did feel it was an integral part to Allie’s story, especially with how supportive Well’s is throughout her journey of exploring her faith. I am very happy that the relationship was portrayed in a very “normal” manner; just like any other teen love story would be. (minus the Halal rules, of course)
Ex astris, sara
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Where to find the book
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