Friday Favourites

Friday Favourites – Books Set in a Country That’s Not Your Own

This was hosted by Something of the Book who created this tag out of a love for lists. Now Geeky Galaxy is taking over the tag. There are different topics for us all to be able to take part and you can find the prompts here. There isn’t a specific number of favourites so it’s entirely up to you how many you share.

So as I live in the UK I will share some books that I read and loved set elsewhere:

Ayesha At Last – This is set in a small community in Canada and desi culture is an important part of the story.

When Dimple Met Rishi – It’s set in the US but Indian culture is also integral to the story.

Other Words for Home – This is set in two different places, in Syria and the US. It’s the story of the MC journey when she has to leave Syria because it’s unsafe for her to live there.

The Weight of our Sky – This is set in Malaysia in 1969 during a period of riots that took place.

All American Muslim Girl – Again it’s set in the US but also includes Syrian and Circassian culture which is an important part of the story.

Love From A to Z – While the beginning is set in the US, the majority of the book is set in Doha.

Ayesha Dean and the Istanbul Intrigue – This book is set in Turkey while the MC is on holiday there with her friends.

So here are some books that I loved set outside of the UK. All of these books are also diverse books!

Blog Tours/Street Teams, Books by Muslim Authors, Diverse Books, Muslim Shelf Space, YA Books

All American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney – ARC Review

Thank you to Macmillans children’s publishing group and Netgalley for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review.

I have no idea why this book hasn’t been screamed about everywhere because it is absolutely phenomenal and you all need to stop what you’re doing and go buy it and read it because it released on 12th November!

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Rating: 5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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.

This book has launched all the way to my top reads of the year! I read this book in one night and I literally stayed awake until 5am to finish it and I have zero regrets! It made me sob and laugh and made me angry and sad and hopeful and my goodness I felt every emotion reading that book. Trust me you all need to go read it!

This is a beautiful heartfelt story of a young girl discovering her faith and learning to love all of herself. It’s about finding out who you are and finding a place to belong. Nadine does such a wonderful job of showing what it’s like for so many young Muslim people today, from the Islamophobia and hate they face to being proud of their faith but also afraid to show it because they will become a target.

I’m proud of being Muslim. I want to show it to the world. And if that makes somebody uncomfortable, maybe they’re the problem, not me.

It was so real to me and it showed things that I had felt as a teen and even feel now and it had me sobbing throughout. It’s as if Nadine dug right into my complicated thoughts of what it’s like to be Muslim and especially be visibly Muslim and wrote it into the story. I absolutely adored the nuanced Muslim rep in the book. We have Allie who comes from a non-practicing Muslim family and then there’s Dua and all the other young Muslim girls she meets who are all at different stages in practicing their faith and have all different things they battle with. It was so great to see how different we all are in the book. Even the stereotype of what a Muslim should look like is discussed in the story.

The girls that Allie meets at the Quran club that she joins was so great to see, it reminded me of my group of friends and I loved seeing how amazing it is to have a group of girls who support each other in the book. She also has a great relationship with her parents, the only time she is hesitant to speak to them is about wanting to know more about Islam and practice it more. Which is actually the reality of a lot of young Muslims today. It took me over two years to convince my parents I would be okay wearing an abaya and the hijab before that. So I really related to Allie and her struggle with opening up to her parents.

I want to be loved. But for me. Not for the ideal of what I could be.

She also has a boyfriend, Wells, and is afraid to tell him that she is Muslim especially when she starts to practice more but it was really great to see him be supportive and understanding. The opposite was also true for some of her friends, when they found out they remained ignorant and didn’t want to accept that part of her.

It was really interesting reading about Allie as she doesn’t “look Muslim” so it was easy for her to get by without telling anyone and had opportunities and privileges that would have been otherwise denied to her (like we see in the first chapter). Her character arc in becoming more confident within herself and accepting all of her was so wonderful to read. She deals with Islamophobia, hate speech, people perpetuating stereotypes, white male priviledge and a white man telling her that she is oppressed even when she insists she isn’t. Honestly it made me so angry reading it because I’ve dealt with this but it was so great to see it in a book and showing these realities of Muslims.

Islam is not monolith. It’s time we stopped feeling guilty about not being Muslim enough. Or being too Muslim. Or not the right kind of Muslim.

I could go on forever about why I absolutely adored this book and I really need you all to go read it. It’s unputdownable and will have you completely immersed into the story until the end.

 

Where to find the Author:
Twitter
Website
Instagram

Where to find the book:
Goodreads
Book Depository
Barnes and Noble
Amazon

Blog Tours/Street Teams, Book Recommendations, Muslim Shelf Space

5 Reasons Why You Should Read All American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney

All American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney is out today! And I highly recommend you all go buy and read it! It’s one of my favourite reads this year.

If you haven’t heard what All American Muslim Girl is about then here is the synopsis:

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?

So today I’m going to be sharing some reasons as to why you all need to read this absolutely amazing book:

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1 The nuanced Muslim rep – The Muslim rep is done so well in this book! The characters are all at different stages in their faith and they all struggle with something. They discuss so many things that most young Muslims are dealing with and it was so refreshing to see this really great rep.

2 It’s also Ownvoices rep – Which is even more amazing because we never really get to see this Muslim rep in books. When you are white passing and don’t “look” Muslim. It was really interesting to read from this point of view.

3 Great parent relationship – Allie has a really great relationship with her parents and they are present throughout her story and actually play a big part. It’s rare to see great rep for parents. She like other teens has things which she feels hesitant to discuss with them but they are actually pretty understanding.

4 It challenges stereotypes and deals with difficult issues – From what it means to be Muslim today to what a Muslim “looks like” and Islamophobia and racism. It discusses all these and more. There’s discussions on women in Islam and how Islam is not monolith and Muslims are all different just like the rest of the world.

5 The wonderful female friendships – I love books that show great female friendships! Women empowering women is all I want to see in books especially as most seem to focus on how women hate each other. Allie makes some really great friends who help and support her without judgement. Dua especially becomes a really great friend.

So there’s 5 reasons why you should read All American Muslim Girl! I could go on forever because I loved this book so much. I will have my review of the book up in a few days so keep an eye out for that!

You can find more information about Nadine and her book here:

Where to find the Author:

Twitter
Website
Instagram

Where to find the book:

Goodreads
Book Depository
Barnes and Noble
Amazon

Monthly Wrap Up

October Monthly Wrap Up

It’s the end of October already! This year has flown by so fast! I had a really great reading month this month and read some amazing books and found some new favourites.

I also went to a Manchester Literature Festival event, Clementine Ford came to discuss her new book, Boys Will Be Boys. She discussed feminism, the patriarchy and how toxic masculinity not only hurts girls but how it also hurts boys and only the rich (white) men are the ones who benefit from this structure. She spoke about how we need to speak up against it and make structural changes to actually make a difference. It was a really great event and she was lovely too talk to. I highly recommend reading her books.

So anyways the books that I read this month are:

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1 Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer – Okay so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading but I had heard great things so I decided to give it a go and I actually really enjoyed it! It discussed a lot of important and relevant issues from poverty to white privilege.

Rating: 4/5

2 Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill – I started off really enjoying it but then I got bored in the middle so I have mixed feelings about the book.

Rating: 3/5

3 The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco – I loved this book so much! The incredible world building to the wonderfully diverse and complex characters. I cannot wait for the second book! You can read my review here

Rating: 4.5/5

4 A History of Islam in 21 Women by Hossein Kamaly – Finally a book that has so many incredible Muslim women. I really enjoyed reading this book and I really recommend it especially if you’re not familiar with many Muslim women and their achievements. My full review will be up soon.

Rating: 4/5

5 Scars Like Wings by Erin Stewart – This book is so incredibly heartfelt and I really loved it. If you read Wonder and loved it then I highly recommend this one too. You can read my full review here

Rating: 4/5

6 The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh – WOW just wow. I loved this book so much! Renee’s writing is beautiful as always and this story is just incredible and you all need to go read it! You can read my full review here

Rating: 5/5

7 War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi – This book was really interesting especially as it was set in a black panther inspired future world. The main characters grow up in a Nigeria that is at civil war. It’s a period of history I knew very little about and it was a good read.

Rating: 3/5

8 Angel Mage by Garth Nix – This is the first Garth Nix I read and I really enjoyed it. The story was really interesting and there was a great group of characters and a ruthless villain. You can read my review here

Rating: 4/5

9 The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah – I loved this book so much! This is such a wonderful ownvoices book. I just loved the characters and the incredible world that London has created. My review will be up soon!

Rating: 5/5

10 All American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney – I stayed up until 5am reading this whole book in one night. It made me sob and laugh and made me angry and hopeful and I just loved this book so much! I really need you all to go read it! My review will be up soon!

Rating: 5/5

So these are books that I read this month. I really loved several books this month!

 

I also reviewed these books this month:

Boys Will Be Boys by Clementine Ford

Otherlife by Jason Segan and Kirsten Miller

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Highfire by Eoin Colfer

I also posted these on my blog this month:

5 Reasons Why You Should Read The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah

Fiction Books With Mental Health Rep

Lightbearers Book Tag

 

Book Tag, Muslim Shelf Space

All American Muslim Girl Book Tag

Hey booknerds, today I bring you a book tag that I created which is inspired by All American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney. This book is incredible and I highly recommend you all read it when it releases!

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Before we start the book tag here is the synopsis of All American Muslim Girl:

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?

The book tag has been created to incorporate different characters and themes from the book which I hope will intrigue you to read the book!

Please remember to link back to my original post and tag me on social media (IG: @thetsundokuchronicles and Twitter: @thetsundokuc)

Tag some people to do the tag and have fun!

So here is the book tag:

Allie is the MC in All American Muslim Girl and when we meet her she begins to go through a journey of self discovery and finding where she belongs.
1) Share a book where the character goes through a journey of self discovery or about belonging.

The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad has several characters who go through a journey of self discovery.

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Allie becomes friends with Dua when she meets her at a MSA fundraiser. Dua becomes a really great friend who is really supportive of Allie and her journey.
2) What books have great female friendships?

All the Things we Never Said by Yasmin Rahman has wonderful friendships. The three MCs become really great supportive friends.

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Allie likes Wells but she’s afraid of telling him she is Muslim but he is very open and understanding.
3) What book has a great supportive and understanding male MC?

Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali has a wonderful male MC! Adam is a cinnamon roll, he is kind and patient and really listens to Zaineb. His relationship with his sister is so beautiful.

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Allie joins a Quran class and meets a great group of Muslim girls.
4) What book has a great group of friends? #SquadGoals

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal! I love the Zumra! I would love to join them but I don’t know if I will survive their adventures.

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Jack Henderson makes a living from spreading hate and perpetuating stereotypes of Muslims.
5) What book deals with difficult issues? E.g. Islamophobia or racism

Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed deals with very relevant important issues in the world. How education for girls is important for all girls all over the world.

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Allie has a wonderful relationship with her parents.
6) What books have supportive parents?

Ayesha Dean by Melati Lum has a wonderful parent figure. Ayesha’s uncle and guardian is really supportive of everything Ayesha wants to do and they have a really great relationship.

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So that’s my answers! I hope you all enjoyed it! And I cannot wait to see all your answers!

Everyone is welcome to do the tag!