I had read She Wore Red Trainers by Na’ima B Robert a few years ago but I decided to reread it as I absolutely love this story. I loved this book the second time round as I did the first time I read it! If you want a halal love story then this is the book for you!
This book centres around 18 year old Ali and Amirah. They are both coping with their life and family situations and it leads to them bumping into each other. The story then continues to show how they both develop feelings for each other but constantly try to keep everything halal.
This story gave me so many feels! I related to Amirah so much and the struggles she was going through in trying to battle out her feelings for Ali and wanting to pursue her goals in life. I loved how it showed that you can keep it halal but still choose who you want to marry.
It dealt with issues that many young Muslims face in today’s society. From learning to balance your faith and living in the west, to lowering your gaze to not being judgemental of other Muslims and so much more. A lot of misconceptions regarding women were also so wonderfully woven into the story. None of it feels like a lecture and only what’s relevant to the story is mentioned.
I also loved the friendships in this book! How both Ali and Amirah had great friends and the community supported each other. It was so nice to see that part of their everyday lives from the girls hanging out drinking milkshakes at the café to the boys riding their bikes together. And the girls helping to organise a girls only party including a fashion show and dinner and getting all dressed up. It was so nice that Na’ima included these things, parts of muslim youths lives that don’t normally get shown in any sort of media.
Another thing I loved was that both Ali and Amirah were unsure what they wanted to do in life after college, it was a journey of them discovering themselves and showed how life doesn’t always work out how we plan but that it can be great nonetheless.
The only thing I wish we got more of was the ending. It felt a bit rushed and everything happened suddenly. I wish we got to see more of how everything worked out for them.
For anyone wondering how Muslims can get married to someone without dating then this book explains it so well. It reminded me of when I got married and one the one side, my colleagues were shocked that I hadn’t dated my (now) husband before deciding to get married but people in the Muslim community made remarks about how “I wear a hijab” but I chose my own husband so how “practicing” could I be. That because we knew each other (we were in the same class at university) we must have dated. So reading this book was so great as it deals with all these assumptions within the Muslim community and helps non Muslims understand how we can marry someone without dating.
It was funny and adorable and it gave me butterflies while also dealing with a lot of very real issues. I would definitely recommend everyone to read this book.