review of anonymous book

on Book by Recently Discovered YA Author

To preface, this was review was written as I was midway through the book, and it is chock full of spoilers. I chose to make it anonymous (for now) because while the harsh realities of being published are facing criticism, I am reluctant to join a crowd of naysayers. She (probably) worked hard, and who am I to share an opinion that potentially degrades that? I aim to opine, and I don’t want it to bring her negative attention. 

This book… is a solid 0.7 out of 5 stars. The author is a good writer in terms of prose, but honestly, her plots do not reach my preferential standards of logic and reason.

Title is a book about being Muslim and being a brown girl and struggling to discover identity with strict parents. The thing is, from the eyes of a non-Muslim, the author completely and totally undermines herself.

To give perspective, it would be as if I, a Christian African American girl, were to write a book, tell my readers I love my identity and the book focuses on a character with similar values, and then go on to write a book about a voluntarily Christian African American girl deciding to date a dude and lie about it to her parents.

This book seriously struggles and another reviewer put it perfectly. The book puts blame on her parents much of the way. Tremendous blame, and like no hope. I do think they deserve a portion of the blame, but it feels hopeless, as if there’s a predetermined outcome, a rigidness in their mind that they are biologically stuck to. Is that what she’s trying expose? Or perhaps she’s trying to do a major turn around and show of forgiveness? Or is she simply trying to be realistic (and expose the flaws of certain brown parents)?  

Either way, it’s not working. 🫢 In the Author’s Note she basically writes, ‘I love being Muslim and I love being a brown girl,’ and then she goes onto to give this horrible example of a girl who ‘loves’ being Muslim but decides to break the religion’s rules? Again, as an outsider, this doesn’t make much sense.

Perhaps she’s trying to delve or implicitly point to religious culture problems in Islam that I simply can’t catch, but seeing as she knows that the majority of her readers will not be Muslim, I think this a major spot for improvement.

She better have the best ending ever or I read this book for a quick laugh. 

Secondly, this book is the cheesiest thing I’ve read in the past year, right up there next to Dash and Lily’s book of who cares. The author is literally hilarious. Like in some parts I’m wondering, did she write this as a joke?

Did she write this giggling, thinking of how her friends and colleagues would be bursting into laughter at how urkish it is?  Or did she get dared to make a book as cheesy as it could be? I really want to believe that she was. This could be both a compliment and a criticism. I’m sorry Ms. Writer, but I think you can do better.

The boy is like: ‘You are a spark. I want to watch you burn.’

What on earth? What kind of boy says that to anyone? And this is modern day, mind you, not a vampire romance in the 16th century. Is he insane? 

I was thinking, if any boy said that type of thing to me, I’d be like, “Back to the devil!” Ain’t  nobody watching me burn… 

Seriously, it’s insanely and humorously cheesy.  

Also, the girl is into poetry, and the boy is into astronomy. So, of course, we get this collision of huge moony metaphors and lovey-dovey eyes and whatnot. It’s very, very amusing. 

I have no hope for this book. And honestly I should have known from the blurb. Here I was, was desperate for some clean romance. 

Not that this is clean of writing crimes. 

There are some good lines, regardless, coming from any self-respecting author.

“If their love comes with terms and conditions, what’s the point?”

It’s the truth, although I don’t like who it’s coming from. In the story, her new boyfriend says this. Why couldn’t her cousin say this? Or someone who was Bangladeshi?

Why did it have to be outside her culture, outside her family? I don’t know, again this feels like it undermines the author’s point. But maybe it’s the truth? Do we need other cultures to shine a light on our weaknesses for us to improve? Must it come to that point? 

And am I misunderstanding her point? She doesn’t want to shine a light on the changing, naturally good beliefs about love in her culture, but instead show a point of improvement?

Also, the character’s anxiety is tremendous. She needs… Jesus. I feel like this will be offensive. Well… sorry if so, but I won’t exactly take it back 😔. 

Side Note:

I hate it when people say, “There’s my girl,” or, “That’s my girl”. Even well-meaning fathers. If I said, “there’s my boy,” What does it sound like?
A dog.
A dog for goodness’ sake.
End of Side Note.

On the other hand, the grandma is slaying this. Absolutely slaughtering my worries. She is the older, wiser figure we needed to slap some sense into the main character’s parents. 

In conclusion, I need to read a real nonfiction book where a brave girl is the center of the story, not the Romance. I’m referring to I Am Malala, which I recently received a copy of.

I want to read good stuff that helps me learn more about the world, but reading the not superbly spectacular material grows perspective as well.

What’s something you’ve read that’s made you think, “Oh, this was a mistake“? What do you do then, put it down and quit? Or power through and criticize?

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