She wasn’t like a steady heartbeat. She had a heart that moved and rose and fell as things affected her.
A marvel: something you find amazing. Even ordinary-amazing. Like potatoes—because they make French fries happen. Like the perfect fries Adam and his mom used to make together. An oddity: whatever gives you pause. Like the fact that there are hateful people in the world. Like Zayneb’s teacher, who won’t stop reminding the class how “bad” Muslims are.
But Zayneb, the only Muslim in class, isn’t bad. She’s angry.
When she gets suspended for confronting her teacher, and he begins investigating her activist friends, Zayneb heads to her aunt’s house in Doha, Qatar, for an early start to spring break.
Fueled by the guilt of getting her friends in trouble, she resolves to try out a newer, “nicer” version of herself in a place where no one knows her.
Then her path crosses with Adam’s. Since he got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November, Adam’s stopped going to classes, intent, instead, on perfecting the making of things. Intent on keeping the memory of his mom alive for his little sister. Adam’s also intent on keeping his diagnosis a secret from his grieving father.Alone, Adam and Zayneb are playing roles for others, keeping their real thoughts locked away in their journals.
Until a marvel and an oddity occurs…
Marvel: Adam and Zayneb meeting.
Oddity: Adam and Zayneb meeting.
About the book:
Title: Love from A to Z
Author: S.K. Ali
Pages: 384 (Kindle)
Published: April 30th 2019 by Salaam Reads
This book is a ‘Marvel’.
I had not expected this book to be this good, this powerful, and this important. I’d picked it up because it had promised a cute love story of two Muslim teenagers. But this book is much more than that! I totally fell in love with it.
It talks about Islamophobia, racism, prejudice and ignorance. So, it naturally made me realize things in a big way. I live in a country where more than 172 million people follow Islam, and I have Muslim friends, and I know that they’re misunderstood, not understood at all, and a lot of them even become the victims of prejudice and discrimination for just being. I know that despite the huge number of Muslims in my country, despite teaching us all to live in harmony and peace, some people—even the most important people—spread this hatred. The worst part is everybody knows this, and they even shake their heads to show their disapproval but they are afraid to stand up. And this fear angers me. But what angers me the most is the fact that I am one of those who are afraid to stand up and “shake” the world.
And that is why I loved our main character, Zayneb. I guess she is my favorite female book character ever. She is outspoken, confident and unapologetic. I loved the way she stood up for herself and her community in the face of hatred. I love reading about young women with integrity, women who speak out and who live their lives on their own terms. I just loved her.
I loved Adam, too. He has everything that a person needs to have— love, emotional availability, kindness and maturity. I think he is my first ever book love. I just ADORED him and I can shamelessly shout it from the rooftops.
This book was cute. I knew that I’d love it even before I had started reading it. I know that it’s wrong (or weird) to say this, but totally loved the cover and I had picked it up because of the cute cover. I have a thing for blues, I guess. <winks>
The story was sweet and powerful and important. I loved the concept of the Marvels and Oddities journal, so much so that I’m gonna start it myself. Also, I was laughing and crying and cringing and even sobbing… throughout the book. Some parts of this book angered me and some gave me so much pain. And that’s why I loved every freaking thing in this book. And gosh… the ending was so amazing. So great. So wonderful.
My Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
All in all, I just loved this book! It is so wonderful and cute and brave and I guess it is one of the best reads of this year. I recommend this book to everyone who likes reading YA. And I’m sure everyone would love it!