To read the official synopsis, click here.
Maya just wants to make movies. This isn’t some phase or hobby, like her parents say, but something she is truly passionate about. She was accepted into NYU but now she doesn’t know how to tell her parents. She can’t go on trying to be their perfect Muslim daughter. But when there is a terrorist attack and the terrorist has the same last name, all anyone could see is a Muslim girl.
Oh I was so hyped up and excited for this book. This is a coming of age #ownvoice book with a Muslim protagonist, I was sold. This book however ended up disappointing me.
For the most part I thought this was an entertaining coming of age story. There was a strong family dynamic, there were growing pains, and it had a pretty cute fluffy romance.
Maya was smart, a bit of an overthinking but overall believable young girl.
Where this book disappointed me was the Muslim representation. Now, I am not Muslim, I was raised Catholic, but when a book is marketed as Muslim girl’s coming of age story, I expect the religion to play some aspect into it.
I felt that this book talked more about the culture rather than anything else. There was wonderful description of the food, the music and how different it was for the parents but that was about it. Maya didn’t really seem to struggle with her faith. She was shocked to see her date drink wine but she doesn’t really elaborate why. Her crush is a white American boy but she is only concerned with how her parents will react nothing else.
To me this felt like an Indian-American girl’s coming of age story . . . oh who happens to be Muslim. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that narrative, I am happy to see more women of color on book covers.
But when you say this is a Muslim, or a Indian-American, or a Latin, or a Black story there is an expectation that whatever the identifier is will be at the forefront of the book.
I did enjoy the story, I just think it could have been marketed a little better.
I gave this book a C.
I devour worlds with each new book. I am making up for lost time as a late bloomer of the reading world.