I really did not expect to be so drawn into this book. I knew it was going to be good but I was really touched by Shirin’s story. She is a 16 year-old Muslim girl living in the US 1 year after 9/11. Let’s just say it wasn’t easy for her. It was just easier for her to get through her day to just shut down and not let people in. She tried to convince herself that she didn’t care that people called her names or insulted her or just plain treated her like a walking stereotype. She had seen the worst of humanity after the post 9/11 fear of all things Islam and her wearing a headscarf made her an easy target. She went through the motions at school and break-danced after school with her brother and that was it. That was until she met Ocean James, a boy who seemed interested in actual getting to know her. This terrifies her. She doesn’t know why a guy like him would be interested in a girl like her and knows that while he might be a nice boy the world is not. She tries to push him away to try to protect him but also to protect herself from the world of hurt. The worst thing is that when she finally let him in and things inevitably go bad, she questions whether she is worth all the drama and hatred that is brought his way. That was truly heartbreaking. Over the course of the book, Shirin starts to open up not just to Ocean but to everyone else too. Yes, people are horrible. Even more so when they are afraid but shutting everyone else only shuts you out of opportunities and experiences that you would have missed otherwise. It gives them power over you. I know easier said than done. Ocean is also a good example of well meaning White Allies who try hard but don’t really understand how white privilege works. Ocean, truly doesn’t care that Shirin is Muslim or that she wears a headscarf. If anything, he likes that she is different and unapologetic. Shirin spends most of the book trying to push Ocean away because she knows what a shitstorm it’s going to be when their relationship goes public. He doesn’t believe her and tries to convince her it’s going to be okay. Well, sadly she is right and when racism against her threatens him and his place in school, it’s Shirin who has to make the decision to stay or go. The problem that many of us White allies is that we think we know what’s the best thing to do but fail to listen when our brothers and sisters of colors speak about what they really need from us. Ocean, while in love and well intention thought she was overacting, that he understood his classmates better. What he failed to realize was that he lived a privilege life and people will always accept him no matter what because of who he is. His life may not be perfect but it will always be easier then those in the marginalized communities. It’s a lesson we all need to learn. This is just a beautifully written book and I hope that it’s added to school curriculum for years to come because it has so much to give.
This is apart of our Diverse Narrators challenge. A Muslim girl trying to navigate the world 1 year after 9/11
Summer is over and now it’s to look forward to some fall reading. So get your pumpkin spice latte ready as here are some of the books I can’t wait to read this fall.
- The Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor (October 2)-The sequel to Strange the Dreamer and left off one big cliffhanger.
- Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa (October 2)-Shapeshifters, samurais and Japanese mythology. Yes please.
- A Very Large Expense of the Sea by Tahereh Mafi (October 16) In our attempt to read more diverse voices. Tahereh Mafi releases probably her most personal story yet. Shirin is a muslim girl starting a new school a year after 9/11.
- Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas (October 23)- The last book in the epic Thorne of Glass series. Who will prevail and who will die?
- Archenemies by Marissa Meyer (November 6)-The second book in the Renegades trilogy. The ending of Renegades really changes the dynamics of this one.
- The Storyteller by Traci Chee (November 13)- The final book in the Sea of Gold and Ink trilogy. Is the future already written for Sefia and Archer?
- The Reckoning of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin (November 13)-Noah Shaw has done some bad things and so has her girlfriend Mara Dyer. The consequences might be finally catching up to them.
What are you looking forward to reading this fall?
It’s been a couple of years ago that Tahereh Mafi completed her Shatter Me trilogy but I guess she wasn’t finished with it because here we are with book 4. I feel like I should went back and read the original series because there were so many things I forgot about. The one thing I didn’t forget about is how the Mafi’s writing style changed as Juliette’s mind because more stable. As she becomes less isolated and understands her power the writing style because more fluid and less choppy. In this one, as things start to unravel for Juliette and Warner we start to see a return to the choppy phrasing from earlier books. I knew as soon as Juliette’s journal appear that things are not going to end well. Not to get too far ahead, let’s start at the beginning. Restore Me begins a little more than two weeks after the end of the last novel. Juliette has taken over as Supreme Commander of North American and soon discovers she is way over her head. Not only does she know very little about politics but the people she trust have been keeping things from her. Things start to spiral out of control when the kids of the other Supreme Commanders start showing up. Juliette learns that as much as she wants to run from her past she can’t because in truth she doesn’t even know her past and what she doesn’t know just might get everyone killed. I really enjoyed this and I’m glad Tahereh returned this world because clearly there is a lot to explore in Juliette’s story.
There are lots of good books coming out. March is going to be crazy with new releases!!
- Purple Hearts by Michael Grant (January 30)-The final book in the Soldier Girls Trilogy. Will Frangie, Rio and Rainey survive the end of the war? Who has the narrator been this whole time?
- Immortal Reign by Morgan Rhodes (February 6)-Another series ender. The Falling Kingdom Series has had so many twists and turns that it’s hard to predict how this one will end and who will live? The body count this high, it’s amazing we have so many still alive.
- Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (March 6)-So excited for this one. The buzz around this one has been incredible.
- Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi (March 6)-Now that Juliette is the leader and with that can only come new challenges.
- Tiger’s Dream by Collen Houck (March 20)-The long awaited final book in the Tiger’s Saga. It’s been four years since we last we heard from Kelsey and her tigers. One was left behind in the past but it’s not like thousands years apart can keep them away from each other long.
- I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman (March 27)-One of the best contemporary writers out there. She’s not afraid to tackle tough issues and this doesn’t look to be anything different.
- Aru Shah and the End of Times by Roshani Chokshi (March 27)-First book to be released from Rick Riordan Presents. It’s funny how many books I’ve read about Hindu mythology and this will be the first actually written by a Desi author.
And I’ve already looked at April’s release schedule. I won’t be going out much until July at this point. haha
What books can you not wait to read in 2018? I have lots of course but here are 10 that I really Really can’t wait to read next year.
- War Storm by Victoria Aveyard. (May 15, 2018) The final book in her Red Queen Series. Will Mare and the Scarlet Guard be able take down the Silvers. Will Maven get overthrown? Will Cal stop being a dumbass?
- Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. (March 6, 2018) This sounds so amazing! I can’t wait to read it. Zelie comes from a long line of maji but the new crown prince wants to banish magic from the kingdom. Zelie has one chance to save magic and her people.
- Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi (March 6, 2018) It’s been 4 years since the end of the Shatter Me trilogy ended or so we thought. Restore Me is going to pick up at the end of Ignite Me. Juliette is the Supreme Commander and Warner is on her side but now that she has the world at her finger tips, what’s next?
- Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir. (May 22, 2018) It’s been two years since A Torch Against the Night came out and I’ve been eagerly waiting this one. Laia, Elias and Helene are all in perilously situation. I MUST KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!
- Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson. (January 16, 2018) I’ll admit I was hoping it would be the next book in the Shades of London series but I’m just so glad that Maureen has a book coming out. I do love a good mystery and good ghost story too.
- The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. (January 2, 2018) So happy that Holly is back with a new series about fairies because no one does fairies like Holly Black.
- A Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro. (March 6, 2018) The final book in the Charlotte Holmes trilogy can’t come soon enough. In true Holmes form, Charlotte has really sabotage herself and Watson can’t forgive her. They try to move on with their lives but someone wants them back together and well I want them back together too.
- Dread Nation by Justine Ireland. (April 3, 2018) The American Civil War is interrupted when the Dead of the battlefields come back to life. Jane is in combat school to learn how to take down the dead and with this comes opportunity but Jane wants more. Soon she is wrapped up in a conspiracies and plots that the dead are the least of her worries.
- Untitled Sequel to Renegades by Marissa Meyer. (November 6, 2018) Renegades was such a great book and can’t wait to read what’s next. Nova has successfully infiltrated the Renegades and her old friends are no longer around to blow her cover. Will she betray her new friends or cement herself as a villain.
- The Fates Divide by Veronica Roth. (April 10, 2018) Carve the Mark may have been problematic but it was still good. I’m curious how things will turn out for Cyra and Akos. Will they be able to escape their destinies or are they running right into them?
- The Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor. (No set date) I’m not sure this is coming out in 2018 but I really hope so. Strange the Dreamer was so beautiful I can’t wait to find out what happens next, especially after what happened at the end.
- Throne of Glass #7 by Sarah J. Maas. (September 4, 2018) The final book in the Throne of Glass series and it’s been quite a ride for Aelin and friends. Who knows how it will all end. Well I guess Sarah J. Maas does but for everyone else it’s anyone’s guess.
- Untitled (WarCross #2) by Marie Lu. (No set date) Another one I’m not sure if it’s coming out in 2018 but I’m pretty sure. I was riveted by the first book and I’m looking forward to meeting the “hacker” and all the potential he is inevitably going to cause.
- Heart of Venom by Sherrilyn Kenyon. (2018) It also doesn’t have a set date besides 2018. It’s either the first in the Shadows of Fire series or #9 in the Chronicles of Nick series. However you want to look at it, it’s a switch in tone and focus for Kenyon’s Dark-Hunters. With a duel narrators of the Cyprian Malachai (Nick’s Son) and the Ambrose Malachai (Nick Himself) we find out if Nick truly does embrace his destiny or if the sacrifices he made at the end of Intensity was enough to forge his own path.
- Immortal Reign by Morgan Rhodes. (February 6, 2018) The final book in the closest YA book to Game of Thrones with it’s epic scope, world building and body count was originally scheduled to come out this month but was pushed back. I’m sure the extra two months will be worth the wait.
- Aru Shah and the End of Times by Roshani Chokshi. (April 3, 2018) The first book to be published under Rick Riordan’s new imprint highlighting stories from authors and characters from around the world. Aru Shah takes on Hindu legends to save her mother and classmates.
- Untitled by Maureen Johnson. (No set date) The Shadow Cabinet, the last book released in the Shades of London series had me on the edge of my feet and it’s been so long since it came out. I’m not sure that the next book is coming out in 2018 but Maureen has mentioned on twitter that she has two books coming out in 2018 so it’s a safe bet. *crosses fingers*
- Untitled by Kendare Blake. (September 4, 2018) I didn’t know that the Three Dark Crowns was originally planned to be a duology. I’m glad that Kendare Blake and her publisher decided to extend it because there are so many things about this world and these character left to be explored.
- Untitled by Traci Chee (2018) The final book in the Sea of Ink and Gold Series. Sefia and Archer continue to fight what is written and defeat their destiny while also staying ahead of their enemies.
- The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green (May 1, 2018) I’m interested in this one since this in the first book that Sally Green has published since she ended her Half Bad trilogy two years ago. Half Lost left me broken and in tears. I’m not sure if I’m ready for that again but I can’t wait to see what Sally does next.