**3.5-stars rounded up**
Allie Abraham is a regular girl. Living in the South with her close-knit family, she excels in school and participates in the general activities that most kids her age take part in.
The thing is, Allie is keeping a secret from the outside world. Her family is Muslim and she’s not sharing that fact with anyone.
This book opens up with a blatant display of discrimination against her father and it really never lets up from there.
Although this story may make some people uncomfortable, I think it is an important story and a powerful examination of identity and societal prejudices.
While it is true that this is a story that needs to be written, and more importantly read, it wasn’t necessarily what I was expecting which decreased my enjoyment level just a smidge.
I was sold on this book as a sweet romance between a Muslim girl and a boy whose father is one of America’s most notorious shock jocks. It is true that this exists in this story, however, I wanted more of Allie and Wells.
For me, the focus of the book was obviously Allie’s own exploration of her identity and owning and embracing her faith. A lot of the time we follow her with a new group of friends she discovers over the course of the book and their discussions of Islam as it relates to their lives and the larger world around them.
I did appreciate those discussions but as mentioned earlier, I picked this up with romance in mind and really wanted more of that.
As a Contemporary exploring self-identity and the Muslim faith in general, this was really well done. Courtney has a smooth and easy writing style and I would definitely pick up more books from her.
Thank you so much to the publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I truly appreciate the opportunity and am so happy this book is out in the world!