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Released: February 8 2022
Genre: Young Adult
“Timely and emotional, this book felt incredibly real.”~ Under the Covers
When a terrorist attack rocks the nation’s capital, three teens from across the country find an unlikely friendship over a shared background. Sabriya, the perfectionist ballerina, journals to process her emotions. Zakat, the protective artist, loves the solace she finds from her girls school. Farah, the outspoken coder, is trying to navigate a new relationship with her absent father. Shaken by the Islamophobia spreading after the attack, the girls join forces to create an online blog and safe space for fellow teens that are struggling to process the injustices of the country.
You Truly Assumed is a must read book, especially for today’s teens. It takes important themes, such as racism, and Islamophobia, and shows first-hand how difficult it is for people to find a sense of belonging in a world filled with hate and prejudice. Timely and emotional, this book felt incredibly real.
I loved the three POV’s. Sabriya, Zakat, and Farah all have very distinct personalities and voices. They are vulnerable when delving into the pressures they face from their family with school and responsibilities. Through their instant friendship, they share a common ground that allows them to grow as people throughout. I loved that the blog’s personal and raw entries were included, which added depth to the story.
The characters were likable, relatable and didn’t hold back on emotion. Sabriya was definitely my favorite character. I loved the romance element to her character arc. But what I loved most was the way she articulated what it means to grow up as a Black Muslim woman. Forced to compartmentalize pieces of herself, she eventually finds her path and her voice.
Zakat’s arc was different, because it was mainly set at Lullwood, her Islamic girls school. Serving as a safe haven from the injustices of the country, Zakat is incredibly protective of this space and I loved seeing how the Muslim community was progressive because of the teens that live there.
Farah was such a firecracker of energy and incredibly passionate about righting wrongs. Seeing her figure out how her absentee father, plus his new family, fits into her life added a fish out of water element that truly shook Farah to her core.
While I loved the themes discussed and how they were portrayed through the three main characters, as an adult reader, I wanted more emotion and depth in the character arcs. However, I think the book will be perfect for the intended YA audience. The first half was a little slow building the three separate worlds. But as soon as the characters’ lives collide in friendship and a common goal, the pace picked up dramatically and I couldn’t put it down.
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