YA Novels with Muslim Characters

Please note: I’m speaking from the view of mainstream publishers, as there have been Islamic companies who have attempted to provide representation.

I’ve been an avid reader and lover of Young Adult novels ever since I could ever remember. I still remember my 12-year-old self borrowing the Darren Shan vampire series one by one from my school library because my parents wouldn’t buy me the entire series. I remember the day my cousin bought me all the The Hunger Games novels, and finishing them all in the space of a couple of days. I’ve been watching the increasing attention placed on diversity in literature for YA in recent year and I love that it’s happening.

In YA novels, there are few Muslim characters. I started making this list for my cousin who wanted to read more YA novels with Muslim characters in them. So that’s why I decided to post the list here. This is by no means an exhaustive list but it gives an indication of the novels that exist with Muslim characters in the YA publishing sphere. I’ll be continuously updating it. Please drop a comment below if I’ve missed one out!

Any books labelled with *** means it features a muslim character within the novel but not as the main protagonist.

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Book Review: Waking Gods

Book Review: Waking Gods

After the events of Sleeping Giants, where a crew had located pieces of an unknown being which were scattered across the world and put them back together again. Now in the second book of the series, Neuvel takes the story and raises the stakes and gives us a terrifying insight at what an alien invasion might be like.

Set ten years after the first book, the US has formed a defense group in order study Themis, the giant robot that was found previously. We’re quickly brought up to speed about what the characters have been up to: Vincent and Kara are still piloting Themis. Rose is still trying to recollect herself after her memory loss. Everything is quiet until another one comes – much larger than Themis and possibly even more dangerous. Everyone must come back together in order to solve the mystery as to why.

The Themis Files is truly one of my favourite series. It’s just so much fun and has so many surprises.  So much happens in a short amount of times. And you’re led to believe that Themis is good but things have changed so much. The pacing is so fast but still leaves a readable plot. Things get violent but not in a gory descriptive way, it was very horrific to read half of the stuff that happens in here. It’s a very powerful follow up to Sleeping Giants.

For some reason with the first book, it took a while for the style of narration to grow on me. I wasn’t even sure if I had liked it back then but now it really appealed to me and I love this style. Something about it – the interviews, journals, and radio – really works for me now. Our mystery narrator was also a question mark for me in book one but all my questions about him were answered and we really do see a vulnerable side to this all-powerful narrator. There’s also a spark that came from reading Sleeping Giants that I felt like it was missing here but it’s still a worthy sequel.

Overall, an interesting sequel that carries over the stakes from the previous novel. And that epilogue was truly a shock. I thought this might be a duology since the story felt close to being finished but Nuevel drops a bomb off a cliffhanger. I truly cannot wait for the next installment.


GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY |

tw: major character deaths, sudden death (if you’ve read the book and feel like I’ve missed something out, please tell me!)

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Book Review: They Both Die At The End

Book Review: They Both Die At The End

Rating: ★★★★★

Just minutes after midnight, Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio receive their Death-Cast calls: they are going to die today. Despite being total strangers, they find themselves meeting each other and having one final adventure on their last day ever.

Can you believe he spoils the ending with the title and I still found myself a total wreck by the end? I have not read any single Adam Silvera book before reading this, but if they’re all as gut-wrenching and amazing as this: count me in.

The concept is so fantastic and Silvera has created such an inventive, alternate world.  It’s very character-driven as the book encompasses a whole day in the life of two teens as they go around whatever they want. Mateo’s introverted, while Rufus is more outgoing, but both use this day to truly be themselves without the fear of judgement because, hey, they’re dying today.

They visit their favourite food places, close friends and visiting Mateo’s dad in the hospital. It’s packed with moments of emotions and first experiences. The plot was very sweet and sentimental. They’re very empathetic characters which such different personalities but somehow connect and spend the day working together to have a fulfilling ‘Last Day’. At its core, it’s basically a message of carpe diem but it plays out in such an interesting way

One of my favourite parts was the inclusion of other character’s perspective. When I first saw it, I wasn’t too sure of it since most of the time, it never works. But here it did. In between the main story, we get a brief glimpse into the lives of many other characters. Even though they aren’t central to the main story, it shows how the actions of other people are connected to plot in some way.

To be honest, I don’t have many criticisms aside from the technicality of Death-cast and the one-day love story. I would ignore this if I was you guys, I’m just being technical. You’re called on your mobile that you’re doing to die that day but what if you don’t have a phone? Does some scary man knock on your door at midnight and be like ‘so ya, you’re gonna die today?’ Or maybe the universe is set up in a way that everyone has one but just doesn’t seem plausible. Also, I’m just very sceptical of one-day love stories, maybe it was all for plot’s sake, though, but I loved their story, nonetheless.

Overall, it’s easily one of my favourite books this year. It’s so great and I definitely need to bump Silvera’s books up my reading list. I would recommend this one to anyone!


GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY |

tw: death of LGBTQIA+ characters, anxiety, mentions of suicide (if you’ve read the book and feel like I’ve missed something out, please tell me!)

 

Blog Update: Currently reading + TBR | 18th October 2017

Blog Update: Currently reading + TBR | 18th October 2017

Let me start this post with I’m sorry for being so inconsistent the past few months. Result’s day and starting university really took a lot out of me, and I’m only now just starting to get into the rhythm of blogging again.  I’m currently now studying sociology at a local university. I’m currently three weeks into it, and I really enjoy it so far. The reading is a struggle to get through but it’s interesting. My enrollment was sort of messy.  It’s all done online, but I had issues with my account because the system mixed me up with my sister (sigh) and it took some time to get that fixed. I hadn’t been on the campus before the first day so I was rushing around, trying to find my place. (My university has multiple campuses around the city) And it took a good few days to wrap my head around my course and what I was trying to do.

My freshers’ week was quite straightforward, we went through multiple talks about the courses and the university system. I found a friend on the first day who I hadn’t spoken to in like three years, we weren’t very close back then but we quickly found a common interest (God bless k-pop for getting rid of awkward moments) And I’m SO grateful for the ISOC at the university because most of the friends I made in the first few weeks were from there.made in the first few weeks were from there.

Now that I’m settled in, I’m slowly coming back to this site which I’ve sorely neglected for months. And I thought I’d do a comeback post showing you my reading list and my TBR!

Currently reading 

28458598When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic.The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways

My thoughts so far: I’m really, really enjoying this so far. Rishi is definitely my favourite of the pair. I just find him and his side of the story more relatable. The plot is very different and I really enjoy the initial clash between the two and the adorable banter they develop over time.

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#ArcAugust Wrap Up

Okay, I’m going to need someone to remind me to never do two or more reading challenges at once because I have zero planning skills. I managed to read all my books within the month but it was a rush since I developed the biggest reading slump, then result’s day happened and I was working a lot as well. But here’s my wrap up of the books I read for ArcAugust and my thoughts on them!

ARCAUGUSTSQUARE

Mask of Shadows

A non-binary thief enters a royal competition to join an elite group of assassins to avenge their past. An interesting fantasy novel which I thoroughly enjoyed. While there were moments where it felt slow and Sal’s personality took a while to take a liking but nonetheless one of the better books I read for #ArcAugust! It’s quite like Throne of Glass in the way that I know I would find myself enjoying the sequel better because it’s getting to the part of the plot that interested me since both spend a lot of time with stuff like training and fighting.  3/5

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful

I.. actually don’t remember much about the main plot of this for some reason aside from some major plot points. But I do remember really enjoying the portrayal of friendship groups in this, it was quite intense but there were some really sweet moments. 2/5

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#TheReadingQuest TBR

If you haven’t yet heard, #TheReadingQuest is a video-game themed reading challenge hosted by Aentee @ Read at Midnight between August 13th and September 10th! I don’t want to repeat everything because the rules are quite long, so if you’re interested in participating make sure to check out the sign-up post for all the details.

The challenge is kind of like a bookish bingo where you aim to read as many books as possible that follow the prompts on the board. However, you to choose one of four characters whose path you must first complete before embarking on another journey. (another one of the characters, if you complete early!)

I’ve chosen to begin as the Rogue, with multiple side quests. I’ve opted to not do another character if I finish early because the likelihood of me finishing early is very slim. So if with some luck I do complete everything, I would continue to do more side quests.

All of the character art was created by the amazing CW @ Read, Think, Ponder, and the resources for creating your own can be found in the sign-up post.

TRQ_NAMECARD

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Book Review: The Upside of Unrequited

Book Review: The Upside of Unrequited

Rating: ★★★★☆

* I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  This in no way affected my opinion of the book.

Set in Washington, D.C., THE UPSIDE OF UNREQUITED follows the summer story of 17-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso, who has had 26 unrequited crushes (and counting!). Molly considers herself the opposite of her fraternal twin sister, Cassie. But things begin to change when Cassie gets a new girlfriend who comes with a new possible boyfriend for Molly. But Molly might have co-worker, Reid, in her mind instead.

I think if I had to sum up this one book in one word it would be cute. The Upside is the second book from Simon vs. author Becky Albertalli and it’s just as fun and adorable as its predecessor. If you loved the humor and pace of Simon vs., you’ll definitely get the same feeling from The Upside. Similar to Simon Vs., Becky’s writing is simple and easy, everything is kept light and hilarious.

Unrequited is about different relationships, while focused on romance, it also includes familial ones and Molly is, easily, a relatable lead. She’s super cute and witty, I found myself rooting her from the very beginning. Becky Albertalli knows how to write awkward moments and happy scenes that create true-to-life scenarios that make this cast of characters feel so real.

Speaking of the cast of characters, rarely do I read a book where I would happily read a novel of each separate characters. From Molly’s mothers, who are strict and loving while they might not get it all the time, they’re clearly caring parents who will do anything for their children to dorky Reid, short stories of just him working in his parents’ store would make me happy. Looking back at the story now, I’ve realised how much Becky has packed into this novel but it never once felt overwhelming. It all felt natural following Molly’s story, but also her sister’s and her friends and family.

I think what got me the most was the fat representation in this book. I loved it and I saw myself in it. While I didn’t personally relate 100% when Molly spoke about her crushes but when it came to her body image, I could relate so much.

Overall, The Upside of Unrequited is a fun and enjoyable read, dealing with multiple issues faced by teenagers and portrays them in such a positive way.


GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY |