Written with humor, honesty, and warmth, this novel tells the story of Maya, an Indian Muslim who feels torn between her parents' traditional world and the world of American teens. She also has to confront unjust blame and contend with the fear and hatred of her community. This is a relevant and vibrant tale. Recommended By Richard C., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
In this unforgettable debut, a Muslim teen copes with Islamophobia, cultural divides among peers and parents, and a reality she can neither explain nor escape.
American-born seventeen-year-old Maya Aziz is torn between worlds. There's the proper one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter: attending a college close to their suburban Chicago home, and being paired off with an older Muslim boy who's "suitable" to her mother. And then there is the world of her dreams: going to film school and living in New York City--and maybe, just maybe, pursuing a boy she's known from afar her entire life who's suddenly falling into her orbit at school.
But unbeknownst to Maya, there is a looming danger beyond her control. When a terrorist attack occurs in another Midwestern city, the prime suspect happens to share her last name. In an instant Maya's life changes forever--and her community, consumed by fear and hatred, becomes recognizable.
“This smart, heartbreaking, honest debut novel is as timely as it is hopeful. Ahmed tackles weighty issues with thoughtfulness and flair. I was completely swept away.” Sandhya Menon, New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi
“Ahmed authentically and expertly tells a story relevant to today’s climate. More than that, it’s a meaningful #OwnVoices book about identity and inner strength that everyone should absolutely read.” Buzzfeed
“A deeply moving YA debut.” Elite Daily
"Alternately entertaining and thoughtful, the novel is eminently readable intelligent and timely." Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Samira Ahmed was born in Bombay, India, and grew up in a small town in Illinois in a house that smelled like fried onions, cardamom, and potpourri. A graduate of the University of Chicago, she taught high school English, helped create dozens of small high schools, and fought to secure billions of additional dollars to fairly fund public schools. She's lived in Vermont, Chicago, New York City, and Kauai, where she spent a year searching for the perfect mango.