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Queen of the Tiles

Wow!! With my recent obsession with wordle, this book came at a perfect time, and I was absolutely in love with all the Scrabble word play in it!!

Genre: YA novel

Ages: 15 and up

Available: Amazon (preorder before April 19!)

Screening: music, crushes, mentions of a kiss, mentions of dating, a male appendage referenced but not crudely. Murder alluded to.

(I found it clean/appropriate for older teens)

Young teenage girl Trina falls over dead in the middle of a Scrabble game. Her best friend Najwa spends the next year in a haze, deciding at the one year anniversary to go back to compete in Scrabble as a dedication to the Queen of the Tiles (Trina). But weird things start happening…Trina’s IG starts posting, clues start popping up, and it seems like Trina may have been murdered. Najwa teams up with Mark, Tina’s ex-boyfriend to figure out who-dunn-it! And in true murder mystery novel fashion, the book sweeps the reader away in an engaging and suspenseful mystery with a surprise twist ending!

One of the reasons I love this book is the wordplay!!!!! I think anyone who loved reading and writing is obsessed with words, and the book was full of Scrabble references, interesting letter combos, words, and definitions. I am totally smarter for having read it lol😅

I enjoyed how the book is set in Malaysia, contains Malay words, and is a beautiful story with Muslim characters without any sort of faith crisis, and truly shows Muslims (and non-muslims in the story) as all equal members of a society just living normal lives.

Islam was mentioned, a sheikh reads Quran on audio, hijab is worn by Najwa and others, subuh/fajr prayer is mentioned as needing to be made up, Najwa’s Muslimness makes her sit further from guys (something she calls a halal distance) and Najwa doesn’t date although she does get a male hug in the end.

The other members of the friend group were very well fleshed out and I liked the diversity. Muslims and Non-Muslims were not a monolith- they were just teens trying to figure their lives out.

I supremely enjoyed this #arc and went ahead and preordered a hard copy (the gorgeous cover 🥰) ! Another wonderful read by @hanna.alkaf ❤️

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