Salaam, With Love
I absolutely enjoyed reading this new release (read screening)
Ages: 15/16 and up
Available: my amazon page
Islamic Screening: Music/Instruments/singing is a huge part of this book (Nasheeds/desi songs/girls singing/singing career). One “damn”. Makeup used. Some touching between genders (nothing major) pretty clean in my opinion for the age group!
Dua is taken by her parents to NYC to spend Ramadan with the family of her Dad’s brother. Dua is resistant at first, but actually enjoys herself. She meets handsome Hassan, the brother of her cousins fiancee, makes friends, and enjoys listening to the Islamic band. But after Mahnoor’s broken engagement and an Islamaphobic attack on Adam, the family is left reeling. Read to find out how Duaa navigates it all…and still finds love (halal of course!)❤️
Dua seems to struggle with her Muslim identity at first and find Islam difficult…but by the end, she is a more confident and proud Muslim! I liked the way the book explored what its like to be a Muslim teen and deal with life and love!
I also really appreciated that ISLAM was CENTRAL to the book. I don’t think I have ever read a YA book that contains this much Islam in it and I FULLY APPRECIATED it and my heart was warmed! So many details about Ramadan, Laylatul Qadr, Salah, Wudu, details about Quran and the importance of reciting it, duaas and seeking Allah’s mercy, mentions of the life of Prophet Muhammad (a pbuh was mentioned EACH time), and constant dhikr of Allah!
I did feel like the book needed a little more editing, and there were inconsistencies in certain scenes, wudu seemed to imply mouth rinsing as a last step, but to be honest, the story was engaging and I found myself flipping quickly to finish it at the end and smiling/tearing up in certain parts. I enjoyed the main character’s voice and felt it authentic to an average Muslim teenager’s thoughts. I really connected with her clumsiness and her inner drive to be a better Muslim was INSPIRING to see! Although I would be warned- the music aspect is quite normalized.
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