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This is my truth

Trigger warning: Domestic Abuse ⁠

Genre: YA fiction⁠

Ages: I would say 16/17 and up⁠

Available: Amazon⁠

Screening: cussing, F word, mentions of male anatomy. intimate relationships mentioned. LGBTQ side character. ⁠

Amani is a British Muslim girl born to Bengali parents and is getting ready for her GCSE, tests in high school to determine which career path she will take. The problem is, she would much rather pursue film-making than be a Vet like her father expects.She also faces bullying at school, witnesses domestic abuse at home, and helps her friend grapple with being a foster child. ⁠

Huda, on a visit to Amani’s house, finds out that Amani’s dad beats her mom, and is asked to keep it a secret, for fear of social services splitting their family. Huda, who has struggles of her own trying to fit in with her foster family, promises to keep quiet…but suddenly publicizes the information on an anonymous public “burn” blog. ⁠

After that, things start to spiral…and one evening Amani’s dad turns his abuse towards her. This seems to snap the mom into action and she calls the police. The book ends a hopeful note for the future.⁠

This book made me ponder a lot and cry. It is very well-written, and vividly paints the life of Amani to the reader. It is an eye-opener on domestic violence and how it can affect young children in the home. It brings awareness to how abusers work. I think it is very important for young people to read these types of books to understand that domestic abuse is wrong- both doing it, and living with it!⁠

I did feel like the book implied that it was the “conservativeness” of the Bengali dad that made him beat his wife and that the “liberal” foster parents were normal. Huda and Amani both wear hijab, and she prays, so she doesn’t step away from Islam, but Amani points out to Huda that Bengali culture is steeped with “aunties” that enable abusers.⁠

I def think its important to discuss how there are issues in our culture and we need to step away from them and recognize how toxic “auntie gossip” is, but I would have liked a little emphasis on the fact that Islam itself is not repressive.⁠

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