I confess that the opening pages made me feel slightly alarmed, in this modern age of eating disorders and obsessions with body image, but as I read on I realised that the MC, Almira Abdul has a genuine weight problem and while not obsessed by it, would like to be as 'hot' as her fitness conscious mum.
It has an easy flowing voice that instantly draws the reader in and is replete with raging hormones, teen dramas & preoccupations. Almira Abdul, is a normal teen who is struggling to be socially accepted within the culture she now lives, while trying to embrace the culture into which she was born. Almira admits she has allowed certain aspects of her religion to lapse, but as a normal self absorbed teen she is focused on the desires and expectations shared by her peers inevitably immersed in American culture.
I enjoyed the journey and would thoroughly recommend the book. I was also left with the distinct impression that this young, Muslim teenager was beginning to mature into the religion and culture into which she was born, by the fact that she enjoyed visiting the Mosque with her family (something they had done rarely) and striving to achieve the Ramadan fast. So while her expectations and desires appeared superficially American, her grounding was in the culture into which she was born.
This novel also reminded me of the meaning of breakfast!
to our local library to encourage its greater exposure.
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