TITLE : Love From A to Z
AUTHOR : S.K.Ali
GENRE : Romance, Contemporary, YA
FBRC RATING : 5 stars
A marvel: something you find amazing. Even ordinary-amazing. Like potatoes—because they make French fries happen. Like the perfect fries Adam and his mom used to make together.
An oddity: whatever gives you pause. Like the fact that there are hateful people in the world. Like Zayneb’s teacher, who won’t stop reminding the class how “bad” Muslims are.
But Zayneb, the only Muslim in class, isn’t bad. She’s angry.
When she gets suspended for confronting her teacher, and he begins investigating her activist friends, Zayneb heads to her aunt’s house in Doha, Qatar, for an early start to spring break.
Fueled by the guilt of getting her friends in trouble, she resolves to try out a newer, “nicer” version of herself in a place where no one knows her.
Then her path crosses with Adam’s.
Since he got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November, Adam’s stopped going to classes, intent, instead, on perfecting the making of things. Intent on keeping the memory of his mom alive for his little sister.
Adam’s also intent on keeping his diagnosis a secret from his grieving father.
Alone, Adam and Zayneb are playing roles for others, keeping their real thoughts locked away in their journals.
Until a marvel and an oddity occurs…
Marvel: Adam and Zayneb meeting.
Oddity: Adam and Zayneb meeting.
FBRC REVIEW :
I have seen this book on a lot of Muslim Booktubers’ channels. I was really intrigued to see what all the hype was all about. I decided to check the book out and see the Muslim representation is in this book. I am so glad I read the book and I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it. The story was simple, realistic and at times dealing with heavy topics of death, illness and survival in a hateful environment.
Adam is a very calm and mature guy who gives a lot of importance to family and their happiness. He is very simple and calm. He likes to contemplate a lot and loves evaluating life and various scenarios. I loved his silent personality a lot. I loved how he was careful with his family and caring he was towards them. The way he tries shield his family form the diagnosis is very thoughtful.
Zayneb is exuberant, colorful and energetic. She is enthusiastic and opinionated. Zayneb believes in taking action rather than being a silent spectator when it comes to social issues. She is full of passion while she defends the Muslims and Islam. We see her anger and feel her anger as well. It is not something that we can escape in this book. Even though her reactions and responses towards hateful people often gets her in hot water, she is still very much an activist and leader that youngsters can look up to. Her life and the experiences she had to endure being in US is just sad and disturbing. I loved her and her way of thinking and I do believe she is justified in her anger and at times it is better to solve it without your anger guiding our actions.
I loved how the author incorporated the diary entries into the story and how it makes for an interesting and engaging read. The marvels and oddities and how serendipitous their moments were. The story had the cute factor upto high with a few serious topics in need of discussion as well. The perfect balance of it is what makes the story so relatable to a lot of youngsters who read this story. The Muslim representation was done authentically and I liked how the author maintains the Islamic rules and not watering it down for the acceptance of haters.
The writing is simple and very much engaging. I loved their interactions, the way hey seem to meet one another coincidentally was really beautiful. I loved the natural progression of their relationship. Yes, we do see Zayneb being initially drawn to him because of his looks and then later on his personality and him as a whole makes her fall in love with him. All the characters bring together the story well.
Love from A to Z makes for a good, fun and clean romance for YA and NA audience as well. It’s a perfect book to learn some new things about Muslims and Islam. It also provides some heavy topics that can be further discussed. If you love cute, clean romance that has some cultural and religious nuance to it then definitely check it out. Even if you are new and wants an easy and an amazing book, then this is definitely for you. I have given this book 5 stars and I highly recommend reading it.