Hello everyone! Today I’m bringing you a review for a fascinating, sweet book about being stuck between two identities and learning how to embrace your heritage.
Title: All-American Muslim Girl
Author: Nadine Jolie Courtney
Genre: YA Contemporary
Content Warnings: Islamophobia, racism, character death
Unspoilery Blurb (partly from Goodreads)
Allie has everything going for her. She is smart, popular enough, and knows how to fit in at any new school she enters. This small town is the same; however, as Allie begins to witness ever-increasing Islamophobia, she decides to embrace her Islamic heritage and her faith– studying it, practicing it, and facing hatred and misunderstanding for it?
Who is Allie, if she sheds the façade of the “perfect” All-American girl? What does it mean to be a “Good Muslim?” And can a Muslim girl in America ever truly fit in? All- American Muslim Girl is a relevant, relatable story of being caught between two worlds, and the struggles and hard-won joys of finding your place.
This was an interesting book that really explored Muslim faith in a powerful way. It is important to acknowledge that this book was written by an OwnVoices author about her experiences as a white- passing Muslim. This journey of faith will look different than other Muslim individuals, and this story cannot be used as sole expert of this subject. That being said, this is a valuable perspective of Islamic faith and history, and I believe that there are many lessons that can be gained through reading this book.
Allie was a wonderful main character full of spunk, questions, and kindness. I loved going on her journey of exploring her faith with her, and I feel like she really grew during the story. Allie faced immense struggles as she embraced her heritage because it made her stand out at school. This was hard to see, but it was also an important account about how challenging it can be to fit in when people hold your religion against your character. The book questions these type of problems, and Allie does an amazing job of standing up for herself and what she believes in.
Overall, I thought this was a wonderful book about a person’s account of their Muslim faith. This book could be problematic if it was used to explain the religion as a whole, but it does tell a beautiful, personal history of Islamic heritage and religion. I believe everyone should read this book and others like because it shows religion, common circumstances, family history, and Islam is a valuable light.
There is so much to unpack in this book, but I’m going to try to keep this short.
First, I loved learning about Muslim faith and the history of her people. I never knew about Circassian people, and I found all that information fascinating. I loved Allie learning and questioning all this information, and I am so proud of her for learning to speak a new language and connect to her family.
I loved Allie’s family! Her parents and her had such a sweet relationship, and I felt so bad that she was keeping things from her dad during the whole book. On the other hand, I loved how supportive her mom was on everything! I’m glad that her parents came around and are supporting Allie more. Their relationship is incredibly important, and I’m glad it is okay! Allie’s extended family was also amazing! I loved reading about them and their lives around the world. They are so close and kind, and it was fascinating to see all the different walks of life.
Allie’s Muslim friends and study group were so nice! I loved them all, and I’m so glad that she found this group of people who share her passion. They all had such interesting opinions, and I feel like this helped show the variety of beliefs that exist within a religion- which can be important for understanding and tolerance.
Allie and Wells were sweet. I feel like their relationship was a little under-developed, and I wish that Wells had more character development, but I did enjoy their relationship. I feel like Wells is super supportive of Allie even though his dad is a huge, racist jerk and I hated him every time we saw him! Seeing them work through dating while Allie discovered more about her religion was fascinating, and I am proud of them for facing challenges. I’m not sure where their relationship will go, but I do feel like it helps Allie where she’s at now. Side note- for how much I hated Wells’s dad, I did enjoy his mom and her quiet rebellions.
All in all, I enjoyed reading this book and I hope you all do too!
Have you read this book? What did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Be safe, stay strong, and Change the World!!! ❤️🏳️🌈✊🏿✊🏾✊🏽✊🏼✊🏻🏳️🌈❤️
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