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Aminah Mae Safi

Book - 2018

A Muslim-American teen goes into denial mode about her role in an out-of-control party that occured during Ramadan, a situation that escalates until she incurs damage that is harder to repair, forcing her to come to terms with her true self. --Publisher

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YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Safi Aminah
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Subjects
Genres
Bildungsromans
Published
New York : Feiwel & Friends 2018.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
331 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN
9781250151810
1250151813
Main Author
Aminah Mae Safi (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Safi's debut novel features realistically messy friendships, strength, and vulnerability in a story about, above all, finding oneself and one's true community. Despite the slow start and lengthy cast of characters, Safi weaves a tapestry of beautiful prose around her main character, Houston high-school student Lulu Saad, who is movingly tough yet vulnerable in a world of culture clash and racism. Lulu and her friends get up to the usual high jinks at their school, and, for the most part, it's not a problem. But then their names and reputations get dragged through the mud during Ramadan, and Lulu refuses to take things lying down. Many teens, but especially those who grew up in a Muslim household, will be able to see aspects of themselves in Lulu and her interactions with her friends and family. Lulu's snappy repartee and the sense of community threaded throughout ring particularly true. Teens of all stripes are likely to relate to this angst-filled coming-of-age story starring an appealingly realistic protagonist. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In this YA debut, Safi explores the internal struggle of having to "talk to more than one world, simultaneously." Lulu considers herself both American and Arab (her father is a Muslim immigrant, her mother from Louisiana), but to many of her classmates, she's only Arab (and therefore a terrorist). Meanwhile, she fails to meet her Muslim family's cultural standards. Lulu is a girl who defies stereotypes: a Muslim who celebrates Ramadan, drinks, smokes, and loves to hook up with boys. Safi's prose style has a lively staccato rhythm that captures Lulu's spirited nature, which can easily slip into impetuousness. In addition to Safi's focus on multicultural identity, her story provides a candid perspective on female friendships that are full of conflict, love, and angst. Through her character of contradictions, Safi offers a refreshing perspective on conformity and the path to self-actualization. Ages 13–18. Agent: Lauren MacLeod, Strothman Agency.(June) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 9 Up—Lulu Saad is ready to tackle junior year with her three best friends by her side. They'll continue to attend house parties where she'll make out with cute guys. But after one hookup goes sour, her friendships start to tear apart. To make matters worse, she's on thin ice with her mom. Lulu struggles to put back the pieces of her life and find herself in the process. This character-driven, coming-of-age novel explores relationships and identity in many forms. A burgeoning romance facilitates an honest look at consent and being responsibly sexually active. However, the romance takes a backseat to the female friendships, which are the driving force of this story. These authentic teen girls are smart, complicated, sexual, and sensitive. Their friendships can be mean and messy, but they are also fiercely loyal. This rich story also explores biracial and mixed culture identity (Lulu has a white mom and an Arab dad) in all its joys and struggles. The plot sometimes suffers from uneven pacing, but the witty writing and strong voice more than make up for it. VERDICT This debut is a worthwhile purchase for all teen collections and will appeal to those who appreciate realistic slice-of-life novels.—Jenna Friebel, Oak Park Public Library, IL Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A Muslim-American teen goes into denial mode about her role in an out-of-control party that occured during Ramadan, a situation that escalates until she incurs damage that is harder to repair, forcing her to come to terms with her true self. Simultaneous eBook.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Lulu goes into denial mode about her role in an out-of-control party during Ramadan, except this time she's done more damage than she realizes, forcing her to repair friendships and family alliances, while coming to terms with her true self.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A Muslim-American teen goes into denial mode about her role in an out-of-control party that occurred during Ramadan, a situation that escalates until she incurs damage that is harder to repair, forcing her to come to terms with her true self. --Publisher.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Lulu Saad doesn't need your advice, thank you very much. She's got her three best friends and nothing can stop her from conquering the known world. Sure, for half a minute she thought she’d nearly drowned a cute guy at a party, but he was totally faking it. And fine, yes, she caused a scene during Ramadan. It's all under control. Ish.Except maybe this time she’s done a little more damage than she realizes. And if Lulu can't find her way out of this mess soon, she'll have to do more than repair friendships, family alliances, and wet clothing. She'll have to go looking for herself.Debut author Aminah Mae Safi's honest and smart novel is about how easy it can be to hurt those around you even if —especially if—you love them.