I am thunder

Muḥammad Khān

Book - 2018

Fifteen-year-old Muzna Saleem is passionate about writing and dreams of becoming a novelist. There's just one problem - her super-controlling parents have already planned her life out for her: Step 1) Get educated Step 2) Qualify as a doctor Step 3) Marry a cousin from Pakistan. Oh, and boyfriends are totally haram. No one is more surprised than humble Muzna when high school hottie, Arif Malik, takes an interest in her. But Arif and his brother are angry at the West for demonizing Islam and hiding a terrible secret. As Arif begins to lead Muzna down a dark path, she faces a terrible choice: keep quiet and betray her beliefs, or speak up and betray her heart?

Saved in:

Young Adult Area Show me where

1 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
Young Adult Area YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Khan, Muhammad Checked In
Political fiction
London : Macmillan Children's Books 2018.
Main Author
Muḥammad Khān (author)
Physical Description
306 pages ; 20 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Muzna Saleem can't seem to be a good Pakistani daughter and a normal teenager simultaneously, especially when racism is rampant. So when her strict parents make an abrupt move to South London after a scandal involving her best friend, she sees an opportunity to start fresh at her new school. But with acts of terrorism on the rise in the UK, there's no hiding. Then sought-after Arif shows interest in Muzna, opening her eyes both to how her faith can set her free and how extremism can take it away with muddled words. Khan's curiosity to understand what leads some on a path to extremism has left few stones unturned in this UK import. The slow build of Muzna's radicalization and the devastating brainwashing of Arif by his brother Jameel is horrifyingly conceivable, but it's all balanced by Muzna's progression as a timid girl whose mind is easily swayed to a confident one with a voice that matters. A brief differentiation between cultural traditions and religion is notable, but self-discovery and exploration are at the heart of these pages.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Khan's debut, inspired by the well-publicized radicalization of three British schoolgirls who flew to Syria to join the "self-proclaimed 'Islamic State' " in 2015, traces the coming-of-age of British-born Pakistani Muzna Saleem, 15. Muzna's strict parents, cultural Muslims who immigrated from Pakistan, severely limit her personal choices: her mother's dictate against waxing a growth of facial hair leads to bullying at school, and Muzna's desire to study English challenges her father's expectation of a medical career. When he loses his job under unfair circumstances and the family is forced to move, Muzna transfers to a different school, where she meets a handsome, charming new classmate: Pakistani born-again Muslim Arif Malik. Along with his charismatic older brother Jameel, he slowly influences her toward his radical interpretation of Islam, including taking her to hear fundamentalist preachers. Though understandable, Muzna's naivety and willingness to go along with his ill-planned decisions are occasionally frustrating. Nonetheless, a gripping story line, supported by a nuanced exploration of Muzna's family dynamics and immigrant experience, draws a clear distinction drawn between culture and religion (frequently conflated) and focuses on personal meanings of devotion, providing valuable touches. Ages 12--up. (Sept.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Muzna Saleem is a North London teen who struggles with low self-esteem. The daughter of Pakistani immigrants, she considers herself ugly and is taunted by peers. Muzna dreams of being a novelist, but she feels obliged to fulfill her money-strapped parents' desire for her to become a doctor. When Muzna's best friend is caught with a boyfriend, her parents force her to sever their ties to avoid shame by association. After her family moves for a new job, a friendless Muzna looks to reinvent herself, taking hormone pills to regulate her facial hair. She is instantly attracted to Arif, a hunky, brooding fellow Muslim student who is surprisingly kind to her. This leads to a romance with a twist: Arif's older brother appears to be sympathetic to violent extremism. Muzna is portrayed as a naïve victim of her own self-loathing and insecurities who is lured into a dangerous situation. Despite Muzna's first-person narration, readers might struggle to understand her internal thought processes or believe the degree of her awareness of others' attempts to influence her thoughts and actions. Secondary characters represent the diversity of the British Muslim population, such as a Nigerian British classmate, a service-oriented hijabi medical student, and Muzna's own traditional yet anti-hijab parents, but they are insufficiently fleshed out given the delicacy and ambition of the central premise, and a theatrical ending does not redeem the overall lack of nuance. Fails to do justice to the complexity of the subject matter. (Fiction. 14-18) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.