Review of All-American Muslim Girl

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Hello, friends! Today I’m here with my review for All-American Muslim Girl. This book came out in November, so you may have already read it. I got approved about 2 weeks before the release date, and then had some issues with my e-arc, so I ended up reading a library copy of this book. This review may be coming a bit late, but at least it’s here now!

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This was my e-arc when I started reading 

Despite having some difficulties when I began reading, I really loved how the book started out. From the first chapter alone, I thought this was going to be a five star book for sure! Unfortunately, there were some things that I disliked that didn’t get resolved and ultimately brought down my enjoyment of this book. But we’ll get to that. First, let’s start with the things I really enjoyed.

From the start this book started tackling Islamophobia head on. I usually don’t remember how books start off, but I found the first chapter to be incredibly powerful. In it the main character Allie deals with an Islamophobic man on a plane ride with her parents. Right from the get-go the conversation becomes complex with Allie discussing how since she doesn’t look Muslim she has a lot of privilege that many Muslims aren’t afforded, including being able to de-escalate a tense situation.

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And that was one of my favorite aspects of the book throughout. I enjoyed the nuance surrounding the discussion of religion and culture. There were so many explorations into the ideas of privilege and family and friendships and how people will perceive you in new lights because of stereotypes. There are even several instances that explore the ways people talk when they don’t realize you are the “other” they speak of. While at some points it felt like this book was dealing with a lot of complex issues at once, I think the book achieved a nice balance most of the time, by ensuring all the conversations were layered and dimensional.

Unfortunately, the characters were a miss for me. The main character and her love interest were 16, but the fact that they didn’t take a moment to stop and think, made me feel like they were a lot younger. In fact, I felt like all the characters refused to think about anyone but themselves, including Allie, her father, and her boyfriend. It was a common problem with all the characters that made them lose dimension since they all had the same struggle instead of having unique issues they were working on.

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There were several times where a character would be struggling with an issue and another character’s response would immediately be to judge them, which always had the annoying effect of having a character simplify a complex issue. Many times when characters would get upset at one another, I wanted to scream at them about the underlying issue that they were so obviously missing. One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone can’t manage to see a situation from an outsider’s perspective, so encountering it at every turn made me enjoy the book a lot less. The fact that I didn’t love the resolutions to many of these encounters made matters even worse.

I had some other little issues as well, but I think that I summarized the main points that I enjoyed versus the ones that I didn’t, so I’m going to end my review here. Unfortunately, because of some issues that dragged on through the book in too many areas, it wasn’t a new favorite like I thought it could be when I started it. However, I think this is a great book that discussed a ton of great issues, and for that reason alone I’d recommend it.

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A pretty accurate summary of my feelings 

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Have you read this book? Is this book on your TBR? What book have you read recently that you felt handled a complex issue well?

 

10 thoughts on “Review of All-American Muslim Girl

  1. I haven’t read this book yet, but it is on my TBR! I’ll be going into it a bit wary of the situations where the characters struggle to see from each other’s point of view, but looking forward to the nuanced discussions within it.
    This was an amazing review, Malka 😀

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    1. I Hope you enjoy it! I think that since it’s a personal pet peeve of mine, the whole not seeing things from other people’s POV might not be an issue for other people. The nuanced conversations, on the other hand, are definitely a wonderful part of this book that I think everyone will notice and can appreciate!

      Thank you so much, Sabrina! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved reading your review!! It sounds like this book talked about some important topics which is great to see in books but it is a shame the characters can’t see things from each other’s perspective as that can be quite frustrating and also means it lacks the complexity it could have had.
    I’m sorry this book wasn’t everything you wanted but I’m glad you could still get some good from it!! 🙂 Great review!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed my review! It definitely talked about some important topics! But I think you’re right, there could have been another layer of complexity that was missing because the characters weren’t empathetic at times. I’m still glad I read it though!

      Thank you! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Amazing review, Malka!! I’ve heard about this book, and I think the reviews I read also had similar issues with the characters being self-centered and judgmental, so I didn’t want to pick it up. But I might give it a try now anyway because it does try to tackle important topics and that’s great. I’m sorry it didn’t turn out to be the favorite you were expecting it to be ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank so much! I’m so glad you enjoyed reading my review! 💕 The characters frustrated me, but they definitely weren’t terrible. I just felt that the book could have been stronger had the characters been left self-centered, so I was disappointed that their choices distracted from the overall awesomeness of the book. But it definitely was an important and well-written book in terms of content, so I’m happy to hear that you’re willing to give it a chance! And while not every book can be a favorite, I’m still glad this book gave me so much to think about!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice review! This is on my TBR so I’m glad to know some of the prevalent issues with it. I read The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh last month and the issue of racism was constantly challenged which I loved. It had black people and brown people in notable positions even though it was set in the 1900s and it was a tense climate for non-white people. Definitely would reccomend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! I hope you end up enjoying All-American Muslim Girl more than I did!

      I’d heard other great things about The Beautiful, but I hadn’t really heard much about how well it dealt with racism! I think it’s fantastic that newer releases are starting to tackle issues of race and class and misogyny, in genres that used to ignore these things for the most part!

      Liked by 1 person

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