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Friday, November 29, 2019

Review: No True Believers by Rabiah York Lumbard @crownpublishing @RabiahLumbard

No True Believers 
by Rabiah York Lumbard 

Thank you Astoria Bookshop and Crown Books for this advanced copy.

Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: February 11, 2020
304 Pages
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

Fans of the riveting mystery in Courtney Summers's Sadie and the themes of race and religion in Samira Ahmed's Internment will be captivated by this exploration of the intersection of Islamaphobia and white supremacy as an American Muslim teen is forced to confront hatred and hidden danger when she is framed for a terrorist act she did not commit.

Salma Bakkioui has always loved living in her suburban cul-de-sac, with her best friend Mariam next door, and her boyfriend Amir nearby. Then things start to change. Friends start to distance themselves. Mariam's family moves when her father's patients no longer want a Muslim chiropractor. Even trusted teachers look the other way when hostile students threaten Salma at school.

After a terrorist bombing nearby, Islamaphobia tightens its grip around Salma and her family. Shockingly, she and Amir find themselves with few allies as they come under suspicion for the bombing. As Salma starts to investigate who is framing them, she uncovers a deadly secret conspiracy with suspicious ties to her new neighbors--but no one believes her. Salma must use her coding talent, wits, and faith to expose the truth and protect the only home she's ever known--before it's too late.

My Review:

Wow.  This book is pretty powerful.  Salma is quite the character and I give her SO much love for dealing with things the way that she did.  Unfortunately this is all too real, especially in this day and age which is really sad.  Dealing with Islamophobia, Salma and her family have to deal with white supremacy and hatred within their own neighborhood.  

As we all know, kids are especially mean and don't really think about the repercussions of their actions.  Salma being bullied in school, physically pushed and stalked and provoked outside of the classroom - oh my blood was BOILING.   Especially when reading the part where there was a POINT SYSTEM to the hatred, like it was a fucking game. GRRRRR.  To see how the staff reacted - some not at all and others truly wanting to make a difference.  UFF.  People.  I loved that Salma did have a support system, not just with her family but with her two close girlfriends.  That was a lease a bright side within.

It's interesting to see that it's "easy" to take these types of behaviors from people *easier* when it's just happening to you... but when it upsets your family (sisters), then it's full on seeing red and now something needs to be done.  But what's worse? Hoping it'll go away? Or reacting?  When Salma thinks there's a conspiracy, now she has to figure out how to make people hear her before something really bad happens. 

This is the author's very personal debut novel and one I would definitely recommend be read.  It's a pretty powerful YA novel and while there was a part that seemed a bit too seamless, I thoroughly enjoyed this read.  It provoked a LOT of feelings from me and is pretty educational.


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