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Monday, December 7, 2020

Blog Tour & Review: Take It Back by Kia Abdullah

Take It Back 
by Kia Abdullah

Thank you to St. Martin's Press for this copy and stop on the blog tour.

Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publish Date: December 8, 2020
Kindle Edition
304 Pages
Series: Zara Kaleel #1
Genres: Legal Thriller, Suspense

One victim.
Four accused.
Who is telling the truth?

Zara Kaleel, one of London's brightest legal minds, shattered the expectations placed on her by her family and forged a brilliant legal career. But her decisions came at a high cost, and now, battling her own demons, she has exchanged her high profile career for a job at a sexual assault center, helping victims who need her the most. Victims like Jodie Wolfe.

When Jodie, a sixteen-year-old girl with facial deformities, accuses four boys in her class of an unthinkable crime, the community is torn apart. After all, these four teenage defendants are from hard-working immigrant families and they all have proven alibis. Even Jodie's best friend doesn't believe her.

But Zara does—and she is determined to fight for Jodie—to find the truth in the face of public outcry. And as issues of sex, race and social justice collide, the most explosive criminal trial of the year builds to a shocking conclusion.

My Review:

PHEW - this book.  Jodie, a British girl with facial deformities, who has endured a lifetime of ridicule - even from her best friend, accuses 4 Muslim boys of raping her.  The media is going to eat this up ... especially since Zara, a Muslim woman, is heading Jodie's case.  Not only is this a rape case where it seems like everyone is lying, but it's also about race and loyalty to your ethnicity.  Zara faces a ton of backlash and considered a traitor.  When a rape trial turns into a race war.... Uff, y'all... this one is tough to read at times.

I know that sometimes legal thrillers can be a hit or miss for most people... I actually love reading them.  Sometimes they make such fascinating reads... although I will agree that it can seem somewhat repetitive.. well, welcome to law my friends.  Legal thrillers can also sometimes be a touch slow but in TAKE IT BACK, it launches from the get go and the legal part comes barreling at you towards the last half.  Put your seat belt and helmet on and welcome to this emotional roller coaster of a ride.

"There will be moments in your life when you must decide in an instant."

This book touches on why it's so hard sometimes to still want to live within your ethnic culture in a different land.  Where do the lines blur?  How much pressure does this put on everyone, teenager or adult alike?  Can you modernize tradition without losing your family in the process or do you continually feel oppressed?  And when do you stop being what everyone else expects you to be and start being you?  .....  But let's also get back to the actual legal case that's happening because ..... well, I just can't spoil anything for y'all. It's a LOT.  I did not expect it to go where it went.  I found myself literally gasping, covering my mouth with my hand and tearing up.  I'd like to blame this on the pandemic, but ultimately I became so engaged in this story.  And while it might feel like all of these characters are hard to love... they're really not... well not all of them anyways.


KIA ABDULLAH is an author and travel writer. She has contributed to The Guardian, BBC, Channel 4 News, and The New York Times. Kia currently travels the world as one half of the travel blog Atlas & Boots, which receives over 200,000 views per month.

Early praise for Take It Back

"Riveting, thought-provoking legal thriller... Abdullah is definitely a writer to watch." - Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Abdullah has done an exemplary job of character development and is especially good at ratcheting up suspense as the trial proceeds." - Booklist, starred review

"A thought-provoking and sparklingly intelligent novel, with the welcome bonus of an unguessable ending." —The Telegraph

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