Allie Abraham has it all going for her—she’s a straight-A student, with good friends and a close-knit family, and she’s dating cute, popular, and sweet Wells Henderson. One problem: Wells’s father is Jack Henderson, America’s most famous conservative shock jock…and Allie hasn’t told Wells that her family is Muslim. It’s not like Allie’s religion is a secret, exactly. It’s just that her parents don’t practice and raised her to keep her Islamic heritage to herself. But as Allie witnesses ever-growing Islamophobia in her small town and across the nation, she begins to embrace her faith—studying it, practicing it, and facing hatred and misunderstanding for it. Who is Allie, if she sheds the façade of the “perfect” all-American girl? What does it mean to be a “Good Muslim?” And can a Muslim girl in America ever truly fit in?
ALL-AMERICAN MUSLIM GIRL is a relevant, relatable story of being caught between two worlds, and the struggles and hard-won joys of finding your place.
|CW: anxiety, panic attack, Islamphobia, racism, loss of a loved one, alcohol intake, bullying|
5 ‘I lost my heart’ stars for All American Muslim Girl.
A story on self love, identity, faith and belonging; All American Muslim Girl is a book I wish everyone would read…
When I first saw the synopsis of All American Muslim Girl, I thought I’ll love this book, but what I didn’t anticipate was how much I’ll love this book or how much it’ll mean to me.
Allie Abraham is the picture of the perfect All American Girl. Pale skinned, smart, perfectly mannered, matched to the hobbies wherever she lives, with an absolutely adorable boyfriend and a large social circle, but she’s also something no one should know. She’s the big, scary ‘M word’ — a Muslim.
All American Muslim Girl is a book that puts into the perspective the struggle of finding ones identity as a modern day Muslim in the twenty first century. The fear, the shame of passing enough to be ignored by bigots and not being enough among other Muslims, the anxiety that comes with every bad news and fear of being labelled.
From its inception, All American Muslim Girl gives a clear and honest picture of what it can mean to be Muslim, even one who has assimilated to the environment. The bigotry, hatred targeted towards Muslims and the ignorance —sometimes purposeful and sometimes truly unknowing — bigots have about Muslims and Islam. The mythical one type Muslim that looks a certain way and the ‘scary, dangerous’ Muslims vs the good, more Americanised and civilised Muslims that exists in every bigot’s mind. Allie experiences this forms of bigotry.
“What does that mean? Looking Muslim?”“You know.”“I don’t, actually. I’d love to hear you say what you mean. Do Muslims look a certain way?”
Although Islamophobia is always a needed discussion, Nadine doesn’t only address bigotry from outside the Muslim community in her book, but also the problems that exist within the Ummah itself and within Muslims. The strains of otherness from Muslims to their fellow Muslim, the bigotry that still seem to exist in our community — even though we’re found the dictates of love and equality — and struggle within Muslims themselves.
The struggle to be good enough, Muslim enough, the struggle to be perfect, even when we’re just human, and ignore ones questions, even those about issues within the Ummah, because Muslims don’t have the space to stumble and figure things out, and the fear of judgement from others in the only safe space we have, a safe space that doesn’t always exist for some of us.
All American Muslim Girl is also most importantly, a book about a teenage girl trying to navigate through faith and her culture, despite all that stands in her way and I loved how despite all the points being discussed, it stayed that, a story of girl who wants to find her.
All American is a book about teenagehood, Muslim-hood and all the important questions about faith and how it is perceived.
I’ve been thinking about it a lot, this good Muslim/ bad Muslim thing. What makes you bad? Is Samira a bad Muslim because she thinks the scholarly positions could be reformed? Is Shamsah a bad Muslim because she was born liking girls? Is Leila a bad Muslim because she doesn’t want a rope separating her from the guys while she prays? Am I a bad Muslim because I want to kiss Wells? Is there any wiggle room? Does it have to be all or nothing? There’s a war on Muslims, but I’m starting to realize it’s not just from everybody else. It comes from within us, too.
The characters own my heart…
The premise of All American Muslim Girl is absolutely beautiful, but the characters made the book was it is.
I loved the characters and how different they were. They weren’t some copy-paste version of some textbook How To Be The Perfect Muslim™, but real, flawed, grappling with faith and completely human.
Allie is a character after my own heart. I love her, she was so relatable. In one of my Goodreads updates I said she was most likely me with a different name, which is mostly true because I recognise so many of my struggles in Allie. She’s just a teenage girl trying to figure things out, and I wanted to hug her and tell her everything was fine and she was valid.
The relationships between the characters was absolutely wonderful too. I loved seeing Allie and her family together, the closeness and diversity of them was wonderful.
One of my favourite things in the book is the relationship between Allie and the girls in her Qur’an study group. Each of the girls are so different from the other, with different views, but they all care for each other and respect the other’s opinions. I loved seeing this kind of female friendship, and one where they called out issues amongst themselves and discussed them amicably.
The characters of All American Muslim made my heart so full. They are easily one of the best things about the book (especially Wells). Their differences, similarities, growth made AAMG an amazing book.
There is so much to say about All American Muslim Girl, but I can say its that’s perfect…
Its been quite hard to find the words to put together to explain how much I love this book and how important it is. All American Muslim Girl made me cry, laugh and made me feel happy seeing parts of me reflected in a book. I can only say I love it and I 1000% recommend it.
Welcome to the fun part! (Well, the review was good too, but a bit of a struggle to write hehe)
I made some mood boards inspired by some of my favourite characters of All American Muslim Girl. The mood boards are of my favourite Muslim girls (they’re my all children and I fight for them). I hope you love the mood boards as much as I loved making them and that you love the girls as much as I do when you get to read AAMG .
That ends my blog post and my stop on the All American Muslim Girl blog tour. Want to connect with the author/ find the book?
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