By Sabina Khan
This story shares a beautiful and important perspective on the homophobia that still rampages through our world today.
Recommended Age Level: 14+
Fight for love. Fight for family. Fight for yourself.
Seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali has always been fascinated by the universe around her and the laws of physics that keep everything in order. But her life at home isn't so absolute.
Unable to come out to her conservative Muslim parents, she keeps that part of her identity hidden. And that means keeping her girlfriend, Ariana, a secret from them too. Luckily, only a few more months stand between her carefully monitored life at home and a fresh start at Caltech in the fall. But when Rukhsana's mom catches her and Ariana together, her future begins to collapse around her.
Devastated and confused, Rukhsana's parents whisk her off to stay with their extended family in Bangladesh where, along with the loving arms of her grandmother and cousins, she is met with a world of arranged marriages, religious tradition, and intolerance. Fortunately, Rukhsana finds allies along the way and, through reading her grandmother's old diary, finds the courage to take control of her future and fight for her love.
To be very honest, I wasn't a big fan of this book. It was an interesting story and I'm glad I read it, but I wouldn't read it again. However, I know a bunch of people who loved it, so maybe I just didn't like the writing style. This book provided an important perspective on the rampant homophobia that still exists all over the world, especially in religious communities, and it also showed that people can change and start to accept LGBTQ+ people by recognizing their prejudice and working through it and educating themselves. Give this book a try – you might like it!
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