An honest exploration of religion, first love, and family.
Title: All-American Muslim Girl
Author: Nadine Jolie Courtney
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: November 12th
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.
All Allie wants is to connect with her huge extended family. She has a really strong and healthy relationship with her parents—wanting to stay home and watch musicals rather than go out with friends, even when she starts dating Wells. Allie wishes she had that kind of relationship with the rest of her family, but there is a major language barrier. She has no idea why their family isn’t more religious, so she sets out to discover what it means to be Muslim in a town that isn’t too accepting.
This story was really fascinating and inspiring. Allie finds solace in her weekly study groups with other Muslim young women and her private tutoring to learn Arabic. They have important discussions having to do with equality and feminism in religion. They debate very respectfully and even when they might disagree when it comes to dating or prayers.
When it comes to Allie and her boyfriend Wells, we are shown a relationship that goes through the normal ups and downs, but there is always respect. When Allie tells Wells she wants to try halal dating (no sex before marriage), he is incredibly supportive. While there are instances of Islamaphobia, it seems to be treated with care and understanding, though it should be noted, I’m not Muslim.
ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.