Review: Love from A to Z

46136039. sy475

Love from A to Z by: S. K. Ali

My Rating: 4 Stars

A marvel: something you find amazing. Even ordinary-amazing. Like potatoes—because they make French fries happen. Like the perfect fries Adam and his mom used to make together.

An oddity: whatever gives you pause. Like the fact that there are hateful people in the world. Like Zayneb’s teacher, who won’t stop reminding the class how “bad” Muslims are.

But Zayneb, the only Muslim in class, isn’t bad. She’s angry.

When she gets suspended for confronting her teacher, and he begins investigating her activist friends, Zayneb heads to her aunt’s house in Doha, Qatar, for an early start to spring break.

Fueled by the guilt of getting her friends in trouble, she resolves to try out a newer, “nicer” version of herself in a place where no one knows her.

Then her path crosses with Adam’s.

Since he got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November, Adam’s stopped going to classes, intent, instead, on perfecting the making of things. Intent on keeping the memory of his mom alive for his little sister.

Adam’s also intent on keeping his diagnosis a secret from his grieving father.

Alone, Adam and Zayneb are playing roles for others, keeping their real thoughts locked away in their journals.

Until a marvel and an oddity occurs…

Marvel: Adam and Zayneb meeting.

Oddity: Adam and Zayneb meeting.

Beware spoilers ahead!

Trigger Warning(s): Islamophobia, racism, discrimination, grief, harassment, mention of drone attacks and murder.

Reading Challenge(s): Book 1 for the #Pondathon and for The Theme Thieves: Happiness. Monthly pick for The Reading Clowns book club. 

Rep: Zayneb is West Indian, Caribbean-American. Adam is Chinese Canadian and Finnish. Both Adam and Zayneb are Muslim’s. Zayneb’s mother and Adam’s family converted to Islam. 

My Thoughts Before Reading: I was a little weary about reading this. I DNFed the author’s first book Saints and Misfits due to not meshing with the writing style.

Though I still wanted to give it a try for the Muslim rep. I am very happy to say that I loved Love from A to Z!

What I Liked:  I loved reading about Doha! I could feel myself walking with Zayneb, exploring the area, and could even smell the food.

The writing style was superb! I loved reading the journal entries. I thought it was an excellent way to distinguish between Adam and Zayneb. 

I adored the Muslim rep! It was realistic and relatable. Some of my favourite scenes were discussions about Islam. For example the prayer scene with Adam’s family. I loved how they came as a family to pray and make dua together. It reminded me off what I do with my own family.

I loved how close Zayneb was to her family! While you don’t get to read about her entire family (her brother and sister live elsewhere), you could tell they are close to one another.

Zayneb’s aunt is the family member that you read about the most. I loved reading about their interactions! I liked that Zayneb’s aunt encouraged her ideals and gave some really good advice.

Zayneb’s friend group is a bit off a mess in the beginning. They are all still reeling after Zayneb gets suspended. They do bounce back with a new member to their cause. I enjoyed all their interactions! Especially Zayneb and Kavi’s.

I really enjoyed the plan to take down Mr. Fencer! Islamophobia is nothing new and every Muslim faces it. However, it takes a lot of courage to face Islamophobic people head on and take it down. The strength that Zayneb and her friends had was amazing! And it was depicted in such a way that it was relatable. They weren’t always strong and sometimes they were scared. Regardless they pushed on and succeeded!

Zayneb was relatable. The angry part of me really resonated with Zayneb. I agreed with all the points she made and felt some of them deep within my soul. Particularly the discussion about drone attacks that she had with Adam’s friends. Throughout Love from A to Z Zayneb does learn to hone her anger. Rather than blowing up at everything. For example, confronting those people at the gym. I loved reading about her development and enjoyed the execution!

I loved Adam and his family! They were so close knit and had an amazing family dynamic. Especially Adam and his sister. I liked reading about Adam’s friends! Especially Connor. They were close knit in a similar way Adam is to his family.

The flashbacks were really sweet and heartbreaking! Most of them had Adam’s mother, who passed away because of MS. S. K. Ali did an excellent job tackling grief. It was also great to read about how and why Adam’s family converted to Islam. 

I related to Adam quite a bit. He was calm and caring. Something that I always strive to be.

Adam has MS. His family doesn’t find out for a majority of the book. In fact Zayneb knew before his family did. With Zayneb’s push Adam finally tells his family and they agree to stand by him. Zayneb does as well. I loved Adam confronted his fears and realized that he can be happy whilst having MS!

I don’t know that much about MS so I can’t speak in regards to how well it was depicted. What I can say is that I felt the author did a good job explaining the disease.

I loved Adam and Zayneb’s relationship! They brought out the best in each other and were so cute together. I was so happy when I read in the epilogue that they got married! 

My Criticism(s): Absolutely nothing!

What I’m Looking Forward To: More books by this author!

Conclusion: Overall I loved this book! I highly recommend. 

Bookish Goals for 2020

Goals

Hello everyone! Today I am going to be sharing my book related goals for 2020. I am hoping to accomplish most of these goals. Some of my 2019 goals will be mentioned in this post. Let me know in the comments what are your goals for 2020!

My Goals:

  1. Interact with bloggers: I’ve come to accept that my schedule is very hectic. And sometimes I won’t be able to interact with bloggers all of the time. Regardless I’d still like to try as it is something that I enjoy doing.
  2. Use my bookstagram: I really hoping that I’ll be able to post on my bookstagram in 2020.
  3. Continue to make more content: I still want to create some more posts. And I’m hoping to do so in 2020.
  4. Continue to prioritize my reading: While I did pretty good with this goal in 2019, I’d like to focus more on my owned books (old and new releases) in 2020. In order to do so, I am taking part in the #StartOnYourShelfathon hosted by CW. I will also continue to use my priority reading list. Plus I’m trying not to buy that many books. Just a select few along with sequels.   

2019 Bookish Goals Wrap-Up

Yearly wrap up 3

Hello everyone! Today I am going to be sharing my wrap-up of my book related goals for 2019. I wasn’t able to accomplish all of my goals. Like I mentioned in my goals post I went with the flow and (for the most) part didn’t stress about meeting my goals. Let me know in the comments what are your goals wrap-up for 2019!

Goals Wrap-Up:

  1. Interact with bloggers: In the beginning of 2019 I was actually interacting with bloggers. Then life happened and I wasn’t really able to interact with anyone.
  2. Use my other social media accounts: I didn’t use Bloglovin’ to read anyone’s posts. I forgot about using Bloglovin’, and when I did remember I didn’t care to use it. Twitter was something that I have started using. And it’s been a blast!
  3. Make a Bookstagram: Towards the middle of 2019 I set-up my Instagram account for bookish purposes. Some time after I set it up I got really busy and didn’t get around to posting anything.
  4. Make more content: I was able to create some creative posts for blog tours. Which I’d never done before. And I actually enjoyed creating those posts!
  5. Sign up for blog tours: I signed up for various blog tours. Though I found that my schedule became more hectic, and didn’t give me the time to read and review books. It also became time consuming to do guest posts. In 2020 I’ll just sign up for the blog tours wherein I want to read the book. 
  6. Request ARC’s: I came across opportunities to request ARC’s via Twitter. And unfortunately I wasn’t able to read either of them because of my schedule. I don’t particularly care to do so in 2020 for that reason. I’ll still be using Netgalley but that’s about it.
  7. Focus on what I’m interested in: I was really able to find what I was interested in. Throughout 2019 I really examined my interests. I narrowed down what I liked and didn’t like. Which was great because I was reading the books that I cared about!
  8. Prioritize my reading: Throughout 2019 I started to prioritize reading books on my TBR. I did this by creating a priority reading list, several book unhauls, prioritizing myself (and my time), not stressing about reading, and started rereading. This helped so much and made 2019 a really great reading year!        

Best Books of 2019

Yearly wrap up 2

Hello everyone! Today I’m going to be sharing my list of the best books I read in 2019. The books on this list are between 3-5 Stars. Click on the title to see my reviews. Either from WordPress or GR mini reviews. I’ll mention which of the two. If I haven’t reviewed a book I will include the book GR link. Author links not included. Let me know in the comments what were your best books in 2019!

Middle Grade:

34848650 444309 41154293

  1. Love Sugar Magic 1-2 by: Anna Meriano-Wordpress review for book 1
  2. Artemis Fowl by: Eion Colfer
  3. Other Words for Home by: Jasmine Warga-Wordpress review

Young Adult:

26061583. sx318 27111859. sy475 39739209. sy475 41473871. sy475 44590801. sx318 43927569. sy475 44024198. sy475  

  1. The Dark Days Deceit by: Alison Goodmen-Wordpress review
  2. Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun Vol. 1-10 by: Izumi Tsubaki and Leighann Harvey (Translator)-GR series link
  3. Ms. Marvel Vol. 10: Time and Again by: G. Willow Wilson, Nico Leon (Illustrator), and Ian Herring (Colorist)
  4. The Candle and the Flame by: Nafiza Azad-Wordpress review
  5. Collateral Damage by: Taylor Simonds-Wordpress review
  6. The Black Veins by: Ashia Monet-Wordpress review
  7. Magnificent Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: Destined by: Saladin Ahmed, Minkyu Jung (Art), Eduard Petrovich (Cover Art)

Adult:

43687293. sy475 42835878

  1. The Case Study of Vanitas Chapter’s 34-42 by: Jun Mochizuki-GR series link
  2. Blackbird Vol.1: The Great Beast by: Sam Humphries, Jen Bartel (Artist), Triona Farrell (Colorist)    

Worst Books of 2019

Yearly wrap up 1

Hello everyone! Today I’m going to be sharing my list of the worst books I read in 2019. The books on this list are between 0-2 Stars. Click on the title to see my reviews. Either from WordPress or GR mini reviews. I’ll mention which of the two. If I haven’t reviewed a book I will include the book GR link. Author links not included. Let me know in the comments what were your worst books in 2019!

Middle Grade:

36546966. sy475

  1. Willa of the Wood by: Robert Beatty-Mini review

Young Adult:

43468356. sy475 39950808. sy475 11736997. sy475  

  1. King of Scars by: Leigh Bardugo-Mini review
  2. Wicked Saints by: Emily A. Duncan-Mini review
  3. Eona by: Alison Goodman-Mini review 

Adult:

40189670 40588294 45899240

  1. Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by: Christina Lauren-Mini review
  2. The Women’s War by: Jenna Glass-Mini review
  3. Monstress Vol. 4: The Chosen by: Majorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda (Illustrator)-Mini review  

Monthly TBR: January 2020

January 1

startonyourshelfathon banner

Hello everyone! Today I’m going to be doing my monthly tbr for January. Like many of you I am partaking in CW’s #StartOnYourShelfathon. For more details please click on the link. My goal for this readathon is to read as many owned books as possible, be it new releases or old ones. GR links for (only) the book titles. Let me know in the comments what books you plan on reading in January!

Currently Reading:

42201864 

  1. Love from A to Z by: S. K. Ali 

Young Adult:

44286874

  1. Marvel Team-Up Vol. 1 by: Eve L. Ewing, and Joey Vazquez (Visual Art)

Monthly Wrap-Up: December 2019

December 2

Hello everyone! Today I’m going to be doing my monthly wrap-up for December. I read 2 books. Click on the title to see my reviews. Either from WordPress or GR mini reviews. I’ll mention which of the two. If I haven’t reviewed a book I will include the book GR link. Author links not included. Let me know in the comments what you read in December!

Book(s) that I DNFed (0-2 stars):

43884209

  1. Get a Life, Chloe Brown by: Talia Hibbert-Mini review

Book(s) that I Enjoyed (3-4 stars):

49767312. sy475

  1. The Case Study of Vanitas Chapter 42 by: Jun Mochizuki