My Rating: 5 Stars
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?
Beware spoilers ahead!
Trigger Warning(s): Islamophobia, racism, discrimination, grief, harassment, and panic attacks.
Reading Challenge(s): Book 4 for the #Pondathon. Book 4 for #StartOnYourShelfathon. Monthly pick for The Reading Clowns book club.
Rep: Allie is a Jordanian-Circassian White Muslim. Wells has anxiety. Allie’s mother converted to Islam before marriage. Samira is a Malaysian Muslim. Fatima is Black, she converted to Islam at a young age. Shamsah is an Indian Queer Muslim. Leila is a half-Egyptian and half-Palestinian Muslim. Dua is an Arab (I think?) Muslim.
My Thoughts Before Reading: I was weary about reading this book. I wasn’t sure whether the Muslim rep would be done well.
I changed my mind when I heard from other Muslim reviewers that the rep was well done. I am happy to say that I loved it!
What I Liked: I adored how nuanced the rep was! It so nice to read about the many Muslim characters. As well as the dua’s, prayers, Ramadan, and Eid. There were discussions about impostor syndrome, the idea of a ‘good’ Muslim, women not being respected at the mosque and such.
I loved reading Allie learning about Islam! It was nice to read about her learning Arabic, attending a Quran group, joining the Muslim group at her high school, and most importantly standing up for herself. Allie’s story hits close to home, as I also started to learn about Islam when I was a teenager. You can tell that author addressed everything with care.
I loved Allie! She was an amazing character. Her journey with Islam was relatable. It was great to read about her growth! How she learnt about Islam, and that she no longer wanted to keep it a secret that she was practicing.
Allie’s relationship with her family play a large influence on how she viewed Islam. Her mother is a convert, so she was more open to Islam than Allie’s father. Allie’s father was raised in an extremely strict environment, hence why he doesn’t practice Islam and doesn’t want his family to either.
I adored Allie’s mother but I had a very hard time liking her father. I found him to be quite unreasonable and unfair. Allie’s father does (eventually) support her decision to practice Islam. Her parents even fast with her during the last few days of Ramadan. I loved reading about their growth!
I loved reading about Allie’s Quran group! It was nice to read about their friendship, and them learning Islam. I found their sessions to be informative. You really do learn something new everyday! My favourite friendship was Dua and Allie.
I really liked Allie and Wells together! Despite what the synopsis says, Wells father isn’t revealed until about 20% in. When Allie starts a relationship with Wells, she has no idea that his father is Islamophobic. Obviously they had a lot of struggles in the beginning, though they were able to work everything out. I liked Wells and how open he was to Allie practicing. He even educated himself on Islam.
My Criticism(s): Absolutely nothing!
What I’m Looking Forward To: More Muslim books!
Conclusion: Overall I absolutely adored All American Muslim Girl! I highly recommend.