Love from A to Z / S.K. Ali.

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  • Additional Information
    • Publication Information:
      First edition.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: Eighteen-year-old Muslims Adam and Zayneb meet in Doha, Qatar, during spring break and fall in love as both struggle to find a way to live their own truths.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: Zayneb's teacher 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. Her path crosses with Adam's. Since he got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November, Adam has stopped going to classes, intent on keeping the memory of his mom alive for his little sister. They've been playing roles for others, keeping their real thoughts locked away in their journals... until they meet. -- adapted from jacket
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Booklist Reviews 2019 April #2

Ali follows up her well-received debut, Saints and Misfits (2017), with an epistolary novel in journal entries about two teenagers chronicling the marvels and oddities in their lives. It's senior year, and with her friends and a stealthy online movement, Zayneb has made it her mission to take down her Islamophobic teacher. But when her drawing is misconstrued, Zayneb is suspended from school and leaves for Doha, Qatar, to visit her auntie a week ahead of spring break. There she crosses paths with Adam, the cute guy who happened to be on her flight. He's Muslim, too, and he's carrying a secret: he's just been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but he hasn't told his father and sister. The story lilts between Adam's and Zayneb's perspectives, and through their narratives, Ali fleshes out the plucky Zayneb, who stands up to the microaggressions and prejudices around her, and pragmatic Adam, whose voice conveys the uncertainty of his future. Ali skillfully fashions a love story sensitive to the rules of Muslim courtship that's equally achy and enigmatic. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2019 #5

Zayneb, a Muslim American high school senior, leaves for spring break in Doha, Qatar, a week early when she is suspended for a note she wrote in class about her Islamophobic history teacher. Adam, a Muslim Canadian college freshman, is returning to Doha to see his father and sister, with some unfortunate news about his health that he's reluctant to disclose. Zayneb's passion for justice fills her with righteous anger that she finds difficult to direct. Adam is a calm peace-seeker who wishes he didn't feel quite so alone. What they have in common: each has been keeping a "Marvels and Oddities" journal ("recording the wonders and thorns in the garden of life"), based on an ancient book they'd both discovered. From the moment Adam sees Zayneb's journal fall out of her bag at the airport, readers will be waiting impatiently for their connection to unfold—but, with such different temperaments, their relationship does not develop in an easy, straight line, and their doubts and the obstacles they face are convincing. Told through alternating perspectives, this compelling love story brings together a wide variety of cultures, political issues, and personality types. Readers are immersed in the teens' world, feeling the frustrations of facing prejudice, the sadness of losing loved ones, and the hope that comes from mutual understanding. Ali (Saints and Misfits, rev. 7/17) has created an unforgettable couple in a deftly drawn setting. Sparks fly even as Zayneb and Adam avoid physical contact before marriage, making this a welcome halal love story for young adults. autumn allen September/October p.78 Copyright 2019 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.