All American Muslim Girl Review
I received an arc of All American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney back in May of 2019 and kept putting it off. I really don’t know why I kept putting it off, I kept telling myself that I wanted to read it slowly and savor it so that I could properly review it as it was my very first arc. Well, once I started reading, that wasn’t the case. I flew thorugh it in the span of a day because it was absolutely phenomenal.
First of all, the writing style made me feel like the author was sitting in the room with me, telling me this story, making eye contact, engaging… that’s the only way to describe it, it was very engaging, it really draws you in from the very first sentence. While I was reading, nothing else but Allie and her story existed.
And the story in itself was so beautiful. Allie’s journey in finding her faith, in believing in herself, in her religion, and standing up for herself is one of the best reading experiences ever to me. It is one of the greatest stories I have ever had the pleasure of reading.
One of the things that surprised me the most, is how much I, as I’m sure any reader, could relate to not only Allie, but her parents, and Wells, and so many of the other characters. It isn’t just a story about the obstacles of a certain religion, but also a story about growing up and learning, a story about self discovery, learning to accept yourself, learning to accept differences and different viewpoints.
If I were to get into the specifics, this review would go on for hours, but I just want to make it clear that reading about Islam from Allie’s point of view, seeing her struggles and coming to terms with the religion in itself, the different view points, dealing with the bigotry, is truly, honestly the most eye opening experience. And in my opinion, I think this is one of the more important novels that should be read. The topics it deals with, the self-discovery that occurs, the things that aren’t usually talked about are all introduced in a way that is very civil and very educational and that’s what a great author does. I loved learning through the events as they unfolded, learning along with Allie in the group discussions , the family gatherings, the studies she did on her own, and it was a really amazing experience.
There is so much, I want to quote from this book (so many annotation notes and tabs) but I think this quote is my favorite:
“I will have to reclaim my religion, repeatedly. I will deny those who tell me I’m not religious enough. I will defy those who think I’m not American enough. I will anger people who dislike how I look and dress. I will infuriate with my choice in boyfriend, or for having to choose a boyfriend at all. I will disappoint other Muslims for not doing it right. And I will enrage bigots simply by existing. Though I wish I could say I won’t care what people will think, unfortunately, I will— because that’s who I am. But I will stay strong, inshallah, and will continue questioning and learning and growing. Hamdulilah, I am enough.”