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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' 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.


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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' 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.

30 review for All-American Muslim Girl

  1. 5 out of 5

    ♛ may

    oh my god, i genuinely want to write a thorough, detailed review stating all my reasons why i thought this book honestly did more harm than good but i feel like launching myself into the sun would be an easier task 🤗 in essence, this book sounds amazing. it's about allie, an american girl who grew up muslim by name and has no idea about the actual faith. this book spans over the course of her journey as she begins to learn more about her faith and the challenges and struggles that come with it wo oh my god, i genuinely want to write a thorough, detailed review stating all my reasons why i thought this book honestly did more harm than good but i feel like launching myself into the sun would be an easier task 🤗 in essence, this book sounds amazing. it's about allie, an american girl who grew up muslim by name and has no idea about the actual faith. this book spans over the course of her journey as she begins to learn more about her faith and the challenges and struggles that come with it wow, fantastic, amazing, sign me up the problem is.............................this book is filled with misinformation and total disregard of so many foundation concepts and beliefs of the religion. it's honestly so hard for me to rate this anything higher because i feel like it is so damaging to readers it brings up so many controversial and complex issues and offers some terrible guidelines and advice on them and just AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT IF YOU AREN'T TRULY EDUCATED ON THE TOPIC i can't even bring myself to mention specific parts of the book bc everytime i try to refer back to the quotes, i get this raging headache from all the grief this book has caused me, im truly sorry the ending was actually really beautiful, that was the only part of the book that i thought showed a really beautiful representation of family and faith and forgiveness. but i dont see how that can redeem all the other extremely probl*matic aspects of the book also side note, the story itself didn't have much going for it, nothing really happens and i got bored real quick. the romance lacks so much flavour. i'm supposed to be rooting for these kids beyond everything and i just found it to be so. bland. and. boring. 😷😷😷 sorry to everyone for this tragedy. buddy read with ameerah 💖

  2. 5 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    **3.5-stars rounded up** Allie Abraham is a regular American teenager. Living with her loving parents, she excels in school and participates in extracurricular activities. A real girl next door. The thing is, Allie is keeping a secret. Her family is Muslim and she's not sharing that fact with anyone. All-American Muslim Girl opens with a blatant display of discrimination against her father while on an airplane. Allie tries her best to diffuse the situation, but it was cringe-worthy to read. Especia **3.5-stars rounded up** Allie Abraham is a regular American teenager. Living with her loving parents, she excels in school and participates in extracurricular activities. A real girl next door. The thing is, Allie is keeping a secret. Her family is Muslim and she's not sharing that fact with anyone. All-American Muslim Girl opens with a blatant display of discrimination against her father while on an airplane. Allie tries her best to diffuse the situation, but it was cringe-worthy to read. Especially considering, as the reader, you know this type of thing happens every day. As far as examples of discrimination, misunderstanding and stereotyping, it really never lets up from there. Although this story may make some people uncomfortable, I think it is important. A powerful examination of identity and societal prejudices. While it is true that this is a story that needs to be written, and more importantly read, it wasn't necessarily what I was expecting, which did decreased my enjoyment level. I was sold on this book as a sweet romance between a Muslim girl and a boy whose father is one of America's most notorious shock jocks. It is true that this exists in this story, however, I wanted more of Allie and Wells. For me, the focus of the book was obviously Allie's own exploration of her identity, owning and embracing her faith. A lot of the time we follow her with a new group of friends and their discussions of Islam, as it relates to their lives and the larger world around them. I did appreciate those discussions, but as mentioned earlier, I picked this up with romance in mind and really wanted more of that. One thing I felt frustrating was Allie not communicating with her father about what she was feeling. I know, we don't always open up when we should, but her and her father were so close and it didn't make sense to me in light of everything else going on in the story. However, overall, as a Contemporary exploring self-identity and the Muslim faith in general, this was really well done. Courtney has a smooth and easy writing style and I would definitely pick up more books from her. Thank you so much to the publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I truly appreciate the opportunity and am so happy this book is out in the world!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    This book was truly SO good. I didn't really know what to expect going in but I came out of this with so much more knowledge than I went in with and even though it was extremely informative, it still managed to be a really entertaining read and I just enjoyed this one so much. Definitely consider adding this one to your TBRs! This book was truly SO good. I didn't really know what to expect going in but I came out of this with so much more knowledge than I went in with and even though it was extremely informative, it still managed to be a really entertaining read and I just enjoyed this one so much. Definitely consider adding this one to your TBRs!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sakina (aforestofbooks)

    I don't know how to review or rate this book. I want to rate it a solid 3 stars, but at the same time there were some glaring issues with the Muslim representation that annoyed me. This book does seem to be based on Nadine's own life, so I obviously don't want to invalidate her experiences, and I'm sure this book will be relatable for some Muslims. But at the same time, I think this book has some misinformation when it comes to Islam that has me hesitant to recommend it to non-Muslims. I will admi I don't know how to review or rate this book. I want to rate it a solid 3 stars, but at the same time there were some glaring issues with the Muslim representation that annoyed me. This book does seem to be based on Nadine's own life, so I obviously don't want to invalidate her experiences, and I'm sure this book will be relatable for some Muslims. But at the same time, I think this book has some misinformation when it comes to Islam that has me hesitant to recommend it to non-Muslims. I will admit. This book made me feel a lot of emotions. The blatant Islamophobia that Allie experiences was horrible to read and made me so angry I was shaking. But I think that just means it was done very well. I think I've been lucky for the most part because I haven't experienced the level of hatred that Allie and her friends and family experience for being Muslim, but I know these things do happen and it is much worse for so many. I loved seeing Allie going from staying quiet to standing up for herself, and I also really liked the internal struggle she goes through where she's trying to keep a low profile, and not draw attention to herself, and just be super nice and overly friendly so people don't get the wrong idea...it's stuff that I do regularly, but I just don't think about anymore. I honestly don't know how I would react if someone told me to my face to "go back to my country", because it's never happened to me, and I feel like I'm the kind of person to just walk away instead of defend myself. So in that way, Allie is quite admirable. The things she says are things I wish I could say out loud, so it was great being able to read that in this book. I loved seeing Allie's relationship with her mom, especially seeing how supportive her mother is as Allie learns and discovers more about Islam. Her father though...I kind of still hate him. He's so dismissive and disrespectful when it comes to religion. Like I know people who aren't religious who don't go around bashing other people's faith. At one point he even refers to prayer as "nonsense", which was just infuriating. I get that by the end, we start to see some change in him, but honestly I don't know. I was expecting to get some kind of backstory of why he ended up the way he did. But we never got that. He was also super rude to his own wife, saying she only converted because of formalities and pretty much speaking for her, even when she said she converted because she wanted to. The ending with Teta and the rest of Allie's family was perfect and so well done that I technically cried. Technically. It was heartbreaking and painful, but I think it was my favourite part of the book. Now onto the the actual Islam portrayed in this book. There's a lot of discussion about Islam and various interpretations about the rules and what Allie's friends think in regards to all of that. I think for a non-Muslim, most of this stuff would sound complicated and/boring, though I really don't think this book is meant for non-Muslims. If it is, I feel like it doesn't really do a good job of explaining the true Islam. The little Quran circles Allie has with her friends were really annoying. I get that the point was to show the differing opinions, but these girls start talking about how to change Islam to suit their lives instead of changing yourself. And it was never challenged in anyway. We're left off with Allie sort of going "well I'm learning and growing and if people don't like me doing things my way, it won't stop me from being Muslim", which is just .... I'm not saying she isn't a Muslim, I'm just saying that for a young Muslim teen reading this book it's not the message of Islam I want for them to come across. I don't expect Allie to suddenly go from non-practicing to a "perfect" Muslim. It's hard giving up aspects of your life you're used to and even enjoy or want. But I just don't like how this was done. Overall, giving this a 2 stars I guess, since I hate not leaving a rating.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Basma

    I went into this book with high hopes. The reviews seemed decent, and with a title like "All-American Muslim Girl", I was eager to read this book and see myself. Because I'm Muslim and I guess you can say I'm All-American. I mean, my high school's colors were red, white, and blue, and our spirit days looked like the Fourth of July. So yeah, I felt like this book would be the perfect representation of me. I was wrong. Fair warning, this entire review has spoilers. I almost DNF'd (did not finish) a I went into this book with high hopes. The reviews seemed decent, and with a title like "All-American Muslim Girl", I was eager to read this book and see myself. Because I'm Muslim and I guess you can say I'm All-American. I mean, my high school's colors were red, white, and blue, and our spirit days looked like the Fourth of July. So yeah, I felt like this book would be the perfect representation of me. I was wrong. Fair warning, this entire review has spoilers. I almost DNF'd (did not finish) after four chapters. The book opens on a scene in an airplane. Every Muslim you've ever met immediately knows where this is going. The main character Allie (her real name is Alia but she goes by Allie) looks white. Her mom is an American convert and her dad is from Syria (or Jordan, I forget), and so she is not visibly Muslim. But her father is, and when some guy on the plane starts throwing a fit because Allie's dad is speaking Arabic (sigh we've been there), Allie decides to take it upon herself to diffuse the situation. Now at this point, I'm rooting for Allie. I'm thinking "yeah! Go defend your dad! Tell that guy off!". Spoiler alert: that's not what happens. Instead Allie takes it upon herself to switch seats with her dad (which I actually liked, I'm a big supporter of protecting your parents), and proceeds to explain to the guy "oh don't worry, we're not THOSE Muslims. Look, we just celebrated Christmas!" (I'm paraphrasing here). I almost quit right there and then. Tell me, if Allie's reasoning for this guy to stop bothering them is "oh we're not THAT Muslim", does that mean it's okay if this were to happen to another Muslim? Who maybe is more visible and doesn't pass off as white? As frustrated as I was, I was convinced to keep reading and that Allie would grow as a character. And I'll give credit where credit is due, I did like the character development in this story. Allie spends the book discovering her faith on her own. I also liked the Arab rep parts of the book, I think that was well done. Allie's parents aren't religious- in fact, her father, even though he's Muslim, is very much anti-Islam and considers it nonsense. After a good chunk of the book where Allie stresses about her boyfriend (the romance plot was so weak) and pretends she isn't Muslim when people spew Islamophobic speech around her, Allie meets some girls at her schools Muslim Student Association and decides to join their weekly Qur'anic study group. I did enjoy her journey in discovering her faith. She does develop a lot as a character. However, even with all that development, I still found Allie's character to be severely lacking. I feel like I should clarify that I don't have an issue with how religious Allie is. Did I roll my eyes when I realized this would be a book where the Muslim is dating a non-Muslim? Yeah. But just because the Muslim character isn't as religious as I am doesn't make it bad rep. My biggest issue lies in the fact that throughout the entire book, throughout Allie's entire journey, she repeatedly bashes more religious Muslims. She throws around words like "progressive" and "conservative", and anytime a more "conservative" (I hate this word) Muslim is mentioned, it's in a negative light. More religious Muslims are constantly talked down upon and seen as "other", and there's so many parts where Allie feels the need to clarify, she's not like "those Muslims". Hello, I'M one of those Muslims. What was the point of the constant bashing? You can have characters of different levels of religiousness without trashing one of them! This was SO infuriating to read. If a non-Muslim with no prior knowledge of Islam would pick this book up, it would be incredibly harmful. Not only does it harm more religious Muslims because the main character is talking down upon them, but the religious conversations aren't suitable for this book. For example, during one of the weekly Qur'anic meetings, the topic of "reforming Islam" is brought up. Astaghfirullah, that's NOT a conversation to have in a YA book. In case you weren't aware, Muslims believe that Islam is a perfect religion, and that any shortcomings are mistakes of the humans practicing it. To throw such a controversial comment in a YA book, when that's a topic for SCHOLARS? That's incredibly confusing for a non-Muslim who picked this book up just looking for Muslim rep. This is getting ridiculously long, so let me leave with you with some quotes which I think help establish why I would never recommend this book to someone looking for Muslim rep. "Sometimes it's best not to tell people you're Muslim, though. It's ... safer if people don't know." "Thank goodness they're letting me off the hook. I've spent the entire year trying to coast below the radar, and here I am ruining it in five seconds." This right after Allie calls someone out for their Islamophobia (yay!) and then apologizes for calling them out (WHAT). "Well, if God didn't want you to suffer, he wouldn't ask you to fast." In conclusion, I can maybe understand why some people would like this book, but it wasn't for me, and I won't be recommending it. Circling back to the title, if this is what an All American Muslim Girl looks like, then what does that make me?

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ausma Khan

    I was lucky enough to get an early copy of this book and it is simply superb. It follows the story and personal growth of Allie as she comes to terms with her Muslim identity and with how it differs from her parents' journey. I won't get into plot description in any detail, but will just say that the voice is perfect and stunningly authentic, and that Allie's courage and integrity is such a beautiful thing to witness in a young protagonist like this. This book could also not be more timely, as i I was lucky enough to get an early copy of this book and it is simply superb. It follows the story and personal growth of Allie as she comes to terms with her Muslim identity and with how it differs from her parents' journey. I won't get into plot description in any detail, but will just say that the voice is perfect and stunningly authentic, and that Allie's courage and integrity is such a beautiful thing to witness in a young protagonist like this. This book could also not be more timely, as it confronts the reality of what it means to be a young Muslim woman struggling with religion, identity, belonging, falling in love, growing up, and confronting the expectations of family and community - but never in a way that feels forced or inorganic. Nadine Jolie Courtney is a wonderful writer. Her lightness of touch and quiet honesty shine from every page. There is such respect and kindness in this book, such deep empathy for a wide range of characters, and for the necessity to allow each one the space to make mistakes and grow. What I especially loved about it is how well the author understands how deeply personal the political can be for vulnerable and marginalized communities, without ever losing sight of the fact that this is the story of a teenage girl. I also love how the book very simply and forthrightly demystifies the religion of Islam and its practices, while emphasizing a common humanity, that should never need to be emphasized...but that all too regrettably does, during our present times. Yet for all the seriousness of the subject matter, there is love, and laughter, innocence and wonder shining from every page. I learned a lot that I didn't know about the Syrian and Circassian communities through the family relationships that the author details. No character is a stereotype, and one of the great joys of reading a book like this is that it confounds your expectations of nearly every character. The author does a wonderful job of representing the pluralism, dynamism, and feminism to be found within diverse American Muslim communities, and setting all of that against the larger backdrop of a shared society. I fell in love with Allie and Wells, and Allie's family, and I loved that the author told a story wherein the protagonist discovers her own connection to a world, a language, and a history that she grows to love, despite the fact that her path is so different from that of her parents. I think a lot of people across a wide range of communities will recognize themselves in this beautiful, uplifting story, and I highly recommend it. It made me feel so much - I hope it does the same for you.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Maha

    I WANT TO HUG THIS BOOK AND CRY.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rushda

    I won't lie, I mainly picked up this book because the cover was so pretty. When I started reading and Allie, the main character, turned out to be non-practicing, I thought "oh, here we go again" because Muslim YA readers are all too familiar with this. "My family is Muslim but I'm not", or "I wish my religion wasn't so oppressive so I could date this white boy"...I was ready to be let down again. But Nadine Jolie Courtney said not today and wrote one of the most moving Muslim YA books I have ever I won't lie, I mainly picked up this book because the cover was so pretty. When I started reading and Allie, the main character, turned out to be non-practicing, I thought "oh, here we go again" because Muslim YA readers are all too familiar with this. "My family is Muslim but I'm not", or "I wish my religion wasn't so oppressive so I could date this white boy"...I was ready to be let down again. But Nadine Jolie Courtney said not today and wrote one of the most moving Muslim YA books I have ever read in my life 😭🙏🏽 AAMG is about Allie, a high school sophomore, whose dad is an immigrant of Circassian descent and her mum is a white American convert. Her dad has a complicated relationship with religion and has distanced himself from Islam, the Arabic and Circassian languages he grew up speaking and even changed his last name from Ibrahimi to Abraham. Allie knows she's Muslim, but she feels out of place in her family: she can't speak Arabic with her Teta (grandma), nor does her mother's side of the family accept the religion she doesn't even practice. After an incident on a flight where her dad is harassed for speaking Arabic, and Allie uses her white privilege to de-escalate the situation, she starts questioning her identity and why she is so removed from the religion that continues to define a large aspect of her life. And so she finds her faith. It was so incredibly moving to see a character run towards religion instead of away from it. Allie found comfort in the words of the Qur'an she bought in secret, and peace when she learned how to pray. She felt passionate about her religion and was quick to defend Muslims to narrow-minded friends and bigoted adults — and even her own father. Allie's religion and her complex relationship with it, and her journey to finding it, was so incredibly beautiful to read and resonated with me so much. Reading this book, I realised I had been waiting for something like it without even realising. By far one of my favourite aspects of the book was Allie's Qur'an study group, and the girls in it. The new friends Allie makes are young American Muslim girls from a range of backgrounds: Indian, Jordanian, Black American; born into a religious family or converted; hijabi or not...it was incredible. For so long I have waited to see a book show Muslim girls as diverse as I know them to be in real life. These girls talked about their faith and studied the Qur'an, but also loved baking and movies and pop music and they were so proud to be Muslim. My heart honestly felt like it doubled in size when Allie interacted with them, whether it was in the study group or just hanging out. I loved how natural it felt, how moving it was to just see Muslim girls existing without having to justify the space they take up in the book. The girls' discussions of faith and how Islam intersects with feminism, its stances on women's rights, charity, and so much more were discussed with such care and it was clear that the author had done her research. The girls may disagree on some issues, like dating, but they didn't judge each other and allowed each other the space to make their own choices and progress in their religious learning at their own pace. Some of the discussions had no conclusion because, let's face it, we're not getting answers in this life 🤷🏽‍♀️ But that's okay, that's how it is, and it's about us coming to our own conclusions as Allie did. Allie's journey was not about becoming a "good Muslim", it was about becoming a version of herself she can be proud of in front of others and God, and that was just such an amazing thing to read. There is also a romance that is quite central to the book. Allie starts dating Wells, a white non-Muslim boy who, though kind and understanding, has family issues of his own that put Allie in a vulnerable position. This was the first ever time that I have seen a book deal with a Muslim dating a non-Muslim — or dating at all — with such nuance. Is dating haram? Should women be able to have relationships with men outside the religion? Is there any such thing as halal dating? Characters in the book had different takes and in the end, it's Allie's choice. Unlike virtually every other piece of western media where a Muslim girl falls for a white boy, it's not about Allie rejecting her religion to be "free", but about her making her own choices as a Muslim woman. And I was so incredibly proud of her. Although it took me a little while to get into the book, I not only loved it but think it's one of the most important Muslim YA books to have been written so far. Whether you know nothing about Islam or have grown up with it, there will be something to take away. It's full of love for Islam, culture, family and friends; carefully researched with diverse Muslim identities; and led by a passionate main character with a powerful voice. I will have to reclaim my religion, repeatedly. I will deny those who tell me I’m not Muslim 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 of boyfriend—or for choosing to have 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. Just as I am. 4.5 but well worth rounding up 😌

  9. 4 out of 5

    ↠Ameerah↞

    A problematic mess.

  10. 5 out of 5

    julianna ➹

    Okay, I feel kind of weird about this book. Like, I was so incredibly excited for this book. But the synopsis was kind of... misleading? I mean, I totally thought that our main character was going to be a different person than she was. I mean, she literally moves to a new town in the first book. And most of her friends really aren't that great. I was kind of surprised because I was expecting something totally different, so just a disclaimer: the synopsis doesn't sound totally accurate. Also, I'd Okay, I feel kind of weird about this book. Like, I was so incredibly excited for this book. But the synopsis was kind of... misleading? I mean, I totally thought that our main character was going to be a different person than she was. I mean, she literally moves to a new town in the first book. And most of her friends really aren't that great. I was kind of surprised because I was expecting something totally different, so just a disclaimer: the synopsis doesn't sound totally accurate. Also, I'd like to point out that I am not, at all, an ownvoices reader for the Muslim representation in this book, but I have a couple of friends who... think that this book and its rep is terrible. And I also know a Muslim friend who really loved this book! (But yes, this book itself is ownvoices.) Anyways, there were a couple of moments (that were few and far between) that I felt as though I had some actual emotion relating to the novel. Namely, I loved how the religion was treated sometimes! I feel like seeing Allie's real devotion to learning from the Quran made me desire to become more faithful in Christianity. The Muslim club and study group was so heartwarming to see and I'm so happy to see. However... well, I didn't really care about Allie herself, and Wells? Well, he's kind of interesting, I guess, but I didn't see that much of a personality in any of the characters. Also, Allie was just being downright rude about Wells. Listen, children cannot completely change who their parents are! I completely understand that not reacting to things is generally equal to upholding/perpetuation, but sometimes self-preservation is the way to go. Obviously, in certain situations, I thought that Allie had a legitimate point-- but in others, sometimes, it was kind of unfair. There were certain times where I feel like the harmful, problematic events were only there for shock value? And certain subjects were brought up without being dealt with properly, and I just feel like this book was trying to make sure to mention a little bit of racism and other forms of oppression without ever, well, actually going into it. Overall, I was going to give this book 3 stars, but then I realized that I disliked this book during the majority of the time I was reading it, so a 3 star rating?? Was not logical. Trigger and content warnings for Islamophobia and general Islamic discourse (ex. about having a boyfriend that's not Muslim, strained interfamily relations). Thank you so much to the pub for providing me with a digital review copy of this book!

  11. 5 out of 5

    London Shah

    I just finished reading this story, and wow <3 I love every bit of it. Sweet and brave 16-yr-old Muslim Allie's tale is an utterly fascinating one, and her sheer determination and integrity will absolutely win your hearts. It's just the most perfect portrayal of identity and growing up. Allie, a non-practising Muslim girl, explores her identity and realises her growing desire to practice her faith, leaving readers feeling Allie's story is our story—anyone who's ever grappled with their beliefs, t I just finished reading this story, and wow <3 I love every bit of it. Sweet and brave 16-yr-old Muslim Allie's tale is an utterly fascinating one, and her sheer determination and integrity will absolutely win your hearts. It's just the most perfect portrayal of identity and growing up. Allie, a non-practising Muslim girl, explores her identity and realises her growing desire to practice her faith, leaving readers feeling Allie's story is our story—anyone who's ever grappled with their beliefs, their faith's place and reception in the world around us, the rules, laws, culture, and politics, all of it. To that extent we're all Allie, always wondering, always questioning and discovering—wanting and trying to practice with all our hearts who we are, what we believe. It might not always go as smoothly as we'd desire, yet still we persevere, forever carrying the faith in our hearts and minds and would never be without it. Allie's persistence in seeking out and practicing what she truly believes in—no matter the challenges she faces—is beyond inspiring. Reading All-AMERICAN MUSLIM GIRL has been an absolute joy. It's truly fascinating for so many reasons . . . I'd never even heard of Circassian Muslims until reading this. It's endlessly interesting. It's also timely and a great reminder of how every group of people is made up of thinking, feeling individual human beings. An incredibly skilful novel, executed so considerately and honestly—with the authenticity only an author who shares the identity of the main character could ever weave. In fact, this story tackles so many anti-Muslim biases and stereotypes that it should be required reading in schools. Ack, I'm in awe . . . A truly poignant tale of self-discovery and finding your place. Such an important, moving, and beautifully inspiring tale—and exactly what we need right now <3

  12. 4 out of 5

    ikram

    Read full review on my blog here! e-ARC provided by Edelweiss+ in exchange for a honest review. TRIGGER WARNING: - Islamophobic - Hate crimes / speeches - Racism - Mentions of terrorism - Mentions of violence (gunshot) Have you ever felt embarrassed because of a book? Not in a negative way, I mean, you’re embarrassed because the main character is everything you wish yourself to be? That’s what I felt with All-American Muslim Girl. Growing up as Muslim, I understand how it feels to be one and I was sh Read full review on my blog here! e-ARC provided by Edelweiss+ in exchange for a honest review. TRIGGER WARNING: - Islamophobic - Hate crimes / speeches - Racism - Mentions of terrorism - Mentions of violence (gunshot) Have you ever felt embarrassed because of a book? Not in a negative way, I mean, you’re embarrassed because the main character is everything you wish yourself to be? That’s what I felt with All-American Muslim Girl. Growing up as Muslim, I understand how it feels to be one and I was shocked how relatable this book is. Even though I live in a country where the majority of people is Muslim, I still have my own struggles to begin with. I can relate with Allie, a lot of time. From living in a non-religious household, wishing someone can teach you more about Islam and Arabic language, to feeling like you’re not Muslim enough because well, you’re not religious. When reading this, I cried few times. Yes, it’s relatable. Yes, it’s like a mirror of my current live. Yes, it’s a good representation of Islam. There are many books which main characters are Muslim, but there are like few books where the characters really practicing their religions. Allie reads Qur’an, prays, fasting in Ramadhan—even she installed an application many Muslims (I know) have on their phone. This book is about how Islam actually is. I don’t want to sound over-proud but there are few scenes where Nadine Jolie Courtney explained about Islam in her narration; the prayer, al-Fatihah or the first chapter in Qur’an, zakat, five pillars of Islam—almost everything I know as a Muslim, it’s there. What makes me embarrassed is, I want to be Allie. All-American Muslim Girl is like a slap on the face because I’m still not a religious person and often found myself disagree with my fellow Muslims’ point of view—this book is like calling me back home to the path I’ve long abandoned. I’m embarrassed because Allie is willing to learn, even though she lives in a country where Muslim is a minority. Meanwhile I can easily go to mosque and have a Qur’an study group, but instead I didn’t. I want to be like Allie, I want to re-learn more about Islam. I’m embarrassed because it took me a YA novel to realize it. Truthfully, I was skeptical when I first reading the fist few pages, because Allie’s love interest is a white man. I’ve seen many “Muslim” reps that include a white man saved a Muslim girl from her “oppressive” religion. I’ve had enough and am sick with this stereotype, so when this include a white man—I was really skeptical. Turned out, this is a really heartwarming book. Honestly, I feel like this is author’s personal experience and opinion about Islam. I love Nadine for breaking the stereotype Muslim where they don’t date and are all saints 24/7. My rating: 4.5/5 stars Favorite shelf: YES Will I recommend it to you? Absolutely. This is such a nice book if you want to learn more about Islam and OUR practice. 💫 blog | tumblr | twitter 💫

  13. 4 out of 5

    Fafa's Book Corner

    Review posted on Fafa's Book Corner! 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 Review posted on Fafa's Book Corner! 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.

  14. 4 out of 5

    pdbkwm

    (Sorry for the long review) I have conflicting feelings about this. On one hand, I like that All-American Muslim Girl is about a teen girl discovering her faith and the more she learns about Islam the more she loves it. While there have been Muslim fiction books around for years, a lot of them were about a Muslim girl breaking away from her barbaric and misogynistic culture so she could fall into the arms of a white guy. So seeing the opposite happen, where a girl who grows up in an irreligious fa (Sorry for the long review) I have conflicting feelings about this. On one hand, I like that All-American Muslim Girl is about a teen girl discovering her faith and the more she learns about Islam the more she loves it. While there have been Muslim fiction books around for years, a lot of them were about a Muslim girl breaking away from her barbaric and misogynistic culture so she could fall into the arms of a white guy. So seeing the opposite happen, where a girl who grows up in an irreligious family decides to take up the faith even though her *gasp* father is against it is a huge plus. I know Muslim women who wanted to wear the niqab and their parents were against it. I know Muslims who wanted to wear the hijab and their parents were against that too. That narrative shift is a refreshing one to see and one that is needed in this landscape that paints Muslim women as oppressed slaves. It also opened the door to show how easily Islamophobia creeps into our life. There are those who are ‘allies’ but make off handed comments that are problematic, but they don’t realize that it comes off that way. I’ve had acquaintances that would speak out about how racist or divisive certain candidates are, but at the same time look at me with a sad smile and ask if my family is okay with me going out or having a life. Or even worse, “Are they okay with you marrying someone not from your background?” It seems innocent, but there’s Islamophobia mixed in due to what we’ve heard in the media. But I liked that the book also focused on how Muslims also go the Islamophobic route as well. During one of Allie’s Quranic study session, Leila says this after the girls talk about how Islam needs reforming. “You’re doing that thing again. Can I say—it’s, like, critical not to paint all conservative men as bad?” She sounds frustrated. “Just because you’re a fundamentalist doesn’t mean you’re a terrorist. And individual men don’t equal government policies. Like, c’mon, not every man from Saudi Arabia is a misogynist monster. I feel like that gets ignored.” And I was nodding my head, because yes. It’s true. Leila even goes on to say, “Like, being a Secular Muslim—it’s an oxymoron. You always say plenty of Muslims don’t understand the Qur’an and are misinterpreting it, but they’d say the same thing about you. And we haven’t studied it the way the real scholars have…” I absolutely loved this part because it highlighted another form of Islamophobia that isn’t mentioned often, because it happens within Muslims circles. Not to mention that Allie’s own father is one of Islam’s harshest critics in the novel. This book does showcase different types of Muslims: cultural Muslims who don’t practice or follow any of the tenants of the faith, but are Muslim in name only, converts, newly practice Muslims, those who were practice longer and many more. I did like that we did get to see a lot of diverse cast of Muslims. I also liked how Allie, our non-Muslim passing MC, understood her privilege and tried to use it to help others and defend Muslims. On the other hand, there were some misinformation regarding Islam and it left me on the fence. Do I accept it from a fictional standpoint, since Allie doesn’t know her faith and is just learning about it? I think I can. I think I can understand that Allie is new and doesn’t know everything, so she’s going to make mistakes after mistakes. Religious moment here: Islam was revealed in stages to help Muslims adapt and become stronger in their faith. So things like drinking alcohol was allowed in the beginning of Islam, then it was changed to not drinking it when you pray, to then banning it all together. So if I look at it from that lens, I can accept that there will be moments when I, a Muslim who tries to practice and knows bit about the faith, will cringe when there’s misinformation that Allie mentions in the book. For example, at one point Allie says, “On Fridays, the holy day in Islam, Muslims gather at the mosques after noon for Jum’ah prayer. The Prophet reportedly once said that those who pray on Friday will have their wishes granted.” And I just thought, “Oh baby girl, no…no. No….” Is she wrong? Not necessarily, but using the word ‘wishes’ makes it seem like Allah is a genie when it’s not like that. There are certain times when your prayers may be accepted more than others are and a certain time on Fridays are one of those times. However, it’s not a guarantee. Wishes and prayer are two very different things, but if you are learning about the faith and you’re new in your journey then this sort of mistake makes perfect sense. But, and there’s always a but, there were moments when I was wondering why no one was helping Allie on her journey. For example, she’s praying and decides to fast for Ramadan I definitely commend her for doing this, but I kept waiting for the moment when someone would pull her aside and say, “Hey Allie, just a reminder, when you have your period you don’t fast or pray.” But that never happened. Allie mentioned how many days she fasted and I just kept thinking her Muslim friends are failing her if Allie is fasting and praying while on her period. (One could say she had her period before the month, but she was talking about how she’s been praying more and more in the months leading up to Ramadan). This is a weird point to flex on, but it’s also one of the basics things women are told. There were other moments when Allie would find herself talking about complex issues about the faith, which is fine and normal. However, with each conversation she had I found that she went away conforming to her own ideals, which didn’t make much sense to me since she doesn’t know much to begin with. There are definitely moments where I could accept Allie not knowing much, but when her and her friends tried to make judgements about Islam without even studying the religion…..it was hard to read. Misinformation is still misinformation even if you debate about it. Thankfully, another character, Amina, does mention this: “But it’s not smart deluding yourself that your misinformed study group is bringing you closer to Allah. You should spend less time worrying about changing Islam and more time worrying about changing yourself.” My second complaint involved the other plot of the novel – the romance with Wells and the conflict with his father. Wells came off way too good to be true. He wears a t-shirt that says, “This is what Feminism looks like,” and is always super cool with Allie and her Muslim side. He’s also definitely not like his dad, who is a giant Tucker Carlson/Bill O’Rielly type figure in the media. His romance with Allie was cute, but he didn’t have as much depth as some of the other characters in the book even though he was shown more. He does make ignorant comments, like when he talked about how the country is ‘divided’ and it’s different now. If Allie heard this from someone else, she’d snap, but she has a rational conversation with him regarding this and it gets pushed to the side. I wanted more from this, but Wells is super woke and immediately accepts what Allie says about how things were always divided it’s just that others are seeing what minorities have had to see for the first time. I don’t know. I just wanted more. Wells is different from his dad, but he also grew up in a household that is super religious and super conservative. Whether he likes it or not, that aspect of his life will skew his views on things. That doesn’t make him bad, especially if he’s going against the rhetoric his dad spews, but it’s something that makes him, him. I think this was a missed potential of the novel. The relationship between Allie and Wells could have had more angst regarding his father than what we got. Overall, I think the book was good. All-American Muslim Girl is a book for those who are struggling and learning about their faith, while juggling with their Western lifestyle…it’s for everyone, but you guys know what I mean. If you’re a practicing Muslim, then be prepared that there will be moments when you side-eye certain conversations here that don’t come off as very Islamic. Thankfully, I think Nadine Jolie Courtney understands this and had wrote characters like Leila and Amina balance this out. I do wish we got to see more from them, but this isn’t Leila or Amina’s story it’s Allie.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dahlia

    I tremendously appreciated this book as a member of a marginalized religion where scholarship of its laws is continuously and regularly debated. It was so nuanced and thoughtful and *interesting*, and it really was wild how familiar it felt even though so much of the actual information was new to me. This would be great to check out for anyone who’s interested in Islam or religion in general and/or a look at the other side of “passing.”

  16. 5 out of 5

    Shehzeen Muzaffar

    I dont love it exactly but i also dont hate it. Its complicated. But i think it has a lot to do with my experience as a muslim living in a muslim country and a muslim living in america. Even though it was a good read but i also disagree with A LOT OF THINGS! I just ughhhhhh

  17. 4 out of 5

    h i n d

    I might not agree with everything, but before I get into that - The readers will fall into the following categories, and each one will have a different experience with the book and be affected in a different way. 1) For the people who "are caught between two worlds" : will identify to the main character and her struggles. This book will hopefully be the final nudge of encouragement for them to set on the journey to discover their culture/religion no matter what stands in their way. Allie (Alia) I might not agree with everything, but before I get into that - The readers will fall into the following categories, and each one will have a different experience with the book and be affected in a different way. 1) For the people who "are caught between two worlds" : will identify to the main character and her struggles. This book will hopefully be the final nudge of encouragement for them to set on the journey to discover their culture/religion no matter what stands in their way. Allie (Alia) is trying to piece her identity together, and the circumstances aren't really helping, the super islamophobic community, her unsupporting father who refuses to acknowledge his religion ... Yet she very bravely takes matters into her own hands to learn about her religion, taking arabic lessons ... And something that made my heart swell is the healthy friendships she forms, I'm so glad she finds these amazing people to help and guide, encourage her through her journey, the group is very diverse, it's quite refreshing to see. 2) For the Muslim readers - I personally belong in this one : as I mentioned above and will detail below, you may not agree with everything that's said ; but this book shook me and might remind you of what truly matters. "People born into a religion take it for granted. But when you adopt it as your own, it's hard to find the right path." "... Look it's not about memorizing them. You've gotta feel them. Plenty of people recite the words, but what good is a prayer if it's meaningless to you ? ... but plenty of Muslims rush through the motions without thinking." 3) For the people who don't know much about the religion and don't really have any muslim friends : My main issue is here, the book deals with controversial topics, I understand the point of showing that not all Muslims are perfect, but remember that the author, the characters they have point of views, and they aren't necessarily correct (at first I overlooked it saying that Alia is discovering the religion so she can't know everything) But like some things mentioned are fundamentally wrong ; so it could be that the reader doesn't know if something is actually right or not, (not to get into details here but go check the passages where the girls debate things about religion). In short, the book might give you a globally correct idea on Islam from the outside, but do double check things, don't take her ideas as rules. Anyhow, I think this book did a pretty good job at balancing the topics of Islamophobia and identity search. The point of view is unique since it's inspired by the author's experiences. In conclusion, by no means is this book perfect but it IS great debate material, so many interesting topics. P.S : Not to expose myself but before this read, I had never heard of Circassians (oops) so thank you for enlightening me ;) --- Buddy reading with my cool friend 😂

  18. 5 out of 5

    May 舞

    This is not a review. I have not read this book and I don't intend to do that, like, ever. This is just me trying to understand why and how people end up loving novels that celebrate Islam and probably tell a bunch of lies about it to make it seem more progressive. The message about Islamophobia and racism is great and I wholly support it but I don't see how devout Muslims can ever fit into Western Society, or into any society that treats peoples of other faiths, women, and minorities like human This is not a review. I have not read this book and I don't intend to do that, like, ever. This is just me trying to understand why and how people end up loving novels that celebrate Islam and probably tell a bunch of lies about it to make it seem more progressive. The message about Islamophobia and racism is great and I wholly support it but I don't see how devout Muslims can ever fit into Western Society, or into any society that treats peoples of other faiths, women, and minorities like human beings, without them giving up on several out-dated tenets and practices. I live in a third world country where the majority follows Islam, and it's not a good place to live in, precisely because religion is in control. Perhaps this book modernizes Islam and makes it seem at least potentially compatible with values like freedom, embracing diversity, and not shoving your opinions down other people's throats through direct force or intimidation. But it is crucial for readers, and everyone else, to know that Islam is not a progressive religion. If a person decides to faithfully follow the Qura'an and the Prophet's instructions, they better off be living in Saudia Arabia or Iran, because that's where they will fit. Unlike many Christians, most Muslims still believe in the literal truth of the Qura'an, and it's like following the Old Testament to the letter. Women's bodies (and sometimes their faces) must be covered because apparently we need to protect our "virtue" and not seduce men. There is an explicit mention of the "fact" that men occupy "a higher place" and their inheritance (after their parents' death) is double that of women. If a woman testifies in court, her testimony is worth half that of the man. Other religions are false, and Muslims are better than everyone else because they are right. Husbands order/allow divorce while wives don't have a say in the matter unless they give up all their rights in the marital contract. Abortion is haram. Homosexuality is haram and is punishable by death. Sex before marriage results in whipping or stoning (I forgot which one). Theft is punished by hand amputation. Adoption is haram because people will get confused about who fathered which. Evolution is fiction. Science is subservient to religion. And the list goes on. Now, many Muslims who live in Western countries don't believe in this shit; they are just normal people leading peaceful lives and not harming anyone, but that's because they cherry-pick the parts that are compatible with their society and their humanitarian values and pretend that the rest is either metaphorical or misunderstood. New interpretations that allow Muslims to bridge the gap between what they believe is right and what the Qura'an says they should do are currently in fashion. The Barbarism is slowly bleeding out (at least outside the Middle East) and leaving more positive and inclusive attitudes (with the exception of the Hijab thing, which is another rant that I can't go into without severely digressing from the point). All in all, this is great news. But I worry. I worry that presenting this one attractive side of Islam will make people complacent because they either don't know or don't understand the depth of barbarism that can result from staunch believers getting the upper hand, especially when it comes to social equality. In our constitution, for example, despite Egypt being a Muslim country, many of the more unsavory punishments like whipping and amputation are no longer practiced because of the tacit understanding that they are inhumane; however, when it comes to women's rights and LGBT rights, for example, suddenly the Qura'an has to be followed. It is used by straight, religious, misogynistic, racist, and homophobic men to oppress others, and those others take it because that's what their religion says and that's what they have come to believe. Many women will tell you that they are wearing hijab because it's their choice, not because they were taught that their bodies are a source of shame that must be covered or that they were threatened they will be hanged by their hair in hell on Judgement day for refusing to obey. They will fight for it. And it's their right to wear whatever they want, but it subjects many young girls to the same indoctrination. And non-muslims leave them out of respect for their choices but children don't really get to choose whether to be brainwashed or not. I still live in a predominantly muslim community where my entire family follows this faith, so I do understand what I'm saying. I'm an ardent believer in social equality and I call myself an SJW. Islamophobia and racism are never justified. Period. My point is, before celebrating a religion, you need to understand what exactly this religion advises, what most of its followers actually do in real life and in other countries, what they think and believe, and what their ideal society looks like. Modern Muslims (or as they are called here, cute muslims) probably hold progressive values and do not wish to live in Saudia Arabia (unless its current attempts to modernize succeed), but cute muslims are not the majority, and Islam is not a lovely religion unless you strip away half of it. This has happened to many religions and hopefully it will happen to Islam too, but we are not there yet. And that's what we all need to understand. Accepting other people's right to practice whichever religion they believe in is not the same thing as actively celebrating that religion and presenting it as this cute version that everyone can't help but like. I don't care what other people think, but as someone who has suffered, and still suffers, from entrenched misogyny and gross inequality advocated and protected by said religion, I cannot read this book. I love books that celebrate diversity, especially among populations that have been systematically oppressed. The difference in this case is that I don't find Muslims oppressed. Maybe they are in "the West", but here they are oppressors, and they are unapologetic about it because this is what their religion teaches them to do. I do not appreciate Muslims living in the West and enjoying a great deal of personal freedom misrepresenting what goes on for the rest of us who are not as privileged. It is way easier to think this religion is wonderful when you do not have to directly deal with it; you can then cherry-pick what sounds compassionate and humane and stick to it, but for the rest of us, that's not possible. And I cannot wait to get out before I slowly suffocate to death.

  19. 5 out of 5

    sammira✨

    All I can really say at the moment is that I am so so grateful and thankful that this book exists and is coming out into the world soon. This book was all about validation and acceptance, like a friend pulling you in for a warm hug saying that everything’s going to be okay. You’re okay and you’re valid just the way you are. Thank you so much to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to review this book in exchange for my thoughts. Full review to come ♡

  20. 4 out of 5

    Madalyn (Novel Ink)

    *4.5 stars* I really really really enjoyed this!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Okay. The blurb intrigued me and the reviews are sooo good! Buying and starting ASAP!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kate Olson

    Hands-down one of the most beautiful and important books I read in 2019.

  23. 5 out of 5

    haniya

    ok, lemme just say, i was SOOO excited for this book! i mean, i waited 8 months for it - 8 MONTHS! can you believe that??? me, being patient??? pfft, who AM i? i hate waiting, but ya know, i was excited for this book, & then it was in my hands...& then, i read it....& i absolutely HATE it! (that was kinda harsh - let's try this again :) i hated this book :)) i really wanted to like this book. as a muslim myself & being born into a very religious family, i wanted to know what it's like for allie, ok, lemme just say, i was SOOO excited for this book! i mean, i waited 8 months for it - 8 MONTHS! can you believe that??? me, being patient??? pfft, who AM i? i hate waiting, but ya know, i was excited for this book, & then it was in my hands...& then, i read it....& i absolutely HATE it! (that was kinda harsh - let's try this again :) i hated this book :)) i really wanted to like this book. as a muslim myself & being born into a very religious family, i wanted to know what it's like for allie, our main protagonist as an all-american muslim. but there are waaay too many reasons why this book turned out to be inaccurate & just down-right terrible, but i'll just list a few: 1) okay, lemme just say i'm a muslim that was raised in & lives in the united states. & i have NEVER, ever been criticised/been called terrorist for who i am. obviously, there are muslims out there who do have this problem & i don't doubt it. but the author writes it as if every turn a muslim takes, someone will be there to be like, "oh, you're a muslim, you're a terrorist". that's just very unrealistic. & i'm not saying that people don't do this. they do! but in the book, it's literally happening everywhere! 2) "i've been constantly missing prayers. i don't know why it's so hard for me to pray, even though it takes five seconds." that's something the main character, allie's friend, leila says - who i ought to mention, is a muslim. okay, first of all, praying doesn't take five seconds. you have to pray very slowly, like an old person. but i'll just brush this part of what she said off because leila was probably exaggerating. what i want to focus on is the other part of the sentence. it's just...a little peculiar. & i'm having a very hard time explaining it into words but... so basically, i don't understand how it's become hard for leila to pray... umm, this might not make sense to anyone who wasn't raised being taught islam but how is it hard to pray? like, i'm not judging or anything, but praying is a PRIVILEGE along with a duty. God gave us the chance to talk to him & ask him to fulfill our needs. so, this might not make sense, but in a way, this sentence just gave me the underlying meaning of praying for the wrong reasons. & i think the author should've done a little more research for this. 3) "...sometimes i won't make wudu and i'll think: 'God, please forgive me.'" umm...what?! i know that it may seem a little weird that i'm saying this but from muslims perspective, praying without wudu is like taking a bath without stripping. it actually doesn't make ANY sense at all! if you don't make wudu, you're not pious enough to pray. i find it very hard to imagine someone praying without wudu, and i know this sounds unfair but that's how, i think, muslims look at it. or maybe it's just because i was raised in a very religous family. 4) allie, when discussing well's father with him, says, "what if your parents aren't worth obeying? what if they're wrong?" (okay, lemme just: ....) no, no, no, no, no, no, *infinite amount of more "no"'s*, NO! that is not how it works! she's creating her own image of islam to fit her actions & choices & that's just wrong! the holy quran clearly states that you must, must ALWAYS respect your parents - no matter what, no matter how wrong they are or how despicable of a human being they are (& in islam, this actually goes for everyone, not just parents)! God says that if your parents aren't happy with you, neither is he. 5) dating is haraam. done. period. allie is out there, dating a boy, kissing him...& at the same time, trying to be a better muslim??? i don't know about you, but that just sounds MESSED UP to me! this, again, brings me to the fact that allie is changing islam to fit her choices. and yea, okay, people shouldn't judge you and stuff and you're a muslim if you consider yourself one....no. the quran says it and it means it. [somewhere in the book, allie also mentions something along the lines of, "oh, the quran is so old. truly, some of the rules must have changed with the centuries". *blinks continuously* ...okay, wat the quran has never, & WILL NEVER change. unlike the bible, which, if i recall correctly, has been re-written multiple times, the quran has stayed the same, & will continue to stay the same. & even if this wasn't the case, allie has NO RIGHT to simply state, "oh, some of the rules must have changed". umm, this girl needs to get her priorities straight.] 6) in the book, allie one day decides to go to school wearing a hijab to test it,,, ya know, coz that's just so normal. & then, the next day, she returns to normal.... nooo! she cannot do that! she can't wear a hijab one day and then not wear it again! this isn't an experiment!! she either wears it or she doesn't. it's not an on and off thing!! that's just blasphemous!! she's making a fool out of islam and that's NOT okay! so,,, that's just some of the complaints i have about this book, but the ending was actually pretty good :) i think it was the only part of the book i actually enjoyed! but that still isn't enough. i don't like this book & the way it represented islams & muslim - it was just so messed up & all over the place (if you want to learn about islam, you should talk to an ayatollah). nothing really even happened in the book, the main character, allie was annoying & the romance was also very dry. i think this book had a lot of potential,,, but... ahh...everything was just...

  24. 5 out of 5

    M. Reads Books and Fics

    So, I chose this book just because of the title. This book touches on important topics, and I enjoyed it highly. I thought it was interesting to learn about a group of Muslim people I wasn’t aware of, and the topics covered were very poignant. Allie deals with a lot of struggles, and I admire her tenacity to explore her faith and to grow as a Muslim and person overall. Of course I can’t even fathom the tough issues she’s faced since I’m not Muslim, I do resonate with the feeling of wanting to co So, I chose this book just because of the title. This book touches on important topics, and I enjoyed it highly. I thought it was interesting to learn about a group of Muslim people I wasn’t aware of, and the topics covered were very poignant. Allie deals with a lot of struggles, and I admire her tenacity to explore her faith and to grow as a Muslim and person overall. Of course I can’t even fathom the tough issues she’s faced since I’m not Muslim, I do resonate with the feeling of wanting to connect to your culture. I’m half Mexican, and I’m sad I never had more of a chance to know that part of my heritage. Allie Abraham is sixteen, and her family has finally settled down in Providence, Georgia after living various places due to her father’s work as a professor. She’s a Muslim, but she’s able to pass as white because of her mother. Her father isn’t religious so Allie didn’t grow up around the culture as much as she wanted to. But Allie realizes she wants to more connected to her Muslim heritage. She starts practicing Islam, and she transitions. She goes from being the all American girl to a Muslim American in the eyes of her peers so she’s looked at differently. She learns to embrace her faith and stand up against Islamaphobia. It’s even more interesting because her boyfriends dad is a conservative tv personality who speaks out strongly against Muslims. This book is a great resource for teens or anyone trying to find their identity in their own way, on their own terms. There’s something extra resonant regarding the journey many teens face of self discovery while also just being a teen, dealing with friends, dating, and life. Courtney shows how Allie wants to grow as a Muslim while still being herself, like she wants to respect her faith but still be a teenager. Honestly, it’s very interesting. This book has come out at a time when people need to be more open and accepting. I think everyone should read this book, it will open the mind and foster a better dialogue about Muslim culture. The only disappointment was none of the text messages being included in the eARC so it feels like I missed out on a lot. Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for the eARC . All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    An excellent read about a muslim girl coming to understand her faith and how to speak up and out about it. She's white -- she's Muslim via the Caucus region -- and the book dismantles white privilege and how it is so easily tied into religion. A sweet and complicated romance to boot. An excellent read about a muslim girl coming to understand her faith and how to speak up and out about it. She's white -- she's Muslim via the Caucus region -- and the book dismantles white privilege and how it is so easily tied into religion. A sweet and complicated romance to boot.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sunshine

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I don't think I've EVER been this torn on a book before. Buckle in, folks. It's a long 'un. To preface this review: I am a practicing and devout Muslim, born-and-raised. And I'm one of those Muslims who is thoroughly fed up with novels about Muslims where the Muslim main character has to break the rules of Islam to be free, enjoy life, and get her kicks with the white guy she's inevitably in love with. I am always on the search for a book that actually has decent Muslim representation where the I don't think I've EVER been this torn on a book before. Buckle in, folks. It's a long 'un. To preface this review: I am a practicing and devout Muslim, born-and-raised. And I'm one of those Muslims who is thoroughly fed up with novels about Muslims where the Muslim main character has to break the rules of Islam to be free, enjoy life, and get her kicks with the white guy she's inevitably in love with. I am always on the search for a book that actually has decent Muslim representation where the main character actually likes and follows Islam (because hello? We EXIST?). So far, only two books come to mind: 1) Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah; I read this when I was sixteen, so who knows if I'd like it if I read it now, but I do recall that the main character refused to date the white guy she was in love with, and 2) Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin, where both main characters are Muslim and reasonably devout. But that's it. Those are the only two books I've come across --- and even those aren't what I want them to be. The rest of the books we have starring Muslim main characters...are complete and utter trash. I was initially intrigued by this book because 1) the cover is really pretty, and 2) one review said that she, too, was sick of stories about Muslims straying from Islam to be free...and she was pleasantly surprised by this book. So, even though I had heavy doubts (hey, I've been burned many times), I went in with a little bit of hope that maybe this book would be IT: a book that finally represents Muslims accurately. And it...kind of was? But also kind of wasn't? I'll try to divide my review into the good and the bad. I I'll start with the good: I think Nadine Jolie Courtney did a good job writing about the culture displacement the children of immigrants feel --- especially the children of immigrants who lose certain parts of their culture, such as their language. As someone who can't speak my mother tongue as fluently as I'd like because my parents didn't emphasize it enough, I completely connected to Allie's frustration in not being able to speak Arabic. And while I couldn't necessarily relate to being totally disconnected from her religion and culture (since I did grow up with culture and religion totally present in my life), I thought Ms. Courtney did a good job conveying the confusion, pain, frustration, and longing that comes from being torn between two worlds --- and not knowing how to bridge the gap between them. I also liked that the book was quite frank about certain aspects of Islam, such as the fact that it's haram (forbidden) to date in Islam. I'm not even going to pussyfoot around this; if you're a Muslim and you date, well...I certainly can't stop you. But I won't sit here and pretend like it's this okay thing to do in Islam. It's not. And I appreciated that the book was quite unapologetic in stating this as a fact, since there are a lot of Muslims who want to turn Islam into Islam-lite and will pretend like dating is okay. I liked how proud Allie became of being a Muslim, and how she began to change her life to be a better Muslim: wearing modest clothing, fasting for Ramadan, praying five times a day, reading Quran, doing dhikr and making dua... I also liked how, because of her growing pride in Islam, she boldly confronted Islamophobia several times in the books, expressing the frustration and anger so many Muslims feel at the constant Islamophobia we face. And the book made it clear that Islamophobes come in many shapes and forms; sometimes they're white Republican types like Well's father...and sometimes they're self-loathing Muslims themselves. The hatred of Islam can definitely come from within, and I liked the fact that the book didn't shy away from showing that being staunchly pro-science and anti-religion can blur into ignorance and bigotry. (After all, diehard, hateful atheists have more in common with diehard, hateful religious folk than they'd care to admit.) The last thing that I really liked was the fact that Ms. Courtney showed quite a few different types of Muslims. I did like the fact that she showed the reality of the Ummah: we are not all alike. People have different ways of practicing (or of not practicing at all). We don't have to agree with how other Muslims choose to practice Islam, but we also can't pretend like this divide in practices and philosophies doesn't exist. For every Muslim who thinks dating is okay, there is another Muslim firmly stating, "Actually, dating is haram." Likewise, in this novel, we had Muslims who wanted to change Islam, to adapt it, or to do things that broke Islam's rules --- and then we had Muslims who staunchly refused that lifestyle and refuted it. I appreciated that; this book would have been absurd if it had been all "Islam is anything you want it to be, as long as you have a connection with Allah :)" Muslims, because that's...quite frankly, not true? Islam is about intention --- but Islam also has rules. It cannot be changed, and it should not be changed, according to God's command. And there were characters (such as Leila and Amina) who baldly pointed this out, which I appreciated. That said...let me move onto the the bad: Despite the fact that the novel absolutely did show self-awareness about the concept of Islam-lite --- people cherry-picking the parts of Islam that they like and ignoring the rest; people trying to change Islam to make it "progressive" and fit Western standards --- it somehow...still...ended up being Islam-lite? For example: Wells, Allie's boyfriend. I was rooting so hard for her to break up with him, tell herself, Not only do I not need a man in general right now, but I'm going to give him up for Allah's sake, because that's the right thing to do, and focus on loving herself...but no. She told Wells she wanted to try halal-dating, basically broke all the rules of halal-dating because she still kissed him 24/7, and ended up with him. I mean, what's the message here? "Follow Islam...until Islam tells you not to do something you want to. Then don't follow Islam"? I just felt cheated. Plenty of Muslim girls grow up, have crushes, and manage to not date; it's not that hard, honestly, and it's insulting that people want to act like that type of lifestyle is totally inconceivable. There were simply too many instances of the author pointing out "Oh, this Muslim drinks!" and "Oh, look, that Muslim has a beard and is totally not practicing!" It felt very "MUSLIMS — THEY'RE JUST LIKE US!" There were also a few things stated about Islam which was inaccurate. Allie also supported some things and behaviors in the book that go against Islam. So again, it felt a little like Islam-lite: Allie only took the bits of Islam that made her personally feel good, and then kind of ignored the rest. I tried to excuse it because she was basically like a convert: new to Islam and still learning. Still, it irked me, because we had characters like Leila and Amina flatly state that certain things were wrong (such as trying to change Islam or implying that verified Hadith could be wrong) --- but it felt like their words were in one ear of the author and out the other. Which is weird, because the author WROTE the book? But still. It felt like she was saying "Okay, and here's this other viewpoint. But anyway, back to my main character, who has a more palatable and mainstream view of Islam." Which, again, is weird...because Allie did have a few moments of self-awareness where she understood that there were certain types of Muslims who were more palatable and mainstream. But those moments of self-awareness were totally overridden by the ultimate plot narrative, which I find disappointing and frustrating. Non-Muslims reading this book will read Leila's and Amina's points of view and think, Yeah, yeah, whatever; Allie's better. That's how Islam should be which is just...UGH. There was also this strange secondary story where her mother is a Muslim who cares deeply for her religion...but hardly practices it or knows anything about it? This confused and annoyed me, because again, it felt like it was sending the message: "We are all one if believe in our hearts and sing Kumbaya!" May God forgive me for my judgmental attitude, but I simply don't agree with this. I don't agree that you can just be like, Well, I love Islam, and that's it. There's so much about Islam that is about doing, about PRACTICE, and I thought it was so odd how Allie's mother was painted as someone who apparently is quite protective of Islam --- yet in no way practices it. Overall, the book is odd, because it DOES boldly state certain things about Islam that I like, and it also does have this undercurrent of self-awareness about the pressure Muslims feel to bend, to bow, to change Islam to fit what the Western world wants them to be. But despite these good things, somehow the book also had Islamic misinformation in it and Allie did end up practicing a form of Islam-lite. Whether that's forgivable or not is debatable, because she was a new Muslim and Islam is all about forgiveness --- but I'm also cranky, tired, and impatient for the day I read about a Muslim protagonist who actually feels like me or the Muslim girls I know. It's still one of the best portrayals of Islam in YA I have yet to see --- but is that because it's actually very good? Or is it because the competition is such utter garbage? I want so badly in my heart to believe it's the former, but my gut is telling me it's the latter. Sigh. Still: it was an interesting, well-written read, and I do applaud Nadine Jolie Courtney for writing about a concept --- a white-passing all-American girl becoming Islamic --- that many people wouldn't dare to write about. I just feel that it ultimately missed the mark.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Adiba Jaigirdar

    All-American Muslim Girl is one of my favourite books of 2019, and I feel so lucky that I got the chance to read an early copy. This novel is about a lot of things but ultimately it's about what it means to be young and Muslim in this day and age, because that unfortunately comes with a lot of baggage. Allie comes from a family who are not exactly practising Muslims, though they often still have to deal with all the stigmas and negative stereotypes that come with being Muslim in America. Allie i All-American Muslim Girl is one of my favourite books of 2019, and I feel so lucky that I got the chance to read an early copy. This novel is about a lot of things but ultimately it's about what it means to be young and Muslim in this day and age, because that unfortunately comes with a lot of baggage. Allie comes from a family who are not exactly practising Muslims, though they often still have to deal with all the stigmas and negative stereotypes that come with being Muslim in America. Allie is specifically confronted with this because she doesn't "look" Muslim, so she gets a unique view into all of the Islamophobia that people around her feel free to perpetuate since they think they're not in the presence of someone Muslim. But as Allie grows closer to her faith, things get a lot more difficult. We get to see how Allie's world, including her relationships with her family and friends, shift as she begins to learn more about her faith. This is the first book I've read where a Muslim character grows closer to her faith when things become difficult, rather than getting further away from it. It's an authentic portrayal of how faith can help us in our most challenging times. This is also a novel that portrays Islam and Muslims with a lot of nuance and depth. The novel has a diverse cast of Muslim characters, many of them who have different beliefs and practice the religion differently, or don't practice the religion at all. I highly, highly recommend picking up this brilliant novel.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rameela (Star)

    Initial Thoughts: 😭😭😭😭😭 full review with mini interview on my blog (starisallbookedup.wordpress.com) If you love reading Muslim stories (DUH!), standing up to racism and hatred and ignorance, fighting for what you believe in, trying to fit in, really yummy food, friendships, and drama you would love this book! I would recommend this to anyone who wants to learn about Muslims and see a relatable yet unique perspective about struggling with faith. I think those that liked A Very Large Expanse of Sea Initial Thoughts: 😭😭😭😭😭 full review with mini interview on my blog (starisallbookedup.wordpress.com) If you love reading Muslim stories (DUH!), standing up to racism and hatred and ignorance, fighting for what you believe in, trying to fit in, really yummy food, friendships, and drama you would love this book! I would recommend this to anyone who wants to learn about Muslims and see a relatable yet unique perspective about struggling with faith. I think those that liked A Very Large Expanse of Sea or Saints and Misfits would also enjoy this book!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Silanur

    Read this as a sensitivity read. :)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jerramy

    I started reading this out of curiosity and was blown away by its brilliance. I expected the usual chick lit mixed with high school hijinks, but instead I found a modern-day Romeo & Juliet story with compelling characters, true romance and an important message – especially for young people coming of age in Trump’s America. The author handles heavy topics (like xenophobia, religious stereotypes, and fact-free news) with the lightest touch. It was an absolute pleasure to read and should be require I started reading this out of curiosity and was blown away by its brilliance. I expected the usual chick lit mixed with high school hijinks, but instead I found a modern-day Romeo & Juliet story with compelling characters, true romance and an important message – especially for young people coming of age in Trump’s America. The author handles heavy topics (like xenophobia, religious stereotypes, and fact-free news) with the lightest touch. It was an absolute pleasure to read and should be required reading for every teenager (and their parents!).

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