I found this book absolutely repulsive. The only "world-building" in the entire novel is the blurb on the flap: "imagine a United States where registries and detainment camps for Muslim-Americans are a reality." There is only a small, vague reference to 9/11, but absolutely NOTHING to explain the virulent anti-Islam statements and actions in the book. I can understand alternate histories... usually. When there is no explanation for anything, with a purposefully ignorant narrator (Sarah-Mary, named with the "most American" names possible because she has dark hair and dark eyes (?!?!) ) I found this book a horrible read.

You may ask, why are you hating on this book? I will tell you why. There is much alternate World War II history, but you didn't see authors DURING the 1940s writing about alternate concentration camp histories. Yet Laura Moriarty (the author) decides, WHILE we are fighting RADICAL Islam, WHILE we are dealing with a RESURGENCE OF ANTI-ISLAM IN AMERICA, TODAY (!!) , that she is going to write this book. I do not think this book is appropriate to the time period in which we live.

The level of white saviorism is intensely high, and not even hidden. What is "white saviorism" you may ask? It's this young, 17 year old white girl trying to save a Muslim woman (married, with a child,) yet doesn't even show her the respect of calling her by her own name even without a need to: Chloe this, Chloe that, never her real name: Sadaf. I find this repulsive. Why is Sarah-Mary not showing Sadaf the courtesy of of calling her by her own name whenever it is not threatening?

Just because of Sarah-Mary's attitude (she keeps trying to do everything herself; won't call Sadaf by her name; doesn't even watch the news with videos of Muslims being driven on buses to Nevada (although her extremely compassionate brother does); and a huge level of ignorance concerning EVERYTHING about Islam in general (she "jokes" to bring Sadaf a bacon sandwhich up from the hotel lobby) ... )

PLOT: something that is basically Sarah-Mary and Sadaf driving up to Canda. Also includes a distracting scene with Sarah-Mary's flighty mother, who just tries to marry wealthy men.

CHARACTERS: I didn't have a favorite character, and Sarah-Mary's development looks like so: doesn't care at all about the current situation --> persuaded by her younger, compassionate brother to help Sadaf --> decides, "hey, Muslim's aren't so bad," only because she is not virulently anti-Islam because she doesn't pay attention --> etc. She gets upset with Sadaf, who, (because they are mostly hitch-hiking) looking at the statistics of things, doesn't want to ride with African American drivers (they DO get pulled over more often :( ... ). Sarah-Mary, in an act of true white-saviorism, exclaims how horrible it is for Sadaf to be so "racist!" Uh... HELLO, EARTH TO SARAH-MARY: TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR ALTERNATE-HISTORY-ANTI-ISLAM-AMERICA.

ACCURACY: I have to admit, because ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about the history of this anti-Islam is unexplained for LITERALLY THE ENTIRE BOOK, I find it extremely INACCURATE. If you don't give me a reason WHY things are happening, we have a problem.

RECOMMENDATION: I would advise my friends not to read this. This book was written at the wrong time, and if you think it doesn't matter it was written now, ask Muslims about their opinion on this book. Goodreads has quite a discussion about it right now. Here is the link to Adiba Jaigirdar's review of the book: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3181421-adiba-jaigirdar

This book could have been written to express the Golden Rule and such, but it was not, and I have never disliked a book this much before.

WittySofa's rating:
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