Cover Image: Love from A to Z

Love from A to Z

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Member Reviews

Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for giving me an advanced reader's copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

My eye was immediately drawn to the book's bright blue cover (which is *so* perfect - you'll see when you read it) and diverse characters: an Asian-Canadian guy who lives in Qatar, and a Pakistani/West-Indian/American girl. Both of whom, we later discover, are Muslim. I'm loving the diverse characters we're starting to see represented in books, YA in particular, and the chance to learn about cultures different from my own.

While Zayneb is fiery and full of zeal, Adam is calm and quiet. But, they're united in the way they look at and make sense of the world around them, recording things as either marvels or oddities. I was eager to find out how these two would balance their opposing forces. 

While Love from A to Z has got all the things I love about teen romance, there are a lot more things at play. Things like Islamophobia, grief, and MS. These are the things that kept me turning the pages.
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This book was phenomenal!!!!!

Love from A to Z is different then the typical books that I read but I am soooooo glad that I read it! Not only is it a cute love story but it's also down to earth in the sense that it's 100% realistic! I always hate the cute YA love stories where nothing is believable or relatable but this book is the opposite!

Zayneb and Adam are adorable together but it's also a really nice eye opener for people who aren't familiar with the Muslim religion and the culture around it. For me, it was a very uplifting perspective and I loved being able to get a small inside look at the religion. I recommend this book for that alone 100%!

Along with the love story, I feel like it's also a coming of age story as well. The two are lost in a growing world, especially when it comes to school and what to do next with your future, which I know from experience that everyone goes through it! What I don't have experience with is Islamophobia, and it hurts my heart that people like Zayneb and Adam, but also in the real world go through it on a daily basis. I loved the fact that with the narrative perspective, I am able to see the receiving side of this behaviour and I would tell everyone to read this book simply because of that since it is so important to understand. Not only that, but you can tell that the author did their research about MS as well and this allows for people to understand Adam on a different level while he's going through his diagnosis and the confused emotions behind everything. I loved the fact that Adam and Zayneb were REAL, and that their experiences were REAL.

But, through their journals, the people they love and each other, they are able to overcome their inner battles in order to battle the world around them. This book gave me hope, and it has even made me want to create my own Marvel and Oddities journal!!

I loved Love From A to Z, and when it is published I plan on picking up a copy and reading it again!
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***Digital arc provided by Salaam Reads / Simon & Schuster Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***

4.75* 

I think it is my highest rated book of the year and it's not perfect as I try to explain a little bit throughout my review.

Main reasons I was drawn to this book is the blue cover but mostly the fact that a character deals with MS, an illness that I am dealing with since 2009.

I am giving the book an almost perfect rating because on MS alone, you can tell there was research done as it isn't a simple one. MS is complicated to booth; not one person feels it the same as someone else and I liked that there was a spot at the end explaining all this. Very nice touch. And even though I'm not the target audience for this due to the bigger plot, all about Muslim teens falling in love and what it enthails (which I cannot relate or appreciate to it's right value) and what they have to deal with (Zayneb) with racism/Islamophobia.

After saying I cannot appreciate the true value of this, I loved how it was written, the flow of it felt really good. Two point of views written in first person and parts of both by way of a journal of sorts. I definitely prefered when the stories didn't join together... meaning that I liked Zayneb's separate life and dealings with people, family, school and general life. Same with Adam dealing with repercussions of his illness and history with his mother living with it and questions and doubts about the future. 

Surprisingly enough, I was more drawn towards Zayneb's story so I basically did a 180 on what got me interested in the book in the first place. And I'm actually happy about it. Not that Adam's isn't interesting or important... all the contrary! We actually need more stories and characters that deal with MS. Such a complicated one it is, it's crazy. I feel like a broken record as I already said so above.

Zayneb is a very strong character who has to fight for her values and rights and deal with her teacher's and a lot of other people's racism/Islamophobia. Basically, it's mostly all about misundertanding and the general human being tends to hate what they don't understand/is different than who/what he/she is. It's fact!

The love story was really cute none the less but I wanted more about Muslim and what it is and all. The closer I was getting to the end, I wondered many times if there would be a sequel to the book but the way it ended, basically like a fairytale of "... and they lived happily ever after..." left me on my hunger somehow. it is still a really cool story and I'm glad I requested it. I recommend it whole heartedly!!
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On the surface, this is an adorable romance between two Muslim protagonists: Zayneb and Adam; however, it goes so much deeper than that. 

Zayneb just got suspended from school and flies from Indiana to aunt’s house in Doha a week early for an extended Spring Break. There’s a layover in London. Adam is flying home to Doha from school in London, where he stopped attending classes and has been making this since being diagnosed with MS. Their paths cross in the airport in London and the flight to Doha. Fate is on their side when they meet again at a party taking place at Adams house. Zayneb’s aunt is a teacher at the school that Adam’s father is the director of and was his mother’s best friend. A lot happens after this initial meeting that brings them together and changes both of lives. 

This book explores Islamophobia, cultural appropriation, multiple sclerosis, dealing with loss, grief, drone strikes, justice, peace, friendship, the importance of family, having a support system, what it means to be Muslim, converting to Islam, marvels and oddities. 

The story alternates between their points of view so the reader gets a good idea of what they’re thinking and feeling. 

There are a lot of lovely side characters like Zayneb’s aunt and Adam’s sister and father and a taxi driver named Zahid. 

As an outsider, this book provided me with a better understanding of the religion of Islam and its culture. I also learned about drone strikes and MS. The story is own voices and the author tried to be as accurate as possible with every detail. It shows how much work she put into it because the writing is very descriptive and informative. Everything about this story was done so well.
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This book is so very important for everyone to read. 
Zayneb is all fire. She is a Muslim girl who refuses to accept the constant Islamophobia thrown her way. She is angry and she has every right to be. Our story begins when she is suspended from school for "threatening" a teacher. The teacher in question is an Islamophobe and is constantly disregarding Zayneb. From here she is sent to Doha to visit her aunt and hopefully find clarity. 
Adam is our male protagonist, he is Muslim, having converted at a young age and he's dealing with a recent diagnosis of multiple sclerosis which just happens to be the disease that killed his mother. He's coming home to Doha from university to tell his dad of his diagnosis and that he's left school for the time being. 
Zayneb and Adam have this odd and marvelous thing in common. They both have a Marvels and Oddities journal, in which they record marvels (air, touch, seventies music, coincidences) and oddities (haters, trauma, secrets, heart pain). The story is mostly told through their various journal entries although there is a sort of narrator through-out the book that pops up now and again to keep things flowing. 
This was such a powerful and poignant read. My heart broke multiple times reading this book, but it offers so much hope as well. A & Z work so well as a couple, Zayneb is fiery and passionate while Adam is soft and quiet. They complement each other very well and it was nice to see a YA relationship between two Muslim characters. 
This book taught me so much about religion, relationships, multiple sclerosis, grief and even the world. Adam attended Doha International School so his friends are literally from everywhere. Adam himself is Canadian (yay canada). 
While I think EVERYONE should read this I'm glad it exists for readers who are Muslim so they can see themselves represented in YA literature.
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