Cover Image: All-American Muslim Girl

All-American Muslim Girl

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Member Reviews

While I enjoyed this novel, I did not necessarily find elements of it to be plausible. I think, though, it's important to show that Islamophobia is widespread and that not all Muslims look the way stereotypes might make some readers think they do.
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This was a beautiful Own Voices book that tackles important and complicated issues surrounding religion and identity through the lens of a character who is just trying to find her way in the world. It's a coming-of-age story aimed at teens but I think it's an important read for everyone. Some of the character choices were a little hard to understand, but overall it was a great read and I'd recommend it! Hope to see more from this author!
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This was an interesting read. I loved the premise, it was very intriguing reading about a different religion from this point of view. Allie was a likable character. As someone not familiar with this religion, it was a great insight. I liked this book, but wasn't overwhelmed by it.
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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!
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I really loved how the book started out. From the first chapter alone, I thought this was going to be a five star book for sure! Unfortunately, there were some things that I disliked that didn’t get resolved and ultimately brought down my enjoyment of this book. But we’ll get to that. First, let’s start with the things I really enjoyed.

From the start this book started tackling Islamophobia head on. I usually don’t remember how books start off, but I found the first chapter to be incredibly powerful. In it the main character Allie deals with an Islamophobic man on a plane ride with her parents. Right from the get-go the conversation becomes complex with Allie discussing how since she doesn’t look Muslim she has a lot of privilege that many Muslims aren’t afforded, including being able to de-escalate a tense situation.

And that was one of my favorite aspects of the book throughout. I enjoyed the nuance surrounding the discussion of religion and culture. There were so many explorations into the ideas of privilege and family and friendships and how people will perceive you in new lights because of stereotypes. There are even several instances that explore the ways people talk when they don’t realize you are the “other” they speak of. While at some points it felt like this book was dealing with a lot of complex issues at once, I think the book achieved a nice balance most of the time, by ensuring all the conversations were layered and dimensional.

Unfortunately, the characters were a miss for me. The main character and her love interest were 16, but the fact that they didn’t take a moment to stop and think, made me feel like they were a lot younger. In fact, I felt like all the characters refused to think about anyone but themselves, including Allie, her father, and her boyfriend. It was a common problem with all the characters that made them lose dimension since they all had the same struggle instead of having unique issues they were working on.

There were several times where a character would be struggling with an issue and another character’s response would immediately be to judge them, which always had the annoying effect of having a character simplify a complex issue. Many times when characters would get upset at one another, I wanted to scream at them about the underlying issue that they were so obviously missing. One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone can’t manage to see a situation from an outsider’s perspective, so encountering it at every turn made me enjoy the book a lot less. The fact that I didn’t love the resolutions to many of these encounters made matters even worse.

I had some other little issues as well, but I chose only to  highlight the things that annoyed me the most. Unfortunately, because of some issues that dragged on through the book in too many areas, it wasn’t a new favorite like I thought it could be when I started it. However, I think this is a great book that discussed a ton of great issues, and for that reason alone I’d recommend it.
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While All-American Muslim Girl is about a girl discovering her Muslim faith, it has a broader appeal on a number of levels, particularly for teens of any faith who are experiencing or have experienced a religious awakening of their own. It’s easy to find many parallels here that further erase, or at least soften, the “us vs. them” mentality.

Author Nadine Jolie Courtney has walked a fine line with All-American Muslim Girl, which is first a novel, but serves as a sort of Islamic primer. Allie was born into a sort of “lapsed” Muslim family. Because of that, she lives on the periphery of her extended family. They love her unconditionally, but she often feels as if something is missing.

When Allie decides to explore her Islamic heritage, readers get a front-row seat. We learn as she learns, question as she questions and experience her inner turmoil as she grapples with broader societal issues like dating, sexuality and feminism. Add in Allie’s encounters with a condescending shock-jock, and you have the perfect setting to address common misconceptions.

There are a few small moments where all this feels a little too on-the-nose, but those instances are few and far between. What you have instead, is a poignant story of a girl who finds a way to live in two worlds while being true to herself.
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Thanks NetGalley for the preview!

This book was intricate and complicated.  I often felt conflicted along with Allie on what to think at certain story points.  I will admit I almost put the book down in frustration-none of the text message conversations showed in my copy so I felt I missed out on quite a bit of dialogue.  I learned a lot from this book and it also reminded me of things I already knew.  Religion is varied and everyone, even within the same religion, has different angles, opinions and beliefs.  Allie is finding her way and trying to figure out what works for her.
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This was an informative, beautiful book with a message our girls need to know. Allie is brave, fierce, strong, self assured and self confident role model. As a homeschooling Mom of teenagers I’m working it into my daughters curriculum for next year. She’ll be a senior and I think she’ll get so much out of it. This is a must read!!
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I really loved this book! Allie's family helped me to see the world in a very different way. Allie is not only a likeable character she is a role model. A great read! I encourage everyone to read this wonderful book!
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**3.5-stars rounded up**

Allie Abraham is a regular girl. Living in the South with her close-knit family, she excels in school and participates in the general activities that most kids her age take part in.

The thing is, Allie is keeping a secret from the outside world. Her family is Muslim and she's not sharing that fact with anyone.

This book opens up with a blatant display of discrimination against her father and it really never lets up from there.

Although this story may make some people uncomfortable, I think it is an important story and 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 decreased my enjoyment level just a smidge.

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 and owning and embracing her faith. A lot of the time we follow her with a new group of friends she discovers over the course of the book 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.

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!
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This book was one of those weird books for me where I hated it at the beginning and then started to really like it as I got closer to the end. I was ready to give this book a solid three stars, maybe even two and a half, about halfway through the story - and then I finished it, put my Kindle down, and thought "You know what? That was actually pretty good."

The main reason that I thought All-American Muslim Girl was good was probably because the main character takes the reader on a trip of self-discovery alongside herself. The novel ends up being about Allie finding her Muslim faith and not just living as a Muslim in the US, which I wasn't expecting from the synopsis. She's not even religious in the beginning of the book, but the fact that much of the story is about her converting to Islam made it more interesting than if she grew up as a devout Muslim. 

I also loved the parts we get from Allie's school group about Islam itself and how it works. The passages that describe the religion and the debates that the girls get into added passion and character depth to the book. Allie's friends from school debate the "right" way to be Muslim, which I thought covered a issue that would be important to readers in a fascinating way. Allie's internal struggle with how to practice Islam without offending other Muslims and finding the right balance between her family and friends' beliefs, the general population's beliefs, and her own beliefs about God got super interesting after the halfway mark, and the intertwining conflicts were what made the book enjoyable by the end.

I did not enjoy the first few chapters because it made the book seem like it was trying to be two things at once: the focus is completely on Allie's love life. Allie meets her love interest in the beginning, and it's super cheesy and weird. Thankfully the romance was not a huge or important part of this book, and the focus on relationships at the beginning make sense when you read the climax of the story. 

I'm so relieved that the main plot of All-American Muslim Girl had to do with Islam and how Allie finds herself through God. I guess I didn't have high hope for this book because the beginning was a little irritating - but it turned out to be a great read! I'm glad I ended up reading this book.
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I'm glad that this book exists. We need books for all readers of all religions and not just the Christian fiction that exists aplenty.

It's a book I would recommend to students who are looking to see themselves reflected, to learn about and better understand the lives of others, and to those who just want to read about a normal teenager who is trying to figure out who she is and what she's passionate about beyond what her parents have taught her. 

 (Sort of-- but not really-- a spoiler below.)

That being said, I personally am not religious, and it annoyed me at times that the main character pushed her own budding religiosity onto her dad who had made the decision not to practice. (Such as when she asks him to pray with her, knowing that's not his thing.) Still, a must purchase.
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High-school sophomore Alia “Allie” Abraham excels at fitting in. After years of transferring from one school to the next as her father, an American history professor, pursued various academic positions, Allie has become adept at making new friends and ingratiating herself with those around her. (“New town. New school. New look. New life.”) One thing that Annie does not ordinarily feel comfortable or safe enough to confide in her friends, however, is that she is Muslim. (“Will people still like me if I show them the real me?”) Because of her fair skin, hazel eyes and red-blonde hair, a result of her Circassian heritage (defined in-text as light-skinned Muslims from the Caucasus region), Annie is afforded a measure of privilege in that she’s able to ‘pass’ as white and does not outwardly exhibit the superficial characteristics many associate with followers of Islam. (“I don’t trigger people’s radar. People have an image in their head when they hear the word Muslim, and I just don’t fit.”)

It hurts Allie to hide an essential part of herself, but her father encourages Allie to blend in for fear of the judgement, discrimination and harassment she will face if she reveals she’s Muslim. (“I’ve spent the past several years trying on masks – taking my dad’s lessons about hiding to heart, amplifying the American part of me, being whatever people need me to be.”) Despite her father’s concern and reservations, however, Allie can’t help but feel she’s missing a piece of who she is. As a result, Allie grows increasingly determined to learn more about the practices of Islam and what it means to be Muslim in more than name-only, even if she must hide what she’s doing from her family in the process. As Allie purchases a Qu’ran, begins to learn Arabic, wears a hijab for the first time and raises money for Syrian refugees, what follows is a personal journey of self-discovery and learning to have faith in herself, her loved ones, and her religion.

In The Witches Are Coming, Lindy West wrote “Storytelling is an engine of humanization, which is, in turn, an engine of empathy.” Stories like All-American Muslim Girl are invaluable both because they offer validation and visibility to those able to recognize themselves in the stories being told and because, for those unfamiliar with a story like Allie’s, reading about a perspective and experience outside a reader’s own creates an understanding and empathy that may previously have been lacking. While it’s shameful that Muslims need to continue to assert their humanity and vulnerability in order to combat the stigmatization of their religious practices and way of life, All-American Muslim Girl offers a sensitive, nuanced, empathetic and ultimately hopeful portrayal of one girl’s exploration of her culture, her community, her faith, and what it means to be Muslim in America.

Over the course of the novel, Allie must overcome a great deal of adversity as she pursues a greater understanding of her heritage and faith. This conflict arises internally, as Allie worries she’s not “Muslim enough” because of her lack of knowledge about Arabic, the Qu’ran and Islam in general, as well as externally, both from inside and outside of the Muslim community. From discomfort, ignorance and micro-aggressions to outright hostility and discrimination, Allie is regularly confronted with the pervasive stereotypes and misconceptions about Islam in the Western world. Rather that being left to practice her religion in peace and harmony, Allie understandably feels as though she has a responsibility to dispel the toxic and often violent fallacies about an aspect of her life that brings her such joy. In doing so, All-American Muslim Girl itself addresses a number of important issues Muslims regularly face, including (but not limited to) Islamophobia, colourism, erasure, tone policing, privilege and how best to interpret and implement God’s teachings.

The discrimination Allie faces in the novel never feels exploitative or unnecessarily cruel in its execution as Courtney illustrates the persecution Muslims are subjected to on a regular basis. It’s exceedingly difficult to watch as Allie often feels compelled to conform to the role of the “Good Muslim” as a result in order to placate and comfort those who have little-to-no true understanding of what being a Muslim entails and who fear what they don’t understand. (“I picture my grandmother in Dallas: my Teta sitting in my aunt Bila’s cheerful purple room, watching Amp Diab music videos and reading gossip magazines spilling dirt on Arab Idol judges. I wish I could show the passengers behind me what a Syrian Muslim in America looks like. Ask them if she is something to fear.”) The novel effectively demonstrates the collective trauma Muslims suffer from as they have been repeatedly asked to atone and take responsibility for those who claim a Muslim identity but who act contrary to Islam’s teachings in a destructive or violent manner. (“Anxiety. Was a Muslim involved? Please, God, don’t let there have been a Muslim involved. (…) Not that the facts matter. Chances are good we’ll bear the blame one way or another.”)

In addition to Allie’s personal journal of discovery, All-American Muslim Girl also explores Allie’s complex relationships with those around her, including her family, her boyfriend, and her new friends in the all-female Qu’ran study group she eventually joins. The latter is arguably the most influential in her life (and my favourite aspect of the novel) as Allie is allowed a safe space in which she’s able to explore, question and rejoice in her newfound faith without fear of judgement or constraint. These moments of levity, comfort, community, and honesty among the girls, one of whom identifies as a lesbian and all of whom identify as feminists, underscore how commonly-held Western misconceptions of Islam being regressive or oppressive do not reflect the reality of the Islamic belief system or the people who have devoted their lives to it.

All-American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney is an informative and inspiring novel which will no doubt educate and empower readers of all ages and backgrounds and reminds us that there is no one, monolithic Muslim experience, but rather a myriad of ways in which to worship that are as varied as they are beautiful. I read this novel during a particularly difficult and stressful period in my life and I can’t adequately express how much I loved All-American Muslim Girl or how much comfort I was able to draw from Allie’s story. This is one of the best books I’ve read in recent memory and one I would not hesitate to declare a favourite of 2019.
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Allie has a secret. Well, not so much a secret but something she doesn't share: she's a Muslim. But she doesn't practice her religion, and as a Circassian-American passing as white, she can hide her religious background. Her parents aren't religious either, and yet Allie feels like there's something missing in her life. She wants to get in touch with her culture, but doesn't want to upset her parents—and she doesn't know how to tell her all-American boyfriend, Wells.

I LOVED this book.

Allie is 100% relatable as a teenager living in the diaspora of Circassians in America. While she passes as white, she's still Muslim and still has family members who look like the "stereotypical" Muslim—and she still hears much of the racism and Islamophobia because she's "one of the whites." And to stay safe, avoid controversy, keep her head down and fit in, she's kept her mouth shut.

Until she starts to feel the urge to feel something more, and to get in touch with her faith and her identity as a Muslim woman.

Her struggle to adapt and stay true to herself and her faith—and reconnecting with her culture—was so relatable. Her parents were neither religious nor particularly involved in keeping their culture alive, and while her father spoke fluent Circassian and Arabic, he'd never taught it to Allie, who as the lone blonde-haired child in her family already stuck out like a sore thumb. Just the thought that Circassian was a dying language was so disheartening, and I hope that Allie reconnects to that aspect of her heritage as well, in addition to Arabic. Of course Allie is fictional, but this is very much an #ownvoices book so I can hope the author did the same.

In addition to Allie reconnecting with her roots, there is a lot of discussion about what it means to be American, especially since Wells' dad is...an alt-right talk show host. Um, big shocker there and kinda an easy way to introduce tension in an otherwise smooth-sailing book (lol jk, there's a lot of micro-aggressions, racism, well-intentioned Islamophobia and death of a loved one and the feeling of not belonging anywhere. However, I did like that the "real American" and "good old days" was directly addressed for the racist hogwash that it was—and that if you live in America and call it your home, you are an American.

And the characters really made this book something special, in addition to the commentary of what being a Muslim means (and that "good" is subjective and that you can be Muslim but not practice and Muslim and practice however the hell you want in keeping with your own faith).

While I really disliked Emilia, Mikey and the other white kids Allie initially befriended, I was lukewarm towards Wells (although he does get points for forsaking his dad—kinda, but feelings towards parents are complicated—and also wearing a This is What a Feminist Looks Like t-shirt). I mean, he tries to learn and be supportive, and ultimately he is, but honestly I just didn't see the spark between the two of them. They had little chemistry and a whole lot going on that I just don't know. Very much a high school romance–which is great, because this is high school!

Of course, there might have been more personality shown in the text-messages, but for some reason the eARC I had didn't have the text messages included (damn you wonky formatting!). So I feel like I missed a big chunk of the conversations that were had.

The Muslim Student Association girls were all fantastic, and a great introduction to the variety of people who are Muslim, and the differing kinds of discrimination they face on a daily basis—not just for being Muslim, but for possibly being black or brown, a woman, choosing to wear hijab, being gay, not being Muslim enough, etc., etc. Intersectionality, y'all.

But Allie's family was the absolute best. I definitely cried at the end, and I loved her parents so, so much, and the loving but limited relationship she had with her teta. You could tell Allie and teta loved each other so much, but the language barrier made it incredibly hard for them to express how they really felt and talk to each other.

Anywho, on to Allie's parents, who were the best. Allie's mom was the definite best, although her dad was equally incredible. Mostly I think this is because they were 100% definitely Gen Xers (despite her dad's love of the Beatles, which is kinda...boomerly??) instead of authorly parental inserts, and felt like real people. Their relationship and arguments (the camera scene! OMG) were hilarious and real, and I loved every interaction Allie had with her mom, and felt the strain with her dad.

On the short list of Allie's mom's great parental guidance:

That's the kind of thing my mom used to say when she'd catch me swooning over a hot guy and would take my half-baked attraction as an opportunity to launch into yet another one of her patented I Know You're Eventually Going to Have Sex, So Please Be Safe talks. (Way more awkward than the Drugs Ruins Lives, So Please Don't Do Them, Except Maybe for Occasionally Cannabis, but Just as a Casual Experiment and Never While Driving in a Car, Okay? talks.)


To wrap up: definitely a must-read if you're looking for a book on the Muslim experience as told from a teen connecting with her culture and faith for the first time while struggling to co-exist in an Islamophobic America, and also if you want a great read about a kid trying to figure it all out and be at peace with herself and who she is.

I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.
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This one barely gets three stars. I really wanted to like this book. I was so excited to get an early copy via Netgalley, and I started it right away. That was a few months ago. I made it about 60%, and I was bored because nothing had really happened plot-wise. I decided to speed read the rest to see how all the little dramas played out. The last 20% ended up being the best part.

Here’s what I liked ... the main character comes from a secular Muslim home, but as she explores her faith, you are exposed to a whole spectrum of Muslim practices. Several of her friends are in different places in their faith journey. I thought it was really interesting how all her friends expressed that at some point in their life they didn’t feel Muslim enough. Ali has a pretty good relationship with her parents, which isn’t all that common in contemporary YA. I think many of the actions, thoughts, and feelings were age appropriate for the characters.

What I didn’t like ... At times, this read like a textbook explaining about the Circassian  people. The first explanation was interesting, as I didn’t know anything about this people group to start with. But the author rehashes the same info at least twice more as Ali educates her friends and boyfriend. I feel like a lot of the explanations about different aspects of Islam read like a boring pamphlet instead of adding richness to the story. I think perhaps the author was overly ambitious in trying to cover so many topics that everything was surface level. You don’t really get to know her friends, boyfriend, or parents very well.

I think this book has super important themes, but it just wasn’t well executed.
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A fun, informative look at a strong, self-assured, self-confident girl.  Allie is brave, fierce and everything we want to raise our girl as no matter what the ethnicity, religion, or circumstances.
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4 stars⭐⭐⭐⭐

"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."

⏳𝐓𝐋;𝐃𝐑:⏳
𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐬: High school student Allie Abraham has always 'passed' in society as a blond, green eyed Muslim who has never really practiced. However, when her new boyfriend's dad turns out to be a conservative shock jock, Allie's world is shaken as she begins to learn more about her faith while also navigating her new relationship. 
𝐏𝐥𝐨𝐭: You can really see the level of authenticity that runs throughout the book by the situations Allie is confronted with and what happens next. Fascinating and realistic approach to what it looks be and practice Islam in US society today. 
𝐖𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠: Easy-to-read, simple, and yet so beautiful
𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬: I loved all of the characters for their own complex realness, including Allie's parents and her boyfriend Wells. So beautifully written!

👍𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐬:👍
-Realistic and complex characters
-Incredibly easy to read
-Explains a lot of complexity in the relationship between culture and religion in such a simply and easy-to-digest way

👎𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐬:👍
-The romance moved a little faster than I would have liked
-Some of the writing almost came off a little too simplistic at times

𝘐 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘦𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘯 𝘢𝘥𝘷𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘱𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘣𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘶𝘣𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘯 𝘦𝘹𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘯 𝘩𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘪𝘦𝘸.
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This is an absolutely wonderful and important YA novel. 

Allie is a teenager living outside of Atlanta with her parents. For much of her life, she has tried to fit in, hiding the fact that she is Muslim. One day, she befriends a girl at her high school, named Dua, who encourages her to participate in the Muslim Student Association and a Qur'an study group. Allie soon learns to be proud of her heritage--she learns Arabic and embraces Islam. However, she is also dating the son of a famous conservative talk show host. Allie had to learn to stand up for herself and that it's okay to be yourself.

I loved this book. Allie is such a wonderful character, who cares so much for her family, friends, and her boyfriend, Wells. While she sometimes struggles to decide what is "right," she follows her heart and always stands up for others.
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Beginning with Allie standing up for her father on a plane when a bigot complains about Mo speaking Arabic on the phone, All-American Muslim Girl immediately drew me in. Allie feels like a friend from the start of the book, possibly because of the first person narration but more likely because of how fleshed out and rounded she is as a character. The reader is taken along Allie’s journey in exploring her faith, identity, and how she goes about presenting herself to the world around her. 

There are many things to appreciate about Allie’s story. As a non-religious person myself with only brief knowledge from an introduction to world religions class, I especially enjoyed Courtney’s efforts to include different interpretations of Islam shown through the spirited debates of such strong young women in Allie’s study group. Another aspect to celebrate is the wholesome relationship between Allie and her love-interest, Wells; while Wells’s father is problematic, his relationship with Allie is nothing but supportive and sweet without the angst I often see in YA romance arcs. Allie’s relationship with her parents, and especially with her skeptical father who eventually accepts her decision to pursue a spiritual life, is heartening and really completed the story for me.
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“I will have to keep arriving, over and over.

I will have to reclaim my religion, repeatedly.

I will deny those who tell me I’m not Muslim enough.”

This book is important to read in so many ways not just because of Muslim representation in America but Muslims who try to fit into different parts of the world. In today’s world, Muslims are widespread and our culture and religion is highly misunderstood. To understand the issues we all face, we need to educate ourselves in the particular area.

This book is about Allie who lives in Georgia with her parents. She’s tried to fit into the American society her whole life while hiding her true identity. She hid because she had difficulty in understanding her true Muslim Identity. And so she goes through a personal journey of finding out about her own religion when she meets this girl Dua who is also a Muslim and both study in the same school.

I loved Allie’s mom cause she was such a supportive parent and even Wells (her boyfriend). He did not give up on Allie even after the scene with his dad. Well, you will find people like Jack Henderson in your real lives too.

There are a few reasons as to why I absolutely adored this book. Firstly, this book portrays the importance of a family. Secondly, the way Allie started to stand up for herself and the things she believed in. It is a very important lesson to be learned. Thirdly, the importance of female friendship and friendship in general that was portrayed. Other than that, there are details about various Muslim cultures and basically, how you can spread love and acceptance in people.

There is so much more that I want to say, which won’t fit in this review. I want to thank the author for sending me her book through netgalley for review. I strongly recommend you all to read this book and explore this diverse novel.
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