A beautiful YA story centering three Black Muslim teenagers and shows the diversity of both the Black and Muslim experience. There's strong friendships between young women, as well as themes of activities and fighting against social norms.
What an important book (and a beautiful cover)!
In YOU TRULY ASSUMED, three Black Muslim girls find space, community, and expression in YTA, a blog created after a tragic terrorist attack and the rise of anti-Islamic sentiments.
I loved following Sabriya, Zakat, and Farah on their parallel journeys and in their combined efforts of creating YTA. Their passion and strength reminded me of the power for change I believe lies in Gen Z, especially in religious, political, and community spaces. These characters made me hopeful.
I'm glad that this book exists, and for the visibility it gives to the Black Muslim community and the struggles they face. It was beautiful -- and at times, heartbreaking -- representation handled deftly by the author.
It's no question that the content is important and thought-provoking, a debut that deserves its shine. But in looking at craft, I think the story itself and its characters were underdeveloped. What's more, the dialogue often felt unnatural, like it was the way adults THINK teens talk, or a more stilted version of it. I wanted it to flow more naturally. It would have been ever more powerful that way.
A good read that I hope more people find.
And a note on the audiobook -- I think narrators Channie Waites, Lynette R. Freeman, Tamika Katon-Donegal were great choices, and handled the material very well. They made this a great book to listen to.
His book works to explore how the acts of a few can impact the lives of many. After a terrorist attack spurs an increase in hate towards the Muslim community 3 girls take it upon themselves to create a safe place for Muslim women. This explores the power of sisterhood and the ability for the online world to be used for good.
I think this was hard-hitting and an important story! I do think that the writing needed some work and it was at times, a little hard to read. But again, a very important story and from a voice that we don't hear from enough in the Muslim story world. I'm excited to see what else Laila comes up with in the future.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me a free advanced copy of this book to read and review.
Alright, I'm not going to cookie-cutter this one. I did not like You Truly Assumed by Laila Sabreen. Not because the story was terrible; It's just that nothing happened in the narrative to wow me or educate me on the topic. You can say YTA is an uplifting book for young adults, but I think most would bypass this for something more action-worthy with the same message.
The story dragged. I appreciate the personal outlook on each POV's dealings with people's ignorance, but I haven't seen anything else in the story that grabbed me. I wanted to love this book. I truly did. But I view this story the same way I hear behind-the-scenes stories about Ellen DeGeneres – passive-aggressive.
read this along with the audiobook and enjoyed every bit. thank you laila sabreen.
- thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the free e-ARC.
This book was packed with powerful messages, and it makes me realize just how much of an impact peoples perceptions can have on not only one person but a group of people.
I received this book as an ARC from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I have a full review on TikTok! @/lavenderdecaflatte
This book was ambitious and I loved what it tried doing.
That being said, get my girl a Muslim editor !!! There was an effort to diversify the different backgrounds of the girls which I *loved* THE BLACK EXPERIENCE IS NOT A MONOLITH (and neither is the Muslim experience) .. however the voices of each individual character could have benefited from further development.
Another issue I had with the text was the “telling” it did, leaving little for a reader to infer.. now I understand the audience is a but younger so they may need some things spelled out for them but every character does not need a social science monologue 😭😭
Overall, 4⭐️ for effort and bc I love a black woman from infinity to ♾
I hope this author continues to do the work she’s doing and I hope they can pair her with an appropriate team of editors and alpha readers
Barakallah laha 🤲🏾❤️
You Truly Assumed gives an intimate view of three different teenage Muslim girls and their experiences when hate crimes against Muslims start to happen. I appreciate that each girl in the book was from a different part of the United States, of different backgrounds, and experiences but yet were all able to come together to form a collective bond in their time of need. It shows how you can bond and connect with others through a shared experience and how we are programmed to have biases toward Muslim people without knowing their experiences and feelings.
The premise of this book is excellent. Sabriya, Zakat, and Farah are three black Muslim teens who connect online through Sabriya's blog, You Truly Assumed. They team up to grow the blog and become friends in the process. As an educator, I am all about young people finding a place to make their voices heard and working together in the face of adversity.
Unfortunately, the actual writing of the book failed to give each of the girls a distinct voice. Their chapters seemed to blend together, and the dialogue, especially when any of the young women were talking to adults, often felt unnatural. The author herself is quite young, and I'll be interested to see how her writing style evolves as she publishes more.
I loved the found sisterhood and the representation of Black and Muslim but it was missing a tiny spark. I really wanted to get to know the three young women and their stories a lot more. Once I was getting close to a character we shifted perspectives and started over again. Overall though, it was a powerful story about standing up for yourself and your beliefs and coming into yourself.
You Truly Assumed follows three Black Muslim teenagers as they navigate life immediately following a terrorist attack in Washington, DC.
I feel like I really don't have to describe this book anymore than that if you consider how Islamophobia has impacted views on terrorism. Once "terrorism" is mentioned, many minds assume the terrorist was Muslim, especially if the name "sounds" Muslim, which in this case, it does. YTA delves into what it's like to be a Muslim in America after a terrorist attack - and reveals a truly maddening and sometimes terrifying experience. One of my favourite parts of reading is being put in someone else's shoes and I think everyone would benefit from being put in these girls' shoes for a moment. Because it was told from three different POVs, I feel like it barely scratched the surface of the trauma involved with experiencing Islamophobia as a Muslim, however it worked to get the overall message across. The first chapter grabs your attention immediately, the family representation was awesome for a YA book, and the inclusion of blog posts throughout really broke up the story nicely. This is a heavy, but important one.
📝 Black Islamic Teen Protagonists; Alternating 1st Person Perspective
First off, this book was not written for me. I am not Muslim nor Black, so please keep that in mind when reading my review.
While I enjoyed seeing this story through the eyes of three teens from different backgrounds, I felt that there was just too much between the three stories to give it the adequate depth that the story needed. So much of this story seemed to happen off the page, even the building of their friendship wasn’t shown to happen in real time. There were some things that I would have liked to have witness first hand (like the vigil), instead they were just glossed over almost like an afterthought. I also found there to be a fair amount of unrealistic situations or reactions to situations, within the story.
I picked this book up because I LOVED the representation of Black Muslims in this book. I enjoyed reading about these characters and their experiences. As sad as it is to say, I can unfortunately see the situations in this book, happening in real life to those in marginalized communities. I think that this story covers a lot of important topics. Although there are things with the writing style that I would have liked to be different, I would still recommend reading this book.
Although I am not the intended reader for this book, I wish that it had a glossary of some sort at the back to explain some of the Muslim terms used. There were some words used that I was ignorant to them or the full meaning behind them.
Thank you to the author & publish for this gifted book. These opinions are my own.
Trigger Warnings: Islamophobia, Online Bullying
I loved this novel so much I finished it in 2-3 hours. A quick, powerful read about three black Muslim girls who start a blog after a terrorist attack leads to Islamophobia, it was inspiring to watch Kat, Farah and Sabriyah speak truth to power and refuse to back down in the face of bigotry and racism. I would have loved a longer book with more developed subplots, but I did enjoy the three different narratives of the different girls, and it will remain a book I will recommend to others to read.
Really enjoyed this contemporary YA novel about three Black Muslim teen girls who start a blog about their experiences in the wake of a terrorist attack that provokes Islamophobia throughout the US. I loved how this book highlighted community and intersectionality, and I appreciated that each girl's experience and journey was different.
At times, the writing felt a bit weak, but there were enough positive attributes in this book that I was able to look beyond that. I still think this is a really strong debut, and I'm looking forward to seeing how Laila Sabreen's writing grows and develops in the future.
I've already purchased a copy for my library and will be recommending to fans of Samira Ahmed, Nic Stone, and Cam Montgomery!
I really enjoyed the premise of this book! I won't comment too much on the rep other than that I did like the Muslim rep. The parts about leaning on Allah and your faith in your hard times was really sweet and hit very close to home. And as a Muslim on a public platform, I appreciated the conversation about Islamophobia online and the cowards who hide in comments.
While I liked each individual story enough, I do think too much was happening, and so there wasn't enough depth to these characters. There's a lot of potential and I think if it had been one storyline, instead of three, I would have enjoyed it more!
With that said, I'm eager to see what Laila writes next!
You Truly Assumed was filled with young women that find hope and joy, and themselves, are worth fighting for. They were inspiring not only to the people they came in contact with throughout the novel, but to me as the reader. These women also came from tight family units, that even when they disagree with one another, are supportive and understanding in the ways that matter. This plot point was a huge moment for all parities involved, and I felt like it deserved a little more "screen time". But overall, bravo.
3.5 stars, but we love people taking back their voices so easy round up to 4 stars!
Following the lives of three young Muslim women after a public attack leaves the world blaming Muslim people and showing their islamophobic colours. You Truly Assumed becomes a blog that connects these young women as they form a friendship while running this blog and it influences and affects their lives.
The lives of each character were fascinating and entertaining; each is bringing their slice of life to the story and their problems (whether big or small) and their family dynamic - I honestly loved Zakat's life the most because her personality shone through the brightest.
Other than that, the friendship was very underdevelopment in my view, and besides the way they approached hate with the blog and some personal bigots, not a whole lot came from the blog.
Three strong women. Stories that gave me different insights than my own experiences and a chance to think outside myself. Definitely worth reading and learning. Very well written. Thank you NetGalley for the chance to read.