Cover Image: You Truly Assumed

You Truly Assumed

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Back in 2017, when the Christchurch terrorist attack happened, nobody was blamed by the rise of right-wing white supremacists. When white people colonize and terrorize, the entirety of the white people aren't blamed. Yet, after 9/11, the entirety of the Ummah, aka the Muslim population around the world were blamed. When a handful of white people commit hate crime, nobody bats an eye other than sending "thoughts and prayers". Yet, when one bad seed among the Muslims commit terrorism, all the Muslims get the blame.

So far, there have been plenty of YA contemporary books about and from the perspective of Muslim teens, particularly, Muslim teens of color. But not a lot of books were by and about Black Muslim young women. YOU TRULY ASSUMED somewhat remedies this by bringing to the forefront not one, not two, but three Muslim young women. The cover gloriously features Zakat, Sabriya, and Farah, as they stare down, determinedly and fiercely, whatever darkness and bigotry life throws on their way.

The story is about these three Black Muslim young women. Sabriya is a teen ballerina who aspires to become a world renowned professional ballerina one day. Her summer plans to audition for several places are put on hold when there's a bomb attack in a metro station in Washington DC. Soon, she reluctantly joins a relief service that helps out those affected directly by the attack. There, she faces more racist, Islamophobic opposition than before.

Zakat is an artist who secretly aspires to go to an art college. But her fiercely protective parents worry that her art major won't help her in her future. After the DC attack, some local white kids begin to harass the Muslim populace and vandalize their properties. The arrival of a past acquaintance who left a sour taste on Zakat's mind also disrupt her plans for a quiet, eventless summer.

Farah is an aspiring graphic designer whose dreams to go to MIT or places like that to pursue a major in computer science is somewhar derailed when her estranged father invites her to spend three weeks with him and his new family in Massachusetts. There, Farah faces some animosity from her father's new family when she decides to show support to a local Islamophobia victim's family.

All three women show incredible courage, resilience, and vulnerability that's rarely been shown among Black Muslim teenage protagonists. I love how easygoing yet mature the voices are. Zakat is soft and sensitive but finds her voice and place in the world once she joins YOU TRULY ASSUMED, a blog space created by Sabriya for young Muslim teens of color. Farah, in joining the blog's admin team as the tech expert, learns to take a chance on people and see where it gets her. And Sabriya, in creating the blog, finds an outlet to let out her pent-up frustration at the world for constantly trying to demolish and diminish the dreams of young Black girls, especially young Black Muslim girls. The three girls' lives intersect only when it comes to the blog and stand apart on their own in each of the POV chapters. And I've found myself relating to each one of them in some way. Like Sabriya, I too love planning and sticking to my plans to ensure nothing goes awry and cause me distress. Like Zakat, I too often feel replaced and neglected by those I consider my friends and I'm also terrified of showing the world deeper parts of me. And finally, like Farah, I too am scared to take a chance on people after being burned way too many times. I loved how humanly vulnerable and sensitive they each are.

Thank you, NetGalley, Qamar Blog Tour, and Inkyard Press, for providing me with an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Wading through a sea of YA fiction in search of an engrossing read? On the lookout for a novel with a heartening message exploring intersectionality? Laila Sabreen delivers exactly that and more in her impressive debut, You Truly Assumed.

I believe I am not alone in having found kindred spirits in our three protagonists with them being especially appealing as characters in terms of relatability. Sabriya with her distaste for uncertainty coming to revel in the brilliance that spontaneity might bring. Zakat desiring a life beyond the confines of Lullwood, comforting in its familiarity yet limiting in its unwitting propagation of fear. And, Farah learning to strike a balance between holding steadfast the people to whom she is beloved and letting go of resentment in favour of a hope-filled future.

 The unifying bond between three distinctive personalities in their determination to challenge bigotry is not easily achieved. However, in the author's beautiful depiction of camaraderie established through shared experiences, and more importantly, the emphasis on there being no all-encompassing way to practice one's religion, with human experience being infinite. Respect is given to every aspect of a person's identity and to individual differences, such that one's story may be fashioned as per one's choice. 

Considering a central plot point is the YTA blog gaining widespread popularity and the resulting sense of community wherein everyone is given a voice, the reader is not made privy to this journey as the posts are interspersed through the novel and do not make the above wholly believable. Also, to appreciate their blossoming friendship further, I would have loved to see them interact more. With the focus on diversity in experiences within Black Muslim teenagers and in trying to integrate multiple parallel storylines cohesively, a deeper level of emotional connection was compromised.

A fitting read for those who enjoy reflective young adult contemporary fiction, with an emotional plot inspiring dialogue addressing Islamophobia; self-expression and activism coalescing for a meaningful cause through an online forum. Also, the delightful portrayal in the multi-cast audiobook certainly enhanced my experience, highly recommend it!
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I think this is a really important book and I am really glad that the author wrote it. I think there are some stories that must be told, that should exist so that others can reach for them and feel themselves represented and heard. Much like their blog, this book is an important piece of the fight against Islamophobia, an important addition for diversifying our bookshelves and classrooms and libraries, and for spreading awareness to all readers. 

That being said, the book as a work of text didn’t excite me, unfortunately, no matter how much I wanted to love it. Each chapter was told by a different girl’s perspective, but I sometimes forgot whose chapter I was reading because the characters’ voices felt so similar and really lacked their own individuality.

I enjoyed reading what was going on in each of the girls’ lives outside of the blog, but sometimes it felt really superficial. I wanted more depth.

I would recommend this book because I think it could be a real eye opener and it is important to read, and I am glad I read it. I just won’t be reading it again.  I rated jt at 3.5 stars but am rounding down to 3, simply because I just wouldn’t rate this as a 4.  However, I’ll still be watching for any new books by this author because I know that I’m going to want to read them.
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It's a solid novel, both informative and interesting. I found the ending a bit too neat, but it conveys the point and is quite hopeful.

There were some continuity mistakes, as well as some discrepancies (changing from Zoom to Skype in the same videochat scene), but nothing to keep from enjoying the story.
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You Truly Assumed is a thoughtful debut that follows three Black Muslim teens, Sabriya, Zakat, Farah, in the wake of a terrorist attack on DC. When the terrorist is allegedly identified as Muslim, the girls are subject to Islamophobia, Sabriya’s online journal, where she poured her thoughts about the situation is made public. After a surprising response, soon she’s joined by Zakat and Farah to run the blog as a safe space for the Black Muslim community.

I loved the concept of three young women joining forces to put forth a platform for their own feelings as well as garnering the sense of community in the midst of the chaos. You Truly Assumed not only becomes a haven for Sabriya’s thoughts but also a place for sharing experiences and finding hope and comfort. I adored this idea and how it materialised in the story, how these girls identify with their faith and find the people who resonate with their thoughts.

The story follows the perspective of all three girls, Sabriya, Zakat and Farah, with their unique personal storylines and feelings about the blog. We see Sabirya volunteer to help the ones affected in the attack while tackling racism and finding the ones who stand with her; we see Zakat fight to stand by what she feels is right and against the injustice in her neighbourhood and Farah learning to reconciliate with her estranged father and his family. While Sabirya keeps the blog flowing with her engaging thoughts and posts, Zakat’s art brings it to life and Farah handles the tech, including how to make site safer from the hate and threats they recieve.

It’s interesting to read their stories, as their POVs highlighted the different experiences of Islamophobia, racism and microaggressions. I could see these events happening in real life, some points that were painfully true and very much relevant to current times. I’m glad Sabreen has written this book, portraying the honesty, hopelessness as well as the desire to be heard through these characters.

Though You Truly Assumed is a promising a whole, I felt the story to be half cooked. I truly appreciate the message brought forward by Sabriya, Zakat and Farah but as characters they were two dimensional. We’re always told of how they feel about the blog or about the growing friendship between them, but never shown anything to back those feelings. Later on, it felt as if three important stories are haphazardly merged into one with little scope for development. Same goes with the blog, which we’re told is thriving and loved by the readers but little of that or the content being put up is actually shown to us on page.

At its heart You Truly Assumed is about speaking up, the dread that comes with it and the following relief and sense of validation when we resonate with a community. I can’t comment on the Black Muslim representation and I’d recommend looking through OwnVoices reviews for their thoughts on it! Though the execution fell flat for me, I would recommend this book for the important conversations it brings to the YA genre and how validating it can be for the readers.
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4.5/5 for You Truly Assumed by Laila Sabreen 

Sabriya has her whole summer planned out in color-coded glory, but those plans go out the window after a terrorist attack near her home. When the terrorist is assumed to be Muslim and Islamophobia grows, Sabriya turns to her online journal for comfort. You Truly Assumed was never meant to be anything more than an outlet, but the blog goes viral as fellow Muslim teens around the country flock to it and find solace and a sense of community.

Soon two more teens, Zakat and Farah, join Bri to run You Truly Assumed and the three quickly form a strong friendship. But as the blog’s popularity grows, so do the pushback and hateful comments. When one of them is threatened, the search to find out who is behind it all begins, and their friendship is put to the test when all three must decide whether to shut down the blog and lose what they’ve worked for…or take a stand and risk everything to make their voices heard

This was a stunning book. It deals with the struggles that Muslim-Americans face because people have stereotyped all of them as terrorists. This felt personal to me...I have many Muslim friends, and whenever I go out with them, people seem to shun them.  They act like just because of someone's religion,, my friends are the plague :(

I really hope that many people read this book because it struck my heartstrings so much. 

Thank you Netgalley for this copy!
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What a powerful, compelling, and an awe-inspiring book. You Truly Assumed is easily a five-star read for me. Three Black Muslim girls—Sabriya, Zakat, and Farah—each with their own stories and dreams, decided to team up and stand up against Islamophobia and racism through blogging. It all started from the bombing in DC. Nothing is released except for the name of the terrorist yet people throughout the country already pointing fingers at Muslim. Enraged because of the injustice, these brave smart girls then took into action by using their voices and talents to speak up.

I don’t know how to write this review properly because all I want to do is screaming at you to read this book. Every single detail is perfect. The pace, the writing, the plot! Oh, and the characters. They are my favorite!

You may worry that with three main characters there would not be enough space for each of them to grow. I can tell you there is nothing to worry about. Each character felt alive and real, their joy and anger and sadness shone through each word. Sabreen has a talent in crafting a tale with multiple main characters where no one is left out. In fact, because we have Sabriya, Zakat, and Farah, the story and the message within the pages become stronger than ever.

What surprised me is how fast and easy it was to get lost in the story. It sucked me in right from the beginning and didn’t let go long after I put down my Kindle. Sure, the writing and the characters had a big role but I think the main reason is because what Sabriya, Zakat, and Farah went through, there are many Black Muslim girls out there who is going through the same thing. The issue in You Truly Assumed is not a cosmic scale events. Islamophobia and racism are real issues happening around us. Therefore reading this book was heartbreaking and maddening at times yet the girls’ courage and action left such hopeful note and joy in my heart.

Now I will give the spotlight to these amazing girls. As the creator of You Truly Assumed blog, Sabriya—Bri—loved writing down her thoughts. It’s her way to destress and organizing the voices on her mind. Journaling was something she always do until she ran out of space and her sister suggested she writes online. Bri never meant for her writings on the blog to be public but then because she forgot to make a post private (classic Bri, I lover her so much), You Truly Assumed then became a safe space for Black Muslim girls. Bri loved dancing, not one to give up easily, and her words could move the stars.

Next is Zakat! She loved Lullwood with all her heart but she dreamed of exploring the world. The way she confronted “the Islamophobic butthole in her town” (her words, she said it exactly like that) made me love her even more! Zakat always thinking of others and lover her parents dearly. When she wanted something, no one and nothing could stop her. Brave and unstoppable, Zakat then joining You Truly Assumed team. Drawing doodles was her way of speaking her mind on the blog.

Last but not least is Farah! I could relate the most to her in terms of personality. Farah was passionate in programming so she was in charge of designing You Truly Assumed blog. Her relationship with her mom never failed to put a smile on my face. But then I got to see Farah as the oldest sister and my heart warmed. Sarcastic she might be but her heart is full of love and kindness ready to be given to others. Farah was not one to stay silent. Whenever she saw something is not right, she will speak her mind.

This book did not only talk about the girls’ journey as the main admin of You Truly Assumed blog but also their life. I loved how it explored their relationships to their friends, family, and partners. It gave me a chance to see them from a new light and showed me different sides they have. I’m not going to dive deeper since this is a spoiler-free review. I just want to say how I hold these characters close to my heart. Bri, Zakat, and Farah deserve the world!

Overall, You Truly Assumed was a five-star read with three Black Muslim girls at its center fighting the hate and prejudices with courage and talent through blogging. Each word wove into such a powerful and an awe-inspiring tale that bewitched me until the very last page. Magnificent and empowering, this book is a must read! If you haven’t add You Truly Assumed to your TBR, what are you waiting for?
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4.5 stars rounded up! 

This was such a powerful book. This book follows three Black Muslim teenage girls (Sabriya, Zakat, and Farah) who come together to create an online safe space for other Muslims following a terrorist that spurred an onslaught of Islamophobic sentiment. 

Honestly, the audio is the way to go for this one because you have three different narrators for the POVs that really allow the reader to get immersed into each of the girls’ mindsets. 

I really loved the intersectionality that is addressed in this story. As a Black female, I could easily relate to the fears that they faced as Black women, but also seeing how their Muslim faith was integrated was eye opening for me. 

While the events in this story do move quickly, at no point did I feel like this couldn’t be something that happens within a marginalized community. 

This was a fantastic debut, and I can’t wait to see what else this author has to offer.
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This book was amazing! I enjoyed the author's writing style and the overall plot of the book. As a Muslim reviewer/reader, I appreciated the representation given. Though there were a few discrepancies in the representation, and can often be overlooked but nonetheless, they were important. Also can we talk about this stunning cover?? Three girls, one hijabi and they look gorgeous! This cover is what initially pushed me to read this book and I am so glad I decided to do so!
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This book is a love letter to Black Muslim girls and it was just as good as I imagined it would be. I read it in one-sitting and it was such an emotional journey. (TW: racism, anti-Muslim hate, and online harassment). 
The story follows three Black muslim girls after a terrorist attack near the place they live and the repercussions the latent islomophobia has on them.

I liked the way the story was told. Every chapter alternated between the girls’ point of views, always in the same order (Sabriya, Zakat and Farah), which helped the reader remember who they were and made the reading experience better. It was nice to have their unique point of views and see how the story brought them together. This was such a nice way of showing the diversity between three women who are similar because of the fact that they are Black women and muslim but emphasizing that even though it brings them together, they are not a monolith and each have obstacles to overcome. It was nice to read how they had their own challenges and things they wanted to figure out and I loved reading about their growth.

The writing style was so beautiful and I kept highlighting so many quotes:

"don't be afraid to bring your dream inside, like how plants are moved inside when it gets cold. Share it with those who you trust to prune it and water it when you don't think you can make it grow anymore. Don't be afraid to keep it away from those things that are weeds, even if ti means taking it away from the sunlight for a bit."

The way this story was told captured the voices of these young women who were hurting and trying to make their voices heard. I loved how the author managed to capture their pain and their anger, their fears and their hopes and dreams. The author didn’t shy away from the racism and islamophobia they had to go through and while this was a work of fiction, it echoed what so many Black muslim women go through. I also loved how the author focused on identity and how much being both muslim and Black affected the lives of this women; the racism within the muslim community and the ignorance from Non-Muslim Black people. Some aspects were so honestly captured that they made my blood boil and nearly brought me to tears. I felt as helpless, sad , hurt and disappointed by the characters but fortunately this book gave out a message of hope. The blog You Truly Assumed as well as the book were such wonderful ways of sharing this story. I loved how encouraging it was, how the girls and the story still chose joy and happiness; how much the emphasis on community both from their families or support system and their muslim community was. It was so beautiful to read about and an important reminder.

I also loved the subplots. Some parts were heavy at times and it was nice to have these girls being loved unconditionally for who they were and not what people wanted them to be. I also loved how artistic they were; Sabriya was a dancer and hearing her talk about the lack of diversity in the ballet world was so important. I also loved how well spoken she was and how she managed to convey her feelings so wonderfully  into words.  Zakat was an illustrator and  I loved how she expressed herself through her drawings. I almost wish they were real so I could see them. Farah is a computer genius and I love how the author included that. Being a Black woman in computer engineering is hard especially because there’s a lack of diversity and putting these girls in these settings made me enjoy the book even more.

I also loved all the little details and cute moments they shared together and with their loved ones. From the knock-knock jokes to their siblings, to the heartfelt conversations. This book was nothing short of beautiful. Also the author’s note made me cry.
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I truly loved each of the character's POVs, as much as the story revolved around their shared blog, I really enjoyed reading about each of their lives. Sabriya, Zakat, and Farah each have such distinct voices and I think that their POVs were balanced very well.

There are a couple inconsistencies, but overall they did not take away from the story, and I did read an ARC. I look forward to reading a finished copy.
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A strong story about 3 young, black, Muslim women who decide to take the brave step of letting themselves be seen.

Bri starts what she thinks is a private blog after another terrorist attack reinflames prejudices (and ensuing abuses) against American Muslims. When she finds out that she accidentally posted her thoughts publicly, and that her words are resonating with a lot of other young Muslim women, she takes a chance and keeps posting, even asking for help from her readers. Zakat and Farah quickly join up, one with coding and design skills and the other with meaningful art to contribute.

All three are dealing with problems in their lives off-line as well but their work on the blog and experiences with it builds their courage and give them insights into these as well.

You Truly Assumed is a thoughtful novel about racism, Islamophobia, and the micro- and not-so-microaggressions that these three girls face. At times it wears them down. At times they rise up against it. And always, it's the relationships in their lives that give them the ability to keep going. While You Truly Assumed doesn't show extreme violence against the girls themselves, they do discuss stories of other Muslims who have suffered abuse and even death at the hands of bigots. One girl even attends a night vigil. The story makes clear that "even" the "minor" abuses they suffer are significant to their well-being and mental health.

Meaningful and thoughtful with a wonderful window into the lives of these three girls.

Thanks to Netgalley and Inkyard Press for a copy of You Truly Assumed.
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Loved the inclusion of three POVs from young women of different backgrounds who were all Black and Muslim, but the story felt lacking in depth in terms of the characters (the idea of their friendship felt all tell instead of show, and as I switched between chapters, the voices didn't really stand out), the dialogue especially came off as very stilted, the pacing was often really strange (Farrah's secondary storyline was about her going to meet and stay with her father and his family for the first time, and she didn't even land in Boston until close to the halfway point of the book), and I truly struggled to suspend my disbelief in terms of their random blog somehow catching the world by storm - would anyone in 2022 really even be looking for a new blog, especially teens, even if there was more/better content than that displayed in the book?
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rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
You Truly Assumed is a debut novel about three girls who join forces and create a blog to share their experiences as Black Muslim women. It follows the perspectives of Sabiyra, Zakat, and Farah who are all complex characters. They start a blog called You Truly Assumed as a way to make a safe space for other young Muslim women. 

this book is definitely a favorite of mine now! i was filled with emotions while reading this book. I had been very excited about this book and had certain expectations, it was even better than I had expected. Laila Sabreen is a very talented author who knows how to write and describe how the characters are feeling perfectly. While reading, I did cry a few times. I was incredibly happy that the characters' parents were supportive and that they had a great relationship.
 My favorite character was Farah as I deeply related to her character and her family situation. The story brilliantly explores racism and Islamophobia. It also explores challenges that teenagers now go through. It tells a story not just about bigotry but about romance, family, and friendship. It tells a story about using your voice and a community standing together. I felt seen while reading this book and I am so happy that it exists. I definitely think everyone should give it a read! Thank you to Inkyard Press for providing me with an E-ARC in exchange for an honest review
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Happy pub day to You Truly Assumed!

I honestly have mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand, I'd definitely recommend this. On the other, this book just didn't work for me, unfortunately.

Firstly, the pros. The plot of You Truly Assumed is definitely the strongest thing it has going for it. I loved the idea of these three girls coming together through the blog, and the book kept me engaged and interested the whole way through. And that cover! Not to be superficial, but it may be one of my favorites of 2022 (so far, at least).

I do think it's important to say that, while I found the plot engaging and very well-written, I am a white person and don't think it's really my place to speak on the Black and Muslim representation of the story. I've seen some reviewers of color say it was excellent, while others think it could've been better, so I'd highly recommend looking at some of their reviews/reading it for yourself to form your own opinions.

Now, on to the cons. While this book's plot is extremely strong, I found the characterization to be slightly lacking. It was occasionally hard to distinguish between the three voices, and some of the dialogue just felt clunky and awkward. While that was really the only flaw I found, it affected my reading experience enough that my rating is lower.

Overall, while this book didn't live up to my expectations, I would still recommend it - the plot really was very good!
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Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: You Truly Assumed

Author: Laila Sabreen

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Diversity: 3 Black Muslim female MCs, Hijab Wearing MC, 2 sapphic couples mentioned as side characters

Recommended For...: young adult readers, contemporary, social justice, Muslim, Black Muslims

Publication Date: February 8, 2022

Genre: YA Contemporary Social Justice

Recommended Age: 13+ (micro-aggressions, terrorism, racism, hate crimes, Islamaphobia, racism, language, romance, religion)

Explanation of Above: The book is a deep dive into how 3 Black Muslim teenage girls deal with the public backlash during the aftermath of a terrorist attack in which the bomber had an Arabic name (even though he was said to not be Muslim), so the book contains a lot of mentions and showings of micro-aggressions, racism, hate crimes, Islamaphobia, and racism against them. The book also has some instances of cursing and slight romance with two of the main characters and their respective partners. There are also a showing of Christian prayer and some Muslim prayer scenes. While I enjoyed both showings and I loved the insight into the Muslim religion, I do know that religion can be a bit of a trigger for some people due to religious trauma, especially with the Christian religion.

Publisher: Inkyard Press

Pages: 352

Synopsis: Sabriya has her whole summer planned out in color-coded glory, but those plans go out the window after a terrorist attack near her home. When the terrorist is assumed to be Muslim and Islamophobia grows, Sabriya turns to her online journal for comfort. You Truly Assumed was never meant to be anything more than an outlet, but the blog goes viral as fellow Muslim teens around the country flock to it and find solace and a sense of community.

Soon two more teens, Zakat and Farah, join Bri to run You Truly Assumed and the three quickly form a strong friendship. But as the blog’s popularity grows, so do the pushback and hateful comments. When one of them is threatened, the search to find out who is behind it all begins, and their friendship is put to the test when all three must decide whether to shut down the blog and lose what they’ve worked for…or take a stand and risk everything to make their voices heard.

Review: I extremely loved this book! This will be one of my forever favorites and a book that will stick with me for life. I absolutely loved the use of multiple POV and each of the main characters had very unique voices. The characters are well developed and  the world building is simple but well done. The book was extremely well written and I’m having issue finding words to explain how much I loved this book. Personally, I will say to skip my review and read through the other reviews by Muslim readers, such as my friend Roha (I will have a link here to her review on my blog), because I think their words on the read are more important than anything I could ever come up with. I think the closest I can explain how powerful this book is, is to explain a personal story of when the book gave me my first reader pause. It was when Sabriya is narrating and her mother is telling her that she will be needed to volunteer because her father’s job was hosting this volunteer effort to help the families affected by the terrorist attack. She explains that she has to do it because her father worked so hard to get the promotion to his current job and not volunteering will reflect badly on her father. And that gave me my first pause because, as someone whose father was also promoted, I didn’t have to do any of that. Granted, it wasn’t a government job he held but the difference still remains. I didn’t have to work any events or volunteer my time to ensure my dad looked good to his bosses because my father is white and so am I, whereas the main character in this book had to and then had to endure Islamaphobia directed at her and multiple instances of micro-aggressions because she wanted to make her father look good to his boss. I will also say that my second pause was when, I think it was Sabriya again?, was asking herself “what is his name and what is his religion?” because that is an unfortunate reality so many POC and/or Muslims deal with when news of a terrorist attack happens because unfortunately if the attacker is POC and/or Muslim or anything other than White and Christian, the whole community will see an increase in hate crimes against them whereas if the attacker is white the narrative will be about how the white attacker had a “poor home life” and that will be that. Honestly, when the tagline said “thought-provoking” I didn’t think that it would have me lying in bed at midnight staring at my ceiling wondering how to process and proceed with this new knowledge. This book did SO WELL to put the thoughts and feelings of Muslims and POC into words and while the plots are very simple, it’s the blog posts and the small moments like what I pointed out up above that really drive home the important messages of this book. If you never read another book I recommend, I highly HIGHLY recommend this book and I urge you to read this one.

The only issue I really had with the book is that I wanted a little more time with Zakat and Farah. I feel like we didn’t get enough with them whereas we got a lot with Sabriya. I also think some of the timelines in the book didn’t line up exactly. There was some future events mentioned here and there in chapters with other characters and then it would happen in a present tense in the other chapters. It wasn’t a huge confusion though and the book can be read as is without issue.

Verdict: The highest of highly recommended reads.
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I think this is a great YA book! I loved the dynamic of the three girls and how the intertwined. I also think the author did a great job of telling the story of a group that you don't often see or read about. I liked how all three girls had different issues of their own while also trying to figure out the blog and how at the end everything was rapped up nicely and loose ends tied.
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This book made my heart hurt. From the very beginning it was awful to see how the girls got treated while doing nothing wrong. I think this is definitely a good book for anyone to read to really walk in someone else’s shoes for a second. It was truly heartbreaking that after each tragedy they already know their first question is “Do they know the attackers religion?” or some iteration of it. Outside of it being painfully true that the world treats Muslims and especially black Muslims the way they do in this book, it was wonderful to watch the girls come into their own under the pressure. Each girl went through her own struggle and managed to come out the other side stronger. For me, this was a 4/5. 

Thank you to Turn the Page Tours for allowing me to be a part of the Bookstagram tour.
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YOU TRULY ASSUMED by Laila Sabreen is a great example of a young adult book that can help build empathy in readers who are not Black and/or Muslim. The three protagonists, Sabriya (Bri), Zakat, and Farah are all very different in terms of family experiences, socioeconomic backgrounds, personalities, goals, and more. The author's decision to have three protagonists for this story is another way she reinforces intersectionality and the fact that not every Black Muslim experience is the same--even though, in general, the US likes to group people into generic stereotypes. When Bri hears the name of the person who set off the attack that kicks off the stories, she fears he will be Muslim and that fear is so resonant: there's no doubt many Muslim (or perceived Muslim) people will suffer because of that one person's actions. Bri's awareness sets the tone for the rest of the story as Bri, Zakat, and Farah come together to deal with events over the rest of the summer. I'll definitely be recommending this book to my creative writing students.
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You Truly Assumed is a hard-hitting story that explores and breaks down Islamophobia. But it is so much more than that. It explores community, intersectionality and virtual friendships making this a fantastic book for this day and age. Following the separate stories of three young black Muslim teenagers, living in a society wrought with hate crimes and prejudice, they come together to create something powerful and cathartic. Their blog, which the book itself is named after, is both a place of sharing and connection. This book depicts both the dangerous complexity and the sense of togetherness that youth can find online.

Despite this, I did feel as though there was a lack of depth to the plot and characters. While there is certainly a lot of important themes presented throughout the story, there were relationships and character dynamics that I wish had just been pushed a little bit more.

**Please note that I am not a Black, nor a Muslim reviewer. Therefore I can not comment on the representation depicted in this book. Please seek out #ownvoice reviewers for more pertinent thoughts on this publication.
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