Cover Image: You Truly Assumed

You Truly Assumed

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Member Reviews

Thank you NetGalley for giving me this opportunity!

This book was slow to start, but I think the message is truly inspiring, and is a Ya Contemporary to dive into.

I do want to say that those who wished that there was more exploration about being Black Muslim and facing Islamophobia or more character development-sometimes the length and premise of the book is enough.

I am tired of diving into Black books or POC books where the forefront is always pain and a easy cheat sheet for nonpoc to grasp and understand what it is like to be in our skin.

This is a good book, and I cannot wait to add this to my classroom library.
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**I was provided with an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

First and foremost I want to point out that my rating very much comes down to my personal reading experience so don’t let it detract from the fact that this is still a very inspiring and empowering book.

You Truly Assumed follows three Black Muslim teenagers of differing backgrounds, living in different parts of New York who come together through an online blog page to speak out against Islamophobia in the aftermath of a terrorist attack. It also has a much more personal focus for each of the protagonists with them tackling their own issues with family, friendships, and the future.

I enjoyed following them on their individual stories and the exploration of racism and microaggressions will without a doubt resonate with a lot of people.

However, it is a book not without its debut hiccups.

The main one being that even though the 3 girls had their own primary storylines their voices didn’t really stand out from each other enough. The way they each interacted with other characters and went about expressing themselves, quite often overstating their feelings through inner monologues, became indistinguishable at times. A lot of the dialogue between characters felt very scripted too.

I also feel as though we didn’t really get to see the relationship between the three girls develop, it all just seems to happen off page which made it felt unrealistic. In fact the blog which brought them together didn’t have enough of a focus on it, we got a few generic snippets and then the protagonists just individually talking about how much they loved being involved with it. It would have been great if we could have had more interactions between them discussing the blog to just see more of their friendship forming.

Overall, this is a book with great concepts and a lot of heart that sadly didn’t entirely hit the mark for me. Though for its representation and overarching message I would still recommend giving it a read.
Final Rating – 3/5 Stars
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This one was SO good. When I started it, I really didn't know what to expect. I was looking forward to the friendships the synopsis promised, but other than that, I wasn't sure what was coming. I'm so happy I took a chance on this one though, it was amazing.

I feel like I need to start this review by saying I've never gone through anything like Farah, Zakat, and Bri, and I likely never will. I don't have to face the prejudices they do. Regardless of that, this book really spoke to me. It both opened my eyes and forced me to look at things with a different perspective. I loved it for that, as it was both an enjoyable read, but also an enlightening one.

Other than that, I really loved the friendships all of our characters developed. They didn't know each other, they didn't even live near each other. Despite this, they found a family in each other. Their shared experiences brought them so close together, and it was incredibly touching to read their friendship. I also loved watching them confront their issues. They backed each other so well, and even when things got hard, they were there for the other. This book hit so much harder because of the bonds it showcased.

The ending was also spectacular. It almost brought tears to my eyes, it was that inspiring. Watching Bri, Zakat, and Farah reclaim their power was amazing. They refused to be silenced. They refused to let their voices be ignored. They fought as a team, and although things weren't magically fixed at the end, things were moving forward. I loved the realistic take this took. Life tried to knock these girls down, but they kept fighting through it all.

I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for Sabreen's future works. This one was the perfect mix of fluff and seriousness, and it was a read I'll be thinking of for quite some time.

Thanks for Turn the Page Tours for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review!
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If i want to embrace the [muslim] community, my Blackness is rarely taken into account. And those two identities are so tangled I can't separate them." 

cw // racism. bombing, islamaphobia
rep // Black Muslim MCs

You Truly Assumed follows Sabriya, Zakat and Farah, three girls find each other through the creation of a blog, You Truly Assumed. The words of Sabriay, the drawings of Zakat and the tech skills of Farah bring it to life. A space that originally started as a private blog for Sabriya thoughts after a terror attack in DC and the following hate crimes against the muslim community, it transforms into a space for young Black muslim women in a world where islamophobia is growing bolder.

While the girls have similar identities, they could not have more different home lives and engage in their faith in different ways. Coming from different backgrounds of wealth, home lifes and social activities, there are lots of moments where the reader gets to see the community not as a monolith.

Some of the sub plots in this book do wrap up a little "too" nicely, but I think this book is good for giving a win all around to its characters. Between arcs of a budding enemies to friends romance, meeting an estranged father and hate crimes in a community, we are told the moments of love, hope and friendship. I also like how this book centers on the girls and their experiences and not showing us both sides of the perpetrators actions. There's no need for that.

While activism can be a challenging topic to put into a YA book without it getting too preachy, You Truly Assumed balances the line well. I loved learning about these characters and I hope for a spinoff one day!

Thank you to the publisher for sending me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Inkyard Press for an advanced copy to review. This book was a great read that handled Islamophobia, racism, and  intersectionality very well. While it was a shorter read, it was a heavy one. My only critique was that I had a hard time distinguishing between the three character's voices. Because each of the character's story was unique, it made it easier, but the voice sounded the same. I do wish it was a little longer as well to flush out the ended better but overall very good.
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I'm so sorry for what I'm about to write but this is 100% MY honest review. 

This is a story about 3 Muslim Black young woman who team up to run the blog for a safe place for anyone who feels the same way as them. That blog is called You Truly Assumed. But eventually things get rough and not everything goes the way they planned. 

The premise was really interesting. I wanted to love and enjoy this book, but I couldn't, however hard I tried. It's so dull and boring, literally like diary entries about daily life but nothing exciting. I couldn't feel any emotional attachment toward the characters too even though they're all amazing in their own way. 

But there's one point I got from this book: you can have different responses from the same stressful situation and it's ALL valid. Your feelings always matters. 

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Inkyard Press for providing this ARC!
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A terrorist attack rocks Washington DC and despite the attack not being carried out by a Muslim, the assumption of his religion has devastating affects on the lives of 3 Muslim teens.

Sabriya has her summer all planned, but the terrorist attack changes everything for her. To deal with her thoughts and feelings she turns to writing an online journal to express herself. She never thought that her words would resonate with so many other Muslim teens, or that they would attack the level of hate she experiences from online comments.

As Sabriuya's words go viral, two more teens, Zakat and Farah, join forces with her to turn You Truly Assumed into a force to be reckoned with and a way for the voices of other teens to be heard.

As the friendship between the 3 teens grows, so does their strength and their determination to make a difference in shutting down the hate and Islaophobia that colours their worlds.

This books talks of experiences that I can never personally experience and it is all the more valuable for doing so.

This important book highlights the power of words, friendship and being true to yourself. 

Thanks to Netgalley and Inkyard Press for the advanced copy of this book to review.
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DNF @ 50%

I was really looking forward to this read: the cover is gorgeous, and tells a story by and about Muslim girls; something SO underlooked in the publishing industry right now. I think perhaps the younger side of YA is a better fit than the older one for this book, however, because I found this book to be too simplistic in writing style to enjoy.

I felt as though the dialogue was very stilted for the age of the characters: if felt too formal to be believable, yet simple in what the characters were saying. I couldn't imagine any teacher talking the same way these characters talk.

I also felt as though the writing did a lot of telling, and not showing; characters often stated their motivations instead of letting the reader get to know them through more showy sequences which gave the book a very simplistic tone.

That said, I do believe there will be a huge audience for this piece, and is so important. Black and/or Muslim women NEED to be given more of a voice than they are currently being given in the publishing industry, and I think it's great that this book is being traditionally published with hopefully lots of marketing. Just because this book wasn't for me, doesn't mean many won't find lots of value in it.
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Absolutely amazing and showstopping!! You Truly assumed follow the lives of the Black- Muslim teens and how their live moves on after the terrorist attack at Washington DC. 

The book carries on with 3 three perspectives of the lives of Sabriya, Zakat and Farah. But eventually their lives tie in together through the blog “ You truly assumed” created by them for a safe space for more people like them. The blog brings them together and seeing their friendship bloom was so mesmerizing and comforting to watch. I absolutely adored how all of them came together to create a platform a safe haven for people like them and they poured their hearts into it and even when there hardships and problems they pulled trough having hope and courage all this time. We see each character dealing with their own experiences, Sabriya’s journey where she stands up against people who have been harming others. Zakat’s love for her town and doing everything she can to protect it and Farah reconnecting with her father and his family. The character development was absolutely perfect and realistic with each character with their unique charming personalities and their story lines. Each of them had such a beautiful story and grappling story which makes you genuinely love them more and you don't wanna stop reading about them
Overall this book was amazing to read, the message and theme of this book was so beautifully portrayed with a few times when I wanted to cry and with moments where I laughed my heart out.
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"Was the terrorist Muslim?"

Like the characters in this book, it's the first question I ask when I hear news of an attack, followed by a silent prayer: please don't let them be Muslim. Please don't let me watch and hear people bashing the religion I love with renewed fervor. Please don't give right-wing politicians another reason to further restrict the rights and freedom of Muslims.

Please don't let there be more hate.

With this introduction, the author made the characters instantly relatable because I intimately understood their fear.

Sabriya, Zakat, and Farah live in different cities and under different circumstances. Sabriya's father is Muslim but her mother isn't. She's a dancer, she dates, and she wears a necklace with the name of Allah around her neck.

Zakat is a hijabi who often goes to the mosque, but her parents are very strict and don't easily give their daughter permission to step beyond what they consider safe. And even though Zakat could have been full-on rebellious, she loves and respects her parents even as she struggles to redefine the boundaries they've set for her.

Farah was raised by her Muslim mother. Her non-Muslim father left them when she was young, and has now invited her to spend a few weeks with him and his family. Even though she doesn't want to be away from her boyfriend this summer, especially since he will be leaving for college after, this might be a good way for her to see if a long distance relationship would work out.

Despite their differences, all three are united by the blog Sabriya inadvertently starts when she publishes her private journal, full of her anger at the Islamophobia after the attack. I really liked seeing their friendship, which was very solid despite what the official synopsis seems to imply. Rather than threaten to break them apart, when one of them is threatened, the other two show nothing but love and support. It was an amazing depiction of online friendship and how strong it can be, even if you've never met face to face.

I do think that the book needed some polish. None of the characters truly stand out, the writing is somewhat uneven, and the storylines are all tied up just a bit too neat for such a heavy topic. I also wanted more from their friendship than we ended up getting because the separate storylines never felt like they really came together. The three young women each deal with their own challenges on their own rather than uniting to solve them together. Yes, they offer each other encouragement and support, but that and working on the blog is where the collaboration ends.

The last thing that bothered me a bit was how they all used Western nicknames for the blog. We have three young Muslim women with beautiful, Arabic names, and they get condensed to Bri, Kat, and Rose. Yes, they should have used aliases, but making them so blatantly English rubbed me the wrong way.

I am happy this book exists, and I hope young, Black Muslim girls will feel represented by the characters here. I look forward to more books from this author.
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I finished this book earlier today and I finished it with a feeling of completeness. It was a book that was multiple perspectives, which I love and within those points of view, there were these really great story lines. I appreciated how separate and yet together their stories were and how these characters came together. I understood these characters from the standpoint of being a Black Female Teen in America and while I'm not Muslim, I felt their irritation with the world that we live in not being open to this integral part of their being. This was a wonderful book that so many teens will be able to see themselves in!
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This is a very important YA contemporary about modern activism, dealing with hate, being a Black Muslim Woman, and just empowering yourself and those around you. It was such a wholesome story, too, the friendships at its core a highlight for me. All three protagonists were really individually fleshed out with their own motivations and struggles, and I enjoyed reading from all of their perspectives. 
I did feel like this book was a bit too much tell not show, with certain relationships popping out of nowhere, like a father or imam being suddenly a major support for a character. I really like the different forms of support the characters had, but they often needed more development for me. Also, I feel like the book often said "the blog and the friendship it has created means the world to these characters" but it wasn't totally believable because we didn't see enough of the blog and the main friendship.
Nonetheless, I still found myself smiling at the ways our three main characters connected virtually and found a safe space in each other, and that is huge to me. I love when a book can make me smile so naturally like this book did, because it was empowering and powerful to read as a teen who does a form of activism. With Covid, too, I've worked in multiple teams virtually and it was cool to read about teens texting each other to find times to have video meetings and overall just healthy, thoughtful communication.  
I would recommend this to anyone looking to gain insight on a Black Muslim woman's experience, anyone who loves supportive friendships and families, and anyone who is interested in contemporary activism.
I can't speak to the representation as I'm not a Black Muslim woman, so I encourage reading reviews by Black Muslim Women.
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First I want to thank NetGalley and Inkyard Press for giving me free access to this book in exchange for an honest review.

It took me two tries to get into this book. But that was because the content matter is heavy and when I first started reading I wasn't in the right headspace to appreciate what Sabreen wrote. However, once I got into the book, I was hooked. I literally stayed up to 4am reading because I just could not put it down. (I don't think I've stayed up that late in over a decade!)

To anyone who loved Angie Thomas' "The Hate U Give," you need to read this book. Whether you are a young, black Muslim woman like the three protagonists or not, I feel like this is an important book to read. For some it will be a mirror to see their experiences reflected and for everyone else it is an exceptional window to see and understand what some people have gone through.

While the book does focus a lot on how Sabriya, Zakat, and Farah deal with Islamophobia, the book is able to hold the complexity of their lives by also showing their personal growth, friendships, family dynamics, and romantic relationships.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough - though, because of the Islamophobia the main characters face, I do advise people to practice self care as needed while reading. I hope Sabreen continues to write because I want to read more of their books.
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There's no lack of elements I loved in You Truly Assumed. From Sabriya, an aspiring Black ballerina, to Zakat who is struggling with a new friendship, and Farah who is exploring the halves of her family. There were pieces of my heart that resonated with each of these characters. While the blog, You Truly Assumed, and the islamaphobia they experience on and offline is a huge part of the story, so are their individual journeys. The micro and macro aggressions they face and endure unfolds as their lives begin to intertwine. 

On a broader level, You Truly Assumed explores how we feel safe, carve safe spaces for ourselves, and navigate new spaces. Asking contemporary questions about internet safety and the power people feel in anonymity, this book asks numerous relevant questions about voicing our opinions online. At the same time, it also explores our how dreams can wither from lack of representation and the importance of examining our own friends and family. The power we have not only in our own voice, but in the influence we have over our loved ones.
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The writing was authentic and straight to the heart. I enjoyed the various perspectives and was really able to experience what it would be like as a black Muslim during an event like this.
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This book definitely has a 5 stars potential. The story and premise were great, but what this book failed at was the execution.

Longer and more comprehensive review to come!
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This book needs to be one of your most anticipated reads of this year, it is enthralling, enlightening, empowering and conversational. 
A brilliant #ownvoices novel that explores the aftermath of a terrorist attack in DC & the sort of awful harm that can and does result from white fear. 
In this story we follow Sabriya, Zakat, and Farah, three Black, Muslim teens on the verge of graduation and college applications, who on top of this must deal with numerous macro and microaggressions from others around them and with their blog, You Truly Assumed. 
Sabriya's main storyline is she loves to dance, but has been told all her life she doesn't look the part, both outright and subtly. She must relent to volunteer work all summer to help families in the aftermath of the attack, where we have a lovely slow-burn plotline with the only other black teen in their volunteer committee who she previously assumed to be majorly annoying, her character growth is mainly learning how to stand up for herself and share her thoughts, understanding her perspective is important in a world that constantly tells her it isn't.
Zakat loves art, and wants to go to school for it, but her parents are protective and would rather see her closer for school, she grows up in a tight-knit Muslim community, however is one of very few Black members. She has to work with someone who was previously bigoted all summer and she struggles with trusting her instincts lest she have a confrontation, but her main character growth is to do with making decisions for her own well-being, putting herself out there, how to deal with confrontation.
Farah is a coding whiz and is in charge of blog layout. She has to stay with her absent father for the summer when he suddenly wants to reappear in her life, along with his brand new family. She and her boyfriend Riley are going to be apart when college begins, and she is convinced she has to break up with him now so it won't hurt so much later on. Her main character growth has to do with forgiveness, learning to trust and rely on others, and opening up her heart outside of her comfort bubble with her mom. 
I was completely engaged and enthralled with the characters and the story the entire time I was reading. My emotions and anxiety spiked a few times reading, imagine living this reality every single day and not just reading about it, the experience ending once you put the book down .This is an amazing depiction of the experience most Muslims face in America and beyond. the added element of anti-blackness was just so disheartening, but so real. The intersectionality of two identities that don't seem to coincide with each other in most perceptions, yet many people make up these blends of ethnicities in the religion of Islam. To deal with racism as well as Islamophobia is unfortunately most Muslim peoples' experience. Everybody should read this book, for the reason alone that nobody should be ignorant to the behavior towards certain religious minorities perpetrated all of the time by hateful white people. Also, though loads of elements are very real, this story is fictional, and it's really delightful and easy to follow. I read right through it because I couldn't stand to put it down. 
Lastly, I'll add a really lovely quote from the book that I really resonated with; 
"It's gross that people get to have racist, Islamophobic, or homophobic or any of the other countless "phases" that get written off as them simply being children."
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Sabriya (Bri) hoped to spend her summer focusing on ballet but when a terrorist attack occurs in Washington DC that leads to a surge in Islamophobia around the country, auditions are cancelled and her plans get scrapped.  Her sister suggests a private online journal as an outlet and Bri writes her first entry of You Truly Assumed.  When the private blog accidentally gets posted to the public and starts getting quite a response, Bri decides to keep writing it publicly.  She soon realizes she needs help and recruits Farah (Rose) to help with the technical side of the blog and Zakat (Kat) to contribute her art.  These 3 girls have different interests and side stories going on in addition to dealing with backlash their blog causes.  YTA is a space for community and conversation between young black Muslim women but in the wake of the terrorist attack, they are inundated with vitriol and backlash from those with hateful ideologies both on the blog and in real life.  As all three tackle challenges in their personal lives their bond with one another continues to grow stronger as they support one another and fight to keep YTA up and running. This one started kind of slow but I really ended up loving all three characters and really enjoyed their perspectives.  Will recommend.
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Wow, this was an incredibly powerful book! As a Syrian American I always appreciate being represented in books because growing up there was never representation of the middle eastern culture. There truly wasn't anything I didn't love about this book!
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this was a great and fun debut novel! i got attached to the characters and their storylines (my favorite was Farah). as a black and muslim woman, i have never read a novel that featured women who shared the same "intersectionalities" (is that a word) as me. i think it's the first time i was kinda represented in a story.

i think the audience for this is like 11-17 years old? the characters felt very juvenile, but they are teenagers navigating a lot of things, so i understand their reaction even if sometimes i felt like rolling my eyes (i couldnt help it!!!). in the end, everything was okay so i was happy.

i try to stay away from books dealing about trauma and racisms or islamophobia, but i am so glad i received an arc of this one and read it.

i absolutely recommend it to everyone!
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