Cover Image: You Truly Assumed

You Truly Assumed

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Bri relies on her journal to express her innermost feelings.  When her journal is filled and she needs a new one, her sister suggests she use a private online journal instead.  Bri decides to give it a go, not realizing that the blog site is set to public rather than private. When she realizes her private thoughts have been read by others, she has to decide if she should leave it up or set it to private as she always intended.  

Zakat and Farah each come across Bri's blog and offer up their help to keep the blog running and make it look more appealing.  With their help, You Truly Assumed quickly becomes a popular site for young Muslim women to share their thoughts, especially about a recent flood of anti-Muslim feelings following a bombing (NOT perpetrated by a Muslim!).  

As each young woman deals with her own struggles (family, friends, college dreams, etc), they are also forced to deal with growing unrest on the blog as more and more hateful comments are posted and their site is targeting by a right-wing extremist group.  

I highly recommend this book to young adult readers.  Sabreen deals with the issue of anti-Muslim acts in an easy-to-understand way that builds empathy in the reader.  She also highlights the intersection of being Black and Muslim, which is often overlooked.
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I was drawn to this book by its cover. Firstly, the girl in the middle was wearing an Allah necklace. Secondly all 3 girls are Black Muslims and i don't read enough about them. I requested it on NetGalley and I'm so thankful that it was approved. 

This is a book that i feel everyone should read. It's hard to get Muslim representation right.... you've got to get the basic Muslim values but also the modern lives we are all accustomed to. This book got it spot on, for me. Whether it's moments like not being able to make roti like your mum or rolling your eyes when someone asks "but what can you eat from McDonalds?!"  to pure dread when there is a terrorist attack and you are just praying "please don't let them be muslim, please don't let them be muslim"

You are so lucky if you don't have to think "is it because I'm brown?"

In terms of characters, i loved all 3 of the main girls. Everyone's storyline was just as interesting as each others and i think that is so important when there are multiple POVs.

I'm not a black muslim girl, so i can't say how well that was represented but 5 stars for everything else!!!
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After a terror attack where the terrorist is assumed to be a Muslim, there was a rise in Muslim hate, Sabriya creates a blog called 'You truly assumed' as a safe space for her and other Muslim women of colour. She meets two other young black Muslim women through this and bonds with them. This book portrayed islamophobia, the microaggressions they face, and all the feelings that come with going through it all very well. The community aspect of this book and the family dynamics were wonderfully illustrated as well. The friendship between the three was so cute. My favourite had to be the family dynamics though, how supportive the parents are towards their daughters, this is normally not shown in a lot of YA novels. This book reminded me how important it is to reach out and ask for help when needed.

Now onto the Muslim rep. Let's start off by stating that I do know the author would have written this story through her perspective and personal experiences but personally the Muslim rep felt way too liberal for me. It could be due to differences in culture but I did not feel seen or represented as a Muslim by this book.

2.5 - 3 / 5 stars
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I was very excited to read You Truly Assumed from NetGalley as as it was about three Muslim girls, and being a muslim myself it’s not that common to say Muslim characters. There were so many aspects of this book I loved, especially the characters: Sabriya, Zakat and Farah. They were all unique in their own way but strived to do one thing and they’re friendship was nice to read. This book was an easy read but it was tackling different subjects like Islamaphobia and it was gratifying to see the amazing way it was conveyed. The way it showed Sabriya’s writing made me wish I could write like that casually! 
The reason I didn’t give it all my stars were because I felt like the author could explain the religion more and write a bit about the beliefs of Peace and so on. She definitely did do a big but I would have liked more especially about their beliefs about touching the opposite gender and I would’ve liked more clarification and reason. Another thing I was very curious about was the reasoning behind Sabriya choosing her fathers religion instead of her mothers because I feel like that could have been particularly interesting. 
But, overall this book was enjoyable, informative and it was easy to empathise and love all these characters! So I would definitely recommend it!
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When I finished reading You Truly Assumed, I thought to myself: this is it; this is the book that is going to take the world by storm come 2022. And if you have been waiting for a story that explores the experiences of being Black, Muslim and teenage girls, that illuminates how the intersections of those identities can hold so much strength, difference and hope, then your wait ends with You Truly Assumed. This book is brilliance and power in book form, and I am so excited for everyone to read it come February 2022.  

You Truly Assumed follows three Black Muslim teens: Sabriya, Zakat, and Farah who live in different parts of the U.S. When a terrorist attack strikes and the terrorist is assumed to be Muslim, frustrated by the racism and Islamophobia tht follows, the three girls come together and run a blog called You Truly Assumed, a space for Muslim teens. But when one of the girls is threatened, they must decide whether to shut down their blog and lose the community they’ve built, or stand up and risk their voices being heard.

What makes You Truly Assumed such a brilliant and elevating piece of YA contemporary fiction is how it firmly centers its story on three Black Muslim girls and their unique perspectives. This is not a story for the white gaze about how racism and Islamophobia are bad and wrong; to call it such would be reductive to the emotive and personal power of the girls’ stories. Rather, You Truly Assumed de-centers the harm and pain caused by its perpetuators and instead centers Sabriya, Zakat, Farah’s perspectives, their responses, their feelings, especially their joys and strengths and determination. The power and beauty of You Truly Assumed is that the three girls - Sabriya, Zakat, and Farah - reclaim their own power and agency on their own terms and of their own actions. 
Indeed, racism and Islamophobia are realities in Sabriya, Zakat, and Farah’s lives and they must navigate and grapple with the experiences and challenges that follow, but I loved that You Truly Assumed uncompromisingly rejects that the negative experiences are all that defines them. What I loved about You Truly Assumed is that the story highlights that, as the title cleverly suggests, they are so much more than what people assume them to be, and that there is difference even within the intersections of their Black and Muslim identities. 

For instance, we get the pleasure of seeing Sabriya fall in love and stand up to a racist in her life, we see how Zakat grapples with friendship and how she and her classmates fight back against bigots in her neighbourhood, and we see Farah navigate her blended family and her fraught relationship with her estranged father who is trying to make amends. Each girl has their own engaging character arc, their own story and their own full lives with problems outside of the prejudices they face, and we also get the pleasure of seeing the friendships that they form with each other when they begin to work on the You Truly Assumed blog together and witness these three girls grow together and lift each other up.

At the heart of the story, You Truly Assumed is about speaking up and how your voice can make room for hope. I loved the idea of their blog being a space of community, a place for other Muslim teens to connect with one another through shared lived experiences. I love that the book highlights how seeing someone feel the same thing that you feel can lighten the burden of loneliness and isolation. Moreover, the story shines a light on how speaking up can bring people together, how solidarity can offer spaces for people to speak up and be heard, and how through speaking up and standing up for what you believe in can give people hope and strength. In a way, You Truly Assumed is a story that offers the hope and strength that its characters aim to achieve.
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The story revolves around 3 Black Muslim teens, Sabriya, Zakat and Farah and how each girl deals with the aftermath of a terror attack and the Islamophobia that rises. The girls unite to form the blog "You Truly Assumed", a safe space for Black Muslim girls to feel comfortable and share their thoughts and experiences on the rising hate.

Firstly, as a Muslim girl who lives in a country which had a not-so-recent terror attack, I wish I had this book back then to comfort me. The confusion, the disappointment in the neighborhood that's supposed to protect you, the fear of being singled out because you belong to the minority was so relatable. Laila Sabreen manages to capture each emotion and give it life and comfort you with a sense of community! (albeit fictional, of course) Sometimes I wished I could reach out to Sabriya to congratulate her on being so brave to keep YTA running, because it did feel true to life. Yes, this book was that good!!!

The characters brought out such diversity of the Black Muslim community. Each girl was seen with a different set of goals, likes, family dynamics, and different ways in which they relate to their faith. It was so well written that the characters weren't confusing and each one was unique in their own way. 

The writing style is medium paced and easy to understand to let the message sink in. Even though there was a hateful act that was carried out in the beginning, friendship and love still prospered. And that's very important in times where religious minorities are attacked and stereotyped. I wish teens picked this up as a conversation starter and discussed prejudice and discrimination against Muslims in the real world due to certain stereotypes in society.

I need more YA Muslim representation in books because this was spot on! Can't wait to read what the author has in store for us next! 

Thank you Netgalley and Laila Sabreen for the eARC!💜
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This was a very quick read, and it gave me a lot to think about. I definitely recommend this book as an EXCELLENT choice for middle grade or high school readers in particular, because it tackles complex issues using language that is simple and relatable enough to understand and empathize with. I also love that it brings more diversity to the genre, and focuses on stories that aren’t told nearly often enough.
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First off, thank you to the publisher and NetGallery for the eARC!

I’m always looking for Muslim representation in YA literature, and honestly, I haven’t enjoyed many of those books so far. YTA, however, was different. It reflects on Islamophobia and how three young Black Muslim Women navigate the aftermath of a terror attack, after which the girls meet online to work on a blog together. The main characters have different interests, personalities and families, which reflects the unique Muslim experience. The characters are believable and complex; they’re not perfect and learn and develop through the story. It’s one of those few contemporary YA books where the author nails writing real teens.  I was worried I wouldn’t be able to keep track of three simultaneous stories, but it was coherent and tied together. Also, the book was only 247 pages, and a short book is always a win in my book. The initial reason I wanted to read this book was the gorgeous cover (other publishers, take notes), and the story does live up to that!

I’m sure that this novel will relate to many people since it covers anti-Blackness and Islamophobia, and the feelings and emotions that come with that. You don’t even need to be Muslim to see yourself in the characters; the book illustrates a realistic image of microaggressions. YTA provokes thought about issues like race and religion.

It’s not all negative, though. The friendship that blossoms between the three girls are heartwarming. This book is genuinely one of the best books with Muslim representation. The only thing I can nitpick is that I wish the book focused more on being a Muslim itself, rather than on what is it to be a Muslim after a terror attack, but again, the book is short, so it’s understandable. I loved the portrayal of a supportive, tight-knit Muslim community.  

I found myself genuinely invested in each of the character’s stories and I would love a sequel! Honestly, I love the idea of a blog where people who share experiences write about them together. YTA is truly worth the read, particularly if you're interested in social justice, OwnVoices and YA literature. Overall, a highly relevant, relatable and thought-provoking short read that will interest ages 12+!
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With a stunning cover worthy of framing, You Truly Assumed is an earnest look at three Black, Muslim teens confronting Islamophobia through a blog they create to express their feelings. The blog goes viral, which invites engagement no only from fans but also Islamophobic,, white supremacist trolls. The book is told from the first-person points of view of the three main characters, who are all beautifully rendered, respectful of their peers and parents, and find the courage to stand up to the trolls -- online and IRL. As someone whose extended family is Muslim, I found the glimpse into mosque visits and prayer especially illuminating. A lovely and heartfelt debut.
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You Truly Assumed is a powerful book that follows three Muslim girls who find each other online after a terror attack. This book celebrates teenage girlhood while delving into the uncertainty of growing up and figuring out your place in the world and the kind of person you want to be. It is a book about the safety of good friendship and community but also the fear that comes with wanting to branch out, try new things, and discover what else the world has to offer.

Bri, Kat and Farah speak up and push back against the Islamophobia with their blog. You Truly Assumed shows how affecting it can be to navigate a society that is determined to see you and your community in a negative light. But the book goes beyond that, the girls are more than the challenges they face. They are fully realized, well-developed characters – teenagers with crushes, hobbies, hopes and dreams.

Also, can we take a moment to admire the absolutely gorgeous cover?! I love it!!
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You Truly Assumed is an incredible and brave piece of literature that looks at not only deals with identity, racism , and islamophobia but also the importance of family, forming meaningful connections and why no one should ever fight for the right to exist. It was a book filled with passion and I could say that it meant a lot to the author. 

First of al, the reason I wanted to badly read YTA was that my country went through a very bad period of anti Muslim hate back in 2019 due to Easter Sunday Bombings and I saw so many of my Muslim friends suffer through it. I wanted to know what they felt and I took this book as a learning opportunity.
But I was glad and also sad to realize that I could easily relate to our three teen protagonists'  struggle with racism. I didn't need to be Muslim for that . I just needed to be a human being who has experienced racism and micro aggressions for being a minority in my country.

We follow Zakat, Sabriya , and Farah, three Black Muslim Young Women, who are struggling to fit into their hyphenated identities and how they come together to start a blog called You Truly Assumed to create a safe space for other young Muslim women of color after a surge in Muslim hate due terrorist attack where the terrorist is automatically assumed to be Muslim. 

While you come in for the blog, you stay for the girls' stories. Laila Sabreen accurately shows that there is no one way to be Muslim or that Islam is not a monolith because, despite sharing a common identity as Black Muslim Young Women, all of the three girls engage with their blackness and faith in a different manner. Their lives are incredibly complex and there's a strong emphasis on family, friendships, and community throughout the book. I think it was incredibly important to show books where teens have supportive parents and relationships instead of the usual broken family stereotype because  most of the teens do have supportive parents and it shows the importance of reaching out for help when necessary. 

I'm incredibly happy that Laila Sabreen remembers being a teen and wrote teens as real people, and not as stupid caricatures of the complex people they are. For that alone, the author deserves an applause. She was also able to accurately depict the fear, rage and helplessness that you feel as a person when people commit casual acts of racism against you and your community because of their assumptions. YTA centered the recipients of the abuse rather than the perpetrators of the violence which is very necessary because lives of POC are not redemption arcs of racists. 

More than that, I wanted to respond to each of those blog posts because I felt how it was like "to be unseen and unheard., to constantly having to put yourself in a box to fit some criteria, to live on the crossroads of identity. I only wish that the prose had been a little more ornate since the simplicity of the prose couldn't sometimes carry through the weight of the themes discussed. 

Long story short, I loved how thought provoking the book was and I know that the author will get alot of heat for the representation and while I, as a non Black, non Muslim person, can't personally speak for the rep, I don't think its fair to expect the Sabreen to represent all the Black and Muslim girls in the world in her single book. The only person such a personal book can and should accurately represent is her lived in experience as a Black Muslim young woman and she had done that incredibly.
All the wishes to the author and thank you Netgalley for the E-ARC
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this is a powerful story about three Black Muslim girls and the bond they form in the aftermath of a terrorist attack. this book is thought-provoking and obviously deals with racism and islamophobia, but also manages to perfectly capture the joy of new friendships and relationships, family dynamics and the unity of muslim communities. it's about growing from pain and how tragic events can truly bring people together.
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This was a really wonderful, powerful, and thought provoking book. The three different story lines felt equally well developed and I loved how well they were tied together even though none of the characters were in the same physical location. The social justice concepts in this book felt well tackled and thoughtfully explored. It definitely left me with a lot of thoughts. I definitely recommend this book for a real world, hard hitting contemporary novel.
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Firstly, thank you for giving me an arc copy of this amazing book. 

So, I went into this book completely blind. I had no idea what this was about. i just fell in love with that stunning cover. i could not stop staring at it. ok back to it, this book omg. it was a rollercoaster of emotions. i have honestly never read a book where the mc is a black, muslim young women. and i am sooo here for it. i learned so so much reading this book. it was highly educational for sure. 

the characters were so well written. they were honestly extremely relatable. me, being a minority myself, i really felt this book. some parts really gave me goosebumps.

i looooved Bri, Zakat and Farah so so much. i related to them so deeply. 

i loved how the author tackled some social issues. well done👏

the racism in this book were tackled nicely. i loved how much i related to that as I've obviously been a victim of that as well. kudos to the author. 

this was def a quick read and i loved it. so thank you for giving me chance to read this stunning book. 

i cant wait for this to be released so everyone can enjoy this.
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You Truly Assumed was a quick read, and still gave me so much to dwell on. The novel explores personal growth, friendship, family alongside community building. It features three Black Muslim girls—Bri, Zakat and Farah—in the aftermath of a terrorist attack and I know, I know, what that sounds like but GOD, the absolute joy of these three girls’ perspectives in a modern world, going though life in the best way they can, each with their own lives and hobbies and passions and the want for better, was so satisfying.
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This was such a great and timely novel full of facing fears and oppression, and how to overcome hate when you experience it every day. I loved that there was a sense of safety and confession in this, as it felt like each of the characters' stories were able to be told and feel closed.
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A powerful, engrossing story about three Black Muslim teens who start a blog to push back against the Islamophobia that effects their lives and communities. Through the blog, they find their voices and challenge themselves to grow, all while also dealing with other teenage concerns--crushes, family dynamics, and friendships. Would recommend.
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