Member Reviews

A beautifully drawn and plotted graphic novel that managed to inter splice strong thematic elements and keep up great entertainment value.

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Plot: 4
Characters: 5
Writing Style: 5
Cover: 3
Enjoyment: 4
Buyable/Re-readable?: Yes.

Honestly, I wanted more story, more memories. I very much feel that this could have been longer, that it would benefit from a tad more fleshing out. More, like, snapshots into author’s life, because we don’t always get a follow through or wrap up conclusion to certain incidents and that was a little disappointing. The art style wasn't for me; not great, however, it really fits the story. If IRL hadn't gotten in the way, I easily could have read it in one sitting, it’s hookable and relatable in various ways from PoC, assault, time period setting (knew references and liked some), female woes, dad issue woes, stepfamily woes, etc etc

I'm glad I took a blind leap and requested this, because I just saw the words 'graphic memoir' and 'Egypt' and hit that button, heh. Nice coming of age story.

Also, my favorite part was probably the AIM reference!!! Ah, nostalgia. I miss AIM. And I hear you, Malaka, I hear you, xD

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Hala ended up being the character that I was drawn to the most, her change and growing unhappiness towards the end made it more satisfying than sad when she embraced a new life. The format of this story (only showing snippets from the summer trips) really worked for me too - it was interesting to see how Malaka's relationship with her family changed over the years, for better or for worse. Really the only thing I didn't like was the art style, it wasn't my favorite, but also didn't impact my enjoyment of the story too much.

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A touching coming-of-age story about a girl navigating two very different cultures - and trying to find her place in the world. I love the whimsical artwork and the fact the story didn't skirt around difficult issues like sexual harassment, divorce and classism.

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I wasn't expecting this graphic memoir to be so relatable and hard-hitting honestly. Malaka has done such a stellar job depicting a touching time-capsule of her life and its beauty.

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I recently became interested in graphic novels, and this one appealed to me because of its focus on multiple family issues. An unexpected bonus was learning about another culture while reading the book! Through the drawings and text, we read/see Gharib age and navigate family challenges (divorce, long distance relationship with her father, blended family). Her choice of text and illustrations thoroughly and effectively portrayed her thoughts, feelings, and experiences, so much so that I found myself feeling empathy for her as she sought a closer relationship with her father. At times, the chronology of the events was confusing due to the order they were presented in the book. However, overall, I found this to be an enlightening read is likely to be enjoyed by those who appreciate graphic novels/memoirs that illustrate family issues.
#ItWontAlwaysBeLikeThis #NetGalley

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I loved Malaka’s previous graphic novel so I was excited to give this a read. While I enjoyed it, it wasn’t what I was expecting. I don’t know… it didn’t feel as authentic? She just felt super whiney and immature about her stepmother, and I get that, but I wasn’t super interested in that part of her story I guess. I’d still recommend her books and I’ll still be buying a physical copy.

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I really enjoyed this graphic/comic format memoir! While the drawing style was not my favorite, it grew on me as I continued reading the book. The story follows Malaka, whose parents are divorced. Every summer, she visits her father in Egypt, and as time goes on, her family grows to include Hala - her step-mother - and three half-siblings. I would descripe this as a coming-of-age memoir, with a focus on how Malaka navigates her two worlds and her father's new family. There are some comedic moments, but the story has a lot of emotional depth. The real standout was suprisingly not Malaka's relationship with her dad but instead her relationship with Hala, her stepmother. Overall, I would suggest this title to anyone interested in graphic/comic memoirs or coming-of-age memoirs, especially if you are interested in Egypt and the Middle East.

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This graphic novel is a memoir that mainly explores the struggles growing up between America and Egypt, as a mix 0f Egyptian-American-Filipina identities. For the most part I really enjoyed the issues explored here and I would definitely recommend it based on that. I'm always curious around these subjects and it is pretty much always worth the read on other people's experiences with their own identity. Unfortunately I really disliked the art style and it did affect my overall enjoyment since this is a graphic novel and the visuals are half of it. My rating would have been higher otherwise.

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This was such a fantastic graphic novel. In this book we follow the author, Malaka Gharib, as she spends her summers in Egypt with her dad. She thinks that this summer will be just the same as all the other summers until her dad tells her a secret - he's remarried. We get to see Malaka meet and try to get along with Hala, her dad's new wife. Over the course of the book we follow the author as she tries to find a place to fit in within her own family. Overall, I really enjoyed this graphic novel and I was very taken in by the story. The artwork was vibrant and eye catching as well.

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I really, really enjoyed it! The message was important, it was overall a very good memoir. The drawings were cute, I loved the style. Some moments made me really emotional and I could relate. Overall, I recommend!

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Malaka is a teenager between two worlds, trying to hold on to her relationship with her father and his new family. At an age where a young person finds out who they are, she doesn't fit in at home in America, and even less so in the middle east.
This book felt authentic, Malaka's struggles are relatable, and there's occasional humor to be found in the "fish out of water" situation, but it's mostly serious and everyone is struggling to find meaning in their complicated lives.

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A good continuation of "I Was Their American Dream." Malaka writes of her parents' divorce, unexpected to her, and of her relationships with each of her parents as well as her husband's new wife. Malaka is honest about her emotions and family problems as well as joys and her growing friendship with her stepmother. An engaging and emotionally stirring graphic memoir.

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A heartwarming, nostalgic own-voice story of a Egyptian-Filipino-American girl who spends her summers visiting her Egyptian father's new family, and how she fits into his new life away from her. As someone with a North African father who also spends summers away from home, this felt super relatable and nostalgic, and I love how Gharib is able to bring the reader into her life in just a short graphic novel. While I didn't love the art style (I wish it was more detailed and reflected the obvious love and care poured into this story), this was a unique and important story about a girl discovering herself in a land far away from home.

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this invoked so many emotions

This memoir is about a girl who grows up with one parent in California and the other in Egypt. She has to adapt to her new life, with a new stepmom and new siblings, and the complications of growing up. This story was sad, beautiful, complex, and heartwarming.

I really enjoyed this memoir! The only reason I didnt give it five stars was because the text was a bit difficult to read at times.

Thank you to netgalley for allowing me to read this book in advance in exchange for an honest review

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It is great to see a continuation to Malaka Ghraib's story. Her first graphic novel really touched on what it meant to be a part of a non-traditional, bi-racial, immigrant family. I really liked how this story picked up where she finished and the dynamics of her relationship with her father who lives outside of the United States. The part and evolution of the story that I enjoyed reading the most was in regard to her relationship with her step-mother... My step-mother came into my life in my teens from a different upbringing than me. I can't wait to share this book with her.

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Thank you NetGalley and Ten Speed Press for an advanced digital copy It Won’t Always Be Like This.

All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This book is one that definitely made me think when I was done. This story is a great visual representation of what it means to not fit in, primarily as a child with different races, countries and families on each side of you.

I loved seeing the growth of Malaka, her family, but especially her stepmother Hala. While they may not always understand each other, as family, they'll always love each other. The author's childhood, while also unique and genuinely portrayed, is familiar and relatable. There are so many children in similar situations that need to read stories like theirs, like this one.

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Malaka details her life growing up Filipino Egyptian American through the summers she spent in Egypt with her father and her step-family. Her father, who was originally from Egypt moved back to the country when she was a little girl and from then on only saw her father in the summer. She talks about how it was difficult for her to fit in being American and showcases the ups and downs of her relationship with her father in relation to her American ways. It was an interesting read for me. We get to see a different perspective of living in two worlds. Malaka spends most of the year with her mother in California but would spend the summers with her father in Egypt. I feel like that is a perspective that is not always shown, or at least not one that I have seen often. I also liked the art style. It was not what I expected when I started reading this graphic novel but I came to enjoy it. I think it fits perfectly. The only draw back to it was at times I had difficulty making out the chapter titles. Overall it was a great read.

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Similar to her charming debut (I WAS THEIR AMERICAN DREAM), Gharib's follow-up explores what it's like to straddle multiple cultures as well as changing family dynamics after divorce. As her father quickly settles into his new life, a teenaged Gharib worries that she no longer belongs in it. It's her stepmother, Hala, who assures her that she'll always be part of the family, no matter the circumstances. Tugging on the heartstrings, IT WON'T ALWAYS BE LIKE THIS is a bittersweet and utterly relatable read,

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**I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***

This book is one that definitely made me think when I was done. Starting off I thought I could see where the author's story was going, but I'm glad to say I was pleasantly surprised at the later half of her story.

Seeing as how the narrator ages as the story progresses, I'd be more likely to say this is a young adult title over a children's title. But I think that a mature youth might be able to handle this title.

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