Cover Image: It Won't Always Be Like This

It Won't Always Be Like This

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Member Reviews

This book is an excellent perspective of divorce through the eyes of a pre teen/teen/young adult. Malaka is a very relatable person in her teens. Due to that, even thought I had not experienced divorce, having my parents on separate continents, nor being Muslim/Filipino, I could deeply connect with her. The journey she took us on to reflect on how her father and his new family fit into her life was captivating. I also enjoyed the art style. I would definitely recommend this book to pre-teens through young adult readers.
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This graphic narrative really captured my attention; it's a form I never realized I wanted! 

This story is lovely and a wonderful illustration of what it's like to feel out of place, especially as a young child with other races, nations, and family on each side of you. 

This is a lovely tale that many different people can easily relate to. I appreciate that this kind of narrative can be presented, especially in this kind of storytelling, because it demonstrates both the good and the terrible in everything.
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I got the preview for this during Free Comic Book Day and was immediately intrigued. To see it available as an ARC on NetGalley made me excited because I just needed to read more, especially as I wasn't sure where it was going to go.

The art is charming and I just love how unique and genuine it is. It isn't trying to imitate anyone else's style. 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. There's lessons to be learned here, that the author no doubt learned, and that wisdom gets to be imparted to others now in this wonderfully created graphic memoir. It's melancholic, but it's honest and there is uplift. I appreciate the author sharing these stories with us.
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What a beautiful graphic memoir. I love reading about Malaka's life. My only issue is that I'm not a fan of the artwork. It seems sloppy and unrealistic, but will purchase this book for my library. The content is amazing.
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This book made me experience a childhood I’ve not had yet it begun to feel so familiar. As a Palestinian arab, I enjoyed the Egyptian rep, the issues presented with being a woman in a society of harmful men, and all the beauty and struggles of being a child. It was very interesting and I can’t wait to get myself a hard copy, the art style delighted me, it is so well expressed. Everything about this book inspired me to love art and story telling
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This is an amazing graphic memoir from Malaka about living between two parents: with her Filipino mom in the USA and her Egyptian dad in Egypt. This novel focuses completely on her relationship with her dad and her new step-mom Hala. For the next 15 years, Malaka travels across the world each summer to spend time with her dad, Hala and eventually with her step-siblings. 

What I loved:
The way the novel starts: Malaka meets Hala and it's super soon and fast 
Hala's bold decision towards the end 
The angst and need to fit in as a teenager 
The lines and the art style were unique
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This coming of age memoir tells the story of Filipino-Egyptian-American Malaka Gharib spending her summers in Egypt with her father and his growing, changing family. It is a beautifully told story that spans about a decade. The story is sweet, but the most universal aspect is the awkwardness of adolescence that Gharib includes unfiltered. I can’t say that I loved the art, but it did move the story with purpose.
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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. The only thing I did not really enjoy was the artwork, the style is not something I usually like, but the story overall was very good. I'd recommend this to anyone who likes family stories or graphic memoirs.

Thank you to Clarkson Potter and NetGalley for providing a copy for review.
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**Disclaimer: I received a free advanced readers copy of It Won't Always Be Like This by Malaka Gharib through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for this opportunity.

It Won't Always Be Like This by Malaka Gharib is a non-fiction graphic novel memoir about the life of the author as she grew up visiting her father in Egypt during her summer vacations.  It is set to be published on September 20th, 2022.  I rated it 4 stars on Goodreads.

Here's the summary from Goodreads:

An intimate graphic memoir about an American girl growing up with her Egyptian father's new family, forging unexpected bonds and navigating adolescence in an unfamiliar country--from the award-winning author of I Was Their American Dream.
It's hard enough to figure out boys, beauty, and being cool when you're young, but even harder when you're in a country where you don't understand the language, culture, or religion.
Nine-year-old Malaka Gharib arrives in Egypt for her annual summer vacation abroad and assumes it'll be just like every other vacation she's spent at her dad's place in Cairo. But her father shares news that changes everything: He has remarried. Over the next fifteen years, as she visits her father's growing family summer after summer, Malaka must reevaluate her place in his life. All that on top of maintaining her coolness!
Malaka doesn't feel like she fits in when she visits her dad--she sticks out in Egypt and doesn't look anything like her fair-haired half siblings. But she adapts. She learns that Nirvana isn't as cool as Nancy Ajram, that there's nothing better than a Fanta and a melon-mint hookah, that the desert is most beautiful at dawn, and that her new stepmother, Hala, isn't so different from Malaka herself.
It Won't Always Be Like This is a touching time capsule of Gharib's childhood memories--each summer a fleeting moment in time--and a powerful reflection on identity, relationships, values, family, and what happens when it all collides.

I have really been enjoying graphic novel memoirs lately, and I found this one really interesting.  It was a different perspective from many of the others I have read.  It was interesting to read about a young girl growing up part of the year in Egypt and traversing two different worlds.

The art style in this graphic novel wasn't really my favourite.  The character designs were clear, but I prefer a slightly more realistic style.  However, the colours were lovely, and the overall design of the panels and the graphic novel was quite nice.

I enjoyed reading about Malaka's life.  She had a hard time adjusting to life in Egypt and how different it was from America.  She also struggled to adjust to the fact that her father was not going to return to the United States even though she had always expected him to.  She also had to learn to accept her new family as they came along.  It's a lot for any young woman to deal with.  It was fascinating to watch her grow and learn to understand her stepmother and why she was the way she was.  

Overall, the memoir was well illustrated and depicted.  If you like memoirs and graphic novels, then I definitely suggest that you check this one out when it publishes.
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I originally got a snippet of this comic during Free Comic Book Day, so I was very excited to get a chance to read the whole thing! It was an enjoyable read with a relatable story, and I think its a great example of what happens when a kid experiences mixed families with mixed cultures that make growing up difficult.
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It Won't Always Be Like This is a comic of age graphic memoir of an American girl with a Filipino mother and an Egyptian father. After her parents divorce, Malaka is sent to spend summers with her father is Egypt. She doesn't feel connected to Egyptian culture in the way her father and friends do. People she meets during her summers in Egypt can't see that she's Filipino too as some of her family members are visibly Muslim. She's not fluent in Egyptian like her father, peers, and new step mother, Hala, are. Her family and friends don't understand American fashion nor her love of grunge and ska music. She battles the familiar struggles of being a teenager in a multi-cultural family during her angsty teenager years in the 1990s - making fitting in anywhere feel impossible. 

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. 

Malaka Gharib has one other graphic memoir called I Was Their American Dream. While. While I wouldn't say that's a prequel to this, I highly suggest reading it as it gives more insight to Malaka's life past where this graphic novel ends. 

Thank you to Malaka, Ten Speed Press, and NetGalley for a digital review copy.
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Gharib memoir of her father's identity of the family is Egypt is the backdrop of this sweet recollection. The colors are warm and Gharib's short, wavy lines are inviting and childlike. Her relationship with her father and stepmother grow as she does. Enjoyable read for memoir fans!
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I really enjoyed this graphic novel from Malaka Gharib. It really highlighted the juxtaposition of her life in the states and her visits to Egypt while making it accessible and colliding with her own coming of age. I found myself invested in her growth and the changes her family in Egypt go through. These are the kinds of graphic novels I really love to read and would really be eager to see what the author comes up with next.
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This was an interesting tale of a girl who is growing up and lerning to understanding her parents, their pasts, and their hopes for the future. I liked learning about the author’s summers in Egypt and the Gulf and how she struggled with her identity while undergoing the typical rites of passage of being a teenager and young adult. The story was compelling because it spoke to so many universal truths about growing up.
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It Won't Always Be Like This is a visual memoir about an Egyptian-Filipino-American girl growing up and adjusting to a different culture, while still figuring out her own hobbies and personality. Because she stands out in Egypt and doesn't resemble her half-siblings, Malaka doesn't feel at home when she visits her father. She nevertheless makes adjustments to try and understand this important part of her life. It Won't Always Be Like serves as both a time capsule of Gharib's childhood memories, with each summer standing in for an fleeting moment in time, and a touching reflection on identity, relationships, values, and family. 

Although I don’t have a mixed nationality like Malaka, as a middle eastern teenager growing up, this was an absolute gem of a story. I'm Jordanian, so knowing and understanding the language and culture and environment that the author was creating within the story, through the writing and art, was extremely interesting and fun. Other than the cultural aspects, I also related to Malaka’s story in terms of her growing up, struggling to fit in and having a hard time figuring out what she likes and appreciates when it comes to clothes, music, or even love interests. (I'm sorry, I have to mention what AMAZING music taste she has??) I also think that Hala was a beautifully crafted, three-dimensional character that really was able to connect and build the story and make the audience understand this importance and relevance of Malaka's journey.

One complaint I do have, is that the pacing was a little bit slow at times. And I felt that although the author was trying to mimic the events of her life, even when slow and uneventful, some moments felt almost unnecessary to the progression of the story and didn’t feel as important to read and learn about. The art was also beautiful. And although it was not my personal preferred style, it was still able to successfully and efficiently encapsulate the emotion and intensity of Malaka and her family’s journey.

I would recommend this to anyone, with whatever nationality/ethnicity because I do think this journey is an extremely relatable one, that will make you go through a rollercoaster of emotions, even if you yourself are not mixed or even Arab. Thank you to Netgalley and Ten Speed Press for providing me with an arc of this book.
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Malaka Gharib's graphic memoir is an excellent slice-of-life story that tells of her summers in Egypt with her father and her attempt to find where she fits in with her family. I had the chance to see early pages of this from free Comic Book Day, which is such an amazing way for audiences to find the full graphic memoir later! Beyond the first few pages, the story follows Malaka from her time as a child, thru the awful teenage years, all the way to being an adult woman who is straddling multiple identities -- Egyptian, American, Filipina. She is finding her own place with her dad's new family, and I thought she did an excellent job of portraying the clashes with culture she found herself in, from not being fully fluent to Arabic to embracing a punk-emo style in a conservative country. 

Many of the family members are empathetically and carefully portrayed -- from her stepmother Hala who seems to be unhappy with her life in Egypt as well, to her father who works hard to keep his family afloat, to the new siblings that love Malaka as if they were blood family. I enjoyed the style of illustration and thought it clearly told the story along with the narrative. I read and enjoyed Malaka's first graphic novel, "I Was Their American Dream" and suggest that as a good starting place for readers looking to pick this up (although they don't have to be read in order!)

Thanks to NetGalley for the early review copy, all opinions are my own.
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I’m a big fan of graphic memoirs and this one gave me a glimpse of a life unlike my own. Seeing places she visited in Egypt and learning about Middle East culture was fascinating.
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I really saw myself in the characters and I knew the struggle going back and forth not fitting in. You're too foreign to be white but too westernised to be foreign. I felt like it was very dreaded out so I struggled a bit going through the story but overall it's a great read!
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Miigweetch to NetGalley and Clarkson Potter/Ten Speed Press for an advanced copy of this to review. 

If you follow me on social media, you already know that I love graphic novels and devour any comic that isn't about super-heroes. From the very first panel, I was drawn into the story and felt invested in Malaka's personal journey. What I realized by the end of the book, however, was that this story was as much about Malaka's step-mother Hala as it was about her own coming of age.

I  liked the author's exploration of growing up multi-racial in two different countries; I thought this was a unique perspective worth digging into deeper. The art was simple and enjoyable to look at. There was a good flow to the story; I was able to finish the book over a leisurely weekend vacation. I recommend "It Won't Always Be Like This" to readers who enjoy graphic novels, slice of life stories, and exploring different cultures via personal narratives.
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In It Won't Always Be Like This, Filipino-Egyptian-American author Malaka Gharib tells the stories associated with her annual visits to see her father in Egypt. From feeling like a third-wheel when her father remarries to bonding with Hala (the new wife) to learning that family isn't as easily defined as one thinks.

I really appreciated the growth in the characters - Malaka coming into her own, Hala embracing her worth and desires, and her father learning that he must be more for his family. Malaka's story is a beautiful tale of change, identity, and values.

The title with It Won't Always Be Like This resonates with so many parts of the book and all adolescence. We can say it in the bad times when we're trying to push through, and we can say it in the good times as a pre-mourning of lesser days to come. We can say it as an acknowledgement that today is a day unique unto itself, which means that every moment is worth it.
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