Member Reviews

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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I thought this was nice and I liked the art style. The beginning was a bit stronger for me, I think I was expecting a bit more from the rest of the book, maybe a bit of a deeper exploration of her relationship with Hala or something.

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I really liked this book. It’s a really quiet story and it follows the author throughout the years in her various trips to Egypt to visit her dad and his new family.
The art style is really simple but it fits perfectly the story and I think it makes the story relatable and somehow makes it feel even more real.

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It Won't Always Be Like This is a graphic memoir focusing on the author's childhood summers spent in Egypt with her father's family. I really appreciated being able to read a graphic memoir about this subject, because I love family stories and I feel like this is the kind of story we need more of. There is a lot of complexity in this story, but I think Gharib does a fantastic job weaving in nuance and small, emotional moments, too. I was a little unsure of the art style at first, but I quickly found that it fit the story well and was reminiscent of how our memories can feel a little "watercolory" over the years. 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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This was an interesting memoir. I really enjoyed reading this story and seeing how the author’s life was affected from living in the US and Egypt back and forth through out the years of her growing up.

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4.5 ⭐️
This was a beautiful memoir of Malaka's childhood into early adulthood, growing up between cultures and countries. The art style was done beautifully and from someone who is 1/4 arab but grew up only ever in Canada, the sentiments of feeling like an outcast, no matter where you are/who you are with definitely resonated. I love how you get to see the relationship's develop, they are not always happy but it is well written and the ending beautifully wraps up the complexity of the relationships. I also highly recommend reading acknowledgements, I love the slight further insight into the people in the book that it gives you.

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What a beautiful read! This is a heartwarming story about Malaka's transformation from a young girl to a mature woman. I really enjoyed watching her grow through the phases of life; going through puberty, dealing with cultural differences, and bonding with her half-siblings. I enjoyed the look into the different cultures.
The illustrations were beautifully done and added to the story. I highly recommend this book!

Thanks NetGalley for this ARC!

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This graphic memoir about an American girl with international parents, who spends her summers in the middle east after her Egyptian father moves there after the parents divorce. Navigating cultures, figuring out where she fits in her father's new family, bonding with her new step-mother, then later watching as the stepmother seems to fade as a person, these are all challenges Malaka faces..

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This book was beautiful and as a Arab American I loved the addition of middle eastern based literature into the world that this book gives! Following Malaka through her life, we learn about American vs. Egyptian customs, but along the way we also get to see Malaka grow and identify herself as well as find her place in her family over the years. I loved that this memoir shed light on the good and the bad in arab culture, it was important to note both! I am so excited for the release of this book and I can’t wait to recommend it to everyone I can!

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An incredibly heartwarming story! I loved Malaka's transformation from a young girl to a mature, understanding woman. Watching her grow with passing years, going through puberty, dealing with cultural differences, bonding with half-siblings were the most satisfying. I also love Hala and Malaka's mother. Hala was so accepting of Malaka and always made her feel welcomed. Belonging to several cultures, especially when two of them are conflicting is horrific. As a Filipino Egyptian American, Malaka's identity crisis and the longing to be part of his father's new family was deeply felt. The illustrations were beautifully done. They helped me to visualize the characters and relate to their struggles as if I could see them happening live in front of my eyes. Highly recommend this!

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It Won't Always Be Like This is a story about Malaka growing up in American with her immigrant parents. Tring to find her place through their marriage and after their divorce.

Most of her year in the United States with her mother who is Filipino. During the summers she spends her time with her Arabic father in Egypt. She struggles to come to terms with changes in her parents lives, how it effects her, and most of all finding herself and her identity.

The focus of this story is on her summers with her father. Struggling with the changes in his life over time and cultural differences. Remarrying quickly, having children, and the never ending desires for a "better life" which typically means a better job, to provided a better status for his family.

As Malaka ages, the dynamic between "stepmother-stepdaughter" relationship to "women-to-women" relationship becomes the spotlight.

As a stepmother myself, I found the focus on this interesting, but also uncomfortable at times. There are several times where it was so important to Malaka, that her stepmother felt seen, heard, or how strongly she wanted it known she was "understood" by at least one person.. left me feeling uneasy.

I was disappointed that something as big as personal struggles with identity, cultural differences, and the changes in her relationship with her parents, and views of their lives changed took a backseat to an almost obsession centered around her stepmother's personal journey.
This was an interesting story, I just thought it would take a different direction.

**Thank you to Clarkson Potter, Ten Speed Press, and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.**

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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

It Won't Always Be Like This by Malaka Gharib is a lovely #ownvoices memoir featuring an Egyptian-American main character. The story revolves around Malaka, who has grown up in America but goes to Egypt every summer to visit her dad. One summer, however, she discovers that her father has remarried. This memoir follows the summers after as she gets to know the rest of her father's new family.

Overall, It Won't Always Be Like This is a delightful collection of the author's memories of growing up in Egypt during her summers. I had already read the author's previous memoir and really enjoyed it, so I knew that I would enjoy this one as well. One highlight of this book is how funny it is. I enjoyed the humor. Another highlight of this book is how much it taught me about Egypt, a country that I've never been to before. If you're intrigued by the description, or if you're a fan of coming-of-age memoirs, I highly recommend that you check out this book when it comes out in September!

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DNF. unfortunately I really hate the art style, which doesn't match the art on the cover at all. Pretty misleading. It's kind of messy - personal style, of course - but it makes it kinda hard to read and it's pulling me out of the story itself.

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Arc provided by netgalley
this was such an emotional and deeply beautiful graphic novel! I don't read graphic novels that much but im really glad i requested and got approved for this one!
the fact that this graphic novel is a memoir is even more moving!

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I wasn't expecting this graphic memoir to be such a punch in the gut. Wow.

Filipino-Egyptian-American author Malaka Gharib opens up about her childhood while also contemplating identity, belonging and more in this raw and moving account. I loved her relationship and unexpected bond with Hala; the two women are more alike than we initially realise especially when it comes to the loneliness and isolation they feel in their respective lives.

I got really angry at a scene and loved how Malaka stood up for her family. Her spirit and voice shine through the pages as she navigates the ups, down and complexities of adolescence, family and life.

A poignant and beautiful read that hit me right in the feels!

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This book is a graphic memoir that follows Malaka who is mixed race (her mother is Filipino), from when she is nine years old, and goes up to college. At the start, her parents have divorced and while she lives with her mother in California, her father moves to Egypt, so she spends summers with him and his new wife there. As the years go by, she is growing up and learning about herself, while being in a country that is new to her, a culture that goes against what she feels comfortable with, and a new family that slowly grows. She is going through puberty, learning about boys and how she fits into the world, all while learning that her parents are real people with real problems, and just growing up.

This was so good! I loved seeing the contrast between her life at home and how she feels, vs the culture in Egypt and how she fits there. I also really loved the relationship she had with her stepmother Hala, as well as her siblings and cousins. I really enjoyed this glimpse into a life traveling between not only two families, but two countries and cultures as well.

I was given an advanced reader's copy via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own

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It Won’t Always Be Like This is colorful and reflective work in visual format. I’ve already asked my library to order a copy so others can enjoy this.

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Strong biographical graphic novel about the author, who is mixed race (Arab and Filipino) and spends summers with her father (and his new family) in Egypt. The book covers a little over 10 years and tracks the author's changing relationship with her father, step mother, and step siblings. The story ultimately focuses on, and perhaps even celebrates, the author's step mother and the difficult choices she made to live an authentic life.

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This is an interesting story of a girl who visits her father every year in Egypt and the gulf. It follows her as she grows up and goes back to visit her father in the summer. We see her grow up and her life change as her family changes. It delves into the topics of family, distance, religion, and growing up in two cultures. I liked this book and think it would give a window to kids who might not know about Egyptian or Islamic culture.

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