*this post includes affiliate links I have with Amazon*
Hello everyone!! So quite a few months ago I heard about a book called Saints & Misfits* by SK Ali and upon hearing the synopsis (check it out in next paragraph!), I decided I needed to read it. THEN I saw the cover in April or May and I decided I NEEDED it. But at the same time, it involves Muslims and even though SK is a Muslim and I had faith she wouldn’t mess us over, I was still scared that something not good would happen…..so I waited to read it. I wanted to read it but I couldn’t. Not yet. Then I sat in the airport and read it last weekend and ohmygosh guys OHMYGOSH!!!!! IT’S SO GOOD AND YOU REALLY NEED TO READ IT AND OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!!!!!! Okay before I get into the review, here’s a synopsis of it via Goodreads:
Saints and Misfits is an unforgettable debut novel that feels like a modern day My So-Called Life…starring a Muslim teen.
How much can you tell about a person just by looking at them?
Janna Yusuf knows a lot of people can’t figure out what to make of her…an Arab Indian-American hijabi teenager who is a Flannery O’Connor obsessed book nerd, aspiring photographer, and sometime graphic novelist is not exactly easy to put into a box.
And Janna suddenly finds herself caring what people think. Or at least what a certain boy named Jeremy thinks. Not that she would ever date him—Muslim girls don’t date. Or they shouldn’t date. Or won’t? Janna is still working all this out.
While her heart might be leading her in one direction, her mind is spinning in others. She is trying to decide what kind of person she wants to be, and what it means to be a saint, a misfit, or a monster. Except she knows a monster…one who happens to be parading around as a saint…Will she be the one to call him out on it? What will people in her tightknit Muslim community think of her then?
Got it? Okay let me turn your world upside down because OMG you need this book:
To be honest, I think the characters, and specifically their relationships, were my favorite because they all thought and acted as if they could be me and the people around me. Well I’ve never met someone like Farooq but nonetheless even he seemed like he could (unfortunately) be someone I’d know. To start off, Janna thought like me. She acted like me, and I felt for her in the way her crushes were like and panned out because the amount of times that’s happened to me….I’d get a couple dollars that’s for sure. I loved how much of a person she was. How she was religious but that it was shown that that’s not all she is. That she isn’t just a Muslim or a hijabi but rather she’s a sister who makes fun of her brother, someone who likes helping out her next door neighbor, a photographer who can’t just be a photographer (same girl same) etc. She’s more than just one thing and I’m pretty sure it’s the first time I’ve seen a Muslim MC be shown with such well rounded character. Another thing I loved was how different (and similar) she was around certain people and when people from different groups met she got nervous, even sometimes scared/afraid because that’s something I do. And I’m sure many people are also that way but it’s a bit bigger of a collision when it’s your Muslim friends that you don’t see except when you go to the mosque, and your close friends who aren’t Muslim. It hasn’t happened to me too often but it can sometimes be off-putting because you don’t know who of your personalities to play off more (and yes that is a thing).
Now, for the other characters, I loved how all of the people we met were complex, even though some didn’t get a huge character arc/personality change. All the interactions and dialogue with each other rather gave a depth to people and made them feel more real and that was wonderful because, like I said above, they all felt like people I would know, even if I’d never met people like them specifically.
The plot was also stellar and though I can’t really tell you anything about it of course, I can tell you that a part of it (near the middle-end) was very similar to something I’m going through now and some of what Janna said in regards to what happened is exactly like what I’m currently thinking and feeling and it made me love the book even more.
Overall, I would highly highly HIGHLY suggest this book* to you because it is incredibly real and it is powerful and it is right. It feels RIGHT. It doesn’t make Janna be only a Muslim, it doesn’t make her a saint nor does it gloss over things that can/might happen to anyone. And the way she handles things is legit stellar – it’s real and honest and interesting so with every fiber in my being I shall ask you this:
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE READ SAINTS & MISFITS* PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anyways, have you guys read it?? (IF NOT GET IT PLEASEEEEEEEEEEE*) If so, what did you guys think?? Let me know in the comments below!!! Thanks, have a great day/night and tata for now!!!
*this post includes affiliate links I have with Amazon 😀