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ARC Review – You Truly Assumed by Laila Sabreen, A Compelling, moving and beautiful Debut that reads as a Love Letter to Black Muslim girls

Hello there! You Truly Assumed came out two days ago, and if this wasn’t already on your TBR, I hope my review changes your mind!

Title: You Truly Assumed

Author: Laila Sabreen

Synopsis:

Sabriya has her whole summer planned out in color-coded glory, but those plans go out the window after a terrorist attack near her home. When the terrorist is assumed to be Muslim and Islamophobia grows, Sabriya turns to her online journal for comfort. You Truly Assumed was never meant to be anything more than an outlet, but the blog goes viral as fellow Muslim teens around the country flock to it and find solace and a sense of community.

Soon two more teens, Zakat and Farah, join Bri to run You Truly Assumed and the three quickly form a strong friendship. But as the blog’s popularity grows, so do the pushback and hateful comments. When one of them is threatened, the search to find out who is behind it all begins, and their friendship is put to the test when all three must decide whether to shut down the blog and lose what they’ve worked for…or take a stand and risk everything to make their voices heard.

Publication Date:  February 8th 2022 by Inkyard Press

4 stars: Aphrodite – Goddess of love and beauty. That means that I really liked the book, whether it was the writing style, plot or characters. It means it was an amazing book that I would completely recommend for the beautiful piece of art it is. However the book is not a Persephone because something keeps it from making it one of my favourite book ever.

Athena– Goddess of wisdom, poetry, art, and the strategic side of war. I will feature the goddess whenever there is a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Colour) because they are a symbol of resilience, strength and wisdom to me. I also want to put forth African folkore, myths and gods and since Athena is the goddess of poetry and art I thought it was fitting

This book is a love letter to Black Muslim girls and it was just as good as I imagined it would be. I read it in one-sitting and it was such an emotional journey.

The story follows three Black muslim girls after a terrorist attack near the place they live and the repercussions the attack has on them due to islomophobia.

I liked the way the story was told. Every chapter alternated between the point of views of the girls, always in the same order (Sabriya, Zakat and Farah), which helped the reader remember who they were and made the reading experience better. It was nice to have their unique point of views and see how the story brought them together. This was such a nice way of showing the diversity between three women who are similar because of the fact that they are Black Muslim women but emphasizing that even though it brings them together, they are not a monolith and each have obstacles to overcome. It was nice to read how they had their own challenges and things they wanted to figure out and I loved reading about their growth.

The writing style was so beautiful and I kept highlighting so many quotes:

“Don’t be afraid to bring your dream inside, like how plants are moved inside when it gets cold. Share it with those who you trust to prune it and water it when you don’t think you can make it grow anymore. Don’t be afraid to keep it away from those things that are weeds, even if ti means taking it away from the sunlight for a bit.”

The way this story was told captured the voices of these young women who were hurting and trying to make their voices heard. I loved how the author managed to capture their pain and their anger, their fears and their dreams. The author didn’t shy away from the racism and islamophobia they had to go through and while this was a work of fiction, it echoed what so many Black muslim women go through. I also loved how the author focused on identity and how much being both muslim and Black affected the lives of these women; the racism within the muslim community and the ignorance from Non-Muslim Black people. Some aspects were so honestly captured that they made my blood boil and nearly brought me to tears. I felt as helpless, sad and hurt as the characters but fortunately this book gave out a message of hope. The blog You Truly Assumed as well as the book were such wonderful ways of sharing this story. I loved how encouraging it was, how the girls and the story still chose joy and happiness; how much the emphasis on community both from their families or support system and their muslim community was. It was so beautiful to read about and an important reminder.

I also loved the subplots. Some parts were heavy at times and it was nice to have these girls being loved unconditionally for who they were and not what people wanted them to be. I also loved how artistic they were; Sabriya was a dancer and hearing her talk about the lack of diversity in the ballet world was so important. I also loved how well spoken she was and how she managed to convey her feelings so wonderfully  into words.  Zakat was an illustrator and  I loved how she expressed herself through her drawings. I almost wish they were real so I could see them. Farah is a computer genius and I love how the author included that. Being a Black woman in computer engineering is hard especially because there’s a lack of diversity and putting these girls in these settings made me enjoy the book even more.

I also loved all the little details and cute moments they shared together and with their loved ones; from the knock-knock jokes with their siblings, to the heartfelt conversations. This book was nothing short of beautiful. Also the author’s note made me cry. 

(Thank you NetGalley for this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review)
**While this book has already been out I did receive it early so thank you again NetGalley!**

TW: racism, anti-Muslim hate, and online harassment

2 thoughts on “ARC Review – You Truly Assumed by Laila Sabreen, A Compelling, moving and beautiful Debut that reads as a Love Letter to Black Muslim girls

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