This book disturbed me, not because of the violence or the religious zeal of the main character but because I never came to care for the character. I wanted to like Nadia and I did empathize with the seeming futility of her family’s life. I found the role that fantasy, especially romantic fantasy, played in her thinking disturbing. It is certainly possible that she engaged in this type of speculation because of the bleakness of her circumstances but I found myself wondering if she was delusional and perhaps out of touch with reality. Of course such delusion could also be a result of her horrid environment. Clearly Nadia is a bright, extremely sensitive teenager who thinks deeply about her faith and her life. I can also see how Wadid used Nadia’s naiveté and manipulated her into buying the materials to buy a bomb.
It is not always a bad thing to be disturbed by a book. This is such an important topic and we need many books to help us in the West understand Islam and how young people view their faith; unfortunately this book did not aid me in my understanding.