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The Syrian Virgin

(The Syrian Virgin #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  436 ratings  ·  168 reviews
Anissa is traumatized by the most brutal conflict of the 21st Century: the Syrian Civil War. In 2012, Islamists in Homs terrorize a Syrian-Christian community and destroy everything that a young woman holds dear. Narrowly escaping death, Anissa restarts her devastated life as a college student in NY. She is bewildered and lost — a virgin in every sense.

But despite her inex
Paperback, 268 pages
Published November 10th 2014
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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N.M. Silber
Oct 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary-fiction
Well-written, poignant, timely and relevant, this book held my interest from the beginning until the end.

As the plot unfolds, the reader follows a young Syrian woman on a journey, both literal and figurative, as she leaves the familiar behind and faces the world, essentially alone. I felt invested in the story early on, experiencing feelings of tension and frustration along with the female protagonist, and sympathizing with her as she tried to cope with, and overcome the trauma in her past.

Rated R for sensuality, sexuality, strong language, strong violence, and mature thematic material.

I was asked to read and review this book even though—actually, because—I don’t seem to be the intended audience (which seems to be romance fans). Nevertheless, I will give this my best shot.

My first question was why, precisely, this book seems to have appeal to romance fans. If, as has been suggested to me, the book is about the persecution of Syrian Christians, why would the main audience like boo
Anita Viccica - Toss
I loved this book! From the first chapter to the last, “The Syrian Virgin” pulled me in and wouldn’t let me go until I came out the other side. You can tell that Zack Love really put his heart and soul into writing “The Syrian Virgin”. All the time, effort, (and I’m sure, all the blood, sweat and tears) he put into researching and writing EVERY aspect of this book is TRULY evident!

In “The Syrian Virgin”, Zack’s writing is so realistic … it makes you feel like you’re living the story along with
William Bentrim
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Syrian Virgin by Zack Love

I just revised my review on this book as I realized I dinged it one star due to my general dislike of the romantic genre. I have recommended this book to more people than any other book I have read recently. I recommended it, in spite of the romance, because of the crucial spotlight it shines on dreadful genocide being carried out in the Mid East. This book has an important message that all the minorities being butchered in the Mid East by fundamental terrorists nee
Feb 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I do NOT write reviews for every book I read. My reasoning is this: EVERY published novel is the result of an individual who had an idea. That idea was then built within the author's imagination and carefully constructed to share with the Untold Numbers (readers like you and me). Sometimes those published works are wonderful and sometimes they are not. It is, of course, a variable thing due to the fact that we all have opinions! Our feelings about any work of art are subjective. My point is this ...more
Jan 16, 2015 rated it liked it
This review can originally be found on Olivia's Catastrophe:

*Thank you to the author for the review copy*

This book was pretty good. It was written in diary format with two alternating points of view, but mainly Anissa’s. I really liked the main character, Anissa. She was a brave girl, someone who was hard working and determined to not let the society she ended up in sway her judgment and her own morals. She wasn’t someone who conformed to other people, an
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-2014
Complimentary copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Anissa is hardly even a teenager when she must flee Syria, bound for the United States where she will seek asylum and live with her uncle. After witnessing the deaths of most of her family and the hands of Muslim Jihadists, and leaving the other half behind with other relatives, Anissa must start from the beginning, building a life that would have made her parents proud while maintaining a legacy as a Syriac Christian. Sh

Provocative and unforgettable, The Syrian Virgin is unlike any romance I have read to-date. In my beloved but wildly uneven genre of escapist fiction, I was thrilled to find this intelligent, well-written, and informative love story! I’m adding this book to my list of favorites, which predominantly features works by Penny Reid and Amy Harmon.

My newest “go-to” author, Zack Love is a masterful and meticulous storyteller. From word one, his exceptional writing commanded my complete focus, and I bec
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
***I received a copy as a gift from N.M. Silber in exchange for an honest review***

Intense, insightful, heartbreaking, hopeful, sweet, eye opening and I could go on and on and on about this book and that says a lot since had it not been for spotting a post about an opportunity to review it, I never would have looked twice at it, as it doesn’t fall within the genres I typically read, but I’m happy I did. Hell, I unplugged so that I could give the book my entire attention and had to fight with mys
Daina Lazzarotto
Sep 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It's truly a remarkable feeling to find a book that teaches you something and keeps you entertained along the way.

The Syrian Virgin starts off with "To the people of Syria. The world let you down." Which is very powerful statement and also a great way to start this powerful book. In this story you follow the life of Anissa a young Syrian girl who is forced to leave Syria at the age of 15, leaving members of her family behind her. Anissa has seen things at 15yrs old that I would never want to see
Crystal Solis
Sep 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Syrian Virgin is my FAVORITE book by Zack Love so far, and I cannot wait for book two!!! That being said, let me just say that going into beta reading for Zack I was not sure at all what to expect with this book. The title kinda had me worried that it wouldn't be for me. I started to read the story and was not at all wowed by the description of the war against the Christians by ISIS in Syria (really in ALL of the Middle East), but the back story about Anissa's life in Syria was pretty sad. ...more
Karen Mc
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
**Received an ARC for an honest review by Bookalicious Babes Blog**

The Syrian Virgin--a book outside my norm of tattooed biker boys or hot alpha billionaires--was a pleasant surprise. I thought this was a story about a Syrian virgin's escape to the US to find a male suitor to pop her cherry. But my being a 'history virgin' who is pretty clueless in the subject of Middle East affairs...the only cherry popped was mine.

This story draws in the reader and provides a valuable, intriguing, and engagin
Sep 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Beta reading is an important process for an author, a good test for content and grammatical errors. Having only done it for a few authors I was honored to read for Zack. He has since worked on it but my review won't change even after the new additions.

It's obvious he did a tremendous amount of research concerning Syria and the terrible war currently happening. I imagine it's difficult to write a historical romance about hundreds of years ago, but a current historically accurate romance is a gre
Verna Loves Books
Sep 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Syrian Virgin is like nothing I’ve read before, but it is so unique and intriguing that I couldn’t put it down. I loved the story line and everything it involved. You get a sense of history in this story and a really sad one at that. I loved Anissa’s diary entries because you get to know her better and get an in depth view of everything that she goes through. It will break your heart the night she loses everything. I adored her strength throughout the book. No matter what happened she kept g ...more
Dec 03, 2014 added it
I was given this book in exchange for an honest review

**I have no idea how to rate this book so for now it won't get a rating.**

I absolutely loved the history portion of this book and the sort of current events aspects on the going ons in Syria. I was obsessed with that part of the novel and would hands down give that a 5 star. But I was not a fan of the romance portion of the book whatsoever. I found both men, Julien and Michael, to be creepy and they made me uncomfortable. I just felt that nei
Jennifer Guffey
The Syrian Virgin: A Young Woman’s Journey… (Syrian Virgin series #1)
By: Zack Love
5/5 stars

This was such an emotional book for me to read. I applaud author Zack Love for embarking on such an emotional, political, religious, romantic, (and so many more things that as of yet, I can’t put into words!) journey. I believe he undertook a monumental task in not only writing this book, but in doing the research so that he was able to give his readers an accurate book of the persecutions many people in t
Nov 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
5 Stars!

I was given this book to read in turn for an honest review!!!

Anissa at the young age of fifteen fled to New York to follow her father's wish. Traumatised and changed forever by the Syrian Civil War she had no choice but to flee. Anissa was a traditional Christian; her mother expressed to Anissa that her virginity was special to be shared with only the man she marries.

Anissa has a fresh start in America; the continuous conflict back home is never far from her mind. Determined to one day
Christy Wilson
Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Do not expect to read anything like Sex in the Title. This is the story of Inas, known as Anissa in the U.S., and her escape from Syria during their Civil War in 2012. Her father makes many arrangements for her to leave the country, as she is very smart and has a good future in front of her, and he stresses to her that she must get a good education and use it to help the world recognize the plight in their home country. The writing is wonderful, and you cannot help but get caught up in what happ ...more
Elena Cruz (Jazzy World of E's Bookshelf)
The Syrian Virgin by Zack Love is a beautifully written story about a young woman's journey from the tragedy she endures as a result of the Syrian Civil War as a 15 year-old, to a young woman starting to live her life again two years later. Anissa's story is told through diary entries where she recounts her life from the start of the Syrian War to her current life as a college student. The harrowing journey has you gripped from the opening pages and leaves you feeling shocked and heartbroken for ...more
Ginger Snaps
Dec 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Wow. This book is part I in a series about a girl who flees Syria due to the atrocities committed against the Syrian Christians by ISIS. I love how the book is in the format of diary entries by Anissa as she struggles to deal with things she saw and endured before her escape as well as learning to live and thrive in America. In College she meets up with two men and it seems that you can see a future possible romance budding with either of them. One of them is consumed by his mission for helping ...more
Lisa Karafa
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In a sea of cookie cutter romances that lack research, The Syrian Virgin is a refreshing change and stands out at the head of its class in contemporary romance.

I loved the level of detail that went into writing this story. It showcases the amount of time and energy that went into exploring the situation surrounding not only the historic and current state in Syria but the Middle Eastern region in general. It also made me question how we currently receive information through mass media outlets in
Heidi Ryan
Nov 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is an account of what it is like to live in the middle East and experience the fear and abuse that the Christians in this area have gone through and are still going through. It is a fascinating read not to be taken lightly. The horrors and utter terror that this young lady, Inas, has gone through will make your blood boil. When things look far to dangerous in her hometown of Homs, her father decides to send her to New York to stay with her uncle Tony and his family. With her older sister an ...more
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 Stars, highly recommend this book to all readers!!!

This books is awesome. Zack Love has a great book here. It is well written, the story flows very well. Great characters. I was hooked from page one until the very end! This was the first book I have read by this author. I look forward to TSV2.

I feel Zack did an amazing job doing his research for this book, He brought life in Syria and the middle east to light in this book. He made me think about how people are treated and it breaks my heart. I
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Syrian Virgin by Zack Love.
5 Stars

When I first started reading this book, I honestly didn't want to continue. Not because the book is poorly written, but because it is written *too* well. On a personal level, I found that the content was confronting and hit a little too close to home (plus, I generally prefer my reads to be light and fluffy, or just downright sexy). Having said all this, I'm so glad I continued. The author addresses so many important issues in this book - both political and
Louise Bailey
Dec 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
*** I received a copy aa gift from N.M. Silber in exchange for honest review***
Wow such a powerful and moving story story. Nothing like I have read before, Very poignant and relevant.
Anissa is very traumatised by the conflict of the Syrian Civil War, in 2012.
Islamists terrorise a Syrian Christian community and they end up destroying everything Anissa holds very dearly and narrowly escaping with her life.
Annissa realises she has to restart her devastated life at college in N.Y
Forgo her father w
Dec 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing

**4.5 STARS**

I started my personal 2015 reading challenge off with new-to-me author, Zack Love and THE SYRIAN VIRGIN. Based on the title alone, I wanted to like this story. I planned to immerse myself in this novel based not only on all of the good book buzz and recommendations, but also because I'm part Syrian (my maternal grandmother). What a discovery!

I have a thing, a very serious thing, for authors that slightly, but intentionally, skew the tried-and-true H/h/HEA and give a distinct and un
Nov 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was a book that was so many things to me..first I became so much more aware of the Middle East and the world around me and how we think we perceive a situation or a way of life. This is also a tale of a young women written in diary form, sent from Syria, from her family for a chance at a new life. The writing is superb in laying out the world from where she came to the new adventures to which she embarks. She is driven by her promise to her father to excel in her chance at a new life. Her c ...more
Jhumjhum Chakrabarti
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Well, the date I started reading the book and the date I finished reading it speaks it all for me- simply unputdownable. Picked up on a recommendation from Anima Gildarez, all thanks to her, I don't regret having made the choice.
The book serves as the most poignant eye-opener to the Syrian Civil war and the pain and tribulations of those bereft of their country and most importantly, their family.
It's not that people over the world have chosen to stay blind to the Syrian crisis, but the way Zack
A. Melchionda
Nov 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book on so many levels. First and foremost, it's really well written, like all the other books I've read by this author, actually. The story is captivating and very intense. I admire Mr Love for deciding to touch a controversial topic and bring awareness around the tragic condition of people that are going through the horrors of war, and women especially. This book is also an amazing example of how a work of fiction can be highly informative. If you are curious about the world, and ...more
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
So I will be completely honest, this is an amazing story. Zack Love has captured this story beautifully and accurately . Being Palestinian and living in The West Bank for a couple of years and seeing what happens there brings this story close to the heart .. The POV of Inas is eye opening, A girl living one life somewhat closed in moving to another country to escape persecution. She is a brave girl, I love how Zack has showed the naivety of Inas when she starts college. Zack I can’t wait for the ...more
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Pardon the minimal content here. You're more likely to find new stuff on my author site:

And here's my bio:

Zack Love graduated from Harvard College, where he studied mostly literature, psychology, philosophy, and film. After college, he moved to New York City and took a corporate consulting job that had absolutely nothing to do with his studies. The attacks of September 11, 2001

Other books in the series

The Syrian Virgin (2 books)
  • Anissa's Redemption (The Syrian Virgin #2)

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