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Saints and Misfits

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3.82  ·  Rating details ·  4,067 ratings  ·  997 reviews
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
...more
Hardcover, 325 pages
Published June 13th 2017 by Salaam Reads / Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Lulu (the library leopard) I would say so, yeah. The main character is 15, and as a 16 year old I'm enjoying it so far. Just keep in mind that it does deal with the topic of…moreI would say so, yeah. The main character is 15, and as a 16 year old I'm enjoying it so far. Just keep in mind that it does deal with the topic of sexual assault (though that's not the only plot).(less)

Community Reviews

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3.82  · 
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 ·  4,067 ratings  ·  997 reviews


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Chaima ✨ شيماء

Seeing yourself represented in a book when you live in a world that sometimes puts you in a box and being able to identify with the MC is the equivalent of walking in the cold and then suddenly the sun hits your face and it’s like a warm hug you didn’t ask for but it happened.

And as a practising teen muslim girl who's fed up with being reduced to stereotypes, one-dimensional characters or just a walking apology, this book was important to me.

Although, admittedly, I was scared to read it because
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Jiana
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full review

The review includes one unmarked spoiler. There is a warning before it is stated.

When I heard this book is about a Muslim MC, I bumped it right up to the top of my TBR, because this is the first time I hear of a book portraying Islam. I admit I was very scared to see how my religion was going to be portrayed, especially when we live in a world where Islam is associated with stereotypes and bad generalizations and many false negative ideas... so I was deeply hoping this book would
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may ❀

This is the first contemporary I’ve read with a muslim main character and damn, I was excited as heck but also so fricken worried that it would show a bad representation of islam.

The first thing I think all people need to understand is that the religion of islam is perfect but muslims are not. We all have faults and its not about judging and boasting about who the best is, but it’s about working your hardest on a daily basis to be the best and most honourable you can be.

There’s a lot of things
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Yusra  ✨
wow. who knew this book was going to be such a breath of fresh air, and at the same time, hold an incredible emotional burden?

tw- sexual assault

to be honest, i think the best way to write this review is just tell you what i loved and what i … hated? because me jumping into this expecting some great muslim rep + a cute contemporary did not prepare me and it made my reading experience so much better

the good

- this was so rich in culture. i loved the close-knit family dynamic that is so presen
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Sana
I'm crying. MUSLIM. TEEN. AKA ME. REPRESENTED. It was kind of meh but i still enjoyed it.

REVIEW TO COME!!!!

《》《》《》《》《》《》《》《》《》《》《》《》《》
what am I going to do with my life until June?
:) :) :)
may ➹
This was such a great contemporary with the right amount of fluff, heavier topics, and diversity!!

I actually was not expecting this book to handle such heavy topics like rape & sexual assault, but I felt like that really added a lot more to the story and made it even more poignant.

I was also very excited to read this for the Muslim rep that I’d heard was overall quite accurate. I recommend reading ownvoices reviews (like May’s, Em’s, and Jiana’s) to see how accurate they thought the rep was,
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leenahreads
I.finished.the.book. *a lot of incoherent screaming and squealing and oh my god*
You can find my, very long, full review here the tales of two readers

This book has EVERYTHING: family (one hell of a cute brother that I demand a full book about), friendship (truly tatyana is best friend goals), romance, character development AND positive Muslim representation. YOU REALLY WANT THIS BOOK IN YOUR LIFE!

Saints and Misfits is a multidimensional #ownvoices story that portrays the good and the bad of the M
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Romie
Trigger warning : sexual assault, photos posted on the internet of the MC without her hijab without her consent, disrespect of the MC’s faith with ignorant comments and microagressions.

It’s so hard to articulate my thoughts, because there are so many things I want to talk about and I’m afraid I won’t do the book any justice! Which I’m pretty I actually won’t.

This book is extremely important, and I’ll try my best in this review to explain why I think so.

Here we have a YA Contemporary with a Musli
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Norah Una Sumner
3.5 stars

Buddy read with the one and only Sara.

I was really torn on how the rate this book but I'll have to settle for 3.5 stars. Saints and Misfits is a good and important book and I would recommend it to my dear Goodreads friends who maybe didn't have the opportunity to read a book with a Muslim protagonist and learn more about Islam. Everyone knows that I love YA books with developed family dynamics and I was happy to see how nicely the relationship between Janna and her brother developed th
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lady victoriana
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
I loved this book. I loved it, I loved it, I loved it.

I will try to write a coherent review, though mostly I just feel like squeezing this book and hugging it tight and typing something nonsensical in all-caps, so forgive me if this isn't especially eloquent. As a Muslim woman (and Egyptian! like the protagonist of this novel! I've literally never read about an Egyptian girl before!), this book meant so much to me. I've been reading for as long as I can remember, but I do not recall ever reading
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destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
Assigned reading for MLIS 7421: Multicultural Youth Literature.

A bit repetitive, but a sweet story full of representation that I can only hopefully assume was as amazing as it seemed to me. ♥ RTC
Fizah(Books tales by me)
“The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.”

I wanted to read a light and cute read and from nowhere I picked this one, and I only have one problem from this book and that is Why I haven’t read before, I started in morning and finished it at night.

I was completely submerged in this book. My most favourite thing about this book is that it is different from other books on Islamophobia, It didn’t even slightly try to manipulate Islam in the name of culture or for the sake of g
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Grace (BURTSBOOKS)
It's so nice that a book like this exists and I appreciate all it was trying to do but .... yikes. RTC
✨    jamieson   ✨
Jun 01, 2017 marked it as to-read
Shelves: contemporary
this cover is poppin im yellin
Mariah Roze
"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
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Maria (Big City Bookworm)


An ARC of Saints And Misfits by S.K. Ali was provided to me by Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.

--

Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

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Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali has been one of the most talked about books of the summer. The hype was definitely real! I even had the opportunity to meet S.K. Ali prior to the book’s release at an Indigo Teen Preview event! Did you know that she is based in Toronto!? Meeting her and hearing her talk ab
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Trevor
3.5 stars

I will start by saying I won't be fleshing out a full review for this book. SAINTS AND MISFITS is about Janna's story, an Egyptian Indian Muslim teen. What I have to say about this aspect doesn't really matter; I am not Muslim so I cannot attest to whether or not this is an accurate portrayal or the specifics of Janna's actions. (Though I have read that this is a more realistic look at the religion, which makes me happy because everyone deserves to see themselves represented in a book.)
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Lauren Stoolfire
That was excellent. Why did I wait so long to try it? I highly recommend this YA #OwnVoices debut novel. I'm definitely looking forward to Ali's upcoming projects.
Fuzaila
I am pretty sure I had on a long-ass review for this book.. you messed up again, GR!! 😡😡😡😡
Fafa's Book Corner
DNF

Mini review:

I was so excited to read this! This is one of the first books featuring a Muslim teenager as the main character. Unfortunately it wasn't for me.

I liked Janna. She was nice as was her family and friends. The portrayal of Islam was well done and accurate.

There was a point where I was engaged but then it went downhill. It started to get really boring and it was becoming tedious. I tried to read a physical copy and an audiobook but it still wasn't working for me.

I truly believe th
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alexis
❈ Huge thanks to Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing for providing me with an ARC in exchange for a fair review ❈


Before I get into my review of Saints and Misfits, make sure to check out these #ownvoices reviews by Hadeer on Goodreads and Leenah over on her Blog. They are both Egyptian and Muslim.

Saints and Misfits follows Janna, a teenage Egyptian Indian Muslim girl, who loves Flannery O'Connor and has to navigate her faith, high school, and her love life. Janna's parents are divorced so s
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Olivia & Lori (The Candid Cover)
Saints and Misfits is a feminist book about a Muslim teen struggling with identity. While I enjoyed the concept and the main character, I found the book’s pacing to be a bit slow. This is an important read, however, and one of very few Muslim YA books that I have seen.

This book is all about the life of a Muslim teen. Janna figures out her own identity while dealing with feelings that slightly go against her religion. She also deals with the recovery process of attempted rape and tries to get the
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Kamalia
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Saints and Misfits is everything i've been waiting for in the Young Adult genre. It is so exciting to finally see proper Muslim representation in one of my favourite genres to read, and a huge bonus is that the book is actually pretty incredible. I am very impressed by S. K. Ali's debut novel, and I am definitely excited to read more books published by Salaam Reads. I am rating this beautiful book 4.75 stars, it's definitely going to make it into one of my favourites of the year!

Oh God, where do
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Faith Simon
DNF @ 26%

This was the book that I chose to read for the Asian Readathon, but unfortunately, I just couldn't finish it. I was coming close to 100 pages and within the 90 pages that I did read, literally nothing happened. I was so bored.
The whole "Saint Sarah" nickname and referring to the person who abused her as "the monster" struck me as rather immature as far as writing goes, I mean honestly, this girl is a teenager and these are nicknames middle school kids give to people they don't like, I
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Suraya (thesuraya)
A MUSLIM TEEN YOUNG ADULT NOVEL I WAS SO ECSTATIC ok here we go

1. Relatable Islam element: never knew i needed this so much ever since i read sofia khan and now this. i love how the author explains some things that non-muslim dont understand and some other stuffs. The 'Ask Imam' thing though, that's brilliant!!!!!!!
2. Muslim dating: ok technically thats how things shouldve been done but in reality not many of us actually follow that so yea
3. Plot: its like ur basic ya contemporaries so nothing m
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Mana
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
TW: for sexual assault and mention of the former.

My favorite kind of books are the kind that really touch on the intersectionality of issues cross culturally and across different waves of life. It's important to examine issues and to shed light on them, and that's exactly what Ali did.

I just really loved that it showed all the facets of how a Muslim girl deals with specific experiences in her life. Love, hurt, and betrayal and all of that through the lenses of someone we don't usually see it fr
...more
Julia Sapphire
Jun 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
TW: Rape and Sexual Assault

2.5 ish stars

This book was interesting, we follow a Muslim teenager and her dealing with her family, friends and something horrible that happened to her.

At first I was quite liking this one. I still am glad I read this because it had such a unique perspective.

I just felt this huge disconnect with the story. I listen to it via audiobook and liked the narrator and everything. At times I just didn't really like the main character or the love interest. The writing s
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Xueting
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trigger warning for minor sexual assault.

As a Singaporean Chinese, I’m quite familiar with some of the basic practices and values of the Singaporean Muslim community. But unfortunately, I don’t know much beyond the surface about the experiences and struggles of the people because they are Muslim, not as much as I should, living among many Muslims in multi-racial Singapore. This book talks about Muslim characters in America, but I could make some general connections and comparisons that helped me
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Samantha (WLABB)
Saint. Misfit. Monster. These are titles bandied around within this story of self-discovery. Janna often identifies as a "misfit" - she is a book nerd, avid photographer, academic over-achiever, who likes boys with high foreheads, and one high forehead in particular, belongs to a non-muslim boy. While Janna is struggling with this "crush", she is also grappling with exposing a so-called "saint" for the monster he really is.

There were so many things I liked about this book, but the most important
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CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
I'm really glad I stuck with this! It was a beautifully complex book about a Muslim teenage girl dealing with an attempted sexual assault by a boy in her community, her crush on a non-Muslim boy, her expectations about who people really are (Surprise! People surprise you), and more. The teenage voice in this felt very authentic. I wouldn't say I'd recommend the audio version though; the narrator's voice was too slow and not expressive enough.

One little thing that annoyed me was the little aside
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S. K. Ali is the author of Saints and Misfits, a 2018 William C. Morris finalist. She lives in Toronto with her family, which includes a very vocal cat named Yeti. Her second novel, LOVE FROM A TO Z, a story about finding love in the time of Islamophobia, was published on April 30, 2019 by Simon & Schuster. She also has a picture book co-authored with Team USA Olympic Medalist, Ibtihaj Muhamma ...more
“The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” 21 likes
“Mr. Ram was a dedicated person—that means he didn’t let go of the things that were important to him. He was dedicated to Seniors Games Club every week. He got dressed up to go. Everyone knew he was serious about spending time with his friends, that’s how dressed up he was. He was dedicated to people. Even though he was a serious person, with a lot on his mind, he made sure to let you know he remembered you. Always. He smiled at jokes even if they were only sort of funny. He remembered that it was a person who was telling the joke, so he smiled for that person. He was dedicated to reading good books, even if they were from another generation or didn’t make complete sense to him. He read the first Harry Potter when he was ninety years old because someone told him it was good. He would have read the rest of the series if that someone had been able to find the large-type versions in the library for him.* He smiled one of his loudest smiles ever at the Shel Silverstein poem about a pet snowball. But his favorite Shel Silverstein poem was “The Little Boy and the Old Man.” Like the old man in the poem, he was dedicated to someone too, dedicated to helping her find out what the really important things for her were. What she should be dedicated to. She misses him but was happy to have had someone like him in her life. Thank you, Mr. Ram, for the warmth of your hand. *Someone still regrets that they didn’t find the rest of the HP books for him.” 2 likes
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