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A Land of Permanent Goodbyes

4.2  ·  Rating details ·  588 Ratings  ·  169 Reviews
In a country ripped apart by war, Tareq lives with his big and loving family . . . until the bombs strike. His city is in ruins. His life is destroyed. And those who have survived are left to figure out their uncertain future.

In the wake of destruction, he's threatened by Daesh fighters and witnesses a public beheading. Tareq's family knows that to continue to stay alive,
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published January 23rd 2018 by Philomel Books
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Wrenn Nicodemo I think this book is appropriate for high school students.

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Atia Abawi
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
It’s my book 😊 Thanks to all who have taken the time to read ALOPG! And to those who plan to read it. As someone who was a refugee myself this story was important for me to share.
Amy Layton
What an astounding book.  Though not too violent at its core, this book certainly displays an affinity for discussing the aftereffects and reactions to the violence which humanity commits on a day to day basis--namely, in this book, terrorism caused by Daesh in Syria.  As we begin to follow Tareq, we are also allowed insight not only into what used to be his everyday life, but into the horrors he now bears witness to and the fears others harbor towards him.  Nuanced would be the word I'd use to ...more
Lisa Heins
Mar 21, 2018 rated it liked it
2.5 stars. I went back and forth trying to decide if this was a 2 star read or a 3 star and finally decided to round up based solely on the story. It's important for these stories to be told, for YA readers to be exposed to them, and for the experiences of refugees to be heard and understood from their perspective. This book does exactly that. Unfortunately, the story was the only element I really enjoyed. The book is told by destiny much the way The Book Thief was narrated by death, although he ...more
Claire Draper
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book made me cry. At my desk. In public. It was every bit of a lovely book that I needed this year.
Rachel Strolle
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The last paragraph of this left me breathless
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
The refugee crisis is one that needs to be talked about, and despite this book’s many shortcomings, it did, at least, do that. It doesn’t do so as well or as powerfully as I hoped, but it is one of the few positive things that definitely cannot be discounted. It’s just a shame, because it could have been so much more.

This is clearly a book that panders to a white audience. From the offset, the book was obviously invested in creating characters that were human by relating various anecdotes that
Wendy Dopkin
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: freelance
This book is heavy, but SO worth it. It is so powerful and well-written...Highly recommended!
Trigger warnings: death of a parent, death of a sibling, bombing, war, executions, death of a child, manipulation, people smuggling, child trafficking, drowning, mentions of rape.

OW MY FEELINGS. Let's be real here: this book is 100% intended for white readers. And white teenagers at that. It's pretty simplistic, and everything is very black and white - there are bad people and good people, that's it. No one operates in a moral grey zone, it's all one way or the other. And I fully recognise that
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Tareq has lost everything except for his father and his youngest sister after the conflict in Syria reaches his home. They manage to escape to Turkey, but living as a refugee is unspeakably hard. Do they risk their lives to try to make it to Europe?

Well-researched and heart-wrenching, this is an important story that I'd like all my teens to read. However, the narrator of Destiny gets quite preachy, and the didactic tone really comes out towards the end of the novel. I would've much preferred it
Lisa Welch
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to Penguin Random House First to Read for an advance copy.

I am reading some amazing and diverse books to start off 2018! This book packs a big punch, but is a powerful and important read. Written by a woman who is a journalist in the Middle East, this novel brings the Syrian refugee crisis to life in a way I never could have imagined. Narrated by Destiny, the journey of Tarek and his family, from their happy days in Syria to their escape to Europe, will inspire you to find out what more y
Feb 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, ya
This one fell firmly on the line between 2 and 3 stars for me. It's a serious and heartbreaking story about a teenage boy from Syria who becomes a refuge when his home is bombed, and his journey from Syria through Turkey and Greece. It's devastating, timely material. Unfortunately, the execution was poor. Tareq's story on its own was compelling, and the scenes told from his POV are what tipped the balance toward three stars instead of two. But Abawi made the choice to use an omniscient narrator, ...more
Books, Vertigo and Tea (Danielle)
You may also find my thoughts and a guest post from Atia Abawi on Books, Vertigo & Tea.

“The human heart is the most complicated creation I’ve ever encounter. The formation of the cosmos was easier to understand.”
~Atia Abawi, A Land of Permanent Goodbyes (Uncorrected text)

Some books enter your life and leave a mark, and then there are those that stay etched within you permanently. You know by the time you close them, that you are wiser and better for having read them. A Land of Permanent Go
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Abawi, Atia A Land of Permanent Goodbyes 278 pages. Philomel Books (Penguin Random House), 2018. $7 (paperback). Language: G; Mature Content: PG; Violence : PG

Tareq’s family has a wonderful life until the Syrian Civil conflict comes showering down on their heads. Of the family Tareq, his father, a younger brother and a younger sister are the only survivors and they work to make their way to Europe, specifically Germany. The going is really hard; Tareq’s family tries to do everything legally in a
Lucy Booth
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing. Beautifully written. It it truly inspiring. It tells not only of Syrian refugees, but refugees in the Middle East today, as well as throughout history. I also loved how it was narrated by destiny. This put an interesting twist to the book. I honestly can say this is one of the best, if not best books I have ever read.

(This book was given to me by a local book store to read and review)
Jaime Davis
Absolutely phenomenal! A beautifully written, yet heart wrenching story of the struggle for survival in the war torn Middle East. Narrated by Destiny personified, this novel depicts the tragic experiences of a Syrian youth, and his determination to find a safer world for his sister. Without a doubt.......a MUST READ!
Thank you to Penguin First to Read for access to an advanced reader copy!
Author Atia Abawi, a foreign news correspondent whose parents were Afghan refugees, first gained popularity among young adult readers with her romantic novel, SECRET SKY, set in modern-day Afghanistan. In her latest novel, A LAND OF PERMANENT GOODBYES, Abawi draws from her experience reporting in the Middle East to tell the continuing story of the Syrian refugee crisis to her teen audiences. Raw and authentic, A LAND OF PERMANENT GOODBYES is a witness to the struggle of all refugees.

Nicole Means
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Writing about current and controversial issues can be a daunting task, particularly portraying the situation without minimizing it, but not to minimize the situation, but Atia Abawi proves to be worthy of the task in her book, “A Land of Permanent Goodbyes.” Selecting “Destiny” as the narrator proved to be a brilliant strategy to recap historical details without disrupting the flow of the plot. Since Destiny has been around for an eternity, the reader is provided insight into the cyclical nature ...more
Nikki Flynn
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. I was so hooked in from the start. With the exception of the first 11 pages, I read the entire book in about five hours. It was a powerful story that I know will stay with me for a while. I think it did an excellent job portraying a refugee’s story, however, as someone who is not, I can never truly say how well of a job it did. It is an own voices novel, so I think that this is an accurate representation, but I can never say for sure. I highly ...more
Mattie Richards
May 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018, teen, emotional
Don't get me wrong, this is a very heart wrenching and good read if you are unaware of the conflict in Syria or haven't had any interest in the topic and need a good shock of reality. My issue comes in with how quickly the story moved and how somethings shouldn't have been resolved as easily as they were. I don't know. I also have been force fed so much darkness lately that this just landed in my pile of "more depressing material to mull over". All in all, it was a good book but just not for
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars This novel depicts the ravages of war torn Syria and the young Tareq who, with his four year old sister, desperately tries to cross the border into Europe where they hope they will be welcome and safe. I realize this is historical "fiction"...but even if only half of it is true, this story will devastate you and make you always want to view the world and its people with great compassion and understanding. Memorable and haunting.
Jacqueline Lehe
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have read. The story gives insight to the immigrant issues and concerns. Such anguish to reach freedom!
Margie's Must Reads
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
WOW. I am still thinking about this book.
Shaye Miller
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book — it’s a MUST in a young adult library. It was a difficult read because I know this stuff is reality for many people. But we need to understand these inside truths to have a better grasp on what is and isn’t happening. The story begins with Tareq in Syria (where his home was bombed) and follows him on his journey through Turkey and Greece. We witness the story from the viewpoint of “destiny” as narrator, which allows the reader to witness the chorus of voices ranging from the refugee t ...more
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to love this because it aims to tell the important story of what Syrian refugees go through, but the writing and characterization failed to catch my attention and it all felt flat. There were a few moments when the prose felt promising, especially in the earlier part of the book, but overall I was underwhelmed by Destiny as a narrator and overwhelmed by the didactic narrative and conversations between characters. It felt like I didn’t have space as a reader to do anything but tak ...more
This book uses a similar narrative device as The Book Thief, using "Destiny" as the narrator. But every part where the narration steps back from Tareq's story into Destiny's pontificating is overwrought and obviously didactic. I thought the portions with the volunteer Alexia were also like that. For example, on page 115, the narrator describes urinating as "the most human of actions." Despite this, A Land of Permanent Goodbyes is a very moving novel and gives an important and heart-wrenching loo ...more
Melissa See
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, eye-opening, and incredibly important.
Sam Law
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Raw. Human. Timely -a story of a Refugee crisis.
This book will make you look with new eyes on the crisis.

Read More Book Reviews at It's Good To Read

The Land Of Permanent Goodbyes is written from the perspective of Destiny. It summarises, in this case the fictional, but unfortunately real-life struggle of our young protagonist, Tareq, fleeing his war-torn country (Syria) in the company of his father (Fayed) and four-year-old sister (Susan).

The use of Destiny as narrator does remind me of the t
Amanda James (ajandherbooks)

A free e-galley was provided to me by Penguin Random House through the First to Read program in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tareq is fleeing the only home he has ever known in Syria after a bomb strikes his apartment killing most of his large, loving family. Fayed, Tareq's father, is taking the children he has left and finally doing what he wished he had done sooner. Get as far away from the war as possible. On this dangerous journey, they encounter behead
miss.mesmerized mesmerized
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The family is at home, even if it is war outside, they still have themselves; Tareq, his younger brother Salim, the girls Farrah and Susan and the baby twins. He respected his mother Nour and his father Fayed and of course also his grand-mother. When a bomb hits their house, only Tareq and Susan can be saved, luckily their father was at work and is also alive. They decide it is time to leave the country, after such a loss, what is it that keeps them still there? But first, they need to go to Raq ...more
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Atia Abawi is a foreign correspondent and author based in the Middle East.

From an early age, Atia knew she wanted to be a journalist. After graduating from Virginia Tech, where she anchored the college’s local television station VTTV, Atia volunteered and was then hired on at CTV 76 –a local TV station in Largo, MD. In Maryland, Atia covered a wide range of stories – from politics to the impact th
More about Atia Abawi

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“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers—so many caring people in this world. —Fred Rogers” 1 likes
“The human heart is the most complicated creation I’ve ever encountered. The formation of the cosmos was easier to understand.” 1 likes
More quotes…