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The Weight of Our Sky

4.71  ·  Rating details ·  69 ratings  ·  36 reviews
A music-loving teen with OCD does everything she can to find her way back to her mother during the historic race riots in 1969 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in this heart-pounding literary debut.

Melati Ahmad looks like your typical moviegoing, Beatles-obsessed sixteen-year-old. Unlike most other sixteen-year-olds though, Mel also believes that she harbors a djinn inside her, one
Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: February 5th 2019 by Salaam Reads
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Hanna Alkaf The cover artist is Guy Shield, with art direction by Krista Vossen!

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CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
My goodness, I needed this. I needed this book, I needed the Malaysian representation, and I am overjoyed that I have read it.

- The Weight of Our Sky is one brilliant, emotional, and heavy-hearted debut, and all of you absolutely need to read this.
- Follows Melati, a Malay teen with OCD plagued by a djinn and visions of her mother's graphic deaths, who searches for her mother amidst the racial riots between Chinese and Malay people in Malaysia.
- This book is so unapologetically Malaysian and I
C.G. Drews
This is such a devastatingly emotional read. Absolutely prepare yourself for heartbreak with this one, all wrapped up in a story of riots and mental illness and a girl just trying to stay alive and find her mother. It's probably too early for a full review sooo I'm just going to squish my little recommendation into your life and say: get this one on your TBR. History is honestly so despicably Western focused and I never even knew about the race riots in 1969 in Malaysia. So I learnt!

And I was a
Hanna Alkaf
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This seems like a good place to put this, so if you're considering reading my book -- I'M THE AUTHOR! HI! -- I'd like to warn you ahead of time that the contents include: Racism, graphic violence, on-page death, OCD and anxiety triggers. If you're not in the right frame of mind to take that on, please consider setting it aside and waiting until you're better able to take these on.

Thank you for wanting to read THE WEIGHT OF OUR SKY; it's a very personal book to me in a lot of ways, and it means
Jul 21, 2017 marked it as in-my-wishlist
Shelves: out-in-02-19

I don't read YA anymore but I'll make an exception for this book #MalaysiaBoleh

also I'm lowkey scared because the 1969 riots and the racial tension are two (2) sensitive things so I'm curious as to how the author is going to portray that
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 stars

Take all the stars if you want, Hanna Alkaf. Melati’s empowering story deserves everything in a world at a loss.

I would give myself a knock in the head if I didn’t enjoy this profound book. Nostalgic and bittersweet, nothing makes me prouder than reading my country’s history in a YA book and I’m so proud of Hanna for writing this story.

Full review to come.

FEB 5, 2019! Please come sooner.

I am on tenterhooks, just waiting for the marvel that is Hanna Alkaf to write an UNAPOLOGETICALLY MA
Lily ☁️
3 1/2 stars

So … I started and finished this book today, and my heart hurts. My head hurts. I almost cried on the train on my way home, surrounded by people I don’t know.

That’s all.

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Vicky Who Reads
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

ok wow that was good
Rachel Strolle
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
so so so so so so so so good
Elise (TheBookishActress)
Oct 28, 2017 marked it as releases-2019
guys, 2019 is totally the year of historical fiction. I've never read anything about the 1969 riots in Kuala Lumpur, but this sounds amazing. and this cover is GLORIOUS.
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wishlist
Actual rating: 4.5 /5 star

Disclaimer: This is a review based on an ARC from Netgalley.

This book means a lot to me as a Malaysian. I really love the issues raised in this book, which is racism and unity. It is a really significant element for my country. I have no idea how many times I have cried reading this book. I really appreciate the author for writing this story.

The story development was also super intense, which made putting down this book almost impossible. The way the author built up the
Tucker (TuckerTheReader)
Jan 05, 2019 marked it as not-released-tbr
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Brutally honest, sincere, and heartfelt, THE WEIGHT OF OUR SKY offers a window into a place you may not know and to a time you may not be familiar with. The book with simmers with tension and danger. You accompany Melati as she navigates familiar roads made unfamiliar in a chaotic world she thought she once knew. You hold Melati's hand as she battles her very own demon and you will her to win because giving in is not a choice. This book will probably make you cry so I recommend you read it with ...more
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was always intrigued by the events of 13 May. Anyone who has learned history in high school are very well aware of what happened then. A part of me has always wondered how one would go through when it all happened and this book has helped me try to imagine what it was like. Not only that, this book is so important and it has struck so much for me as a Malaysian that so far, nothing could be compared to how special this book will be etched in my heart. It is so rare to read an English YA book w ...more
Katie Zhao
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well this book absolutely ruined me, over the course of a single day. I started in the morning during quite a busy day and kept reading whenever I had a moment of spare time, and finished reading in the evening.

Simply put, this book is spellbinding and so incredibly relevant to what's going on in today's world. Hanna doesn't hold anything back in a brutal depiction of the 1969 race riots. This is a hard read but a very important one. Mel is a strong heroine who you'll be rooting for from page on
Claire Bartlett
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book tore me up. And if you're smart, you'll buy it, and let it tear you up, too.

Okay, okay, real review time. Yes, I got to read this book early. I am so pleased I did. It's incredible, simply put. The writing is raw and vivid, the tension ratchets up on every page, and the characters completely break your heart. I started crying on like page five, and that was it for the rest of the book. Which I finished in one sitting, by the way. No one was going to tear me away.

Hanna is amazing. I hop
Aug 16, 2017 marked it as to-read
Shelves: sign-me-up
um asian history i'm here for this
Melissa (The Reader & The Chef)
Read this. Don't forget to read this book, everyone! 😭😭😭
michelle (magicalreads)
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, 2019
4.25 stars

Hannah F. Whitten
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book. It’s beautiful and brutal and unputdownable. I absolutely loved it. I’m terrible at reviewing things, but I think this is the kind of book people will be reading and teaching and studying for years to come.
Dec 29, 2018 marked it as to-read
🌑Historical Fic during 1969 Malaysian riots
🌑OCD rep


Ten 2019 YA Debut Novels You Need To Add To Your TBR Right Away!

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Tara Kenny
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm so glad I read this book. I love when I learn about a culture I know nothing about. Hearing about this dark time and the history of Malaysia was amazing. The way the main character's OCD was handled in dealing with the situation was realistic to the point that I found myself counting along with her. The racial discord, and the people she meets who refuse to see Malays and Chinese as different from one another, and open their homes and hearts to each other through the madness. I feel like eve ...more
Star Shyne Brite (Stargirl)
Initial Thoughts: I am so emotional right now! This book was done so beautifully! From the author’s notes on page 1 all the way to the acknowledgments it was absolutely beautiful! I learned a few things (and I’m sure I’ll look up more information about the historical background) and I felt ALL THE THINGS!!!

Full review to come!
Margaret Owen
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Hi, this book made me cry on the train. FIVE STARS.

But seriously: I'm lucky enough to have read this early, and this is a beautiful and heartbreaking and lovely book. Hanna does a wonderful job of drawing out the humanity - and the human cost - of a terrible time for Malaysia. You won't want to fall in love with the characters because none of them are safe; alas, you won't have much of a say in the matter. This book will haunt you (in a good way) long after the last page.
Rory Power
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
brutal, harrowing, and full of heart. don't miss it.

Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
(Disclaimer: I received this free book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

I could write a laundry list of all the things I loved about The Weight of Our Sky. From the characters that tugged at my heart strings, to the visceral and moving history, all the way to the content warnings and author's note at the beginning. Each word, each element, is written and regarded with such tender care. If you love compelling and gripping books, historical fiction, or
Sam Taylor
A very powerfully written book, in both it's portrayal of the Malaysian race riots and a girl struggling with OCD through those terrifying, dangerous times. I think this book will resonate a lot with today's teens, given the frightening situations sweeping across our world, as they experience Melati recognizing the humanity in people like and unlike her--and most especially, as they see Melati fight through her fears, insecurities, and personal demons to become a force for good in her community. ...more
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I am so lucky to have gotten the chance to read this before it's out next year--what a compelling, page-turning historical! This book contains all my favorite things I look for in a YA historical: gut-wrenching tragedy, a window into a different place and time (especially here, with one I haven't seen before in YA), and compelling characters I want to stay with. Not only does this book provide a glimpse into a terrifying time in Maylasia's history, but it will also resonate with teens today who ...more
Taasia (libraepaintspages)
I CANNOT believe I had the privilege to read this early, what a blessing ❤

RTC on the blog when I get off my hiatus!

Oh my God - South! East! Malaysian! Rep! AHHHHHH - home country represent so excited
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, need, arc, ya
Publication: 5th of February 2019

Reading this book was like taking a breath of fresh air. After I started, I couldn't stop.

It was also the most emotionally involved I have been in a story for such a long time. From start till the end, I loved every single moment of it.
Maybe it's because I am a Muslim, teenager, and South East Asian like Melati. That may make me a little biased. But honestly, I really think it's just that good.

Hanna Alkaf
Salaam Reads / Simon & Schuster Books fo
Adiba Jaigirdar
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, arcs
This is a brilliant novel about the Malay-Chinese conflict in Kuala Lampur in 1969 - something I knew nothing about before picking this up. It's also a book about dealing with OCD, about family, and seeing people for who they are. It's a difficult read at times because it's a very honest book that lays everything out in front of you very clearly. It doesn't diminish the violence and hate within it, nor does it glorify it. It's a very nuanced and honest portrayal of violence, death, OCD, and raci ...more
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