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Love From A to Z

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4.14  ·  Rating details ·  2,945 ratings  ·  868 reviews
A marvel: something you find amazing. Even ordinary-amazing. Like potatoes—because they make French fries happen. Like the perfect fries Adam and his mom used to make together.

An oddity: whatever gives you pause. Like the fact that there are hateful people in the world. Like Zayneb’s teacher, who won’t stop reminding the class how “bad” Muslims are.

But Zayneb, th
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Paperback, 342 pages
Published 2019 by Simon & Schuster
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Chaima ✨ شيماء
This book resonated in chambers of my heart I’d never known existed. It stirred memories too deep to claim, and it all poured out of me and onto every surface, taking something vital with it. There is still an expansiveness in my chest that reminds me of how important voices like these are, for readers like us. This feeling is a language all its own: to reach and find, to be reached for and found, to belong to a mutual certainty.

Love from A to Z is one of the most unapologetically Muslim bo/>Love
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S.K. Ali
Nov 27, 2018 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Friends & fellow readers: I have finished writing the book. It is a book full of pain, love, anger, love, joy, and soul -- so much of it being the stuff we Muslims hold inside.
It is hard to share such a book with the world. You wonder if it will be "too much" or whether people will connect and understand.
But then you release the book because you've held on to the hurt for too long. And because you believe there's more love in the world than hate, more hope than fear.
Now, please have some
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Melanie


RTC! <3

➽ OwnVoices Reviews (that I love):
شيماء
Noura
Fadwa

Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch

This was the July pick for the Dragons and Tea Book Club! 🐉☕
Lola
This was wonderful. I have not read this author’s debut novel – Saints and Misfits – but I immediately added it after closing this book. I’m really happy this didn’t turn out to be a beautiful book on the outside and shallow on the inside.

Actually, while it seems to be mainly a breezy YA summer romance from the cover, I was delighted to discover multiple important themes in the foreground and sometimes lurking beneath the surface, too. Zayneb in particular is very expressive about what she beli
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Hamad
Jul 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription

“Make sure that you make the beginning of whatever you begin beautiful.”

🌟 This is not a solid 4 stars read for me, but I decided to be generous as I don’t read many books with great Muslim Representations!

🌟 The writing was good, It was not magical or anything special. I was bothered by the HP references that are now apart of almost every YA contemporary. I feel authors use it to sound cool and relatable b
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may ❀
this book made me so ridiculously happy oh my heart where was this all my life 😭😭

"this is a love story. you've been warned."

i LOVE the characters so much. zayneb and her stubbornness, her heated personality. her passion for justice and how she took no crap from anyone, what a legend.
adam and his caring, sweet personality. this boy is so soft, his whole being is just caring about his little sister and worrying about his father, my smol son.

this book explores so many issues, zayneb tackling the blatant islamaphobia she😭😭
"this
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ALet
Aug 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
★★★ /5

This was really good, I really glad I read it.

The story itself was simple, but executed very well. Writing style was simple, not flowery, so it was easy to understand. Because of simplistic style it was a very quick read.

The main characters were interesting and fully formed, had their separate arcs so they were formed outside each other and that definitely helped the story.

On the other hand, because the plot itself was a little bit simple it was a little repetitiv
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Nenia ☠️ Hecka Wicked ☠️ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest


This book made me shed a tear, and while that may not exactly sound like an impressive feat, you should know that I am an individual who guards their tears as jealously as a dragon guards its hoard. When I first heard about LOVE FROM A TO Z, I was so excited - I was ready to love it for that adoring glance between the hero and heroine on the cover, the hijabi rep, and of course, the promise of a love story unfolding abroad. How romantic.



But I was also afraid - afraid that it would be too twee,
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Warda
Jul 29, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Placed an order at my local bookstore.

I’m so ready — been ready! — for Muslims to take damn ownership for their own narrative.
Need. More. Muzlamic. Literature.
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Listening to the audiobook of this one might not have been the best decision because I had a really hard time focusing on what was happening :( I think I'm going to re-read it physically before I post a full review.

TW: Islamophobia, racism, chronic illness, death of a loved one
Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)
Thank you Salaam Reads for the free (gifted) review copy in exchange for an honest review!

Here's my attempt to string together a bunch of sentences about the best thing that has ever happened to me.

*Clears throat* When I heard that a book like this was going to exists I was ecstatic. S.K. Ali wrote a book that made me feel seen. Books featuring Muslim characters are quite rare. I've made it my goal to read as many books centering around Muslims as possible this year. This book right here is what every Mu/>*Clears
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April (Aprilius Maximus)
tw: racism, islamophobia, xenophobia, death of a loved one (in the past), mentions of rape/honour killings, discussions of victims of war (drone killings), cultural appropriation, chronic illness (multiple sclerosis).

rep: Hijabi, Muslim, biracial MC (dad is from Pakistan and mum's parents are Guyanese and Trinidadian), another biracial MC (mum was Finnish/Canadian and Dad is Chinese/Canadian), lots of diverse side characters (biracial, black and others)


“Never, ever quake in the face/>
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preoccupiedbybooks
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
What a wonderful book! I couldn't stop listening.
Rtc
Saajid Hosein
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
woo child, the quality.
Romie
I definitely want to write a full length review for this beautiful, beautiful book, but until I finally find the time to do so (probably after my finals, huh) I just want to say that this book was absolutely incredible, and soft, and pure, and I loved every single moment of it. It's not just a book about two Muslim kids falling for each other, it's about fighting for justice, for what you know is right; it's about standing up for yourself, but also asking if you need help. It's about finding the marvels ...more
alexandra ling
i enjoyed this so so much :') gave me all the fluffy cute feels as well as intense sadness and rage at all the islamophobia in this world.
Julie Zantopoulos
ARC provided by the publishers and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I am not an own voices reader for this novel but I have read the reviews of a few and I love that they believe this story so closely mirrors their own lives and is a reflection of themselves, their culture, and their struggles with Islamaphobia and navigating the world we live in. It honestly makes my heart so happy.

"Never, ever quake in the face of hate, Zayneb."

At the core of this story is Zayneb, a Muslim girl fr
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AJ
This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT. It was actually somehow so much better than I could have imagined it would be. Just wow. Five stars is not even enough.

The book is told through alternative perspectives of Zeynab and Adam, both of them writing in "Marvels and Oddities" journals of their own. Both of them are Muslim, from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. And they're so different from each other, in the best possible ways.

Zeynab,
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Fadwa (Word Wonders)
I received an arc of this book from the publisher in exchange of an honest review

Original review posted on my blog : Word Wonders

CW: Islamophobia, racist micro-aggression, cultural appropriation, chronic illness, talk of family death, mention of rape, discussion of war and war victims.

Marvel: The fact that Love from A to Z exists.
Oddity: The fact that I already read it and there isn’t any more to the story.

Do you ever go into a book, expect to love it and then…end up loving it e/>CW:
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arini
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book was astounding and deserves so much more love. y’all need to read it!!

✨ 3.75 "LOVELY" stars ✨

i was pretty sure no book could top a very large expanse of sea in my eyes, but holy smokes!! this muslim love story book by this new-to-me author sk ali was cute and beautiful and heartfelt and educational and just overall wholesome. i used to believe that stories like these two would not make an interesting book to read bcs all the restrictions, rules, and laws in islam. but turns out they’ve brought ait!!
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Jananie (thisstoryaintover)
SO MUCH LOVE FOR THIS BOOK. SO MUCH. SO adorable while also very intense and emotional.
Christy
Oct 10, 2019 marked it as on-hold  ·  review of another edition
Not the books fault, but I have a lot going on and I am having so much trouble staying connected to this story. I might come back to it again, not sure.
Emer (A Little Haze)
For more reviews and book related chat check out my blog

A great book with a cute love story that also exposes and tackles real world problems...feel like I must be dreaming!

Zayneb is freaking awesome. Wow do I love her. She's unapologetic, feisty, knows her own mind and yet still has all the insecurities that come along with figuring your way in this world. A fabulously authentic character. If only the world were filled with more Zaynebs. Her fight against everyday Islamophobia is incredible and
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Acqua
Love From A to Z is the perfect balance of adorable, romantic and real. It's the kind of contemporary that manages to develop a very sweet romance while also talking about painful and heavy topics, without neglecting any of these aspects.

This is the story of Zayneb, a hijabi girl of Pakistani and Caribbean (West Indian, specifically Guyanese and Trinidadian) descent living in America, and Adam, a biracial Chinese-Canadian boy who converted to Islam, as they meet in an airport during their trip to Doha, in Qatar
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Hollis
I'm so so mixed on this one. To the point that I didn't even want to leave a review because I just don't know how to put my thoughts together about why this didn't work. But lets give it a go.

This has great representation, though I can't verify the accuracy behind either the Muslim or MS rep, but as it's #ownvoices for the former, I can hope the author was equally careful with the latter, too. But while I appreciated both, and though I found the situations to be charged with the rage an
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Hafsah
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Me: I have a confession...I'm feeling quite light-headed.
You (somehow able to hear me): The prospect of results day making you feel ill again?
Me: well yes, but... no, it's because I am OVER THE MOON; gravity's a little weird here...

I'm so happy thanks to this book and it's heart warming story, which has filled a void in my soul. And I'd be lying if I said that wasn't partially due to the good islamic reprisentation and the fact that the book unabashedly tackles issues such as Islamophobia.

"Islamophobi/>/>I'm/>/>You
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Amy Risner

This is the Dragons & Tea Book Club pick for July!

The Dates & Breakdown:

July 8th: Pages 1–68 “Zayneb Saturday March 9. Oddity: Unpredictable Creatures”

July 9th: Pages 69–134 “Adam Tuesday March 12. Marvel: Strangers”

July 10th: Pages 135–207 “Adam Sunday March 17. Marvel: Zayneb at the Perfect Place”

July 11th: Pages 208–276 “Zayneb Tuesday March 19. Oddity… And Marvel: Plotters”

July 12th: Pages 277–End

(Chapter titles & subtitles are included since the chapters aren’t numbered. I hope this is helpful if you are reading on an eReader or audio. Read the chapter that includes the mentio277–End
(ChapterPlotters”
JulyPlace”
JulyStrangers”
JulyCreatures”
July
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Sakina (aforestofbooks)
AMAZING. GO PREORDER THIS RIGHT NOW. REVIEW TO COME ON RELEASE DAY

Today is the day...Love from A to Z is out in the world! So go out and get it form your local bookstore or borrow it from the library, because this book will absolutely melt your heart and change your life completely!

Okay, now for my review, which I wrote the day after I finished this book:

I stan one contemporary author and that author is S.K. Ali

Where do I even start… My heart feels full. This story will always have a special place in my soul.

AMAZING. GO PREORDER THIS RIGHT NOW. REVIEW TO COME ON RELEASE DAY

Today is the day...Love from A to Z is out in the world! So go out and get it form your local bookstore or borrow it from the library, because this book will absolutely melt your heart and change your life completely!

Okay, now for my review, which I wrote the day after I finished this book:

I stan one contemporary author and that author is S.K. Ali

Where do I even start… My heart feels full. This story will always have a special place in my soul.

description

When I saw the cover reveal a few months back, I immediately knew I needed this book in my life. I mean…THERE IS AN ACTUAL HIJABI ON THE COVER *cries tears of joy* I don’t think tiny, 10-year-old Sakina ever thought she would see someone who looked like her on a cover of a book. And I know for a fact, that present Sakina never thought she would read a Muslim romance, that was done in a halal way, and actually enjoy it?!!

(Special thanks to Patty
for sending me her extra copy. This book has changed my life in so many good ways.)

I am sad. A little. This is the book I needed growing up. But it didn’t exist then. And while I am really happy with how far publishing has come since I was little, I can’t help feeling a little jealous of how today’s young Muslim girls and boys get to see themselves represented in a book. That being said, this book touches on so many important topics, including Islamophobia, which I definitely think is more prevalent now than it was when I was little.

I don’t even know how to start reviewing this book. I fell in love with Zayneb in the first chapter. She’s strong and not afraid to stand up for herself and her faith. And I know this is something I struggle with. I’m not a very vocal person. I don’t like to draw attention to myself, and I hate arguing with people. But I still feel strongly. I just tend to keep my feelings in or express them to close friends. At the same time, I know it’s my duty as a Muslim to stand up against injustice and that I should do more.

Zayneb’s character arc in this book was really well done. She learns that it’s okay to be angry. That she has every right to feel the way she feels. But she learns to channel her anger in a less destructive way that is just as productive. I love how she learned not to stay silent and move on with life, and I really liked the scene where she explains everything to her mother at the end and her mom realizes what Zayneb is going through and why she can’t just keep quiet and invisible.

That scene where Zayneb notices the little white girl on the plane and realizes how differently she is treated just because she doesn’t look or dress like Zayneb, hurt so bad. Reading this book made me realize how rare it is to find a character that I can fully relate to. Zayneb’s experiences in many ways mirror mine and a lot of other Muslims around the world. It’s reality for us, even though it shouldn’t be. And it sucks. But I love the way this was included in the book.

Zayneb is unapologetically Muslim and angry, as she has a right to be. Muslims have a right to express their emotions, to not keep quiet and invisible. This needs to be normalized and accepted, instead of shamed and feared. There is a fine line between being angry and getting violent, and I think people get scared that they'll cross that line, or they won't be able to stop others from crossing it. But that doesn't mean we should stay completely quiet and just accept the way things are.


ADAM CHEN…aka the most perfect friend, brother, and son. The little meet-cute on the airplane had me squealing. Especially when Adam makes excuses to go to the bathroom multiple times to try and talk to Zayneb but she’s either sleeping or some annoying flight attendants are in the way of romance.

Adam has a secret, and if you’ve read the synopsis, you know he has MS. You learn that his mother died from MS when he was little. Adam’s story is full of pain. My heart ached the entire time when I wasn’t dying from all the cuteness. Knowing how his mother’s death affected his father, Adam doesn’t want to tell his dad just yet. He wants to avoid what his diagnosis will lead to. The little glimpses we see of Adam with his mother, how he secretly struggles with his MS, until he finally tells his father, it hurts a lot. I was almost in tears at so many points throughout this book. Adam is my child and I just wanted to protect him. I wanted to see him happy and hopeful and in love. He’s such a good person and he deserves lots of hugs.

Adam and Zayneb’s relationship…I loved every aspect of it. We get to see what “halal dating” looks like, the proper precautions and steps that need to be taken, and we get to see both characters consider these things multiple times in the book. That was something I never thought I would ever read in fiction.

Zayneb does try to tone herself down. She tries to be quieter and not voice her thoughts or opinions on everything. And I knew we were headed towards a breaking point. And when that happened, I expected Adam’s reaction. Zayneb did cross a line; her anger got the best of her. But we also see how Adam doesn’t experience the same Islamophobia that Zayneb does on account of the fact that he’s a convert and lives in a majority Muslim country. And I found this an interesting contrast that’s also very important. I sometimes forget how different it is growing up in a community where everyone you know is Muslim. I’m constantly cautious and thinking about what I’m doing and whether it’ll make some people think negatively about Islam. When an act of terrorism occurs somewhere in the world, I can feel people noticing me more than they usually do. I stand out. I feel uneasy and vulnerable. My experiences are different compared to other Muslims. And for Adam, I think this was an important lesson. To realize how different things are, and what Zayneb is going through.

Anyway, back to the relationship. I loved Zayneb’s parents and how they viewed relationships. They taught Zayneb the halal and proper way to go about it. As long as boundaries were followed, and she was in a group setting, she could be friendly with anyone. I love this so much more than the classic arranged marriage story that we see. There’s a lot more openness when relationships are viewed in this way, and it was nice to see a character slowly falling in love, but not being afraid of the consequences of telling their parents. And it was all halal too! I loved seeing the thoughts that would go through Zayneb and Adam’s heads. How they wanted to reach out to each other, but they would stop themselves because it wasn’t right. How they sidestepped talking to each other/flirting using creative ways. I’m still dying over Adam being “thirsty for water.”

I SAW THAT SAINTS AND MISFITS REFERENCE AND I LOVED IT.

The ending…Adam, his dad, and Hanna spending time together in the room Adam made. It was so emotional. I love their relationship so much. It’s so pure and heartwarming.

I haven’t touched much on Fencer or Zayneb’s friends. I didn’t know this was based off of a true story, but I really loved how Noemi joined in with Kavi and Ayaan. In some cases, we need the support from our white and non-Muslim friends to stand up against Islamophobia. It showed Fencer that it wasn’t just Zayneb speaking out against his Islamophobic and racist topics in class, she had the support from other people as well.

The end…the cutest, sweetest, most adorable ending I have ever read. I was all smiles. And I had happy tears in my eyes.

Some of my favourite quotes:

“If everyone listened to their parents who feared the consequences of fighting for justice, this world would be a more awful place than it is now.”


”I had to learn to be quietly angry. Spring without a roar. And spring I will.”


“There was a reason love was a round-sounding word. It completed you and then some, like treading a circular path, the way it was immemorial. Whole. But also…infinite. It went on and on as long as you went on and on, to meet it, keep it, treasure it. And I would.”


5/5 stars. I can’t recommend this book enough. I feel happy and full of all these wonderful emotions.


(Sidenote: there’s a scene where Adam and Zayneb discuss who Zayneb is named after ie. she’s named after the Prophet’s cousin. I had never heard of her before and am way more familiar with the Prophet’s granddaughter, who’s name is also Zaynab. Our main character definitely feels more similar to the Prophet’s granddaughter, who stood up against oppression and injustice, all while being dragged in chains from Iraq to Syria, hijab ripped off her head by the same people who killed her brother and family.)
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kav (xreadingsolacex)
disclaimer: i received an arc in exchange for an honest review, this in no way impacted my opinions.

trigger warnings: islamophobia, war

Love from A to Z is S.K. Ali's sophomore novel, a love story between two teens - Zayneb and Adam. Zayneb is spending her spring break, and now her suspension, with aunt in Doha, Qatar. Suspended for taking actions against a notoriously Islamophobic teacher, Zayneb exemplifies justice. Adam, on the other hand, exemplifies peace, and he is back in Doha, Qatar for his spring
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Kate ☀️ Olson
(free review copy) Fabulous. LOVE FROM A TO Z is a YA "issue" book, through and through. It's also a love story, yes, but this book is not a traditional romance or rom com. The cover is adorable, but it masks the serious nature of the major topics within - Islamophobia, love between two Muslim teens, life as an expat, death of a parent, war crimes, and serious illness.

I loved the unique setting - Zayneb travels from her home in Indiana to Doha, Qatar where her expat aunt works at an
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Expressive Champs : Love From A to Z: Reviews 1 2 Aug 06, 2019 07:15PM  
Expressive Champs : Love From A to Z: Ch 31-37 + Epilogue 1 3 Aug 06, 2019 07:14PM  
Expressive Champs : Love From A to Z: Ch 25-30 1 2 Aug 06, 2019 07:13PM  
Expressive Champs : Love From A to Z: Ch 19-24 1 2 Aug 06, 2019 07:12PM  
Expressive Champs : Love From A to Z: Ch 13-18 1 2 Aug 06, 2019 07:11PM  
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573 followers
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 Muhammad, THE PRO ...more
“Maybe that's what living is--recognizing the marvels and oddities around you.” 12 likes
“The world is a mysterious place. On the one hand, its size can be measured and recorded and verified. Its marvels and oddities captured in complex, empirical detail.
On the other hand, its size is relative to our mind’s perception of it. Its marvels and oddities only extending to how far our vision goes.
For some of us, this means the world is small, including only those we see as belonging to it. People related to us, people who look like us, dress like us, think like us.
For others, it’s medium-size and includes those we connect to through some similarity, some trait that pings familiarity within, which then allows us to overlook the differences between us and them.
And then there are those who see the world as huge, as the actual size it measurably is.
Huge enough to include vast differences, people with nothing in common with one another except a beating heart and a feeling soul, these two—heart, soul—being the strongest connection between us all.”
8 likes
More quotes…