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The Bad Muslim Discount

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  2,111 ratings  ·  442 reviews
Following two families from Pakistan and Iraq in the 1990s to San Francisco in 2016, Bad Muslim Discount is a hilarious, timely, and provocative comic novel about being Muslim immigrants in modern America. For fans of Hanif Kureshi, Mira Jacob, and Mohammed Hanif.

It is 1995, and Anvar Faris is a restless, rebellious, and sharp-tongued boy doing his best to grow up in Karac
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published February 2nd 2021 by Doubleday Books
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On the Same Page
ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Update 10/03/2021: After listening to a podcast with the author (thanks to Kelsie), there's something I think I should clarify. The original review (which I haven't changed) implies that I think the characters' opinions reflect the author's. I don't necessarily believe that. Do I still think this book is a poor representation of Muslims? Absolutely. Regardless of whether this is meant as satire or not, meant for Ame
Larry H
Feb 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The Bad Muslim Discount , the new novel by Syed M. Masood, is a funny, emotionally searing, and thought-provoking look at the experience of Muslim immigrants in the U.S.

“There is no true measure of pain. Each hurt is unique, and even small wounds can bleed a lot.”

Anvar Faris and his family live in Pakistan until fundamentalism becomes more prevalent and his father moves them to California. His devout mother, for whom Anvar’s sarcasm and nonchalance toward their religion is a constant source o
Aimal (Bookshelves & Paperbacks)
Starting to realize that every OwnVoices Muslim book I connect with will be shredded apart by more ~pious~ Muslims who think it’s bad rep.

All I say is that one POV character in this book is someone who isn’t that great of a person, and his own bad experiences with religion lead him to judge anyone religious he meets. that’s not a good thing lol. That’s acknowledged in-text. He has to work on his own anti-religious prejudices, and him being unlikable is the whole point.

The second POV character
Feb 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
First 5-star read of the year and I’m absolutely wowed! First off, I must confess that this book wasn’t what I expected. Yes, it had the dry wit and irreverent humour I anticipated given the cover and title of the book, but more than that it took me on a journey of questioning and faith and exploring your beliefs and the things you think you know, and the injustices and inevitabilities of life, and it was absolutely brilliant- from the writing to the storytelling.

The book tells the story of 2 ce
Feb 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
The Bad Muslim Discount is more substantial than its cover suggests. With insight and dry humor, Masood tracks the immigrant experience through the eyes of Anvar, who moved to California from Pakistan as a boy, and Safwa, who has just arrived in San Francisco from Baghdad. A surprising, enjoyable novel - at times profound, but never ponderous.
2.5 ⭐

I went into this blind. There were more politics than I care for.

Two Muslims, one from Iraq and another from Pakistan came to America under different circumstances. I enjoy reading about different culture, beliefs, and tradition. There were some humor but those were only at the beginning. Parts of the book did leave a bitter taste which I will not go into.
The writing was good and so were the voice narrators. At first I thought I would love it, but I didn't.

Katie Mac
Aug 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-voices
I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Admittedly, I was one of the many readers who went into this expecting something more light and humorous. This assumption was purely based on the cover (didn't listen to the old adage, apparently).

While there's funny moments scattered throughout the book (particularly from Anvar, a former lawyer and one of the protagonists), Masood has crafted a deep, compelling, and often devastating story featuring voices that are
Apr 05, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2021-releases
April 6, 2020: Pakistani (ownvoices) & Iraqi immigrant, and Muslim representation (!!!) in a diverse desi community of those who left the Indian subcontinent. This is promising to be romantic, political and hilarious...which is the perfect recipe for me so y'all better pray for me to read this ASAP. ...more
Feb 23, 2021 rated it did not like it
Based on the description of the book, the novel seemed to be about two immigrants coming to America with different backgrounds and trying to navigate their new identities and religion. It was far from that.
The story follows Anvar and Azza, two immigrant Muslims. Anvar, a boy that comes from a Pakistani family that left Pakistan because of his father did not feel as though he had the freedom to do things that he enjoyed (playing music, movies, etc) without getting backlash from their community.
Dec 11, 2020 rated it liked it
I will start by saying that I am not a Muslim, a Pakistani, or an Iraqi; I found this to be a challenging read because of that. This may also be a better book for those who aren't Republicans!
I found that there was absolutely nothing at all humorous about this book and the synopsis was very misleading.

This book deals with many issues that Muslims deal with in their own countries -then it speaks of how certain Muslims are dealt with in the USA.

I honestly did not like any of the characters except
The Bad Muslim Discount is yet another failed attempt at using the medium of contemporary literature to earnestly portray the lives of American Muslims—if you can even call the protagonists in this novel ‘Muslims’ in the first place (not speculating, their own admission). The dual perspective narrative centres on Anvar, a Pakistani boy and Safwa, an Iraqi girl, both of whom flee their respective home countries to find refuge in the States.

Amusingly, what makes this book stand out amongst its re
Jessica Moore
Jan 25, 2021 marked it as to-read
Thank you NetGalley, Doubleday Books, and Syed M. Masood for the opportunity to review this book! I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced reader's copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

In this story, we follow two families who immigrate to the United States from Pakistan and Iraq throughout the 90's all the way until 2016. The main character, Anvar, constantly finds himself in the shadow of his seemingly perfect older brother. As a result,
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Bad Muslim Discount was a book I didn't know I had been waiting for. Following Anvar, whose family leaves Pakistan for California when he is a child, and Azza, who flees Iraq for Taliban-ruled Afghanistan and then enters America illegally as a young woman, this novel deftly examines two sides of the Muslim faith. Centered around the metaphor of life as a checkers game, both protagonists learn that there is no move without a counter-move, and no decision without repercussions. Written with al ...more
Feb 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book follows Anvar and Safwa, both separately and when their world’s collide by chance. Anvar considers and takes pride in his “bad Muslim” status, always trying to other and step away from his family’s grasp when they were in Pakistan and even more as they move to San Francisco.

Then, there’s Safwa, who we first see Baghdad, suffocating by the war torn city and by her conservative father, while trying to fill the role that has been decided for her...and then she makes the dangerous journey
Charisma D
Jan 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
To think that this book will probably be overlooked because of its cover... BUT, like they say, don’t judge a book by its cover.

This book was everything I hoped it would be, and more. Masood truly showed the difference between being Muslim from South Asia and being a Muslim American. I really learned so much from this book from verses from the Quran, to how life was demonstrated in the Middle East during the time Americans began invading there countries to how a Muslim looks at the world compar
Liz Hein
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars! This incredibly layered story read both like a Shakespearean comedy and tragedy simultaneously. I could not put it down.
Feb 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was such an interesting book. First of all the cover is crazy beautiful. Second, the story is was actually surprising to me. I thought it was going to be a bit of a romcom, but it was much more complex. I love the diversity and own voice writing. I was hooked from the beginning. All the feels in this one. Laughs and cringes. Racism and family pressure mixed with immigration to America...adding in friendship and finding one's own way. All around a good book. I can see how some could possibly ...more
Susie | Novel Visits
Yes, everything you’ve heard about 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐁𝐀𝐃 𝐌𝐔𝐒𝐋𝐈𝐌 𝐃𝐈𝐒𝐂𝐎𝐔𝐍𝐓 by Syed M. Masood IS true! So let’s break it down.⁣

It’s an unexpected take on the immigrant experience. True, this story features two very different Muslim families who immigrate to the U.S., one from Pakistan, the other from Iraq. The son of one, Anvar, and the daughter of another, Azza, are the cornerstones of Masood’s tale.⁣

It’s full of irreverent humor. Yes, and in the best possible way. The author is indiscriminate in who and what
Feb 04, 2021 rated it liked it
I'm so sad that I didn't love this book. I am such a fan of this author's other books and have read incredible reviews of people who truly connected with this novel. Unfortunately, I couldn't get into it, the characters and the plot just confused me more as I went on.

Please don't be swayed negatively towards this book by my review, sooo many individuals adored it.

When I first saw the cover of this book, I thought it was a YA novel (it's not). Instead, it's a bildungsroman of sorts, with a rather complicated dive into the religious and cultural intricacies of being a Muslim in America who is struggling to connect with their faith.

This book follows two characters, Anvar and Safwa, who were both raised very differently and have had different religious experiences. First, there's Anvar. Although he was born in Pakistan, he quickly acclimatized to life
Christina Billhartz
Feb 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Listen. Stop whatever you are doing right now and read this book instead!!! I’m going to switch it up and put my review before my synopsis, because this was book was THAT good.⁣

Review: Although the cover of this book looks bright and fun, Masood delves into many heavy topics in this book. From Anvar and Safwa’s struggle with the contradictions and promises of faith, to the lesser-discussed consequences and byproducts of war, there is a LOT to unpack here. ⁣

Masood does so much with this novel,
Jessica Haider
The Bad Muslim Discount tells the story of two Muslim characters, whose lives eventually intersect.

Anvar grew up in Pakistan in the 1990's and his family later moves to California. Anvar is the sarcastic, witty one in the family and isn't the best at following Muslim practices. Meanwhile his mom and brother who are model Muslims are more readily accepted in their new community.

Safwa is a young woman who grows up at the same time in war-torn Baghdad. After her mother and brother die, Safwa and
Grace W
Feb 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
(c/p from my review on TheStoryGraph) 4.5 rounded up. This book is really well written and full of beautifully and painfully flawed characters. The only reason this isn't a completely five star one for me is that the early Anvar parts got to be a bit dull for my tastes, particularly when juxtaposed with Safwa's much more engaging story. Maybe that's because I frequently find straight teenage boys slightly dull or maybe it really is just not an overly engage part of the story. Overall though I th ...more
Feb 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars! Wow! I loved this book! This powerful story is told between two intertwining yet very different characters. It tackles some big issues, has great character development, and is expertly written. I don’t want to give anything away, but it is a book I will not soon forget. Highly recommend!

Note: This book is being marketed as funny. There are funny parts in this book, but the subject is serious. I would not classify this as a “light read.”
Meghann Bromley
Feb 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this debut author on a whim because the cover was so regrets here the story was great. If you have time, I recommend you spend it reading this. It was a perfect mix of wit and humor mixed with some hard hitting facts of how it feels to be Muslim in Trump’s Merica.
Hannah Darr
Feb 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
"The history of the world is the history of people who went places. People who walked to the horizon. If you get the chance, you should be glad to be one of them." ...more
Feb 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you NetGalley for this advanced copy. Hilarious. Insightful. Timely. Those are the top three words I would use to describe this book. I enjoyed the story, laughing along the way. I was surprised at how funny and then so quickly insightful, wise, and powerful the story was. I appreciate that the book was not explicit or offensive, while the content is for mature reader's only. While this is labeled as an adult fiction, I can easily see the YA audience reading, enjoying, and benefiting from ...more
Jan 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
After reading 'More Than Just a Pretty Face' last year, I was really excited to pick this one up, and I'm glad that I got the opportunity to read the arc sent to me by the publishers. The title really piqued my interest, and obviously you can look at the cover yourself. It gorgeous.

The plot consist of two main protagonists, a Pakistani American Boy, Anvar, with a major cultural/religious identify crisis thing going on, and an Iraqi girl, Azza, who comes from a family torn apart by war. The book
Kate Jordhamo
Feb 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars! This book wasn’t at all what I expected, but I enjoyed it so much.

While it had fun and witty moments, it was a complex and sometimes devastating narration of two Muslim characters, one who had been in the US since childhood and one who came later in life. Azza and Anvar were complex, engaging characters. I was especially interested in their individual relationships with religion, faith, and family duty. The backdrop of recent world events was also incredibly compelling.

The pacing and
Shireen Hakim
Jul 23, 2020 rated it liked it
"I wasn't attacked because I was Muslim, I was attacked because I wasn't Muslim enough."
With The Bad Muslim Discount, Masood brings up the pressures Muslim-Americans face within their own community when they don't live up to arbitrarily enforced standards. Although a similar theme to his genius YA rom-com More Than Just a Pretty Face, The Bad Muslim Discount reflects a more serious and stark Muslim society.
I continued to read the novel because of the female protagonist AZZA and I hope to read m
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