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No True Believers

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  257 ratings  ·  75 reviews
Fans of the riveting mystery in Courtney Summers's Sadie and the themes of race and religion in Samira Ahmed's Internment will be captivated by this exploration of the intersection of Islamaphobia and white supremacy as an American Muslim teen is forced to confront hatred and hidden danger when she is framed for a terrorist act she did not co ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 11th 2020 by Crown Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.01  · 
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 ·  257 ratings  ·  75 reviews

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Rabiah Lumbard
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Rating for effort. I put three years of my soul into this baby!
Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows)
Wow. This book is pretty powerful. Salma is quite the character and I give her SO much love for dealing with things the way that she did. Unfortunately this is all too real, especially in this day and age which is really sad. Dealing with Islamophobia, Salma and her family have to deal with white supremacy and hatred within their own neighborhood.

As we all know, kids are especially mean and don't really think about the repercussions of their actions. Salma being bullied in school, physically pu
Aj Sterkel
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I inhaled this book. It’s a “one more chapter” novel. I told myself I’d read one more chapter before bed, and then it was suddenly midnight, and I had no intention of putting the book down. Once the plot gets moving, it really takes off. You’re in for a wild ride.

The main character, Salma Bakkioui, is a fairly typical suburban teenager. She has a loving Muslim family; a shy, nerdy boyfriend; and a group of girlfriends who are always ready to party. Her life becomes more complicated when a new fa
Rachel Knuttel
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for a review copy of this book - all opinions are my own.

NO TRUE BELIEVERS is out on FEBRUARY 11, 2020!

Whew. This book was quite the ride! Let’s do this in list form.

Things I Loved:
- The cover - it is sooooo gorgeous and powerful! Definitely catches your attention right away.
- The blurb. It is super intriguing and it made me request this book with no prior knowledge, which I rarely do. HOWEVER, the blurb is also a big part of my critique below. Stay tuned ha
Gary Anderson
Feb 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Salma is a talented young hacker, but when Islamaphobia rears its head in her school and community, her Muslim heritage makes Salma a target, both physically and technologically. No True Believers, Rabiah York Lumbard’s debut YA novel, includes plenty of interesting high-tech intrigue and Muslim cultural references, but both of those elements self-consciously weigh down the plot of this thriller. It’s likely that some readers will relate to or learn from those aspects, but No True Believers is a ...more
Stacie Ramey
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was both ripped from the headlines and completely believable. Salma is a Muslim American teen who faces Islamophobia including subtle micro-aggressions, physical and emotional attacks, and a full scale white supremacist terror plot that attempts to frame Salma. The writing is fresh, the pacing is right on. Salma, who also suffers from EDS, gives a face to chronic illness in addition to her struggles with being accepted for who she is. Salma is a believable heroine with supportive frien ...more
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Link to my School Library Journal review:
Jan 23, 2021 rated it liked it
3.5/5🌟: this was a solid, interesting read. it deals with quite heavy topics which i think are quite important to talk about though. the writing style was easy to follow, nothing extraordinary. one of the reasons why i couldn't give this book a higher rating was that the plot was very predictable to me. i don't want to spoiler it but it was so obvious to me that one thing was a nazi term and .. the main character just didn't know? and then in the end that was like one of the plot twists and i wa ...more
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The title of the book is taken from a line from Rumi: “In the religion of love there are no true believers. Everyone is welcome.” The main character and the author, both American Muslims, have each clearly taken Rumi’s point to heart: the real enemy is not the Other, but the human tendency to otherize your neighbor.

Salma is a seventeen-year-old girl living in Virginia who knows what it’s like to be otherized. She has a rare chronic illness that puts people off, and she has recently lost her best
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
*This arc was given to me by the author to give an honest review*
This book will change your life. A Muslim girl seeks her freedom in the U.S. when she is framed for a terrorist act.

This book is about the coming of age of Salma, the main character. She is brave and goes through many problems with this book which she solves on her own. The author put many obstacles for her to go through so that the main character will fight for her freedom and not be judged of who she is. I liked the writing of t
Cynthia Gaetani
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Salma is an American Muslim teen who gets swept into a white supremacist plot. The only way out of having this pinned on her is to figuring out who is behind the dangerous plot. Salma has a clear and strong voice. She is smart and a completely American teen.
The book is tight and has plenty of twists.
It provides a good shift of the paradigm for the Y.A. reader.

One critique: A basic Arabic glossary will be a friendly addition. While most of the terms are briefly explained within the text, not all
Feb 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: teens-fiction
I thought this book fast-paced and action packed. I liked how the characters were diverse in more ways than one. The main characters were extremely likeable. And, I really liked that Salma was a hacker. I just always think that’s super cool! I did think there were some loose ends that didn’t get tied up. I’ll mention those down below. Overall, I give this 3/5 stars because I am frustrated with the loose ends. But, this would be a PERFECT, #OwnVoices book to have in a school library.

Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a taut young adult thriller centring around a Muslim teen, Salma, who gets set up for a crime she didn’t commit. This is no spoiler, you get this information in the opening pages. Like many young adult books, it is also a great read for adults. Honestly, I found it as tightly plotted as the best thrillers out there, only instead of our hero uncovering a conspiracy in which “Moozlems” are secretly plotting to destroy the free world, here a Muslim girl, with budding hacking skills, has to ...more
Tylor Brand
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The book is simultaneously a bildungsroman AND a detective story starring a smart, kinda cool, young, outwardly white American Muslim girl who is coming to terms with herself as a person while also trying to stop a white supremacist terror attack.

This character, Salma, is important for several reasons. There are hundreds of millions of Muslims who defy stereotypical conceptions (from Russia, the Balkans, Africa, North Africa, China, South Asia, Southeast Asia...). Nevertheless, racially "atypic
May 14, 2020 rated it liked it
my first thought upon completing this is: lol wut? i was not prepared for the ride this sent me on. i thought it was about a Muslim American teen having to deal with prejudice and high school and stuff but it swiftly evolved into a high stakes national conspiracy that only our 17 year old protagonist can take on! as enjoyable and exciting as the drama was, it was so far-fetched and unbelievable that i just cannot really take it seriously. our gal Salma uncovers an underground network of terroris ...more
Jan 27, 2020 rated it liked it
At times this was difficult to read because of the realness of the reactions of the characters to the "threat" posed by Salma and Amir, and the way in which white supremacists can appear relatively normal and can act less hate-filled than they are. And those schoolmates, with the points system, was very realistic. Not just ripped from the headlines, but ripped from the national moment in which we find ourselves. The ending however, fueled by Salma's hacker skills and a too convenient twist, wasn ...more
Nov 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tayshas2022
This book had me hooked from the beginning. Hackers? Check. Edge of your seatness? Check. Didn’t want it to end? Check. An amazing story of one who fights for her rights and fights back to save her family. Salma’s detective skills were amazingly written. The scenes at school, when Salma was being bullied, not just by students but by educators and administrators had me squirming and wanting to slap these people for treating her so badly, just because of her religion. To point fingers without unde ...more
Aya Khalil
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
No True Believers is an excellent book that is not only authentic, but well-written and captivating. Lumbard does a great job with the characters and Muslims can definitely relate to Salma throughout the book. I love the Arabic phrases used throughout the book, including Allahu Akbar, which is used by Muslims many times throughout the day. The usage of the phrase normalizes the word since it is often portrayed negatively in the media. Highly recommend this book!
Jan 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Author No True BelieversRabiah York Lumbard has written a book close to the political reality of this moment. Today January 6, 2021, when white extremists stormed the highest offices of our nation, assaulting our values as americans... Finishing this book on this day felt very serendipitous.

This book tells the story of a young girl who is suspected of crimes she has not committed. The protagonist Salma fights with her brains, with her heart, and with faith. She is a normal teenager until very s
Edith Hemingway
May 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
NO TRUE BELIEVERS is the epitome of a “high concept” novel—a term used by editors and agents, but one which, until now, I found difficult to define. The story is essentially a high stakes thriller involving a teenaged Muslim girl who is at first treated unfairly and bullied by Islamophobic students and school officials and ultimately framed as a suspect in a terrorist bombing conspiracy. It is through Salma’s computer hacking skills, bravery, and perseverance that she is able to uncover the cons ...more
(8.9/10) - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Let me start by saying that whoever was in charge of the synopsis really did readers a disservice here. It’s not that it’s wrong, per se, but it manages to both give away too much while also giving the impression that it focuses on something it doesn’t. My advice would be to go into this one without knowing anything about it, but if you find yourself here… well, that ship might have already sailed. My condolences.


No True Believers did a great job of both building suspense
J Mccarragher
Jun 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kidlitexchange
@kidlitexchange #partner “Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the
review copy of this book - all opinions are my own.”

A debut novel, No True Believers by Rabiah York Lumbard works. The protagonist, Salma B, draws strength from her close friends, her boyfriend Amir, and her family even through a sudden surge of Islamophobia. What I enjoyed most was Salma’s ability to rise above the hatred she experiences developing her strength as the main character. Favorite quote: “The caterpillar turns i
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Leaving this one unrated, because ultimately it wasn't really my thing, but I don't want anyone to hold that against the book. I use audiobooks to experiment with genres I don't typically read, because taste change, and it's also just nice to have a sense for other genres. No True Believers is a mystery/thriller. It starts out more like a contemporary about bullying and Islamophobia, but then transitions into something more intense, roughly equivalent to, say, a Veronica Mars series ender in ton ...more
Nov 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was both impossible to put down but also difficult to read, because the story feels so realistic. I loved the characters, I thought it was really cool that Salma was a hacker, and I loved how that played into the story. The book explores a lot of important themes I don't see a lot of YA books discussing. The only criticism I have is that books without LGBT characters and that don't challenge homophobia, should never have the word queer used as an insult. ...more
JJ Kelly
Apr 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
Gripped me immediately and I don't see it letting go any time soon ...more
Jul 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Amazing read! It's true that the blurb is misleading, but this was a wonderful book. It's fast-paced (especially at the end), and it tells a story that needs telling. I was also pleased with the well-done representation of living with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. I highly recommend it! ...more
Salma19 (High Lady of the Dawn Court)
That’s the first time that a main character has my first name 😀💕. Plus, she’s Muslim! I have to give it a go!

May 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was an easy to read & interesting YA book.
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult, ya
The beginning of this exciting novel seemed to be a story of a Muslim teenage girl being bullied at school after a terrorist attack in Wash., DC. It quickly became a thriller involving the girl's considerable hacking talents. It was truly frightening. ...more
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Salma is a people-pleasing, muslim Veronica Mars. If you like books about girl detectives you'll love this book. Along with being a great mystery, it shows you what it's like for a teen to deal with a chronic health issue and Islamophobia on top of normal high school life. I highly recommend it. ...more
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Alexis York Lumbard aka Rabiah York Lumbard is an American Muslim children’s book writer whose debut picture book, The Conference of the Birds with illustrations by renowned artist Demi (Wisdom Tales Press, Sept. 2012), is a contemporary retelling of the classic Islamic work by the 13th century poet Farid ad-Din Attar. Her most recent picture book, The Gift of Ramadan, is a heart-centered approach ...more

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