Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Queen of the Tiles” as Want to Read:
Queen of the Tiles
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Queen of the Tiles

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  985 ratings  ·  361 reviews
They Wish They Were Us meets The Queen’s Gambit in the world of competitive Scrabble when a teen girl is forced to investigate the mysterious death of her best friend a year after the fact when her Instagram comes back to life with cryptic posts and messages.

13 points
noun: a person or thing that precipitates an event or change

When Najwa Bakri walks into her firs
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published April 19th 2022 by Salaam Reads / Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Queen of the Tiles, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  985 ratings  ·  361 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Queen of the Tiles
aly ☆彡 (slow response; is sick)
This is the first book I've read by Hanna Alkaf which I've always wanted to try. Too bad, her previous genres were not really up to my alley. But as soon as I found out we'd be getting a mystery-themed on a Scrabble game, I knew I couldn't pass it up.

And as a first-timer, I am blown away by her writing. I think it was what kept me going into binge-read this in five hours. I am so amazed by her choice of words, her metaphors inkling with the Malay culture were so inventive yet it was so easy to
Hanna Alkaf
Jan 18, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I mean...I wrote it, so.

ALSO, if you're looking for content warnings: On-page death, descriptions of anxiety/PTSD/panic attacks, discussions of grief and loss.
Lia Carstairs
it took me awhile to get into the book but after the halfway mark i got really invested! i loved the wordplay and never imagined enjoying a mystery revolving around scrabble

the diversity !! was amazing !! and it was set in malaysia which is such a nice change of scenery compared to typical setting in the US.

also the anxiety rep and how grief was handled in here >>>

i definitely will be reading more books by this author



Thank you Simon & Schuster Canada for sending me an ARC in exchange f

Hanna Alkaf digs deep into the complexities of flawed friendships, jealousy, anger, trauma, and grief using Scrabble of all things, and she does it masterfully. I started reading this literally three hours ago and read it in one sitting. I simply couldn't put it down.

Some favorite things:

⤁ It's a murder mystery featuring a Muslim hijabi protagonist! What's not to love?

⤁ The absolute nerdiness of this book's entire concept
 ⛅ Saniya (sunnysidereviews) ⛅
-Murder mystery
-Muslim MC
-Malaysian rep
-SCRABBLE Competition!!

As someone who has been obsessed with scrabble since the start of time, I am beyond excited for this!
luce ❀ wishfully reading ❀ semi hiatus
blogthestorygraphletterboxd tumblrko-fi

3 ¼ stars

“But life, like Scrabble, is like that—you get the rack you get, and you just have to figure out how to make do.”

Queen of the Tiles is an entertaining mystery romp that belongs to that subgenre of YA books that combines a whodunnit type of storyline with the kind of teen dynamics at play in Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars. Similarly to a lot of these books, Queen of the Tiles takes place in a ‘confined’ setting, but rather than
Rameela (Star)
Feb 28, 2022 rated it it was amazing
initial thoughts: i just finished it in two hours
all i knew about it was that it had scrabble and i never actually read the rest of the synopsis
laurel [the suspected bibliophile]
Okay, so it gets a little ridiculous, but it's still engaging as hell, and filled with twisty, turny plot-twists that rival a 90s teen slasher film (minus the slashing). Plus, it has Scrabble, and an interesting take on a locked room murder mystery where the murder happened a year ago and the detective was a witness but also has trauma-based amnesia from watching her best friend die suddenly in front of her.

It's a solid read, with a lot of crossover appeal between MG and YA readers.

Full RTC.

I re
Salma19 (High Lady of the Dawn Court)
*Muslim me who loves playing Scrabble*
A Book Shrew
Apr 14, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
14 Points
Definition - how I felt inhaling this book

Full review and more at A Book Shrew

Thank you so much to Simon & Schuster Canada for the ARC!

I wasn't really sure what to expect of a book described as The Queen's Gambit but with Scrabble and murder, but I do know I am incredibly thrilled that this fell into my lap. This is a murder mystery that takes place over the course of a Scrabble weekend tournament in a Malaysian hotel, exactly one year after the so-called Queen of Tiles Trina
Apr 07, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
Hello, I was NOT expecting a murder mystery. This was so fast-paced, I was sucked in immediately and couldn't put it down. Was also not expecting to be so invested in a Scrabble competition, but there I was, on the edge of my seat along with the other characters.

I've always been a huge fan of the way Hanna Alkaf writes, and after The Weight of Our Sky, I had high hopes for this one and it absolutely delivered. Seeing a hijabi MC in a very nerdy setting was so soothing for my soul (I also went t
“But life, like Scrabble, is like that—you get the rack you get, and you just have to figure out how to make do.”

TW: death, grief, mental illness, panic attacks/disorders, toxic friendship.

I feel like I'm one of the only people that didn't super enjoy this (that's a good thing!) so I'm going to keep this review pretty short.

The positive first: the set-up for this story was awesome. A murder mystery set against the backdrop of competitive scrabble? How cool and nerdy is that? The scrabble aspect
Spens (Sphynx Reads)
👑QUEEN OF THE TILES by Hanna Alkaf

🔠 I received an eARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

👑 This was an absolute delight to read! Being only my first Hanna Alkaf read, I was completely blown away by her writing style, instantly making her an auto-read author for me. Very accessible yet consistently engaging and intelligent, Alkaf's writing is a force to be reckoned with. I am still in shock at how well-written this book was.

🔠 I thoroughly enjoyed this page-turner
Najwa | najreads
Feb 20, 2022 rated it it was amazing
“I think about life within Scrabble at its center and shiver. Without this world, what am I?”

Actual rating: 4.5/5 nerdy stars 🌟

*slow claps*
Hanna Alkaf has once again successfully captured all of my heart and attention in this YA murder mystery with all of its thrill and drama. I was always at the edge of my seat being every chapter ending with a cliffhanger and beginning with a word (creatively along with Scrabble points and meaning) that is somehow related to each chapter’s story. I was so
✧ Emily ✧
Jun 09, 2022 rated it liked it
Shelves: rtc
3 stars

I feel like this was a cool concept, and the mystery was written well, but it was just meh. And pretty slow-moving.

Full RTC
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Queen of the Tiles takes place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Our main character is a hijabi Muslim teenager named Najwa. It's been a year since Najwa's best friend Trina—Queen of the Tiles—died suddenly during a Scrabble tournament. Najwa is now determined to win the Scrabble competition to honour her late best friend. But things get complicated when Trina's inactive Instagram account starts posting cryptic messages, implying that Tr
Booktastically Amazing
Honestly? This book gave me hope of finding a murderer even when I have no idea (to this day) how to spell schedule.
rachel ☾
When cryptic messages begin appearing on a dead girls' social media account during an international scrabble championship in Malaysia, a girl must investigate the mysterious circumstances of her best friend's death and uncover the truth before a would-be killer strikes again.

BlogTrigger Warning DatabaseTwitterInstagram
Aug 21, 2021 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Woah! This sounds great. Can't wait until this releases. ...more
Era ➴
May 22, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rtc, asian-rep
I actually binged this so fast that I forgot to even change its status on goodreads
Jun 28, 2021 marked it as to-read
Shelves: most-anticipated

Amanda at Bookish Brews
I HAVE NEVER WANTED TO PLAY SCRABBLE MORE I love how every single thing is attached to scrabble or the thought process of scrabble it's delightful!

Bookish Brews | Ko-Fi | Twitter | Pinterest | Tumblr | Facebook
Cindy ✩☽♔
Jul 08, 2021 marked it as to-read
I haven’t actually watched The Queen’s Gambit but, based on the synopsis, I am nevertheless intrigued 🤔
Caitlyn DeRouin
Read my full review and others here: https://teatimelit.com/

When I first heard about Queen of the Tiles, I could not have been more excited! The game of Scrabble is very important to my family — we play Scrabble on practically every major holiday and birthday. I’ve been playing since I was about seven, and there have been many heated debates between my family members on which words can and cannot be played. We take Scrabble very seriously in my household, so the second I found out there was a YA
Naadhira Zahari
Feb 23, 2022 rated it really liked it
Queen of the Tiles by Hanna Alkaf is a smashing read about Scrabble, game strategy and solving the mystery behind the death of a Scrabble champion. Set a year after the tragedy, these Scrabble enthusiasts join together for a brand new competition until sparks start to roam around the dead girl's social media. They say the murderer is roaming around, looking for a new prey but who is behind it all?

This is truly a book like none other I've read before and fans of words like me would really enjoy t
May 04, 2022 rated it really liked it
4/5 stars.

I loved this so much, the suspense and the exploration of grief and the whole mystery of it all was just so good.
Tonja Drecker
Apr 15, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Scrabble competitions, set in Malaysia, and a murder mystery? Add that cover, and I was over-the-moon when I got my hands on an ARC copy of this one.

Najwa is suffering panic attacks due to the trauma of watching her best friend and Scrabble champion, Trina, suddenly die at the end of a scrabble match right in front of her. Although the death happened a year before, the cause never came to light. A year later, Najwa tries to regain a hold on her life and re-enters the Scrabble scene after a long
Zainab Bint Younus
May 17, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Everyone dreams of uninterrupted reading time, but let me tell you that 3 hours in the emergency waiting for my kid to be seen is not it. (InshaAllah she'll be okay, still waiting to see a doc. Du'as pls!)

But hey, I got to finish to finish "Queen of the Tiles," by Hana Alkaf! This brilliant YA whodunit, featuring Scrabble and murder, was thoroughly enjoyable - although, despite the hijabi on the cover, not particularly Muslamic. The story is set in Malaysia, the main character is a Malay hijabi,
A fantastic and engaging mystery set at a Scrabble tournament. Dig into twisty, sometimes toxic, friendships, a clever and imperfect main character, and tremendous word nerdery. I love Alkaf's writing and settings in Malaysia as well as Alkaf's thoughtful depictions of grief, anxiety, and other emotional/mental health experiences. ...more
Mar 20, 2022 rated it really liked it
ACTUAL: 4.35 stars

* Thank you to the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review *

- RTC -
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Our Violent Ends (These Violent Delights, #2)
  • Ace of Spades
  • Good Girl, Bad Blood (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, #2)
  • A Good Girl's Guide to Murder (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, #1)
  • Once Upon a Broken Heart (Once Upon a Broken Heart, #1)
  • Better Than the Movies
  • Once Upon a Tim (Once Upon a Tim, #1)
  • Rima's Rebellion: Courage in a Time of Tyranny
  • Twisted
  • We Walked the Sky
  • Perfect on Paper
  • Revenge of the Beast (The Beast and The Bethany, #2)
  • She's Too Pretty to Burn
  • The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious, #2)
  • Three Girls from Bronzeville
  • Tell Me How You Really Feel
  • The People We Choose
  • Sisters of the Snake
See similar books…
I write unapologetically Malaysian YA and MG.

Articles featuring this book

One of the busiest places in publishing, the young adult mystery and thriller bin currently overflows with new ideas, creative authors, and...
72 likes · 8 comments
“And we head toward the car, ready for the long journey home.” 0 likes
More quotes…