Samantha (WLABB)'s Reviews > Not the Girls You're Looking For

Not the Girls You're Looking For by Aminah Mae Safi
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2018, contemporary, 2018diversereads, ya, 2018-debuts

Not the Girls You're Looking For was a look at one girl's struggle with self identity and complex relationships, which was very thoughtful, witty, and honest.

The Good

•Lulu was a force to be reckoned with! She was interesting and complicated, and I never knew what to expect from her. To others, she seemed so tough, but that was only on the outside. Inside she was nursing wounds, grappling with personal demons, and slowly unraveling.

•Safi's exploration of Lulu's inner struggle of not be white enough or arab enough was quite compelling, and made my heart ache a little for Lulu. It's hard enough trying to navigate one's teen years without gaining more scrutiny for being biracial.

•I loved all the infusion of cultural and religious aspects Safi put into this story. Setting the book during Ramadan allowed the author to share so much about this important month on the Muslim calendar, and I really enjoyed visiting with all Lulu's "family". I especially adored the wedding, because I felt totally immersed in Lulu's joy during this event.

•I am such a fan of female friendships, and this was quite a special one. Lulu's group was diverse and each young woman brought something to the group. When they were together, there was a synergy, and the group could take on any challenge. Safi explored the complex nature of this group, and she showed them at their best and their worst.

•There are quite a few lackluster males in this story, but there were also some really wonderful ones. I was such a fan of Lulu's father and brothers, as well as James.

•Lulu's mother was pretty incredible. She stood by her husband and supported his culture, despite the fact that she was not accepted into his world. She worked towards blending her culture with her husband's and passing this onto her children. She had her ups and downs with Lulu during this story, and there were a few mama bear moments, but not once did I question her love for Lulu.

•A lot of ideas were touched upon with respect to relationships, consent, loyalty, family, culture, and personal responsibility, which I really enjoyed.

The Not So Good
• This story had very little plot. It's mostly about Lulu's personal journey, and sometimes seemed to wander, but it really did not detract from my enjoyment.

Overall

A wonderful story of self discovery, friendship, and family, which was filled with astute observations and warmed my heart.

*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

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Reading Progress

October 12, 2017 – Shelved
May 2, 2018 – Started Reading
May 5, 2018 – Finished Reading

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