Thank you to Quirk Books for allowing me to read and review an early copy of this book!
This book was absolutely adorable. Much like Geekerella, it followed the skeleton of its fairytale and threw in modern fandom culture to mix in. The characters were so lovely and developed. I felt that you could see every action, and every scene where they were mostly in their own head, so vividly.
One of my critiques of Geekerella was that it felt like the middle of the book, “Act Two” if you will, was too long and it made me aware that I was reading instead of being completely immersed in the book. In this story, that is definitely not the case. Act Two is just the right amount in length and it made the book fly by for me. I believe I actually read this in two days because I was so addicted.
(I set it as “started to read” on here when I got the copy but I didn’t actually begin it for a few days)
Overall, I adored this book and thought it was a great addition to this universe. It talked about some interesting parts of fandom culture such as nostalgia, possession over characters, trolling, etc. If Ashley Poston wants to continue this world with more books, I would definitely support that.
Thank you so much to Little Brown for this advance copy! All opinions are my own.
A book I will definitely be thinking about for many years to come. This book is never afraid to pack the emotional punch to get its point across and make you really think about its message. This story follows a young American girl named Layla in a terrifying alternate reality that is too close to our own where Muslims are taken from their lives and put in internment camps.
This book grabbed my attention right from the start. From the moment I started reading it, I could not stop reading it. I was so invested in this reality and what it would mean for Layla and her loved ones and Samira Ahmed’s amazing portrayal of human cruelty under the guise of “security”. The characters that we meet in the camps, whether they are staples in the story like Ayesha others only there for a few chapters, are absolutely incredible. Each one gives a unique view to these camps and their time in them and it was incredibly fascinating.
I loved Layla as our main character and narrator. She was not a superhero in the traditional sense, she didn’t have any abilities or powers, and yet she became a hero for these people and fought for what she thought was right, even though she was terrified of consequence. She knew they couldn’t sit there and wait for someone to save them, she is an ordinary person who can be anyone in real life.
I thought that this narrative was really important to consider. Usually in cases like these on the news or in books, we see more of the protestors or only a couple of the people who are oppressed. In this book, we get to see from a wide range of people in the camp and out of it, seeing just how brutal it can be for those governments fear for their “Otherness”.
Although this book was hard to read at some points, it was also extremely important and one I will be recommending for years to come. One of my favorites of the year for sure.