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Dealing with a surprisingly heavy topic, Saints and Misfits offers a Muslim perspective on teenage life. The characters are complex and real, although sometimes unrelatable. Overall, this book was enjoyable and well-written; a quintessential YA story that, due to its light yet informative integration of Islam, I highly recommend.
Saints and Misfits is the story of a fifteen-year-old Muslim girl, Janna, who struggles to cope after she is assaulted by a popular member of her church. I enjoyed the portrayal of friendships and family relationships, because they were realistic and, personally, relatable. As someone with limited knowledge on Islam, this book provided insight in an engaging, yet informative, way, in addition to the personal opinions of Janna. Overall, I liked this book, and I would recommend it to other teens :).
Janna Yusuf is a good student, a budding photographer and writer, and a Muslim. She struggles with all the things many High School students deal with - challenges with family, friends, her social life, and how it all connects with her faith. But when she is assaulted by a seemingly "untouchable" boy (adored for having supposedly memorized the Koran), she struggles with how to overcome the dread and fear she feels every time she sees him. Will anyone believe her if she tells the truth about their encounter? This is a highly relatable story that will resonate with many teens.
Great character development - of an under-represented character group. Reading about Janna's journey to understanding her Muslim faith, family, friendships and American life and how they fit together is enlightening, and equal parts heartache and humor.
I really enjoyed this book , Janna yusuf is a very good student who is just like everyone else she has to balance her relationships with family and friends. Her story is very relatable and im proud that she stuck up for herself when she was being attacked. I am going to look into reading more books by this author because I loved this book. I would recommend this story to people in middle to high school . I give this book a 5 out of 5 .
@nae1227221 of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board
This book was unlike any YAbook I've ever read in my life. There aren't many books where the main character is Muslim, and this is pretty sad since there are many muslim teens and kids who'd like to see themselves represented in books just like everyone else. I didn't like the book just because I'm a Muslim and felt that the book is relatable, but because the book was very impressive and diverse. It had many positive messages, and was very informative as well (religion wise) but not in a preachy way. I liked all the characters in the book ESPECIALLY MUHAMMAD AND NUAH, and this doesn't happen all the time. I liked the relationship between the female characters Janna, Saint Sarah, and Sausun and also liked the bond they had regardless of their differences. The book is appropriate for all ages, and it is highly recommended for everyone, especially for people looking for a different YA book and who like to read about different cultures.
- @rahmamawlood of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library
When I started off this book I had high hopes for it considering the buzz it received with my Muslim friends and I have to say it lived up to expectations. This book did a great thing by humanizing and giving a normal face to a culture that many people in the world don’t seem to understand. The narrator, a teenager named Janna, showed us the complications of being a teenager along with the restrictions and empowerment put on her by her culture. Overall the story was very powerful and well written and the ending was enjoyable. It’s a great YA novel that I feel like everyone can learn from.
- @bookanarchy of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library
Saints and Misfits is an interesting modern bildungsroman story following Janna, a Muslim teenager, as she balances trouble with her family, friends, school and her religion. At times the pacing is very slow or fast; however, I would would read this book again and look into S.K. Ali's other works.
You can definitely tell this is a debut novel, to be honest. The beginning is very rocky, and the pacing a little uneven. I had a hard time getting into it due to the writing style; it felt very flat to me, though there were a few funny lines and moments. I also couldn't get a handle on Janna's character that well. But the characters I liked, I liked a lot, and once the rocky beginning was out of the way, it was easier to get into.
It wasn't bad, I just didn't like it as much as I'd hoped to. I'm not sorry I read it and I'll likely look into what S.K. Ali writes next.
This is a good book. I was so glad when she finally told that guy off and stop blaming herself for what he done to her.