Book Review

ARC Book Review: All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Contemporary + Romance
Length: 384 pages
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: March 1st, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sabaa Tahir comes a brilliant, unforgettable, and heart-wrenching contemporary YA novel about family and forgiveness, love and loss, in a sweeping story that crosses generations and continents.

Lahore, Pakistan. Then.
Misbah is a dreamer and storyteller, newly married to Toufiq in an arranged match. After their young life is shaken by tragedy, they come to the United States and open the Cloud’s Rest Inn Motel, hoping for a new start.

Juniper, California. Now.
Salahudin and Noor are more than best friends; they are family. Growing up as outcasts in the small desert town of Juniper, California, they understand each other the way no one else does. Until The Fight, which destroys their bond with the swift fury of a star exploding.

Now, Sal scrambles to run the family motel as his mother Misbah’s health fails and his grieving father loses himself to alcoholism. Noor, meanwhile, walks a harrowing tightrope: working at her wrathful uncle’s liquor store while hiding the fact that she’s applying to college so she can escape him—and Juniper—forever.

When Sal’s attempts to save the motel spiral out of control, he and Noor must ask themselves what friendship is worth—and what it takes to defeat the monsters in their pasts and the ones in their midst.

From one of today’s most cherished and bestselling young adult authors comes a breathtaking novel of young love, old regrets, and forgiveness—one that’s both tragic and poignant in its tender ferocity.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC.

MUST READ.

I’ve sat here in a struggle to put words together enough to explain how I think this should be a required reading type of book. Filled with some things I understand, but many more I never will. This is one of those stories that we need to hear, need to acknowledge and need to learn from.

The nuanced level at which the title, All My Rage, played out on page was impeccable. I saw the rage, I felt the rage. A complex emotion that stems from many different avenues was written out again and again in raw and deep ways. This isn’t a light-hearted read by any means. Yet with the discussion of religion and love for those around us and far from us, hope still stands like a pillar in dark times.

It was visceral and full of broken-hearted people trying to rise from the ashes. I loved the main characters, Noor, Salahudin, and Misbah. Each told their own story as they wove around each other. The strength of this story is immense. The writing was captivating and the pacing made the pages fly by. I loved the ending and these characters are going to stay with me for a long time.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Contemporary + Romance
  • Language: strong
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: drug and alcohol addiction, mentions of repressed sexual assault, physical domestic abuse, Islamophobia, racism, death, tense exchanges with law enforcement

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Book Review

Book Review: A Sky Beyond the Storm (An Ember in the Ashes #4) by Sabaa Tahir

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 528 pages
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: December 1st, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Prepare for the jaw-dropping finale of Sabaa Tahir’s beloved New York Times bestselling An Ember in the Ashes fantasy series, and discover: Who will survive the storm?

Picking up just a few months after A Reaper at the Gates left off…

The long-imprisoned jinn are on the attack, wreaking bloody havoc in villages and cities alike. But for the Nightbringer, vengeance on his human foes is just the beginning.

At his side, Commandant Keris Veturia declares herself Empress, and calls for the heads of any and all who defy her rule. At the top of the list? The Blood Shrike and her remaining family.

Laia of Serra, now allied with the Blood Shrike, struggles to recover from the loss of the two people most important to her. Determined to stop the approaching apocalypse, she throws herself into the destruction of the Nightbringer. In the process, she awakens an ancient power that could lead her to victory–or to an unimaginable doom.

And deep in the Waiting Place, the Soul Catcher seeks only to forget the life–and love–he left behind. Yet doing so means ignoring the trail of murder left by the Nightbringer and his jinn. To uphold his oath and protect the human world from the supernatural, the Soul Catcher must look beyond the borders of his own land. He must take on a mission that could save–or destroy–all that he knows.

STUNNING FINALE.

It’s time.

It’s time you read this series.

It is beautiful, raw, strikes so many chords and is nothing short of a magnificent story.

I love these characters and how real everything feels to me because of how the writing conveys their tale. The highs and lows and everything in between drag out all of the emotions and made me sit there and hug this book afterwards. This isn’t a happy-go-lucky story. A lot of bad things do happen, but I love the infused sense of hope that something is better out on the horizon. That we’ll get there.

You’ll never find yourself bored or dragging through any of these points-of-view. The high stakes action bouncing off of angsty moments had me gripping pages to know where things were going. I feel like even the side characters got some great spotlight and I was hooked on them by the ending too. While yes, totally hate how some things went down (without a doubt had me in tears), it all still somehow worked out in the end. That’s what I love. The loss of who/this/that didn’t overshadow where everything was leading.

This entire series took me on a such a journey and I have a hard time putting into words what the closing of this final chapter meant. An Ember in the Ashes will definitely go down as one of my favorite young adult fantasy series. The amount of dedication and work that clearly went into this jaw-dropping. I’m a fan for life and can’t wait to see what Tahir writes next.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: little light
  • Romance: kisses/make-outs; some little detailed fade out scenes (still felt appropriate for YA genre)
  • Violence: depictions of war, gory and bloody murders and battle scenes
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of multiple loved ones

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Book Review

Review: A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes #3) by Sabaa Tahir

A Reaper at the Gates

 

Rating: ☆☆☆☆.5
Audience: YA+, little language, violence, one love-adjacent scene, a few kiss scenes
Length: 464 pages
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: June 12th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

MY HEART HURTS.

I’m pretty sure Tahir sat at her computer laughing nefariously over the horrors she brought upon this cast of characters. And I am DEVASTATED because of it. This might be the most appropriate title for a book I’ve seen in awhile.

Yet, I found the story intoxicating. I’m sad for everyone. Though now I am soooooo excited for the next book. She fixes things right? Not sure at this point, but I want to know what happens regardless.

Each character had a moment when my heart broke for them and when, under duress, they broke my heart. Such despair for Elias, Laia, and the Shrike.

Where does the Empire go now?! What will the Nightbringer do?! DOES ANYONE GET A HAPPY ENDING!?!

THESE ARE THE QUESTIONS THAT HAUNT ME.

Side note: While I hate cover changes because I usually can’t afford to get the updated version in its entirety, this cover change was definitely for the better. I love the strength and personas brought out by each new cover and look forward to seeing what the last one looks like!

Young adult book definitely. Only a little bit of language. One scene I will refer to as “love-adjacent,” and a few kiss scenes round out this book. Very good, quick read. Short chapters (my fav) with cliff hangers keep you turning the page for more.