All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir (384 pages)
The Power of Family, Friendship, and Forgiveness is The Central Theme in All My Rage
Misbah and her husband leave behind a life of tragedy and loss in Pakistan and move to the United States to build a new life. They decide to run Cloud’s Rest Inn Motel and are excited to build their new life in a new land. Soon after they welcome their son Salahudin, also known as Sal, into the world and their family is complete.
Sal grows up and forms a beautiful friendship with Noor, who Misbah loves like her own child. Sal and Noor connect in school through a joint understanding of what it is like to be an outcast. They find solace in one another, but what was once thought to be an unbreakable bond is shattered by “the fight”.
With his mother’s declining health, Sal struggles to maintain the motel. Meanwhile, Noor is forced to work at her uncle’s liquor store and hopes that her plans of getting into college will be her escape from him. Sal tries to save the motel and his relationship with Noor, but his unconventional plans prove to be detrimental.
A Novel I will Cherish Forever
Sabaa Tahir knocks it out of the park with her latest contemporary novel. For a book that deals with a number of sensitive topics such as abuse and addiction, Tahir masterfully delves into the heavy subjects while maintaining the characters dignity. She does not underplay any of their experiences, and I found that to be profound and very commendable. It is easy for us to judge others life choices, but Tahir’s storytelling is very objective and respectful.
The story is told from the points of view of three characters, and each of them is unique in their experiences and stories they share. And yet, Tahir manages to keep the readers engaged while jumping between timelines and different perspectives. She gives each of their stories justice and gives power to the voices of her diverse characters.
The Bottom Line: 5/5 Brookie Stars
To say that I loved All My Rage would be an understatement. I never imagined a young adult contemporary novel could move me the way All My Rage did. It was a book I found hard to put down and even harder to stop thinking about. I will forever remember how these characters made me feel, and how deeply layered and complex human beings are. I felt all the emotions as I flipped through the pages, and I welcomed them all. This novel is one I will recommend to everyone, especially those reluctant to pick up young adult books. You won’t be sorry.
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Maiya Alismaili is a 34 year old bookacholic who currently resides in Ottawa. With a background in Human Resources and Psychology, you will often find her people watching. When she doesn’t have her nose in a book, she will likely be exploring the town for new bookstores, rewatching Gilmore Girls, or cleaning to 80s music.
Favorite Book: A Fine Balance By Rohinton Mistry
Favorite Brunch Spot: Cafe Cristal