15 Oct 2015

Mini Reviews: None of the Above + Written in the Stars = Diversity FTW

I read None of the Above and Written In the Stars earlier in the year and loved them. These books are incredibly diverse, unlike anything I’ve ever read and character driven page-turners. I would have loved to written a full review for each of them and given them the spotlight they deserve, but I was enjoying them that much I just wanted to sit, enjoy them and skip note taking. So I did. Nonetheless, I highly recommend them both! Here’s why I loved them and why YOU should check them out before the year ends:

A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she was born intersex... and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school. Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between. (Goodreads)

None of the Above broke my heart and then mended it. This is the first book I’ve read about intersex and I thought it was handled so incredibly well. Before None of the Above, I knew a bit about intersex, but not in great detail so reading this was eye-opening and informative.  Kristin’s voice is great and hooked me from page one; she’s a character you really can’t help but wish the best for. Despite picking this up in a book slump, I couldn't put this down and finished it in a little over a day. You can't help but be pulled in by Kristin's story and all that she's going through.

The bullying Kristin experiences made me angry. It’s not that I expected supportive, warm and fuzzy reactions from everyone, but it was disappointing and saddening, yet unfortunately not unrealistic. The bullying Kristin experiences and her own inner turmoil was heartbreaking to read, but the support she did receive was great. As for the romance, it was lovely and sweet, but most importantly, it didn't overtake the heart of the story. Ultimately, this book made me wish people were more understanding and open minded because it would truly make the world of difference. I’m glad this book exists.

This heart-wrenching novel explores what it is like to be thrust into an unwanted marriage. Has Naila’s fate been written in the stars? Or can she still make her own destiny? (Goodreads)

Written in the Stars was one of my most anticipated titles and it certainly delivered.

This was like watching a nightmare unfold, one that poor Nalia can't wake up from. But what's really terrifying is that for some girls, this is a reality; this has happened and continues to happen. When you stop and think, it’s not only heartbreaking, but incredibly scary.

Looking back, I think I was expecting an honest, terrifying look at forced marriages, and while I got that, I also got much more. The author doesn't hold back and has written an intense, bittersweet story that is well worth the read.

As the ending neared, I was so invested, my stomach was in knots wondering how it would all end. It’s a nailer-biter of a book to say the least and kept me on the edge of my seat more than any thriller I’ve read this year. That truly is a testament to how well-written this is and make me excited to read more by Aisha Saeed.

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