Book Thirty-Nine

My goal for several years has been to read 50 books in one calendar year – 52 weeks – but I have always fallen off the rails around 25 books. This year, I’m twice as determined. I will be posting short reviews of each book with my thoughts and any recommendations I received for the book as well as a link to purchase the book from Amazon, (though I recommend checking your local library first). If you have questions, leave a comment! If you want to follow my journey, find me on Goodreads.

I had the honor of studying alongside Alyssa at Berry College. As literature/writing majors in a fairly small program, our courses often overlapped. She was a dear friend then and even in the years since. I was so excited for her debut novel – it did not disappoint!

Unbiasedly (as much as possible, though knowing the character of this author further validates my review): I couldn’t put this down. Alyssa captures such an incredible glimpse into Afghan culture (in my new city, no less!) with such raw, real truth. Beyond that, she paints a beautiful portrait of refugee life, how stories are so much more than we see on the surface. It has made me even more grateful for my time and experiences with brothers and sisters in so many different countries.

In a time when most Muslims are marginalized for being such, this is even more painfully beautiful. May we all open our homes to others with such honor.

This might be my recommendation of the year, all bias in knowing the author aside.

I cried at least three times.

So much joy. Such honor, hospitality, and hope. So much hope.


Goodreads rating: 4.46/5

My rating: 5/5 stars

Days read: September 23-25

Recommend: resoundingly yes