Publisher: HarperTeen


Friday, May 12, 2017

Heartfelt Coming of Age Novel: That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim

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Heartfelt Coming of Age Novel: That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim
That Thing We Call a Heart
Sheba Karim
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Publication date: May 9th, 2017
by HarperTeen

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This young adult novel by Sheba Karim, author of Skunk Girl, is a funny and affecting coming-of-age story for fans of Jenny Han, Megan McCafferty, and Sara Farizan.

Shabnam Qureshi is facing a summer of loneliness and boredom until she meets Jamie, who scores her a job at his aunt’s pie shack. Shabnam quickly finds herself in love, while her former best friend, Farah, who Shabnam has begun to reconnect with, finds Jamie worrying.

In her quest to figure out who she really is and what she really wants, Shabnam looks for help in an unexpected place—her family, and her father’s beloved Urdu poetry.

That Thing We Call a Heart is a funny and fresh story about the importance of love—in all its forms.
-A copy was provided by HarperTeen for review-

Sometimes there are books you read and you love and then sometimes there are books you read and FUCKING LOVE. As you might be able to gather given my subtle opening line, That Thing We Call a Heart falls into the latter category for me.

I honestly don’t even know how to express all the love I feel for the book into this review because I doubt that is even possible. Perhaps I might use this gif:

Or I could use words but as I told my prof the other day when he suggested I do a creative writing project, I am not a writer so if this review is completely incoherent, know that I honestly tried.

That Thing We Call a Heart is a book that needs to be in the hands of every teen. It is an amazing coming of age novel that places us in the life of Shabnam, the daughter of two Pakistani immigrants. This novel explores both religion and culture and the complicated relationship first gen children might have to these things. Shabnam doesn’t necessarily identify as muslim and isn’t sure how to react when her friend Farah starts wearing a hijab. There relationship becomes incredibly complicated and over the course of the summer, Shabnam needs to find a way to fix her friendship with her best friend and to better understand Islam and her cultural heritage.

I think part of the charm of this book is that Shabnam is a complicated human who has clearly internalized some terrible shit she needs to access. She is far from perfect but there is always a learning curve with growing up as you realize that sometimes, you’re just dead wrong. Even if you think you know all the things you could possibly know (spoiler alert, you don’t.)

But anyway, my point is that Shabnam is a complicated, self centered teen with complex relationships we get to see unfold over the course of the book. She has a fling with a cute-ish boy. Re-connects with her parents and sees them as more than just mom and dad. She gets to know her friend Farah in a way she hasn’t before and everything is great. Kind of anyway because nothing is ever perfect.

My fav thing about this book is though that it talks about the India/Pakistan partition which is SO IMPORTANT to me and honestly I had so many feels. No one really talks about such an important part of history (and one my family was impacted by!!!!) so it was really great to see it come up in YA but also not told by a white person (I know at least one YA partition book exists but it was written by a white author so I wasn’t entirely sure I would feel safe reading it.)

And if none of this has you riled up for this book, there is always the food porn that might appeal to you. Everyone loves food porn right????? I hope so.

SO. PLEASE JUST BUY AND READ AND LOVE THIS BOOK. It is 110% worthy of your attention and honestly needs so much more hype. Also, The Thing We Call a Heart is a total summer read and it ~is~ summer *wink wink**nudge nudge*

 

5 Stars
5 Hot Espressos

Review: What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

Review: What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

Posted by on 10/02/2015 • 5 Comments

You know how I would describe “being speechless” by something? It’s when you’re overwhelmed with so much emotions that words escape you. Something made you happy so much that you could only cry. Something made you so sad that your throat tightens and you can croak nothing out. Something made you so angry that find it hard to mutter a single word because you’re just fuming inside. This is basically what happened to me after reading What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler. It rendered me completely speechless.

I honestly don’t know how to review this book, if I can even review this book and give it the justice it deserves. It’s the sort that you know everyone – and I mean, everyone – should read; the sort in which when people ask you why…

Review: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Review: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Posted by on 06/03/2015 • 11 Comments

Don’t be fooled by my 3-star rating. Because despite all my problems with it, I actually… liked this book. O_O

First of all, you guys know me – anything with science and traveling through space/time, I’m 100% game for that. I like exploring all kinds of possibilities and going beyond what we deem as reality. There’s a kind of poetry in it, you know? The feeling that there are still so much out there that we need to understand and discover, that the universe is so much bigger and grander than we could possibly perceive, and that amazes me. It’s a romantic, philosophical, and awe-inspiring concept, so seeing it as the central concept in a book made me giddy with glee.

However, I didn’t expect that the book would largely be… romantic-driven. I…

Review: Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

Review: Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

Posted by on 04/28/2015 • 18 Comments

This book was so confusing at first, but ended up making so much sense and really stuck with me. The way it is written pulls you in right away. Even though I wasn’t quite sure what was going on when I started, I was compelled to keep reading. I hoped that it would make sense to me as I got further in. It did and it didn’t. What I mean is that I realized why it was written how it was, and I understood it, but it was still a very confusing story. It fit perfectly with the main character though, and the mental illness that it is about. This was a brilliant book, and I have already recommended it to many people.

Caden is the main character, and the…

Audiobook Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Audiobook Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Posted by on 04/14/2015 • 14 Comments

This was fantastic and great to read. I loved that this had so much going for it. A great plot full of deception, lies, romance, and magic. Besides that, it was filled with some great action and I loved the characters. I think this would have been a joy to read, but it was enhanced with the audio. I often cringe when I know I am getting myself into a series, but I am really glad that I started this one and I am interested to know where the story will go.

Mare is a pretty smart girl. Growing up in poverty, and knowing what is coming to her in her near future, she does the best she can. She is a thief, but she is good at it….

Review: The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer

Review: The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer

Posted by on 03/26/2015 • 5 Comments

This was interesting and creepy. I didn’t really care much for most of the characters, but I did feel for Stephen. I found myself really feeling bad for him. Devon was horrible, and Cara just didn’t seem believable to me. In general though, I thought the story was pretty good. Based on old town stories and people who are set in there ways. It’s hard being an outsider, especially in a town like Spencer. Where things aren’t quite right, it’s hard to know if the old stories hold any truth, or if it is just the overactive imaginations of everyone.

Stephen doesn’t feel like he fits in, and he isn’t sure if he really wants to. He just wants to go back to Denver and away from the small…

Review: Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

Review: Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

Posted by on 03/12/2015 • 18 Comments

If I could describe this book in one word, it would be quiet.

Yes, Emmy & Oliver is something that I would call a “quiet contemporary”. I’m not even sure where that came from, or if it’s a thing, or something I made up on a whim, but I know deep inside that this is the best word for it. I try to think of another description, but there is nothing that fits as this. Emmy & Oliver is meaningful, thoughtful, and like I said, quiet.

How is it so, you ask? I’ve read a number of contemporaries over the years, many of them involving issues and concepts teenagers face during their youth, experiences that mirror our own and lessons that are valuable to us, too. But while that is so, there are times when…

Review: Liars Inc by Paula Stokes

Review: Liars Inc by Paula Stokes

Posted by on 03/05/2015 • 13 Comments

If you’re looking for a YA mystery with an interesting premise and cast of characters, you need not look far because Liars Inc pretty much distinguishes itself from the rest effortlessly. I mean, look at the following factors and I dare you not to get excited, because I’m pretty sure you will:

✓ A male hero that actually feels like an authentic male hero ✓ A half-Indian love interest who is so comfortable with her sensuality ✓ A premise that revolves around lies and covering one’s ass with more lies ✓ A whodunit murder mystery that involves getting arrested by the FBI (or, trying not to)…

Okay, maybe the last bit is something we’ve seen a couple of times in other books, but the first three are stuff I haven’t seen yet,…