Based on the premise of this book, I was super excited to pick it up - it sounded like something I would really enjoy. While I was able to finish the book, there is just something I can't quite put my finger on that made me not love this book as much as I wanted to.

Hello everyone!

I am back with another review, Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali. Thanks so much to Simon and Schuster and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.

This book follows Zayneb, a teenaged girl who has had enough of her high school teacher's ignorant and hurtful remarks about Islam. After confronting her teacher, she is suspended from school and sent to visit with her aunt in Doha earlier than expected. On her way there, Zayneb meets Adam, a teenaged boy who is returning home to Doha after studying abroad and being diagnosed with MS, the disease that took his mother just after his little sister was born. After the two meet on the airplane, their lives become more intertwined. Ultimately, Adam has to confront his father with his diagnosis and Zayneb learns that sometimes, getting in trouble is ok if you are fighting for justice.

As I mentioned, I can't quite put my finger on what aspect of this book was making me not love it as much as I wanted to. I am not an own-voices reader of this book but Zayneb was an amazingly head-strong, passionate character that really resonated with me, even though I can only barely begin to understand her struggles. She knows what she wants and what is right and she fights for it. I really loved that about her. Adam was a decent opposite main character, he was very loving with his family and the depiction of his MS and it's progression was very well done.

I think, ultimately, it was the writing style of this book that just didn't work for me. It was told from alternating perspectives between Zayneb and Adam, from the point of view of their Marvels and Oddities journals (independent of each other, they had been using the same sort of structure for their journals for years). There was a narrator that occasionally jumped in to clarify a detail or two, but I have no idea who the narrator is or why they are important to the story. I feel like they were unnecessary, I was able to read their journal entries without the outside help.

Overall, I think this is a really important book, it just didn't jive with me. I would, however, still recommend giving it a shot because of the characters themselves.