It started when the new president announced all Muslims to be a threat to America. After that it wasn’t long before Layla and her family are stripped of their freedom when they and thousands of other Muslim Americans are taken and forced into an internment camp. But while her parents and others are willing to make the best of it, Layla is convinced that the right thing to do is fight back. And so the journey begins, becoming more and more dangerous as the stakes continue to mount but she is not backing down.
This book brings lots of great messages and I really loved… the second half of the book. Let me explain: At the start, I didn’t like Layla at all. She was so whiny and the way she spoke to her parents was really immature. One scene in particular stands out when, first she blames her parents for not doing anything to stand up against the oppression they’re facing and immediately follows it with being angry at them for admitting to being Muslim on the census in the first place! I also thought that the build-up to the internment was severely underdeveloped. There was no background as to how things escalated to the point where the government thought there to be no other option than putting them into these camps. And then there’s David. He served absolutely no purpose! The story would have been fine, if not even better, without him in it.
At this point, you might be wondering why I would possibly give this book four stars, and that is because, while the first half of the book was pretty bad, I absolutely loved the second half! The internment became so vivid and Layla’s character became something I respected if you can believe it. She was no longer a whiny teenager but a woman willing to sacrifice everything if it meant her people could be free. I was worried that the resolution wouldn’t feel very complete as I was down to the last chapters without an end in sight, but the author pulled it off really well and I loved the depth of emotion Layla felt coming out of it. She sensed that she would always be scarred, but she wasn’t broken and she’d always keep on fighting.
As to whether or not I’d recommend it, I really can’t say. My feelings were so torn with this one! If you do decide you’d like to give it a try you can purchase your copy here: https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/pro… Happy Reading 🙂