I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t review and highlight the first book, “Yes, I’m Hot in This: The Hilarious Truth About Life in a Hijab” I really should have, so to cut to the chase if you don’t follow the author/illustrator on social media you really should and you should read both her books. Both are for all ages and while meant for adults, teens and tweens love it as well, I should know I’ve purchased and gifted over a dozen of them. I find my kids thumbing through both books a lot: my (early) teen girl and my tween boys. Part of is it because the comics are funny, relatable, but more importantly as I’m learning from my kids, because they are curious. In this book particularly, it is a great example of how Muslim marriages can happen, sure my kids know how my husband and my marriage was “arranged,” but they are constantly surrounded by ideas of dating and crushes and even divorce that I never realized that a book like this, featuring Muslims, actually Islamically contextualizes some of their gleamed information. The fact that the book is hilarious and clean and rings with such honesty, makes it easier for them to articulate their questions and removes some of the taboo as well. So, buy it for yourself to enjoy and if you have kids 11 and up in your home, you are ok to let them read it too.
It isn’t a chapter book, it is part comic book, part story, part info-graphic, and all biographical. The book opens with an ayat about spouses from the Quran and follows with an informative and funny message to the reader. Seriously, I laughed as she explained about drawing herself with hijab in bed and noting that most people don’t read the notes to the reader at the beginning. There are also a list of helpful terms before the introduction begins. Her story is broken up in to sections to pace and move the story along. It starts with the ground work of expectations and cultural norms and then tells her story of how she eventually met and married her husband. Not that it is straight forward, the book is 192 pages. There is a decent amount of explaining Islam and the role culture plays in the many pitfalls and big decisions along the way.
WHY I LOVE IT:
I think any female, born Muslim, over the age of 20 will relate to a lot in this, lots of others will as well, but that demographic specifically will find parts very reflective of their own experiences. I love that it shows the banter between the protagonist and her mother, truly that to me was the heart of the story. I love that it shows female empowerment and vulnerability at the same time within an Islamic context and unapologetically. This book is by a Muslim for Muslims, but non Muslims will enjoy it as well. It dispels and illustrates what an “arranged marriage” can mean for Muslims and shows that there is more than one way to understand the label.
I love the size of the book, the binding and the page quality. I had no problems with “Yes, I’m Hot in This,” but after seeing the larger size of this book 7 x 8 and the thicker pages, I really preferred this presentation.
TOOLS FOR LEADING THE DISCUSSION:
Obviously not really a candidate for a book club, but I think teen girls would enjoy reading this and laughing about it with a group of friends.
So fun and so good, alhumdulillah.