YA Contemporary Romance
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sabaa Tahir comes a brilliant, unforgettable, and heart-wrenching contemporary YA novel about family and forgiveness, love and loss, in a sweeping story that crosses generations and continents.
Lahore, Pakistan. Then.
Misbah is a dreamer and storyteller, newly married to Toufiq in an arranged match. After their young life is shaken by tragedy, they come to the United States and open the Cloud’s Rest Inn Motel, hoping for a new start.
Juniper, California. Now.
Salahudin and Noor are more than best friends; they are family. Growing up as outcasts in the small desert town of Juniper, California, they understand each other the way no one else does. Until The Fight, which destroys their bond with the swift fury of a star exploding.
Now, Sal scrambles to run the family motel as his mother Misbah’s health fails and his grieving father loses himself to alcoholism. Noor, meanwhile, walks a harrowing tightrope: working at her wrathful uncle’s liquor store while hiding the fact that she’s applying to college so she can escape him—and Juniper—forever.
When Sal’s attempts to save the motel spiral out of control, he and Noor must ask themselves what friendship is worth—and what it takes to defeat the monsters in their pasts and the ones in their midst.
From one of today’s most cherished and bestselling young adult authors comes a breathtaking novel of young love, old regrets, and forgiveness—one that’s both tragic and poignant in its tender ferocity.
-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.
Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.
“Rage can fuel you. But grief gnaws at you slow, a termite nibbling at your soul until you’re a whisper of what you used to be.”
(4 / 5) Tahir’s Ember series is one of my favorites. It’s fantasy and full of adventure. When I heard she was writing a contemporary novel I was hesitant to read it. However, I cannot see the same author in this book. They are wildly different. Different genres, different characters, different feelings brought about. That’s pretty amazing to be able to do!
YA Contemporary is very hit and miss for me. I like the escape of fantasy where it entertains me but isn’t heavy. This book dealt with very heavy subjects. The characters are so well written that it’s easy to feel their pain. For that, Tahir is an incredible writer.
“I know addiction isn’t logical. Abu loves me. But right now, his need for oblivion is greater than that love.”
It is beautifully written. A foreword described it as “beautiful and consuming” and I completely agree. The ending wasn’t perfect which made it perfect. I liked the realism of it.
“There’s more to life than the things in front of you,” Santiago says, and now, finally, I listen. “Sometimes we hold on to things we shouldn’t. People. Places. Emotions. We try to control all of it, when what we should be doing is trusting in something bigger.”
General content summary: F words: 4, previous f/f relationship, a teen has a toddler, teen drug dealer, previous earthquake with deaths, kissing, hard drugs and addiction, alcoholism, drug overdose, potential attempted suicide, physical abuse. death and grief, previous sexual assault, Islamophobia.
At the beginning of the book she states triggers: drug and alcohol addiction, physical abuse, Islamophobia, mentions of repressed sexual assault, tense exchange with law enforcement, death.
Thank you to Penguin Teen and NetGalley for the gifted copy in exchange for an honest review.
The book releases March 1, 2022.
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