An amazing read dealing with the real life and real issues of high school as a Muslim girl but also dealing face on with issues that need to be talked about. I would highly recommend to all those trying to navigate life as a teen but also those who may need a better insight into high school and what life throws at our teens every day.
OH MY GOD! It’s easy to see why this book was a finalist for the William C Morris award, and why it was long listed for Canada Reads. It is an amazing story that is perfect for all ages, all religions, all races. It is a story of finding your voice, of monsters hiding behind masks. It is a story that is relevant to every person, every where, right now.
Janna is your typical teenager. She likes boys. She is trying to survive high school. She has friends and she has secrets. She is also Muslim. So sometimes life is a bit more complicated - like liking a boy who isn’t Muslim. But it isn’t the Muslim part that is her biggest problem. It’s the monster in the Saint mask. The biggest secret. That secret is ruining her life, but how do you fix it when even thinking about that secret makes you sick inside?
I can’t wait to discuss this one with the group. There is so much here to get into - and not just for a tween/teen book club. This one has the depth for adults too. In fact, anyone with kids approaching their teen years should read this.
Janna divides people in three categories, saints, misfits and monsters. Janna is having a tough time and there's nobody she dares to talk to. This is mostly because of the monster, someone at her local mosque who presents himself as a saint, but in reality scares her badly. For Janna religion is important, she's a Muslim and lives with her single mother. Her father isn't religious, but Janna wants to follow the traditions she's been brought up with. Being at the mosque used to feel safe, but lately that's no longer the case because the monster is harrassing her.
Janna has a crush on someone at school, only that proves to be a bit of a problem. She can't approach him in the same way most other girls of her school would, because that would be too forward. She doesn't know if Jeremy is interested, but has admired him from afar for a long time. However, Jeremy isn't a Muslim and that makes it difficult for her to spend time with him or to even consider dating him. Janna is confused about boys, life, friends, family and people's personalities. Will she be able to figure out who she is and learn to stand up for herself, so she won't be so afraid anymore?
Saints and Misfits is a fantastic story about a sweet and intelligent Muslim teen. I love how S.K. Ali paints a clear picture of what it’s like to live by the rules of the religion, while also being a teenager with dreams, hopes and fears. She combines this with an impressive story about sexual harassment that's emotionally very well narrated. I was impressed by Janna's story. She has so much to deal with and has to find the courage within to be able to get through the most terrifying moments all by herself. Being a misfit means she makes mistakes, but by learning from them she grows as a person. Finding out if she'd dare to share her story kept me on the edge of my seat and I loved the way S.K. Ali eventually makes her do this, it's fitting, bold and fabulous.
S.K. Ali has a beautiful moving writing style. The overall tone of voice of Saints and Misfits is a little sad, because Janna is struggling. I loved how S.K. Ali shows emotions through both the scenes she writes and the way she writes them, that makes her story incredibly impressive. Saints and Mistits is a mesmerizing story filled with personal growth, thought-provoking questions and surprising twists and turns. I highly recommend this amazing book.
My heart needed this book. Ali wrote Janna in such a marvellously authentic way. Bringing in humour, sadness, pain, hope, and faith, Saints and Misfits had it all. Tough topics, of all sorts, are examined with grace. This is a novel I'll be recommending to everybody.
What a fantastic book!! Both teens and adults will love this story about a girl's experience and how she finds herself and her core strength. This book is the sort of page turner that you want to curl up somewhere to read because you can not put it down and you want to see what happens next. You will laugh, you will gasp and you will relate from your own female experience. This should be made into a movie. I can not wait for your next book S.K. Ali!!
Beautiful and effortless. This book is a testament to our humanness. Every character in this story is so deeply flawed, which I love. It makes them lovable because you see yourself in them. Highly, highly recommend!