YA Review: GOD SMITES AND OTHER MUSLIM GIRL PROBLEMS by Ishara Deen

 Title: GOD SMITES AND OTHER MUSLIM GIRL PROBLEMS

 Author: Ishara Deen

 Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Craving a taste of teenage life, Asiya Haque defies her parents to go for a walk (really, it was just a walk!) in the woods with Michael, her kind-of-friend/crush/the guy with the sweetest smile she’s ever seen. Her tiny transgression goes completely off track when they stumble on a dead body. Michael covers for Asiya, then goes missing himself.
Despite what the police say, Asiya is almost sure Michael is innocent. But how will she, the sheltered girl with the strictest parents ever, prove anything? With Michael gone, a rabid police officer in desperate need of some sensitivity training, and the murderer out there, how much will Asiya risk to do what she believes is right?


My Review:

Thanks to Ishara Deen for a copy in exchange of an honest review.

Geez, I’m still trying to stop laughing. The story was intense with a really good humor. It’s “Like Nancy Drew, but not…” because Asiya goes sleuthing but she has very, very strict parents and God’s on her mother’s side most of the time.

The book is about Asiya, a Bangladeshi-Canadian Muslim teenager who accidentally trips on a dead-body and gets involved in the homicide investigation. Problem is, she was with a boy and if she tells the truth, she will be in trouble because of her strict parents.

I have some mixed feelings about this. I was so excited for her being both Bengali and Muslim. A few pages in, I couldn’t relate to anything, which made me a little sad after so many high expectations, but damn, I LOVED THE BENGALI JOKES in there. One thing that was strange was how Asiya would call things her parents would do as ‘the thing about Bengali mothers’ or ‘about Muslims’, when it’s actually different for everyone.

Asiya’s character was amazing. She starts off as someone very carefully breaking a small rule of her parents, then by the end, turns into this brave strong girl who’s willing to do anything to fix the investigation. I loved how she evolved into this powerful woman, all the while being so dumb about everything brave she does. I understand it was supposed to be ‘God Smite’ but at parts she started sounding too dumb, and other times, I LMFAO-ed so hard I alerted everyone around me that something was very wrong with me.

It was great to see the side characters developing as well. Her mother was such a strict ‘domesticated’ (in Asiya’s word) woman who turned  goondi (at least she’ll be called that in a conservative Bengali community), in English, a badass by the end, and I was yelling HOW DO YOU STILL NOT SEE WHY ASIYA CAN BE SAFE WHEN YOU KNOW GOD’S WATCHING OVER HER?

The book was so well crafted, the mystery made it a page turner, the humor kept everything so stress-free and the plot twist was… mindblowing? I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING.

I’d recommend it if you’re a Nancy Drew fan, looking for some fun but intense read, or just need some fast read (I finished it in two hours). Just remember, you’ll be left wanting more, and thankfully, there will be a second book.

COOKING WITH YOUR KIDS FOR COOKIES, CAKES & OTHER TREATS

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