By: Orchard Books
Jamilah has been struggling for years to find herself. A Lebanese-Muslim born who dyes her hair blond and wears blue contact lenses to cover her true identity when in the public eye of her peers. Yet when she attends Islamic school in the evenings she is free to be the person she knows she is. Playing Arabic music, speaking Arabic, and eating the food she was brought up to love, and she loves every second of it.
After the death of her mother, Jamie’s family struggles to adapt. Even after seven years the three children and their father are constantly up in arms. The kids are always fighting with their father trying to bring him up to “times”. But he is stubborn in his old ways, but also fears the potential conversations that will come from the community. Gossip is a great strong hold and it can either make or break a family, in this case he is afraid of failing and letting the community witness it first hand.
Jamilah is the youngest born, and has difficulty understanding and being understood by her family. Until one day in the chatrooms of the internet, she meets a guy by the name of “John”. John finds a way to get into Jamilah’s psyche and allows her to open up, becoming a friend. The most truest friend she’s ever wanted, until one day he blocks her email address.
Teenage drama and hypocritical conformity is what this book is about, but at the same time a very real perspective of the ethnic correlations of new-generation immigrants and their relationships between their family and their peers.