After my re-read of this classic, I give Carmilla 3.5 stars. I loved the atmosphere and the language, even if I thought it was a bit too flowery at times.
I know that it's wrong to judge a work of this age by today's standards, but man, everyone in this book seemed stupid and too naive to be believable. The whole time, I was thinking "My God, man, wake up!"
I'm glad I re-read this one but I think that shall be it for me with Carmilla.
Never heard of 'Muslim Girl', forgot what drew me to this book but it moved up my list after seeing a mention of it on Book Riot. Author Al-Khatahtbeh describes what it was like to be a child (she was 9 at the time) when 9/11 happened and what it was like growing up and coming of age in the post 9/11 era. Her life, growing up, what it was like to navigate these spaces as a Muslim girl and than woman, etc.
That's about it. The negative reviews are on par. It does seem like Al-Khatahtbeh might have benefited from gaining a bit of distance from these events. Some of the writing is quite pedestrian and is more suited for social media or in a blog post rather than a book. Her story is really very interesting but I wasn't compelled to read every single word and found myself skimming and flipping pages.
However, I think in its own way it'd actually be really beneficial for young Muslim women. I'd bet they'd probably see themselves (maybe not all, but many) in her work and social interactions, whether it's learning about her extended family in Jordan or when navigating situations like when Al-Khatahtbeh describes being paired with a younger student for a project and she strongly suspected it was because both of them covered their hair. So while I respect some of the criticisms of that the author seems "young" of "self-centered" or whatever, I think there's a reason for that and some people are perhaps not realizing that this isn't speaking to them but rather to other people who may be looking for themselves in this book.
It's not for everyone but I appreciated being able to read about her experiences. Would recommend the library but for the right person it'd probably be a good purchase or gift.