I saw this book in the new release section on a website one day and decided to give it a try, honestly, just because the cover was pretty. I was not so sure what it was about, but it seemed great so I put it on my Amazon wish list, then I got it for my birthday. I read this for Booktube-A-Thon because it fitted different challenges. I read it in one day, it was so great and so captivating I could not put it down.
It was not at all what I expected. It was way better. If you are searching for a nice and beautiful book, do not read it. It is a really dark book but such an important one. I definitely recommend this.
This book is about Naila, a girl from Pakistan who lives in the US with her family. Her parents let her choose many things, but they won’t let her choose who she dates (= her husband). Naila is in love with Saif, who is also from Pakistan but there is a scandal surrounding his family and Naila’s parents do not agree with their daughter dating him (or dating anyone in that matter). They then decide to fly to Pakistan to visit their family because they think Naila lost herself. Naila enjoys Pakistan, she finds it great to learn a new way of life, to meet her family and she is having a great time. But she wants to go back home because she misses Saif and her friends.
Things will not go as plan during these holidays in Pakistan and Naila is trapped, scared and she cannot believe what her parents did to her, even if they keep on saying it is for her own good.
Naila’s story is not unusual, and I loved every page of it. The beginning of the book is so light, I was expecting a book with some teenage drama, but it was not the case at all. It was so dark and so hard to read. I was feeling more and more anxious, and trapped just like Naila. It was scary and made me open me eyes about this reality I’m not familiar with.
There was also the question of the parents, are they so bad? Is it a “cultural thing’? Could forced marriage be justified by a culture? Really, I’m not so sure about it. In my opinion, nothing can justify what they did and what is still done every day in some regions of the world. But who are we to judge and to make decisions for other people? It is actually what they do, making decision for other, because they think it is best. Aren’t we doing the same thing? It is a bit confusing and a really hard and complex question. Naila’s relationship with her parents was contentious because of this and you can’t just not hate them for what they did. However, they think they are doing what’s best for their daughter…
I definitely recommend reading this book, it will raise many questions in your hear, I’m sure of it.