Eighteen-year-old Sohane loves no one more than her beautiful, carefree younger sister, Djelila. And she hates no one as much. The two have always shared everything. But now, Djelila is embracing her life as a secular teen, and Sohane is becoming more religious.
When Sohane starts wearing a head scarf, her school insists that she remove it or she’ll be expelled. Meanwhile, Djelila is repeatedly harassed by neighborhood bullies for not following Muslim customs. Sohane can’t help thinking that Djelila deserves what she gets. She never could have imagined just how far things would go.
In the year following Djelila’s tragic death, Sohane struggles with her feelings of loss and guilt, revealing a complex relationship between two sisters, each girl’s path to self-discovery, and the consequences they face for being true to themselves.
WHY SHOULD YOU CHECK IT OUT?
Cultural diversity has been making a slow breakthrough in YA lately, and we really truly hope to see that continue with stories like this one. Just as importantly, we get to learn about these topics from the perspective of a young woman as she struggles with religious freedom and women’s rights.
Somehow, the typeface of the title manages not to change from word to word while still evoking the loving, hateful, and sorrowful emotions of Sohane’s feelings for Djelila over the course of the novel.
French author and comic book writer Amélie Sarn has written many novels for middle grade and young adult readers, including LES PROIES and the YA thriller CLAIRVOYANCE series.
EARLY REVIEWS SAY…
The story, based on actual events, never becomes a question of whether Sohane should wear her headscarf but ruminates on how young people cope with being siblings, second-generation immigrants, feminists and believers. Rather than overwhelming the narration, these themes twine together powerfully. (Kirkus Reviews)
In short anguished chapters, 18-year-old Sohane narrates … provides rich material for conversation about family relations, religious identity, and civil liberties. (Publishers Weekly)
Hardcover & ebook, 160 pages
Published on August 5th, 2014 by Delacorte Press (ISBN 0385743769)