BOOK RECOMMENDATION: ramadan edition! (+ books i plan on reading during ramadan)

as you may (or may not) know, ramadan is close (or have already started by the time this post is up), and that means great food! fasting! amazing times! family times!

unfortunately, i won’t be able to join my family during ramadan because of everything that is happening in the world, which makes me…sad. hopefully eveything will be over soon and i’ll see them (probably not during ramadan though)!

to get everyone -and especially myself- in the mood for ramadan, i decided to recommend seven books by muslim authors to celebrate them and their greatness. i hope you read these and enjoy them, and hopefully promote them! it will make the authors really happy during this month.

so, without further ado, here is my BOOK RECOMMENDATION: RAMADAN EDITION!

MIRAGE, by somaiya daud

this one is a recent fave. i’ve been meaning to read this book since it was announced and for some reasons, i haven’t read it until about a month ago, and the only thing i regret is not reading it sooner. this is a moroccan-inspired YA fantasy/SF about this girl who is kidnapped to the palace of the kingdom and is forced to take the role of the princess even though she hates the royal family because they are colonizers. and this, guys, THIS. i was so surprised by how much i enjoyed it (even though i did have high expectations). the writing is out of this world, the building so well-done, the characters so lovable and complex. plus, seeing my culture being incorporated into a story is a feeling i’ve discovered reading this book.

so yeah, highly recommend. pick it up as soon as possible (it’s a threat).

AN EMBER IN THE ASHES, by sabaa tahir

this is a pretty popular novel, and while not my favorite book of all-time, still one i highly recommend. i remember reading this book and thinking oh my god, her MIND, because this is such a well-executed novel, from the writing to the world-building to the characters, everything was spot-on. it’s hard to get into, but once you do, you’re in for a ride. it’s WILD.

i really don’t know how to explain the plot of this book only two or three sentences so i’ll leave the synopsis here:

Laia is a slave. 

Elias is a soldier. 

Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

THE CITY OF BRASS, by s. a. chakraborty

i have absolutely no words to describe how much i love this book and everything about it. i have made a terrible job at keeping up with the series because i still haven’t read the next book, but this is one of the most amazing novels i have ever read.

set in 18th century cairo, nahri accidently summons a djinn warrior and get swept into the new world and there are adventures and love and action and i just…*sigh*. i have such a strong urge to reread it now (which i plan to do, after i receive my physical copy of the first and second book in the trilogy).

LOVE FROM A TO Z, by s. k. ali

i have recommended this book before, and i see no shame in recommending it again. this book is about zayneb meeting adam after getting suspended for calling out her teacher’s islamophobic behavior. she flies to doha and aims to become this “nicer” version of herself. and things happen. this is not only the cutest romance ever, but also a novel that discusses important social issues, especially islamophobia. i loved it so so much and i really want to read the author’s other works.

but pick up LOVE FROM A TO Z! you won’t regret it!!!

WRITTEN IN THE STARS, by aisha saeed

let me tell you something: i almost never read books in a day, unless it’s a novella. but this! book! i read it in one sitting! ONE!

Written in the Stars tells the story of a girl who is forced to marriage in pakistan after she’s caught with her boyfriend by her parents. and let me tell you: this is one of the most beautiful, hopeful yet heartbreaking book i have read. aisha saeed delivers such a strong message in such a poetic yet simple way. i mean how can you not fall in love with this book. my heart aches thinking about it.

ALL-AMERICAN MUSLIM GIRL by nadine jolie courtney

allie abraham has two problems: 1/ she wishes to know more about her faith and religion, and 2/ she’s dating the son of “america’s most conservative shock jock”. we follow this teen who’s torn between two worlds, who she aims to be and who each person wants her to be.

this may or may not be one of my favorite books of 2019. i honestly wish i have read this when i was a teenager myself, it would have helped me in so many ways. i certainly won’t say i was approving of every behaviour and information given in this book, but i loved how it wrapped up in such a beautiful way, how the story developped, even though there isn’t much happening in it.

LOVE, HATE & OTHER FILTERS by samira ahmed

a teenager finds herself victim of hate and islamophobia after a terrorist attack, and boi, this one hit home. this is a perfect book that describes how hard it is to be muslim in a world where people think muslim = terrorist. it also discusses family issues, is about frienships and relationships, and how quickly people turn against you because of their hatred.

when i first read this, i was left with a lot of feelings, not only because i related to it, but because this is the sad reality of many muslims, and i wish it wasn’t this way. *sigh*

MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS TO KNOW, by samira ahmed

samira ahmed’s most recent novel is a YA mystery/contemporary that follows the lives of two young women as khayyam, along with the descendant of alexandre dumas, tries to dissolve the mystery of leila and her connection to alexandre dumas two hundred years ago.

i loved how the plot of this book developped, its pace, and how it wrapped up. i especially enjoyed seeing the main characters develop into more powerful women than they were before, and i certainly loved the mystery. Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know delivers a strong message about women raising their voices in times defined by men.

aaaand these are all the books by muslim authors i recommend! of course, there are many many other books, you just have to look for them. please don’t silence muslim voices, whether it be during ramadan or not. these voices need to be heard loud and clear, because we have a lot to say.

i also plan on reading more books by muslim authors during this month, because it recently came to my attention that i don’t do that as often as i wish. here are some of the books i plan on reading:

have you read any of the books mentioned above? if yes, what were your thoughts? if no, do you plan on reading any one of them? if you celebrate it, what’s the most exciting thing about ramadan, in your opinion?

24 Replies to “BOOK RECOMMENDATION: ramadan edition! (+ books i plan on reading during ramadan)”

  1. I hope you’re having a good Ramadan, Maha! These times are so unfortunate and I’m so sorry you won’t be able to be with your family. Lately I’ve been hearing about Mirage a lot, but wasn’t so interested in it, but after seeing your thoughts on it it’ll be on my radar more! I have a copy of Love from A to Z and I’m so excited to read it. Literally everyone who’s read it loves it and I’m ready for all the feels. I’ve read Amal Unbound from Aisha Saeed and thought it was a strong but also heartwarming read, so I’m interested to see what her YA novels are like (Also I have an e-ARC of Once Upon an Eid and I’m so hyped!)

    I’ve heard a lot about Samira Ahmed’s books but I’ve never gotten to any of them, so I’m glad you liked Love, Hate and Other Filters and Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know (the titles for both of them are so long my fingers hurt from typing them 😭😭). And omg A Very Large Expanse of Sea is SO GOOD!! It’s really cute and you’ll love it I swear.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you!!!! 💕 i hope you enjoy Mirage and Love from A to Z, can’t wait to hear your thoughts about them!
      i haven’t read Amal Unbound but it’s definitely on my radar! and aahhh!!! hope you enjoy Once Upon an Eid!!
      i don’t know if samira ahmed’s novels are enjoyed by everyone, but i definitely hope you enjoy them!! also, i’m, like, over halfway through A Very Large Expanse of Sea and i!! love!! it!! it’s so cute even though the message behind it is so deep.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ramadan mubarak!! ❤ i hope you enjoy all the books on your tbr for ramadan — i read and loved a very large expanse of sea!! i'm definitely excited to see your thoughts on rukhsana ali and tell me how you really feel. and aahh i'm reading love from a to z next month and i am SO excited!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you may!💕 while typing this i’m more than halfway through a large expanse of sea and i’m enjoying it, a lot!! it hurts how relatable the mc’s pain is. and i hope you enjoy love from a to z!!!!
      hope you’re okay and staying safe ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ramadan Kareem maha ❤ ❤
    I hope it is filled with love and celebration and only the best things for you. And I've been meaning to pick up Mirage since like forever. since it sounds amazing and the sequel is also coming out soon.
    ps. did you see the cover of the sequel?? it's so beautiful !!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ramadan Kareem to you too, siham!! i hope yours is filled with great moments 💕
      and yes i’m soooo excited for the sequel of Mirage!! the cover is so beautiful and the characters in it are wearing traditional moroccan clothes and i’m just so 😭😭😭

      Like

  4. maha, i’m hoping you’re having a great ramadan so far. it’s sad that this is all happening during quarantine and social isolation, though. hopefully, you’ll be able to see your family soon!

    (the plot of an ember in the ashes is so complex i always struggle myself to describe it). i really need to continue on with this series! i liked the first two books a lot, but have yet to pick up the 3rd. i’m mad because the 3rd one has not been translated to portuguese yet, and i’ve only read these books translated, so i’d like to carry on with the series this way. it’s frustrating whenever publishing companies start certain series but then never finish them.

    wow, i had never heard of written in the stars before, but it really does sound to be a heartbreaking one. i’m definitely adding it to my TBR!

    mad, bad & dangerous to know looks amazing as well! i loved the premise and already have it on my TBR. i’m excited to see how these two storylines will intertwine.

    i have already read a very large expanse of sea and i really liked it. it mostly focused on the romance, though, so i understand not everyone will be a fan of it, but i loved the relationship a lot. the love interest was great and the protagonist was SO strong. it’s also nice because this one is set in the early 2000s, so there are a lot of references to like flip phones and break dancing, hahah.

    once again, hope you’re having a great ramadan!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you so much lais! ❤️
      oh yes i get you on the language thing. i also sometimes read things in French and i HAVE to keep up in the same language otherwise i’m lost.
      you should definitely check out Written in the Stars!! it’s so so good! also, hope you love mad, bad & dangerous to know!!
      and i read A Very Large Expanse of Sea soon after publishing this post, and i really liked it! i’m with you on the romance-centered aspect of it, but it personally didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the book.
      thank you again!!

      Liked by 1 person

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