Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed — 3.5 stars
Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali — 4 stars
Zodiac by Romina Russell — 4 stars
Wandering Star by Romina Russell — 4 stars
Written in the Stars is an important yet difficult read. It was so hard to just sit here reading about what was happening to Naila, who is being forced into an arranged marriage. I wanted so badly for something to be done sooner, but I understand why nothing was able to happen until the time it did. Aisha Saeed does a beautiful job weaving in aspects of Pakistani culture and I enjoyed the descriptions of the food, clothing, and village. The sentences and chapters were short, which slightly bothered me.
Saints and Misfits is a coming of age story about a fifteen-year-old, Arab-Indian-American Muslim girl. There are three types of people in Janna’s life—Saints, Misfits, and Monsters. Janna struggles with find her place and how she fits into the different communities she is a part of. Her story felt so real, and I appreciated the way S.K. Ali used Saint and Misfits to shine a different light on Islam and teach her readers about Muslim culture.
This past month I finally dived into Zodiac and Wandering Star, two novels I have owned for a while now. The world-building in this series is phenomenal. Each of the twelve Zodiac constellations has it’s own planets/moons, leaders, technology, culture, ideologies, landscape, infrastructure, politics, and more. It’s really crazy how unique each of the worlds within the Zodiac series is. Wandering Star introduces us to three more constellations and worlds to explore. I loved watching Rho cycle through learning to trust herself again after what happened at the end of Zodiac. There is a love triangle in this series, which was difficult at times because there is one guy who is perfect for her and she just needs to realize that already.