Monday, August 22, 2011

Boy vs. Girl by Naima B. Robert

Release Date: March 1st 2011
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books
Age Group: Middle Grade and Young Adult
Pages: 160 pages
Source: The Teen Book Scene Blog Tour

Farhana swallowed and reached for the hijab. But then she saw with absolute clarity the weird looks from the other girls at school, and the smirks from the guys. Did she dare? And then there was Malik... What should she do about him? Faraz was thinking about Skrooz and the lads. Soon he would finally have the respect of the other kids at school. But at what price? He heard Skrooz's voice, sharp as a switchblade: "This thing is powerful, blud. But you have to earn it, see? Just a few more errands for me..." They're twins, born 6 minutes apart. Both are in turmooil and both have life-changing choices to make, against the peaceful backdrop of Ramadan. Do Farhana and Faraz have enough courage to do the right thing? And can they help each other - or will one of them draw the other towards catastrophe? This powerful novel explores the idea of honour and what it means to different generations of Muslim families.

Boy Vs. Girl is a novel about Farhana and Faraz who are Pakistani twins. They both decide to take Ramadan as their chance to get closer to God and follow Islam's principals.

Now let me tell you that I enjoyed this book. Its all about Ramadan and I read it during Ramada. So all the time reading this book, I've been nodding, agreeing with everything Farhana and Faraz go through during the month of Ramadan.

I like how the author touch on the struggle of Muslims from following their Islamic principals. Since their main concern is to follow the cultural trends in the UK (This book takes place in UK, how exciting). And its all so true. I mean, I live in Canada and I see so many teenagers struggling between keeping their background identity and fitting-in. I, myself, faces these problems. Na'ima pictured these conflicts and struggles perfectly.  

The characters were very relatable. I really liked Farhana's character. She tries to follow her religion principals but then her peers and family are against her. For Faraz, he is this bad boy who is artistic and a great brother. I really liked the harmony between Farhana and Faraz. They protect and shield each other.

However, I felt this book's pace was too fast. And the ending was sudden  and unexpected. I just wanted more time to grow with the characters.

Overall, this book was great and reading it during the month of Ramadan made it even better. 

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