Saints and Misfits by S. K. Ali
To be published on June 13, 2017 by Simon & Schuster/Salaam Reads
Source: eARC for review
Plot Summary for Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali
Janna Yusuf knows a lot of people can’t figure out what to make of her…an Arab Indian-American hijabi teenager who is a Flannery O’Connor obsessed book nerd, aspiring photographer, and sometime graphic novelist is not exactly easy to put into a box. And Janna suddenly finds herself caring what people think. Or at least what a certain boy named Jeremy thinks. Not that she would ever date him—Muslim girls don’t date. Or they shouldn’t date. Or won’t? Janna is still working all this out. While her heart might be leading her in one direction, her mind is spinning in others. She is trying to decide what kind of person she wants to be, and what it means to be a saint, a misfit, or a monster. Except she knows a monster…one who happens to be parading around as a saint…Will she be the one to call him out on it? What will people in her tightknit Muslim community think of her then?
Review of Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali
Saints and Misfits is described in the Goodreads blurb as a Muslim "My So Called Life." I'm old enough to remember that 90s show, and I see the parallels, as this is a book about a smart, observant young girl navigating the ups and downs of teenage life.
Janna is the daughter of divorced parents and the niece of an imam. She takes photos at mosque events for her uncle and helps edit his advice column.
I loved the themes of this book. One major one was what makes a good/moral person, which is a question Janna grapples with.
Really enjoyed this - check it out if you're looking for a sometimes funny, sometimes moving coming-of-age story!