Review: All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir

All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir

All My Rage
Sabaa Tahir
Published March 1, 2022

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About All My Rage

Lahore, Pakistan. Then.
Misbah is a dreamer and storyteller, newly married to Toufiq in an arranged match. After their young life is shaken by tragedy, they come to the United States and open the Cloud’s Rest Inn Motel, hoping for a new start.

Juniper, California. Now.
Salahudin and Noor are more than best friends; they are family. Growing up as outcasts in the small desert town of Juniper, California, they understand each other the way no one else does. Until The Fight, which destroys their bond with the swift fury of a star exploding.

Now, Sal scrambles to run the family motel as his mother Misbah’s health fails and his grieving father loses himself to alcoholism. Noor, meanwhile, walks a harrowing tightrope: working at her wrathful uncle’s liquor store while hiding the fact that she’s applying to college so she can escape him—and Juniper—forever.

When Sal’s attempts to save the motel spiral out of control, he and Noor must ask themselves what friendship is worth—and what it takes to defeat the monsters in their pasts and the ones in their midst.

From one of today’s most cherished and bestselling young adult authors comes a breathtaking novel of young love, old regrets, and forgiveness—one that’s both tragic and poignant in its tender ferocity.

All My Rage on Goodreads

My Review

Well, if I thought Sabaa Tahir was going to go easier on her characters in a contemporary novel(versus fantasy), I was very much mistaken. Because, oh my gosh, the things Noor and Salahudin go through and have been through. Wow. I loved both of them right away. It took me longer to understand why Misbah’s point of view was part of the story. She begins in the long past and gives some context to some of Sal’s past and explains her husband’s alcoholism. But those sections continue into the present part of the story, too. Late in the book I realized how things connected and reading her point-of-view made a lot more sense then.

There’s one part, maybe roughly three quarters of the way through the book, where the story drops several big bombshells that I wasn’t prepared for. I mean, I wondered what the deal was with certain things, but didn’t know for sure that there was necessarily going to be more of an explanation. And then, bam. I felt like I was still reeling from that when another thing happened.

You know when you see a character doing something, and you’re like, “No. Bad idea. Stop!” Yeah, I definitely had that moment in this book. I’m like, this is a terrible idea, please do not do the thing you’re doing. This is going to go badly.

That only happens when I’m really invested in a book, though, so I feel like that’s clear evidence that ALL MY RAGE really hooked me. I think one of the most brilliant things about the book, besides its beautiful characters, is that the balance between rage and vulnerability is perfectly executed. I felt Noor’s rage with her. And it made perfect sense. She had every right to be angry. Also, I loved that she faced her anger, even when it was messy.

The ending of the story– no spoilers– really moved me, too. It resolved a lot of things in a way that felt both realistic and hopeful, and I love it for that.

All in all, I’m so glad I read this book. I was a big fan of AN EMBER IN THE ASHES, so I was really curious to see Sabaa Tahir write a contemporary story. The characters in EMBER are so strong, I had pretty high expectations for ALL MY RAGE. The book definitely exceeded my expectations. I loved it and definitely recommend it.

All My Rage on Bookshop

Content Notes

Content warning for reference to sexual assault, drug overdose, alcoholism, domestic violence, loss of a parent, earthquake, racism and Islamophobia.

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

Misbah and Noor were born in Pakistan and emigrated to the United States. Salahudin is Pakistani American. They are also Muslims.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used somewhat infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between boy and girl. Reference to arousal.

Reference to sexual assault, but without description.

Spiritual Content
Noor visits a mosque for prayer. Misbah and Salahudin reference prayer.

Violent Content
A man hits a teenager in the face. Brief description of a man and woman electrocuted to death. Graphic description of a man beating up a teenager.

Drug Content
A couple of characters sell drugs to other students. Sal’s dad is an alcoholic and is drunk in several scenes. Sal cares for him while he’s drunk and passed out. A girl overdoses on painkillers.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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