You Truly Assumed
Published February 8, 2022
About You Truly Assumed
Sabriya has her whole summer planned out in color-coded glory, but those plans go out the window after a terrorist attack near her home. When the terrorist is assumed to be Muslim and Islamophobia grows, Sabriya turns to her online journal for comfort. You Truly Assumed was never meant to be anything more than an outlet, but the blog goes viral as fellow Muslim teens around the country flock to it and find solace and a sense of community.
Soon two more teens, Zakat and Farah, join Bri to run You Truly Assumed and the three quickly form a strong friendship. But as the blog’s popularity grows, so do the pushback and hateful comments. When one of them is threatened, the search to find out who is behind it all begins, and their friendship is put to the test when all three must decide whether to shut down the blog and lose what they’ve worked for…or take a stand and risk everything to make their voices heard.
In this compelling and thought-provoking debut novel, after a terrorist attack rocks the country and anti-Islamic sentiment stirs, three Black Muslim girls create a space where they can shatter assumptions and share truths.
There are so many great things about this book. I loved that Sabriya, Farah, and Zakat form close bonds over blogging. I’ve had a couple blogging friends over the years, and those are always really cool relationships, so I loved getting to read about them. I also loved that they were so different from one another. Sabriya is a dancer, and I loved getting to see her in class and working on performances. It was cool seeing her world through the eyes of a Black dancer and all that meant to her. She’s also the blog founder and main writer.
Farah is super gifted at coding, so she brought some specific talent to the blog, too. I think from an emotional perspective, her story resonated with me the most. She reluctantly reconnects with her estranged father and meets his family for the first time. She also meets other Black Muslim girls in Boston, where he lives, and works with them on a vigil for a girl who was murdered.
Zakat has a totally different experience from the other girls as she grows up attending a Muslim school and surrounded by a lot of support for her faith. She’s an artist, and the descriptions of her work were really cool. I found myself wishing that the book included drawings or graphic panels representing her pieces, especially alongside the blog posts. I think that would have been really cool.
All three girls experience Islamophobic behavior in the wake of the attack in Washington DC. At first I thought it was an odd choice that we’re following three different girls from three different states, but as the events unfolded after the DC attack, choosing characters from different places made a lot of sense, because it showed how far-reaching the effects of the rising Islamophobia were and how it affected so many different communities.
I really liked the story and enjoyed all three main characters. I’m not even sure I could pick a favorite. They were all compelling stories. The only thing that tripped me up at all was the dialogue. I felt like a lot of characters sounded the same. It seemed like a lot of times the dialogue was written in long sentences or long paragraphs that didn’t feel very natural to me. That could just be me– I have definitely gotten spoiled for stories with a lot of blank space on the page around choppy, fast-paced dialogue. So that’s probably not a flaw, just a preference.
On the whole, though, I really enjoyed reading this book. I think readers who enjoyed MISFIT IN LOVE by S. K. Ali will enjoy this one.
Recommended for Ages 14 up.
All three main characters are Black Muslim girls.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used infrequently.
Kiss between boy and girl.
References to Ramadan and Eid. Shows characters attending services, prayer, and receiving counsel from spiritual leaders.
Violent Content – Trigger warning for Islamophobia
Most of the physical violence happens off-scene. There are references to more than one violent attack which left people injured and killed. Other instances of vandalism occur. An alt-right site lists the girls’ blog on their website and people begin flooding the blog comments with Islamophobic and racist statements. Some of those are included in the text. The girls also experience Islamophobic comments in their daily lives, too.
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