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First Look: All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir

Updated: Jan 19, 2022

I was not expecting much from the first look of Sabaa Tahir's All My Rage. It checks a few boxes that I generally avoid in fiction: multiple perspectives, multiple settings, and multiple timelines to name a few. However, I was thoroughly surprised by how enthralled I became within the first 40 pages of this book.

"Boots scrape against the dirty tiles as someone else enters... He enjoys soccer, white rappers, and relaxed-fit racism."

From The Publisher:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sabaa Tahir comes a brilliant, unforgettable, and heart-wrenching contemporary YA novel about family and forgiveness, love and loss, in a sweeping story that crosses generations and continents.

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.

My First IMpression:

The author's experience shone brightly despite my hesitations. She did dance on the edge of introducing too many characters too early on in the story but pulled back just before I needed to break out a pen and pad of paper to keep track. Sabaa expertly develops dynamic characters and avoids cliches that would be so easy to utilize in a story that follows middle eastern teens living in America.

The novel is a young adult romp, so several less than favorable features of the genre are prominent, but the skillful writing and fantastic characters will likely help this book leap onto the read lists of older audiences.

All My Rage appears ready to take the young adult genre by storm. The novel is due to be released on March 1, 2022. You can pre-order your copy at a locally owned bookseller or at is an alternative to Amazon with a mission to financially support independent book stores.

Corey D. Evans received an advance excerpt of this book and was not financially compensated for his review. All quotes are from an unedited advance reader copy of the book and may differ from what will appear in final printed editions.

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