The first novel on my list is Medeia Sharif’s BESTEST. RAMADAN. EVER. (Flux; Summer 2011.) Is the title fantastic or what? It quickly drew me in, and so did the description from the author’s website (http://www.sharifwrites.com/):
Almira Abdul, a Middle Eastern mutt of Syrian and Iranian origins, is fifteen going on sixteen and she’s fasting for Ramadan for the first time ever. Coinciding with the holy month is her first major crush with a boy named Peter, whom her best friend Lisa also is in love with. She also has a new enemy at school, catty Shakira Malik, a fellow Muslim who trades barbs with everyone. Her dentist father also proclaims that she needs braces. Along with the hectic month her grandfather, who knocks down mailboxes and garbage cans when parking, is teaching her how to drive in his tank-like car.
The conflicts of having a continuously growling stomach, getting her driver’s license, repelling Shakira, and trying to win Peter prove how challenging the month of Ramadan is for Almira. BESTEST. RAMADAN. EVER is an honest and humorous look at Almira’s life, her quest to fit in, and how her parents and old-fashioned grandfather clash in their generational differences.
This novel’s title and synopsis immediately struck me as intriguing, clever, and relevant, and I’m sure that it will be a very engaging read.
Thanks for checking in, Dear Readers. Enjoy the weekend!