I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan – BOOK REVIEW
“Fifteen-year-old Muzna Saleem, who dreams of being a writer, struggles with controlling parents who only care about her studying to be a doctor. Forced to move to a new school in South London after her best friend is shamed in a scandal, Muzna realizes that the bullies will follow her wherever she goes. But deciding to stand and face them instead of fighting her instinct to disappear is harder than it looks when there’s prejudice everywhere you turn. Until the gorgeous and confident Arif shows an interest in her, encouraging Muzna to explore her freedom.
But Arif is hiding his own secrets and, along with his brother Jameel, he begins to influence Muzna with their extreme view of the world. As her new freedom starts to disappear, Muzna is forced to question everything around her and make a terrible choice – keep quiet and betray herself, or speak out and betray her heart?
A stunning new YA voice which questions how far you’ll go to protect what you believe in.”
I Am Thunder follows the story of 15 year old Muzna, an ordinary Muslim-teen, trying to fit into a new high school in London. Her strict Pakistani parents want only the best for her – urging her to become a Dr, even though Muzna dreams of becoming an author, especially so she can represent Muslim voices in writing. Whilst trying to settle into the new school environment, she becomes friends with Arif, and it is this relationship, along with his brother, Jameel, that Muzna starts to question. Should she follow her head or her heart?
This book. Just WOW. I have read a lot of YA books over the years and this is definitely up there with the very very best. Muzna is a breath of fresh air – her intelligence and personality is apparent from the very first page. This book shows the struggles of an everyday Muslim teenager and it’s fantastic that voices like this are finally being heard. This book covers very important issues such as Islamophobia, terrorism, extremism and bullying, yet all of these are covered in a powerful, yet sensitive manner. You can’t have a YA book without friendships and relationships and I think that’s what makes this book so great – it really does have a brilliant mix on everything I could dream for in a book. Muzna deals with normal teen problems as well, such as body-issues, parent relationships, grades and changing friendships, and it is this what allows us to connect so well with her as a character. This is a MUST read and a great asset to the YA book industry.
I predict huge success for I Am Thunder and can’t recommend it enough! One of my favourite YA books ever!