"But when you’re gay— your family isn’t different like you anymore. They don’t understand. And worst of all, they might hate you for it."
Between the humor and the unthinkable sits a story based on self revelation and family acceptance. I laughed... I legit cried... I gagged (nipple story) and I wondered a multitude of times what Amir was thinking.
I enjoyed the multiple POVs (especially the sister's) during the interrogation scenes. Seeing the sides of each of the family members was a unique perspective. I can understand what it's like to feel your family won't support your life choices and can only imagine culture and beliefs amplifying that weight like it did for Amir in this story. However, I was a bit disappointed that this is considered a Muslim YA read but the characters mention they are not practicing Muslims. It was more the conservatism of the culture that came into play over any devout religious aspects.
This is based on true events, how close or far from the truth I am not sure. I struggled with the idea of an 18 year old kid allowing themselves to be blackmailed to the point they leave the country instead of reporting it. I would've expected that from a younger more immature character. Putting that aside it was still fun to watch Amir grow into himself surrounded by individuals who embrace the lifestyle he chooses. I do think a lot of the messages the author is trying to convey were lost or could be misconstrued; especially the topic surrounding monogamy and cheating. Readers may struggle to find a connection with Amir due to his flaws and light character development. Honestly, I built more of a connection with his sister and mother which could be due to my own personal experiences.
Overall, I did enjoy reading this book and thank Penguin Teen for the opportunity to read and review it for an honest opinion. True rating 3.5, rounded up for.