All My Rage

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all my rage sabaa tahir

Sociologist par excellence Brene Brown has a new book out called THE ATLAS OF THE HEART. In that book she talks about emotions and how you really can't understand what someone else is feeling until you know their story - their back story.  What has happened to that person in the course of their lifetime? What triggers them in a moment and colors their experience of something?

ALL MY RAGE knows a little something about a back story.  It knows a little something about looking at someone else and deciding who they are, judging them, maybe even deciding to hate them without knowing one darn thing about them.

Welcome to Juniper, California and The Cloud's Rest, a motel, where senior in high school Sal lives with his mom, Misbah, who watches over him and his dad, Touriq, who watches over his stash of liquor bottles.  It's the place they immigrated to and where their dreams began and where their dreams ended.

Welcome also to a liquor store in Juniper, California, where Noor, also a senior in high school, works for her uncle.  Noor's uncle is all the family she has left.  He is  the man who dug and dug and dug to save her when she was buried in the rubble of an earthquake in Pakistan. Nice guy, right?

Noor is making amazing grades and has a chance to be the valedictorian of her high school class. She volunteers down at the local hospital.  She has an amazing future ahead of her and she has applied to 7 colleges - including Princeton and UCLA and UVA.  But.....Noor can't bring herself to write the essays she needs to write for her college applications. Back Story.

Sal dreams of being a writer.  He has an amazing future ahead of him too. But..... Sal doesn't like being touched. Back Story.

The world falls apart for Sal and Noor when Sal's mother stops going for her dialysis.  The illness gets worse and worse until Noor finds her and takes her to the hospital. Noor is the one who is there with her when Misbah passes on.   No Sal. Just Noor.

Now The Cloud's Rest is going to be lost to the bank because Sal and his father can't make the payments on it.  Now Noor has gotten 6 rejection letters from her 7 college applications.  Where is their hope going to come from?

Talk about the world fighting against you.  Talk about two kids whose lives have been shaped by generations that come before them.  Not everyone can rise to life's trauma and disappointment.  Some people escape through alcohol.  Some people take their anger and fury out on others who can't fight back.

These two Pakistani-American kids have to take on more than any kid should have to had each other for a moment. They didn't tell their whole story to each other ...well not until they have to.

This is a powerful story of loss, domestic violence, alcoholism, courage, finding your voice, and risking everything to do the right thing.  It's also a story of people who choose to hate someone else without ever needing to know the truth; without ever needing to get to know that person; without ever looking inside themselves to ask why they need to hate.

So get ready to step into two lives you probably wouldn't choose for yourself.  It's a beautiful place to be no matter the trauma and grief.  These are two hurting teens who struggle to do the right thing, make mistakes, and make some amazing choices.

I think you just might fall in love with both of them.  I did.

384 pages 978-0593202340 Ages 14-17

Keywords: immigrants, Muslim, family, father/son, mothers, death and dying, alcoholism, courage, hope, abuse, trauma, overcoming adversity, standing up for yourself, drugs, multigenerational, immigration, diversity, diverse books, Muslim Americans, friends, friendship, motel, love, forgiveness, 14 year old, 15 year old, 16 year old

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com

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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.---from the publisher

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