Okay, so I wasn’t sure what to expect with Tahir’s contemporary debut. But I shouldn’t have been surprised. Because Tahir brought the tears and emotions to All My Rage. This YA contemporary debut is an emotional tour de force. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
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.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the Libro.fm. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: islamophobia, drug alcohol addiction, physical abuse, sexual assault, parental death
All My Rage begins with emotions, and only continues building as the book progresses. It’s a book that doesn’t shy away from difficult conversations of addiction and abuse. Of betrayal and family disappointment. But it’s also a book that navigates experiences of love and second chances. Of forgiveness and potential. I had to take a break a few time from this book because of the intensity of the emotions – and trigger warnings – but finishing it, I was in tears.
My heart broke for Sal and Noor. For how Noor wants to go to college and the obstacles against her. How important it is to have support and the ways in which we predict our own failure. For Sal, dealing with a family member with addiction is an emotional process on your own and having the added loss of his mother? Emotionally gut wrenching. Both of them are seemingly trapped in these situations of difficult choices. But something I wasn’t expecting was that All My Rage is multiple POV and features Sal, Noor, and Misbah.
Misbah’s POV was an added joy that completely took my by surprise – but was one of my favorite elements. I loved seeing the ways in which our society and culture can change and stay the same. The ways different people deal with adversity and kindness. At time, All My Rage was difficult to listen to and the audio book experience only made it more emotional. You could hear the depth of their emotions, turmoil, and heartbreak. But overall, All My Rage is about resilience, love, and faith.
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It’s about the inherited trauma we pass down, the memories and resentments that brew. All My Rage explores asking for help, second chances and (found)family. The power of one chance. Of one yes. And the ways in which hope and support can change a life. Tahir’s contemporary debut is an emotional triumph which is profoundly moving. Find All My Rage on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org, Libro.fm, Google Play & The Book Depository.