Ever since this guest post from Farah Naz Rishi, I’ve been excited for The Loophole. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I ended up finishing The Loophole in a matter of days. It’s full of action, but also this central mystery of whether or not Sy will find Farouk. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
Sy is a timid seventeen-year-old queer Indian-Muslim boy who placed all his bets at happiness on his boyfriend Farouk…who then left him to try and “fix the world.” Sy was too chicken to take the plunge and travel with him and is now stuck in a dead-end coffee shop job. All Sy can do is wish for another chance…. Although he never expects his wish to be granted.
When a mysterious girl slams into (and slides down, streaks of make-up in her wake) the front entrance of the coffee shop, Sy helps her up and on her way. But then the girl offers him three wishes in exchange for his help, and after proving she can grant at least one wish with a funds transfer of a million dollars into Sy’s pitifully struggling bank account, a whole new world of possibility opens up. Is she magic? Or just rich? And when his father kicks him out after he is outed, does Sy have the courage to make his way from L. A., across the Atlantic Ocean, to lands he’d never even dreamed he could ever visit? Led by his potentially otherworldly new friend, can he track down his missing Farouk for one last, desperate chance at rebuilding his life and re-finding love?
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: homophobia, child abuse, racism
The Loophole is a book that kept intriguing me. While there’s very much this central mystery – of whether Sy will be reunited – there are interspersed chapters of a Djinn story. And that added element ended up fascinating me more than I even expected. In this other POV, we are introduced to the greediness, to the love and kindness, of humanity. And when it finally come together – I gasped aloud. But back to Sy’s character, my heart broke for him. For the abuse and homophobia Sy experiences from his father.
The ways his family is forced to choose. And The Loophole puts our emotions through the ringer. There’s anger, heartbreak, surprise, and fear. For me, reading The Loophole felt like it had a long exposition where the action and the intrigue increased and once it did, there was this moment of clarity. Definitely keep reading to that point! Overall, The Loophole is an ode to the agency in our lives, while also examining the ways we may not be able to act.
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When there might be people who are holding us back from who we want to be. The Loophole is not just about this search for being reunited. It’s also about making mistakes, about standing up for ourselves, and about friendship. Overall, The Loophole becomes a story about knowing when it’s okay to let go of someone. To know when it’s time to fight for someone. And to recognize it’s important to chase ourselves, our dreams, and loves. Find The Loophole on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.