I knew You Truly Assumed would be a five star read form the first chapters. This debut is powerful and emotional look at islamaphobia, friendship, and activism. This one is a must read in the YA genre and for those in online spaces like this one! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
Sabriya has her whole summer planned out in color-coded glory, but those plans go out the window after a terrorist attack near her home. When the terrorist is assumed to be Muslim and Islamophobia grows, Sabriya turns to her online journal for comfort. You Truly Assumed was never meant to be anything more than an outlet, but the blog goes viral as fellow Muslim teens around the country flock to it and find solace and a sense of community.
Soon two more teens, Zakat and Farah, join Bri to run You Truly Assumed and the three quickly form a strong friendship. But as the blog’s popularity grows, so do the pushback and hateful comments. When one of them is threatened, the search to find out who is behind it all begins, and their friendship is put to the test when all three must decide whether to shut down the blog and lose what they’ve worked for…or take a stand and risk everything to make their voices heard.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
There’s no lack of elements I loved in You Truly Assumed. From Sabriya, an aspiring Black ballerina, to Zakat who is struggling with a new friendship, and Farah who is exploring the halves of her family. There were pieces of my heart that resonated with each of these characters. While the blog, You Truly Assumed, and the islamaphobia they experience on and offline is a huge part of the story, so are their individual journeys. The micro and macro aggressions they face and endure unfolds as their lives begin to intertwine.
On a broader level, You Truly Assumed explores how we feel safe, carve safe spaces for ourselves, and navigate new spaces. Asking contemporary questions about internet safety and the power people feel in anonymity, this book asks numerous relevant questions about voicing our opinions online. At the same time, it also explores our how dreams can wither from lack of representation and the importance of examining our own friends and family. The power we have not only in our own voice, but in the influence we have over our loved ones.
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In the lives of Sabriya, Farah, and Zakat, Sabreen also tells a story about friendship and family. Of falling in love and discovering new joys. These characters create spaces in your heart as these teens explore their identity. Their place as a family member, a friend, a member of the community. You Truly Assumed is about online activism, friendship and happiness and existence as rebellion. Find You Truly Assumed on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.