Tag Archives: sabaa tahir

All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir

This book is heavy and complicated and stunning. There are some trigger warnings, which the author includes at the beginning of the book. Some of them are abuse, sexual assault, and prejudice. It doesn’t get detailed or graphic, but you know what is happening, and you go through the journey with the characters as they come to terms with them.

The two main characters, Sal and Noor, are seniors in high school. Sal is an amazing writer who lives with his parents at the motel that they run. His mother is sick and his father is an alcoholic and their motel is not doing well. Noor lives with her uncle after her entire family dies in an earthquake in Pakistan. While she wants to study to be a doctor, her uncle would rather she stay at home and work in his liquor store.

The book switches between each of their points of view and also Sal’s mother, Misbah, who has a few chapters dedicated to her history and perspective. It deals with so many different kinds of loss and the way people deal with it. The writing is fluid between the different points of view, which keeps the pacing steady as you move from one twist to another. Even when things are revealed, they are not tied up neatly.

It’s really easy to get invested in the characters, even to the point of frustration in their choices. While the ending does bring closure, it is messy and complicated which makes it more real. Noor’s character arc is difficult and my favorite as she deals with abuses in her life, including prejudice at school being an immigrant. The way she comes to terms with different aspects in her life in her own time is really beautiful.

I also liked how faith played a part in all of their lives. They spoke about prayer and faith and how it played a part in their culture and family. It was fascinating to learn about the Muslim faith and how imperfect and yet steady it could be in their lives. This coming of age story is definitely a great recommendation for teen and young adult audiences with the trigger warnings that were mentioned.


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A Torch Against the Night: A Review

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A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Torch Against the Night is the second book in a series by Sabaa Tahir. Just like the first book, this one is very plot-driven, very action packed. I won’t go too much into the plot or the characters because I don’t want to spoil anything. But I enjoyed the book as much as I enjoyed the first one.
This time, the story is told from three different perspectives. Sometimes these perspectives interacted with each other. But they were separate from each other, it gave them the ability to really transform and evolve as characters.
There were some really big reveals and plot twists, some that I didn’t see coming. And these twists happened all the way up to the end of the story. It will be interesting to see how they all play out in the next book.
Even though the story jumped from one character from one chapter to another in the next chapter, the writing, itself, was very fluid. The one critique was that it got a little slow in the middle of the book. There was a lot of character building in some chapters which seemed to slow the plot down a bit. It was necessary for the ending to be the big reveal that it is, but sometimes the descriptive paragraphs were a bit long.
As far as profanity, like the first book, there is no profanity other than the profanity of that world. “Ten hells” and “bleeding skies” were used a lot throughout the book in place of real-world profanity.
There is a little more sexual content in this book, though it’s more implied than graphic details. A few kissing scenes (one where her back arched into him and things like that).
And as for violence, it is all throughout the book. There is a genocide happening in this book in the series, and there is mention of shallow graves, beheadings, and stabbings. Also, there is poison and slow death included as well.
I continue to enjoy this series very much. I definitely will put the next book in the series on my list to be read. A definite recommendation for those who enjoy political intrigue, magic, and quest fantasies.

Ember In The Ashes: A Review

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An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Since the third book is coming out in June, there was a lot of hype around this series. So, I thought I would check it out. I really enjoyed this first book and look forward to the rest of the series. It’s a YA fantasy series written by Sabaa Tahir that has a lot of Roman Empire influences.
It’s told from two different perspectives. Laia is a Scholar, a group who have been conquered and mostly enslaved by the Martials. Laia has tried to keep a low profile, but when her brother is taken to prison, she finds herself involved with a Rebel group and became a spy in hopes to rescue her brother. Elias is a Martial, the oppressive ruling group. He is a student at a harsh, dangerous school for elite soldiers and plans to escape. But events change his plans and fate brings these two perspectives together.
The plot was fast-paced. And it’s pretty dark. I like the theme of faith, not just believing in yourself, but believing in a bigger part of a story you can’t see. Faith is something personally important to me. It’s how to function through dark or tough times.

There is some light profanity. They used “hells” and “bleeding” as curse words. Also, as far as sexual content, there are a couple of kissing scenes which imply more graphic sexual desire. Also, there are some threats of rape or sexual assault. And there are a lot of instances of violent content. There are fights to the death throughout the story, some to answer the question what would you sacrifice for the greater good?

It’s a well-written book that I really enjoyed. It’s not very in depth, but I felt like it hit the theme points pretty well. I’m hoping I will enjoy the rest of the series just as much! It’s a recommend from me!