So here goes…
1. This book is all about believing in yourself and being true to who you are.
2. It’s dealing with race relations in the wake of the Cronulla riots in 2005, but the message is (sadly) still very relevant today. The Main Character, Jamilah or Jamie, is a Lebanese Muslim. That’s a fist-pump for diversity!
3. The email chat between Jamilah and ‘John’ is funny and caring and a great way to show the other side of Jamilah just bursting to come out.
‘It’s clear that you don’t respect yourself and that is disturbing because you are poetry + music + funny + caring + worth it (and that’s not only in the L’Oreal hair dye commercial kind of way)’ – ‘John’ p147
4. Timothy’s self-esteem in class! I take my hat off to him. He’s ballsy.
‘… you keep talking to me, making all these comments, and you don’t seem to have worked out that I value your opinion about as much as I value contracting a fungal skin disease.’ – Timothy to Peter, p41
5. The growth of Amy and Jamilah’s friendship from convenience to meaningful.
… I don’t have a proper relationship with my so-called closest friend. We’re like the two sides of a train track, comfortable in our parallel existence. We don’t intersect or touch each other. But sometimes you need to collide. You need to crash and make an impact just to feel your friendship is alive… I don’t have any collision scars from this friendship. And as deliberate as that is, it’s not something I’m proud of. – p42
6. The strength and understanding in her family. She still loves her dad, he loves her. It’s refreshing.
7. Jamilah’s battle against her fears, it’s real, I can feel it.
The same prejudice and bigotry that silences me, vocalises him. And even though my silence protects me, I’m the one walking with my head down. – p132
8. The intrigue of Timothy/John. I like that I figured it out before Jamilah, because that allowed for some ‘oh-no-don’t!’ moments.
9. The Author’s sister is on the cover of my version (the yellow cover). So sweet, also so real!
10. It was free! Hurrah to the Little Free Library in our local park, and whoever it is who keeps popping ace YA in there!