Naila is a first-generation American, the daughter of conservative Pakistani immigrants.
Her parents allow her a fair amount of freedom, they think: she can choose her friends and what she studies in college and what her career will be, but boys are off-limits.
They will choose her husband. But Naila has fallen in love with a classmate, Saif, a boy of whom she knows her parents will disapprove.
When they find out, they are disappointed, angry, outraged. They decide to visit Pakistan over the summer, ostensibly to help Naila learn about her culture and her heritage. But her parents keep delaying their return to the United States, and Naila eventually learns the reason for the frequent visits from families with young sons: her parents intend to marry her off, and Naila will not have a choice in the matter. This is a nail-biter of a book.
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I think this actually heightens the tension, allowing us to keep our eyes peeled for clues and hoping against hope that Naila will figure it out soon enough. Her escape attempts are harrowing. Where your own family treats you as less than a person. None of them are sympathetic to her. None of them even think to ask.
Our lives are lived for the sake of others. Her husband rapes her. She becomes pregnant.
She has no passport and no visa and no method of transportation. Her immediate family has returned to America.
Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed - Book Review
She becomes resigned to her new life. Her descriptions of Pakistan, of the markets and the food and the buses and the packed house with visiting aunts and cousins, sprinkled with Urdu words, paint a vivid picture.
Some transitions happen too quickly or seem awkward, and the ending is rushed. Despite the imperfections, this is a heck of a book, one that I read in a single sitting and that should have high appeal to teens.
Definitely worth a read.
Written in the Stars will be published March I received a finished copy from the publisher. Written by: Kimberly Francisco on March 17, Comments I hadn't heard of this one, but it definitely sounds like one I should look up.