review by Kara Eng, age 19
Not the Girls You’re Looking For by Aminah Mae Safi
Not the Girls You’re Looking For is a unique coming-of-age story. Our protagonist, Lulu, is a multiracial, teenage girl growing up in Texas. Despite often feeling out of place, Lulu is a strong-willed girl who takes what she wants. She is stubborn and sometimes frustrating, but her character grows on you. Her voice is realistic and sympathetic.
Lulu’s friends and family are realistic and have depth. Not only does Lulu’s character develop beautifully, but everyone around her does as well. Each character feels lifelike and as if they could carry their own story. However, this can also be a little aggravating. Each character has their own problems to deal with. Combined with Lulu’s own troubles, the storyline can get a little hazy. With better narration it might have been easier to get into the story, but the story will eventually charm you.
This novel has themes of race and religion, and it does them well. By following Lulu’s development, one can see how affected she is by racial/religious discrimination. It focuses on Lulu’s struggle to overcome these obstacles and face the world head on. Her journey is inspiring and realistic.
I recommend this for everyone. It offers a unique, and often underrepresented, perspective while still maintaining the fun/appeal of being a novel for young adults. 4/5 stars.
Find this book in our catalog: Not the Girls You’re Looking For
Catalog Number: SAFI,AMI