review by John Chon, age 15

That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim

    That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim is an interesting novel about the modern Muslim family. Not most teen books are about this topic. This book does a fair job with it, balancing it out with some family detail, but it centers mostly around Shabnam Qureshi’s struggle to find herself and to reconcile with her friend, who started wearing the traditional headscarf of the Muslim culture. She eventually reconciles and even finds love, but is still struggling and eventually turns to her father and his traditional poetry she never understood, nor thought she would ever use or enjoy.
    I dislike romance novels. They feel clichéd and boring often, yet it feels like every teen book has an element of romance. This book was a bit of an exception, as it did a good job on not just focusing on the amazing but flawed boyfriend stereotype, and it instead filled in other parts with other characters. This book is about love. It sees it all, from familial, to friendly, to even romantic love. While I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the first two, the last was boring for me. I eventually am torn, and have to rate it rather lowly, due to my feelings about some parts of the book. 2.5/5 stars. 

Find this book in our catalog: That Thing We Call a Heart

Catalog Number: On Call

275 pages

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