Name: Zara Hossain is Here
Author: Sabina Khan
Genre/Category: Contemporary / YA-NA
Published on 6th April, 2021
Published by Scholastic
Zara’s family has waited years for their visa process to be finalized so that they can officially become US citizens. But it only takes one moment for that dream to come crashing down around them.
Seventeen-year-old Pakistani immigrant, Zara Hossain, has been leading a fairly typical life in Corpus Christi, Texas, since her family moved there for her father to work as a pediatrician. While dealing with the Islamophobia that she faces at school, Zara has to lay low, trying not to stir up any trouble and jeopardize their family’s dependent visa status while they await their green card approval, which has been in process for almost nine years.
But one day her tormentor, star football player Tyler Benson, takes things too far, leaving a threatening note in her locker, and gets suspended. As an act of revenge against her for speaking out, Tyler and his friends vandalize Zara’s house with racist graffiti, leading to a violent crime that puts Zara’s entire future at risk. Now she must pay the ultimate price and choose between fighting to stay in the only place she’s ever called home or losing the life she loves and everyone in it.
From the author of the “heart-wrenching yet hopeful” (Samira Ahmed) novel, The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali, comes a timely, intimate look at what it means to be an immigrant in America today, and the endurance of hope and faith in the face of hate.
Amazon US | Amazon IN | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop.org | Book Depository | Storygraph
Content Warnings: Islamophobia, queerphobia
OwnVoices for: POC, Queer, South-Asians, Asian-American, Muslim
The book was one of the best reads of 2021. It turned out to be a great read and yes I mean it. The couldn’t-put-it-downess was 100%. It is not a story where you will fall while laughing or cry and throw the book at the wall (don’t do it anyways, or
we won’t be friends, I am kidding, or am I?). It has affluent emotions going through it that sometimes I was unable to understand if I should be sad or happy!
I loved how Zara’s parents are very open-minded and accepting. Also, Zara is very witty and of helpful nature. In many ways, I could relate myself to Zara (as a person). She fights for the right without even thinking twice and can easily be friends with anyone and everyone but once she doesn’t like someone, the enmity is cruel(well it is always cruel for everyone, but you understand, right?)!
The book also focuses and tries to highlight the problems faced by South-Asian immigrants, how traumatizing it is for someone to live in another country from which they try to make their own but end up feeling disconnected. It also brings out the views of the society towards queer people.
“I’m exhausted from the burden of representing almost two billion people.“
~Sabina Khan in Zara Hossain is Here
There is so much information which you may not have an idea about, and I think it should be sourced to teach the young-adults and new-adults around the world to give the knowledge about what is going around us. I hope the book reaches in the hands of so many people.
The moments when Zara tries to flirt with Chloe are the funniest ones. Also, oh my god so many south-Asian dishes! (i have a post planned to show you all the foods and translate some sentences in Urdu/Hindi to English.) I have much more to say but I do not know how to express it.
The one thing I wanted to know more about was Tyler, even though he is the antagonist, I wanted to know what ran through his mind and why did he protest against Zara, ofcourse it was because she was a Muslim and South Asian but I wished to know what ran inside his mind while he did all the cruel things.
The writing style is very easy to understand and it might be a good book to start with if you are just new to fiction/contemporary books. While it deals with very important issues, everything described is in a very light manner so that it could pass on the message to the readers without any problems.
The storyline feels more like an everyday life we go through and suddenly everything turns upside down. I loved it!
Supporting-characters: Zara’s best friends, her girlfriend, her parents and her family are such amazing characters and I think without them the book would have not been completed at all.
Some reviews from other OwnVoice reviewers: Sanah’s Review, Haadiya’s Review
About The Author:
Sabina Khan is the author of ZARA HOSSAIN IS HERE (Scholastic/ April 6, 2021) and THE LOVE & LIES OF RUKHSANA ALI (Scholastic, 2019). She is an educational consultant and a karaoke enthusiast. After living in Germany, Bangladesh, Macao, Illinois and Texas, she has finally settled down in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, with her husband, two daughters and the best puppy in the world.
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Have you read “Zara Hossain is here”? Have you read any books which deal with immigration problems, if so, please mention the names below!
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2 thoughts on “Zara Hossain is Here by Sabina Khan || Blog Tour + Review ||”
Beautiful review and I’m so glad you enjoyed the book as much as you did!
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