A School Library Journal Best Young Adult Book of 2019
A YALSA 2020 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
From William C. Morris Award Finalist S.K. Ali comes an unforgettable romance that is part The Sun Is Also a Star mixed with Anna and the French Kiss, following two Muslim teens who meet during a spring break trip.
A marvel: something you find amazing. Even ordinary-amazing. Like potatoes—because they make French fries happen. Like the perfect fries Adam and his mom used to make together.
An oddity: whatever gives you pause. Like the fact that there are hateful people in the world. Like Zayneb’s teacher, who won’t stop reminding the class how “bad” Muslims are.
But Zayneb, the only Muslim in class, isn’t bad. She’s angry.
When she gets suspended for confronting her teacher, and he begins investigating her activist friends, Zayneb heads to her aunt’s house in Doha, Qatar, for an early start to spring break.
Fueled by the guilt of getting her friends in trouble, she resolves to try out a newer, “nicer” version of herself in a place where no one knows her.
Then her path crosses with Adam’s.
Since he got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November, Adam’s stopped going to classes, intent, instead, on perfecting the making of things. Intent on keeping the memory of his mom alive for his little sister.
Adam’s also intent on keeping his diagnosis a secret from his grieving father.
Alone, Adam and Zayneb are playing roles for others, keeping their real thoughts locked away in their journals.
Until a marvel and an oddity occurs…
Marvel: Adam and Zayneb meeting.
Oddity: Adam and Zayneb meeting.
About the Author
S. K. Ali is a teacher based in Toronto whose writing on Muslim culture and life has appeared in the Toronto Star. Her family of Muslim scholars is consistently listed in the The 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World, and her insight into Muslim culture is both personal and far-reaching. A mother of a teenage daughter herself, S. K. Ali’s debut YA is a beautiful and nuanced story about a young woman exploring her identity through friendship, family, and faith.
“This book gave me butterflies. Love From A to Z is the bighearted, wildly charming, painfully real love story I’ve been waiting for."
— Becky Albertalli, New York Times bestselling author of Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda
"What makes Zayneb and Adam different is not their faith but their ability to learn from and love one another in a world hurling obstacles their way...Heartfelt and powerful."
— Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Heartfelt, honest, and featuring characters readers will fall in love with, this is sure to become a beloved book for many."
— School Library Journal, starred review
"In Love from A to Z, S.K. Ali once again takes an unflinching and moving look at the intricacies of life as a Muslim teen in an imperfect, multi-cultural world. Beautiful."
— Shelf Awareness, starred review
"Told through alternating perspectives, this compelling love story brings together a wide variety of cultures, political issues, and personality types. Readers are immersed in the teens’ world, feeling the frustrations of facing prejudice, the sadness of losing loved ones, the hope that comes from mutual understanding. Ali has created an unforgettable couple in a deftly drawn setting."
— Horn Book Magazine
"Both [main] characters are exceptionally appealing as their well-integrated faith leads them in different ways to seek peace, justice, and each other."