I’ve just recently finished All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir. I heard about this book from a booktuber named Hayley and she has talked about this book so much that I just had to read it. I haven’t read the Ember in the Ashes series but this stand alone book peaked my interest.
I was excited get my hands on it and when I read it in July, it felt right. The book before this one that I read was Front Desk so I thought it was funny because that book was a middle grade book featuring an immigrant child and this book book dealt with immigrant teens and adults. It features one of my favorite tropes (friends to lovers….actually the trope is enemies to friends to lovers…but still).
Did this book live up to the hype? Read on to find out!
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Lahore, Pakistan. Then.
Misbah is a dreamer and storyteller, newly married to Toufiq in an arranged match. After their young life is shaken by tragedy, they come to the United States and open the Clouds’ Rest Inn Motel, hoping for a new start.
Juniper, California. Now.
Salahudin and Noor are more than best friends; they are family. Growing up as outcasts in the small desert town of Juniper, California, they understand each other the way no one else does. Until The Fight, which destroys their bond with the swift fury of a star exploding.Now, Sal scrambles to run the family motel as his mother Misbah’s health fails and his grieving father loses himself to alcoholism. Noor, meanwhile, walks a harrowing tightrope: working at her wrathful uncle’s liquor store while hiding the fact that she’s applying to college so she can escape him–and Juniper–forever.When Sal’s attempts to save the motel spiral out of control, he and Noor must ask themselves what friendship is worth–and what it takes to defeat the monsters in their pasts and the ones in their midst.From one of today’s most cherished and bestselling young adult authors comes a breathtaking novel of young love, old regrets, and forgiveness–one that’s both tragic and poignant in its tender ferocity.
I loved it. I could’ve finished it sooner but I got nervous when a “thing” happened. You see, I’m the type of person who reads the end of books before I start reading just so that I know what happens and I’m aware. It doesn’t ruin the story for me. I still go through the roller coaster of emotions and man did this book put me through a roller coaster of emotions. This was soooooo good. So tragic. But omg I loved it so much. It was just…you can’t put it down. It was sooo good!
This book dealt with some pretty heavy topics and to be honest, I’d check the trigger warnings (which the author thankfully put at the beginning of the book) out just in case something is too much for you. This was not a light and fun book. It was tragic. It was heartbreaking. Some parts made me angry (like one character, Jamie…if you read the book, you know!). Noor described it best when she said: “What’s the word for when someone drinks so much, they are ruining your best friend’s life? Or the word for a man so vengeful about his own past that he wants to destroy your future? What’s the word for a woman who was sick for months, but refused to go to the doctor until it was too late? The word for the girl at school whose personal mission is to mess with your head?…Rage…”.
One of the things that dealt with was grief. Sal was grieving the death of his mom. He dealt with the guilt that can often come along with grief and him trying to live her dreams. Dealing with an alcoholic father didn’t help things neither. The situation honestly just sucked. They were struggling to keep the motel his family owned afloat and well…desperate times calls for desperate measures (I’m trying not to spoil this book).
Something that frustrated me was Noor and her hiding the evidence of her abuse. She wore makeup when she wasn’t allowed to just to cover it up that her uncle was hitting her. I get that she didn’t want anyone to get in trouble and she thought she was protecting him but still it was painful and agonizing to read about her abuse. Especially with her trying to escape. The same with Sal and his repressed memories. We know something really really bad happened to him and to see the after effects (like him not wanting to be touched) and it was just awful. His mom talked about how it was painful to hear him cry but it was worse when he just sat silent.
A huge theme throughout this book is loss and Sal explained it when referring to an assignment Noor had to complete. He said: “You could argue she’s warning us. Telling us that once you get used to losing, you start losing bigger things. Houses, people, etc. The more you lose, the higher the cost” and from that moment on, in the book, the more loss that came, the bigger the cost for them personally.
I gave this book 5/5 stars. It was fantastic!
Title: All My Rage
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Publication Date: March 1, 2022
Trigger Warnings: Drug and alcohol addiction, physical abuse, tense exchange with law enforcement, Islamophobia, sexual assault
Have you read any of Sabaa Tahir’s other books?