Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali (Book Review)

Publisher: Salaam Reads/Simon and Schuster
Page Count
: 336

First of all, I want give a huge shout out to Analee @Book Snacks because she hosted a giveaway which let me pick this fabulous book as my prize. Thank you so, so much! I rarely ever get lucky with giveaways, so this had me jumping up and down with glee when I found out. On to the actual book now! (TW: sexual assault!)

It’s no secret that I have been in a bit of a reading slump these past months, with things other than books occupying my mind. But even before that, I can’t remember the last time I stayed up until the early hours to keep reading like I did with Saints and Misfits. It’s not that this was such an action-packed story, quite the opposite, but it had me stressed out about 80% of the time. Janna’s story is one of a regular Muslim teen and super relatable at that even if you aren’t 100% familiar with her culture and religion. I truly loved that about the book. Aside from a dark twist early on, it’s very much grounded in her High School experience, struggle with finding her place in her community and family as well as figuring out how her belief fits into her daily and romantic life. Simultaneously, there’s this dark cloud following her every step in the shape of “the monster”. I don’t want to give away what exactly happens, but whereas the book gave me so many characters to love (Pick a favorite!?!? Janna, Nuah, Sarah, Tats – I CANNOT EVEN CHOSE!), it also gave me that one person to channel all my anger towards. I didn’t always agree with other people’s take on the events that happened, especially the ones calling Janna “weak”. I believe that most of us think that we would fight back immediately when something bad happens to us, but that is far from reality when the situation actually occurs. Her initial helplessness was contagious and I think that’s why I felt so connected to Janna all through the story. Add the side tale with Mr. Ram, with her emotions and thoughts very much mirroring my own after something that happened in my life and this book was sure to have me hooked forevermore.

I was sobbing during the last chapters. I was sad and touched and glad and angry. Any book that evokes so many emotions in me is one that I can only recommend to others as well. As much as I enjoyed the book, I couldn’t give it a full 5 stars, because of the pacing and the flow. Especially in the beginning, I thought that some of the story felt a little hacked up and not cohesive enough in terms of how it flowed. And then the end came very abruptly. I am a person who enjoys finding out about consequences as well and that wasn’t really given in the final pages. Still, I feel like this book will stay with me for a while and I am sure I will revisit these characters again and again in the future.

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! I will cherish this one in my heart for a long time!

Have you read Saints and Misfits? Do you want to?