Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali is a superbly sweet, own-voices YA romance that will sweep you away and have you rooting for these characters at every turn.
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.
I loved this charming, unlikely love story between two people each facing unique challenges. Adam and Zayneb have the most adorable meet-cute, but their road to romance is a bumpy one — making Love from A to Z all the more captivating, as you wait to see how things will work out.
Part of what makes this book so compelling is that it’s not just about if or how these two characters will end up together, but rather their individual journeys. Adam, coming to terms with his diagnosis and trying to figure out how to navigate what he thinks is best for his family with his own medical needs. And Zayneb, justifiably angry about the hate and vitriol propagated against Muslims, not just in general, but by her own teacher in her own classroom. (And seriously, Zayneb and her fellow justice-seeking classmates are GOALS!)
So you’ve got two people facing their own challenging circumstances, and then they stumble into each other’s lives, and it’s that balance that carries us through Love from A to Z, making it a delightful and remarkable love story.
Rich with diversity, enriching friends and family member side characters, and a truly delightful romance, Love from A to Z is available now.