The Weight of Our Sky
Age recommendation: YA- ages 14 and up
Islamic screening: music references. 16 year old Melati does casually touch and interact with young men and though there is no dating/physical stuff involved, it did strike me as a little odd for her not to have any awareness of her own body/feelings (beyond what seemed like a middle-school level crush) note: Melati mentions some doubt in believing in God and feeling like God was unfair to her, though at the end she did start praying/believing again.
Summary: Melati is a teenager that struggles with OCD and thinks that it is a Djinn inside of her controlling her (this inner struggle and how she handles it is so well-written!) She is thrust into the Malaysian riots that happened between mostly the Malays and Chinese in 1969. It seemed that it became a ethnic divisive issue only after political/social problems turned it into that. It was so sad to read about all the killing and violence. The book also shows kind and beautiful souls from both groups helping others around them. I love how the author brought awareness to that part of Malaysian history, and showed the humanity of people, regardless of their religion. I like how the book was filled with Malaysian culture and references to food and language. I loved how diverse it was and it made me smile to see how beautifully Melati describes her country.
The issue of mental illness was also super important in the book and highlighted to the reader clearly. It brings awareness to an issue that can be considered taboo in some societies, and shows the need for proper treatment.
I struggled with the voice of Melati in the book. She seemed to talk like a 12/13 year old, not a 16 year old, due the way she looked at the world around her, and even the way others treated her (like a little kid) I feel like had she been 12 years old, and the book a middle grade level, it would have instantly become a 10/10 and made more sense to me.
It is still an amazingly written book, and @yesitshanna is a brilliant author who has so much wonderful talent!
price: 11 usd
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