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YA Review: All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir

Title: All My Rage
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Year published: 2022
Category: YA fiction
Pages: 384 pages
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location: (my 2023 Google Reading map)USA (CA), Pakistan

SummaryLahore, 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.

Review: I have had this one on my TBR pile for a while and am not sure why it took me so long to get to it, but I am glad I finally did.

Noor and Sal are very likable; I immediately wanted things to be easier for them, for them to figure out their friendship, and for the adults in their lives to get their acts together and to be supportive of these bright teenagers. I liked that they narrated alternating chapters and that Sal's mother's narration connected it all with memories of Pakistan, her earlier life, and what it was like to come to the US and raise a child.

Life can be tough, but having a good friend by one's side makes it tolerable, and even good. Noor and Sal are that for one another; I liked that their friendship wasn't perfect and that they were figuring it out as they went along like most of us do. Having known each other since they were young adds a close dimension that feels like family, which both of these characters need.

This book is fantastic and handles issues such as addiction, abuse, friendship, love (familial and romantic), rage/anger, and more. The characters are so real, the story moving and sweet, and I see why it won the 2022 National Book Award for YA literature and the 2023 Michael Printz Award.

Challenges for which this counts: 
  • Alphabet (author)--T
  • Popsugar--Just text on the cover

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