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Zara Hossain Is Here

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Zara's family has waited years for their visa process to be finalized so that they can officially become US citizens. But it only takes one moment for that dream to come crashing down around them. Seventeen-year-old Pakistani immigrant, Zara Hossain, has been leading a fairly typical life in Corpus Christi, Texas, since her family moved there for her father to work as a ped Zara's family has waited years for their visa process to be finalized so that they can officially become US citizens. But it only takes one moment for that dream to come crashing down around them. Seventeen-year-old Pakistani immigrant, Zara Hossain, has been leading a fairly typical life in Corpus Christi, Texas, since her family moved there for her father to work as a pediatrician. While dealing with the Islamophobia that she faces at school, Zara has to lay low, trying not to stir up any trouble and jeopardize their family's dependent visa status while they await their green card approval, which has been in process for almost nine years. But one day her tormentor, star football player Tyler Benson, takes things too far, leaving a threatening note in her locker, and gets suspended. As an act of revenge against her for speaking out, Tyler and his friends vandalize Zara's house with racist graffiti, leading to a violent crime that puts Zara's entire future at risk. Now she must pay the ultimate price and choose between fighting to stay in the only place she's ever called home or losing the life she loves and everyone in it. From the author of the "heart-wrenching yet hopeful" (Samira Ahmed) novel, The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali, comes a timely, intimate look at what it means to be an immigrant in America today, and the endurance of hope and faith in the face of hate.


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Zara's family has waited years for their visa process to be finalized so that they can officially become US citizens. But it only takes one moment for that dream to come crashing down around them. Seventeen-year-old Pakistani immigrant, Zara Hossain, has been leading a fairly typical life in Corpus Christi, Texas, since her family moved there for her father to work as a ped Zara's family has waited years for their visa process to be finalized so that they can officially become US citizens. But it only takes one moment for that dream to come crashing down around them. Seventeen-year-old Pakistani immigrant, Zara Hossain, has been leading a fairly typical life in Corpus Christi, Texas, since her family moved there for her father to work as a pediatrician. While dealing with the Islamophobia that she faces at school, Zara has to lay low, trying not to stir up any trouble and jeopardize their family's dependent visa status while they await their green card approval, which has been in process for almost nine years. But one day her tormentor, star football player Tyler Benson, takes things too far, leaving a threatening note in her locker, and gets suspended. As an act of revenge against her for speaking out, Tyler and his friends vandalize Zara's house with racist graffiti, leading to a violent crime that puts Zara's entire future at risk. Now she must pay the ultimate price and choose between fighting to stay in the only place she's ever called home or losing the life she loves and everyone in it. From the author of the "heart-wrenching yet hopeful" (Samira Ahmed) novel, The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali, comes a timely, intimate look at what it means to be an immigrant in America today, and the endurance of hope and faith in the face of hate.

30 review for Zara Hossain Is Here

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jananie (thisstoryaintover)

    ahh this was so great! a really quick read with some great characters and a deep look at the U.S. immigration system. I loved how this book had a lot of similarities to Sabina Khan's THE LOVE AND LIES OF RUKHSANA ALI but also portrayed a totally different family dynamic and situation. I love that this will be a book that a lot of immigrant kids can read and feel seen <3 ahh this was so great! a really quick read with some great characters and a deep look at the U.S. immigration system. I loved how this book had a lot of similarities to Sabina Khan's THE LOVE AND LIES OF RUKHSANA ALI but also portrayed a totally different family dynamic and situation. I love that this will be a book that a lot of immigrant kids can read and feel seen <3

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    GR review to come or read it early HERE. GR review to come or read it early HERE.

  3. 4 out of 5

    nitya

    Thank you so much to the author for the ARC! Content warning: racism/bullying, Islamophobia, gun violence, biphobia (from one character) RTC.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Larry H

    Zara Hossain Is Here , Sabina Khan's newest YA novel, is a poignant, powerful story about the racism and prejudice faced by immigrants, even within their own religions and cultures. “My presentation in class today has reminded me that I exist in a sort of no-man’s-land. I wasn’t born here, but I don’t remember much of Pakistan and I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I still lived there. But I know how a lot of people here feel about immigrants. So...where do I belong?” As the only Mus Zara Hossain Is Here , Sabina Khan's newest YA novel, is a poignant, powerful story about the racism and prejudice faced by immigrants, even within their own religions and cultures. “My presentation in class today has reminded me that I exist in a sort of no-man’s-land. I wasn’t born here, but I don’t remember much of Pakistan and I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I still lived there. But I know how a lot of people here feel about immigrants. So...where do I belong?” As the only Muslim in her conservative Texas Catholic high school, Zara Hossain stands out—and not for the reasons she wants to. Every day she faces abuse—vicious stares and comments about terrorism, especially from football player Tyler Benson and his friends. But when she dares to challenge him in front of his friends, he vandalizes her locker, which sets off a chain of events that leads to tragedy and upheaval. Zara’s parents contemplate moving back to Pakistan, but that will upend Zara’s life. She won’t be able to get as good of a college education there, and being bisexual, she’ll face even more prejudice from her own people. But how can she stay in the U.S. if her parents go? I thought Zara Hossain Is Here was a really good, thought-provoking read about an all-too-familiar experience immigrants face. It’s also particularly timely given the recent rise in violence against Asians. This is the first book of Sabina Khan’s I’ve read, although her first book, The Love and Lives of Rukhsana Ali , is on my TBR as well. I love how she captured both the racial prejudice immigrants face and the judgment faced in their own communities for things like not being “devout enough.” It was great to be part of the tour for this book. Storygram Tours, IReadYA, and Sabina Khan provided me with complimentary copies of both of Khan's books in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making them available! Check out my list of the best books I read in 2020 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2020.html. Check out my list of the best books of the last decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  5. 4 out of 5

    anya

    This was a quick and gripping yet powerful story about fighting back against an immense and broken system. Highly recommend!! Update: November 10 2020 now Does anyone have a time machine? If so plz contact me ASAP I need a quick journey to a bookstore on July 7 2020 thx

  6. 4 out of 5

    Janna

    i am absolutely in love with zara hossain. we've got a bisexual mc and a lesbian love interest and we even got discussions about their individual struggles! there's trans inclusive feminism, curvy main characters and a lesbian teacher. there are literally so many important discussions in this one about white privilege, racism, xenophobia and gun violence. this is so crucial bc ya is accessible for so many and young people will learn so much from this! our love interest struggles with having homop i am absolutely in love with zara hossain. we've got a bisexual mc and a lesbian love interest and we even got discussions about their individual struggles! there's trans inclusive feminism, curvy main characters and a lesbian teacher. there are literally so many important discussions in this one about white privilege, racism, xenophobia and gun violence. this is so crucial bc ya is accessible for so many and young people will learn so much from this! our love interest struggles with having homophobic christian parents, whereas our Muslim mc is supported wholeheartedly by her parents. i could cry because this representation was so good. this book is fast paced, features likeable characters and a cute romance and more importantly, the message that white supremacists can fuck off already. (bonus points for the freddie mercury references, my queen loving heart was smiling so much) please. read this book. i know you'll love it as much as me. thanks to edelweiss i received an arc in exchange for an honest opinion. Instagram / Readerly / TikTok / Twitter /

  7. 4 out of 5

    Saajid Hosein

    I liked the overall plot of the story, it was interesting and fast pace and kept me on my toes. My only issue with the book was that it felt a bit performative in its social justice themes, a tad bit on the nose at times. I did appreciate some of the the issues the author explored however. It was a pretty solid read, despite not being as good as her first contemporary novel.

  8. 5 out of 5

    bella

    3.5 stars trigger + content warnings: gun violence, shooting, racism, vandalism, xenophobia, islamophobia, medical content, hospitals, biphobia, homophobia, bullying, racial slurs, threat of violence, religion overall, this is an enjoyable read that addresses many important topics, including being an immigrant in america, islamophobia, and being queer (along with intersections of those identities). i appreciate the positive relationship zara has with her parents and how openly supportive they are 3.5 stars trigger + content warnings: gun violence, shooting, racism, vandalism, xenophobia, islamophobia, medical content, hospitals, biphobia, homophobia, bullying, racial slurs, threat of violence, religion overall, this is an enjoyable read that addresses many important topics, including being an immigrant in america, islamophobia, and being queer (along with intersections of those identities). i appreciate the positive relationship zara has with her parents and how openly supportive they are of her. one of my main issues with the book was the pacing. it’s a fairly fast-paced book that was able to keep my interest, but at times the plot felt rushed. there were also a few subplots that seemed glossed over or crammed in. at times, the discussion of issues felt heavy-handed and i didn’t fully agree with everything that was said. for example, (view spoiler)[there is discussion of the family moving to canada because “things are better there” than in the US in terms of racism and islamophobia. i think this should’ve been discussed with more depth and nuance because they seemed to view canada in an idealized way. (hide spoiler)] that said, i do think this book is an important one

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tova

    Some things, like Fawad Khan and Zara Hossain, are worth staying up until nearly 2 am reading! RTC in April, when all of you can read this fabulous book! My sincerest thanks to the author, Sabina Khan for providing me with an ARC. This book hit shelves April 6th, 2021. --- And the holidays came early because I won an ARC of this book!!!!! I am so excited Update: This is now releasing in April 2021, and its sad because I just want to read this book right now! When I said this: I am a simple woman, I Some things, like Fawad Khan and Zara Hossain, are worth staying up until nearly 2 am reading! RTC in April, when all of you can read this fabulous book! My sincerest thanks to the author, Sabina Khan for providing me with an ARC. This book hit shelves April 6th, 2021. --- And the holidays came early because I won an ARC of this book!!!!! I am so excited Update: This is now releasing in April 2021, and its sad because I just want to read this book right now! When I said this: I am a simple woman, I see a Sabina Khan book ready to emotionally devastate me and possibly reference Fawad Khan, I like. I hit want to read. I was hoping that this would be what would come of this book. Little did I know that I was actually correct. First of all the main character is BISEXUAL (brown, bisexual & Muslim, we stan) and there will be lots (according to the author) of Fawad Khan references. If you know me, ya girl is thriving!!!!! But that November 10th, 2020 release date has me thriving a little let. But it's okay, November will come, this is just 370 days away.

  10. 4 out of 5

    It's Jess✨

    This book really makes you face the constant struggle of being different in a violent world. To be very clear specifically Muslim immigrants in the United States. THINGS I Enjoyed Showing progressive, caring, and loving Muslim parents!! It's so cool to see especially in YA. Her friend Nick was my favorite character! He was hilarious and charming and I want one..... HAHA Zara is a strong character who is complex and really growing from beginning to end. Half way through I was SHOCKED! And I cried for This book really makes you face the constant struggle of being different in a violent world. To be very clear specifically Muslim immigrants in the United States. THINGS I Enjoyed Showing progressive, caring, and loving Muslim parents!! It's so cool to see especially in YA. Her friend Nick was my favorite character! He was hilarious and charming and I want one..... HAHA Zara is a strong character who is complex and really growing from beginning to end. Half way through I was SHOCKED! And I cried for the characters so you know the characters were developed well! Only think I didn't enjoy was the love story felt a little rushed, but I still enjoyed the conversations around love and queerness. SOME SPOILERS I loved the representation and how it made me think deeper. The only reason it's not a five star is because I wish it was loner (personal preference) and, though the ending is supposed to be hopefully, it gave me pause. Yes, we need to keep fighting for justice but it is also truly sad to think about how the US isn't safe for everyone. That some people do need to leave. As a mixed (black/hispanic) American it hurts to see people struggle so hard and to come to the realization that they just can't stay in the US. Which is very realistic - it makes a lot of sense - but it's still sad and disheartening. My heart goes out to all those who struggle through violent racist acts and this terrible immigration system.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Fanna

    October 07, 2020: I mean, I'm pretty sure I would love this. October 07, 2020: I mean, I'm pretty sure I would love this.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Toya (the reading chemist)

    CW: racism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, gun violence, homophobia, biphobia, bullying Zara Hossain is Here is one of those books that I think should be required reading for young people. There are a lot of heavy topics and themes discussed in this book (see content warnings above), but Sabina Khan brilliantly examines the struggles of being a Pakistani and Muslim immigrant in the US. Zara is a high school senior in Corpus Christi, TX at a wealthy private high school thanks to her dad’s job as a pedia CW: racism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, gun violence, homophobia, biphobia, bullying Zara Hossain is Here is one of those books that I think should be required reading for young people. There are a lot of heavy topics and themes discussed in this book (see content warnings above), but Sabina Khan brilliantly examines the struggles of being a Pakistani and Muslim immigrant in the US. Zara is a high school senior in Corpus Christi, TX at a wealthy private high school thanks to her dad’s job as a pediatrician at the local hospital. Life at school isn’t exactly smooth sailing since she has to deal with the head jock’s (Tyler) constant racist and Islamophobic remarks. Zara has always just tried to push through to keep her parents from worrying until Tyler’s antics escalate. Now everything that Zara and her family has worked for is in jeopardy, and of course, the Brown immigrants are the ones who stand to lose everything. Zara is a phenomenal character. First off, she’s bisexual, which is addressed on page. There are several conversations surrounding Zara’s sexuality being at odds with her religious identity, and that even though her parents are 100% supportive, Zara would have to hide that aspect of her in Pakistan. She would not have the privilege of being out as she is in the US. This is stark contrast to Zara’s girlfriend Chloe, who is a white Catholic American girl with parents who are unwilling to accept that their daughter is lesbian. I love that Khan showed this dichotomy and even addresses that the assumption that it’s always the parents within Muslim communities that do not accept queerness when in this case, it’s the opposite. The insight into just how complicated and messy the immigration system was much appreciated. I think that there’s this ideology in the US specifically that as long as you enter the country legally (as is the case here with employer sponsored visas) that everything will proceed without any hiccups. The way Khan challenged this naive notion and highlighted how flawed the system truly is was eye-opening. I want to quickly comment on the side characters of this book. I absolutely loved Zara’s parents and their unwavering love and support for their daughter no matter what avenues she wanted to pursue. Zara’s two best friends, Nick and Priya were also really well done. Some of my favorite moments in the book was seeing how seamlessly Nick was incorporated into Zara’s family and traditions. Nick is Mexican American, but when he’s at Zara’s house, he uses the traditional honorifics when addressing Zara’s family. Overall, this is a brilliant coming of age novel that provides raw insight into the struggles of being an immigrant while also highlighting the importance of remembering that the meaning of home may not always be the land your from but the people that you surround yourself with especially in times of strife. Thank you to Scholastic Inc (I Read YA) for providing a copy for review. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sabreena - Books and Prosecco

    Apparently, this book has a lot of people obsessing about Fawad Khan... so I'm in. Apparently, this book has a lot of people obsessing about Fawad Khan... so I'm in.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jen Petro-Roy

    Fantastic.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Iriah

    I am thankful to the author and publishers for the free ebook. The author has written about a very serious and sensitive issue. The muslims, particulary Pakistani muslims are always misunderstood. People need to understand that the actions of one muslim don't speak for the whole nation. This book tells us the same thing. The unfairness to muslims is at peak everywhere around the world. People need to educate themselves about Islam, Pakistan and muslims. Zara's story opened my eyes to something tha I am thankful to the author and publishers for the free ebook. The author has written about a very serious and sensitive issue. The muslims, particulary Pakistani muslims are always misunderstood. People need to understand that the actions of one muslim don't speak for the whole nation. This book tells us the same thing. The unfairness to muslims is at peak everywhere around the world. People need to educate themselves about Islam, Pakistan and muslims. Zara's story opened my eyes to something that I never thought about. Being outsider, the sense of being looked as an immigrant first and other things rather than being treated as human is something so common and Zara's life was same. She was lucky to have friends like Nick and Priya. I doubt everyone gets so lucky in real life. What I liked the most was the everlasting support of Zara's parents for her. That's what people take for granted when they have been given this support so freely. I liked the fact that they didn't try to enforce what they thought was right for Zara. They always stood up for her. They sacrificed so much for her future, it brought tears to my eyes. Also,I am glad Zara loved her parents and wasn't selfish enough to let them suffer even more. Glad that she was a good daughter. I liked her. I am relieved that the author mentioned the fact that everyone observes Islam differently. So we can't judge one muslim for entire muslim community. I am not saying I agree with Zara's view about her religion and the way she led her life, but that was her choice. Muslims usually don't live that way and Zara might be wrong about many things so people might want to keep it on their mind while reading it. Also, I'm glad Zara loved her country and her religion regardless of how she led her life. I guess religion is something personal and is between the person and God. I enjoyed this book. The injustice to Zara's family and other immigrants broke my heart. I hope that would change one day.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Jayyn

    🥪🥪🥪 (three stars as rated in home-packed lunches exchanged between two best friends) Zara Hossain wants what most teenagers do; to finish up high school, have fun with her friends along the way and attend a good college after she graduates. Looming around Zara and her otherwise typical high school experience, however, is a cloud of Islamaphobia that seems to be only getting worse in her hometown of Corpus Cristi, Texas. Having immigrated to the United States when she was an infant, American life 🥪🥪🥪 (three stars as rated in home-packed lunches exchanged between two best friends) Zara Hossain wants what most teenagers do; to finish up high school, have fun with her friends along the way and attend a good college after she graduates. Looming around Zara and her otherwise typical high school experience, however, is a cloud of Islamaphobia that seems to be only getting worse in her hometown of Corpus Cristi, Texas. Having immigrated to the United States when she was an infant, American life is all that Zara has ever known. To some, though – namely one particularly bigotted bully named Tyler – Zara’s mere existence is a threat. One night Tyler takes his harassment way too far, threatening everything Zara’s family has waited and worked for, including their American citizenship. Zara maintains that she is here to stay. But how does one person fight back against centuries of xenophobia? And how can you make a safe place for yourself in a country that doesn’t want you? “It’s so easy to paint all the people you don’t want to accept with the same brush. That way you can tell yourself you’re just protecting your way of life and that they’re the ones encroaching upon your space." What Zara Hossain is Here illustrates better than most books I’ve read is just how needlessly convoluted and ridiculously backwards our immigration system is and how it isn’t actually benefiting us to do things the way we currently are. The hoops Zara’s family must jump through to obtain their green cards only to have the whole thing fall apart because of one racist family’s reprehensible actions is beyond upsetting. I recommend this book first and foremost for this small glimpse into the immigrant experience. Zara’s relationships with her friends and girlfriend, however, are just a beautiful icing to an already well constructed cake. I applaud Zara for never being a pushover about what she was dealing with. Zara’s sense of self-worth and justice were very maturely written and as character she is beautifully written, well rounded and likeable. ✨ Rep in this book: Bisexual MC, Pakistani-American MC, Mexican-American supporting character, Indian-American supporting character ✨ Content warnings for this book: xenophobia, bullying, biphobia, transphobia, vomit, racism, gun violence, medical trauma, doxing, bomb threats Follow me on: Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Pinterest | Storygraph

  17. 5 out of 5

    Anjitha

    It's been a very long time since I completed a book in one sitting. I am so glad I picked it up and starting the pride month with a great book. Zara Hossain is a 17-year-old bisexual studying in Corpus Christi a private high school, her father is a paediatrician working in the local hospital. Her family immigrated to America when she was three and pretty much all her childhood memories are those spend in America. Her life is not that easy being a daughter of immigrant parents and being the only M It's been a very long time since I completed a book in one sitting. I am so glad I picked it up and starting the pride month with a great book. Zara Hossain is a 17-year-old bisexual studying in Corpus Christi a private high school, her father is a paediatrician working in the local hospital. Her family immigrated to America when she was three and pretty much all her childhood memories are those spend in America. Her life is not that easy being a daughter of immigrant parents and being the only Muslim in the school doesn't help it either. She is experiencing islamophobia and constant bullying from a jock named Tyler. She did try to keep her head down ignoring them but when she saw them bullying another student she couldn't keep it together and lashed out at them. One night her Father catches Tyler and his friends spray-painting a racist comment on their garage and goes to Tyler's house to confront him. Their Tylers father shoots him charging him with trespassing. I adored the relationship between Zara and her friends they are also there for her no matter what, this relationship made me fall in love with the story even more and also that between Zara and her parents just like her friends they are also there for her and accepted her for who she is and her sexuality. They always have Zaras back and is also very supportive towards her coming out. Last but not the least, the food(OMG how can I miss out on that) the food made the story even more intresting throughout the story it is filled with different varieties of delicious food which I did crave. An amazing light read on hope, immigration, coming out and friendship.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Hailey

    I love Zara Hossain!!!! This book is so well written, and I'm so glad I picked it up! Zara has to deal with SO MUCH CRAP in this book. She is a strong, bi, Muslim teen and I want to be her friend. I absolutely loved this book and Zara's strength! I love Zara Hossain!!!! This book is so well written, and I'm so glad I picked it up! Zara has to deal with SO MUCH CRAP in this book. She is a strong, bi, Muslim teen and I want to be her friend. I absolutely loved this book and Zara's strength!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Andrie Castillo

    Very well paced and kept me interested. But more importantly, this book left me with the message that even when it seems like you can’t, there is always a way to fight for the future you want. Really enjoyed this read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kara Jorgensen

    I received this ARC from Ms. Khan through a social media giveaway. I loved THE LOVE AND LIES OF RUKHSANA ALI, and I loved ZARA HOSSAIN IS HERE. Zara is a force to be reckoned with who loves her friends, her parents, and wants to leave the world a better place. This is a story of a young woman trying to take on racism and prejudice and fight them with all she has at her disposal. At the same time, the book is also about family, found family, community, and figuring out what is truly right or what I received this ARC from Ms. Khan through a social media giveaway. I loved THE LOVE AND LIES OF RUKHSANA ALI, and I loved ZARA HOSSAIN IS HERE. Zara is a force to be reckoned with who loves her friends, her parents, and wants to leave the world a better place. This is a story of a young woman trying to take on racism and prejudice and fight them with all she has at her disposal. At the same time, the book is also about family, found family, community, and figuring out what is truly right or what battles to take on to find true safety and happiness. The overall story was amazing, and I absolutely loved Ammi and Abbu, they are fantastic parents. I was also consistently hungry through the book, which is always a plus. The only thing I didn't love was that I felt like a lot of scenes that could have been important were sort of glossed over and that we lost some threads of the story in favor of others, which was slightly annoying as I wanted to know what happened. Overall though, the ending is satisfying while still leaving room for potentially more or for the reader to fill in. Make sure you pre-order a copy as ZARA HOSSAIN IS HERE comes out in April 2021!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sanah

    Thank you to the publisher for sending me an arc. I really enjoyed this; Zara was a relatable and strong mc with very real struggles. I loved the family dynamic and exploration of what really matters in life. There were so many important topics covered in the story such as prejudice, islamophobia, homophobia, racism, and more, and I think the author handled them all very well and wove them into the story in a natural and impactful way. I do have a few issues, thought they're slight and don't aff Thank you to the publisher for sending me an arc. I really enjoyed this; Zara was a relatable and strong mc with very real struggles. I loved the family dynamic and exploration of what really matters in life. There were so many important topics covered in the story such as prejudice, islamophobia, homophobia, racism, and more, and I think the author handled them all very well and wove them into the story in a natural and impactful way. I do have a few issues, thought they're slight and don't affect the overall story much. First off, the characters seemed a lot younger than they actually were, they're all around seventeen but when I first started reading I thought they were 14/15 until I read the part about them driving. Also, the ending was rushed in my opinion. The way things tie up so quickly didn't quite match the long list of issues, and the way they were stretched out for so many pages. The representation of culture was so enjoyable to read, and I think the themes explored in the story are important overall. I loved Zara's friend group and her support system, and I loved how she was so selfless and thoughtful as a character. She always considered how her actions would make people feel before she went through with them, and it was a really engaging quality of her character. Would definitely recommend, especially to readers who feel they could relate to the character. Thanks again to the publisher for sending this arc to me, and everyone make sure to read this when it releases! [3.5 stars]

  22. 4 out of 5

    Salma19 (High Lady of the Dawn Court)

    Well... I loved The love and lies of Rukhsana Ali. Of course this is one of my most anticipated releases! :D. I want to see my dear Muslim heroines rising up in YA.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Keisha Rembert

    I loved "The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali" and as soon as I brought it into my classroom, so did my students. The book won so many awards. I came to Khan's book, "Zara Hossain Is Here," with high expectations. Zara Hossain is every 17 year old with friends and college fears, except she isn't. She is a Muslim student attending a catholic school in Texas facing microaggressions daily until one day it turns into a macroagression. She is also bisexual. She is also waiting for her green card and hop I loved "The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali" and as soon as I brought it into my classroom, so did my students. The book won so many awards. I came to Khan's book, "Zara Hossain Is Here," with high expectations. Zara Hossain is every 17 year old with friends and college fears, except she isn't. She is a Muslim student attending a catholic school in Texas facing microaggressions daily until one day it turns into a macroagression. She is also bisexual. She is also waiting for her green card and hoping "I graduate at the end of this school year and don’t want to have to apply to college as an international student." That sounds like a lot for anyone, and it is for Zara. She must navigate her difficulties at school and the jeopardy it puts her family in with the support of her friends and really compassionate parents. The various intersections of Zara's character will relate to many young people. I do wonder if there are not too many things that distract from us really getting to know Zara's full story. While Zara's culture is centered and the reader fully understands the struggle of the process for citizenship and the pain of Islamophobia, there are elements of the writing that make the insertion of culture feel a bit forced. Overall, I think young people will find themselves in parts of this book while also wanting to find more of Zara.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Katie Desch

    I think the issues talked about in the book are super important, and why I pushed through to finish this one. It’s very representative of the terrible immigration system in the U.S. and highlights an array of issues and unfairness people of color — specifically people of the Muslim faith — face everyday. But i couldn’t help but feel like I was reading a string of Tweets with trigger word facts and language that are said to make people angry. And they rightly should make people angry but the exec I think the issues talked about in the book are super important, and why I pushed through to finish this one. It’s very representative of the terrible immigration system in the U.S. and highlights an array of issues and unfairness people of color — specifically people of the Muslim faith — face everyday. But i couldn’t help but feel like I was reading a string of Tweets with trigger word facts and language that are said to make people angry. And they rightly should make people angry but the execution in this novel just wasn’t successful. It’s written simply even for a Young Adult novel. It’s way too much tell not enough show in which made the whole book seem more trivial than for a senior in high school. The dialogue felt choppy, cliche, and disingenuous. There was even a moment where they “reached for the glass at the same time”, and another when “I let go of the breath I had been holding” and I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. It was all just…eh As always, these are only my opinions and how I felt while reading the story. Others may feel differently and that’s okay! I was disappointed because I’ve seen Zara weaving in out of my goodreads and Instagram feeds for the last few months.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jess (mrsmiralda)

    The main character is a Pakistani Muslim bisexual teenager who endured issues relating her residency in the United States. I loved that her parents were approving of her being bisexual, even when other Muslim friends/family told them it was haram (forbidden). They support Zara no matter what. The turn of events that happens towards the middle of the book totally changes the book from a cute rom com to a serious book about social injustice and racism in this country. There’s still very teenager-y The main character is a Pakistani Muslim bisexual teenager who endured issues relating her residency in the United States. I loved that her parents were approving of her being bisexual, even when other Muslim friends/family told them it was haram (forbidden). They support Zara no matter what. The turn of events that happens towards the middle of the book totally changes the book from a cute rom com to a serious book about social injustice and racism in this country. There’s still very teenager-y thoughts and decisions being made, but it holds more weight in the second half of the book. I really enjoyed reading this book, it was brimming with potential and something could’ve made it amazing but idk what it was missing exactly. I can’t speak for the Muslim or Pakistani rep, since I do not identify as either of those groups, but I can speak for the bisexual representation, and I absolutely loved it!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Thanks to Scholastic Press for the ARC of Zara Hossain is Here. This is my first novel to read by Khan and I was quite impressed. I enjoyed her mixture of cultural foods, language, movies, music, and so much more with enough context to understand and learn, not just drop a hint of an idea and move on. Khan tackles the tough issues, racism and immigration, without holding punches. Showing the legal battles many immigrants go through on their path to citizenship and how even the smallest of errors Thanks to Scholastic Press for the ARC of Zara Hossain is Here. This is my first novel to read by Khan and I was quite impressed. I enjoyed her mixture of cultural foods, language, movies, music, and so much more with enough context to understand and learn, not just drop a hint of an idea and move on. Khan tackles the tough issues, racism and immigration, without holding punches. Showing the legal battles many immigrants go through on their path to citizenship and how even the smallest of errors (whether legitimate or not) can throw the whole process off track. Her example of home and belonging throughout the story from both an immigrant and an LGBTQ perspective help all readers find a place to see themselves in the story.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Diya

    i finished zara hossein is here in less than a day and i loved it so so so much. rtc when i'm not a mess 😭 i finished zara hossein is here in less than a day and i loved it so so so much. rtc when i'm not a mess 😭

  28. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Geter

    Thank you to the publisher, HearOurVoices booktours, and edelweiss for gifting me a copy. All opinions are my own and this is an honest review~ This is my first Sabina Khan read and it definitely won't be my last! There is a lot to unpack in this book as the author touches on a lot of important topics. From the social commentary on immigration reformation, to the discussions on religion and the LGBTQIA+ community, Khan focuses on each subject diligently while also weaving a heartfelt story about l Thank you to the publisher, HearOurVoices booktours, and edelweiss for gifting me a copy. All opinions are my own and this is an honest review~ This is my first Sabina Khan read and it definitely won't be my last! There is a lot to unpack in this book as the author touches on a lot of important topics. From the social commentary on immigration reformation, to the discussions on religion and the LGBTQIA+ community, Khan focuses on each subject diligently while also weaving a heartfelt story about love, the power of friendship, and strong family dynamics. I am not Muslim or from Pakistan so I cannot speak for that community but I will say I loved reading about the different dishes there were and learning about Bollywood films & actors. I felt like I got this little slice of life from Pakistan and it was an enthralling experience. I appreciated how loving and supportive Zara's family were about her sexuality. They let her be unapologetically her and it was refreshing to witness. My only nitpick about this book is that I felt the ending was a little rushed and too neatly wrapped up; however, I still highly recommend this book. The discussions and events that Khan highlights in this book are impactful. TW: racism, bomb threat, homophobia, assault, slurs against the MC, gun violence, hatred against immigrants, etc.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Gargee | Sapphire Bubble

    I am ready for Sabina Khan to wreck me again like she did with The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali And by that I mean, I am not ready I am ready for Sabina Khan to wreck me again like she did with The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali And by that I mean, I am not ready

  30. 4 out of 5

    ~em~

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 2.5 STARS i could’ve been harsher and i could’ve done more with my rational thoughts and rated 𝙕𝙖𝙧𝙖 𝙃𝙤𝙨𝙨𝙖𝙞𝙣 𝙄𝙨 𝙃𝙚𝙧𝙚 with 2 stars, but i’m not. (in this case, 2.5 stars is not bad. i just didn’t see my life being really, REALLY being affected by this story). if you’re looking for more on a the reality of how someone’s life can be changed under quick, unfortunate circumstances, this might be for you. Zara Hossain has lived in Corpus Christi, Texas since she was a young toddler. Her parents came to t 2.5 STARS i could’ve been harsher and i could’ve done more with my rational thoughts and rated 𝙕𝙖𝙧𝙖 𝙃𝙤𝙨𝙨𝙖𝙞𝙣 𝙄𝙨 𝙃𝙚𝙧𝙚 with 2 stars, but i’m not. (in this case, 2.5 stars is not bad. i just didn’t see my life being really, REALLY being affected by this story). if you’re looking for more on a the reality of how someone’s life can be changed under quick, unfortunate circumstances, this might be for you. Zara Hossain has lived in Corpus Christi, Texas since she was a young toddler. Her parents came to the U.S. to provide her with a better life and giver her more opportunities. Zara is a queer Muslim who’s from Pakistan, and her peers at her Catholic school are giving her trouble just because of her beliefs and where she of from. overall, i liked this book and it’s very important and representative of the United State’s immigration system. it shows how unfair it is for people of color from other countries, and how they are treated differently. heck, people who are BORN HERE are treated differently. people who come to the U.S. LEGALLY are punished for things they do not do. read this, especially in light of the Asian hate around our country. or the migrant people fleeing from Mexico and coming through the border on foot just hoping for a better life. the culture of Zara’s family was very inviting. i would get into researching and keep researching, and be delighted to get back to the book. Zara’s parents were probably my favorite characters of the whole book. they are understanding of Zara’s sexuality and they just want her to be happy and keep her safe. 𝑺𝒑𝒐𝒊𝒍𝒆𝒓𝒔- Zara is not an unlikeable character, but sometimes, to me, she’d just come off the wrong way. otherwise, she is very real and has to deal with all of these unfortunate situations that are uprooting her life. i was kind of just along for the ride when it came to Chloe and Zara’s relationship. most of the time, i felt it was really surface level. they’d have the opportunity to go really into depth about some situations, and it’s not that they wouldn’t... it’s just i would want more. i just feel like they went to La Paletera, Scoopz, and Cole Park way too much. but they are cute. Zara’s friends are basically there for Zara to vent. they were also there for just the daily life parts, but weren’t there for huge events. although, Nick and Zara and getting married at the very end probably would’ve made this book funnier and more enjoyable, because i needed a good laugh. it was fun being able to imagine everything going on, because since i basically live in CC, TX, every single reference made sense. Sabina Khan even mentioned my favorite, underrated place to get kolaches. just to be clear, i do recommend 𝙕𝙖𝙧𝙖 𝙃𝙤𝙨𝙨𝙖𝙞𝙣 𝙄𝙨 𝙃𝙚𝙧𝙚 :) my expectations just weren't met, because they were really high. —————————————————————————————— (months earlier) I saw this on Instagram, looked it up on GR, read the description and once I saw Corpus Christi, Texas I immediately hit “Want to Read.” I live in CC and have only read one book that takes place here. (Also, it seems like a very intriguing book).

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