Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1660
A book of laughter and tears
Overall rating
Writing Style
Shabnam Qureshi is done with high school, ready to move on to college, and start a new chapter in her life. Her final high school weeks are filled with slip ups, mistakes, and lies, and Shabnam is ready to get away from it all. When she finds a job at a pie shack for the summer, everything changes. Shabnam meets Jamie, a cute boy who seems fascinated by her, and the two bond over poetry. However, Shabnam’s best friend, Farah, whom Shabnam has felt awkward around since Farah started wearing a headscarf, is suspicious about Jamie. As the summer unfolds, Shabnam will learn more about herself, love, friendship, and family.

THAT THING WE CALL A HEART is a beautifully emotional story that tackles stereotypes, first love, cultural norms, and more. Sheba Karim creates an easily relatable protagonist in Shabnam, a young woman who wants to fit in. What I love most about this novel is that it focuses on more than romantic matters of the heart. It delves into romantic love, friendship love, family love, and self-love.

I also love that Jamie isn’t a glaringly suspicious guy. His charm and attention makes it easy to see why someone could get a pretty big crush quickly. Yet, as Shabnam continues her journey, readers will see hints of something a little more selfish in him and the ways in which first love can create rose-tinted glasses. But most of all, Shabnam and Farah’s relationship is nuanced and complex, full of tense moments, heartfelt conversations, and a multifaceted exploration of what it means to be a true friend.

Overall, THAT THING WE CALL A HEART will have you laughing and crying in equal measure.
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