Book Review: I am Thunder and I won't keep quiet by Muhammad Khan


Source: Goodreads
ISBN 978-150987-4057

Genre: Fiction 

Publishers: Pan Macmillan India

Price: Rs. 399/-  ( I got the book for review from the publisher)
Behind the Book

Fifteen-year-old Muzna Saleem, who dreams of being a writer, struggles with controlling parents who only care about her studying to be a doctor. Forced to move to a new school in South London after her best friend is shamed in a scandal, Muzna realizes that the bullies will follow her wherever she goes. But deciding to stand and face them instead of fighting her instinct to disappear is harder than it looks when there's prejudice everywhere you turn. Until the gorgeous and confident Arif shows an interest in her, encouraging Muzna to explore her freedom.

But Arif is hiding his own secrets and, along with his brother Jameel, he begins to influence Muzna with their extreme view of the world. As her new freedom starts to disappear, Muzna is forced to question everything around her and make a terrible choice - keep quiet and betray herself, or speak out and betray her heart?

A stunning new YA voice which questions how far you'll go to protect what you believe in.

About the Author
Muhammad Khan is a maths teacher in a secondary school in Tooting and takes his inspiration from the children he teaches, as well as his own upbringing as a British-born Pakistani. He lives in South London and will be studying for a creative writing MA next year at Roehampton.

Off late I have been enjoying books like this which are considered #Ownvoices and show us a world so different than ours, highlighting the struggles of people in that part of the globe. This book was quite an eye-opener is its own way and was an interesting read as it talks about real world problems in a neutral tone.

For starters, I loved the cover. It is mysterious, intriguing and at the same time it is enticing. I totally fell in love with the character of Muzna. The way she evolves throughout the novel is something that is truly inspiring. Though there are a lot of things which are a dampener with regard to her characteristics but overall, she is my favourite from the book. Despite growing up in London, her trials and tribulations as a teenaged girl are so relatable. The bullying that she goes through in her school, the teenage crushes, friends you cannot do without and the ever fault finding family - those things were endearing to read about and it made me connect with Muzna on more than one levels.

The moment she meets Arif her life is in for a huge change. Unbeknownst to her, Universe has conspired against her with Arif and all hell breaks loose when she realises the trouble she has got herself into. Islamopobia is perhaps just a word we read in the newspapers for us but when you read the book you understand the extent till which it is hampering the youth across the world. It is scary and at the same, calls for our attention on an urgent basis. South Asians across the world have always had an issue adapting to the culture of their resident countries and I say this for every South Asian country. So I was not surprised to read that Muzna's parents were so conservative and orthodox in their beliefs and practices. For me,that was something totally acceptable given what I see all around me.

The language of the novel is heavily layered with a lot of British slangs and local terms which might be a turn off for some. For me, I enjoyed learning something new through those words. The plot is sensitive and the author has dealt with it poignantly. However there are certain scenes which made me wonder if they were actually needed to add value to the otherwise brilliant storyline.

Taut narrative and an interesting perspective, this story is one that needs to be read. Strongly recommended!

Foodie Verdict

This book is like Ker Sangri - traditionally rooted yet flavours that are unmatched for!

Source: Whisk Affair