Title: I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister
Author: Amélie Sarn
Release Date: Aug. 2014
Place on Hold
Synopsis: Sohanes sister Djelila is dead. She was murdered by a gang of boys because she chose to reject the Muslim customs. Sohane was expelled from her school for choosing to embrace them. Now that her sister is gone Sohane must come to terms with her grief and her guilt. During Djelilas last days Sohane felt that they couldn’t have been more different, now she comes to realize that their problems have always been the same.
I absolutely loved this book. It was powerful and I think it will help raise awareness of the issues facing women. This story is fiction but the violence against girls and women is real. There wasn’t a moment of this book that I didn’t love. It was beautifully written and the message it sends is perfect. This is one of my new favorite books and I want every one to read it. I want ever girl to recognize that what they wear is their choice and that they should wear whatever makes them happy and comfortable. I want every boy to recognize that every girl has a right to wear whatever they please without comment, harassment or judgement. This book conveyed that message in less than 150 pages and it was amazing.
One of the great parts of the book was the perspective. The story was told as Sohane talking to Djelila after her death. It was so beautiful for Sohane to deal with all of her grief, guilt and anger by talking to Djelila. It also allowed the reader to get a deeper look at their relationship and it demonstrated that the issues facing women don’t just come from men, they come from the social stigma that women also perpetuate. I loved that the book brought up this point. Sohane and Djelila loved each other dearly but there was a lot of judgment between them. You know the problem runs deep when Sohane can believe that Djelilas harassment is partly own fault. The scene where she comes to realize the error of that thinking is wonderfully written. It reads
I wanted to protect you, but from what? I did not recognize the enemy. I wanted to protect you, but I let vicious people attack you. I let Majid and his gang hurt you. I was too sure of myself. I wanted to protect you; I did not understand. I was so sure I was right. And if I was right, you had to be wrong. Enemy sisters. I didn’t want it to be that way. But the only way to be close to you was to put you on the right path. I thought you were lying to yourself, that you were betraying your family, your roots, your god, out of boldness. I was your big sister. And I was going to bring you gently back to reason.
God forgive me.
Arrogance is is sin.
I wanted to protect you and you
And that is one of the most well written and hauntingly beautiful things I’ve read.
The author also discussed feminism in this book which I really appreciated. Many people have the misconception that feminism is anti-man and anti-femininity when that just isn’t true. The author points out that feminism is about being equal to men and choosing for yourself how to look and act without fear of judgement. Both Sohane and Djelila were self admitted feminists. They were just on opposite ends of the spectrum. Sohane wanted to choose to cover up and Djelila wanted to choose to uncover. Nothing is wrong with either choice. It should be their right. Only it isn’t. They are ridiculed and murdered for their decisions. Part of Feminism is the belief that they should have the right to choose, regardless of the choice they make. I love how well the book exemplifies this point.
My favorite thing was that the book pointed out all these issues without commenting on them. The author left it up to the reader to recognize that the assumptions aren’t true and that the situations aren’t just . No one who reads this book will side with Djelilas murderer or Sohanes school board. No one will think that it’s okay that Djelila was called a slut for the way she chose to dress, so why do we do it in real life ?
This was a really profound book that will make people think. It was beautiful, amazing and sad. I give it one billion stars and I highly recommend it.