Author: Samira Ahmed
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
(Hachette Book Group)
Date published: March 19, 2019
A physical copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Rebellions are built on hope.
Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens. With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the internment camp’s Director and his guards.
Heart-racing and emotional, Internment challenges readers to fight complicit silence that exists in our society today.
I knew when requesting Internment by Samira Ahmed that it would not be an easy and fluffy read. I actually selected the book due to the subjects that it would address. I wanted and expected to be moved and horrified, and I got my wish. What I did not expect, however, was how much more impactful Interment would be for me due to it being narrated in the first person. While I can in no way say that it made me step into Layla’s shoes, because I cannot begin to imagine going through what she does, I can say that I was definitely more affected by Layla’s environment and by events that I would have been if the narration had been in the third person.
Ahmed successfully portrayed the feelings, priorities, etc. of an average teen living in the U.S. today, which in turn made the whole story seem even more believable. What I found to be the most shocking, and definitely a wakeup call, was the author’s note at the end of the book. Ahmed speaks of refugee children and how there are already internment camps in which they are being kept in the U.S. right now. This is all already happening right now, and that is definitely horrifying. The world needs to become better. We need to become better. And Internment really drove that point home. It’s been a while since I’ve been so affected by a book that is not nonfiction, and I highly recommend it to teens, young adults, and adults alike.
Samira Ahmed was born in Bombay, India, and grew up in Batavia, Illinois, in a house that smelled like fried onions, spices, and potpourri. She currently resides in the Midwest. She’s lived in Vermont, New York City, and Kauai, where she spent a year searching for the perfect mango. A graduate of the University of Chicago, she taught high school English for seven years, worked to create over 70 small high schools in New York City, and fought to secure billions of additional dollars to fairly fund public schools throughout New York State. She’s appeared in the New York Times, New York Daily News, Fox News, NBC, NY1, NPR, and on BBC Radio. Her creative non-fiction and poetry has appeared in Jaggery Lit, Entropy, the Fem, and Claudius Speaks.
THANK YOU FOR READING MY REVIEW! HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT DID YOU THINK? AND IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT YET, DO YOU WANT TO, OR NOT? HOW COME? LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS!