Book Review: “The Lines We Cross” by Randa Abdel-Fattah

Title: The Lines We Cross

Author: Randa Abdel-Fattah

Published: May 4th, 2017

Publisher: Scholastic  

Find the Author: Goodreads 

I received this book for review on my blog! As always, my reviews are fair and unbiased.

Boy meets girl. Girl changes everything.

Michael likes to hang out with his friends and play with the latest graphic design software. His parents drag him to rallies held by their anti-immigrant group, which rails against the tide of refugees flooding the country. And it all makes sense to Michael.

Until Mina, a beautiful girl from the other side of the protest lines, shows up at his school, and turns out to be funny, smart—and a Muslim refugee from Afghanistan. Suddenly, his parents’ politics seem much more complicated.

Mina has had a long and dangerous journey fleeing her besieged home in Afghanistan, and now faces a frigid reception at her new prep school, where she is on scholarship. As tensions rise, lines are drawn. Michael has to decide where he stands. Mina has to protect herself and her family. Both have to choose what they want their world to look like.

First Thoughts

As soon as The Lines We Cross landed in my lap (thank you, Scholastic!), I was entranced. Not only did it seem frank from the synopsis, but definitely lifelike. I was eager to dig in and after it ended up on top of my TBR recently, I was SO ready for it. 

My Review

Michael is pretty normal. He likes to hang out with his friends and be a normal Australian teenager. But he can’t ignore that his Parent’s haven’t got the best outlook on life that many millennials have – except he’s going along with it, and underneath it all, he knows it’s wrong but somehow, he can’t pull away from his Parents values on immigrants; because they run a group that’s strictly against them. 

Mina, on the other hand, is everything Michael isn’t. She’s an immigrant who came to Australia as a refugee. She’s loved and she’s lost so many people close to her after escaping Afghanistan, but when she meets Michael, their lives collide in a strange way, suddenly opening Michael’s eyes to the horrid ways his Parents have blinded people with their racist way of life and culture. 

I’ve never read a book quite like The Lines We Cross. It’s political, hard-hitting, true and touching. It’s Mina’s voice that truly shatters through the stereotypes of supposed dominant cultures and breathes a breath of fresh air into the pages. She’s angry at the hurt she feels so deeply and the way that she can’t escape the people like Michael’s Parents. But despite that, it’s Michael that changes the most throughout the novel (despite loving Mina the most). No longer going along with his Parents cruel actions, he has an epiphany that clears his fogged vision. Mina has captured his heart in ways that he hasn’t felt before, and that changes everything. 

This is Realistic YA at it’s finest. Even though there were parts and points that I didn’t necessarily gel with completely, I truly loved The Lines We Cross. It’s one of the most unique books I’ve read this year and truly memorable for the realistic aspects that it touched upon. Overall, this is such a must read because of the society we live in. I loved the way that Randa captured Mina’s hurt at feeling that people like Michael’s parents thought they were the dominant culture just because they were white. The truth is that we are all equals; no matter what colour your skin is, whether you’re straight, gay, bisexual or a man or woman or trans. We were all born equal and if anyone ever tries to tell you that you’re not good enough, let me tell you this: you are enough. 


Have you read The Lines We Cross?

What did you think?

Let me know in the comments or on twitter @LittleMemoirs!

happy reading!

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