I wanted to grab this book because I don’t think I’ve ever read a book by someone from Iraq. Then within a couple pages I realized that the girl who wrote it is my exact age. So she wrote this blog when we were in middle and high school, during the American-Iraq War. A lot of the content is about school and family life and all the exams she has to take, but in the background is constant bombings and shootings and killings. I couldn’t help but think about what I was doing around that time and what I would have written if I was keeping a blog back then.
My copy of this book is kinda fucked up–there are purple stains everywhere and water damage and pages had to be peeled off each other. So reading it was very physical and I had to be careful not to really tear anything. It changed the experience of reading I think because of how imperfect (tho still totally legible) it was. That links to the way Hadiyah (fake name) learns to express herself in English about such a deeply personal situation. I love how she keeps saying she’ll stop talking about politics but then she doesn’t lol. I wonder what she’s doing now.
Best line: And because I am alive I write this post. (p 98)
My bookstore: Ten Dollar Books