Friday, January 2, 2009

TEN THINGS I HATE ABOUT ME by Randa Abdel-Fattah

Jamilah "Jamie" is living a double life. She has dyed her dark hair blonde and wears contacts to hide her dark eyes. At home she is Lebanese-Muslim, but at school everyone thinks she is just a normal Sydney-born Australian like the majority of the students in the tenth grade. Unfortunately, things aren't going very well.

Jamilah loves her heritage - the music, the religious beliefs, the food, and the family, but she hates the rules that go along with all she loves. Her father believes in a strict curfew that requires her to be home by sunset. She dreams of having a boyfriend and going on a date, but that's totally out of the question. As a result, Jamilah finds herself trying to balance both lives. Her friends see one side of her and her family sees the other.

While at school Jamilah observes members of the popluar crowd viciously taunt any students from different ethnic backgrounds. To keep her own secret she shamefully watches silently, afraid the cruelty could be directed toward her if she speaks up to defend the others. With her double life threating to crumble around her, she attempts to convince her domineering father that she needs more freedom than he is willing to allow.

TEN THINGS I HATE ABOUT ME gives readers a glimpse into the Lebanese-Muslim culture and at the same time demonstrates that the true and honest path is not always the easiest to travel, but perhaps the most satisfying in the end.

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