I find it troubling to admit that I enjoyed reading a book that was as disturbing as "Towelhead".
Jasira leaves her mother at 13 years old, but not by her own choosing. She travels from New York to Houston to live with her father, who is from Lebanon. This novel takes place during the Gulf War, which is an interesting setting for the racial tensions that abound.
Alicia Erian has a way with writing; She is able to make characters that have some very serious flaws appear very human and often comic. I did not come away hating these characters, and I almost feel guilty.
To visit Jasira's world is almost like stepping into a parallel universe where the rules and morals are different than our own. If I had been reading about an adult instead of a 13 year old girl, this book would have been easier to digest, but certainly would not have had the same impact.
This is a very, very good book. I devoured it. But I almost feel like I have devoured a whole box of chocolates--slightly queasy and remorseful.
Really a good book, but very very heavy. Beware.
This book was a pretty quick read, and I was extremely glad when I was finished! Although I am not one to shy away from shocking or "sexually charged" texts, this book was difficult to stomach, and is in no way one that could be enjoyed. The 13 year old main character comes off as much younger than 13, which in a way makes the story even more disturbing. The entire book was filled with extremely graphic sexual narrative. I might be missing something, but I can't understand at all the positive reviews this book has received.
I didn't know what to expect with this book, with what the back says, I was thinking it would be more about culture or religion. It wasn't. It's sexy in an underage way, a bit vulgar and shocking, but it's simple and childlike. Very well written and you really get to know the characters as they evolve. It may be weird to say, but I really enjoyed this book.
This book held my interest from beginning to end. It was disturbing subject matter, but the author was right on in character development. These people were as real as real can be. Parents should really pay attention because this happens all the time, sadly. Very well written.
Excellent book. Very provocative and at times hard to read, but well worth the effort.
I really have mixed feelings about this book. It is a good read, but it is marketed to the young adult crowd, where I feel it might be inappropriate, depending on the age of your young adult. The protagonist is 13 years old, but I'm not sure I would give this book to a 16 year old, as it contains some pretty heavy topics. The story is about a 13 year old, Jasira, who moves from her mother's home in Syracuse, New York, to live with her Lebanese father in Houston. There she must deal with raging hormones, racism, her abusive and distant father, and a pedophile neighbor. As you might have guessed from the title, the book is full of racial epithets and slurs towards both the black and Arab communities. The book is pretty graphic regarding the protagonist's sexual activity, and it surprises me that it hasn't made more waves from those who have censored books for less. With all of that said, this is an interesting book though I didn't much care for the ending, which I thought was rather abrupt.
at times this book was very hard to read but i endured and by the end i was completely emotionally involved and glad to have made it through. i really loved the ending. i'm not a parent and i imagine it would be an even more unsettling book if i was. it's going to be a movie and it will be interesting to see if they can capture the overall tone of the book. i'm not familiar with the actors who will play the main character and her father but i understand it will star Aaron Eckhart (the next-door male neighbor), Maria Bello (the self-absorbed mother), and Toni Collette (the other "good" neighbor). i'm looking forward to the movie and i'd recommend the book to any other readers who are feeling brave!
This book was amazing! Both moving and dark it was beautifully written and hauntingly real. Alicia Erian did an amazing job creating such a complex and interesting main character. It's a heavy read though. I felt so reflective and worn when I finished. I suppose that means Erian did her job!
Be prepared to be sucked into the life you will read about. It is somewhat discusting and yet you can't stop wondering how this book will end. There is enough sex for a young girl to last a life time. Living in Texas, but as an Arab, life is different than those of us who are born American are used to. Her parents rules and American family rules are much different. All in all i liked the book if only to read about our differences, but it is not a book i will want to reccommend to everyone, as some will find it offensive.
A bit disturbing, but worth the read.
I loved this book. Written with insight and sensitivity, a young teenager copes with the confusing disappointments of self-absorbed parents. Painful at times but worth the effort!
I enjoyed reading this book.
didn't read - for some reason i thought this was a memoir & i'm just not into reading fiction so much right now - it looks great but i'm reposting it for someone else to enjoy