When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah
Publication Date: July 28, 2016 by Pan Macmillan Australia
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
[Review copy provided by the publisher for the blog tour!]
Before Mina, my life was like a completed jigsaw puzzle but Mina has pushed the puzzle onto the floor. I have to start all over again, figuring out where the pieces go.
When Michael meets Mina, they are at a rally for refugees – standing on opposite sides.
Mina fled Afghanistan with her mother via a refugee camp, a leaky boat and a detention centre.
Michael’s parents have founded a new political party called Aussie Values.
They want to stop the boats.
Mina wants to stop the hate.
When Mina wins a scholarship to Michael’s private school, their lives crash together blindingly.
A novel for anyone who wants to fight for love, and against injustice.
[I am so sorry for the late review! I really did my best but apparently my best can only go so far. I have a Feels Review for When Michael Met Mina and you can listen to it below! I would like to apologize in advance for not posting this last night (July 4) because I was really busy but I hope you appreciate this review!]
I would like to encourage everyone who supports this blog event to read this book because it clearly advocates diversity in young adult literature. I learned a lot about racism and Islam because of this book, and I also got a glimpse of how refugees live.
We don’t turn to story to escape reality. We turn to story to navigate reality.
This is from a TED talk by Lisa Cron, and When Michael Met Mina is the kind of story she’s talking about. Because this book lets us realize: racism is not okay. And people are hurting. Maybe not all of us can do something really big, but I believe respect means a lot.
I recommend that you listen to my feels review because I would like you to hear how strongly I felt for this book, but I would talk about it here in case the audio recording doesn’t work for you.
I was about to DNF this book. I started reading this last June 24, and until yesterday (July 4), I was only at 20%. So I thought of something, an idea I got from Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything. This thread is all about how I figured out the book with a character that reads books in reverse – back to front.
It’s my first time to do reverse reading, and I’m glad I tried it with When Michael Met Mina. I really liked how it ended, so I read the book backwards and I finished it! I started at around 4:30 p.m. – with 80% left, and ended at around 7:30 p.m. so I recorded a feels review immediately to capture my raw reaction.
I have to tell you that this book is not meant to be enjoyed – it’s not for entertainment. It’s for people who would like to see the world through the eyes of Michael and Mina – how they fought for what they believe in. Because this book makes you think and reflect on what you’re doing with your life.
Michael and Mina struggled to be who they really want to be. A lot of factors influenced that, and I believe teens could relate to these factors.
I found myself in the characters of the book, each part of me distributed among them, speaking for me, voicing out what my heart says.
I am really happy to have given this book a chance – and I hope you can do that, too. You can read my interview with Randa Abdel-Fattah to know what she has to say about book discrimination.
When Michael Met Mina is an empowering story of two teens brought together to make a change in their own ways. I’m proud to have finished reading this book.
I am so sorry if the audio is cut! Audioboom only allows 10 minutes and the whole feels review is 11:30. Let me tell you what I said after the 10:00 mark:
Even if I had issues with it earlier, I think it deserves to be read. It deserves to be read by people who want to know more about the Muslim culture, about racism, about the refugees and what they’re going through, and I would basically recommend it to everyone who needs a diverse read – this definitely belongs to the category of diverse books and this is totally fit for my blog event this year. Because I’m really promoting diversity in young adult literature, and this book discrimination awareness month, my blog event, is really aiming for that and I have interviewed Randa today (see July 4 post), the post went up today, and actually I’m giving away a copy of this book but the giveaway is only open to Australian residents but I still hope my Australian friends would join if they haven’t read the book yet because this is such an amazing book and I hope you guys would like it, too. If you find yourself getting bored, just turn to the ending and give it a chance because it really deserves it. Thank you for listening to my feels review, good day, and have a great month!
Final Rating: 4/5