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.

Sourced from Goodreads 



My rating:


(4.25 stars)

Hi, everyone! Another day, another book read, this one being The Lines We Cross by Randa Abdel-Fattah. Now when I first heard about this book, it was just in the Australian version When Michael Met Mina, which sounds nice and all, except for the fact that I couldn’t access it in Canada, through a retailer or the library… But when I finally saw the US version, I was thoroughly excited. Randa Abdel-Fattah is one of my favourite authors of all time, right from Does My Head Look Big in This and Ten Things I Hate About Me. And I adored her other novels like Where the Streets Had a Name and No Sex in the City. So to say I had really high expectations for this book would be understating things. Thankfully, I finally got a chance to read and love this book!

I’ve got to say that Randa Abdel-Fattah handled the political side of her novel really well. There were such similarities to what we see in Western culture that we can’t help but relate to the concerns of the novel. It’s like Michael says in the novel, the scariest thing about his parents is not that their evil, but that they’re nice,  too. It’s hard to think that your parents are wrong on anything, especially when they’re the kind that take care of you, and always look out for your best interest. It still made me really, really angry though, hearing their arguments and validating others to be treated poorly. But at the end of the day, Michael knows that he has to make a decision on what he stands for and whether everything he has been taught was wrong. Also, I really liked how Mina was portrayed in the novel, how she could make me both laugh at one moment with her wit, and cry the next at all the horrors she had to witness to get to where she is today. Within the novel, Mina and her family are trying their best to belong to a society that wants little to do with her because they has no other choice. There is so much truth in this novel, about love, hate, hope, loss, and those incredible moments of happiness in between that make it worth reading.

The reason why I give this novel a 4.25 star rating instead of a 4.5 star rating or even a five star one is the romance part of the novel. Not that it wasn’t cute and all, but I felt as if there was something unresolved about it by the end of the novel. How it ends makes sense in terms of the mood of the book’s ending, but at the same time, I was curious to see how it would play out given a little more time, that’s all. That’s probably just my own personal opinion though, as I think most people would just find the couple to be cute together! Plus, some of the secondary characters felt less fleshed-out than they could have been. Don’t get me wrong; there are some secondary characters within the novel that have a three-dimensional quality to them, and I understand that not all characters can be given such treatment. Still, I wondered about the mother’s friends that we never get to see, but just hear about, or Mina’s older friends that only appear once within the novel, and a few times via communication or memories. I guess I liked what I heard about them so much that I wanted to see more of them! 😉

Well, that’s all I have to say about The Lines We Cross for now! Do I recommend it for everyone, especially those looking for realistic fiction? Yes! So what are you waiting for? Go read it now! By the way, feel free to leave any thoughts or questions you might have in the Comments Section below. Thanks for reading, everyone!

–  Sumaya