There are moments when you read a certain book when you immediately know that it will change your perspective of the world.
Besides having a hard time learning to breathe properly after finishing this book, I am a wreck of emotions and feeling very reflective right now.
This book was a heart opener and shredder. Sometimes that’s what we need. It’s a book full of pain and tension and suspense. It is now officially one of my favorite books and I learned so much from it. I definitely recommend it and I am right here to hold you if you want to cry on my shoulder.
All We Have Left by Wendy Mills
Background: I feel like I always talk about being Muslim on here and it’s totally fine, honestly so I don’t know why I feel awkward sometimes. I wasn’t born in America and I came here when I was 6 years old. I was born about 2 and a half weeks before 9/11 happened. I learned about it for the first time ever when I was in 6th grade. I am raised in a religious home and I’ve always seen Islam as a peaceful faith but when put into context as what had happened on September, 11th, 2001, I had to pause and think it through. Yes, I was a Muslim. But, no, I would never carry out such an action. As far as I knew, my religion forbid the harming of innocent people. I wish that such an event had never happened and that all those people hadn’t lost their lives. It breaks my heart to know such a thing was done in the name of a religion that I carry with me everywhere, from the hijab I wear on my head to the way that I treat the people around me.
A haunting and heart-wrenching story of two girls, two time periods, and the one event that changed their lives—and the world—forever.
Sixteen-year-old Jesse is used to living with the echoes of the past. Her older brother died in the September 11th attacks, and her dad has filled their home with anger and grief. When Jesse gets caught up with the wrong crowd, one momentary hate-fueled decision turns her life upside down. The only way to make amends is to face the past, starting Jesse on a journey that will reveal the truth about how her brother died.
In 2001, sixteen-year-old Alia is proud to be Muslim… it’s being a teenager that she finds difficult. After being grounded for a stupid mistake, Alia is determined to show her parents that that they must respect her choices. She’ll start by confronting her father at his office in downtown Manhattan, putting Alia in danger she never could have imagined. When the planes collide into the Twin Towers Alia is trapped inside one of the buildings. In the final hours she meets a boy who will change everything for her as the flames rage around them . . .
Interweaving stories past and present, full of heartbreak and hope, two girls come of age in an instant, learning that both hate and love have the power to reverberate into the future and beyond.
- WARNING: WILL MAKE YOU CRY
- There are two points of views, one from Alia Susanto, a Muslim girl, who was in the towers with Travis McLaurin when the attack occurred and the other POV is 15 years in the future with Jesse McLaurin, Travis’s younger sister.
- Travis died on 9/11 and that tore apart Jesse’s family.
- It switches between Alia and Jesse every chapter and that just makes the whole book so suspenseful and horrific towards the end.
- I love how it shows Muslims correctly and explains their part of the story about what happened on 9/11. There aren’t enough stories that acknowledge this and having something like this story was very crucial for me.
- I will forever treasure this story and the message that it carries.
- 16 year old Muslim girl who just decided that she would wear the hijab
- She has an unstable relationship with her parents lately and she always gets in fights with her Mom
- I admire Alia for her bravery and her willingness to connect with people no matter the situation. She has a way with expressing her thoughts clearly and isn’t afraid to say what she means.
- Imagining myself in her position during the course of the book made me want to break down in tears.
- 16 years old sister of Travis
- She feels neglected and lonely. She hates that she never knew her brother and blames Muslims for his loss.
- Her father has let his pain grow into hate and considers all Muslims as terrorists.
- Her mother doesn’t know how to mourn her son properly so she tries to keep herself busy.
- Jesse catches feelings for an idiot named Nick. I really dislike him because he is hateful and ripped off a girl’s hijab.
- At first, I felt sympathy towards her because she lost her brother but I slowly started to realize she was a hard character to like because she made impulsive decisions that she ended up regretting. Of course, maybe that’s why I love the growth of her character. She didn’t let the fear and pain turn in hatred, even though she could’ve. I admire her strength.
- I’ve grown to love a character that seems all too real to me.
- I feel bad for him because he died believing that his father thought he was a coward.
- I think he was such a beautiful character and I wish he hadn’t died.
- The reason I get so emotional over him is because even though his death is fictional, thousands of others deaths weren’t. There were people who went about their lives on a normal day only for it to turn into a nightmare. There were thousands who lost their lives in the fires and the bombs and the airplanes and from jumping and the towers collapsing.
There are other amazing characters as well but the roles that they play aren’t for me to spoil for you.
- How twisted is the world when your shoe could become part of a museum exhibit?
- I feel like I’m a leaf fluttering in the wind, shuddering and falling down, down down. I’m crying in earnest now, because it is all so senseless. All those people who died, people who got up in the morning and went to work, laughed and cried, loved and dreamed. All of them gone, and for what? How did they deserve to die?
- Hate is just fear. Fear that we are powerless, ugly, small, nothing, so we hate people to make us feel better about ourselves, so we don’t have to be scared all the time.
Lessons I Learned From A Book(LILFAB):
That humans can be horrible if they choose and they can be good if they choose. Or, sometimes it’s hard to choose because there are so many other factors to deal with that come into play and so many reasons that it’s difficult to make the right choice.
CHAT WITH ME!
What’s a book that you read that made you cry? Why did it make you cry?