16-year-old Jodie has come forward with claims of rape from 4 Muslim teenagers. Zara, a former barrister who is now a rape counselor, is tasked with listening to her story and supporting her every step of the way. Zara is also Muslim, and it creates rising tensions in her community. When the information gets leaked, they feel she’s a traitor and that she shouldn’t be siding with Jodie. It’s causing even more issues with her already strained family relationship. Take it Back is intense, and it leaves you swapping sides throughout the entire book.
Here Zara is doing what is right, and her community is telling her it’s wrong. She’s also making some mistakes along the way. Mistakes that could make her lose the career she’s fought so hard for. Because Zara is flawed and has made some stumbles, it makes her that much more relatable. The characters were fantastic in this one. Even Nina, who is just the worse friend imaginable, is very well-written. My heart hurt for Jodie, who just wanted to be heard as she faced a world of people who couldn’t get past her appearance.
The storyline is absolutely fantastic. I can’t tell you how many times I flipped and flopped between guilty and not guilty. There are multiple layers at play in this storyline, between the incident, racial tensions, and the issues Zara is facing standing by Jodie. Each layer is richly explored and told from multiple angles. Abdullah plants this unsettling feeling in your gut and builds upon it from beginning to end. A superb read. Thank you, St. Martin’s, for sending this along.
Take it Back is available on Amazon for $14.99.