Blog Tour: The Next New Syrian Girl, Ream Shukairy

Title: The Next New Syrian Girl
Author: Ream Shukairy
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Publishing Date: March 14, 2023

About the Book

Khadija Shaami is a Syrian American boxer fed up with the expectations of being the perfect Syrian daughter. Saddled with a monstrous ego and a mother to test it, she will stop at nothing to leave Detroit and travel the world with her best friend.

Leene Taher is a Syrian refugee enraptured by the lavish lifestyle of the Syrian girls in Detroit. America is her fresh start, if only her haunting past will let her move on.

When their worlds collide, the result is catastrophic: To Khadija, Leene embodies the tame, dutiful Syrian ideal she’s long rebelled against. And to Leene, Khadija is the strong-willed, closed-off American who makes Leene doubt her place in the world.

But as Khadija digs up Leene’s past, a startling discovery brings the two of them closer together. As the girls secretly race to unravel the truth, their blossoming friendship challenges what each knows about the other and herself. And what they find takes them all the way across the world, back to the place of Khadija’s memories and Leene’s nightmares.

Content Warning: Islamophobia, the Syrian Revolution, depression, reality of socioeconomic gaps, generational trauma, PTSD, Syrian refugee.

Book Links


About the Book

Ream Shukairy is a Syrian American born and raised full-time in Orange County, California and part-time over summers in Syria. Whether in California or Syria, she feels at home where her family is and wherever there’s a beach. She has a talent for learning languages and is always on the search for the next place she can travel and flex her words. The daughter of immigrants, there isn’t a stereotype she won’t try her hardest to defy. She can be found reading at the beach, with her sisters watching anime, or playing volleyball really anywhere. She currently resides in Boston for graduate school.

Author Links


My Thoughts

I initially wanted to read this because I read that there was anxiety rep. But this book turned into more than I could have ever imagined. It’s about feeling like a foreigner in the land of your birth. It’s about sisterhood, mental health, family, and more.

Told in alternating viewpoints, we have Khadija, born and raised in the states. She’s under the weight of her mother, who she feels doesn’t accept her. She’s a boxer who found happiness in finding her strength. But she wants more out of life but living with her family, she knows they won’t let her fly. She’s also so very funny, and I adored her personality, even with the walls she’s erected.

Leene is new to the states. She’s escaped unimaginable horrors. She wants to start a new life, but the past keeps coming back to swallow her whole. I almost suspect Leene has PTSD, though that’s never stated. I empathized with her so much. She had a quiet strength that shone through in the hardest moments.

Watching these two young women come together in sisterhood was an absolute joy. Shukairy brings to light so many important subjects. We wade through depression and anxiety. The girls discuss how wearing a hijab forces them to make people around them feel comfortable. We go through the massacres and the chemical warfare in Syria. There’s so much more that I cannot find the right words for, but this book is beautiful. It’s funny, meaningful, and so very special; I cannot recommend it enough.

Favorite Quotes

“But in the end, there are some things that couldn’t be stopped, and so they should be forgotten. I specialize in forgetting.”

“My memory preserves images of revolutions and war crimes that only a victim’s eyes can capture.”

“When you wait for a dead person, the seconds go by like hours.”

“I cough for a minute, my body attempting to expel the demon I call anxiety.”

“You’ve already been through the thicket, and the wolf won’t follow you out of the woods.”

“We are not our suffering. We are the strength that got us through it all.”

Head on over to TBR and Beyond for the full tour schedule.


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