G’day everyone (going all aussie slang on you guys), I was fortunate enough to be a part of an amazing blog tour for “When Michael met Mina”. I was super excited for “When Michael Met Mina”, because I heard so many great things for “Does my head look big in this” but I was also very cautious because IT IS A CONTEMPORARY... I don’t like that many contemporaries, in fact it’s my least favourite genre; but Randa’s writing, the layout of each ‘chapter’, the characters stories, the whole damn book was just an amazing read, spotlighting Islamophobia, stereotyping, racism and so much more, including policies surrounding Australia’s current ‘Refugee Crisis’.
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.
So for my stop for the amazing blog tour, I’d like to persuade you guys to pick the book up yourself with 3 reasons why “When Michael met Mina” is just a great book worth your time.
- First of all, we have a lot of important messages throughout the book and oh boy did I feel uncomfortable at some stages because I’VE WITNESSED THESE ISSUES, these issues are what some people have to experience every day. We had cases of Racism, Islamophobia and plot lines that discussed the current Refugee Policy in Australia. It was so realistic that it was sad. Sad that the scenarios in the book could quite possibly be true and not fiction because as of right now, we have people like Pauline Hanson spreading hate and fear resulting in people dividing, instead of uniting. Just yesterday, she was on Q&A, a great show, and I’d suggest that you guys check it out to see how close to home and reality this book really is.
- The second reason isn’t that big, but it’s big to me and OH MY LIFE GUYS WE HAVE A CASE OF SLAM POETRY GUYS! I AM A SLAM POET AND THIS MADE ME SO HAPPY. Like I have NEVER seen slam poetry in a book. I’ve only ever read letters and a song but never a slam poem. I read the poem as if I was also performing it in front of an audience as well and it was ‘pre sick’ (more aussie slang).
- Lastly, the writing was FANTASTIC especially the characters, who were complex and real. Mina, oh dear Mina. She was the heart and soul of the book for me. Her life story, her family’s situation, all very true in our day and age. She was a character that if I ever met in real life, I’d definitely gravitate towards to immediately befriend. Mina’s relationship with her new found friend Paula was just amazing (I feel like I’ve said amazing too much, I just can’t stop, the book is just AMAZING). Michael – our other perspective in the book - was the only one in my opinion who ‘grew’. I’m so used to dual narratives where:
1. A protagonist has before and after chapters and talks about how the end was a result to an action, becoming smarter along the way and learning more about what happened and
2. Two protagonists who ‘grow’ and change together, for the better.
This book having only one character developing was quite unreal as I’ve never read anything like it. Michael’s growth in the book was great, from relying on his parents values, to making his own judgements. To end my fancy little list, I’m really glad Michael met Mina and I hope you guys pick it up to find out more.