Naeem is far away from being a normal teenager. Being an immigrant from Bangladesh, he has always been expected to do well in school and be a good student, but that is just not what Naeem is. He doesn’t want to be noticed by his hard-working parents or by their gossipy neighbors, but everyone knows that there are more people watching: mosques being infiltrated…Cameras on poles…Everybody knows: Be careful what you say and who you say it to, anyone might be a watcher. Naeem always thought that he could charm himself out of anything, but suddenly, all of his mistakes catch up to him and the cops offer him a dark deal. Naeem thinks that he can become a hero by doing this, like in his brother’s comic books. But what really is a hero and how can Naeem become one?
Overall, this is the first realistic fiction book that I have read in a while that I have actually liked. Naeem, the protagonist, is really relatable for me because of his personality. At one point in my life, I also thought that I could escape everything in my life and that they would never come back and haunt me. It eventually did catch up with me like it did with Naeem and I felt as though that experience was very relatable. I also liked how each and every character had a lot of depth to them and how they had multiple sides to their personalities instead of being really shallow.
The most memorable thing for me in this book were the characters. Each and everyone of them have great in-depth personalities and backgrounds that make the story much better, because backgrounds and personalities create depth to the story and help us visualize how people became what they are.
Reviewed by Aswin, Grade 7, Twin Hickory Library