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Bestest. Ramadan. Ever. Paperback – July 8, 2011

4 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Medeia Sharif (Miami Beach, FL) is a Kurdish-American author and high school English teacher. She received her master's degree in psychology from Florida Atlantic University. Bestest. Ramadan. Ever. is her debut novel.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Flux; Original edition (July 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738723231
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738723235
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #940,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Almira Abdul has something to prove to both her family and herself; she can fast successfully during Ramadan. Her first crush proves to be problematic as she has competition from both friend and seeming enemy. Almira must stand strong through constant hunger, the strictures that come from being Muslim, and a struggle to maintain a friendship that means the world to her.

PLAYERS:
Almira: A spunky, determined American Muslim girl who faces several challenges, including that of cultural practices, self-image and romance.

Grandpa: epitomizes fundamentalism in its worst form. He's quite a character, who believes in sticking to tradition and has the habit of yelling `Prostitute!" at any woman who's not dressed to his standards or who behaves contrary to his standards. Though insufferable, Grandpa provided me with immense entertainment at times.

I liked Almira's voice. She makes funny observations from the get-go, including her reference to Arabic as a `foreign language'. The story flowed for me because I found her to be funny, natural and realistic in all the angst she goes through over her love life and physical attributes.

I admired her determination to succeed at the goal she set herself despite several attempts to sabotage her efforts. Though she struggles with her conscience, Almira is mature enough to realize that some things are better left unsaid, particularly in the context of familial expectations.

I could have lived without Grandpa's extreme approach to dealing with women, however, the book would not have been the same without his character being written as is.

Several themes are explored in Bestest. Ramadan. Ever., which makes it a good read for teens.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bestest. Ramadan. Ever by Medeia Sharif follows Almira a Muslim girl who is trying to have her first successful Ramadan fast. The members of Almira's family differ in how devout they are from her grandfather disapproving of anything American to Almira herself who appreciates her heritage but also wants to be able to have a boyfriend and wear makeup. The story follows Almira through her month of Ramadan while she tries to balance her families traditions with the American lifestyle that her friends have.

This is a cute and funny book about an immigrant trying to make sense out of the complex world that she lives in. Trying to figure out how to be Muslim enough for her parents but American enough for herself. The book doesn't do a great job at showing readers what it's like to be an Islamic teenager. Islam and her families culture is seen more as a burden and the reader isn't given many positive aspects of the religion to balance out the negatives. However, I loved Almira and was engrossed in her story and finished the book quickly. The author did a fantastic job at creating characters that the reader cares about and there are lots of funny moments in the book (like the comments that her English teachers writes on her daily journal entries).

Appropriateness: There is not any adult content in this book. This is a light hearted fun contemporary novel that will be enjoyed by readers 11+
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Almira is a typical American teenage girl. She wants to learn to drive and get her license. She'd love to be more slender and attractive, and she really wants a boyfriend. So what sets her apart from her high school friends?

While she has been born and raised stateside, her grandfather hasn't. His standards are those of a different culture, one that draws on strict Muslim rules of conduct. And, although, Almira's parents are more liberal, they too hold different standards and expectations for their only child.

Among them is to observe Ramadan, the Muslim period of fasting. And it's darned hard to not eat or drink from dawn to sunset with constant temptations from her friends.

Then there's Peter. He's the boyfriend she's dreamed of, but how can she introduce him to her family when there's still talk of arranged marriages?

I liked Almira for several reasons: she's a "good" girl, a good daughter and a true friend. We see her pass a lot of tests to prove all of these qualities.

I loved the multi-cultural theme of this book. It was very well handled--no preaching, just revealing a young Muslim girl's struggle to do the right thing while straddling her Muslim background and the more secular west.

Teens will enjoy reading this book and, if they have no experience with Muslim practices, they will learn something very interesting.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book, with its delightfully opinionated and outspoken main character, Almira. She was still very relatable, amusing, and easy to be sympathetic toward. I liked her loyalty to her best friend, Lisa. The introduction to Almira's Muslim religion was interesting, how she as a third-generation Muslim growing up in America altered her view (and by necessity, practice) of life.

Awesome quotes:
p.31, paperback edition: "My stomach roars like a lion, which halts my romantic thoughts. It now feels like my belly is separate from the rest of me, like I have a dog inside of me that needs to be walked, fed, and bathed. Down, boy. I eat breakfast to silence the beast."

p.154, paperback edition: "Yesterday morning started out horribly […] but today is a new day, hopefully a better day. Mornings are like almost-clean slates. I say almost-clean because the residue of yesterdays is sometimes stuck on them."
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