That Thing We Call A Heart by Sheba KarimThat Thing We Call A Heart by Sheba Karim

That Thing We Call A Heart

bySheba Karim

Hardcover | May 9, 2017

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This young adult novel by Sheba Karim, author of Skunk Girl, is a funny and affecting coming-of-age story for fans of Jenny Han, Megan McCafferty, and Sara Farizan. A Kirkus Best Book of 2017!

Shabnam Qureshi is facing a summer of loneliness and boredom until she meets Jamie, who scores her a job at his aunt’s pie shack. Shabnam quickly finds herself in love, while her former best friend, Farah, who Shabnam has begun to reconnect with, finds Jamie worrying.

In her quest to figure out who she really is and what she really wants, Shabnam looks for help in an unexpected place—her family, and her father’s beloved Urdu poetry.

That Thing We Call a Heart is a funny and fresh story about the importance of love—in all its forms.

Title:That Thing We Call A HeartFormat:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.97 inPublished:May 9, 2017Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062445707

ISBN - 13:9780062445704

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dessert, Poetry & An Unflinching Take on the Partition of India There are certain books out there that you instantly connect with, and That Thing We Call a Heart is one of them. Sheba Karim’s unflinchingly real world resonated with me , so much so that I couldn’t put it down and read the whole thing within a few hours. With honest, light writing, That Thing We Call a Heart masterfully tackles Islamism, what it means to be Muslim, first love, friendship and coming of age with a diverse cast and special focus on the Partition of India and Pakistan. Like Shabnam, I too have relatives – both my maternal and paternal grandparents, actually – that survived the partition when they were just children, and I’ve grown up hearing the stories of their journey. Short history lesson: During the fight for independence, India was split into two countries – India and Pakistan for the Hindus and Muslims respectively. My Hindu family used to live on the land that today forms Pakistan and during the partition, had to leave behind their homes, their wealth and everything they knew to start afresh in India. The Partition is personal to me, and I love that this book handled it so masterfully, especially at the end. Let’s break this down: 1. That Thing We Call a Heart is a coming of age story narrated by Shabnam Qureshi during the summer between college and high school, and it deals expertly with what it means to be a Muslim, wear hijab, fall in love, grow with your family and the partition of India. 2. My FAVOURITE character in this book was Shabnam’s best friend, Farah. She had an unflinching, unapologetic badass girl and I loved every minute of the book when she was in it. Here are some of the things she said that made me want to simply applaud her existence: "I'm too Muslim for the non-Muslims, but not Muslim enough for the Muslims... but then I think, why does it matter what they think of me? I refuse to spend my life proving myself... I'm going to wear a headscarf and I'm going to pray and fast and I'm going to smoke ganja and I'm going to get into Harvard Medical School." "That's why guys get away with being shitheads, because their baseline is so goddamn low, even lower if they're cute. Oh, you'd never date rape me? Awesome! Oh, you actually listened to something I said without talking over me? You're such a great guy!" 3. The Partition, through Shabnam’s great uncle was handled SO beautifully. It had me feeling, and remembering my grandparent’s recollections of their experience, which no book to date has ever made me do. 4. YES FOR ALL KINDS OF GREAT DESSERTS SHOWING UP IN THIS BOOK, including donuts and pies because WE NEED MORE FOOD IN BOOKS. #Foodie 5. I love LOVED Shabnam’s relationship with her parents and how it was developed through the book. Though it took me longer than one summer, I too didn’t have the best relationship with my parents years ago and we’ve worked on it and today, we’re open and honest with each other about pretty much everything, and I loved the development in this book. 6. EXTRA POINTS FOR ALL THE GORGEOUS TRANSLATED URDU POETRY IN THIS BOOK. I’ve been gravitating towards poetry more and more recently, and I loved all the excerpts and references in That Thing We Call a Heart. 7. I honestly haven’t begin to cover what this book made me feel, because it DID. It was authentic and real and it resonated with me and I can only implore you to experience the magic too. If you’re looking for your next beautifully done diverse book, THIS IS THE ONE FOR YOU. 4.5 Stars.
Date published: 2018-02-07

Editorial Reviews

“This is a warm-hearted story that may encourage readers, like Shabnam, to find possibilities in greater human connections.”