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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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All Book Reviews

  • A powerful courtroom drama

    When a young girl from a disadvantaged background and facial deformities accuses four Muslim boys of rape the case spirals into an ugly game of she said/he said – but who is lying and at what cost? I found Take It Back to be a tricky book to review. On the one hand it’s a compelling courtroom drama that tackles difficult and unusual subjects. It pulls up a lot of interesting points about race, religion, family, drugs, commitment, disability which all come together to make a powerful read. I like how in depth the Muslim community was portrayed (although not always with a positive brush at times). Zara is an interesting main character – a powerful lawyer who gave up her career to help victims of sexual assault, ostracised by her family for refusing to have an arranged marriage and baring the brunt of an entire community for her choices on this particular case. However, I actually found her quite a hard character to sympathise with, she is so distant emotionally and we don’t really get in her head enough to see any of this break down at points except when she makes some unwise decisions. There aren’t really any characters in the book that I liked or sympathised with which made for a tiring read at times. I felt the case itself was very interesting but lacking in depth as well, by the time we got to the actual case the book seemed more focused on what was going on outside the case rather than the information being portrayed. The last chapter of the book however, is a great twist that I did not see coming, although it arrived a little too late to make much of an impact on my reaction to the book as a whole. Overall Take It Back is a powerful read that covers a variety of subjects, I just felt that it would have been nice to get into the main characters head a little more than we did. Thank you to NetGalley & HQ Stories for a chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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  • An emotional court room drama

    This book is an emotionally packed story of a teenage British girl, with severe facial deformities that accuses 4 teenage boys of rape. What ensues is a dramatic court case that shakes the whole city. The girl is white and the boys are Muslim as is the female sexual assault advocate. The Muslim community encircles the boys and believes them as they come from “good” families. The same community shuns Zara the advocate calling her a traitor and many worse things, attacking her physically and emotionally. There are also groups looking for justice for Jodie and they clash with the Muslim community. This book is such a roller coaster of facts and emotion and there are several wonderful twists to the story. The characters have great depth and the author does an amazing job of developing each ones story. This book is about rape, bullying, racism, family division and the problems a person faces as the stand up to all the things they believe is wrong with their religion. You won’t want to put this book down.

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  • Great read!

    This is a terrific read. I was impressed by the author’s writing style and confidence. The characters were complex, strong and believable. The storyline line was so well developed, and it envolves so many aspects of social issues and human behaviour. Although fictional, the story felt genuine. The last 20% of the book was excellent! The reason I picked this book was because of the great reviews. The bad reviews (or low ratings), although in the minority, also intrigued me and I was expecting some controversial and provoking issues, but I did not find any that would make me stop reading. I only noticed humans acting as only humans can (being mean to each other, especially if you are considered “different”). I totally recommend this book.

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  • A very absorbing read

    This was very well written and the story, unfortunately, all too possible

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  • Powerful & Compelling

    Kia Abdullah has written a superb, powerful and intelligent psychological thriller and courtroom drama as it exposes all the loathsome prejudices and differences in this contemporary world. Encompassing race, class, disabilities, religion, politics and culture, this was a deeply unsettling and uncompromising read, with incredibly well- executed storytelling by the author. Although I haven’t read any other work by this author, I had no problem getting stuck in to Take It Back and I was really thrilled with the story! It felt all too real and authentic and it could so easily be true. This superb, multi-layered thriller really packed a punch with its clever, excellent plot, sharp commentary and plenty of suspense and drama to interest the reader. Horrifyingly plausible, it was the kind of story that made me question myself and my own opinions.This made for an uncomfortable and disquieting reading experience at times, but was all the more compelling for it. I particularly liked Kia Abdullah’s first-rate and skilful character creation, many of whom I was absorbed in, no matter what particular traits they possessed. There was definitely something about the complexity of the characters that completely held my attention as I questioned each one’s variation of the truth. Emotional and often disturbing, Take It Back kept me on my toes and fully entertained all the way through. I found my thoughts constantly changing, making for a tense and unpredictable read. If you are a fan of atypical psychological thrillers, challenging story-lines and courtroom dramas, you don't want to miss Take It Back! I received a complimentary copy of this novel from HQ via NetGalley at my own request. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

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