Where I Belong

There are guns and bandits in this story.
And supermodels.
And there’s drought and starvation too.

Are you wondering how they all come together?
Well, that’s how life is these days. Things don’t happen neatly in separate little places. We’re all caught by the great spider’s web of media that spans the world.

That’s where this story is set. The world.
It’s the story of Abdi and Khadija and Freya (that’s me) and what happened to us because of Somalia…….

When I read that on the back of this amazingly, unbelievably beautiful cover, I knew I wanted to read this book.

This is another version of the cover, which I feel is just as striking.

This is one of those books with a whole load of bold, inspiring quotes that I will be delighted to share with you guys. But first, I would like to review this story.

I feel like this book showed me the world, all the shocking truths and the uncomfortable realities. It didn’t hide anything from its reader, it was honest and raw and challenging. Its purpose seemed to shine from every page: informing and empowering today’s young people to make a difference, make a change.

It mixes the worlds of war-torn, desperate Africa with the glamour and flamboyance of London’s secretive fashion industry, to create an interwoven story of deep characters and fantastic ideas.

The character that spoke to me the most was Khadija, a poor nomadic girl who comes over to the UK as a teenager, to get an education. Through a chance encounter with London’s top fashion designer, she reluctantly gets tangled up in the elusive net of models and fashion. Her mind is filled with secrets and she is torn between many loyalties, but she remains strong and true to her beliefs and family. 

Her character is an interesting one, as she only becomes involved in the modelling to pay her brother’s ransom when he is kidnapped by desperate criminals back in Africa. It is going against all her values as she is a Muslim. The way the story develops is quite beautiful to watch. Relationships form between all the characters and the tight plotline unravels, obviously revealing the odd baddie every now and then!

It makes you wonder what part you play in this world. Where you belong. Where do you belong? 

I’m quite proud of that review actually. I really enjoyed writing it and enjoyed reading the book even more. I would absolutely, unhesitatingly recommend it to anyone over thirteen/fourteen as several scenes are quite upsetting and shocking.

Now, I am bursting to share some of those awesome quotes I was telling you about. As you know, I just cannot resist these little snippets of speech, windows to other worlds. Here are a few striking ones from this book:

However rich Khadija gets, she can’t end the fighting that tears Somalia apart. Only the warlords and the pirates can do that, by putting down their guns.

She can’t change the fact that the modern, citified world doesn’t leave much room for boys who want to be nomads. And she can’t do anything about the global warming that makes the rains fail and dries up the waterholes. Not on her own, anyway. Those are huge issues, involving everyone.

Like I said at the very beginning, we are all connected.

Those were the last few paragraphs of the book and, after everything that went on between its pages, those words almost left me in tears.

The next bit is from the point of view of Abdi, who is describing the place he is originally from: Somalia. He hasn’t been there since he fled as a refugee many years ago.

Kids strolling down the streets, with AK47s over their shoulders. Battle wagons with sub-machine guns mounted in the back, and men haggling over ammunition at the arms market in Mogadishu.

You need to be strong to survive in a place like that. You need a good family to back you up, and a pride in your identity.

Freya is the daughter of Sandy Dexter, the fashion designer who spots Khadija and persuades her to be the star of her next show. Freya is nothing like her Mother, she doesn’t care about clothes or trends or the media. She’s more like her Father, a war photographer who’s been to Somalia.

Freya becomes good friends with Khadija and earns her trust. Here she is describing her Father’s job.

Somalia was just a name in a list I’d been reciting for most of my life: My Dad’s been a war photographer in Darfur and Afghanistan and Rwanda and Somalia…….

There were pictures to go with the words, of course, because that’s what a photographer does, but they weren’t the kind of images you’d show to a little child. By the time I was old enough to see them, Dad’s trips were in the past , and I never really sorted out which was which. The photos were all pictures of violence and grief and dust, and the places blurred together in my mind.

What do you think? Have you read this book? Would you read it? Did you enjoy my review? What about the quotes? Please let me know your thoughts by dropping me a comment below! *points down at comment box* Thank y’all very much for listening! 

Gracie

Xxxxx

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15 thoughts on “Where I Belong

  1. I normally don’t read lots of book reviews, especially the ones about books I haven’t heard of. But this is so beautiful, gosh. I loved the review and I am definitely going 2 read it and let u know!
    P.S. I am sorry I couldn’t enter your competition. But I saw the winning ones, and I’m glad they were a success!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your genuinely lovely comment, Me! You should definitely read the book and please do let me know what you think.

      That’s absolutely fine about the competition. I appreciate that people are busy with their lives. I’m sure your entry would have been wonderful. Yes! All the winners were thoroughly deserving, weren’t they?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haha, I was wondering what this “Me” thing was doing in the middle of your comment. And then I realised you were addressing me!! LOL. Honestly, I end up signing off that way, cuz I cannot think of a good pen name! (Can you help me find one? lol) And yeah I definitely will! 😉 And I am so glad you took things positive about the competition. And yesss! You made a wonderful job at choosing the winners, bcuz I loved the entries. Truly, I was wondering why the heck I hadn’t entered, because I haven’t participated in any of the blogging events till now, and have always wanted to! Damn. Anyway I’ll be looking forward. You seem to be such an incredibly amazing and sweet person. 😉
        P.S. Is it cool if we could be friends?
        Xoxo ❤
        P.P.S I didn't realise I typed out so much. Oops.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Haha! I’m sorry, that’s really funny. It’s actually a really cool pen name. It’s simple and it really reflects who you are because you are yourself, obviously! I really like The Girl With Iron Wings as a sign off too. What about that? I’m so glad you enjoyed the winner’s stories and poems, you should totally check all their blogs out, they are genuinely lovely people and amazing writers.

        No worries about not entering. You should definitely get involved in some blogging projects, there are really great ones out there. I’ll certainly be launching a few in the future so please join in any of those!

        P.S Yes! Let’s! That would be lovely.

        P.P.S Haha! That’s absolutely fine, Me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • LOL yes. I’m so glad you think its cool, because I haven’t really given any thought to it. Haha… And oh God, I never got THAT idea of signing off The Girl With Ironwings. I should definitely try doing that the next time! (Nice brains! Wow.) Yeah, I totally should; I haven’t checked out any of their blogs yet. But I will! And really?! I haven’t really come across any amazing events except submitting book reviews, which I have never done before. I guess I’ll keep my eyes open from now on! And I’ll be more than happy to join in yours! :-)) And by the way, you’ve made an amazing job with your blog. ❤
        P.S. Great! So do you have an email or a social account, where i could contact you?
        P.P.S. There goes that ''Me'' again! I'm laughing hard. I seriously don't know what other name I can ask you to call me by, so I guess you can call me anything! See ya!
        Xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

      • It really is! I love ‘Me’! It truly is awesome. Honest. ❤ Thank you. The Girl With Iron Wings sounds so strong and passionate, yet elegant. A brilliant character. It conjures up such a great image in my mind.

        Yes, you should! They're all great bloggers.

        I know of a few blogging projects/events that I can let you know about if you're interested.

        Thank you for all your beautiful, kind words, Me. (I'm calling you that because I actually love it.)

        P.S. I'm actually not on social media, but would be really happy to keep in touch through regular comments on each others blogs. That would be lovely.

        P.P.S LOL! I know. I'm totally surprised no one used that username before. I mean, you are 'you' and nobody else. So, congrats on your original sign off. You have at least one official fan. Sure you have more, though. Haha! #jumbledcomment

        Liked by 1 person

      • Aww thank you so so muchh!! ❤ Your comments mean soo muchh to me and they literally make my day! God. You're such an amazingg person and so genuine, and you make people feel good. (THAT is an understatement, because I am OVERLY EXCITED!!!) I am now even more sure about how much your readers must love you, because I sure do! And about the blogging projects, I'd be more than happy! Thank you. 🙂
        P.S. Yeah, that is fine. I'd obviously be reading your stuff, and it would be lovely to comment regularly!
        P.P.S. Haha thankss a million!! Girl, you're one of a kind and you are absolutely a Light in the Darkness. And I'm so glad because that was what you created your blog for, right? Because, I was having a horrible time yesterday and was in tears and this thing made the world of a difference. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • You’re absolutely welcome! Same to you! Your kinds words mean the world. Thank you is not enough. It is my greatest aim to be able to spread light to others and for you to say I am achieving it is like a dream come true. You’re overwhelming me with happiness right now. This is one of the best comments I have ever received!

        Okay, about the blogging projects. If you like writing, I reccomend this one. Not sure if you’re still able to join up, but I think you are. Just check it out to be sure. https://mybookylife.wordpress.com/2017/05/07/the-typewriter-project/

        I have also done two blogging campaigns in the past which it is not too late to get involved in. The first is this one: https://graciechicksblog.wordpress.com/my-campaign-tackling-racism-with-haikus/

        And the second is this one:
        https://graciechicksblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/12/mental-health-awareness-week-my-thoughts-why-we-need-you/

        P.S. Great! Sounds amazing!
        P.P.S Welcome! Oh my goodness, thank you! You have no idea how MUCH that means to me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Awww You’re so welcome. I absolutely didn’t make anything up. I meant all of it. Truly. ❤
        And thankss a lot for the referrers. I will definitely check them out, and join in, when I am free. I appreciate it a lot. 🙂
        And I'm really sorry for the delay! I didn't get proper connection for days.
        XOXO

        Liked by 1 person

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