Sweetheart Seer Books


“The Bad Muslim Discount” by: Syed M. Masood

*****I purchased this book through my Book of the Month subscription which is a monthly subscription where you can select one of five brand new hardcover books to receive for only $15! If YOU would like to try Book of the Month and get your first hardcover book for only $5, use my referral code and I will get a credit as well! Happy reading!*****

This was an important read and one that will stay in my mind for a long time to come.

The writing style was one I absolutely adored. I love when I vibe with a book from the start!

I do wish we had had more time with the grandma because I liked her character a lot, but then the landlord came in not too long after and I liked him too so it was all good.

As far as annotations go, this one was tabbed up quite a bit! There were many phrases and sentiments that resonated with me or that I found particularly poignant.

There was also a lot of humor mixed in with the sad moments.

The characters toward the end made A LOT of questionable decisions, but that also felt way realistic at the same time because people are flawed and don’t always have all of the information when they make a decision, so that made the characters feel very human.

I think the entire point was that many of the characters were unlikable, but they were supposed to be. I also still don’t know how I feel about bubblegum ice scream as I have never tried it myself. I think I probably land on the side of agreeing that it is probably awful. Then again, I can’t really eat dairy anymore either, so the likelihood I would try it at this point is relatively low regardless!

The Muslim-American experience I felt was well written and explored. Granted, while this is OwnVoices, I know that this is not the same experience for ALL as that can never ever happen where one person speaks for their entire culture, but as for speaking for the experience of a couple fictional characters while basing a lot of what was happening in reality I felt this was well done.

Of note: Our MC questions the religious dogma and religion in general throughout and other characters challenge and question at times as well. Be aware that some of the characters use religion as a weapon of control and domination against others, particularly against women.

Politics are also brought up toward the end in regard to the 2016 election in the United States and the fear that many Islamic people felt surrounding that election.

If you feel you can handle the subject matter, I would very highly recommend this one to anyone looking for a great adult fiction read that tackles some very sensitive topics with deep insight that will leave you reflecting on the topics discussed long after you finish reading the last page.

TW: Islamophobia, domestic abuse, discussion of rape, discussion of torture, animal death/sacrifice, religious dogma, arranged marriage

Goodreads Synopsis:

Following two families from Pakistan and Iraq in the 1990s to San Francisco in 2016, Bad Muslim Discount is a hilarious, timely, and provocative comic novel about being Muslim immigrants in modern America. For fans of Hanif Kureshi, Mira Jacob, and Mohammed Hanif.

It is 1995, and Anvar Faris is a restless, rebellious, and sharp-tongued boy doing his best to grow up in Karachi, Pakistan. As fundamentalists in the government become increasingly strident and the zealots next door start roaming the streets in gangs to help make Islam great again, his family decides, not quite unanimously, to start life over in California. The irony is not lost on Anvar that in America, his deeply devout mother and his model-Muslim brother are the ones who fit right in with the tightly knit and gossipy Desi community. Anvar wants more.

At the same time, thousands of miles away, Safwa, a young girl suffocating in war-torn Baghdad with her grief-stricken, conservative father will find a very different and far more dangerous path to America. These two narratives are intrinsically linked, and when their worlds come together, the fates of two remarkably different people intertwine and set off a series of events that rock their whole community to its core.

The Bad Muslim Discount is an irreverent, dramatic, and often hysterically funny debut novel by an amazing new voice. With deep insight, warmth, and an irreverent sense of humor, Syed Masood examines quirky and intense familial relationships, arranged marriage, Islamic identity, and how to live together in modern America.

Categories: Published, Reviews