All My Rage review // An Intricately Woven Tapestry of Grief, Forgiveness, Loss, and Hope

Introductions are for people who haven’t had their hearts ripped out by Sabaa Tahir. I am not one of those people.

Thank you Penguin Teen for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review!

TW/CW: implied sexual assault; physical, verbal, and emotional abuse; death of a loved one; heavy grieving; overdose/drug addiction; alcoholism; racism

Quotes come from an unfinished edition may not appear in the final release.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

All My Rage is Sabaa’s best work yet. So rarely does a book quite so personal touch the literary world and leave in its wake a trail of self-reflection quite like this one does. I lost myself in Sal and Noor’s pain, hope, love and grief, desires and fears, and of course, rage. This is a story so richly written that I firmly believe that it can be told by no one other than Sabba Tahir.

All My Rage follows Salahadin, a boy with a sick mother, an alcoholic father, and a dying motel in a desert. We also follow Noor, a girl who lives with her uncle who doesn’t want her to recognize any part of her Pakistani heritage and certainly doesn’t want her to go to college. Together, they have to navigate the complexities of their lives and face the consequences of their actions. And in several journal entries scattered throughout, we have the perspective of Misbah, Salahudin’s mother, as she meets Sal’s father in Pakistan and falls in love.

“Today is a poltergeist I’ll chain to the back of my brain, one forever linked to freezing desert wind and dirty asphalt and a loneliness so deep it shouldn’t belong to this world.”

I love how many aspects of Tahir’s own life are present in this novel. I know that she grew up in a motel in the desert, loves older rock music, and is proud of her Pakistani heritage. Each and every one of these elements plays an irreplaceable role in forming the threads that keep this story intact. I can’t stress enough how his book is clearly a love letter to Tahir’s own life, and how personal it makes the story.

Salahudin and Noor are essentially Pakistani children, even if Salahudin is born of immigrants. The love Misbah (Salahudin’s mother) has for her culture seeps through the pages, into both of our main characters and their lives. I’m a Christian, and although this book focuses on the Islamic faith, I really loved the themes of faith and hope.

“Sometimes we hold onto things we shouldn’t. People. Places. Emotions. We try to control all of it, when what we should be doing is trusting in something bigger.”

I cried so much reading this book and I know that I will cry again upon rereading it. There is something so profoundly human in this story that twists and turns as you can’t help but root for these characters, these characters full of grief and rage and hope, stuck in impossible situations, struggling to make impossible choices. This is about two best friends trying to survive and figure out who they are, all while dealing with an insurmountable range of emotions.

“You were my world. But to your father, Salahudin? You were the solar system. Bigger. The universe itself.”

I’m going to be honest: if I had to give one fiction book recommendation for the rest of my life, it would be this one. This isn’t just a story for YA lovers, or for contemporary lovers, or even those who just like a good tearjerker. I truly think that this is one of those books that will be one of the pillars of the book community for years to come because it deserves to be. If you love your culture, read this book. If you love your family, read this book. If you love music or friendship, if you’ve gone through hard times, if you just want to immerse yourself in a beautifully written story that will steal your heart...I can say nothing else except this: read All My Rage. I think that there are few stories so intrinsically perfect that they can be universally loved, but this is surely one of them.

So that’s it! In case you can’t tell, this is one of my all-time favorite books now and will be a tough one to beat for “favorite read of 2022”. Tell me: are you excited about this one? It comes out on March 1st! You can add it to Goodreads, Storygraph, and preorder it!

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30 thoughts on “All My Rage review // An Intricately Woven Tapestry of Grief, Forgiveness, Loss, and Hope

  1. YOUR REVIEW IS SO BEAUTIFUL! If I needed any more persuasion to read this book, YOUR REVIEW WAS IT. YOU’VE MADE ME SO EXCITED AND NOW I SERIOUSLY CANNOT WAIT FOR MARCH 1ST, SO THANK YOU!! And all the quotes you included 😭😭 I LOVE THEM ALREADY! I haven’t read the author’s other books, but I have a library copy of an ember in the ashes GLARING AT ME RIGHT NOW, so maybe I should go run towards it until this book comes out! I LOVE YOUR REVIEW SO MUCH!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I am beyond excited to hear that oh my gosh!!!! I seriously hope that you LOVE IT!!! Sorry for all the exclamation points but I’m just so excited haha. AEITA is amazing as well, I’d highly recommend it if you’re in a fantasy mood! Thank youuuu🥺💜

      Liked by 1 person

    I’m so so excited to read this one , I’ve been craving a new Sabaa Tahir book for AGES 😭😭 and I’m really excited to see what she does in her first ever contemporary book!!
    I’m already starting to get ready for the heartbreak and uncontrollable sobbing✌️
    Your review was so wonderful to read, cannot wait to read this!!💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YAYYYY!! Oh my gosh YES! I’m so happy to hear that! And IKR her books are absolutely incredible, I was worried about the switch to contemporary but I was so wrong😭😭
      Yesss believe me you’ve gotta be prepared because the emotions are real!
      Thank you so much, I can’t wait to see what you think of it💜

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Fantastic review! I’ve seen the cover for this everywhere in the last week or so and after reading your review it has piqued my interest even more! Sounds like such an emotional read and I love those. I’ll definitely check this one out 😊


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