Take It Back by Kia Abdullah

Brenda’s review

HOT DIGGITY DANG!!! I am speechless with that OMG ending!!!

Take It Back is a gripping, intense, explosive courtroom drama that explores racial and gender conflicts, family, and duty. Zara, a formal barrister now rape counselor, is divided between her family, her heart, and her job when 16-year-old Jodie accuses four boys of rape. Jodie is white and disabled with a facial disformity, and the boys are from hardworking immigrant families.

I loved Zara, and she makes for a strong female character here, with conflicts and flaws of her own while she deals with her expected role as a woman that her family expects and backlash from members of the Muslim community. The tension rises as she rejects traditions and those expected subservient roles and behavior.

“Oppression doesn’t spread through men with guns, or bombs on trains. Oppression spreads when women like you tell their daughters to marry a certain man, or wear a certain dress, or work a certain job.~Zara

“Women aren’t born warriors, we learn to fight because we have to” ~Zara

The story is a tough, emotionally charge one with many themes explored, and Kia Abdullah holds back no punches. It is brilliantly and skillfully written in layers on top of layers and peeled back throughout the story. It’s bold and brave and messy and gives us so much to think about and talk about.

“That’s your problem, Zar. You want life in neat and predictable boxes when it’s actually a river of shit “~ Safran.

The ending is brilliant with unexpected turns to the story, and every detail is wrapped up skillfully. Kia Abdullah has written a gem of a story here, and she is another author that is moving forward and away from those expected plots and characters. I look forward to more from her and Zara.

“I want forgiveness, for others and for myself. I want to accept that the journey is all there is. That when you get there, there’s no there there and so you keep going, keep trying, keep looking for ways to fill that hole but it will never be filled because we are just human and life has holes-it just does. That’s what I want.” ~Zara

And that is what I want!

This one ticks all the boxes for me for what makes a better read!

Diverse read that addresses expected roles of gender and race but stays away from expected behaviours and stereotyped characters.
Explores some tough themes without manipulating or playing on our emotions
Delivers a story that made me think and feel with the characters
Characters that had me questioning their actions and behavior while horrifying me and breaking my heart.
A brave, bold, heartstopping, heartbreaking, thoughtful, and intense page-turner.

I am so grateful to Lindsay for reading and discussing this one while I analyzed every detail. lol

Lindsay’s review

Intense. Heart-breaking. Shocking. Uncomfortable. Thought-provoking.

Sixteen-year-old Jodie comes to Artemis House, a sexual assault crisis centre, to seek help and support after a brutal attack. Jodie was born with extreme facial deformities and has no form of support in her home life. Zara takes on the case at the crisis centre, promising to accompany Jodie through every step from reporting the assault to the police to attending court with her. Zara is Muslim, as are the group of four boys that Jodie is accusing of rape.

This book was intense! There are several heavy topics covered that the author didn’t shy away from delving deep into. The writing was outstanding and kept me fully engrossed from start to finish. The characters were phenomenal — each character brought a complex layer of intrigue and emotion to the storyline. The storyline itself is highly controversial, uncomfortable and deeply contemplative. I didn’t know where to place my thoughts throughout this novel – it challenged me to keep my mind and heart open to whatever outcome would happen. My heart broke repeatedly yet I also questioned many of the characters motives and intentions throughout. This book kept me guessing until the very end where I was completed shocked. This was outstanding in every possible way!

The characters and this storyline will stay with me for a long time. It weighs heavy on my heart and has easily made its way onto my Favourites List. I highly recommend! I was thrilled to find out this is a series and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of Book 2!

We received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley

8 thoughts on “Take It Back by Kia Abdullah”

  1. Amazing reviews ladies. I love the quotes you selected Brenda. I am hooked, and will be reading this one.This is such a timely and divisive topic. My January TBR is getting so long.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Carla! I am so glad you have added this one! It worth adding to the top of your list!! Ihope you love it as much as Lindsay and I did!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so glad to see you got this one, Shalini and are loving it! I hope that ending leaves you thinking OMG!!


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