Friday, January 3, 2014

Review Me Twice: I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

Have you ever read a book, and when you're done, you just sort of put it down and go, "I know so much more about this topic than I did when I started reading this book"? That's what I did with this book. My strengths do not lie in politics or history or really even geography, so pretty much everything about the Middle East is a bit of a blur for me. I try to keep up, but I get easily confused and distracted and I don't retain the information well. But apparently all I needed was for a sixteen-year-old girl to explain it to me.

That's another thing I wanted to address, actually... Malala Yousafzai is sixteen years old. She has done more important things than I am likely to do in my lifetime. I know... "important" is subjective, etc. But she's brave and strong and... well, she got shot point-blank in the head by a member of the Taliban and then she wrote this book. That in and of itself should make you go, "Wow, she's awesome." And then you read the book, and you think, "Wow... she's really awesome." And that's obviously an understatement.

So not only is she a great writer, but she also has amazing stories to tell and important information to share. If you think (1) it's too long, (2) you don't like non-fiction or autobiographies, and/or (3) the book is overhyped... give it a chance anyway. It was really really good.

This book really makes you question what you're doing with your life.  Malala is 16 years old and she took a bullet in the head so that other girls in her country could have an education.  You know what I was doing at sixteen?  I'm pretty sure I was sitting on my couch playing video games.

Her story is incredibly inspiring and, honestly, way more insighful than I thought it would be.  You see what kind of things are really going on in Pakistan, and the roles of all the countries involved.  Here's a hint: Americans are not the heroes.  We're the people destroying her country with drones.  I don't want you to take from that, that she's an anti-american girl.  She's not.  She's just as angry with her own country for not doing anything about the invasion of the Taliban.  

Malala focuses on why girls need education, why EVERYONE deserves an education.  She lets you see the positive side of her religion, the way her religion is for the people who aren't terrorist, who really follow the word and spirit of the Quran.  I really liked that part because so often Islam gets distorted by the terrorists.

I also liked that, at the end of the day, there were still so many instances she was a 16 year old girl.  Her favorite color is pink and often dresses in it.  She likes to follow trends and brush her hair and argue with her best girlfriend. 

She's an amazing girl, with an amazing story and she is simply just inspiring.  I recommend this book incredibly and I think it's a great way to start off our new year of reviews.

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