Wish I Knew Arabic
Man... I wish I could read Arabic. The author's note at the front mentioned that the original Arabic version mixed various dialects of the language, which didn't translate very easily into English; I think my main complaint about the book would be solved if a) it translated better or b) I read the original.
I was very interested in this book, since I know very little about Saudi Arabia in general, and even less about the life of the average young woman there. I loved the email-list format (even if I found it hard to believe at times) and I often found myself more interested in the sender of the emails than the actual girls she was writing about. I also liked how each character seemed to represent a different position/worldview for young girls in Saudi Arabia, which gave a broader view of the culture without turning the book into a tome. AND ALL OF THE MEN WERE TERRIBLE (which was kind of hilarious, in a #relatable way).
My main complaint, as hinted at in my first lines: Even though all the girls had different points of view, they all kind of sounded the same. At first, I struggled to keep them all straight because they didn't really have unique voices. They did become distinct characters as they grew apart and experienced the world differently, but they all just sounded like... they were written by the same author. Which they were. But still.
Not one of my favorite book club books so far, but not one of my least favorite. Interesting - good - but not great. #ReadingSaudiArabia