Tuesday, 6 June 2017

The Lines We Cross in Ten Powerful Quotes


You might have heard that Randa Abdel-Fatah came out with a new book in May 2017. I positively squealed. But that's because I had read her previous book, Does My Head Look Big in This? nine years ago about an Australian Muslim teenager who decides to wear hijab to school. It was amazing but I hadn't read anything by Randa since. Until The Lines We Cross came along.

Randa's new young adult novel is about two teenagers on opposing sides of the immigration conflict in Australia. Michael's parents are part of Aussie Values - an anti-immigration group - whilst Mina's family have fled their besieged home in Afghanistan. As the group's importance grows in Australia, lines are drawn and both must decide what matters most.

I absolutely enjoyed this quick read. The humour aimed at misguided characters and time spent on exploring some serious stereotypes and issues surrounding terrorism, the hijab, refugees to name a few complimented each other to make The Lines We Cross a highly topical book that everyone needs to read now. Below are some of my favourite quotes drawn from the book that either had me furiously nodding away in agreement or made my heart lurch in sympathy and sadness:

Kahn’s carrying a spade in one hand and a sign in the other: Start Calling a Spade a Spade: Islam = Terror. Andrew’s dressed as a Spartan guard, carrying a shield and sign that says: Democracy Started in Greece: Protect Our Democracy. p. 2

~

Paula huffs with indignation. “So Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, bombs on Afghan weddings and parties, CIA torture, drones, white phosphorous–all wonderful examples of civilized behavior, right?” p. 33

~

Mum lets out an exasperated sigh. “That’s half the problem though, isn’t it? When my parents came here they got called poms, so they made sure us kids fit in.” She raises her eyes to the ceiling. “You can’t wear the hijab, get a negative reaction, and then complain. You have to take responsibility for yourself and think: How are people going to treat me? Am I inviting trouble?” She shakes her head sadly. p. 20-21

~

Maybe you only get one chance at meeting somebody who really gets inside you, wakes corners of your mind and heart that you didn't know were asleep. p. 272

~

“You know what the trick is?” she says when we hear the bell ring and reluctantly rise and make our way to home-room. “Learning that it can’t always be about them. Sometimes, maybe even most times, you fight back. But sometimes you can end up dignifying their arguments when you defend yourself. And even if you’re in the right, it’s exhausting to live your life in constant resistance. You have to keep a space to yourself, Mina, a space where they don’t exist." p. 144

~

“Dad says Muslims are violent. So of course he should be scared. But you know, our bird was run over by a car in our street last year. Death is everywhere, not just in Iraq.” p. 72

~

Was part of our contract here in this country that we should be walking around depressed and broken? Wearing our trauma on the outside? And what about everybody we’d left dead or living in fear back home? Didn’t we owe them? How could I just lead this ordinary life? p. 174

~

“Because there’s a dominant culture, Michael,” Dad explains. “We’re an Anglo nation based on Judeo-Christian values. People are free to practice their culture and religion so long as it doesn’t undermine the foundational identity of this country.” p. 162

~

There’s a lot of ugliness under this sky. But there’s plenty of beauty here too. I want to find it, spread it around, all over the cruelty and injustice. I want to shake this world like a can of soda, pop the lid, and watch the bubbles explode. Join a revolution to do nothing less than change the world. p. 375

~

“It’s like all these nameless, faceless people get killed all around the world everyday amd nobody gives a shit because they’re not Aussie or American or French, you know what I mean? It’s like dying and getting killed is just something people like us do. It doesn’t shock anybody. If we live, then people are surprised.” p. 287

Hopefully, from just these quotes, you can see how well written The Lines We Cross. It serves a great read in today's political climate whilst still being entertaining as you gush about young love. 


Will you pick up The Lines We Cross? Have you read similar books that you can recommend? ~


5 comments:

  1. Thank you for this review! I've been looking for some new tbr for the summer and Sofia Khan is not obliged is the only one my list as I want to read more about muslim culture around the globe, and after reading your review I'll make sure to grab myself a copy of this.
    Thank you :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for reading! I can't wait to read Sofia Khan is not obliged too. Hope you enjoy The Lines We Cross too!

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