Zara’s family has waited years for their visa process to be finalized so that they can officially become US citizens. But it only takes one moment for that dream to come crashing down around them.
Seventeen-year-old Pakistani immigrant, Zara Hossain, has been leading a fairly typical life in Corpus Christi, Texas, since her family moved there for her father to work as a pediatrician. While dealing with the Islamophobia that she faces at school, Zara has to lay low, trying not to stir up any trouble and jeopardize their family’s dependent visa status while they await their green card approval, which has been in process for almost nine years.
But one day her tormentor, star football player Tyler Benson, takes things too far, leaving a threatening note in her locker, and gets suspended. As an act of revenge against her for speaking out, Tyler and his friends vandalize Zara’s house with racist graffiti, leading to a violent crime that puts Zara’s entire future at risk. Now she must pay the ultimate price and choose between fighting to stay in the only place she’s ever called home or losing the life she loves and everyone in it.
From the author of the “heart-wrenching yet hopeful” (Samira Ahmed) novel, The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali, comes a timely, intimate look at what it means to be an immigrant in America today, and the endurance of hope and faith in the face of hate.
About the Author
Sabina Khan writes about Muslim teens who straddle cultures. She was born in Germany, spent her teens in Bangladesh, and lived in Macao, Illinois, and Texas before settling down in British Columbia with her husband, two daughters, and the best puppy in the world. Visit her online at sabina-khan.com.
Praise for Zara Hossain Is Here:
Featured in The New York Times
* "[Zara Hossain Is Here] establishes Khan as a powerful rising voice in YA." —Booklist, starred review
"Fans of Samira Ahmed, Tahereh Mafi, and Randa Abdel-Fattah will find Khan's powerful work timely and affecting." —School Library Journal
"Khan's examination of the legal difficulties many immigrants face on their road to citizenship, and the precariousness of the immigrant experience more generally, fortify this timely novel." —Teen Vogue
* "Khan unapologetically tackles prejudice in its various manifestations while simultaneously engaging openly with the complexities of accountability. The myriad forms of oppression the most vulnerable face in our society intersect in the character of Zara, challenging readers to ask what it means for some to feel at home in a country whose systems feel built to exclude them. A vivid account exploring issues many immigrant teens face." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Khan creates a gripping story line centering the conflict between prejudice and tolerance." —Publishers Weekly
Praise for The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali:
Featured on NBC News and the BBC
A Junior Library Guild Selection
A Teen Indie Next List Pick (IndieBound)
An ALA-YALSA Quick Picks for Young Adult Readers Book
A Rainbow Book List Top Ten Book of the Year
"An intersectional, diverse coming of age story that will break your heart in the best way." —Bustle
* "With an up-close depiction of the intersection of the LGBTQIA+ community with Bengali culture, this hard-hitting and hopeful story is a must-purchase for any YA collection." —School Library Journal, starred review
"This book will break your heart and then, chapter by chapter, piece it back together again. A much-needed addition to any YA shelf." —Sandhya Menon, New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi
"Heart-wrenching yet hopeful, The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali is an insightful and honest look at the tangled web of identity, culture, familial loyalty, and love. Sabina Khan crafts a powerful, poignant story about finding yourself, about speaking your truth, and about stepping out of the shadows and into the light." —Samira Ahmed, New York Times bestselling author of Love, Hate and Other Filters and Internment
"A daring and timely novel, The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali delves head-and-heart-first into the universal complexities of navigating duty and desire, tradition and modernity, and friends and family—the one we are born into and the one we choose; the friends who are family, and the family we strive to befriend—all through the prism of multicultured identity. Political, personal, page-turning. Sabina Khan is one to watch." —Tanuja Desai Hidier, author of Born Confused and Bombay Blues
"Bold, heartbreaking, yet hopeful. A story that will stay with you for years to come." —Sara Farizan, Lambda Award-winning author of If You Could Be Mine
"The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali unapologetically explores the complex ties between families, friends, and intersectional diversity. Khan brings talent and voice in this brilliant novel that will keep you reading until the very last page." —Nisha Sharma, author of My So-Called Bollywood Life
"[The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali] takes LGBTQ fiction to another level and will help open readers' eyes to the realities that many face in these changing times." —Shelf Awareness