Nothing Is Predictable by Adalina Mae
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Normally, I probably wouldn't have picked up this book because the 'I am woman, hear me roar' theme isn't what I usually spend my time reading. Not reading this would have been a mistake, though. That first page, whoa! I was glad to get the conclusion to that scene pretty early on in the book because I really couldn't concentrate while that question was in the back of my mind.
This is a quick read with plenty of gut punches thrown in to keep things in turmoil. This isn't a story simply about an incredibly strong woman paving her own way, overcoming tragic circumstances, and succeeding without help from any man. Zara does all of that, yes, but she also tried desperately to lean on men along the way. It wasn't her fault they all let her down, were weak, and failed her. The story is as realistic and heartbreaking as it is life-affirming and inspiring. The words Go, Zara! are printed many times but only about half as many as I found myself saying them in my own head.
I enjoyed reading about the Lebanese culture and all of Zara's travels around the world. An ethnically, culturally, and religiously diverse world is portrayed truthfully without the author coming down on any one side definitively. The issue of religious differences in a relationship were handled realistically and in a mature manner, even by immature characters.
Zara is Lebanese American and one of the biggest conflicts I felt in this book was of her straddling the two cultures. Mainly she lives in the U.S. and assimilated quite well yet she felt very comfortable and familiar when she was in Lebanon. I kept feeling like she would eventually latch on to one firmly and distance herself from the other but that didn't happen. After thinking about it, I think that, too, is realistic and I only felt the need for Zara to attach to one because I've never known the struggle of being of two cultures. Nothing is Predictable made me yearn for some more cultural diversity in my life and that is truly something no other book has done for me.
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