Blog Tour – Book Review: When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah
When Micheal Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah
Before Mina, my life was like a completed jigsaw puzzle but Mina has pushed the puzzle onto the floor. I have to start all over again, figuring out where the pieces go.
When Michael meets Mina, they are at a rally for refugees – standing on opposite sides.
Mina fled Afghanistan with her mother via a refugee camp, a leaky boat and a detention centre.
Michael’s parents have founded a new political party called Aussie Values.
They want to stop the boats.
Mina wants to stop the hate.
When Mina wins a scholarship to Michael’s private school, their lives crash together blindingly.
A novel for anyone who wants to fight for love, and against injustice.
When Michael Met Mina:
I received When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah from Pan Macmillan for the When Michael Met Mina Blog Tour, this has in no way influenced my thoughts and feelings about the book.
Before I even started to read this book I knew that I was going to like it, I don’t know why, but I did and I wasn’t disappointed. I’m not going to lie When Michael Met Mina is a hard book to read, not because it was bad, but because it deals with such a hard subject.
When Michael Met Mina follows protagonists Michael and Mina as they go on a journey of friendship, love, hardships of being different from everyone else. They learn to stand up for themselves, each other and what they believe in.
Michael and Mina are from two different sides; Michael’s family are the founders of Aussie Values, a political party that wants to make Australia great again – by stopping the boats. Mina a refugee that fled Afghanistan with her mother. They are from two opposite sides and they believe in very different things, but then they meet.
Mina has just received a scholarship to join a private school that Michael just happens to go to. I really enjoyed Mina as a character, she was never afraid to let people know who she is, she’s proud, but because of this you can also see her insecurities. When people around her are contently pulling her down for who she is, what she believes in, it gets tough – and they fact is, they have no idea what she has been through.
I really enjoyed the relationship Mina had with her mother and step-father, it was really nice to see this family care so much about each other, they all tried to stay strong and when one was feeling down and hurt, they tried to pick each other up.
Michael was hard to like at first. His family are racist, his friends are racist and to an extent at times he can be a little racist too – but he is also a product of his environment. We can see from the start the resistance that he has against his family values and what they promote. I adore the character arc of Michael, the reader is able to see him grow and not let the people around him influence his thoughts and feelings.
Michael’s family on the other hand; well I hated them. His father and mother, they are racist bastards (sorry not sorry). I wanted to throw my book across the room with everything that they said, even after his father sees first hand what people go through – he doesn’t change the way that he thinks.
His father’s group of friends are no better, I just cannot comprehend how people can think like this, it’s just so small minded and frustrated.
The romance was adorable though Michael and Mina do not have the best start. It was nice to see them go from dislike to friendship and then into something more. It was slow and great to see that they both learnt things from each other.
I also liked the friendships that Mina finds at the new school, they didn’t care that she believed in different things, they liked her, for her.
Randa Abdel-Fattah writing throughout When Michael Met Mina is captivating, once I started to read I didn’t want to stop. Abdel-Fattah created a story that captures some thinking in Australia today, and showed that you have to think before you speak, because everything is not always what it seems. Michael and Mina’s voices were also very different from each other and both capture the life of teens in Australia.
When Michael Met Mina should be on every high school book list in the country. The younger generations need to know that sometimes the government and media lie and manipulate the sense of asylum seekers. They need to know that most of these people are not illegal or jumping the queue, they are just simply people looking for freedom, safety and peace. It’s an important story to write and share.
Have you read When Michael Met Mina yet? Did you like it? Are you going to? Have you read anything else from Randa Abdel-Fattah? Let’s Chat. Also check out the rest of the blog tour and join the conversations on social media with #Michael4Mina