I’m finally out of my reading slump!!! Wooooop! Being in a reading slump is one of the worst things when you’re book blogger. I had so many ideas for posts but no motivation to read. And as I watched the days tick by without a new blog post going up, I desperately wanted my reading slump to disappear. Now it has!
My blogging friends (and real life friends – shock horror! Bloggers have real life friends too!), Sarah and Sophie at The Little Contemporary Corner, regularly host read-alongs on their blog. They’re fun to take part in and cool to read what other people think of the same book you’ve just been reading. What I especially like about their read-alongs is that they’re often anthologies of short stories. I think that’s what pulled my out of my reading slump – reading short stories rather than a whole novel!
Sarah and Sophie’s current read-along is A Change is Gonna Come, an anthology of short stories and poems by multiple authors. All of the authors are BAME (Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic) and all of the short stories or poems are written along the theme of change. For my stop on Sarah and Sophie’s read-along blog tour, I’m specifically going to talk about the story Fortune Favours the Bold by Yasmin Rahman.
A Change is Gonna Come:
I’ve really enjoyed reading something a bit different for a change. I say that all the time about novels, but this really was different. I don’t think I’ve read a book before where all the stories follow the same theme, and it was really interesting to see how each author interpreted it!
One thing I really like is that it isn’t a book full of stereotypes. I often find BAME characters in books by white authors can be a bit typical, like a cookie cutter mold. But with A Change is Gonna Come being about BAME characters written by BAME authors, each character seems so real and genuine.
In terms of the stories themselves, I had a real mish-mash of opinions. There are some stories that I really enjoyed and others that I struggled to finish. I didn’t DNF any of them, but there were definitely a couple that I finished without any idea of what I just read. They were the minority though – I liked most of them a lot (including Fortune Favours the Bold, which is what I’m about to talk about!).
Fortune Favours the Bold
by Yasmin Rahman
This story seems so close to reality at the moment. When you turn to the first page, the very first line you’re met with is: “TERRORIST ATTACK IN A NIGHTCLUB”. Sound familiar? The story follows Zaibah, a Muslim student who suffers from anxiety. She can’t stop thinking about the terrorist attack in the news, and she feels sick thinking about the fact that it was caused by another Muslim.
Throughout the story we see bullying, threats, and offensive name-calling from horrible white boys on the school bus. It made me truly realise how awful life can be as a Muslim when things like this happen.
I feel similar to Zaibah in a few ways (except for the fact that I’m a white person who has never faced racial prejudice). She has a twin sister which was cool to read – I love reading about twins to see how different their dynamic is between them compared to me and my sister. (In this case, quite different.) I also felt for her a lot when she walked onto the bus and was faced with a million different things to be anxious about, including the horrible bullies in the front row. I’ve had my fair share of being bullied throughout high school so I knew exactly how she felt.
To keep with the theme of change, luckily the ending is a happy one and Zaibah makes a new friend – a cool, confident girl who is also a Muslim wears a headscarf like Zaibah. I hope they go on to become great friends!
I’m so glad I decided to join in with The Little Contemporary Corner‘s read-along of A Change is Gonna Come. I feel like it’s one of those books I can pick up again and again and read a story or two. If you want a book that will inspire you, lift you up and really open your eyes, I’d recommend this 100%. And if you’re part of the BAME community and want to see yourself reflected in fiction for a change, definitely pick this up!
Click the links below to buy a copy of A Change is Gonna Come* or read about it on Goodreads:
How many books have you read that have prominent BAME characters? Have you read many books with horrible BAME stereotypes? Let’s chat!
*Note: Affiliate links used – click here for details. 🙂