Reviews

Golden Girl, by Reem Faruqi

librarian_tori's review against another edition

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4.0

Lots of relevant cultural details and character development. The free verse poetry was easy to read and well-constructed. My only issue is that the poetry is a little sparse - I would have loved a little more detail, a little more substance. Other than that, an enjoyable and quick read.

lavenderbehindherear's review against another edition

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5.0

So so wonderful. I loved how everything fit together, and I will definitely be picking up the author’s other book and whatever she writes next!

twiinklex's review against another edition

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4.0

3.5⭐

Seventh grader Aafiyah Qamar seems to have it all — she's attractive and confident, smart and sporty, well-off and travels first class. But she also has a little problem called kleptomania and life throws her for a loop with her grandpa's ailing health and when her father is accused of embezzlement...

You ever had one of those times when life deals you a blow or you meet a setback, and you wonder if it's punishment because you've had it too good or have been too happy so this is you being thrown off your high horse? I feel it all the time and to see a book actually acknowledge this... wow. I feel like this book spoke to me.

Maybe we flaunted it
and now we'refloundering


I really enjoyed Unsettled by the author and Golden Girl was just as good. While less hard-hitting, it still covers many important topics, some of which are inspired by the author's life. But although a compelling read, I found a few issues too easily resolved and would have loved a deeper dive into things. E.g. I feel like Aafiyah didn't get the help she really needed.

Nevertheless, this is a middle-grade book so it definitely suits the target audience and I would still highly recommend it.

aconant's review against another edition

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3.0

Good.

Book in verse.

It went fast.

I liked it. I think it has a bit of a narrow audience. REalistic fiction. Patient reader.

The characters are flawed and complicated which may be a bit of a change for some readers.

runningjenw's review against another edition

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4.0

I really enjoyed this novel in verse. Aafiyah is a normal seventh grader who loves to play tennis and hang with friends. But under the surface she is struggling with family challenges and a troubling secret. This middle grade book kept me engaged and moved quickly. I wanted to keep reading to find out what happens.! A great one for anyone who has family living in another country or who just loves entertaining reads! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the digital ARC of this book.

goldenseeker97's review against another edition

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5.0

Golden girl was incredible and full review will be up on pop-culturalist.com closer to the review date! I love Reem’s writing style and I can’t wait to read more of her books.

dramalitandtech's review against another edition

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5.0

I am going to be absolutely honest: I love novels in verse. Love them, love them, love them. The author-poets of novels in verse are so succinct with their words, yet the words evoke so much beauty, life, tragedy, and the whole gamut of emotions that can be felt. Each and every word, punctuation mark, space on the page must help tell the story. I just finished Golden Girl by Reem Faruqi, after having read her Unsettled earlier this year, and I am convinced that Faruqi is a novel in verse virtuoso. Wow!

Also, honestly, I almost put Golden Girl on my abandoned list except for the promise of the “blurb” on the back of the book. I am so glad I did not abandon. The trajectory of the plot changed with “The Incident,” and it just rolled from there. It was just amazing.

Aafiyah has grown up with everything: wealth, health, a supportive family, a best friend, and yes, a “baby” brother who she loved and who at times annoyed her (like many brothers and sisters). Aafiyah also has a secret: she “borrows” things, especially from her BFF, Zaina. Aafiyah sees things she wants, she picks them up; then her want becomes a need, and she gives into her compulsion. Meanwhile her family encounters some obstacles, and Aafiyah has the compulsion to help.

This novel will go on my bookshelf in my middle school drama classroom; in fact, I will probably shelve several copies. It is just a marvelous story. I can see my students passing the book off to each other, using the poetry inside as playwriting inspiration, and maybe even using excerpts for classroom performances.


*This is a voluntary, honest review in exchange for an E-ARC from HarperCollins and NetGalley.

candelibri's review

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hopeful informative lighthearted fast-paced
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

4.5

careinthelibrary's review against another edition

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2.0

I seem to be in the minority of not really enjoying this. Glad most people found this moving and complex! I just didn't get into it.

content warnings: child/parent separation, financial insecurity, racism, bullying, discussion of incarceration/wrongful imprisonment.

whovian_bookworm's review

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emotional lighthearted reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25