❥ Title: Internment
❥ Author: Samira Ahmed
❥ Genre: Young Adult Fiction
❥ Publisher: Atom
❥ Rating: 5 / 5 stars
What’s that thing people always say about history?
Unless we know our history, we’re doomed to repeat it? Never forget? Isn’t that the lesson? But we always forget. Forgetting is in the American grain.
Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens.
With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the internment camp’s Director and his guards.
Synopsis take from Goodreads
Internment is very fitting for the current political turmoil in America, and for it’s history. Samira Ahmed weaves America’s past and present to show what the very near future has the potential to be. It’s scary and hard to read – this isn’t a dystopian novel, this could very well be a reality for America. The writing and plot development is very powerful and touches on so many different topics that lack the right attention in the real world.
I’ve seen the amount of complaints about the “poor execution” of the novel, I have to say that I can’t agree. It takes incredible bravery to write and publish such a powerful, raw, well-informed and crucial novel in the political climate of America.
The main concerns that many readers have are that Layla doesn’t have to live up to character expectations. What really qualifies as character expectations? In my opinion, Layla does not have to be a “sympathetic” character, she shouldn’t have to “calm down on the boyfriend obsession”, or be “more emotionally expressive”. (These are just from some reviews I’ve seen on Goodreads.) The fact is, government internment could very be a reality for normal US citizens. Citizens that are just like you or me, and that react to situations in a natural way. Life is not a picture perfect story, so why should Layla be the perfect character?
What I’m trying to say is that there is no space for projecting any expectations of what marginalised citizens should be like and how they should act. Instead, as readers we should refocus and recenter that energy on diving deeper into the meaning of the plot and how dangerously close we are a nation of humans to unforgettable horrors.
Overall, Internment explores very serious topics that can introduce younger readers to the current political turmoil of America. Samira Ahmed does an amazing job of presenting a very realistic and valid representation of how a normal teenage girl encounters an insane experience of hate, violence and how she deals with the trauma of that.
While I understand that Internment may not be a book that everyone will pick up out of fear of the unknown, I highly recommend that you do! Internment may not be your typical YA Fantasy or Contemporary story but it is a crucial story for you to read! If you enjoyed The Hate U Give, you will enjoy Interment.
Until Next Time,