So, I Finally Read Binti by Nnedi Okorafor and Here’s What I Thought…

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The cover was perfect.

On a related note, look at what the author had to say about the whitewashing of her covers.

I loved how the acknowledgments described UAE as “futuristic ancient”.

It is such a perfect description because you get this old feel when you visit the place and then there are those skyscrapers that add a futuristic shade to things. Mostly unrelated but reminded me of how a Pakistani artist imagined our country would like in SF mode! Check it out:

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See more of his art here. Anyway, back to the review:

This is how YAs should go!

I mean there’s this teenager who is running away from home, readying herself to face all kinds of racism, just so she can attend a university. I loved that.

Some thoughts were expressed so beautifully…

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I might have been reading too much into it but I could see some parallels.

While talking about cooking fish, Binti mentioned:

they lulled the fish into a sleep that the fish never woke from

It reminded me of two things:

a) The Himba are an animist people, which is why they would be gentle towards any organisms they consumed.

b) How as Muslims we have rules upon rules that minimize the pain of an animal prior to being slaughtered for food.

I loved how Binti’s love and respect for her family would shine through her thoughts. For instance, look at this quote:

Would my family even comprehend it all when I explained it to them?

And then, she followed it with another thought that I wasn’t expecting. She didn’t think they weren’t smart enough to understand why she did what she did. Instead, she said:

Or would they just fixate on the fact that I’d almost died…

I kept imagining the Meduse as the love-child of jellyfishes and Cthulhu though I dunno why! While researching that unholy union, I came across this instead:

To summarize, YA done well, in terms of strong, sensible female lead, making it a must-read for all YA lovers out there.

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