June 3, 2021

Friends with ARCs: An Emotion of Great Delight

An Emotion of Great Delight invites readers to intimately get to know and walk with main character Shadi. She's struggling to keep her head down in the wake of the harassment and targeting of the Muslim community in the wake of the political climate in the United States after 2001. She's also dealing with personal things, including complicated familial relationships (which are very much colored by grief, anger and blame) and falling in love. It's true that there's a lot on her plate, and Shadi's response is to retreat into herself, to push the pain away and keep it all inside. But there's only so much of that she'll be able to take before she'll have to let it all out...

Tahereh Mafi's second YA contemporary novel An Emotion of Great Delight feels like the kind of story only she could write. I say this because I typically associate my experiences with stream of consciousness storytelling with her work, both from my experiences with the Shatter Me series and her previous contemporary release A Very Large Expanse of Sea. This slice of life tale drops readers, without warning, into Shadi's story and we're treated to her internal dialogue and running commentary. While this worked to make it feel like readers are experiencing everything with her in real time, it also ended up making our perspective of her life and world a little limited. In keeping with the abruptness of the beginning, the book also ends without definitively showing us how everything wraps up for Shadi and the folks in her life. We do see hints of these resolutions, but no more than that, and it would have been a touch more satisfying for me personally if we'd gotten just a little bit more. Still, An Emotion of Great Delight was a strong new fictional tale from Mafi. It was immersive, honest and personal, and I could appreciate what it brought to the table.

Some content warnings for this title include Islamophobia, death of a family member (prior to start of the story), and secondary character self-harm. Please make sure to double check for any other content warnings I might have missed before you pick this one up.

How do you deal with stress or heavy emotions? I tend to find comfort in journaling whenever I'm having a difficult time emotionally. There's something about being able to let all of that out on page that usually helps me work through these things. I also like to talk to my husband Macky or let myself have a nice, long cry.

Pub Info: June 1, 2021 by Harper Collins | Add it on Goodreads
I received an e-galley from the publisher on Edelweiss for review.


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