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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
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The Beauty of the Moment: 05/14/19

The Beauty of the Moment

The Beauty of the Moment by Tanaz Bhathena is a YA set in Toronto. The novel alternates between the points of view of Susan, recently moved to Canada from Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, Malcolm has lived most of his life in Toronto and he's earned a bad reputation and has pretty much given up on school.

Susan has moved here with her mother. Her father promises he'll be moving soon too, just as soon as work lets him. But it's clear that her parents are on the edge of a divorce and Susan and her mother may end up stranded in an unfamiliar country.

Malcom's father is an adulterer. He's expected to be as much of a player but his heart isn't in it. He recently broke up with his girlfriend and is still reeling from it.

Their relationship builds over a course of a year at high school. Susan is trying to fit in and finding Canadian education off-putting. She's struggling to maintain her stellar grades and she's also finding it hard to make friends.

Malcolm through his friendship with Susan begins to rethink his reputation. He's rethinking his future. He's also encouraging Susan (as is her friend back in Saudi Arabia) to rethink her future. Her parents want a science or medical career for her; she wants to study art.

Mostly though it's a sweet novel about the difficulties of fitting in to a new life in a new country. It's about finding yourself and defining yourself even if its in opposition to what your parents or other adults in your life want for you or think of you.

Four stars

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