Thursday Throwback : Hate is Such a Strong Word

Throwback Thursday  edition is our way of spreading the love of backlist Aussie books that you might have missed. We'll hopefully be posting a new book every second week, and we'd love you to join us!

Tash's pick

Title: Hate is a Strong Word
Released: September 1st 2013 
Publisher: Haper Collins Australia
Add it to Goodreads 

I hate being invisible.

I hate that I still can′t fight my own battles.

I hate that I can′t keep up with the demands of high school.

Sophie Kazzi is in Year 12 at an all-Lebanese, all-Catholic school where she is invisible, uncool and bored out of her brain. While she′s grown up surrounded by Lebanese friends, Lebanese neighbours and Lebanese shops, she knows there′s more to life than Samboosik and Baklawa, and she desperately wants to find it.

Unfortunately, her father has antiquated ideas about women, curfews and the Lebanese ′way′. Bad news for Sophie, who was hoping to spend Year 12 fitting in and having fun - not babysitting her four younger siblings, or studying for final exams that will land her in an Accounting course she has no interest in.

Just when it looks like Sophie′s year couldn′t get any more complicated, Shehadie Goldsmith arrives at school. With an Australian father and a Lebanese mother, he′s even more of a misfit than Sophie. And with his arrogant, questioning attitude, he also has a way of getting under her skin...

But when simmering cultural tensions erupt in violence, Sophie must make a choice that will threaten her family, friends and the cultural ties that have protected her all her life.

Are her hates and complaints worth it? Or will she let go ... and somehow find her place?

why i chose it

A coming of age story of difference. One of the first  Love OZ YA books that I read that challenged my  own identity. Whilst Hate is a Strong World introduced me to the Lebanese culture,a   culture that I was unfamiliar with but  I could relate to in many ways.

I dealt with similar issues and whilst my parents were willing to learn and adjust with trial and error. For Sophie it's is a different and more complex story.

 Identity we can shape it to a extent but Sophie is governed by her parents. I feel the same growing up and especially in my final years of high school. I get the protective nature that comes from Sophie's dad , their culture see woman as precious and that he wants to retain the old fashion role he grown up with.

The introduction of Shehadie into her world was a catalyst that allowed her to explore those said boundaries. Sophie sticks out for the wrong reasons early on for the stereotypical behaviour of her parents. Shehadie being mixed raced  and challenging everything single aspect is welcomed. He comes off as arrogant  but there is another confused teenager under the layers who just might be the best thing happened to Sophie. If only she could get past the hate which drives this novel. Hate is a Strong Word challenges the usage of hate and how each generation needs to make their own mark on their own terms. 
It's the coming of age novel perfect for Aussie teens that tackles the tough issues and lets them know that everything will be just right. 

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1 comment

  1. I haven't read this one, but I have read The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub, which I enjoyed.
    Thanks for the recommendation! 💜


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