Alatash is the first book that’s written by the young author Alia AlHazami and it was published in November 6th, 2013.
The book talks about Alicia, a girl from Africa who go through a lot of hardships in her life starting with moving out to her aunt’s house and ending up with her getting married and going to work, but there is always a ray of hope that keeps her going through whatever bad situations that life throw in her way. This’s all I can say about the plot because if I said more, I might spoil it.
Like every book you read, there are things that you like and things that are annoying.
Starting with the things I liked about the book, I liked the main character, Alicia. I liked her voice. she is strong and courageous and resilient. she would always find a way to survive, and I liked that about her. Moving to the descriptions, I found them beautiful. I felt like I can see the places in my head, also the physical description of the characters was good, it didn’t give too much, which gives the space for the reader to imagine how they look. Alia have a good way in describing the characters and the places without boring the reader with the non-necessary extra details.
Moving to the things that annoyed me. I will start with the dialogues, through out the book, the conversations didn’t seem real, it doesn’t sound like a normal person speaking, and it really annoyed me. I liked the narration part, but I didn’t like the spoken conversations. Also, I couldn’t make a connection between the title of the book and the story.
The title is really interesting and makes the reader want to grab the book and find out what is Alatash or who is Alatash, but unfortunately there was no mentioning of Alatash through out the book. So, it was a bit confusing.
Another thing that was slightly irritating is that the main protagonist’s story had a closure, but the secondary characters didn’t have a closure, and I wanted to see what happened to them, like what happened to her aunt Tia for example. When I finished the book, I had a lot of questions about some of the characters. As for the speed of the story, I found it a little bit fast but I can understand that because she tried to fit Alicia’s whole life in 185 pages.
Also, for a book was written by an Emirati author, I couldn’t help but notice all the typical stereotypes that people think of the culture and it just annoyed me so much to read them. I know some of these stuff do happen here, but I felt as if the book used it to create more drama in the life of main protagonist and not to communicate a greater purpose or meaning.
Overall, the book is a good start for Alia’s career as an author, but it needed more work and more building to be that emotional, dramatic read that the author wanted it to be.
Rating: 2 out of 5