Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali

Reviewed by K. Yanna, December 2019

Love from A to Z is a novel about human connections, change, and - of course - love. Zayneb arrives in Doha angry at her teacher, herself, and the world. After doodling a knife to accommodate her activist friends’ hashtag -  #EatThemAlive - she is suspended from school while the Islampholibic teacher they planned to take down is free to spread his negative culture. With her time off, she begins spring break early with a trip to Doha, Qatar to live with her aunt. On the plane ride there, she hears that one friend has been asked to leave Student Council. With a heart full of remorse, she plans to be a calmer version of herself in Doha. She learns that it is quiet scheming, not anger, that enables justice.

Adam arrives in Doha from college in London with a secret he is not ready to let out. After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, the disease his mother died from, he returns to spend time with his family. While he keeps his mother’s memory alive for his sister, he believes he must prevent his dad from knowing he has MS.

As Zayneb’s aunt was Adam’s mom’s best friend, the two are fated to meet. Both Adam and Zayneb put on a front for their family while their thoughts are recorded as distinct Marvels and Oddities in their journals. One Marvel and Oddity is the same in both journals: their meeting.

I would rate this book a 4.5 / 5 because the character development and morals are applicable to many lives and situations. However, some may not enjoy the cliche of the plot. Love from A to Z reminds me of a good Hallmark movie: you know the characters will end up together, but the question is how? Many parts of Love from A to Z remind me of A Cave in the Clouds and Milk and Honey due to the evocative language used.