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Review: Take it Back by Kia Abdullah

““I—I want forgiveness, for others and for myself. I want to accept that the journey is all there is. That when you get there, there’s no there there and so you keep going, keep trying, keep looking for ways to fill that hole but it will never be filled because we are just human and life has a hole – it just does. That’s what I want.”

Name: Take it Back

Author: Kia Abdullah

Series: Book 1 of Zara Kaleel Series

Genre: Adult, Legal Thriller, Crime, Mystery

This legal thriller will keep you in your toes, fearing for the next wrong move and the next event that will topple and discover the truth of the matter. 4 suspected rapists and 1 victim who is not believed by anyone, not her mother or her best friend. The only person interested in finding the truth of her rape is Zara Kaleel, a rape activist who takes care of these types on cases in court. Apart from the case, Zara is also dealing with a lot of inner turmoil from her family and her desire to be left alone and not live like her parents.

The best thing about the book is the dynamic it used and the controversial themes it discusses. The girl who was raped is disabled with a facial deformity and the boys that are accused are Muslim, consequently Zara and her family's religion. This creates havoc in society, causing the world to turn against each other. Terrorism jokes and disabled jokes take a turn for the worst as these mere kids go through the most traumatizing experience. Truth be told, you never know who is telling the truth. You want Jodie to be lying so that those well bred boys don't waste their life in jail, but you also wonder if this silent and pure girl is not lying and is uncovering a truth no one wants to hear.

This is what resonated with me the most. How much I wanted Jodie to be lying, whether or not she is that is a big spoiler and I'll let you find out for yourself. However, the author makes the characters so easy to follow and we kind of don't want to believe the worst of them. We do not want to believe that the boys we raised are capable of atrocious acts.

The legality of the story and the drama inside and outside the courthouse is what made the story for me. Something I would have deleted (but also understand why it was placed in the story) was Zara's drug abuse and trauma because of her family. It makes sense and it added a layer to her own story, but I also believe this part served no end goal. However, the riots and the violence that begins due to the case does seem to follow an end goal of why it was presented. Zara's issues were not resolved in this story at least and it left me feeling a little distant from her at times.

* Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this Ebook in exchange for an honest review*

-- 3.5 stars --