Title: The Beauty of the Moment
Author: Tanaz Bhathena
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Penguin Teen
Release Date: February 26, 2019
Susan dreams of being an artist. Malcolm wants to move him and his sister out of a bad living situation. Sparks fly when the two teens meet at a fundraiser for Syrian refugees. A Canadian YA romance for fans of The Sun is Also a Star.
Susan is the new girl — she’s sharp and driven, and strives to meet her parents’ expectations of excellence. Malcolm is the bad boy — he started raising hell at age fifteen, after his mom died of cancer, and has had a reputation ever since.
Susan hasn’t told anyone, but she wants to be an artist. Malcolm doesn’t know what he wants — until he meets her.
Love is messy and families are messier, but in spite of their burdens, Susan and Malcolm fall for each other. The ways they drift apart and come back together are testaments to family, culture, and being true to who you are.
I really enjoyed this story.
I liked the dual narratives of Susan and Malcolm. It was great to see both sides of their romance. They come from different backgrounds, yet they had many similarities. Malcolm’s father was remarried and Susan lived just with her mother, so they both only had one of their parents in their daily lives. However, they are in different positions in their school. Susan is new to the school and she has trouble making friends. Malcolm has a lot of history at the school, including a jealous ex-girlfriend. I saw the world through Susan’s new eyes, yet I also saw the history of the characters through Malcolm’s perspective.
Though there were fun parts of the story with their budding romance, there were serious issues addressed as well. Malcolm was abused at home by his father. Susan discovered problems in her parents’ marriage. They also reference the Syrian refugees in Toronto and Mississauga, because Malcolm’s sister organized a fundraiser for a Syrian family. These parts were educational and informative for young readers who may not know about these issues.
This story was set in Mississauga, which is a city in the Greater Toronto Area. I could picture most of the locations mentioned, which was so great! Though I couldn’t relate to the characters because they have different backgrounds from me, I felt connected to them through this setting.
This was a great story.
What to read next:
A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena
The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan
Have you read The Beauty of the Moment? What did you think of it?