Title: Love from Mecca to Medina (Love from A to Z #2)
Author: S.K. Ali
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Salaam Reads
Format: Paperback arc
Release Date: October 18, 2022
Adam and Zayneb. Perfectly matched. Painfully apart.
Adam is in Doha, Qatar, making a map of the Hijra, a historic migration from Mecca to Medina, and worried about where his next paycheck will come from. Zayneb is in Chicago, where school and extracurricular stresses are piling on top of a terrible frenemy situation, making her miserable.
Then a marvel occurs: Adam and Zayneb get the chance to spend Thanksgiving week on the Umrah, a pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina, in Saudi Arabia. Adam is thrilled; it’s the reboot he needs and an opportunity to pray for a hijra in real life: to migrate to Zayneb in Chicago. Zayneb balks at the trip at first, having envisioned another kind of vacation, but then decides a spiritual reset is calling her name too. And they can’t wait to see each other—surely, this is just what they both need.
But the trip is nothing like what they expect, from the appearance of Adam’s former love interest in their traveling group to the anxiety gripping Zayneb when she’s supposed to be “spiritual.” As one wedge after another drives them apart while they make their way through rites in the holy city, Adam and Zayneb start to wonder: was their meeting just an oddity after all? Or can their love transcend everything else like the greatest marvels of the world?
Adam is in Doha, Qatar, trying to find work as an artist while his MS isn’t bothering him. Zayneb is in Chicago, trying to find an apartment while she studies and has to fend off accusations from her school’s newspaper. They are both looking forward to spending a week together in England, but when Adam is offered a trip on the Umbrah, a pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina, he has to take the opportunity while he’s feeling well. They change their plans to go on the Umbrah together, but their relationship faces the ultimate test on this spiritual journey, making them question if they’re meant to be together.
This was another fabulous S.K. Ali book! It was so nice to be reunited with these familiar characters. There were also characters from the Saints and Misfits books, which was fun to see all of the characters together. The characters were college age, so they had to deal with more adult problems than in a young adult novel, but it was nice to see the characters grow up in this story. There were some chapters from the perspective of Bertha Fatima, Adam and Zayneb’s cat, which were so entertaining.
I didn’t know anything about the Umbrah or Mecca and Medina so I learned a lot in this story. It inspired me to look up some of the terms and places to be able to picture them. The story was detailed and described the entire trip so I got a full picture of this experience.
Love from Mecca to Medina is a great story!
Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for sending me a copy of this book!
What to read next:
The Eid Gift by S.K. Ali
Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali
Other books in the series:
Have you read Love from Mecca to Medina? What did you think of it?