Zara Houssain is Here || Blog Tour

Hello everyone! Today I’m talking about a book that was so powerful and intense and talked about some really important issues in a difficult way and I really adored it! Thank you to Hear Our Voices Book Tour for including me in their blog tour and providing me with an ARC of this book!


Publisher: Scholastic

Release Date: April 6, 2021

Genre: YA Fiction

Book Info:

Zara’s family has waited years for their visa process to be finalized so that they can officially become US citizens. But it only takes one moment for that dream to come crashing down around them.

Seventeen-year-old Pakistani immigrant, Zara Hossain, has been leading a fairly typical life in Corpus Christi, Texas, since her family moved there for her father to work as a pediatrician. While dealing with the Islamophobia that she faces at school, Zara has to lay low, trying not to stir up any trouble and jeopardize their family’s dependent visa status while they await their green card approval, which has been in process for almost nine years.

But one day her tormentor, star football player Tyler Benson, takes things too far, leaving a threatening note in her locker, and gets suspended. As an act of revenge against her for speaking out, Tyler and his friends vandalize Zara’s house with racist graffiti, leading to a violent crime that puts Zara’s entire future at risk. Now she must pay the ultimate price and choose between fighting to stay in the only place she’s ever called home or losing the life she loves and everyone in it.

From the author of the “heart-wrenching yet hopeful” (Samira Ahmed) novel, The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali, comes a timely, intimate look at what it means to be an immigrant in America today, and the endurance of hope and faith in the face of hate.

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Zara Houssain is Here is a powerful story exploring race, immigration, and gun violence. 

It follows Zara, a bisexual high school student who has faced a lot of bullying and hateful comments over the years due to her race and religion. When things get to an extreme level, she is forced to take a stand and fight back, if not for herself but for another student whose position she has been in and empathises with. 

Taking a stand is never easy, and it isn’t so for Zara either. As things progress and get much much worse, she is forced to live through some of the worst things that can happen to a person. Her story is full of hardships and reading it is a powerful experience. 

Zara’s parents are fierce and protective of her and I absolutely adored them and how much they loved her! They’ve been waiting 8 years to get a green card and it looks like things are about to work out soon but no matter what, they are there for Zara, protecting her even if it could lead to many other problems for them. 

These stories represent the truth of the everyday lives of many people belonging to these communities and all the discrimination and vile comments they are forced to experience every day and are unable to speak up against many times, due to the possible effects which were effectively portrayed by this book. 

On a lighter note, there is a lovely queer romance featured in the book which absolutely warmed my heart! Chloe is the daughter of conservative Christian parents who are unable to look past their homophobic views to accept her sexuality. She’s in a hard place when she meets Zara and I love seeing how the two support each other and are there for each other! 

I also loved Zara’s friends, Nick and Priya and how they are always there for her, supporting her and giving her love and comfort in any way they possibly can. It was nice to see how their families also banded together to provide support because community is an integral part in South Asian cultures and I loved how that was displayed through these families being there for Zara’s.

Overall, this book was important and dealt with some hard topics and I absolutely loved how it explored them all!


Sabina Khan is the author of  ZARA HOSSAIN IS HERE (Scholastic/ April 6, 2021) and THE LOVE & LIES OF RUKHSANA ALI (Scholastic, 2019). She is an educational consultant and a karaoke enthusiast. After living in Germany, Bangladesh, Macao, Illinois and Texas, she has finally settled down in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, with her husband, two daughters and the best puppy in the world.

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Have you read this book yet? Did you like it? Are you planning to read it in the future? Tell me in the comments below! 

– Jayati

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