Arc Review: Internment by Samira Ahmed


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CW’s: Islamophobia, Violence, Blood, Torture, Death

Rebellions are built on hope.

Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens.

With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the internment camp’s Director and his guards.

Heart-racing and emotional, Internment challenges readers to fight complicit silence that exists in our society today.

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Arc Review

Thank you to Atom and Netgalley for providing me with a digital Arc in exchange for an honest Review! All quotes featured are from the Arc and therefore subject to changes.

“What’s that thing people always say about history? Unless we know our history, we’re doomed to repeat it? Never forget? Isn’t that the lesson? But we always forget.”

Layla was such a strong courageous character 📢 The further I got into the book the more I admired her will and endurance to fight back against the injustice she was confronted with. Of course she is also very afraid for herself and her family, but she doesn’t want to give in, Layla wants to get everyone out and encourage them to resist the camp. I really liked how she grew into a leader and a figure of the Resistance by trying to get the outside to know what really went on in the camp and that it wasn’t as nice as the authorities pretended it to be. Layla was honestly so very brave and a very inspiring character, because she faced so much hate and threats to her life, yet still kept going, because she saw that she left an impact. She was the spark that ignited the fire of the Resistance, showing that teens are not to be underestimated. Their voices are important to listen to.

In general the book was very impactful and tackled islamophobia and hate 📢 This could be considered a dystopian book, but as the author said herself it’s “15 minutes in the future” as there is already a ton of islamophobia and this is something that could likely happen in the future. The book shows how quickly this could happen, beginning with a new, hateful president (we already have that) and the conjured image of a common enemy to the country: Muslims. What happens in Internment mirrors what happened during the Holocaust very closely if you look closely: from laws to isolate Muslims, firing them from jobs and burning books that contain their work to literally carting them off to a camp as if they are a threat and not the one being threatened. The author masterfully made these parallels and showed how people in positions of power use fear to rally against a group of people. She portrays Layla’s fear, disbelief and struggles to cope with a new reality in which she is not regarded as an American any longer and prosecuted for her beliefs. There aren’t words to describe how well-written and important this book is, as internment camps for Muslims already exist in China (source:). The book doesn’t describe a reality that is far-fetched, it is already here and it can grow into something worse if we let it. The belief that something like that couldn’t happen here again is naive and we need to constantly be on guard so we fight against injustice and leave no one behind.

The secondary characters were also amazing and perfectly completed Layla’s narrative 📢 We have her parents, who have a close relationship to her and trust her, but also struggle with the fact that their daughter wants to resist and get herself in danger. I really felt for them, as I understood that they wanted to keep low and maybe survive this way, it’s a human instinct to try to survive. I liked how the author explored the ever-changing relationship between daughter and parents, especially as the book went on. What I was also immediately here for is the amazing female friendship with Ayesha, a fellow muslim girl who is also imprisoned in the camp. Layla and her immediately click and try to make their captivity a lot more bearable by talking about their favorite fandoms, movies and lives before the camp. They also unite to resist and find a way out, holding onto each other for strength and the will to go through with this. I loved how they became such close friends and cared about each other deeply! We also have more characters: like Soheil who is trying to resist and turns out to be incredibly brave and Jake, a guard who is on their side. I was skeptical of Jake first, as he is literally one of them, but the author developed his character really carefully and showed that he was not here because he wanted to and he saw how wrong this was and decided to do something against it. He tries to protect Layla any way he can and help her with the resistance while pretending, that he still works for the director. He grew into such a complex character and we see his guilt over what is done in this camp. Overall, all characters were vibrant and strong on the page.

The plot was intense and leaving me breathless 📢 I read this book in one sitting, because it’s impossible to put down. This is the kind of book you have to keep reading, as the stakes are always so high and you really want to know how things turn out for the characters. You cannot stop until you have reached the end and know how everything has unfolded. The plot is intense and everything makes you so angry, but also so sad. Internment tugs at your emotions and immediately gets you so invested in the characters and their story. My heart was pounding the entire time, because I expected all the bad things to happen and had to see it through, in the hopes of a good ending. I liked the ending a lot, it was realistic by also being hopeful.

“We stand on the shoulders of giants. We are Americans. We make America great. This is our country. And we’re taking it back.”

Let's Talk (1)

Are you going to read Interment? What is your favorite book all about a rebellion? 📢


8 thoughts on “Arc Review: Internment by Samira Ahmed

  1. Well first this is an excellent review Caro! Second I did not plan of reading it until some weeks ago when everyone began talking about it !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so interested in this book, and I’m glad to hear that you loved it! Books that tackle tough and painfully relevant topics such as this can be hard to read, but I feel like this one will be really important. I love a good intense story with amazing characters, and I can’t wait to read this! Thanks for the wonderful review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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