- Release Date: 2014
When Ali first meets Amirah, he notices everything about her—her hijab, her long eyelashes, and her red trainers—in the time it takes to have one look, before lowering his gaze. And, although Ali is still coming to terms with the loss of his mother and exploring his identity as a Muslim, and although Amirah has sworn never to get married, they can’t stop thinking about each other. Can Ali and Amirah ever have a halal “happily ever after”?goodreads.com
“She Wore Red Trainers” is a captivating halal love story that brings to life the experiences of two young and striving Muslims, Aminah and Ali. It’s a refreshing narrative that deviates from the stereotypical portrayal of Muslim women in literature.
Aminah, our female lead, is a breath of fresh air. She’s not the stereotypical Hijabi character we’re used to seeing. Instead, she’s a vibrant, cheerful girl who takes on the world (and her siblings’ care) despite her mom’s rocky love life. Ali, on the other hand, is dealing with his own set of challenges, from losing his mom to facing financial difficulties.
When Aminah and Ali meet at a basketball court, sparks fly. Navigating their feelings while dealing with life’s hurdles (like Aminah’s overprotective brother, Zayd) is no walk in the park, but it sure makes for an interesting read!
This book does a great job of showing us the raw side of human nature. It doesn’t shy away from addressing the tough stuff – sins, trials, and turning back to Allah. The characters are beautifully imperfect, making them feel real and relatable.
Now, onto a little friendly critique. Our buddy Zayd may come off as a bit too judgmental and uptight. It would’ve been nice to see more layers to his character that explain why he is the way he is. Also, while the book does a fantastic job weaving in Islamic perspectives, it could’ve delved a bit deeper into the richness of Islamic culture.
The choice of red trainers for Aminah adds a touch of vibrancy and symbolism to her character. It is a constant reminder of her lively spirit and her journey towards self-discovery.
All in all, “She Wore Red Trainers” is a great read that I’d recommend to anyone. It’s eye-opening, relatable, and tugs at your heartstrings. I’d give it a solid 3/5 – it’s a well-rounded story with room for just a touch of improvement!