Some teens may dream of travelling the world, escaping the ordinary lives they lead. This novel gives them a glimpse into a another culture from the perspective of a young woman who’s mother’s work has taken her all over the world. Living in Pakistan is not easy for a Canadian girl and she makes enemies quickly by pointing out her discomfort. Laidlaw does a fantastic job of showing both the wonders and the challenges of being educated abroad, and experiencing life in the Middle East.
There is typical teen angst mixed with social/political issues in such a way it is both fun and full of depth. There are consequences to Emma’s words and actions, something I like to see in YA novels. However, it’s not an over-dramatic tragedy, but instead a beautiful story.