“…the raw emotion splashed across the pages will resonate deeply, no matter one’s race or religion.” — Kirkus starred review
“Melati’s growing strength gives hope to readers: If she can fight her inner demon and save the day, then they can, too.” — Booklist
“This isn’t an easy story by far; an author’s note warns of “graphic violence, death, racism, OCD, and anxiety triggers”—but their inclusion makes it no less essential, no less unforgettable.” — Publishers Weekly starred review
A music loving teen with OCD does everything she can to find her way back to her mother during the historic race riots in 1969 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in this heart-pounding literary debut.
Melati Ahmad looks like your typical movie-going, Beatles-obsessed sixteen-year-old. Unlike most other sixteen-year-olds though, Mel also believes that she harbors a djinn inside her, one who threatens her with horrific images of her mother’s death unless she adheres to an elaborate ritual of counting and tapping to keep him satisfied.
But there are things that Melati can’t protect her mother from. On the evening of May 13th, 1969, racial tensions in her home city of Kuala Lumpur boil over. The Chinese and Malays are at war, and Mel and her mother become separated by a city in flames.
With a 24-hour curfew in place and all lines of communication down, it will take the help of a Chinese boy named Vincent and all of the courage and grit in Melati’s arsenal to overcome the violence on the streets, her own prejudices, and her djinn’s surging power to make it back to the one person she can’t risk losing.
*** CONTENT WARNINGS: Racism, on-page death, graphic violence, OCD and anxiety triggers. If you are affected by any of these things, please do consider setting the book aside until you feel more able to take them on. ***
COMING FROM SALAAM READS/SIMON & SCHUSTER ON FEBRUARY 5TH, 2019!