The YA space is ushering in a fresh and timely voice as Ream Shukairy makes her debut with The Next New Syrian Girl. The book centers on an unlikely friendship between two Syrian girls, what it means to be the perfect Syrian daughter, and the effects of the Syrian Revolution. It is available online and in stores.
Following her debut, Shukairy will release her second novel during Winter 2024. Titled Six Truths and a Lie, it follows a group of six Muslim teens who are falsely accused of a crime and must work to prove their innocence.
The official synopsis for The Next New Syrian Girl reads:
“Khadija Shami is a Syrian American high school senior raised on boxing and football. Saddled with a monstrous ego and a fierce mother to test it, she dreams of escaping her sheltered life to travel the world with her best friend.
Leene Tahir is a Syrian refugee, doing her best to adjust to the wildly unfamiliar society of a suburban Detroit high school while battling panic attacks and family pressures.
When their worlds collide the result is catastrophic. To Khadija, Leene embodies the tame, dutiful Syrian ideal she’s long rebelled against. And to Leene, Khadija is the strong-willed, closed-off American who makes her doubt her place in the world.
But as Khadija digs up Leene’s past, a startling and life-changing discovery forces the two of them closer together. As the girls secretly race to unravel the truth, a friendship slowly and hesitantly begins blooming. Doubts are cast aside as they realize they have more in common than they each expected. What they find takes them on a journey all the way to Jordan, challenging what each knows about the other and herself.“