Love From Mecca To Medina by S.K Ali Book Review (Blog Tour)

Hello everyone it’s Zainab here, welcome or welcome back to my blog! Today I’m super excited to be writing this post because this will be my review of Love From Mecca To Medina as part of the blog tour hosted by Colored Pages Tours. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while or you know me well, you’ll know how much I loved Love From A To Z! Therefore, thank you so much to Colored Pages alongside S.K Ali and Simon Teen for my spot on this tour and providing me with the eARC via Edelweiss. Love From Mecca To Medina is out on October 18th (and in early December in the UK) so I’d definitely recommend that you pre-order it after reading this. For now, let’s jump into the post!

Synopsis & Author Information

Adam and Zayneb. Perfectly matched. Painfully apart. Adam is in Doha, Qatar, making a map of the hijrah, a historic migration from Mecca to Medina and worried about where his next paycheck will come from. Zayneb is in Chicago, where school and extracurricular stresses are piling on top of a terrible frenemy situation and making her miserable.
Then a marvel occurs: Adam and Zayneb get the chance to spend Thanksgiving week on the Umrah, a pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, tracing the hijrah in real life, together. Adam’s thrilled, and Zayneb hopes for a spiritual reset—and they can’t wait to see each other.

But the trip is nothing like what they expect, from the appearance of Adam’s ex in their traveling group to the anxiety gripping Zayneb everywhere they go. And as one wedge after another drives them apart as they make their way from one holy city to another, Adam and Zayneb start to wonder: was their meeting just an oddity after all? Or can their love transcend everything else like the greatest marvels of the world?

S. K. Ali is the author of Saints and Misfits, a finalist for the American Library Association’s 2018 William C. Morris Award and the winner of the APALA Honor Award and Middle East Book Honor Award; and Love from A to Z, a Today show Read with Jenna Book Club selection. Both novels were named best YA books of the year by various media including Entertainment Weekly and Kirkus Reviews. She is also the author of Misfit in Love and Love from Mecca to Medina. You can find Sajidah online at SKAliBooks.com and follow her on Instagram @SKAliBooks, TikTok @SKAliBooks, Goodreads and on Twitter at @SajidahWrites.

My Opinion

Love From Mecca To Medina was kind of emotional for me as I knew this was the last time we’d see Adam and Zayneb in this book series, and let me tell you – it was so satisfying for me to read. Before going into specifics, just know that if you enjoyed Love From A to Z then you will definitely enjoy this one even more because it was even better than the first. I really felt that the level had been raised because everything from the writing to the characters was executed even better in this sequel. Which really helped for this final book to be so worth the read, despite how connected fans have become to these characters and the sadness in saying goodbye.

It really felt like this book was an evolution. Of course, Zayneb and Adam’s relationship evolved, they were now married and they were learning about some of the challenges that come with that as well as the rewards, but also these two protagonists had individually had a lot of character development in the time jump but also throughout the course of this story. Through any disconnect they had, they learned so many life and relationship lessons along the way that each benefited each other. And I really appreciated the idea of them learning from both eachother but also their own experiences because it made the story much more realistic and interesting rather than just being a romance where they relied on eachother.

Even the structure of the story had evolved, now instead of being written from the perspective of their Marvels & Oddities journals ,from the previous book, it was written in chapters based on life lessons they could infer from different artifacts (possessions) that represent something to them or something they learned throughtout the course of the story.This was such an innovative way of changing how the story was told, and I love how it represented the main plot in the story (going to one of the most historical places in Islamic history) also while letting readers know that Adam and Zayneb were in a new chapter of their lives.

The idea of making an impact was a huge motif throughout the story. An important thing to note was that Adam and Zayneb were still emerging young adults in this book, both wanting to make a difference in the world. And I think this part of the story is universal for so many readers. They both want to do it in such different ways yet both of them care about helping eachother. Zayneb wants to be a human rights lawyer and break down stereotypes about her, Adam wants to use his craft to educate those who admire it. I really loved their aspirations, it made the story so much more appealing and allows you to get an idea of where they’d move onto even after the books.

Before even reading any word, it was very apparent from the title that this book was going to be delving into Islamic History – and as a Muslim myself, I really appreciated the genuine descriptions; particularly of the pilgrimage (Umrah.)
Something to note was that I really admired how S.K Ali chose to wrote realistically about Adam and Zayneb’s experience on Umrah and shares their authentic emotions rather than just acting like everything is perfect for them the entire trip. I think this really added to their character development, and from my perspective, it allowed them to appreciate the trip and the many benefits so much more!
Everything written about it was very well researched which was really comforting as it’s so lovely to see Islamic practices portrayed positively in the media (long time readers will know how much of an advocate I am for this!) That’s why I really loved the subtle detail of adding a verse of the Quran at the beginning of a new part of the story, it was a lovely nod at Islamic History and where abouts they were in the pilgrimage.

To end this off, I thought it would be fitting to talk about the epilogue of the book – because this is probably the last scene we’re reading of Adam and Zayneb. I won’t lie to you, I was shocked by the epilogue the first time I read it because it was not what I expected. Rather than being a romantic scene between Adam and Zayneb, it was a game night surrounded by all their friends. But after I read this, I realised something. This scene represents Adam and Zayneb’s relationship, simple but content – which is why readers fell in love with these characters.

And this also represents the versatility of this series, I particularly highlighted this in the review of my first book, but their relationship didn’t have to always be romantic to thrive, the epilogue allowed me to realise that they thrived with their friendship, their faith, their adorable cat Bertha and most importantly: eachother. To me, this was the perfect way to end their story.

Other Tour Stops

So many other amazing creators have spots on this blog tour, I’d recommend you check all of them out!

Amani is sharing a playlist based on the book, and The Bookarazzi is also doing a review.

My good blogging friend Zahra (who I’m sure you’ve seen in my comments section before!) posted a mood board and other recommendations yesterday.

If you want to see other content from the tour, just look for Love From Mecca To Medina Tour tag on WP Reader and social media!

Find The Full Tour Schedule


Thank you so much for reading this post, if you’ve had the chance to read Love From Mecca To Medina let me know your thoughts, and if you haven’t also let me know whether you plan to read it! Again, thank you so much to S.K Ali, Simon & Schuster and Colored Pages for the opportunity to be on this book tour. Make sure you check out everyone else’s content!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
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Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have a great day!

This post is part of a blog tour hosted by Colored Pages Tours for Love From Mecca To Medina however all opinions and views expressed were my own and genuine.

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14 thoughts on “Love From Mecca To Medina by S.K Ali Book Review (Blog Tour)

  1. desolaaa

    It’s only been a few months since I read this book but this review made me want to reread it. I had my issues with the book but the balance of the romance, the conflict, and the beautiful descriptions of Umrah was done so well. It was also cool to see the way Adam and Zayneb had grown from their young teenage selves back in Book 1. This book was a love letter to friendship, love, and Islam and I enjoyed my time reading it. I appreciated reading your thoughts. Great blog!

    Liked by 1 person

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