Book Review: Take It Back by Kia Abdullah

Kia Abdullah is a welcomed new voice in the crime fiction genre.

Book Description


The victim: A sixteen-year-old girl with facial deformities, neglected by an alcoholic mother. Who accuses the boys of something unthinkable.

The defendants: Four handsome teenage boys from hardworking immigrant families. All with corroborating stories.


My Thoughts

Wow, what a stunning, thought-provoking novel Abdullah has written!

As this is the first instalment in the series, it is the readers first introduction to the main character, Zara Kaleel, and don’t we all love a complex character!? Zara is likeable, and, more importantly, relatable. We may not all be highly skilled in the legal field but we can relate to having goals and dreams, family pressure and career pressures. Linked to that: how does society view women:

“Women aren’t born warriors; we learn to fight because we have to.”

Take It Back addresses friendships in such a realistic way, not only does it explore the [power] dynamic between friends but also the struggle between fitting in with peers vs parents expectations. This leads nicely to the theme of appearance vs expectation, which is also explored in this novel, and it only becomes more intense once you add in the role of the media.

What makes this novel so gripping is that, as the reader, you really do have to take your place on the jury because Abdullah is not giving anything away, and with such an emotive case, you’re invested – it’s tense, how the case affects each character’s life, how the courtroom scene plays out, how it all ends!

In its entirety, this novel will capture your attention. The writing is accessible, the characters are so realistic, the plot so close to reality; this one will appeal to fans of crime fiction, legal thrillers, and anyone who enjoys a damn good book!

This book is available to buy from Amazon UK / Blackwells

8 thoughts on “Book Review: Take It Back by Kia Abdullah

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