Javid Qasim, or Jay, is a weed dealer who lives with his Mum in West London. He likes to join his community for Friday prayers at his local mosque. When the mosque is vandalized, some members believe that they should just carry on, others begin thinking that they need to show the world that treating Muslims this way is unfair. Jay helps with the clean-up and, as tensions are rising, gets into a scuffle trying to protect his best friend, Praveet.
His car - with the money he owes his supplier! - is stolen, and his "sweet" life is going sideways. It gets turned even further upside down when he learns that MI-5 has been watching him. Kingsley Parker, his handler, needs Jay help to keep tensions under control and get information about potential threat. There’s trouble brewing in Hounslow, and its up to Jay to stop it.
BTSYA / Teen Reader (16):
East of Hounslow is fast paced and I finished reading it in one go. Thes hort chapters keep the audience’s interest, as does the way the author captures the lives of Jay and Kingsley. I also love how it feels as though Jay is having a conversation with you by telling you his story as you read along.
Overall, the story is unique and incorporates perspectives seen in today’s society. Explaining the story from the point of view, with his internal conflict is captivating and illustrates why the problem isn't "black and white" to him.
If you are looking for a new book, I recommend this one. Anyone 13 and older can handle it. There is violence and the book can get a bit political, but that content is important to undersand so readers can see the bigger picture. East of Hounslow would make a great gift for anyone who likes contemporary novels or just wants a good book to read.
Crisp writing underlies this realistic story that adds backstory and perspective to what some might consider a "ripped from the headlines" novel.
Violence, prejudice, and profanity.
This is a contemporary fiction novel set in London that explores the ways faith, community, and responsibility can work together, but als ocollide.
Jay is an interesting character. He is a criminal, but he isn't "all bad." Explore that concept with your readers. Not knowing anything about Jay other than that he sells weed, what would conclusions would they have made?
As our reviewer notes, there was disagreement from within the mosque about how to respond to the vandalism. What side would your reader take? what about you? Are your reasons similar or different?
13 and Up
13 and Up
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 16
Borrow. This is definitely worth finding at your library.