Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Book Review: Anissa of Syria: A Christian Refugee's Saga From The Syrian War To The American Dream (Jonah Pierce)

Anissa of Syria
By: Jonah Pierce
Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Romance, Adult  

Anissa is traumatized by the most brutal conflict of the 21st Century: the Syrian Civil War. In 2012, Islamists in Homs terrorize a Syrian-Christian community and destroy everything that a young woman holds dear. Narrowly escaping death, Anissa restarts her devastated life as a college student in New York City. She is bewildered and lost, but hopeful for a better life in a new land.

Anissa is soon drawn to two powerful individuals: Michael Kassab, the Syrian-American leader working to found the first Mideast Christian state, and Julien Morales, her Columbia University professor who runs a $20 billion hedge fund.

Complicating matters, Michael is still attached to his ex-girlfriend and Julien is the most sought after bachelor in Manhattan (and has hidden demons that even his therapist can't extract). Anissa's heart and her communal ties pull her in different directions, as she seeks hope and renewal in a dark world.

Anissa of Syria might be compared to The Kite Runner and The Diary of Anne Frank.

   ****We were provided a copy of this book in exchange for providing an honest review.****

There are so many things that I need to say about this book.  In fact, I found myself jotting down notes almost immediately.  First, let me begin by saying that this book could have been so much more.  As the above blurb states, the premise of this book is to follow a Christian-Syrian girl named Anissa.  She leaves her native country of Syria, to escape the brutality Islamic extremists are enforcing on Syrian-Christians.  She finds herself starting over in New York City, and takes  readers along for the ride.  

Anissa's journey is beautifully written, and the parts that focused solely on her overcoming her horrific past, and evolving into the young woman, who would make any parent proud, had me eager to turn the page to find out what would happen next.  The author's brilliant writing made it very easy to get a good read of each of the characters, shortly after they were introduced.  The relationships that Anissa built with both Michael and Julien had me rooting for one one minute and then the other the next.  So, one might ask why I started this review by stating that I felt a bit let down, right? 

 I say that the true potential of this book wasn't met because of the excessive overflow of religious/political information that, at times, took away from Anissa's personal journey.  I feel like the the author is going to lose readers, who are looking for a "pleasure" read.  I appreciated the necessary background information, but at times I felt like I was reading a religious study book and/or a history textbook, which made following along confusing and difficult.  

With all that being said, I truly enjoyed reading  Anissa of Syria: A Christian Refugee's Saga From The Syrian War To The American Dream.....and that's saying a lot because this genre of book isn't typically my forte.  The author's ability to connect the readers and the characters has taught me to expand my reading horizons, and showed me that I might just be missing out on a great book by judging it by its cover....or genre.   

You can find Jonah Pierce on Goodreads

You can find Anissa of Syria on...

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