Hmmm. I wanted to like this book, and it's about subjects I am drawn to (such as girls' lives, the Middle East, having crazy parents, living through political upheaval, emigrating to Texas, and being boy-crazy). However, I found it difficult to engage with this book, mostly because there is very little tension in Jarrar's writing. The only crisis in the book was that the main character, Nidali, is coming of age. Other than that, the story was simply a series of anecdotes, with no story arc, no conflict, and no problems to be solved. After about two thirds of the book, I just stopped turning the pages and picked up something else. [With my luck, I probably set it down just before all the excitement started, right?]Part way through the book I noticed (from the reviews on the cover) that it was supposed to be a comedy, and while I love funny books, I rarely find myself "laughing out loud," so maybe this just wasn't the book for me. Many people loved this book!Pet peeve: AGAIN with the main character who is also a writer? Authors, please, cut it out. Some of you are going to have to write about other types of lives. Use your imagination and give your character a flaw, such as: that she is not a writer.