Friday, March 18, 2022

Book Review | QUEEN OF THE TILES by Hanna Alkaf

QUEEN OF TILES by Hanna Alkaf
Publication: April 19th 2022
Publisher: Salaam Reads;
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Rating: ★★★★★

13 points
noun: a person or thing that precipitates an event or change

When Najwa Bakri walks into her first Scrabble competition since her best friend’s death, it’s with the intention to heal and move on with her life. Perhaps it wasn’t the best idea to choose the very same competition where said best friend, Trina Low, died. It might be even though Najwa’s trying to change, she’s not ready to give up Trina just yet.

But the same can’t be said for all the other competitors. With Trina, the Scrabble Queen herself, gone, the throne is empty, and her friends are eager to be the next reigning champion. All’s fair in love and Scrabble, but all bets are off when Trina’s formerly inactive Instagram starts posting again, with cryptic messages suggesting that maybe Trina’s death wasn’t as straightforward as everyone thought. And maybe someone at the competition had something to do with it.

As secrets are revealed and the true colors of her friends are shown, it’s up to Najwa to find out who’s behind these mysterious posts—not just to save Trina’s memory, but to save herself.

We all know that Scrabble is incredibly fun. I can recall many great family nights playing this board game. However, I’m still surprised how this book picked me up from my overextended reading rut.

QUEEN OF TILES is filled with both excitement and mystery. The story follows Najwa while she reestablishes herself into the Scrabble world again, a year after her best friend’s shocking death. And this year, she is more than just eager to win the tournament. She is doing it for Trina. And when mysterious posts appear from Trina’s supposedly idle Instagram page, Najwa realizes that there’s more to Trina’s death than the authorities had assumed.

Wordy, nerdy, and well-thought, set in a fast-paced narrative, this book has all the elements to engage. Hanna Alkaf managed to write a crisp understanding of grief, of passion and determination, and of self-love tucked in a twisty mystery. I cannot wait for you to read this too.


About the Author:
Photograph (c) Azalia Suhaimi

Hanna Alkaf is the author of The Weight of Our Sky, The Girl and the Ghost, and Queen of the Tiles. She graduated with a degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has spent most of her life working with words, both in fiction and nonfiction. She lives in Kuala Lumpur with her family.

*Thanks to Simon & Schuster Canada for the printed ARC in exchange for this unbiased review.
*This post is a part of the monthly linkups organized by Lovely Audiobooks! You can click here to check it out and be a part of it.


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