Title: The Syrian Virgin
Author: Zack Love
Genre: Contemporary Fiction and Political/Interracial Romance
Cover Design: Pink Ink Designs by Cassy Roop
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 NY. She is bewildered and lost -- a virgin in every sense.
But despite her inexperience with men and life in the United States, Anissa is quickly 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 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.
WARNING: This book is about a young woman's difficult journey: her escape from Syria's Civil War, her transition to a new a country, and the relationships that she forms along the way, including her romantic interests in two very different men. The story is set against the backdrop of the Syrian Civil War and makes reference to violent acts, sometimes in detail. There is some occasional profanity and a few scenes that depict sexual intimacy. Accordingly, the recommended minimum age for readers is 16. The novel might be compared to books like "The Diary of Anne Frank" or "The Kite Runner."
We were peacefully rallying for our cause, when some strangers accosted me and started to debate us. But then it became clear that they didn’t really want to debate as much as harass . One of them then spat on me and tore up my sign, and then, as I was wiping off his spit from my face, I saw the placard in Michael’s left hand fall to the grass, as his right hand closed into an angry fist. Then I saw his clenched hand barrel thunderously from his side until it landed smack on the nose of the giant guy who had spat on me. I actually heard the thud of the impact, and the man just collapsed to the ground from the force of Michael’s blow. He was out cold.
“Come on, shitheads – who’s next?!” Michael shouted at the first two counter- protestors, gesturing them to step up for a fight. By then, their entire group had gathered around, so Michael was even more outnumbered. But his dangerous rage was palpable – as if he alone could destroy everyone there. More of our protesters also started showing up, after hearing or seeing the commotion. But they weren’t needed in the end. The counter-protestors there raised their hands in surrender and backed away in fear of this large man who just knocked out an even larger man with a single punch. “OK, OK, take it easy. We’re leaving,” they said.
“Apologize to her. Now!” he boomed, ready to rip them to shreds. The first two protesters looked at me meekly.
“We’re sorry… We’re sorry, ma’am, that our friend got out of hand.”
“Yeah, he shouldn’t have done that.”
“Now get the fuck out of here!” Michael commanded. “It’s cool, dude, we’re leaving,” one of them said, as the two of them picked up their dazed comrade with a bloody and probably broken nose, and left the area with him stumbling between them...
I went over to Michael and very conspicuously put my arm around his waist. I then pulled him in for a long and intense kiss, as if our future together depended on it. After a few minutes, we finally came up for air, and my face felt flush with impatient passion.
“Let’s go back,” I said.
I honestly wish I had more than 5* to give this book, and that is not something I say lightly!
First off I feel the need to praise Mr. Love for the way he tackled a controversial topic, he did so in a flawless way that meant that even if the reader was ignorant of the Syrian Civil War or the issues surrounding it, that by the end of the book they were more than up to speed!
I can rarely pick up a book and relate to the majority of the characters, the Syrian Virgin is the exception! I found that even if I wasn't able to empathize with them, that I could sympathise with the emotions and realistic scenarios they found themselves in, and that, for me, is the key to a 5* book. They have some serious and quite heavy issues to overcome both individually and as a group but those mental and physical problems are dealt with in such an emotive, and ultimately honest, way that I found it positively refreshing!
The story is utterly captivating and had my full attention from start to finish!
I was sucked into their world and wasn't released until I had read every last word that they had to give! I can't remember the last time I picked up a book (that wasn't a textbook) and learnt something new! And for all of these reasons it now shares the spot as my #1 favourite book of all time!
A simply amazing book and you should all go one click right now!!!
This is the story of a young girls poignant and heart wrenching journey from Homs to the bright lights of New York City. Anissa is a very intelligent young girl and her family use that to their advantage to release and rescue her from war-torn Syria, before she leaves something happens (I'm not telling you what, so don't ask...go read the book) that leaves her utterly heart broken and traumatized beyond belief. Everything about her new city is foreign to her and she struggles with a fairly massive case of Post traumatic stress disorder and, I believe, a lot of survivors guilt too. Here she meets a young man that inspires her to speak up and campaign for her countrymen and in doing so, honouring her parents. Enter the dark, troubled (and very sexy) professor/business tycoon facing a lot of demons of his own. I know what your all thinking, this doesn't sound very romantic...well, in my opinion it isn't really a romance novel...not in the standard sense anyway...it's far more than that! What Zack Love has written here is a modern day masterpiece. Think War and Peace and you'd be closer! Exceptionally well written and touching beyond belief! Zack has managed to paint a mental picture in my psyche that no amount of ''fluffy literature'' can (or indeed should) erase. He has managed to highlight the many difficulties and travesties that are an every day occurrence in Syria and the worlds general ignorance and belief in the propaganda that's portrayed in the world press (I'm guilty of it myself) I'm giving Zack 5 stars because he earnt every last one of them. This is one of the few instances that I wish that I could have awarded more. Truly Exceptional! 5 STARS