I never know to say in these things. I guess that says something about me. I read a lot, write stories, and like books. I like a good debate. Nothing else is to say. :-)
I actually had to read this for a book club..and it was a fun pick.
I liked the themes and could relate to a lot of it being a first generation immigrant, and considering our currently political environment...they are very timely.
It is easy to relate to Kamala Khan, what teen girl doesn't want to be "normal" and fit into what society tells them is the ideal: A tall, skinny, pretty white girl...the perky cheerleader type...it's what they tell us is the only form of beauty and way to be that is valued. Kamala is not that. She is a geek girl into video games and D&D, and on top of that, she is a Muslim girl in a world where that is enough for anyone to dismiss you and treat you badly. She is an outsider, even in a world of outsiders. So her feelings of not fitting in are doubled. It is understandable that she would try to seek the acceptance of the kids society tell her are more the acceptable types....no matter how douchey those kids are....but eventually she learns like all minority kids do, that you should never change yourself to fit into another person's ideal, because not only do you lose yourself, but the people you are changing for....more than likely STILL won't accept you. You are still not viewed as fully a person with feelings. So you lose your self respect and your self-esteem...for very little gain. I liked the line in the beginning when Kamala's friend told her that Zoe, The Concern Troll, was "Only being nice, to be mean." And I understood what she was saying perfectly. I have met many people like that in my life. Those microaggressions phrased as concern: "Oh your hijab is so petty. But I hope you weren't forced to wear it or anything, like you won't be honor killed if you don't right? I'm just concerned."
"Omg, your hair is so pretty, usually black girls hair is so kinky, but yours is nice."
"You're so pretty for a black girl!"
So offensive and racists, but said so sweetly that if you call them on it, they will just say you are being "overly sensitive." You soon learn that you will always be the "other" to those people and they will never accept you no matter how you assimilate. So part of Kamala's journey was learning that and learning to accept herself. She didn't have to be a super-powered, big-boobed blonde lady to be powerful and loved...she could just be herself.
I also enjoyed the exploration of being that first/second generation immigrant, and being stuck between two worlds. Kamala is just a typical American teen, and want to do typical american teen girl thing...but she is also a Pakistani Muslim and her family and culture put more demands and limitations on her than the typical teen...and it is always a war between letting your family down and being who you really are.
This was a good start to the series, and I am interested enough to keep reading. Next up..Saga!