The novel The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf tells an interesting love and friendship story between two clashing people. Taking place in the 1960s in Asia, Melati, a teenage girl who is battling OCD is caught in the middle of the 13th May racial riots between Malays and Chinese. Melati must find her mother amongst all of this chaos, and is surprisingly aided by a Chinese family, and forms an interesting connection with their teenage son Vince. One thing that I particularly enjoy about this novel is the fact that it sheds light on actual history that has happened in Asia. The constant rivalry between Malays and Chinese people throughout Asia has sparked plenty of conflict, tension, and even bloodshed. Another thing I love that this book does is that it shows that people you would have never expected to be your allies can somehow change your life, and it is clear that Vince’s family has been the biggest asset to Melati. Another thing I enjoyed about this book is that it showed the relationship between Vince and Melati slowly but surely throughout the book’s wondrous chapters. Reading books about activism and shwig the real-life issues people my age go through is another important topic to touch on. Seeing the cultural, social, and economic differences between Malaysia and China was fascinating to read, and it provided me with even more intellectual reasoning in relation to equal rights and our fight for humanity. It is really important to read books that stimulate questioning and reasoning within the reader, and this book definitely does so.
Submitted by P. Z.