Raindropreflections: When Predictions in Books Come True

Thursday, 27 October 2011

When Predictions in Books Come True

Alternate post title: In Which I Recommend a Book for You. (I couldn’t resist.)

Every other book that comes out these days is a dystopian. But truth be told, we’re probably not going to live long enough to see whether or not the world really turns out the way an author imagines it.

I mean, I wouldn’t really want to wake up and find a vampire in my room. (Although I’m willing to accommodate a werewolf in my life, he-he.) And until I was like, thirteen, I never really stopped believing that I’d get a Hogwarts letter. But the point is, things in books never really come true. And considering the fact that some books present some scary stuff, that’s actually a good thing.

So imagine my surprise when a YA contemporary novel with a Syrian protagonist came true.

This book, In the Name of God by Paula Jolin, is, to put it plainly, disturbing. It’s sad and scary and makes you feel so darn lucky to be in North America or wherever you are that ISN’T Syria. Here’s a summary:

Summary (goodreads):

They talked about doing things, of course, these macho cousins and uncles of mine. But nothing happens. God did not reward the Muslims for waiting in patience while the Unbelievers picked them off one by one, did He? God helps she who helps herself, she who helps the Muslims. Someone has to take control, right? I’ve already decided that someone will be me.

Nadia is an excellent student, daughter, and sister, living in Damascus, Syria. Above all, she strives to walk the straight path and follow the laws of Islam. But she’s confused by the world around her and how she fits into it. She’s conflicted about her Westernized cousins, the internal struggles of her country, and the war raging in Iraq. When her cousin is arrested by Syrian authorities for speaking out—betrayed by someone in the family—Nadia finds herself drawn into the dark world of Islamic fundamentalism. And she’s about to face the biggest decision of her life.

Eep. Even that cover gives me the chills. Yeah, it’s about how a girl frustrated with the government falls in with radicals who’d do anything- like, say, blow themselves up- to show the world what’s going on in Syria.

I read this book about a year ago, and it still haunts me today. Paula Jolin showed us through a Syrian youth’s eyes that a revolution is on the way. She saw the Arab Spring coming way back in 2008. And, well, even though this book is hard to read because of the topics it covers, I can now understand the Arab Spring almost as well as any well-informed person. And come on, when you can understand politics, the world becomes so much clearer.

Paula Jolin predicted that Syria was about to undergo a huge upheaval- she even had a character that’s a political prisoner. And although it’s so much harder in Syria for the Arab Spring to really succeed, I hope for the best for them.

(I might add that although everyone in the Middle East/those well-versed in Middle East politics would go DUH I TOTALLY KNEW THAT WAS COMING, it’s much harder for people in the West to really see why the revolutions are happening today.) This book not only predicted the Syrian revolution, but it also gave us a rare window into a Syrian girl’s life.

Read the book, guys! It might be hard for you to find, but dude, this book stayed in my mind a year after reading it. And that’s a good thing.

What are your thoughts? Have YOU ever read a book with ideas that came true?


  1. Wow. This is definitely an interesting thing to talk about. I haven't read books that premonisioned what might end up happening but I can totally see how this book and the real life incidents that followed may have awed you. It would awe me, too!

    I haven't heard of this book or seen it around but I love the sound of it. Will try picking it up!

    And yeah, gimme a werewolf over a vampire any day 🙂


  2. You know, I get really really scared of reading books that deal with Islam because being Muslim, I get invested into it and become hyperaware of all the details. Which just ruins the actual reading and becomes more like grim torture. Hehe. But this sounds terrifying and worth checking out. Thanks for the recc.


  3. I totally get what you mean, But sometimes it's still a window into someone else's perspective, which is why it's always good to read about someone else talking about your race. I THINK…


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