Title: Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know
Author: Samira Ahmed
Intended audience: YA
Dates Read: 09/01/2021 – 1/01/21
Who doesn’t want to read a book bringing to life the story of a woman history forgot in favour of the men around her? Or at least, presenting a fictional possibility of such a woman. I certainly do!
Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know presents dual stories of Khayyam, a modern-day budding art historian, and Leyla, who might be the inspiration for heroine of the famous Byron poem, The Giaour.
I admit I found the historical parts more interesting than the modern-day parts. Leyla’s story is incredibly sad, but also a story about a woman making her own way against all odds.
Khayyam spends quite a lot of time mooning over boys. Having said that, part of that is integral to her overall arc of finding her voice and her identity as a French-American, Indian-American and Muslim-American young woman, and the scene where she finally put herself first was awesome.
For most of the book, I felt it was a 3-star read. I wasn’t overly invested and was reading more to find out the mystery than because I was rooting for the characters. But the ending was very powerful, to the point I even got a little teary, and for that, I bumped it up to four.