The last thing eighteen-year-old Kailee Hill expects to get when she tags Abrahem Yohanna’s garage is a chemistry tutor and new friend. With her life falling to pieces, though, she’ll take it, and soon she finds herself falling for the sexy Iraq war refugee.
But a new relationship isn’t enough to turn Kailee’s life around. When she is thrown in jail for a crime she didn’t commit, it’s up to Abrahem to save her. Can the need to rescue the woman he loves lead Abraham to the real crook in time?
When Fred asked me to review her book, I immediately looked at the synopsis, and I was happy to accept after reading it. What caught my interests was the fact that one of the main characters was a war refugee from Iraq and the other main character gets thrown in jail. I was ready for an interesting and exciting read that is for sure.
Before I get started with my review, I'm just going to put this out there. If you are easily offended by or sensitive to racial slurs then this book might upset you simply because some of the characters in Decree of Hope like to harass Abe, the hero of the story. I wasn't offended because I realized that it was a book and it is all part of the story, but some people might take it personally. Decree of Hope does feature an Iraqi war refugee, Abe, who has to deal with a lot of hatred because he lives close to an army base, and they see him as a reminder of those they fought against in Afghanistan and Iraq. Therefore, they call him names and insult him. I don't like what they did in the story, but we get to see how people of Middle Eastern decent get treated sometimes because of the war, and that adds to the emotional impact this story had on me. Anyway, I thought I would make people aware that racial insults are thrown around in the book, but I still think those who might get offended should read this book because it is amazing and eye-opening.
Now, back to my review. I love how sweet Abe is to Kailee even after she vandalized his garage. He even put up with her misguided view of people from Iraq and her need to assume he was Muslim and that it was a bad thing. He was easy to love. Anyway, I loved their friendship in the beginning. Abe saw that she was a girl who just needed a true friend, and Kailee saw that Abe wasn't a terrible person because of where he came from. I also love the transition from friendship to relationship they made. They just clicked, and it seemed like they were made for each other. Abe called her out and made her face truths about herself, and she helped him experience life like he had never done before. Plus, the chemistry was tangible between them. When they kissed it was obvious that they cared a lot for each other. I also love how protective Abe was of her. She needed someone to care about her and Abe was the perfect guy to do it. He always saw the good in her even when she didn't and I loved him for that.
One thing that was really interesting about this book was that it explored the inner workings of families in the Middle East, specifically Abe's mother, who still believed in tradition and arranged marriages. It was so irritating to have to sit through and read about Abe's mom demanding Abe's sister get married at seventeen to tame her, essentially. However, it was a part of the story that made things interesting, and it showed the differences between Kailee and Abe's families, which was important for the story. This book also had a surprising amount of funny moments in it, and I had to set my Nook down and compose myself a few times. Kailee had a way of lightening the mood even when she was in jail, and Abe such dry humor that you couldn’t help but laugh with him.
Speaking of Kailee, my heart hurt for her when she was arrested. Here she was heartbroken over how Abe acted towards her, and then she was arrested for something she didn't do. I just wanted to hug her throughout most of the book to be honest. When she called Abe to help get her out I thought my heart was going to burst, and when Abe immediately dropped everything to help her, I was practically melting. The things he did for her in this book were just so sweet and showed how much he cared for her. Not to mention the fact that her being arrested added a new element of action to the story, not that it didn't lack any excitement before. However, Kailee getting arrested was a whole new level of excitement.
This book really caught me off guard because the beginning of the book was like a romance, which I loved, and then it became a mix of romance, action, and mystery. I’ve never read a book that is so full of different elements. I wasn't expecting the lessons, the journey, and love I got out of this story. I honest to God finished this book and said "aww" out loud. This book made my heart SO happy. I am so happy Fred asked me to review it because it's now one of my favorite books. This book is not only about people overcoming their racial views of Middle Eastern people because of the war, but it is also about finding love and growing up. I loved every second of this book because it had my heart from the very first chapter until the very end and even after that. This book and the lessons it taught me will stay with me. A book this amazing and touching deserves nothing less than 5 stars.