Take It Back

Take It Back

Book - 2020 | First U.S. edition.
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"From author Kia Abdullah, Take It Back is a harrowing and twisting courtroom thriller that keeps you guessing until the last page is turned. One victim. Four accused. Who is telling the truth? Zara Kaleel, one of London's brightest legal minds, shattered the expectations placed on her by her family and forged a brilliant legal career. But her decisions came at a high cost, and now, battling her own demons, she has exchanged her high profile career for a job at a sexual assault center, helping victims who need her the most. Victims like Jodie Wolfe. When Jodie, a sixteen-year-old girl with facial deformities, accuses four boys in her class of an unthinkable crime, the community is torn apart. After all, these four teenage defendants are from hard-working immigrant families and they all have proven alibis. Even Jodie's best friend doesn't believe her. But Zara does--and she is determined to fight for Jodie--to find the truth in the face of public outcry. And as issues of sex, race and social justice collide, the most explosive criminal trial of the year builds to a shocking conclusion"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2020.
Edition: First U.S. edition.
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9781250273017
Branch Call Number: FIC ABDULLA
Characteristics: 294 pages ; 25 cm


From Library Staff

One victim. Four accused. Who is telling the truth? Zara Kaleel, one of London's brightest legal minds, shatteredthe expectations placed on her by her family and forged a brilliant legal career. But her decisions came at a high cost, and now, battling her own demons, she has exchanged her high pr... Read More »

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Jan 20, 2021

Courtroom per M Stasio "completely original"

Jan 09, 2021

Take It Back by Kia Abdullah is a legal mystery which is very relevant in these days of intolerance and strife. Zara Kaleel, a successful attorney in London, becomes unhappy and disappointed with her law career and resigns. She becomes employed as a sexual violence counsellor and finds value and fulfillment in her new post. Jodie Wolfe, a sixteen-year-old teenager, comes to Zara for help after allegedly being raped by four boys from her school. Jodie has facial deformities which have made her life miserable in a world where female beauty is everything. Her family life is deplorable and she is on her own most of the time. The four young men are well-respected sons of immigrants who have established themselves in their new country. Zara, from a Muslim family, finds herself on the side of a white young woman accusing Muslim youth of rape. The consequences, needless to say, are dire. The news story quickly becomes a media storm. What really did happen to Jodie? Could she possibly have invented the crime? Are the boys as respectable as their lawyers make them out to be? What really happened in an abandoned warehouse on a summer night? Will all their lives be ruined by this? There will be a trial and this legal thriller will leave you surprised and shocked. Highly recommended. Thank you to St. Martin’s Press, NetGalley and the author for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Dec 08, 2020

Abdullah created a book with so many moral issues and the dilemma she set up worked well. Jodie, a 16-year old with a horribly disfigured face and an alcoholic mother who blames Jodie for ruining her marriage and life, accused four upstanding young Muslim boys of raping her. She turns to a rape counselor for help. The counselor, Zara Kaleel, has been a high-powered lawyer. Zara is struggling with personal issues. After an arranged marriage and divorce, her father disowned her. She’s also become dependent on prescribed drugs to keep her going. As Zara works with a private investigator and the police, Zara’s story starts to have holes while the young men’s stories are collaborated. It turns into a huge racial issue with Zara being accused for being an “Uncle Tom” in taking on the defense of Jody. As I read this, my emotions struggled with what was right. I felt pity for Jody and the unloved life she’d had. I hurt for Zara who didn’t see this as a racial issue and I felt badly for the young men whose lives had been shredded. I thought I knew the ending, but the ending threw all the issues back at me. Days after I read it, the problems of race, sexuality and religion presented in the book give me a lot to think about

Nov 21, 2020

This book hits you like a bombshell. The tribalism, deceit, dysfunction, and despair are palpable. Zara is a flawed, but lovable character. Her decision to work in the nonprofit sector sets up expectations that are shot down again and again. . . Yet, she persists. The trial is a hot mess and full of surprises. Early in the book I was reminded of the movie "The Accused" with Jodi Foster and Kelly McGillis. Most certainly this book is a reminder of the inherent difficulties in delivering justice while balancing the rights of the accuser and the accused. A book ripe for discussion if there is a book group brave enough to take it on.

Apr 05, 2020

Just great!

John Dickinson
Feb 20, 2020

Similar to" You Before Me", this book caused me to think about several social issues to a much deeper level. While the subject matter is at times hard to deal with, the insights provide a look at the subjects in ways that few of us could. Not a joyful read, but a very worthwhile effort.


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