by Rana Asfour
This book will be released on April 7, 2020
When readers first meet seventeen-year-old Muslim biracial Khayyam Maquet on the first page of Samira Ahmed’s latest YA novel, ‘Mad Bad & Dangerous to Know’, she’s in Paris, on her family’s annual month-long stay in the City of Love ‘staring at her phone screen, looking for love but knowing it’s not going to show up’. Khayyam’s life is in teen chaos: she’s unsure where she stands with her boyfriend Zaid, her submission for an essay contest on a lost Delacroix painting gifted to Alexandre Dumas supposedly screwed up her chances of getting into her dream college, she’s ‘captive’ in a humid city in which ‘air-conditioning is mostly aspirational’ and her best friend Julie is on a ‘dark-ages, technology-free’ family holiday and is thus unreachable. Essentially, where Kayyam would rather be is at home, in Chicago, ‘stewing in self-doubt and woe-is-me pity’.