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Driving by Starlight

In this debut YA friendship story set in Saudi Arabia, two girls navigate typical teen issues—crushes, college, family expectations, future hopes, and dreams.

 

 

"Leena’s commanding voice conveys her desperation, courage, and intellect in a riveting, ultimately exhilarating page-turner." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"The fast-paced narrative and unexpected twists make for an engaging yet educational novel with a powerful message about the complexities of being a woman in a man's world." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

A 2019 CCBC best-of-the-year recommendation by the University of Wisconsin-Madison 

 

Praise for Driving by Starlight

Deracine offers an eye-opening window into the rigidly restricted lives, clandestine rebellions, and consequential choices of women in a land where “everything we want is forbidden or dangerous.”

Tossing aside clichés and stereotypes of Saudi women as passive, helpless subjects to be pitied, the story shows teenage girls who take control of their futures by turning the very system that imprisons them against itself.

In a growing oeuvre centering on experiences of young Muslim women, Deracine's debut stands out for its nuanced characterization and twisting plot.

Part romance, part thriller, and wholly intriguing, Anat Deracine’s Driving by Starlight is an engaging chronicle of a razor-sharp witted girl coming of age in Saudi Arabia. With a knack for the small, telling details, Deracine reveals the contours of daily life in Saudi Arabia—and the mind-bogglingly complex web of culture, religion, gender and class that undergird it.

 
 

The Writing Life

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