Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits by Laila Lalami

In her exciting debut, Laila Lalami evokes the grit and enduring grace that is modern Morocco and offers an authentic look at the Muslim immigrant experience today.

The book begins as four Moroccans illegally cross the Strait of Gibraltar in an inflatable boat headed for Spain. There’s Murad, a gentle, educated man who’s been reduced to hustling tourists around Tangier; Halima, who’s fleeing her drunken husband and the slums of Casablanca; Aziz, who must leave behind his devoted wife to find work in Spain; and Faten, a student and religious fanatic whose faith is at odds with an influential man determined to destroy her future.

What has driven these men and women to risk their lives? And will the rewards prove to be worth the danger? Sensitively written with beauty and boldness, this is a grip­ping book about people in search of a better future.

This is a re-print of the 2006 novel! The new cover is gorgeous and is now available for purchase at major retail stores!

Author Bio: Laila Lalami was born in Rabat and educated in Morocco, Great Britain, and the United States. She the author of four novels, including ‘The Moor’s Account’, which won the American Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and ‘The Other Americans’, which was a Los Angeles Times bestseller and a finalist for the National Book Award. Her essays and criticism have appeared in The Nation, Harper’s, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. She has received fellowships from the British Council, the Fulbright Program, and the Guggenheim Foundation and is currently a professor of creative writing at the University of California at Riverside. She lives in Los Angeles.

The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis

Disclaimer: I received an arc of this book from the publisher and then I bought my own copy for the pre-order swag and to support the author! Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Good Luck Girls

Author: Charlotte Nicole Davis

Book Series: The Good Luck Girls Book 1

Rating: 3/5

Diversity: A diverse cast of black girls and there is a bit of LGBTQA+, but not a lot.

Publication Date: October 1, 2019

Genre: YA Fantasy

Recommended Age: 16+ (TW rape mention, TW attempted rape, TW drug use and withdrawal, some small language, gore, and violence)

Publisher: TorTeen

Pages: 352

Amazon Link

Synopsis: Aster, the protector
Violet, the favorite
Tansy, the medic
Mallow, the fighter
Clementine, the catalyst


The country of Arketta calls them Good Luck Girls–they know their luck is anything but. Sold to a “welcome house” as children and branded with cursed markings. Trapped in a life they would never have chosen.

When Clementine accidentally murders a man, the girls risk a dangerous escape and harrowing journey to find freedom, justice, and revenge in a country that wants them to have none of those things. Pursued by Arketta’s most vicious and powerful forces, both human and inhuman, their only hope lies in a bedtime story passed from one Good Luck Girl to another, a story that only the youngest or most desperate would ever believe.

It’s going to take more than luck for them all to survive.

Review: For the most part I really liked this book. I felt that the book was unique and I loved the west-world feel of it. The world building was very interesting and the writing was well done. The book was also very fast paced.

However, I did feel like the book had some faults. The book starts in Clementine’s POV and that lasts for one chapter. After that it’s strictly in Aster’s POV. I think the book could have benefitted from a POV switch between Aster and Clementine or between some of the other girls, as I also felt that the characters weren’t very well developed. They went from these victims to these badasses who knew how to knock people out, shoot people, tie them up, ride horses, etc. It felt weird and I didn’t feel connected with any of them. There was also the problem with the love interest. The synopsis is very pro-female power but in the book the girls heavily rely on the love interest of the book. That didn’t sit well with me, because it felt like the pro-female book I wanted to read was not all that it seemed. I wanted to see the girls make it on their own without the help of others. Lastly, the synopsis is almost written to imply that there is some magic to this book, which there is, but not about the girls themselves which is disappointing.

Verdict: It’s a great book but I had different expectations which ruined it for me.