Article Title

Driving by Starlight


Emma Patton


Significant Shortcomings, Intermediate, Young Adult, Saudi Arabia; high school; friendship; government; education

Document Type

Book Review


As a Saudi Arabian woman, Leena experiences many restrictions. She has a rebellious spirit, but her government is strict, and rebellion doesn't just mean expulsion from school. Sometimes, it could even lead to arrest. It is Leena’s senior year of high school and, though she is comfortable with taking risks, she knows that if she has any hope for a freer life, she can’t get in too much trouble. It is difficult for Leena to show any submission when her own father is a rebel and symbol of the resistance, though he has been locked up since Leena was little. Leena continues to study with the goal of going to school and eventually challenging the strict laws that bind her, but also explores her own forbidden desires: spending time with boys, wearing immodest clothing, and speaking her mind. As Leena tries to determine which are ridiculous rules and which are true sins, she needs the support of friends who will help her see truth and aid her in becoming her best self.