Love from Mecca to Medina

This book connects to S.K Ali’s previous book Love from A to Z, but it is not necessary to read the first one to read this one; Love from Mecca to Medina can certainly stand alone. The story picks up on the love story and engagement of Adam and Zayne. Adam and Zayne are both struggling in their own ways and wishing they could spend more time together. Adam is in Qatar and Zayne is in grad school in Chicago, and the distance is difficult, and made more difficult by outside situations out of their control. Then a chance comes up for them to spend Thanksgiving together, doing the holy journey of hijra and experience the scared pilgrimage of visiting Mecca and Medina. Could this be the spiritual reset their love needs? Or are there too many problems and secrets, with love getting lost in the meantime?  Perhaps their faithful meeting years ago did not mean as much as they thought it did.

Overall, this is a sweet romance set in Mecca on a religious journey. The novel is also very realistic and shows the real bumps that come up in communication when you are a new couple. Yet it is also about learning to find yourself as you grow, and acknowledging your own faults.

This book reminds me of the reason I like books – it enables me to be transported to settings I would have never been to, or thought about, or experiences I probably will never get to have myself.

This book reminds me of the reason I like books

I am not Muslim, and I will probably never go to Mecca, but I got to take a journey there with this book. I learned more about a different religion, about other cultures, and got to experience empathy for viewpoints I might not have pondered. It is a book about Muslims, written by a Muslim, but can be for both Muslims and non-Muslims. If you want a modern romance novel steeped in Muslim culture, and/or to learn about ways of life that are different than your own, be sure to pick up Love from Mecca to Medina!

S. K. Ali is the author of Saints and Misfits, a finalist for the American Library Association’s 2018 William C. Morris Award and the winner of the APALA Honor Award and Middle East Book Honor Award; and Love from A to Z, a Today show Read with Jenna Book Club selection. Both novels were named best YA books of the year by various media including Entertainment Weekly and Kirkus Reviews. She is also the author of Misfit in Love and Love from Mecca to Medina. You can find Sajidah online at and follow her on Instagram @SKAliBooks, TikTok @SKAliBooks, and on Twitter @SajidahWrites.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster (October 18, 2022)
Paperback 5.5 ” x 8″ | 352 pages
Ages 14 +
ISBN: 9781665934152

Laurie Burns is an English as additional language teacher to immigrants, literacy volunteer and voracious reader living in Dartmouth.