Beautiful, confident Tabby Karim has plans for the winter: nab a role in her school’s dramatic production, make the new boy Michael hers, and keep bigoted Heather—with her relentless Ay-rab comments—at bay. When a teacher’s lie and her father’s hastiness rob her of her beautiful hair, her dreams are dashed. The fastest barber in Miami Beach has made her look practically bald.
With all her pretty hair gone, Tabby doesn’t believe she fits the feminine role she’s auditioning for. Michael is still interested in her, but he’s playing it cool. Heather has taken to bullying her online, which is easier to do with Tabby’s ugly haircut. Tabby spearheads Operation Revenge, which proves satisfying until all of her problems deepen. After messing up, she sets to make things right. (Goodreads)
Sharif's novel hits on a bunch of important and interesting topics, from self-esteem, family issues, race, and friendship, weaving them together in a wonderfully fun and engaging way. I really loved reading about Tabby and her world (which, can I just say, I love her high school and am all kinds of jealous of how interesting it seemed!). And of course: hair. A girl and her hair have a special bond, especially in high school. That may sound a bit trivial, but I completely understood Tabby's love of her hair, and what happened to her, well, was just painful to read. I definitely understood how she'd be completely devastated. There were a lot of elements in Tabby's life that were identifiable, for myself, and I'm sure for teens, which made her a lovable character, flaws and all. The rest of cast was also interesting and well fleshed out, and I loved the wide breadth Sharif brought into play in terms of different people. It was fun and refreshing! The growth that Tabby had over the course of the novel was what in the end I probably liked the most, as she really came into herself in ways that were important, and I loved that she never completely lost her confidence despite her struggles--it just became something more firmly rooted in what she stood for. Overall, this was a fun read, with some great characters, and left me with some serious hair-envy! :)