Akil And Jafari

Vol 4. The Comeback Kid

Young Adult - Coming of Age
187 Pages
Reviewed on 08/11/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jennifer Ibiam for Readers' Favorite

Akil was twelve years old, skinny, weak, and asthmatic. Jafari was the same age but shorter and sturdily built. Both boys lived at opposite ends of the same community. While Akil enjoyed a harmonious family unit and comfortable lifestyle, Jafari lived in a dilapidated home with a drug addict mother. Akil and Jafari attended the same school and became close friends. After watching a video on the sport, they dreamed of becoming world champions in mixed martial arts. It was their only ticket out of that neighborhood, out of poverty. Unfortunately, a tragedy struck, a compromise happened, and their lives changed forever. Then came the rivalry that would either elevate or sink them. Follow the story of Akil and Jafari by Ayura Ayira into the ring where scores will be settled.

Akil and Jafari by Ayura Ayira is a heartfelt story that will appeal to teenagers and young adults. It was fast-paced, short, and punchy. I loved the unique plot and realistic storyline. The story was relatable because it covered issues applicable to real life. The friendship between Akil and Jafari was a complicated one. At first glance, it looked like a balanced relationship, but looking deeper, I saw traces of bullying, jealously, manipulation, subtle blackmail, parasitism, and low-self esteem. This hits home for anyone who’s been through high school and had cliques. The characters were well developed and tugged at my emotions. I loved Akil’s witty personality and Jafari’s doggedness. However, I was conflicted as to whether Fatima did right by her son. This emotive story had me engrossed, and I can’t wait to read more of Ayira’s works.