The Syrian Virgin: A Young Woman's Journey From War in Syria to Love in New York

The Syrian Virgin: A Young Woman's Journey From War in Syria to Love in New York

by Zack Love

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940151252478
Publisher: Zack Love
Publication date: 02/20/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 1,111,700
File size: 403 KB

About the Author

Zack Love graduated from Harvard College, where he studied mostly literature, psychology, philosophy, and film. After college, he moved to New York City and took a corporate consulting job that had absolutely nothing to do with his studies. The attacks of September 11, 2001 inspired him to write a novelette titled "The Doorman," and heightened his interest in the Middle East. A decade later, that interest extended to the Syrian Civil War, which provided the backdrop for his latest work. In late 2013, Zack began releasing his unpublished works of fiction and became a full-time author. He has published comedy, psychological and philosophical fiction, and romance. Zack enjoys confining himself to one genre about as much as he likes trying to sum up his existence in one paragraph.

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The Syrian Virgin: A Young Woman's Journey From War in Syria to Love in New York 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Nita415 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! From the first chapter to the last, “The Syrian Virgin” pulled me in and wouldn’t let me go until I came out the other side. You can tell that Zack Love really put his heart and soul into writing “The Syrian Virgin”. All the time, effort, (and I’m sure, all the blood, sweat and tears) he put into researching and writing EVERY aspect of this book is TRULY evident!  In “The Syrian Virgin”, Zack’s writing is so realistic … it makes you feel like you’re living the story along with Anissa, the young Syrian woman who is the central character in the novel. You feel her pain and her struggle. I felt heartbroken for her and I literally cried for her as I read it.  Zack painted a detailed picture of what’s really going on in Syria and the Middle East. For Anissa and her family, life was very difficult in war-torn Syria. He highlighted the difficulties of being a part of the Christian minority amongst warring groups. It’s a scary picture and more people should be aware of it.  When Anissa arrives in New York, she becomes involved with two very different men. Michael is totally immersed in his activism and doesn’t seem to want to commit to a relationship. On the other hand, her relationship with Julien is very complicated as he is fighting demons of his own.  In my opinion, this is Zack Love’s most impressive novel to date. I really enjoyed the way he wove his characters and their struggles into current events. You could really feel Zack’s passion for this subject and his desire to share it with his readers. I cannot wait for the sequel! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In this moving and gripping story, Zack Love has managed to raise awareness about the genocide of Christians in the Middle East in a story with drama, romance, suspense, and even some occasional comic relief. The novel is refreshingly original yet informational: beyond Mideast history and the persecution of Middle East Christians, the book also explores topics like human psychology, trust, PTSD, intimacy, and other weighty topics of that sort. If you want a lighter read, I'd recommend his romantic comedy ("Sex in the Title"). But this book will make you cry, think, learn, and maybe even change how you see the world. Best book I've read in years. Can't wait for the sequel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing story written about a young woman in Syria who witnesses terrible things. Zack Love has shown us what life is like for the people who live in and around the conflicts going on overseas. He certainly opened my eyes. I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Anissa is a strong young woman who has to make many tough choices in her young life. I don't like to give out the meaty parts of a story but know that this is worth the purchase. Zack Love writes a very informative, detailed, enjoyable book. Enjoy it!
MomentsinWestFL More than 1 year ago
4.5 out of 5 Stars Now your wondering why the dock of a half a star? Well, my normal genre's are all romance based, which this falls into. However, I tend to steer clear of political or religious based books. This is both and much more. I have to admit that in the beginning that I wasn't sure that I would be able to continue, the drama and events detailed were too much for me at times (yes, I am a big softy). We follow Annisa's story and how she dealt with circumstances beyond her control. A favorite moment was with one of her uncles when they crossed into America. But the losses Annisa faced were severe and much more than I could ever have imagined facing. Her strength and courage is one of empowerment to take adversity and turn it into something positive to make her family proud in her eyes. And even with all the realism of the story you learn about her and the reason she makes her life choices. Her innocence even after ones might dwell in despair is something to marvel. The story comes across a bit like reading someone's diary, and during the book it breaks into almost reading two journals/diary's. (Yes, journal's are what men write) But this story wound up pulling me in and keeping me wondering about the two men in Annisa's life, Michael and Julian. Reading Julian's POV during his chapters (journal entries) was enlightening to say the least. He certainly keeps things hot and steamy along with dealing with his own personal demons. I must say, I am totally HOT for this teacher! *giggles* His insightfulness and witty banter with both Annisa and his therapist are both highly entertaining and often quite naughty. I was surprised by some of the events that took place between both Annisa and Michael and Annisa and Julian. Maya (Annisa's friend) is also a bit of a mystery but provides a good balance to the book with her quick humor and generally sassy-self. All in all the book was a really good read. Pushing me a little out of some of my comfort zones and making me take another look at how different life can be in other areas of the world. (yepp, I admit to living sheltered!) I can ABSOLUTELY say that I will be looking out for book two to see how Annisa deals with the changes coming.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wordlover50 More than 1 year ago
I do NOT write reviews for every book I read. My reasoning is this: EVERY published novel is the result of an individual who had an idea. That idea was then built within the author's imagination and carefully constructed to share with the Untold Numbers (readers like you and me). Sometimes those published works are wonderful and sometimes they are not. It is, of course, a variable thing due to the fact that we all have opinions! Our feelings about any work of art are subjective. My point is this: ALL books are personal. They are the result of someone's creativity and the time that that particular someone spent conveying their creativity. Therefore, I only write my thoughts and feelings about a book when I have a personal love affair with said book. Thoughts and feelings are about to get effusive! Just do not expect a detailed plot description. I don't play that. Look at the book blurb and the other reviews for that. This book...I am in love. This beautiful novel was my introduction to Mr. Zack Love, Author. Just for your edification, Zack Love is carrying a very heavy load on his shoulders. That would be his brain. It is magnificent! He has written a story that will be floating in my mind for quite some time and sitting on my Keeper Shelf for...keeps. I have read most of the reviews and find that I would concur with the majority of the majority. The level of writing is superb...agreed. Provocative, compelling, much yes. I do not consider The Syrian Virgin to be a Romance novel. AT ALL. There is a love story within a much bigger story. Personally, I consider that designation to be something "other than" a Romance novel. It's actually difficult to categorize this book. The story is told through the journal entries...primarily those of Anissa. The first half of the book is reflective. Anissa has been directed by her therapist to use journal writing in an effort to better cope with the tragedy she has faced. That tragedy occurred two years prior. Anissa takes us back to war-torn Syria. We see, through her eyes, the gut-wrenching violence that is visited upon her family and those of the Christian faith, living in that region. On the very heels of what will be locked in my memory as one of the most horrific situations I could ever imagine, Anissa seeks refuge with her uncle in New York. It is there that we find her, presently. She is now attending Columbia University at the ripe old age of 17. Observations about Anissa: She is a very young woman, learning to navigate adulthood. This is almost what could be called a Coming-of-Age story. I found it interesting that, in order to get past her Tragic Truth, Anissa was paradoxically compelled to be dishonest with herself. Additionally, she found herself in a new culture that has a greater prevalence of the Hidden Agenda. That was quite a departure from that of her homeland where she had experienced the overt and aggressive method of subjugating those who disagree with the groups who hold the positions of power. In the end, which is a Dangling End, we are still not sure what truths Anissa has yet to reveal to "My Dearest" (herself) from the moments that occurred on that fateful night, before her departure from Syria. I am waiting, Zack Love! We are introduced to two more primary-secondary characters, Michael and Julien. Michael is a charismatic and handsome activist. While young, he is still several years older (11) than Anissa. A graduate student at Columbia University, he leads a group of Christians who seek to shed light on the atrocities that are visited upon Christians living in the Middle East and raise funds for aid. Though he is a native born United States citizen, Michael feels that he is destined to spearhead the development of a new Christian State, located within the Middle East. His father is Syrian and his mother, Egyptian. They had emigrated to the United States in the 70s. Anissa is drawn to Michael for obvious reasons. I, too, was initially charmed by him. As the story moved forward and his "relationship" with Anissa developed, the enamor was lost. I felt that Michael was a radical who had lost sight of his immediate reality. He was without scruples when it came to seeing the advantage to using Anissa as a vehicle in his scheme. No charm. No bueno, Michael. I know there must be a quote somewhere out there about the dangers of swallowing the sun, in an effort to grow bright enough to shed light on a dark truth. The power of the sun cannot be contained and would, therefore, burn everyone within range of that individual...including supposed friends and allies. Julien is MUCH older than Anissa...24 years older! He is her professor in Psychology and Markets. Psychology and Markets? What? Baylor did not offer that one in 1983-1987! Just the description of this field of study has me very intrigued. In addition to being a professor at Columbia University, Julien is a self-made billionaire. Just a little hedge fund he built on the side. You know, money for shoes and wine. My immediate impression of Julien was...that I would hold my opinion in reserve. Maybe that was my age talking, but I was very glad that I had proceeded with caution as pertains to this complicated soul. Bless his heart! Though the years do separate these two characters, Julien and Anissa are actually much closer to being kindred spirits. Certainly, they are both themselves! As it turns out, they are teaching each other quite a bit. I am greatly intrigued by this man, this Julien Morales. We have SO much to learn in the sequel. There was one reviewer who actually stated that they were disappointed in the lack of continued mention of the situation in Syria in the book. HELLO! Did we read the same book? There was a veritable feast of information relayed through all three of these characters. How? Well, Anissa's recollections and her conversations with family members who were still in Syria were very enlightening. Michael's conversations with Anissa and his speeches to the Mideast Christian Association were quite informative to the very end. ToTheVeryEnd...I was beyond tired of Michael. Did I mention that I did not like this dude? I know that I am going to be unpopular with that one, but, whatever. I'm on Team Anissa and Michael is not not not! Julien provided the psychological and economical explanations for what might bring about a tyranny and what would be the effects upon a collective society, following the acts of that tyranny. His extrapolations did not directly state a relationship to the Syrian crisis; however, I saw the parallels. I saw them. Little gems I found within this novel were: Annisa's study of decision theory and "loss aversion". That was quite interesting. I will now be investigating written material that covers the research of Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman. Michael's references to political masterminds. The quotes were wonderful. *I MUST re-watch Exodus...and read it! I would never never never watch the movie simply to view Paul Newman for a 3+ hours!* Julien's theory on why older men date younger women...priceless. Truly, that was bonus material, Zack Love! I thank you, Zack Love, for sharing your imagination with me...with all of us. The Syrian Virgin is really a Work of Art. You have a gift, sir. Is it March yet? I am so anxious for the continuation of this story! Comment