I was very reluctant to read this book, only because I listened to both Serial and Undisclosed and just didn’t want a rehashing of the same facts I already knew. And there are a few pieces of information that I hadn’t known, but mostly it was old information. However, it was really worth reading for a few reasons.
It’s no surprise that Rabia is going to write a biased story about the facts. And I have no problem with this. She makes no apology at all for believing in Adnan’s innocence. And I agree with her 100%. I was pretty sure after Serial, mostly sure after Undisclosed, and completely sure after reading this book. Having the facts in paper in front of me was really helpful to see all the inconsistencies. And one great thing about the book is the inclusion of original documents like police reports, cell phone records, and attorney’s notes. Rabia also does an excellent job of putting a lot of things into context within the Muslim faith. Why is it such a big deal that Adnan was sneaking around behind his parents’ backs? Why is Ramadan such an important holiday? How is faith used in support and simultaneously against him within the trial? This information was touched on in Undisclosed, virtually ignored in Serial, but well explained in this book.
The best part about this book is getting to hear Adnan’s voice. There are entire sections that he wrote himself. These parts give his side of the story behind his relationship with Hae, his interaction with Sarah Koenig, and his thoughts on his situation in jail. These were my favorite parts because I knew his words weren’t being edited or taken out of context. I knew Rabia would do his voice justice.
Rabia gives credit to Serial for bringing Adnan’s story to the masses. There would be no PCR and subsequent new trial without Serial first existing. Although it seems like Rabia is frustrated with Koenig with good reason when Koenig discusses the police mostly did a good job at their investigation (that is absolutely NOT the case; my goodness they were so inept), she is also upset that Koenig didn’t give Adnan the support she was hoping for. And I see this differently. I got up at 6am the morning the last episode was posted. I laid in bed in the dark and listened with excitement for Koenig to take a side on the issue. And it irritated me that she didn’t. However, after much reflection, I believe she did the right thing. She’s a journalist. And in a world of complete bias from most mainstream media, I think presenting the facts and letting the listeners decide for themselves was the right thing to do. It would have been wrong of her for her to flat out tell us what she thought. And granted, she only presented part of the story (obviously, there was no way to put it all out there in the 12 episode limit), Undisclosed took up the slack and filled in the blanks.
I really do recommend people who are not only familiar with Adnan’s case and a MUST read for anyone on Team Adnan. It really did help solidify my thoughts on the case. Rabia might not be a spectacular writer, but that’s irrelevant because her passion comes through loud and clear. She believes in Adnan and so do I.