Blog Tour: As Long As The Lemon Trees Grow by Zoulfa Katouh

As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow blog tour banner

Hello everyone!

Today I am really excited to share my review of As Long As the Lemon Trees Grow by Zoulfa Katouh. Y’all this book was incredible and an emotional rollercoaster and I appreciate it so so much. Thank you so much to TBR & Beyond Tours for having me on the tour and giving me a chance to read this masterpiece early!

*Disclaimer: This review is based on an advanced version of the book. Some things may differ in the final version.


As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow by Zoulfa Katouh book cover

Salama Kassab was a pharmacy student when the cries for freedom broke out in Syria. She still had her parents and her big brother; she still had her home. She had a normal teenager’s life.

Now Salama volunteers at a hospital in Homs, helping the wounded who flood through the doors daily. Secretly, though, she is desperate to find a way out of her beloved country before her sister-in-law, Layla, gives birth. So desperate, that she has manifested a physical embodiment of her fear in the form of her imagined companion, Khawf, who haunts her every move in an effort to keep her safe.

But even with Khawf pressing her to leave, Salama is torn between her loyalty to her country and her conviction to survive. Salama must contend with bullets and bombs, military assaults, and her shifting sense of morality before she might finally breathe free. And when she crosses paths with the boy she was supposed to meet one fateful day, she starts to doubt her resolve in leaving home at all.

Soon, Salama must learn to see the events around her for what they truly are—not a war, but a revolution—and decide how she, too, will cry for Syria’s freedom.



Title: As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow
Author: Zoulfa Katouh
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (US), Bloomsbury Kids & YA (UK)
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction
Release Date: September 13, 2022


Zoulfa Katouh author photo

Zoulfa Katouh is the only person in her family who can’t roll her tongue, but that’s okay because she writes characters who can do so. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Drug Sciences. She is trilingual in English, Arabic and German. Zoulfacurrently resides in Switzerland where she finds inspiration in the Studio Ghibli picturesque scenery.

Ever since her Mama gave her a copy of Anne of Green Gables when she was eight years old, she discovered the beauty of books. Soon enough she was sneaking books under her school desk to read while teachers went on about Math and Physics. Her imagination grew, and one day, she had the courage to pen down the stories that roam her mind. And she never stopped!

Her speculative contemporary YA debut AS LONG AS THE LEMON TREES GROW comes out September 13th by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and September 15th by Bloomsbury Kids& YA UK, making her the first Syrian YA author to be published in the US and UK.

She is represented by the warrior queen Alexandra Levick at Writers House.

Author details
Goodreads: Zoulfa Katouh
Twitter: thelemonwitch_
Instagram: thelemonwitch_
Spotify: zoulfa.mp3


my rating: 5⭐

I don’t think I have enough words to express what a masterpiece of a book As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow is. Within the first few chapters, I found myself sobbing. There are many books I have read in the past few years that have been very impactful for me and As Long as the Lemon Tree takes the top spot. I can’t promise that this will be a very coherent review;  like I said, I don’t have enough words to express just how incredible this book is. 

Words have power and Zoulfa Katouh’s words are strong and extremely impactful. Every single emotion any of the characters, even the secondary cast, feel, you feel it too. The prose hits you hard and it settles within you. I felt so drawn to the story. Stories make you feel, but never has a story made me feel this much. I picked this up and started reading and when I looked up, nearly two hours had passed and only the last hundred pages were left. I had not even realised how much time had passed because I was so engrossed in what was happening. And I didn’t want to stop either. Sometimes, I curse myself for being such a fast reader because the urge to continue reading often takes away my ability to let the book last a little longer. 

With this one, I wanted it to last as long as it could. I wasn’t ready to let go of Salama, Layla, Kenan, Yusuf, Lama…I was not ready to let go of any of them. I wanted to spend as much time with them as I could. Stories like As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow are few and far between and I thank Zoulfa for writing this. It’s a story that is needed and that must be told.

As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow is an unforgettable, masterpiece of a book with truly heartwrenching writing. This book is going to stay close to my heart for a very, very long time.

thanks for reading, nihaarika

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