New Novel Illustrates Teenage Struggle to Belong

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Author, teacher Sofia Mazloum pens ‘I Don’t Belong Here’ to relate to students with dual conflicting backgrounds

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Teacher and author Sofia Mazloum’s new novel portrays the story of a young girl battling dual conflicting backgrounds. Mazloum wrote “I Don’t Belong Here” (published by Balboa Press AU) to relate to her students who experience cultural conflict at home and in life.

“Any person who has ever felt lost or like they didn’t truly belong in their home, family or culture will relate to this novel,” Mazloum says. “It is a story about love, friendship, family and loss, and about finding where you belong amidst it all.”

Sixteen-year-old Tamara Khoury is a Lebanese-Australian Catholic girl who just wants a normal teenage existence. Torn between her strict Catholic, Lebanese upbringing and her desire to have a normal life, Tamara rebels against her father’s tyrannical rule. She dreams of one day freeing herself from her father and dysfunctional family and culture.

Tamara is drawn into a series of temptations that include drugs, alcohol and the possibility of losing her virginity. As she tries to find herself amidst her father’s seemingly unloving behavior, she is unaware of the reason for his tyranny or the true depth and source of her mother’s depression.

“Many young adults are struggling with respecting and following the cultural traditions of their parents,” Mazloum says. “They want to feel a sense of belonging in the Western society they live in. This novel dramatically brings together many controversial issues faced by these teenagers.”

I Don’t Belong Here
By Sofia Mazloum
Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 132 pages | ISBN 9781452525310
E-Book | 132 pages | ISBN 9781452525327
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author
Sofia Mazloum teaches high school English, psychology and history. She lives in Melbourne, Australia. “I Don’t Belong Here” is her debut novel.

Balboa Press Australia is a division of Hay House, Inc., a leading provider in publishing products that specialise in self-help and the mind, body and spirit genre. Through an alliance with indie book publishing leader Author Solutions, LLC, authors benefit from the leadership of Hay House Publishing and the speed-to-market advantages of the Author Solutions self-publishing model. For more information or to start publishing today, visit or call 1800 050 315. For the latest, follow @balboapress on Twitter and “Like” us at

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