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Totally Lit Parties: MIRAGE

It's no mirage -- throw a party inspired by Somaiya Daud's novel!

Totally Lit Parties: MIRAGE

Welcome back to Totally Lit Parties, a feature in which Corrie shows you how to throw YA-themed parties!

It’s easy to get lost in Somaiya Daud's Mirage, with its detailed descriptions, sumptuous settings, and intense suspense. When I couldn’t get the world out of my mind, I knew a party was in order!

Invitations

For the invitations I wanted something clean and elegant (much like I imagine an invite to a royal party would look). I used a copper washi tape on the outer edges of the card and created a frame with a heavy gold cardstock. I printed the cover text on a softly marbled paper. After that, it was a simple process of layering everything until none of the original brown card showed on the front.

What to Wear

This novel is full of seriously gorgeous clothing, which makes sense since Amani is pretending to be Maram, an actual princess. Play dress up with your most royal outfit like Amani, or dress down from your royal stature like Maram. Either way, you’ll look effortlessly glamorous.

Activities

•  Strategy: Idris and Amani play Shatranj, a strategy-based game. They banter about how farmers only need to know strategy to rebel, but princesses need it to survive. Try your hand at strategy with a board game. If you like cooperation, try out something like Pandemic. If you like the stress of a time crunch, try Fuse. If you want to play against one another, they something like Covert.

•  Poetry: Amani loves poetry. Not only was it her majority night gift from her brother, but it also helps her bond with Idris. Have guests share some of their favorite poetry or write your own together. Amani's and Idris’s sets of parents used poetry as part of courtship, so consider finding or writing poetry to woo your significant other.

•  Impersonation: Amani has to impersonate Maram flawlessly in order to keep her family (and herself) safe. Because many of the situations she finds herself in require interacting with others, she has to know what to do or say in any instance to keep herself from being found out.

Do you have what it takes to impersonate someone so completely? Find out with an impersonation game! For this game, you will need index cards, pens, and your imagination. Start off by having everyone write down several people, real or fictional. (E.g., "Princess who has no friends and many potential enemies-including her family" for Maram.) Set these cards aside, face down. Next, have everyone come up with questions that could be asked of any person (the more interesting, the better). (E.g., "What was the last book you read, and do you recommend it?") Put all these cards in a separate stack. For the gameplay, each person takes a turn pretending to be someone from a card, answering questions from all the other players. If you don't like to DIY it, the game Bad Actors is the same concept.

•  Spy: Amani decides to become a spy for the rebels. Passing along information is as simple as activating her small transmitter, but stolen files need to be passed in person. Try your hand at being sneaky by playing this passive message passing game throughout the party. Divide everyone into two or three teams. Place a message box for each team somewhere in the party space. Give each team three to five messages. During the party, each message must pass through three different teammates before being placed in the box. If a different team sees the handoff, they can confiscate the message. At the end of the night, each message in the box is worth 10 points, and each intercepted message is worth 5 points. The team with the most points wins.

•  Charms: Jewelry holds sentimental value for several characters. Sometimes it also holds symbolism, such as Maram’s pendant which is much like Amani’s daan, showing both lineage and parental hopes and dreams for their child. These images are steeped in tradition, culture, and history -- making them much more nuanced and personal than a party activity would allow.

To celebrate this important aspect of the book, have guests think of a way to symbolize everyone else -- whether it's a personality trait, a hope, or something else. Use that symbol to create a charm using shrink film (follow instructions provided by the manufacturer for both image creation and baking). Make sure to cut a hole for a jump ring or string. Then create a bracelet using all the charms everyone made for you, so you can always remember how much you mean to them.

•  Rebel: Furat's grandmother says, "Even your happiness is a rebellion". While it can’t win a war, finding small ways to engage with happiness can help you get through dark times. Have everyone gift wrap a small item that makes them happy, along with a note explaining why. At the end of the party, everyone can take home a package that they did not bring. It's up to you whether or not you'll open them all together or individually when everyone gets home.

Tasty Business and Boozy Beverages

Maram starts to thaw toward Amani, eventually even asking to cook with her. Cooking together can be an party activity in and of itself, but it can also be a great way to bond and share your own background with others. If you’re not sure what to cook, pick items that remind you of home. If you’d rather go a different direction, consider trying out some traditional Moroccan recipes.

For drinks, start off the impersonation game by taking a Princess Shot to help steel your nerves as you prepare to be someone else. If, like Amani, Idris makes you swoon a little, you might also want to give the Royal Flush a try. If neither of these strike your fancy, add a drink that would feel opulent to your royal spread.  

Do you have any other Mirage-themed party ideas? Let us know in the comments!

Corrie Golando lives in Lafayette, IN, with her husband and two greyhounds.  She spent 10 years as a middle school/high school English teacher, and her students gave her a love for all things YA.  When she's not working at the high school library, she is writing fanfiction and doing something crafty.  She has a love of all things coated in glitter, much to her husband's horror.