Adult Books, Blog Tours/Street Teams, Books by Muslim Authors, Favourite Book Quotes

Blog Tour – My Favourite Quotes From Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin

Hey booknerds! Today, as part of the blog tour for Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin, hosted by Coloured Pages Tours, I am sharing my favourite quotes from the book!

If you don’t know what the book is about here is the synopsis:

From the author of Ayesha at Last comes a sparkling new rom-com for fans of “You’ve Got Mail,” set in two competing halal restaurants

Sales are slow at Three Sisters Biryani Poutine, the only halal restaurant in the close-knit Golden Crescent neighbourhood. Hana waitresses there part time, but what she really wants is to tell stories on the radio. If she can just outshine her fellow intern at the city radio station, she may have a chance at landing a job. In the meantime, Hana pours her thoughts and dreams into a podcast, where she forms a lively relationship with one of her listeners. But soon she’ll need all the support she can get: a new competing restaurant, a more upscale halal place, is about to open in the Golden Crescent, threatening Three Sisters.

When her mysterious aunt and her teenage cousin arrive from India for a surprise visit, they draw Hana into a long-buried family secret. A hate-motivated attack on their neighbourhood complicates the situation further, as does Hana’s growing attraction for Aydin, the young owner of the rival restaurant—who might not be a complete stranger after all.

As life on the Golden Crescent unravels, Hana must learn to use her voice, draw on the strength of her community and decide what her future should be.

So here are my top 10 quotes from the book!

Just promise you’ll be careful with your heart, okay? You deserve someone who puts you first.

I only meant that an intelligent young woman – I assume you are intelligent – would not lay all her cards on the table. Gather information, consider your options, and then act accordingly.

I couldn’t hide who I was.

Find your principles and see your story through to the end, no matter what.

Anger was easier, feeling justified in my tactics more satisfying. Trying to change my world was the harder path, and less likely to succeed.

Real change is a boulder we keep pushing, but don’t fool yourself into thinking it doesn’t push back. Because it does. And sometimes it pushes back hard.

If things are changing, that means we’re still alive. Only living things change.

I know now what I will and will not tolerate. I know where my line is, and what I am willing to lose to defend my heart.

Keep chasing the story in your heart.

Choice. That’s what my parents had gifted me. There’s nothing more powerful than being able to make up your own mind about something. Nothing headier than reaching out your hand and saying: This. I choose this.

Do also check out the other posts as part of the blog tour and check out my bookstagram (@thetsundokuchronicles) for a giveaway!

More about Uzma:

I am the author of AYESHA AT LAST (2018), a retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in a Toronto Muslim community. My second novel HANA KHAN CARRIES ON (2021) is inspired by the movie ‘You’ve Got Mail’ and set in rival halal restaurants. I also write a funny parenting column for The Toronto Star, and have written for The Atlantic. I live in Toronto with my husband and two sons. Find out more at www.uzmajalaluddin.com and thanks for visiting!

Books by Muslim Authors, Non Fiction Books

Angels in Your Presence by Omar Suleiman – Book Review

Thank you to Kube Publishing for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Synopsis:

Throughout your existence, there are angels in your presence. But it’s your actions that cause those angels to either praise you or disgrace you. Through this book, we will explore the actions that invite these blessed unseen beings to pray upon you, and carry your name and mention to the One who created us all.

This book is based on Imam Omar Suleiman’s Ramadan series from last year and I absolutely loved it. We are taught that angels exist and they have a role in our lives from when we are young but they are distant things that we don’t really think about much.

We never truly hear about them in the way that we are told in this book. They are so much more intertwined in our lives than we ever thought. We learn about how much they are a part of our lives and how much they aid us in our day to day.

I really loved how this book is written in such an easy to read way and divided into small sections so that you can read easily over several days or weeks to truly be able to absorb everything we learn. I read this slowly throughout Ramadan and it just helped me connect to Allah. One of the things I love about the book is that it isn’t just vague information but written in a way that we can connect it to our daily lives.

Omar Suleiman writes in such a way that it connects with our heart and soul and it really made me emotional reading some of the chapters. Especially the chapter where he talks about death and how angels descend to say Ameen to our duas for the person.

This book is inspired by his Ramadan series which he does every year and honestly I highly recommend reading it and watching the series available on youtube. I also recommend Prayers of the Pious and Allah Loves which were also Ramadan series and now available as books.

Books by Muslim Authors, Middle Grade Books

Rumaysa by Radiya Hafiza – ARC Review

This is the book kid me needed and I am so glad it exists now and so wonderfully written.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

This funny and empowering story weaves together three classic fairytales into one new adventure with an unusual structural twist: Rumaysa is a Muslim girl who lets her hijab down from a tall tower in order to escape. Set in a magical version of South Asia, Rumaysa explores enchanted forests and dragon lairs, teaming up with Cinderayla and Sleeping Sara along the way to create a strong sense of sisterhood. 

I loved this book so much! The story was fun and entertaining and also full of south Asian culture that was so familiar to me and the best part was that the characters were Muslim! Muslim princess fairytales, books I wish I could I have had as a kid.

I loved way that Radiya made each story her own while still keeping the original fairytale recognisable. While we don’t get to see all the illustrations in the arc we do get one of Rumaysa in her tower and it’s so cute. My finished copy has arrived and I can say that the art is amazing! Girls in hijab, south Asian culture on full display, I love it so much!

I really loved how three fairytales were woven together with Rumaysa as the central character but not overtaking the other stories. It was so well done and such a wonderful surprise to read those twists. I loved how her hijab is key to her escaping the tower and that we see her struggle with being so isolated and alone. Her sole companion is an owl who helps her escape and is her eyes to the outside world. It was also so great to see that Rumaysa mentions praying her daily prayers and that it gave her structure to her day. The way they were just included as a normal part of her just made me smile.

Rumaysa is a wonderful character, she is determined and resilient and because she has never been outside so she is so grateful for all the experiences she now gets to see because she has missed out for many years and it reminded me of how girls are kept incredibly sheltered and not allowed to experience things and kept at home and so miss out on so many things. Sara’s story is also similar in that because her parents are afraid of losing her they go to extremes to keep her safe but that puts her at a disadvantage and she is unable to help those that she is responsible for. It shows how girls are so much more capable than adults give them credit for.

I really loved all three stories even though I’m not a fan of the original Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty story. I especially loved how the princesses saved themselves instead of waiting for a prince to turn up to save them. They helped and supported each other and they knew their worth. Especially Ayla who stood her ground and said she doesn’t want to be with someone who thinks wealth and looks is so important. Ayla’s step sisters also were a nice surprise. They copied the way their mother behaved towards her and it shows that children will copy what adults will do. But they also knew it wasn’t okay and eventually changed for the better and stood up for themselves too.

I loved this book so much and how message of girls supporting girls but also how toxic masculinity was tackled too through Suleiman. He doesn’t want to be the type of boy that his parents expect and push him into her prefers building things and being creative, not being outdoors all the time and that this is okay too. This book tackles many issues that are prevalent in the south Asian community in a way kids can understand but also not being so heavy that it takes away from the fun and magic of the story.

Give this book to all the kids you know. Everyone deserves to see themselves as the hero in the story and this book made kid me so very happy.

Books by Muslim Authors, Middle Grade Books

Agent Zaiba Investigates The Poison Plot by Annabelle Sami – Book Review

This is book two in the Agent Zaiba Investigates series. You can read my review for the first book here.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Determined to be the world’s greatest detective, Zaiba is always on the lookout for a crime to solve!

Zaiba can’t wait for the school summer fair where she’s going to run a detective trail to help train other potential agents! But when the head teacher is poisoned during the highly competitive cake competition, Zaiba’s own skills are put to the test. With a whole host of suspects and a busy crime scene, Zaiba needs to stay focused if she’s going to get to the bottom of the cake catastrophe…

I love this series so much! This is exactly the type of book I would have loved to read when I was a kid because all I had was Secret Seven and while I loved them, to see Zaiba who is Pakistani and wears salwar kameez and is fully immersed in her culture would have been incredible to be able to read.

Zaiba is a wonderful character, she is smart and passionate and dedicated to finding the truth. She has a wonderful relationship with her family and a great female friendship. I also related to her mixed complicated feelings towards her cousin who doesn’t always get along with them but maybe there is something more to how she behaves with them and Zaiba slowly sees that.

It was so wonderful to see parents who are involved in the story and a part of the kids lives. So often the parents are absent in stories but we also need to see healthy relationships in books and this series does that. The way both Zaiba and Ali interact with their dad shows how close they are and that their step mum is a wonderful parent to them too. It was also great to see that it was the dad and son who took part in the baking content especially as in Asian culture there is often this stigma around boys cooking so to see it celebrated was so wonderful.

This book is set at Zaiba’s school and it brought back memories of the school summer fair that would happen when I was at school. It was great to see a book set in an environment that is so familiar to kids and adults alike and that Zaiba was in charge of the scavenger hunt which she put so much effort into. I loved how we see so many parents involved in the kids lives at the school.

We see Zaiba investigate the poisoning and we see how she immediately wants to find out what has happened. She is brave and smart and determined. I love how passionate she is about what she loves doing and how she is so driven. I loved seeing how she is inspired by her aunt who is a role model for her to become a detective. It’s so great to see that Zaiba had someone like her aunt to look up to.

I just really love these books and how incredible they are at making me feel so seen and truly wish I had them when I was younger. If you know any kids please give these books to them because honestly everyone deserves to see themselves in books.

Books by Muslim Authors, YA Books

Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali – Book Review

This is Sajidah’s debut book and a book I reread for the first time since I read it when it released.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

How much can you tell about a person just by looking at them?

Janna Yusuf knows a lot of people can’t figure out what to make of her…an Arab Indian-American hijabi teenager who is a Flannery O’Connor obsessed book nerd, aspiring photographer, and sometime graphic novelist is not exactly easy to put into a box.

And Janna suddenly finds herself caring what people think. Or at least what a certain boy named Jeremy thinks. Not that she would ever date him—Muslim girls don’t date. Or they shouldn’t date. Or won’t? Janna is still working all this out.

While her heart might be leading her in one direction, her mind is spinning in others. She is trying to decide what kind of person she wants to be, and what it means to be a saint, a misfit, or a monster. Except she knows a monster…one who happens to be parading around as a saint…Will she be the one to call him out on it? What will people in her tightknit Muslim community think of her then?

Honestly I appreciated this book a lot more during my reread than I did the first time I read it. It’s a story that deals with several important topics within the Muslim community that don’t get enough attention and ways to deal with these issues openly and without stigma.

Janna is 15 and going through what a lot of Muslim teens go through living in the west, how to balance your faith and trying to fit in. A lot of youth don’t have someone they can trust to turn to for help in navigating this so they do so on their own and no one is perfect so they can make mistakes, they can bow to peer pressure which does happen to Janna.

Janna is assaulted and harassed by a boy who is known to have a wonderful reputation within the Muslim community and so she finds it difficult to speak up about what has happened to her. It was heart breaking to read about how much Janna struggles to work through her trauma completely alone and she also has to listen to everyone talk about how amazing her assaulter is. She even has to be around him because no one knows what he did to her and she can’t find a way to avoid him. He begins to stalk her and start a smear campaign against her because that will make it harder for her to speak up and be believed. It felt so real to read this. She is trying to move on but keeps getting pulled back and navigating all these complicated feelings. She feels isolated and it affects her relationships with family and friends. It was heart breaking to read about it.

One of the things I did love was that Janna may not have been able to speak up about the assault but she knew that it wasn’t her fault, that even though that monster tried to manipulate her she knew it wasn’t. This is something so important to read and see, that it is never the fault of the victim. I think the only thing I wish we got to see more of was what happened after she finally spoke up. Maybe we will get to see this in the sequel!

I also loved the range of Muslim women that are in this book from niqbi Sausan to “Saint” Sarah and even Fizz. Suasan is amazing and a badass, her sass and and how she carries herself wearing the niqab was so wonderful to see. Sarah may seem like a saint to Janna but once she spends some time with Sarah, she realises that actually she isn’t perfect but just trying her best like Janna. Fizz is another person in Janna’s life but one who is also related to the monster, she can be a little judgemental and see Islam in Black and white and it causes a rift between her and Janna. It was great to see all these different women in the book because we are all different and everyone is on their own journey in their faith.

And then we have Nuah, who clearly has a crush on Janna even though she is oblivious. She has a crush on Jeremy and it was interesting to see her journey through navigating her feelings towards him and trying to figure out how to manage these feelings because she didn’t want to date but also did want to spend time with him. It felt real and relatable. She is 15 and many of us have to navigate and balance our faith and our feelings especially at that age it can be difficult and you can feel pressured to do things you may not want to. But by the end she has resolved her feelings and realises that dating isn’t something she wants to do.

Nuah meanwhile is actually a great friend to her and never pressures her to feel or be more than a friend. He also is one of the few people who figures out that the monster has hurt Janna in some way and immediately believes her and says he is there for her if she needs some support and honestly I just fell in love with how sweet he is. I cannot wait to see him in Misfit in Love!

This is a story that deals with many difficult topics that young people deal with in the Muslim community and I am so glad I reread it as I think I appreciated the story a lot more in my reread. I am so excited for the sequel releasing in a few months!