Book Recommendations, Muslim Shelf Space, Ramadan Readathon

My Favourite Books By Muslim Authors

I am absolutely loving that there are more books being released by Muslim authors so I thought I would share some of my favourites and ones I highly recommend you all read! They range from non-fiction to fantasy to contemporary books.

This month is also Ramadan and you can also take part in the Ramadan Readathon taking place on Instagram and twitter and these books are perfect for many of the prompts!

1 Reclaim Your Heart by Yasmin Mogahed – a book that I will recommend to every single person until the end of time! I adore this book and it’s written in such a way that it feels like it’s written just for me. This book has gotten me through so many difficult times in my life.

2 The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty – I am completely and entired in love with and totally obsessed with this trilogy! It is absolutely amazing and you all need to go read it. If you want to know more you can read my review here

3 Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin – a Pride and Prejudice retelling with Muslim characters and I absolutely adored it! The banter and slow burn romance was done so well! You can read my review here

4 Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed – a book that deals with a topic I am so passionate about, girls rights to an education. I really loved how Aisha dealt with the issue and highly recommend you all read it. You can read my review here

5 An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – this book is brutal and intense and will keep you on the edge of your feet right until the end!

6 Revive Your Heart by Nouman Ali Khan – a book that deals with many important societal issues faced by Muslims today. Highly relevant and really inspiring.

7 She Wore Red Trainers by Naima B Robert – a halal love story that I absolutely adored! You can read my review here

8 Ayesha Dean – The Istanbul Intrigue by Melati Lum – a Muslim teenage detective who ends up solving mysteries while she is on holiday with her friends. If you enjoy Nancy Drew type books then I highly recommend it! You can find out more by reading my review here

9 Kick the Moon by Muhammad Khan – dealing with toxic masculinity that is still very much prevalent in todays society and that it is okay to be you. You can read my review here

10 Prayers of the Pious by Omar Suleiman – this is a short concise book but full of inspiring duas and how amazing Muslims in the past knew the power in dua. It’s such a great book and perfect as a Ramadan read.

So these are some of my favourite books!

Do you have any favourite books by Muslim authors? Or books by Muslim authors you want to read?

Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday – Standalones That Need A Sequel

Hey booknerds! I’m taking part in another week of Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. You can find more information here

I don’t really read that many standalones as I love series and being able to spend books and books in the same world. But there are some books that I have loved and read that are standalones and yes I’ve been left wanting more. So these are the books that I want a sequel for!

1 One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus – I just want more of these characters okay! I completely fell in love with them and how much they grew and developed throughout the story and I just want more!

2 The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James – Romy is such a wonderful character and I want to see more of her story

3 Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin – Ayesha and Khalid are my OTP and I want to know more of their story

4 Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – this story is so damn adorable and I just want more of Cath and Levi okay

5 Wonder by RJ Palacios – this story had me in tears but this is such an important story and I would love to have more of the story

6 To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo – I want to go on more adventures with Elian and see what type of sea queen Lira becomes!

7 Saints and Misfits by SK Ali – I really want to see Janna get the justice she deserves!

8 Wonder Woman by Leigh Bardugo – I loved the story and I want to see more adventures and world saving with the whole team!

9 She Wore Red Trainers by Naima B Robert – it ends with them getting on a plane to Mexico just after getting married so I would love to see older versions of them and what they’re doing

10 The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James – I just finished this book and I just want to see more of the world that Lowrie and Shen live in and how they cope as they get older.

So these are the books that I would love a sequel for! Is there a book you wish had a sequel?

Monthly Wrap Up

July Monthly Wrap Up

This month has been crazy busy for me but it still felt like it dragged forever! But the end of July has finally come so it’s time for another wrap up. This month I read 10 books including two rereads via audiobook. I’ve come to really love doing rereads via audiobook!

fave books in july

So the books I read this month are:

Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart – I absolutely loved this book! It’s definitely one of my top reads this year! I have full spoiler free review you can read here

Rating: 5/5

Frostblood by Elle Blake – I’ve had this book for a long time and finally got round to reading it and I really enjoyed it! Looking forward to continuing this series.

Rating: 4/5

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza – This book was such a heartwarming and heartbreaking read. I loved it and I was a crying mess by the end. Keep tissues handy for this read!

Rating: 4.5/5

Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin – A modern Pride and Prejudice retelling with Muslim characters? This book has fast become an all time favourite! To say I loved it is an understatement! You can read my full spoiler free review here

Rating: 5/5

The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill – So I liked this book but didn’t love it. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting I guess.

Rating: 3/5

Floored – This is written by seven different UKYA authors! And I really loved it! It’s not what I was expecting but still a great read! You can read my full spoiler free review here

Rating: 4/5

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling – a reread via audiobook and I just loved being back in this world!

Rating: 5/5

Arcacia by T.A. Barua – This was a debut book I read as part of a blog tour and it’s a nice magical story about family and friends and coming of age. You can read my review here

Rating:3/5

The Ducktrinors by Papatia Feauxzar – This is a great Islamic sci-fi book. It has a great cast of muslim characters and I really enjoyed it.

Rating:4/5

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer – Another reread via audiobook and I enjoyed it even more the second time! I love being back in this world!

Rating: 5/5

So it had a really great reading month despite being so busy and it causing me to end up in a reading slump. My top two reads were Grace and Fury and Ayesha at Last! Honestly guys they’re such amazing books! Go read them!

I also attend some book events this month. The first one was the Northern YA Lit Festival which I loved and got to meet some amazing authors and bloggers!

I also attended book event at Waterstones where Christina Henry and Sarah Maria Griffin came to talk about their books The Mermaid and Spare and Found Parts.

I also wrote a review for The City of Brass which I read last month and absolutely loved! And you can read my spoiler free review here

So that’s all from me for this month! How was your reading month? What was your favourite book you read?

Adult Books, Books by Muslim Authors, Fiction Books, Muslim Shelf Space

Ayesha at Last By Uzma Jalaluddin Book Review

As soon as I heard about Ayesha at Last I knew I needed to read it as soon as it was released! I was so sad to find that it won’t be released in the UK until next year! But having amazing friends through bookstagram, one of them living in Canada, she ordered it for me and sent it to me! I will forever be grateful to Gillian!

ayesha at last

Rating: 5/5

So this book is a modern Pride and Prejudice retelling with Muslim characters. So a book with Muslim rep and a retelling of my favourite classic ever in one book? You bet I was ridiculously excited about this!

And let me tell you, it is my new favourite book!

It’s taken me forever to write this review because I just don’t know how to convert my incoherent fangirling into a proper review! I have literally been screaming at everyone; JUST READ IT OKAY! YOU NEED TO READ IT!

So if you haven’t heard my screams, here’s the synopsis from Goodreads:

AYESHA SHAMSI has a lot going on. Her dreams of being a poet have been set aside for a teaching job so she can pay off her debts to her wealthy uncle. She lives with her boisterous Muslim family and is always being reminded that her flighty younger cousin, Hafsa, is close to rejecting her one hundredth marriage proposal. Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn’t want an arranged marriage. Then she meets Khalid who is just as smart and handsome as he is conservative and judgmental. She is irritatingly attracted to someone who looks down on her choices and dresses like he belongs in the seventh century.
When a surprise engagement between Khalid and Hafsa is announced, Ayesha is torn between how she feels about the straightforward Khalid and his family; and the truth she realizes about herself. But Khalid is also wrestling with what he believes and what he wants. And he just can’t get this beautiful, outspoken woman out of his mind.
Ayesha at Last is set in Toronto and follows the story of Ayesha and Khalid and the rest of the Indian Muslim community that live there.

When I started this book I was already giddy with excitement and by the end of the first chapter I was hooked! Unlike Pride and Prejudice we get to see Khalid’s (aka Darcy’s) point of view. I thought this was such a lovely change as I’ve always wanted to see things from Darcy’s point of view.

The first chapter ends with:

“Because while it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single Muslim man must be in want of a wife, there’s an even greater truth: To his Indian mother his own inclinations are of secondary importance.”

So as you can tell from the above quote, another thing that I loved was that there was references to Pride and Prejudice! I literally squealed when I read the lines and how they had been incorporated into the story! (basically I squealed a lot) I also loved how Shakespeare quotes were also incorporated into the story.

Even though the general storyline follows that of Pride and Prejudice, it has it’s own plot twists which make the story fresh and original and also has plenty of sub-plots which make the story even more interesting and incorporates a much wider story than just of Ayesha and Khalid.

I also loved the Muslim rep! There was a range of characters in all levels of faith and it felt so real and relatable. Ayesha is struggling over choosing what she wants to do over what she feels will make her family happy. Khalid wants to be able to practice his faith but he doesn’t have great people skills so he comes across as uptight. And we also get a glimpse of how culture and faith clash in differences in the youth wanting to follow their faith over their culture but still want to be able to fit in living in Canada. This was something I related to so much!

Also, the banter! There is actual banter between Ayesha and Khalid and it’s hilarious! I was literally giggling like crazy and the second hand embarrassment was just crazy. I loved how this made them so relatable and realistic.

Khalid is a conservative Muslim who dresses in thobes and a skullcap, believes in love after marriage and combined with his awkward social skills, he comes across as uptight and unapproachable, and as Ayesha describes him when she first meet him a “fundy” (fundamentalist). But as the story progresses we learn more about him and realise there is more to him than what meets the eye. He is in fact a romantic at heart and it’s his love for his religion that causes Ayesha to start falling in love with him.

Ayesha is an outspoken, independent, strong willed woman who is struggling between fulfilling her responsibilities to her family and following her own dreams. Khalid initially dismisses her as not being a good Muslim but as the story progresses he realises his mistake when he meets her again at the mosque. It’s her outspoken, confident personality that causes Khalid to fall for her.

I also loved the secondary characters from Ayesha’s grandparents to her best friend, Clara. Amir who worked with Khalid and these characters had their own sub-plots which made the story so much more interesting. It was all woven into each other so well and I was so invested into their story too!

Despite this being a contemporary romance there was a lot of deeper themes ranging from addiction, homelessness and islamophobia. There was also elements of the life of the Prophet (saw) which Clara learns and acts upon it at the end of the book. Amir initially comes across as someone who only lives to enjoy himself and have fun but then when we find out about his life we see there’s so much more to him. I thought the sub-plot of Khalid dealing with islamophobia in the workplace was done really well. It felt so realistic and I love how she showed how it all played out.

So this story is just such a wonderful blend of Austen and modern day life and the lives of Muslim youth living in the west. It’s hilarious and heartbreaking and there’s plenty of aww moments and the tension is built up perfectly which will keep you on the edge of your seat. And of course my new favourite OTP, Ayesha and Khalid!

There’s so much more I want to say but it’s really hard without spoilers! So I will leave it there and just end with YOU ALL NEED TO READ THIS BOOK!

If you have read it let me know what you thought!