Diverse Books, YA Books

There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon – Book Review

I thought When Dimple Met Rishi was adorable but this was phenomenal! I absolutely ADORED this book!


Rating: 5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Ashish Patel didn’t know love could be so…sucky. After he’s dumped by his ex-girlfriend, his mojo goes AWOL. Even worse, his parents are annoyingly, smugly confident they could find him a better match. So, in a moment of weakness, Ash challenges them to set him up.
The Patels insist that Ashish date an Indian-American girl—under contract. Per subclause 1(a), he’ll be taking his date on “fun” excursions like visiting the Hindu temple and his eccentric Gita Auntie. Kill him now. How is this ever going to work?
Sweetie Nair is many things: a formidable track athlete who can outrun most people in California, a loyal friend, a shower-singing champion. Oh, and she’s also fat. To Sweetie’s traditional parents, this last detail is the kiss of death.
Sweetie loves her parents, but she’s so tired of being told she’s lacking because she’s fat. She decides it’s time to kick off the Sassy Sweetie Project, where she’ll show the world (and herself) what she’s really made of.
Ashish and Sweetie both have something to prove. But with each date they realize there’s an unexpected magic growing between them. Can they find their true selves without losing each other?

Ashish and Sweetie are my newest OTP! I love love love them! They were so adorable and cute and omg I could not stop grinning as I read this book!

I loved Sweetie so much! She is such a wonderful character and I loved seeing how despite her not being the dress size her parents want her to be, she lives life to the fullest. The body positivity in this book was so wonderful to see. I loved seeing how this harmful and awful obsession with being ‘skinny’ was deconstructed. I really hope that as young girls read this they will see that their dress size does not determine what they can do in life. Sweetie is an athlete and has a wonderful group of friends who fully support her, the female empowerment in the book was so great to see.

“He though, Life can’t get any more perfect than this. But they were young, and it did.”

Ashish was such a great character, he was absolutely adorable with Sweetie and how he does the cutest things to make her feel special and loved. I also loved seeing his friends and how they all are so different yet get along. I also really enjoyed seeing how friends sometimes fight but that they can work through it.

It was so interesting and fun to see how Ashish and Sweetie were falling for each other and yet they were denying it because of their own baggage and wanting to prove a point. They each had their own issues to deal with and I loved seeing how they overcame their own problems.

Again this book is unapologetically desi, from the wonderful parts of desi culture to the not so great parts. I loved how the community supports each other and the wonderful food and clothes. And also how people can be judgemental and base your worth on your looks and dress size. But it was great to see how Sandhya totally obliterated that. I hate that part of desi culture, I have personally seen how much damage it can cause to young girls.

I absolutely adored this book and it has fast become my favourite of Sandhya’s books. It was adorable and cute and the exact type of book I needed to read right now. Bollywood really needs to make this into a film!

Diverse Books, YA Books

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon – Book Review

I have been meaning to read this book for so long and wow why did I take so long to read it because this book is so cute!


Rating: 5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?
Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.
The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?
Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

I am not a fan of rom coms so I kept putting off reading it but as I recently started to enjoy more contemporary books I thought I would give it a go and I absolutely loved it! This book was adorable and I read it with a huge grin on my face!

First of all this book has the best meet cute ever! Like excuse me but how does Rishi actually think that his…overly enthusiastic hello…would end in any other way. I was cackling! Every time I remember it I crack up!

One of the things that I really loved was seeing the role reversal. In rom coms we generally see the girl as the romantic and the guy focusing on his career, yet Sandhya switched it around and I really loved seeing that! Rishi was the most adorable hopeless romantic and Dimple only cared about starting her career. I loved how Dimple was a programmer and Rishi an artist. It was refreshing to see that gender stereotypes were broken down.

I loved seeing the way Indian culture was unapologetically infused into the story, it really made the story what it is, the way their culture and religious beliefs influenced their decisions and also how some parts of the culture which is actually harmful was discussed and broken down too. Seeing culture so similar to mine in the story, as if it was the norm was so wonderful to see! From their clothes to food to their language and family dynamics. It was amazing!

“This is our life. We get to decide the rules. We get to say what goes and what stays, what matters and what doesn’t.”

Dimple and Rishi were such wonderful characters, not only do we get to see them grow together but also separately. I loved how they both impacted each other, from Dimple helping Rishi see that his parents would still be proud of him even if he chose to pursue his passion over their expectations and Rishi helped Dimple see that she doesn’t have to sacrifice her career to be with him.

I also loved the side characters that we get to see from Dimple’s friend Celia and Rishi’s brother Aashish. I especially loved Aashish! I loved that the girls supported each other and were there for each other. It was also great to see sibling relationship and how they love each other but also how it can be complicated too.

I really loved their story and I hope we can see more of them in future books in the series and see what happens as they get older! This is a Bollywood romance in a book and I loved every single second of it.

Book Recommendations, Book Reviews, Booksish Discussions

Some of my Favourite 2019 Books as Pakistani Outfits

I was inspired by author London Shah over on IG who did a feature where she shared outfits that matched book covers so I thought I would do something similar with some of my favourite books that I read last year with Pakistani outfits!

So here are book covers as outfits!

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty

The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh

The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah

The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad

The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

All American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney

Have you read any of these books? Which outfit is your favourite?

2019 Round Up, Muslim Shelf Space

Books I Read This Year From My Muslim Shelf Space

We are finally getting more books being published by Muslim authors and I am so excited to read them all! I am already excited to see what books will be published next year and some I am already eagerly awaiting!

I have made an effort to try to read more books by Muslim authors and help to promote them so we can continue to get more books by Muslim authors. I am actually surprised by how many I actually read this year but I am also extremely happy to get such a variety.


I am going to share my top 10 and then the rest of the Muslim authored books I read this year:

The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty – My favourite book of the year! You should all know by now how absolutely OBSESSED I am with this trilogy and I cannot get enough! I have a Daevabad section on my blog where you can find all Daevabad related posts! You can read my review here


All American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney – This book blew me away! I had no idea what to expect when I started it but I absolutely adored it and it had me sobbing. I felt so seen reading this book. You can read my review here


The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad – This book is full of amazing women who are all badass in their own ways. I cannot explain how much I loved this book! You can read my review here


Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali – The halal romance book I’ve been waiting for my whole life! I adored this book so much! I really loved Adam and I related to Zainab so much! You can read my review here


All the Things We Never Said by Yasmin Rahman – This book deals with mental health and suicidal thoughts and does so wonderfully. One of the MCs is a young Muslim girl and I finally read a book that incorporated all aspects of my life including my faith in relation to how I deal with mental health. You can read my review here


We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal – I love the zumra so much! From broody Nasir to charismatic Altair and of course badass Zafira! I cannot wait for the second book! You can read my review here


Prayers of the Pious by Omar Suleiman – This book is full of beautiful gems and I know I will comde back to it again and again. You can read my review here


The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah – This is wonderful story of hope even in the worst situations and that the youth can do so much to make changes in the world. You can read my review here


It’s Not About the Burqa edited by Mariam Khan – Full of wonderful essays that show that Muslim women are not monolith and there is so much more to them than the scarf they wear on their heads. You can read my review here


Kick the Moon by Muhammad Khan – Dealing with toxic masculinity it was a really great read. You can read my review here


Ayesha Dean – The Istanbul Intrigue by Melati Lum – review

Ayesha Dean – The Seville Secret by Melati Lum – review

The Weight of our Sky by Hanna Alkaf

Light Upon Light by Nur Fadhilah Wahid – review

The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson – review

A Pocketful of Stars by Aisha Bushby – review

The Battle by Karuna Riazi – review

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

A History of Islam in 21 Women by Hossein Kamaly – review

The Arabic Quilt by Aya Khalil

Thorn by Intisar Khanani


An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – review
The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty – review

So that’s all the books I read this year by Muslim authors! I have several more on my tbr and I am eagerly awaiting the release of several next year!

What was your favourite book by a Muslim author?

2019 Round Up

Books That Disappointed Me In 2019

There were several books that I was very excited about since hearing about them and I was very disappointed by them. There were also some very hyped books that while lots of others loved, I just didn’t and as I have a lot of thoughts on some of them, some probably unpopular opinions, I thought I would share what books I didn’t enjoy as much as I thought I would.

The kingdom by Jess Rothenberg – I think this book just wasn’t for me. I can’t quite explain why I didn’t enjoy it much.

Evermore by Sara Holland – I loved Everless and so I was so excited for this but it just wasn’t as good and left me feeling a bit unsatisfied.

We Are Blood and Thunder by Kesia Lupo – This felt like any other fantasy book and I got bored halfway through.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – I think it’s time to admit that Laini Taylor books are just not for me. I just can’t get on with her writing style even though the story itself was quite interesting.

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson – A really hyped book that while I enjoyed I didn’t love. My favourite part of the book was Silas. If there is a Silas book I would read that.

The Paper and Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie – Another book that I was excited about that after reading a few chapters I just knew it wasn’t for me.

The Dark Days Deceit by Alison Goodman – I loved the first two books and I was so excited about seeing how it would end but the story moved so slowly and not a lot happened until the very end so I wasn’t invested in the story by the time we got to the action and the plot moved forward.

Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron – I am so sad I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. I was so excited for it but it just took too long for the plot to move for me and I got bored. The magic system and the world was so great though!

Alex Rider: Secret Weapon by Anthony Horowitz – I love the Alex Rider books but the short stories just felt very off character for Alex at times and I just didn’t enjoy them as much.

Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa – I loved the first book so I was sad when I got bored halfway through this. I honestly can’t remember much of what happened in it.

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo – Look I have never been more upset over a book that has let me down. I waited for years for Nikolai book and this was not it! It felt like a Zoya book and while I adore her, I wanted more Nikolai. Also was not a fan of Nina’s story.

The Wicked King by Holly Black – I cannot get past the toxic relationship that is Jude and Carden.

The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee – Wow this book was problematic.

Once and Future by Rose Capetta & Cori McCarthy – I feel like I read a different version of this than everyone else because this book was problematic as hell and I haven’t seen anyone mention it! From the mass genocide of Arabs (and barely a paragraph of the character coming to terms with this) to the way Arabs were spoken about beforehand. I just can’t. The story itself was a mess too.

Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman – This book was boring and predicable as hell and problematic too. Why do people ignore the token diversity when the authors are white? I was thrown by some of the token diversity in Obsidio but this was…something else.

As you can tell I have been thinking about Once & Future and Aurora Rising since I read it and I have a lot of feelings about both of these books. I’m tired of the way that people of colour are portrayed in books and especially that no one says anything on the many stages of editing and beta reading and arcs and these authors just so happen to be white.

Anyways most of the books I read while there wasn’t anything particularly wrong with them just weren’t for me aside from the few problematic books I read this year.

Any books disappointed you this year?