Thank you to Netgalley and Andrew McMeel Publishing for sending me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Excuse me while I squeal because I absolutely adored this comic book and I have already read it several times and oh my god I cannot wait for me to get a physical copy so I can appreciate all the art even more! This book has already become one of my favourite reads of the year.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Chaperones, suitors, and arranged marriages aren’t only reserved for the heroines of a Jane Austen novel. They’re just another walk in the park for this leading lady, who is on a mission to find her leading lad. From the brilliant comics Yes, I’m Hot in This, Huda Fahmy tells the hilarious story of how she met and married her husband. Navigating mismatched suitors, gossiping aunties, and societal expectations for Muslim women, That Can Be Arranged deftly and hilariously reveals to readers what it can be like to find a husband as an observant Muslim woman in the twenty-first century.
So relevant in today’s evolving cultural climate, Fahmy’s story offers a perceptive and personal glimpse into the sometimes sticky but ultimately rewarding balance of independent choice and tradition.
I am going to fangirl several times throughout this review. You have been warned!
I absolutely adore Huda’s comics on Instagram and her first book Yes, I’m Hot in This was so funny and relatable that as soon as she announced this book I pre-ordered so fast! Then I saw it on netgalley and literally squealed with joy! This book is hilarious and adorable and so relatable and I cannot even begin to coherently express how much I loved this book! Also the clarification about her hijab at the beginning had me giggling because wow I have dealt with these questions for so many years.
Huda starts her book with her own twist on the iconic line from Pride and Prejudice and I just about died. Pride and Prejudice is one of my favourite books and any reference to it has me squealing! They are even wearing clothes that are reminiscent of the clothes the sisters wear in Pride and Prejudice and I just loved it all so much! I also loved how she doesn’t shy away from saying that actually when she saw her now husband she thought he was cute because we all do even though the Asian aunties would probably have a stroke if they ever found out!
I loved how Huda included all the etiquettes and Islamic rulings on interactions between genders but not in a preachy way, it was light hearted and fun to read and honestly can we all be taught this way instead of the popular fire and brimstone method. Reading about the different suitors was so hilarious and cringe worthy because I also experienced this and the sheer horror of being interrogated by his family and trying to talk to the guy you may end up marrying without 50 people trying to listen into the conversation.
The comparisons between Pride and Prejudice and Islamic courtship was so much fun to read and so true! (Maybe that’s why I love it so much hmm) Jane bint Austen had me cackling and honestly I just loved the Austen inspired clothes throughout the story too.
I loved how she incorporated seeing the red flags and that we deserve better than a man who won’t respect and appreciate us. It’s something that is so important yet rarely discussed in these situations. I loved reading about how she focused on herself and it was so relatable and attending the Islamic studies conferences which is something me and my friends did a lot in our twenties.
When I read bout her wedding and how Huda walked in doing her own zaghrouta I just sat there thinking wow I wish I had, had the guts to have more fun on my wedding! I also need to mention how absolutely adorable I find Huda and Gehad in the comics and they honestly remind me of me and my husband and how we are with each other. It was just so lovely to read.
Also special mention goes to Huda’s mum who I absolutely love in the comics and it totally reminded me of the women in my family who had to constantly tell me to “behave like a bride” on my wedding and I gleefully ignored them.
This whole book is hilarious and yet still filled with important themes which Huda never shy’s away from discussing and she written them in such a way that they balanced so well with the lighter funnier parts. I loved this from the first page to the very end. It was exactly the type of book I had hoped for when I started and honestly this is a book that I will read repeatedly because I jist love it so much.
I have actually already read it twice and I fully intend to read it several more times this year. It’s a book that you can read it again and again never tire of it. Everyone please do yourselves a favour and go and read this book and also go read her first book and check out her comics on her social media. You will not regret it!