Eternally thankful to Harper Collins Canada for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!!
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.
THIS. this is the Muslim rep i’ve been looking for😭😭 and the story in general was just amazing
although, i must say that it was the characters that felt kind of flat for me while i could connect with the main character, especially when it came to dealing with Islamophobia, i didn’t really love her or any of the other characters, which is what made me give this 3.5 stars instead of 4. for me, if the characters are written so well and im in love with them, i dont care if there’s a bad/no plot as long as the characters are good enough to keep me engaged and enjoy myself. if the plot’s good but i dont like/care the characters… that’ll definitely affect my rating = the case here.
OKAY BUT THE MUSLIM REP AND ISSUES THAT WERE DEALT WITH HERE WAS PERFECT. i went into this book hoping that there would be good representation of Islam and i was not disappointed🥺👏👏 the main character, Hana, didn’t feel oppressed by her parents nor did she hate her religion. it’s just normal. and she’d actually follow the rules in Islam. also the fact that she would fight back (in a non-violent way ofc) against those who threw insults at her or spoke in a condescending tone because she wore a hijab was amazing.
“No one knows when the dark days will descend, only that they come for us all.”
i love how deep this book got in not only how often cultures/races have to deal with so much hatred, but also the stereotypes that others assume represent a whole group of people. i could 100% understand the frustration the main character was feeling when it came to ideas of what to broadcast about Muslims, the options being only the stereotypes people have hear and nothing else. it made me happy seeing Hana refuse to back down from what she believed to be right. there was also the main character actually praying and going to halaqah and salat al jumaa (friday prayer) which didnt feel like tokenization!!!
also, i definitely wasn’t expecting that plot twist👀 i have to say though, that i didn’t really like the love interest — like i dont hate him, but nor i do care about him. although i did love how the ending was realistic and not everything was all happy and solved.
so while i didn’t love this book, i did really like it and will definitely be reading more from this author!! im just so happy that the Muslim rep was done well, like i cant even express it. definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to see a great representation of Islam/Muslims!!
“While I am scared of what the future will bring, the uncertainty has been refreshing in a strange way. I know who I am in a way I never have before, and know what I’m willing to sacrifice to stay true to myself. I guess that’s not a bad lesson to learn at any age.”
𝕎𝕙𝕒𝕥’𝕤 𝕒 𝕓𝕠𝕠𝕜 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕙𝕒𝕕 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕣𝕖𝕡 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕨𝕖𝕣𝕖 𝕝𝕠𝕠𝕜𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕗𝕠𝕣? 𝔸𝕟𝕪 𝕗𝕒𝕧𝕠𝕦𝕣𝕚𝕥𝕖𝕤?
𝕃𝕖𝕥 𝕞𝕖 𝕜𝕟𝕠𝕨 𝕓𝕖𝕝𝕠𝕨!💕