I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Love Match by Priyanka Taslim
Published by Salaam Reads / Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers on January 3, 2023
Genres: YA Contemporary Romance
Source: the publisher
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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before meets Pride and Prejudice in this delightful and heartfelt rom-com about a Bangladeshi American teen whose meddling mother arranges a match to secure their family’s financial security—just as she’s falling in love with someone else.
Zahra Khan is basically Bangladeshi royalty, but being a princess doesn’t pay the bills in Paterson, New Jersey. While Zahra’s plans for financial security this summer involve working long hours at Chai Ho and saving up for college writing courses, Amma is convinced that all Zahra needs is a “good match,” Jane Austen style.
Enter Harun Emon, who’s wealthy, devastatingly handsome, and…aloof. As soon as Zahra meets him, she knows it’s a bad match. It’s nothing like the connection she has with Nayim Aktar, the new dishwasher at the tea shop, who just gets Zahra in a way no one has before. So, when Zahra finds out that Harun is just as uninterested in this match as she is, they decide to slowly sabotage their parents’ plans. And for once in Zahra’s life, she can have her rossomalai and eat it too: “dating” Harun and keeping Amma happy while catching real feelings for Nayim.
But life—and boys—can be more complicated than Zahra realizes. With her feelings all mixed up, Zahra discovers that sometimes being a good Bengali kid can be a royal pain.
I really, really liked this one! I got different tropes/story comparison feels as I read the book. Of course there was the Pride and Prejudice as the blurb compares it to, and then the whole grumpy-sunshine trope as well as the underdog hero as well. Another thing I loved about this was the cultural aspect. Learning more about the difference between cultures that so many people like myself don’t know to separate Indian and Bengali, or other cultures as well.
There were a lot of characters in this book. We had our “love triangle” in the Pride and Prejudice scenario. There were also the all the aunties and other community and family members. There were Zhara’s besties and their family and significant others. I love how the gossip line was done through text groups occasionally throughout the book.
When Zhara realizes that maybe she and Nayim aren’t meant to be, the author brings him back later in the book in such a spectacular way, but also a way that you kind of can’t hate him. He doesn’t quite fit the Wickham character from P&P. But that’s okay, I always love the differences created with retellings like this. I loved how Harun and Zhara’s friendship grew through their own schemes and fake dates to try to get their parents to NOT match-make them. And I really enjoyed how all of Zhara’s friends got to have their own relationships and lives that filled in all of the story.
If I had any complaints it is just that it seemed a little long, but overall I really liked this one and will be sharing with my students!
About the Author
Priyanka Taslim is a Bangladeshi American writer, teacher, and lifelong New Jersey resident. Having grown up in a bustling Bangladeshi diaspora community, surrounded by her mother’s entire clan and many aunties of no relation, her writing often features families, communities, and all the drama therein. Currently, Priyanka teaches English by day and tells all kinds of stories about Bangladeshi characters by night. Her writing usually stars spunky Bangladeshi heroines finding their place in the world—and a little swoony romance, too.
You can connect with her on Twitter and Instagram @BhootBabe and check out her website, PriyankaTaslim.com.
Fab review, Lisa! I like the sound of this one.
Thanks! It was really cute!
I’d been curious about this book, and have now added it to my TBR based on your review.
It was really cute, if you get to it soon I hope you enjoy it too!
ive seen this one going around and i see why! it sounds very cute
It was really cute!
I’m happy to see you enjoyed this one! It arrived in my book box. I’m hoping to get to it this month. Happy reading!
Ooh, hope you enjoy it too!