Posts By: Rashika

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Potentially the best Pride and Prejudice Adaptation: Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

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Potentially the best Pride and Prejudice Adaptation: Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin
Ayesha at Last
Uzma Jalaluddin
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: June 4th, 2019
by Berkley

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A modern-day Muslim Pride and Prejudice for a new generation of love.

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.

Ayesha is torn between how she feels about the straightforward Khalid and the unsettling new gossip she hears about his family. Looking into the rumors, she finds she has to deal with not only what she discovers about Khalid, but also the truth she realizes about herself.
 
-A copy was provided by Berkley for review-

I’ve been going through a reading slump lately and starting a book takes a lot more effort than I would like. When, I picked up Ayesha a couple days ago, I was really sad I couldn’t get into it so I put it down and continued binging Brooklyn Nine Nine. Because I had it for review though, I decided to pick it up again  and push through. I ended up going to bed at 5:30 AM because I legitimately did not want to put Ayesha at Last down.

I first read P&P in 10th grade and watched the BBC adaptation alongside reading it. I thought the Colin Firth adaptation was the peak of P&P adaptations. Reading Ayesha at Last has made me completely reevaluate that opinion. This thoughtful, creative retelling really does bring its own charm to the OG story. I said this about Pride Prejudice and Other Flavors too but Ayesha At Last truly does go that extra mile to take those tropes and create something wonderful and new. You can see elements of Pride & Prejudice but you can also see a completely unique story that could one day be a classic too.

Ayesha and Khalid may have a lot in common but they are also opposites in many ways. Ayesha is confident and outspoken but isn’t really sure what she wants from her life. Khalid sort of knows what he wants from his life and is confident in his abilities but doesn’t know how to speak up for himself and also be true to himself. 

After an awkward first meeting, they are pushed to work together on a conference that will help raise funds their mosque desperately needs to continue functioning. As they get to know each other better, they start reconsidering their misconceptions and slowly falling in love. I don’t know if I’d describe the romance as slow burn because they fall in love over a short period of time but it still felt just right? 

“Your forgiveness for a kofta?”

Ayesha at Last is a Pride & Prejudice retelling so of course the romance is pretty central to the book but its a south asian P&P retelling so… yeah the MCs families play a huge role in the book. Ayesha at Last doesn’t just confront the misconceptions Khalid and Ayesha have about each other, it also confronts the misconceptions they have about their families. Whether it is Ayesha learning to let go a bit when it comes to her cousin to Khalid realizing his mother is not the perfect person he paints her to be. There are also good friendships and many amazing supporting characters overall.

I’ve wanted to read Ayesha since it came out in Canada over a year ago and the wait was honestly worth it. I really hope that P&P fans and romance readers in general will gather around this book and show it the love it deserves. I am so happy south asian P&P retelling are now a thing and I cannot wait to read what else Uzma Jallaludin has in store for us!

4.5 Stars
4.5 Hot Espressos

Best of Dogs and Humans: The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Best of Dogs and Humans: The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Posted by on 06/19/2019 • 0 Comments

I truly feel blessed anytime I finish a book by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Over the past year, she has quickly shot up to one of my favorite authors. Her talent for writing some of the best relationships to grace YA draws me in and I cannot help but finish any book I read by her with my mouth hanging open and desperate for a sequel. If flawed characters, found family, trauma handled well, the best of dogs and a bit of a mystery are your thing, The Lovely and the Lost is the book for you.

Kira does not trust many people except for her family. It took years after Cady rescued her for Kira to learn how to trust again and now she is following in Cady’s footsteps…

Thoughtful and Adorable: The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

Thoughtful and Adorable: The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

Posted by on 06/12/2019 • 0 Comments

I am still recovering from this book as I write this review so excuse the rambling but oh my god??? Why did this book want to HURT ME LIKE THAT??? I am genuinely feeling a little nauseous lol.

The nausea has nothing to do with how the book was, just about certain events I won’t dive into. Rest assured, if you do read this book and have some serious feelings afterwards, please talk to me so we can all cry together. A HAPPY CRYING CIRCLE.

If you are not a fan of any kind of angst, you should probably skip this book because there is a lot of it. Sometimes it felt unavoidable, other times it was frustrating but honestly it wasn’t actually an issue for me. I…

Don’t Read on An Empty Stomach: Hungry Hearts edited by Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond

Don’t Read on An Empty Stomach: Hungry Hearts edited by Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond

Posted by on 06/07/2019 • 0 Comments

If you, like me, are a great lover of both food and books, this anthology will immediately appeal to you. There are a ton of anthologies published each year and sometimes it’s hard to keep track all of them but what makes this one worthy of being on your TBR is that it isn’t just a collection of stories. It’s a collection of stories that is intertwined. Main characters from individual stories make appearances in stories outside of their own, secondary character from individual stories will make appearances in stories outside of their own. It’s quite marvelous and I cannot imagine the amount of work the authors must have put in to make something as cohesive as this.

Hungry Hearts is set in the mystical Hungry Hearts Row. A…

Mini Reviews: Adult Contemporary Romance Edition

Mini Reviews: Adult Contemporary Romance Edition

Posted by on 05/19/2019 • 2 Comments

Why so many mini reviews, you ask? I’ve had a lot on my plate this month as well as way more review copies than anticipated so I thought this was a good way for me to stay on track.

The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient #2) Helen Hoang

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Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in…

Mini Reviews: YA Contemporary Romance edition

Mini Reviews: YA Contemporary Romance edition

Posted by on 05/10/2019 • 0 Comments

 

With the Fire on High Elizabeth Acevedo

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From the New York Times bestselling author of the National Book Award longlist title The Poet X comes a dazzling novel in prose about a girl with talent, pride, and a drive to feed the soul that keeps her fire burning bright.

Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making the tough decisions—doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness.

Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it’s not worth…

Relevant, Funny and Swoony: A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole

Relevant, Funny and Swoony: A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole

Posted by on 04/30/2019 • 1 Comment

Idk how its possible but each book in this series has been as good as or better than the previous one and I am just truly in awe of Cole’s talent. I’ve been reading romance for a while now and I truly feel that Cole is changing the landscape of romance literature. Not only is A Prince on Paper unbelievably swoony and adorable, it also takes on really big and relevant things. It isn’t afraid to dissect racism and call out colonialism, we see fake news and propaganda make an appearance and we also see our MC deal with emotional and mental abuse from a parent.

When Nya’s father is arrested and sent to prison for attempting to poison Naledi, she can finally start living her life. She runs…

24 Romance Novels I Am Anticipating in 2019

24 Romance Novels I Am Anticipating in 2019

Posted by on 04/24/2019 • 3 Comments

2019 might truly be the year of romance novels because there are SO MANY GOOD ones coming out, I can barely keep track. I thought I’d share some of my most anticipated romance books of the year because they all deserve love.

1. A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole

Okay, so this might be cheating because I just started A Prince on Paper last night BUT ITS SO GOOD AND I LOVE IT SO MUCH.

2. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang 

After falling in love with The Kiss Quotient last year, it is hardly a surprise I am anticipating Hoang’s sophomore novel.

3. Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Is it possible to already love a book before you’ve read it??? IDK BUT I LOVE Red,…