Hi everyone! I hope you’re staying safe and healthy. Today I’m bringing you a review of a WONDERFUL book that was just released this past week. It’s funny, witty, and it captured my heart from the very first page.
About the Book
The Henna Wars
by Adiba Jaigirdar
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Release Date: May 12th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, LGBT, Contemporary, Queer
When Dimple Met Rishi meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in this rom com about two teen girls with rival henna businesses.
When Nishat comes out to her parents, they say she can be anyone she wants—as long as she isn’t herself. Because Muslim girls aren’t lesbians. Nishat doesn’t want to hide who she is, but she also doesn’t want to lose her relationship with her family. And her life only gets harder once a childhood friend walks back into her life.
Flávia is beautiful and charismatic and Nishat falls for her instantly. But when a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, both Flávia and Nishat choose to do henna, even though Flávia is appropriating Nishat’s culture. Amidst sabotage and school stress, their lives get more tangled—but Nishat can’t quite get rid of her crush on Flávia, and realizes there might be more to her than she realized.
About the Author
Adiba Jaigirdar is a Bangladeshi/Irish writer and teacher. She lives in Dublin, Ireland. She
has an MA in Postcolonial Studies from the University of Kent, England and a BA in English and History from UCD, Ireland.
She is a contributor for Bookriot. Previously, she has published short fiction and poetry in various journals and anthologies.
All her work is aided by copious amounts of (kettle-made) tea and a whole lot of Hayley Kiyoko and Janelle Monáe.
Y’all. . . my heart was captured by this book from page one. It is absolutely fantastic. I can’t believe it is already out in the world. Actually, I’m very happy it’s out in the world because you can finally enjoy it too!
I think what I loved most about this book was the voice. Nishat is someone with a seemingly quiet voice on the outside, but it comes through strong being inside her head. I wanted to hug her so tight through the whole book. She is such a strong character, and it shows as she grows throughout the book.
My favorite dynamic was definitely the one between Nishat and Priti. At first, I thought Priti was the older sister, but I quite enjoyed her as the younger one. Their relationship reminded me of my sisters, and I really loved how supportive Priti was of Nishat.
This book is set in Dublin, and it made me miss it so much! One of the scenes is a party in Dún Laoghaire, a neighborhood south of the city centre, and it brought me back to when I visited it on a whim. I love how the setting fits the story so well, and it felt so alive. (Nishat’s comments about the Dublin bus gave me flashbacks to missing it and waiting outside the stops for what seemed like hours.)
All in all, this is a lovely story about Nishat coming of age and finding herself while still trying to honor her identity. I loved how deeply I was able to connect with Nishat even though I don’t have the same experiences.
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Prize: One (1) copy of The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar
US/ Canada Only
Start: May 12, 2020
End: May 26, 2020
Link to giveaway: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d9681b86499/