**Thank you to Corvus/Atlantic Books for providing me with a physical copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and to Colored Pages Blog Tours for allowing me to be a part of this tour**
WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
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.
WHAT ARE MY THOUGHTS?
Uzma Jalaluddin has returned with a Muslim rom-com that will both pull on your heart strings and have you laughing out loud.
The story follows Hana Khan, a woman in her early twenties with a passion for telling stories, whose heart is set on a future in the broadcasting industry. However, she’s also big on family so juggles her internship at the local radio station and time hosting her own podcast with helping out at her mother’s restaurant, the Three Sisters Biryani Poutine which as of late isn’t doing so great. When competition arrives to the neighbourhood of Golden Crescent in the form of a new gourmet halal restaurant and its dashing owner Aydin Shah, and some family secrets as well as more hostile affairs cause further complications, with the help of her family, friends and her most loyal podcast listener Hana is determined to do whatever it takes to save Three Sisters.
“Find your principles and see your story through to the end, no matter what.”
I’ve personally not seen the film that this book is loosely based off of – You’ve Got Mail – but I’d say the storyline definitely has a unique narrative from your average rom-com. Set in a neighbourhood akin to Gilmore Girls’ Stars Hollow with a much more diverse set of characters, this book is delightfully jam packed full of Indian-Canadian culture and great Muslim rep that immerses you right in to the close-knit community at the heart of the story.
As someone who is of a very similar age I found Hana to be a super relatable character. Her spunky outlook on life and the segments of her podcast that were interspersed throughout the book were truly inspiring. In fact I loved that this book was full of inspirational and wonderfully written women characters!
The various relationships, both familial and friend related were wholesome and I thought it was refreshing to see Hana have such great parental support on both ends when it came to her life decisions. I really appreciated the commentary that was present on the attitudes and societal pressures, particularly towards women in South Asian communities, with regards to marriage and career choices.
There is also the exploration of racism and islamophobia in this book both on a more discernible, hate crime level as well as a look at the more subtle prejudices and microaggressions towards ethnic minorities in the workplace which I thought was all handled incredibly well. Hana’s persisting mentality of staying true to herself and her journey of self-discovery was absolutely wonderful.
“My father says that trying to stop hate is like trying to stop the tides… The best thing you can do is take advantage of it. Don’t stop the tide from flowing. Build a hydroelectric dam and make electricity instead, enough to power ten thousand houses. That’s how you stop hate.”
Now I’m someone who loves it when characters give each other nicknames so I was down for the romance as soon as the words “Mr Silver Shades” came into Hana’s mind. I was surprised with how the romance plot wasn’t as central to the story as I expected but it was one solid rivals to lovers rollercoaster. The banter and the bickering, the sometimes glare sometimes longing glances was all just *chef’s kiss* (no pun intended)
Where this book didn’t have the full on South Asian serial drama feel that Ayesha At Last gave me, the family drama and a couple of the reveals were still on that level. However, despite the storyline being a little predictable it still felt pretty realistic, was hilariously entertaining and a really fun read. I’m even a little curious to have a taste of Biryani Poutine now too! 😂
I can’t wait to pick up what Uzma Jalaluddin writes next!
Hana Khan Carries On is OUT NOW! (The UK paperback releases on June 3rd!)
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I am the author of AYESHA AT LAST (2018), a retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in a Toronto Muslim community. My second novel HANA KHAN CARRIES ON (2021) is inspired by the movie ‘You’ve Got Mail’ and set in rival halal restaurants. I also write a funny parenting column for The Toronto Star, and have written for The Atlantic. I live in Toronto with my husband and two sons. Find out more at www.uzmajalaluddin.com and thanks for visiting!
~ GIVEAWAY ~
For this tour there is a giveaway of three (3) copies of Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin. ENTER HERE for your chance to win!
- Open Internationally
- Ends on 17th June 2021 (11:59pm EST)
- The winner will be announced on Colored Pages’s Instagram. (This giveaway is not affiliated/endorsed by Instagram).
FULL TOUR SCHEDULE
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