Dhul-Qadah Book Club Recap and Picks
Bismillahi ar-rahmani ar-rahim
Assalamu aleikum waramatulahi wabarakatuhu Dear Readers!
Misfits in Love
Summary: Janna Yusuf is so excited for the weekend: her brother Muhammad’s getting married, and she’s reuniting with her mom, whom she’s missed the whole summer.
And Nuah’s arriving for the weekend too. Sweet, constant Nuah.
The last time she saw him, Janna wasn’t ready to reciprocate his feelings for her. But things are different now. She’s finished high school, ready for college…and ready for Nuah.
It’s time for Janna’s (carefully planned) summer of love to begin—starting right at the wedding. But it wouldn’t be a wedding if everything went according to plan. Muhammad’s party choices aren’t in line with his fiancée’s taste at all, Janna’s dad is acting strange, and her mom is spending more time with an old friend (and maybe love interest?) than Janna.
And Nuah’s treating her differently. Just when things couldn’t get more complicated, two newcomers—the dreamy Haytham and brooding Layth—have Janna more confused than ever about what her misfit heart really wants. Janna’s summer of love is turning out to be super crowded and painfully unpredictable.
Thoughts: In this third work by the author, Janna is back, and this time she surprises us until the end. This is to say that we didn't see the end coming.
Ali's third tome grapples with love, HEA for many characters, and racism (and anti-blackness) amongst other realistic hurts and burdens such as loosing relatives or divorce. We applaud the author for tackling the anti-blackness sentiment for her community.
Check out the book because the self-talk is not annoying. A thing that is very notorious with first POV books. Ali achieves getting in the heads of all the characters without moving away from her style. Well done.
Hana Khan Carries On
Summary: Sales are slow at Three Sisters Biryani Poutine, the only halal restaurant in the close-knit Golden Crescent neighborhood of Toronto. 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 her mother’s restaurant.
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 neighborhood 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.
Thoughts: Jalaluddin has a forte for creating complex and entertaining characters such as Khalid and Masood (in Book 1) and Rashid (Book 2). Hana and Stanley.P are also a riot. Above all, Hana's Khala is the "Born A Rebel." who steals the show. We liked the strength of this Khala who says it how it is. Finally, we're curious to know more about Hamid and Rashid's accountants parents in New Dehli. Could they be accountant gangsters and in the mafia? This could become a suspense thriller spinoff for Rashid....Just a thought. Check out this fun read also dealing with islamophobia.
Love Her or Lose Her
Summary: Rosie and Dominic Vega are the perfect couple: high school sweethearts, best friends, madly in love. Well, they used to be anyway. Now Rosie’s lucky to get a caveman grunt from the ex-soldier every time she walks in the door. Dom is faithful and a great provider, but the man she fell in love with ten years ago is nowhere to be found. When her girlfriends encourage Rosie to demand more out of life and pursue her dream of opening a restaurant, she decides to demand more out of love, too. Three words: marriage boot camp.
Never in a million years did Rosie believe her stoic, too-manly-to-emote husband would actually agree to relationship rehab with a weed-smoking hippie. Dom talking about feelings? Sitting on pillows? Communing with nature? Learning love languages? Nope. But to her surprise, he’s all in, and it forces her to admit her own role in their cracked foundation. As they complete one ridiculous—yet surprisingly helpful—assignment after another, their remodeled relationship gets stronger than ever. Except just as they’re getting back on track, Rosie discovers Dom has a secret... and it could demolish everything.
Thoughts: We liked that it was a good romance for married couples. The book is especially helpful if you are facing a speedbump in the union due a wide variety of realistic couple issues from less communication to living like passing ships. There are many things to take away from Love Her or Lose Her, and they are not only applicable in the book universe. Tips from couple therapy are usually not made up from thin air. They work or they don't. It depends on how invested you are or want to make it work. Warning: This is a soft and steamy romance. Check it out at your own risk *laughs!*
Thank you for tuning in and reading. Dear Readers & Members, see you in
Dhul Hijjah 1442 AH insha'Allah.
Our Usual Book Club Questions Are:
1. What did you like most?
2. What gave you pause?
3. What didn't you like?
4. What are your other thoughts?
5. What question (s) do you have for the author(s)?
6. What questions about the book(s) do you have for the moderator or other members of the discussion(s)?
We look forward to hearing from you.
G E T I N T O U C H !
Books, Teas & Coffees
Until next time, subhanaka Allahumma wa-bihamdika ash-hadu anla ilaha illa anta as-taghfiruka wa atoobu ilayka. (O Allah, You are free from every imperfection; praise be to You. I testify that there is no true god except You; I ask Your Pardon and turn to You in repentance.) Aameen.
The Fofky's Book Club