I have things to say about this book.

The cons:

  • fast paced, dialogue heavy, plot-driven.

The pros:

  • fast paced, idea behind the story.

So let’s just go through the plot. We have Naila (I forgot her name and had to look it up), who is a first gen Indian-Muslim American girl whose parents are from Pakistan. Her parents are hella conservative and hella strict. And just the typical type of Asian who care way bloody too much about what other people have to say about them. Anyway her parents are against relationships, and guess who has a relationship. No cookies for guessing it right, but yes, Naila and when she gets found out, shit goes down. Her parents bring her back to Pakistan and try to get her married off. The ordeals Naila has to face gets from bad to worse.

The idea is really good. Props for it. Forced marriages happen all the time with parents thinking they’re doing what’s best for their child. But seriously, parents. Tsk. Shame is such important factor in all these parents’ feelings which just makes you wonder. Is an act inherently shameful? Is any act inherently shameful? No (or at least I can’t think of any, you say peeing in public is shameful, but what if it’s someone disabled and they were unable to get to a toilet in time? Context matters.). You give an act it’s shame value. Anyway look at me digressing. Let’s bring it back to the book.

The idea is great but bro, it’s too damn fast-paced. But you’d think because it’s fast-paced I’d get through this book quickly, but I took four days and I was close to DNF-ing it less than thirty pages in because I really didn’t feel much for any of the characters. Naila’s going through a shitstorm and I feel bad for her but there’s not much character building. And also with the plot it’s like there’s no build-up to no climax. Every build-up is so fast and then it climaxes just as quickly. On the plus side, I think it’s very indicative of how shit can change in a matter of hours, minutes even but still way too quick. I can’t latch onto the characters. I feel bad for Naila but I’m not crying and at some point I found myself just reading for the plot because I just wanted to find out what other batshitcrazy things Naila has to go through and how she’s going to come out of it.

I do think the story was realistic, by story I mean, the plot progression. But it’s just the lack of character building. I still think it’s worth a read just as a PSA on shitty parents and the extent they’ll go to just because they think they’re right.

It is a quick read but you might have to force yourself through it for the first forty pages  (which goes by fairly quickly, half hour – one hour max) until Naila reaches Pakistan then shit starts to go down.


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