EAT YOUR HEART OUT by Kelly deVos

Shaun of the Dead meets Dumplin’ in this bitingly funny YA thriller about a kickass group of teens battling a ravenous group of zombies.

In the next few hours, one of three things will happen.

1–We’ll be rescued (unlikely)

2–We’ll freeze to death (maybe)

3–We’ll be eaten by thin and athletic zombies (odds: excellent) 

Vivian Ellenshaw is fat, but she knows she doesn’t need to lose weight, so she’s none too happy to find herself forced into a weight-loss camp’s van with her ex-best friend, Allie, a meathead jock who can barely drive, and the camp owner’s snobby son. And when they arrive at Camp Featherlite at the start of the worst blizzard in the history of Flagstaff, Arizona, it’s clear that something isn’t right.

Vee barely has a chance to meet the other members of her pod, all who seem as unhappy to be at Featherlite as she does, when a camper goes missing down by the lake. Then she spots something horrifying outside in the snow. Something…that isn’t human. Plus, the camp’s supposed “miracle cure” for obesity just seems fishy, and Vee and her fellow campers know they don’t need to be cured. Of anything.

Even worse, it’s not long before Camp Featherlite’s luxurious bungalows are totally overrun with zombies. What starts out as a mission to unravel the camp’s secrets turns into a desperate fight for survival–and not all of the Featherlite campers will make it out alive. 

A satirical blend of horror, body positivity, and humor, Kelly deVos’s witty, biting novel proves that everyone deserves to feel validated, and taking down the evil enterprise determined to dehumanize you is a good place to start.


Title : Eat Your Heart Out
Author : Kelly deVos
Format : eARC
Page Count : 352
Genre : YA horror/sci-fi
Publisher : Razorbill
Release Date : June 29, 2021

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Hollis’ 4 star review

This YA horror is pitched so perfectly. It really is like Shaun of the Dead meets Dumplin‘. This mashup has both the conversations surrounding fatphobia and diet culture alongside the unlikely group of individuals, each fitting a specific movie archetype, having to battle zombies.

How are fat camps still even a thing? Don’t they belong in a museum with inflatable dart boards, Flowbeers, and Thigh Masters?

I loved how the conversation around weight was done, I loved how much acceptance was in this story, and how despite being set at a fat-camp, and how this particular zombie apocalypse unfolds, it doesn’t feel like a story about being fat. Even though it is. Hard to explain!

Between the gorgeously colourful cover with a fat girl, unapologetically front and centre, and the satirical content that sadly doesn’t feel far off from how fatness is dealt with in our own world, this is a read that we all need. Sure, we’re sorta in out own apocalypse but this particular set-up is lightyears away from our own. I promise it won’t stress you out!

I’m not sure I would reread this, which is usually why I award four stars to books, but I just appreciate this so much. Was it perfect? No. While we get to know the characters enough to be invested, it is still a bit surface level, as we’re thrown pretty much right into disaster mode. Think of the way Cloverfield unfolds. We sorta get to know our protagonists as they navigate their new reality but it’s more about surviving than anything else. But this book did exactly what it set out to do and it still managed to have a few surprises along the way, too. Would recommend!

** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

A SKY BEYOND THE STORM by Sabaa Tahir

Picking up just a few months after A Reaper at the Gates left off…

The long-imprisoned jinn are on the attack, wreaking bloody havoc in villages and cities alike. But for the Nightbringer, vengeance on his human foes is just the beginning.

At his side, Commandant Keris Veturia declares herself Empress, and calls for the heads of any and all who defy her rule. At the top of the list? The Blood Shrike and her remaining family.

Laia of Serra, now allied with the Blood Shrike, struggles to recover from the loss of the two people most important to her. Determined to stop the approaching apocalypse, she throws herself into the destruction of the Nightbringer. In the process, she awakens an ancient power that could lead her to victory–or to an unimaginable doom.

And deep in the Waiting Place, the Soul Catcher seeks only to forget the life–and love–he left behind. Yet doing so means ignoring the trail of murder left by the Nightbringer and his jinn. To uphold his oath and protect the human world from the supernatural, the Soul Catcher must look beyond the borders of his own land. He must take on a mission that could save–or destroy–all that he knows.


Title : A Sky Beyond the Storm
Author : Sabaa Tahir
Series : Ember Quartet (book four)
Format : eBook (overdrive)
Page Count : 516
Genre : YA fantasy
Publisher : Razorbill
Release Date : December 1, 2020

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ .5


Hollis’ 2.5 star review

I’m not really going to harp on this much because I’ve finally conquered this series, and it’s over, and we never have to talk or think about it again but.. oof. This was a lot of things.

This is a long book, yes, but the sheer amount of time this took to complete, when I know I’ve crushed books this length, and longer, in a much shorter amount of time.. and, worse, when said book didn’t need to be this long (and that goes for the series, too), it’s just a whole pile of frustration. I would say there’s maybe 20-25% (in this installment, not the whole series, elle oh elle, that would be extra tragic) that was good.

Tahir’s writing has definitely improved over the years but, as always, there was some repetition and the weird lapses in editing were A Choice. Ultimately though this was definitely a case of me not getting on with a series and the direction it went in and how that changed characters I thought I had liked. This did go in some interesting directions as far as challenging the reader to question motivations that lead to bad or evil actions but it also kind of left one out to dry (like, the Keris thing, are you fucking kidding me with that, no, I can’t). I’m just a bit (a lot) baffled by so many things.

But I cried. Oh I’ll admit it. I was pretty caught unawares because a lot of sad and awful shit happens over the course of these four chonky books and I was definitely detached from it all until I wasn’t. So, maybe that’s why I want to round up on this? A little? I won’t, though.

And that’s it, it’s over.

This marks the third unfinished series to be completed from my five series to tackle post so. I’ll take the win for what it is. A sad little checkmark on a list that only I care about it. But in pandemic season we celebrate any little win we can.

EXCUSE ME WHILE I UGLY CRY by Joya Goffney

A passionate, hilarious and heartfelt YA romcom debut full of juicy secrets and leap-off-the-page chemistry about how we choose to live our lives and what it means to live your truth.

For fans of Jenny Han, Nicola Yoon and Justin A. Reynolds. Quinn keeps lists of everything – from the days she’s ugly cried, to “Things That I Would Never Admit Out Loud,” to all the boys she’d like to kiss. Her lists keep her sane. By writing her fears (as well as embarrassing and cringeworthy truths) on paper, she never has to face them in real life. That is, until her journal goes missing . . .

An anonymous account posts one of her lists on Instagram for the whole school to see and blackmails her into facing seven of her greatest fears, or else her entire journal will go public. Quinn doesn’t know who to trust. Desperate, she teams up with Carter Bennett – the last known person to have her journal and who Quinn loathes – in a race against time to track down the blackmailer. Together, they journey through everything Quinn’s been too afraid to face, and along the way, Quinn finds the courage to be honest, to live in the moment, and to fall in love. A razor-sharp, passionate and addictive YA romcom that readers will love.


Title : Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry
Author : Joya Goffney
Format : Paperback ARC
Page Count :352
Genre : Contemporary YA
Publisher : Hot Key Books
Release Date : May 4, 2021

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

Headlines:
Personal identity and empowerment
I love lists
Deep feelings and firsts

Oh this book won me over good. It was the kind of book that engaged me early on but it really built up, especially the last quarter of the book as answers were coming. This was a rich YA contemporary with some high school drama that felt authentic but really this story was all about Quinn’s identity as a young black women; the lies she told herself and the lies others told.

Quinn was a list maker and this story had an occasional epistolary feel to it with Quinn’s and much later, Carter’s lists. I loved getting to them, they were personal, sometimes emotional and I really got to know the characters this way. The big plot of this story centred around Quinn’s journal, who had it and who was blackmailing her for the contents (this is all in the blurb).

The friendships Quinn had weren’t what she thought and Carter, Livvy and Auden came into her life at the right time, affirming and empowering her identity and showing what real friendship was all about, flaws and all. I did feel a bit left without the end tied up on Matt, I just wanted a bit of closure on that, I think.

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry was a light but also a deep read. It had themes that were important but it still had the levity of life for an 18 year old. The characters were well developed and there was a nice sprinkle of chemistry across the pages. Highly recommended.

Please check out some black reviewers on this title. Also, there are some triggers in this book, so look for other reviews if you need that info, or DM me for more details.

Thank you to Hot Key Books for the review copy.

HOT COPY by Ruby Barrett

Corinne Blunt knows what people think of her—she’s an icy, unapproachable executive. It’s the price she’s had to pay to get to the top. But there’s knowing you have a reputation in the office, and there’s hearing your new intern laugh when someone calls you “Blunt the C*nt” in the elevator on his first day.

She’d hoped to finally find an ally in Wesley Chambers, but she’s not about to let him off the hook for joining the office boys’ club. Taking refuge in the professional boundaries between them, she relegates Wes to assistant work—which would do the trick, if he weren’t so eager to prove he’s a decent human being.

Wes is sincerely apologetic, insisting it was a misunderstanding, and to her surprise, Corinne believes him. Being forced to work together was one thing, but long hours at the office with what turns out to be a kind, thoughtful man soon has their business relationship turning personal, and things get complicated—fast. Could this be something more serious than either of them dared to hope for? Or is their relationship just playing into the harmful power dynamics Corinne’s had to endure her entire career?


Title : Hot Copy
Author : Ruby Barrett
Format : eBook (overdrive)
Page Count : 297
Genre : contemporary romance
Publisher : Carina Press
Release Date : April 13, 2021

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : unrated


Hollis’ unrated review

If you craved the dynamic from The Proposal but wanted it to get the full sexy treatment? You might like this. At least, that’s what I thought to expect about this when going into it (because I don’t read blurbs). Except in Hot Copy not only is there an age gap (I was still on board) but he’s an intern.. not the assistant (I’ve edged a foot off the board at this point).

The latter would’ve been pushing it a bit to begin with but this went a step further. Everyone is not only consenting but also adult however it made for a frustrating parallel to the very real, and pervasive, inappropriate conduct happening all around the couple. As if to say, “this is okay because want it and aren’t sleazy about it”? I don’t know. I could probably have put my brain on hold about the whole thing if not for all the ick going on around them because it kept reminding me that this wasn’t great. But, when I could check my brain out for a second, I appreciated the switch up of the dynamics we’re used to seeing play out.

Except Corinne kept wrongfooting the whole relationship (or not-relationship) which is ironic as they get off on the wrong foot because she wrongly attributes something to him. So, I mean, maybe it’s not ironic. Maybe that initial interaction was foreshadowing for the whole story. He would be everything sweet, caring, kind, understanding, dedicated, and she would abuse it, not appreciate it, take it for granted.

Which isn’t to say Wes is perfect as he becomes so wholly invested in her that his real life suffers for it. And then the one time he doesn’t put Corrine first.. well, lets just say I fucking hated that particular argument.

What frustrates me about the whole experience though is that this could’ve been really good. There’s an emotional thread woven through the story that really got me choked up at times and while I thought the repetition of that same element was maybe too much.. I still cried at a certain scene near the end. I wasn’t immune. But yeah, the nitpicky part of me wishes it had been similar but not the same.

I’m mixed about my feelings so I’m totally copping out and not rating this (at least for now). I would definitely read from this author again as I thought the writing was surprisingly solid for a debut but this particular dynamic/romance will definitely be polarizing.

If you’re down for a bit of a messy romance, and are craving something to fog up the glasses, check out some reviews and see if this’ll be your cup of tea.

REAPER AT THE GATES by Sabaa Tahir

Beyond the Martial Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

Helene Aquilla, the Blood Shrike, is desperate to protect her sister’s life and the lives of everyone in the Empire. Yet danger lurks on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable and violent, while Keris Veturia, the ruthless Commandant, capitalizes on the Emperor’s volatility to grow her own power—regardless of the carnage she leaves in her path.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows that the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. During the hunt to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would help her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. However, in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that demands his complete surrender—even if that means abandoning the woman he loves.


Title : Reaper at the Gates
Author : Sabaa Tahir
Series : Ember Quartet (book three)
Format : eBook (overdrive)
Page Count : 458
Genre : YA fantasy
Publisher : Razorbill
Release Date : June 12, 2018

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ .5


Hollis’ 2.5 star review

I don’t know where to begin. I wish I had some positive things to say but they are just overwhelmed by the stuff that annoys me, bores me, or frustrates me. There are glimmers of good, or maybe just fine, but ultimately it’s hard to hold onto them in the face of so much other stuff.

One of those glimmers? The final chapter. That really captured my attention (I didn’t reach for my phone once!). But overall I’m just really perplexed by where we’re going and how we’re getting there. I struggled through three of the four (five?) POVs this time. I’m long since over the romance — since early book two, actually, you’ll notice I didn’t even mention it in my review. And at this point I just want to get to the ending for all the whys. Mostly, why I’m enduring this (haha, completionist pain).

This book did feel a little stronger overall than the last one, occasionally less repetitive (though now we’ve introduced “bleeding” as a curse and boy did we make up for lost time on that..), so clearly that extra time between releases was put to good use. But, yeah, overwhelmingly I’m just kind of sitting back and watching things happen, mostly as a result of character choices, and marveling : why.

Here’s hoping book four offers some satisfaction. Because there hadn’t been much of that yet.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR DANCING by Nicola Yoon

#1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything and The Sun is Also a Star Nicola Yoon is back with her eagerly anticipated third novel. With all the heart and hope of her last two books, this is an utterly unique romance.

Evie Thomas doesn’t believe in love anymore. Especially after the strangest thing occurs one otherwise ordinary afternoon: She witnesses a couple kiss and is overcome with a vision of how their romance began . . . and how it will end. After all, even the greatest love stories end with a broken heart, eventually.

As Evie tries to understand why this is happening, she finds herself at La Brea Dance studio, learning to waltz, fox-trot, and tango with a boy named X. X is everything that Evie is not: adventurous, passionate, daring. His philosophy is to say yes to everything–including entering a ballroom dance competition with a girl he’s only just met.

Falling for X is definitely not what Evie had in mind. If her visions of heartbreak have taught her anything, it’s that no one escapes love unscathed. But as she and X dance around and toward each other, Evie is forced to question all she thought she knew about life and love. In the end, is love worth the risk?


Title : Instructions For Dancing
Author : Nicola Yoon
Format : eARC
Page Count :304
Genre : Contemporary YA, BIPOC
Publisher : Penguin
Release Date : June 3, 2021

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 3 star review

Headlines:
Ropes you in
Cute, fun, engaging
Then that happened

Wow. I am a little lost for words, hyperventilating somewhat and pretty disappointed with that outcome. Instructions for Dancing was a cute, fun and hugely engaging story. It had MCs and side characters to love and get lost in. It was low on angst, all until….

The story had a side slice of clever magic (literally) that was the premise both for how the female MC Evie navigated the story and made changes in her life. It was also ultimately the vehicle for my disappointment. The male MC X (Xavier) was pretty delightful in all the ways. I was cheering these two on.

I’m going to keep this short. I’m crushed, surprised and some trust in Yoon’s storytelling has melted away, which is sad because three quarters of the journey was delightful.

Thank you to Penguin Random House Children’s for the early review copy.

SEVEN DAYS IN JUNE by Tia Williams

Seven days to fall in love, fifteen years to forget and seven days to get it all back again… From the author of The Perfect Find, this is a witty, romantic, and sexy-as-hell new novel of two writers and their second chance at love.

Brooklynite Eva Mercy is a single mom and bestselling erotica writer, who is feeling pressed from all sides. Shane Hall is a reclusive, enigmatic, award-winning literary author who, to everyone’s surprise, shows up in New York.

When Shane and Eva meet unexpectedly at a literary event, sparks fly, raising not only their past buried traumas, but the eyebrows of New York’s Black literati. What no one knows is that twenty years earlier, teenage Eva and Shane spent one crazy, torrid week madly in love. They may be pretending that everything is fine now, but they can’t deny their chemistry-or the fact that they’ve been secretly writing to each other in their books ever since.

Over the next seven days in the middle of a steamy Brooklyn summer, Eva and Shane reconnect, but Eva’s not sure how she can trust the man who broke her heart, and she needs to get him out of New York so that her life can return to normal. But before Shane disappears again, there are a few questions she needs answered. . .

With its keen observations of Black life and the condition of modern motherhood, as well as the consequences of motherless-ness, Seven Days in June is by turns humorous, warm and deeply sensual. 


Title : Seven Days in June
Author : Tia Williams
Format : e-ARC
Page Count :337
Genre : Contemporary Romance
Publisher : Quercus
Release Date : June 2, 2021

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 5 star review

Headlines:
Swept away by second chances
Dialogue dream
Epic summer read

This wasn’t my first Tia Williams book, but it had a completely different vibe. It was deeper, more desperate with the kind of longing that makes you feel. This was a second chance story that was full of emotion but also delightfully light in the moment.

Eva (Genevieve) was a mother, a writer and a women who had shelved her own life to some extent. She had a hidden disability and got through the days. She had some friends that were the family she’d never really had.

When Shane entered the story, everything froze. The connection, my word, the connection was magnetised. There was a huge story to tell with these two that was mostly in the contemporary but it did have some past chapters that were woven cleverly and not over-used.

“I idealize you in fiction because I idealized you in real life.”

What I loved about this story and the writing was the dialogue. I have so many highlights on my kindle that just tickled me or made me feel. I lived for this story in the 24 hours that I read it and I truly didn’t want it to end. The cover is glorious and really just captures these two.

I would challenge anyone not to need this couple together. I loved the humility of Shane, the hope of Eva despite her life and the ebb and flow of life getting in the damn way.

Shane was her lighthouse. If he went dark, she’d be lost, treading black water forever.

This was the kind of sweeping romance that just made my summer and I recommend this to all my romance-reading friends.

Please note there are a number of triggers in this book – please look on other reviews or DM me if you want more info.

Thank you to Quercus for the early review copy.

A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT by Sabaa Tahir

After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both. 


Title : A Torch Against the Night
Author : Sabaa Tahir
Series : Ember Quartet (book two)
Format : hardback
Page Count : 452
Genre : YA fantasy
Publisher : Razorbill
Release Date : August 30, 2016

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ 


Hollis’ 2 star review

Wow so this took a turn.

As I read this installment I kept questioning if I had been too kind to book one; was it just my ever revolving slump mode that make me think more kindly of it? Was it really that good? I almost went to change my rating, that’s how a) convinced I was that I must’ve been too generous and b) how annoyed I was about this one. But ultimately I think it stands; book one was good. I had a good time, slump or no, and it really just is that this book just.. doesn’t remotely measure up.

Between some bizarre sideplots and elements introduced out of nowhere, with very little sense of cohesion, this was just also.. not well written? And also had poor characterizations? There were moments, of course, but ultimately this felt like it had maybe a handful of a well executed and polished chapters that were tossed into a rough draft.

And if I ever see the word “skies” again I might lose it. I hate repetition, yes, and I understand that words get overused as a touchstone but I swear I came across a single page (as in, one!) with three repeats of that word. And not just one time, but multiple times. Some chapters? At least six utterances. I would see other words, too, reused when it would’ve been more appropriate for a synonym — yes, this is picky bitch shit but it stands out. And it does not make a meh reading experience any easier. Editors : you are valuable and desperately needed. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Also, please up your prices, you’re worth it.

Getting through this was a chore and I was bored and frustrated pretty much the whole time. My enthusiasm for the rest of the series is incredibly diminished but we’re in it now. I just hope I can get through book three a lot faster than this one.

THE WOLF AND THE WOODSMAN by Ava Reid

In the vein of Naomi Novik’s New York Times bestseller Spinning Silver and Katherine Arden’s national bestseller The Bear and the Nightingale, this unforgettable debut— inspired by Hungarian history and Jewish mythology—follows a young pagan woman with hidden powers and a one-eyed captain of the Woodsmen as they form an unlikely alliance to thwart a tyrant.

In her forest-veiled pagan village, Évike is the only woman without power, making her an outcast clearly abandoned by the gods. The villagers blame her corrupted bloodline—her father was a Yehuli man, one of the much-loathed servants of the fanatical king. When soldiers arrive from the Holy Order of Woodsmen to claim a pagan girl for the king’s blood sacrifice, Évike is betrayed by her fellow villagers and surrendered.

But when monsters attack the Woodsmen and their captive en route, slaughtering everyone but Évike and the cold, one-eyed captain, they have no choice but to rely on each other. Except he’s no ordinary Woodsman—he’s the disgraced prince, Gáspár Bárány, whose father needs pagan magic to consolidate his power. Gáspár fears that his cruelly zealous brother plans to seize the throne and instigate a violent reign that would damn the pagans and the Yehuli alike. As the son of a reviled foreign queen, Gáspár understands what it’s like to be an outcast, and he and Évike make a tenuous pact to stop his brother.

As their mission takes them from the bitter northern tundra to the smog-choked capital, their mutual loathing slowly turns to affection, bound by a shared history of alienation and oppression. However, trust can easily turn to betrayal, and as Évike reconnects with her estranged father and discovers her own hidden magic, she and Gáspár need to decide whose side they’re on, and what they’re willing to give up for a nation that never cared for them at all.


Title : The Wolf & The Woodsman
Author : Ava Reid
Format : Paperback ARC/Audio
Page Count/Running Time : 448/13 hours, 9 minutes
Genre : Fantasy
Publisher : DelRey UK
Release Date : June 8, 2021

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

Headlines:
Unique fantasy standalone
Dark and sinister moments
Get lost in the visual imagery

This felt like such a fresh story to me with three different belief systems intersecting through the characters. It was a story told in the forest, plains and sometimes cities and villages. I was happiest reading when the story was in the forest even though that where the monsters were.

Evike was a character to get behind, she was complex, morally grey on occasion and resillient. She was ever at the mercy of whatever people she was with. Her self discovery of her lineage, the faith of her father and the Yehuli people were fascinating and the chinks of light in this tale. Gaspar, woodsman and a man with many facets, was equally complex and how their grudging collaboration evolved was great reading. The friendship was a slow burn for sure.

There were monsters, witches, creatures with powers, kings with powers, megalomaniac princes and the kind of tales told to really give you the chills. This easily scared reader coped with it all and it conveyed a murky atmosphere of not knowing what was around the corner. There were some dark and gory moments but they truly added to the story.

I was fortunate to read the hard copy and audio for this and the narration was superb. The characterisation and dialogue fitted that dark atmosphere I described so well.

I thought this was a great debut, a standalone to recommend and I can’t wait to read more by Ava Reid.

Thank you to DelRey UK for the early review copies.

HANA KHAN CARRIES ON by Uzma Jalaluddin

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. 


Title : Hana Khan Carries On
Author : Uzma Jalaluddin
Format : Paperback
Page Count :
Genre : Contemporary YA
Publisher : Corvus, Atlantic books
Release Date : June 3, 2021

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

Headlines:
Small town feel
Racial tensions personalised
Strong female characters

Hana Khan Carries On was a grower of a read, you got to know Hana and the characters better and better and for me, that equaled getting sucked in more. This was a story that started off on the surface but delved deep into family issues and racial tensions of the city (read any city here).

This book had a very small town feel to it, which is weird to say when it was set in the bustling city of Toronto. Jalaluddin brought that small town feel by inviting you into the Khan family both nuclear and wider. This story centred on restaurant rivalry, podcasts, online friendships and in real life rivalries. There were some predictable moments but there was also one heck of a twist.

I really came to like Hana, she was a strong female from a line of strong females. She knew her mind, her plan until the plan went pear-shaped. There were side characters to really get your teeth into, one fav being cousin Rashid and of course, Aydin.

There was some compelling plot around islamaphobia, racial tensions and what that meant personally and to a community as a whole. I think this was really good representation but I do encourage you to look for #ownvoices reviewers, but do note the author is own voices from that city.

Hana Khan Carries On makes this two for two from Uzma Jalaluddin, so I will be looking out for her third book with anticipation.

Thank you to Corvus for the early review copy.