Hello everyone! Today I’m here with another book tour as a part of the blog tour by Colored Pages Bookish Tours. I really enjoyed this book – it was a cute enemies to lovers romance which also deals with some important issues regarding Islamophobia.
Disclaimer: I received a physical copy of the book via the publisher as a part of the blog tour. This in no way has any affect on my opinions. The thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are my own.
Hana Khan Carries On
By Uzma Jalaluddin
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Adult
Content Warnings: racism, Islamophobia, racially motivated hate crimes, loss of a loved one
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.
Hana Khan is a 24 year old woman who has an internship at a radio station and is working hard to have her dreams of hosting a radio show come true, while also helping her mother and sister their halal restaurant – Three Sisters Biryani Poutine. When another halal restaurant is set to open in their neighbourhood, things gets intense as Hana tries to stop them from stealing their customers and force her mother’s restaurant to get shut down.
Hana is fierce, loyal and stubborn. She has a fighting spirit and is unwilling to back down, which makes her a character I absolutely adored! She is also very funny and witty and in general, a very relatable character for me. Hana faces a lot of Islamophobia but she never lets it put her down. No matter what, she continues to fight to try to achieve her dreams.
The book as a whole was fun and cute – a tad dramatic at time, but overall, very enjoyable. There was a rivalry which was sort of taken to the extreme at some times, but it was always very believable and hence, a lot of fun to read. I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop in the book as each party did something to one up the other and it was really fun to read that! However, there were also some more serious issues that were also dealt with such as the Islamophobia that Hana deals with on a regular basis.
The romance was also another facet I enjoyed a lot. It is a enemies to lovers romance with the exact right amount of tension and fighting but never to a point where they can not come back from it and it becomes toxic because that is something that usually ends up happening in such storylines and I absolutely despise that. I loved how Aydin and Hana spent time with each other, and how fun their interactions were. I adored how the two supported each other as well and paired up, putting aside their differences, when the time came for it.
All of it really helped me picture them together and believe they’d work well, and I was glad to see how everything worked out between them after all the ups and downs they’ve been through throughout the book.
I also really enjoyed the family dynamics! Hana had a different relationship with each of her family members and I loved watching them interact but I didn’t end up connecting with most of them all that well. I wish we had gotten a bit more time with them because I enjoyed their interactions but at the end, felt like they had been very surface level, especially with her sister.
Lastly, I loved all the twists and turns throughout the book and the many things that are revealed at the end! They made me gas in surprise as everything came together and I relished being surprised because that is something not many books can do for me.
Uzma Jalaluddin grew up in a diverse suburb of Toronto, but her favourite place in the world is the nearest bookstore or library. Her debut novel, AYESHA AT LAST (2018), is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in the Toronto Muslim community. The novel was a Goodreads Choice Award Finalist, was featured on The Today Show, and was a Cosmopolitan UK Book of the Year. AYESHA AT LAST has been optioned for film by Pascal Pictures. Her second novel, HANA KHAN CARRIES ON (April 2021), was an instant Canadian bestseller. The novel is a reimagining of ‘You’ve Got Mail’ set in rival halal restaurants. Uzma writes a culture and parenting column for The Toronto Star, and has written for The Atlantic. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and two sons, where she also teaches high school.
There’s also a giveaway with an opportunity to win a copy of Hana Khan Carries On –
you can enter here.
Have you read Raybearer? Do you plan on picking it and it’s sequel up? IF you’ve read either, what did you think of them? – Jayati