More Than Just A Pretty Face by Syed M. Masood is set to release on 04 August, 2020 and this ownvoices YA contemporary romance is a delight to pick up. A Pakistani-American boy who loves to cook delicious food and has a crush on the most popular girl in his class, finds himself in an academic competition that pushes him to take the help of the Pakistani-American girl in his class—one he isn’t interested in but one he finds himself cooking for, laughing with, and inspired by. In addition to being a budding romance novel, it dives into the historical accuracy and horrifying reality of the years of colonialism in the Indian subcontinent. Read my review here.
The three South-Asian romance books being recommended are somewhat similar to the best aspects of More Than Just A Pretty Face: Danyal, the main character, raises his voice to state lot of unknown yet necessary facts around the reality of famous names; the family expectations that every South-Asian is burdened with; and the inclusion of history to ultimately make it a romantic enlightenment.
More Than Just A Pretty Face by Syed M. Masood
For fans of Becky Albertalli and Jenny Han, a sweetly funny YA rom-com debut about falling in love, familial expectations, and being a Renaissance Man.
Danyal Jilani doesn’t lack confidence. He may not be the smartest guy in the room, but he’s funny, gorgeous, and going to make a great chef one day. His father doesn’t approve of his career choice, but that hardly matters. What does matter is the opinion of Danyal’s longtime crush, the perfect-in-all-ways Kaval, and her family, who consider him a less than ideal arranged marriage prospect.
When Danyal gets selected for Renaissance Man–a school-wide academic championship–it’s the perfect opportunity to show everyone he’s smarter than they think. He recruits the brilliant, totally-uninterested-in-him Bisma to help with the competition, but the more time Danyal spends with her…the more he learns from her…the more he cooks for her…the more he realizes that happiness may be staring him right in his pretty face.
1. Ten Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon
Raising voice against the wrong.
Pinky in this YA contemporary is enthusiastic and passionate about standing up for what is right and if you’re someone who loves the reality check that main characters give around realistic issues, when they teach you things you might not know but should know, and when they ultimately inspire you, this book is for you.
2. A Match Made in Mehendi by Nandini Bajpai
Family expectations & getting the spotlight in a high school
Simi in A Match Made in Mehendi is expected to be a matchmaker like everyone in her family has been since centuries. But she is an artist and when a possibility of creating the best matchmaking app opens up, she finds herself at the centre stage.
3. Yes No Maybe So by Aisha Saeed & Becky Albertalli
When politics and love are on the same page.
Maya Rehman in this cross-cultural romance starts with helping Jamie go door to door as part of the political campaign he is volunteering in, but soon she finds herself being a local activist because the issues are too hard to ignore.
This post is written for a promotional blog tour hosted by Hear Our Voices Book Tours but everything stated in the post is solely my opinion and recommendation.
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