Reviewed by Jasmine Sov, age 16
Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirda
Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating is a mostly lighthearted read that excellently balances well utilized rom-com tropes with complex issues about families and society. With the eponymous “fake dating” trope and in some parts the “enemies to lovers” trope, avid readers of YA will find this a comfortable formulaic read, that is delightfully remixed. Several parts of the book felt painfully real to me as a person of color, such as how Hani’s friends exhibit toxic behavior by not caring about understanding the religion of Islam or how there is great diversity within different cultures and ethnic groups. Hani’s friends lump Hani and Ishu together even before they begin fake dating, as they are the only brown girls at their school. All of this reminded me of the ignorance that is still witnessed from people at my high school today. Hani and Ishu both undergo superb character development regarding their connections with their friends and family, and I especially loved Hani’s relationship with her parents as well as how Ishu grew closer to her sister over time. Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating informs the reader of important issues of the current age, while also delivering an adorable classic fake dating love story.
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