Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating
Page Street Kids
Published May 25, 2021
About Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating
Everyone likes Humaira “Hani” Khan—she’s easy going and one of the most popular girls at school. But when she comes out to her friends as bisexual, they invalidate her identity, saying she can’t be bi if she’s only dated guys. Panicked, Hani blurts out that she’s in a relationship…with a girl her friends absolutely hate—Ishita “Ishu” Dey. Ishu is the complete opposite of Hani. She’s an academic overachiever who hopes that becoming head girl will set her on the right track for college. But Ishita agrees to help Hani, if Hani will help her become more popular so that she stands a chance of being elected head girl.
Despite their mutually beneficial pact, they start developing real feelings for each other. But relationships are complicated, and some people will do anything to stop two Bengali girls from achieving happily ever after.
If you know me at all, it won’t surprise you to learn that I love the relationship between Ishu and her sister in HANI AND ISHU’S GUIDE TO FAKE DATING. I won’t spoil anything, but it definitely hooked me and really added a lot to the story, I thought.
I also liked that Hani and Ishu were really different from each other and had really different approaches to their lives and their connection to each other. At first I thought Hani’s relationship with her friends didn’t make a lot of sense– and then as I thought about it more, I started to see why it made sense. I liked the way that Ishu and Hani help each other see the holes or unhealthy parts of the relationships they have with the other people in their lives. That felt so real to me and totally drew me into the story.
Another thing that I liked was that it’s a faith-positive story. I feel like it’s easy to focus on negative experiences that people have with faith, and those stories are valid, those experiences do happen for sure. But I love that there are stories featuring teens who value their faith and ascribe to be better people because of what they believe. I think we need those stories, too.
Recommended for Ages 14 up.
Hani is bisexual, Muslim, and Bengali. Ishu is a lesbian and Bengali. The story is set in Ireland.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used somewhat infrequently.
Kissing between two girls.
Islam is really important to Hani. She references going to services and waking up to pray. Her father, who’s running for election, becomes more involved in their mosque, and Hani wonders if he’s doing it for the right reasons.
Some instances of bullying and racism.
Hani and Ishu attend a party where the girls are drinking alcohol. Hani doesn’t drink because of her faith.
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