The Love Match
Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster
Published January 3, 2023
About The Love Match
TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE meets PRIDE AND PREJUDICE in this delightful and heartfelt rom-com about a Bangladeshi American teen whose meddling mother arranges a match to secure their family’s financial security—just as she’s falling in love with someone else.
Zahra Khan is basically Bangladeshi royalty, but being a princess doesn’t pay the bills in Paterson, New Jersey. While Zahra’s plans for financial security this summer involve working long hours at Chai Ho and saving up for college writing courses, Amma is convinced that all Zahra needs is a “good match,” Jane Austen style.
Enter Harun Emon, who’s wealthy, devastatingly handsome, and…aloof. As soon as Zahra meets him, she knows it’s a bad match. It’s nothing like the connection she has with Nayim Aktar, the new dishwasher at the tea shop, who just gets Zahra in a way no one has before. So, when Zahra finds out that Harun is just as uninterested in this match as she is, they decide to slowly sabotage their parents’ plans. And for once in Zahra’s life, she can have her rossomalai and eat it too: “dating” Harun and keeping Amma happy while catching real feelings for Nayim.
But life—and boys—can be more complicated than Zahra realizes. With her feelings all mixed up, Zahra discovers that sometimes being a good Bengali kid can be a royal pain.
I love that the author started with a note talking about some of the Bengali words and spelling in the book. It felt really welcoming, like she invited me in to celebrate Bengali culture and diaspora with her.
The first chapter of the book felt a bit chaotic to me. I think it was meant to, though. It’s a wedding, and there are a lot of things happening in and around Zahra. Once I got past that chapter, I fell head over heels into the story.
I loved Zahra so much. Her relationships with her family members, her best friends, and even her boss all felt so real. I also loved Harun and the way that there was so much more to him than his outward appearance.
The story definitely has PRIDE AND PREJUDICE vibes, which gives me even more reasons to love it. Zahra has all the wit and sense of humor of a modern day Elizabeth Bennet. And Harun bears the same sense of pride and the, at first, emotionally closed persona of a Mr. Darcy.
All in all, readers looking for a bright romance with some humor and family elements will find so much to love about THE LOVE MATCH.
Recommended for Ages 14 up.
Major characters are Bengladeshi American.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used somewhat frequently.
Kissing between boy and girl. Two girls are in a relationship together.
Major characters are Muslim. The story mentions Eid and other holy days and celebrations. Zahra mentions that she and her family pray every day.
A girl throws food onto a boy’s face.
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