April 13, 2021
Genre/Categories/Setting: Contemporary Fiction, Canada, Muslim, Complicated Family Drama, Love Story, Prejudice, #OwnVoices
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Thank you, #NetGalley @BerkleyPub #BerkleyWritesStrongWomen #BerkleyBuddyReads for a complimentary e ARC of #HanaKhanCarriesOn upon my request. All opinions are my own.
Hana Khan is an energetic, hard-working, and loyal young adult living with her family in a suburb of Toronto, Canada. She has a big dream to make it in broadcasting. Hana takes on a lot of responsibility by working part-time in her family’s struggling halal restaurant, holds down an internship in a local radio station where she has conflicting views about cultural content with her boss, and produces her own podcast (anonymously). She strikes up a virtual friendship with one of her listeners and they both use fake names. This virtual friendship becomes one of her main sources of support. Meanwhile, her family’s small restaurant is struggling to survive financially. It doesn’t help when a new corporate halal restaurant is planning to open just down the street. Will her family’s restaurant be able to withstand the competition? Will Hana be able to come up with strategies to face the competition and help her family with everything else she has going on? Will Hana ever be on friendly terms with the restaurant’s new (and attractive) owner? How will Hana use her voice?
Diverse Read: I love stories from other cultures and I appreciate this story from a perspective that’s not my own as it increases my awareness of cultural traditions, stereotypes, Islamaphobia, microaggressions, and hate crimes.
Genre: You will see this engaging book promoted as a rom-com inspired by You’ve Got Mail. I also think the story has definite Tweet Cute vibes. However, it’s so much more than a rom-com. There’s a lot going on in this story as the author addresses some serious, compelling, and relevant issues.
Characters: Our main character Hana is mostly likable, but she’s also impulsive and immature in the way she handles some of the conflicts. One of her actions could be considered mean and borders on revenge instead of healthy competition. The redeeming factor is that she changes and matures throughout the story. The supporting characters are engaging and unique personalities that add to the enjoyment and complexity of the story.
Themes: Thoughtful themes in Hana Khan include family loyalty and support, devotion, obligations, and expectations; finding your voice and direction in life; dealing with and speaking up against prejudice and microaggressions; handling hate crimes; as well as intolerance, the spirit of competition, accepting change, friendship, family secrets, betrayal, telling your story, and romance. Lots of substance packed into this story!
Recommended: Written with warmth and humor, Hana Khan Carries On is recommended for fans of retellings (You’ve Got Mail) and enemies to lovers romance, for readers looking for more diverse reads, for those who love complicated family drama and thoughtful themes, and for book clubs (great discussion possibilities).
If you are an #OwnVoices reviewer, please leave the link to your review in the comments.
My Rating: 4 Stars
I actually like the U.K. cover the best!
Meet the Author, Uzma Jalaluddin
I am the author of AYESHA AT LAST, a Pride and Prejudice retelling set in a close-knit Toronto Muslim community. My second novel, HANA KHAN CARRIES ON, out Spring 2021, is inspired by “You’ve Got Mail” and set in rival halal restaurants. I also write a funny parenting column for The Toronto Star, and my byline has appeared in The Atlantic. I live near Toronto with my husband and children. Learn more at http://www.uzmajalaluddin.com
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