By Adiba Jaigirdar
This sweet fake-dating romance beautifully balances discussions about toxic friendships and blinding parental expectations with an adorable story about two wildly different girls falling in love.
Recommended Age Level: 13+
When Humaira "Hani" Khan comes out to her friends as bisexual, they immediately doubt her. Apparently, she can’t be bi if she’s only dated guys. Cornered into proving her sexuality, she tells them she’s dating someone—Ishita "Ishu" Dey, the straight A student who seems more concerned with studying than relationships.
When Hani approaches her about fake dating, she agrees on one condition–that Hani help her become more popular so she can win the school’s head girl election. It’s the perfect plan to help them achieve their goals, until Hani’s friends become jealous that she’s spending more time with Ishu. They’ll do everything they can to drive a wedge between them and ruin Ishu's chances of becoming head girl.
Now, Hani has a decision to make: does she break off her relationship with Ishu for the sake of her friends? Or does she tell Ishu how she really feels and turn their “fake” relationship into something real?
I loved this book! I occasionally find it difficult to thoroughly enjoy a book that is really centered around romance, but even though that was the main plot of the book, it was balanced exceptionally well with more complex themes and storylines – I really couldn't put this one down! Hani is the absolute sweetest, Ishu is so witty and sharp, and it was so much fun to watch them get to know each other and grow from it, with Hani learning to stick up for herself and Ishu giving herself more emotional and mental leeway. This was truly a wonderful book – you should give it a shot!
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