counter create hit More Than Just a Pretty Face - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

More Than Just a Pretty Face

Availability: Ready to download

For fans of Becky Albertalli and Jenny Han, a sweetly funny YA rom-com debut about falling in love, familial expectations, and being a Renaissance Man. Danyal Jilani doesn't lack confidence. He may not be the smartest guy in the room, but he's funny, gorgeous, and going to make a great chef one day. His father doesn't approve of his career choice, but that hardly matters. W For fans of Becky Albertalli and Jenny Han, a sweetly funny YA rom-com debut about falling in love, familial expectations, and being a Renaissance Man. Danyal Jilani doesn't lack confidence. He may not be the smartest guy in the room, but he's funny, gorgeous, and going to make a great chef one day. His father doesn't approve of his career choice, but that hardly matters. What does matter is the opinion of Danyal's longtime crush, the perfect-in-all-ways Kaval, and her family, who consider him a less than ideal arranged marriage prospect. When Danyal gets selected for Renaissance Man--a school-wide academic championship--it's the perfect opportunity to show everyone he's smarter than they think. He recruits the brilliant, totally-uninterested-in-him Bisma to help with the competition, but the more time Danyal spends with her...the more he learns from her...the more he cooks for her...the more he realizes that happiness may be staring him right in his pretty face.


Compare
Ads Banner

For fans of Becky Albertalli and Jenny Han, a sweetly funny YA rom-com debut about falling in love, familial expectations, and being a Renaissance Man. Danyal Jilani doesn't lack confidence. He may not be the smartest guy in the room, but he's funny, gorgeous, and going to make a great chef one day. His father doesn't approve of his career choice, but that hardly matters. W For fans of Becky Albertalli and Jenny Han, a sweetly funny YA rom-com debut about falling in love, familial expectations, and being a Renaissance Man. Danyal Jilani doesn't lack confidence. He may not be the smartest guy in the room, but he's funny, gorgeous, and going to make a great chef one day. His father doesn't approve of his career choice, but that hardly matters. What does matter is the opinion of Danyal's longtime crush, the perfect-in-all-ways Kaval, and her family, who consider him a less than ideal arranged marriage prospect. When Danyal gets selected for Renaissance Man--a school-wide academic championship--it's the perfect opportunity to show everyone he's smarter than they think. He recruits the brilliant, totally-uninterested-in-him Bisma to help with the competition, but the more time Danyal spends with her...the more he learns from her...the more he cooks for her...the more he realizes that happiness may be staring him right in his pretty face.

30 review for More Than Just a Pretty Face

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Oh boy, this book is way too much sweeter than I expected. I adored those characters and their slow building, cutest romance story, the witty dialogues, heartbreaks, finding the love of your life and the power of chasing your dreams premise. Don’t get me wrong this is not only YA sweet, soft romance/ fiction novel. There are so many political, social, class, racial, religion issues are perfectly blended into this moving, emotional story. It softly brushes your soul and warms your heart. You deep Oh boy, this book is way too much sweeter than I expected. I adored those characters and their slow building, cutest romance story, the witty dialogues, heartbreaks, finding the love of your life and the power of chasing your dreams premise. Don’t get me wrong this is not only YA sweet, soft romance/ fiction novel. There are so many political, social, class, racial, religion issues are perfectly blended into this moving, emotional story. It softly brushes your soul and warms your heart. You deeply care for the characters and their struggles, their fights for realizing their own dreams, their self-discovery journey against the society and their family’s traditional beliefs! Let’s know more about the characters starting with Danyal Jilani, chasing his unrequited love to Kaval. He wants to show her and her family he can be an ideal husband candidate. But how? He has his own secret dreams to be a chef which will never be accepted or approved by her own traditional family. He knows that he is not the smartest guy. He’s cute but not stunningly handsome. But he is still funny, witty, likable and friendly. There are more about him but you gotta dig deeper and spend more time with him. Oh, did I mention that he is just chosen to represent his history class at Renaissance Man- a highly respected academic competition- which gives him more panic attacks! This should be a special opportunity but he doesn’t like to be under spotlights! Thankfully our nerdy, book-worm, cute heroine Bisma Akran, a microbiology student spending most of her time at the libraries and devouring the comic books appears when he needs urgent help! First they became teammates and when they start to know each other they become friends and share secrets. Danyal cooks for her and likes to see her smile. He starts to like more other things about her! And he realizes… yes, two of them are so adorable and they complete each other perfectly. But as I said before this is not only entertaining, feel-good, friends to lovers story! There are so much angst, cultural, traditional barriers and heart wrenching family problems. Overall: I had a great time and I enjoyed to read multicultural, diversity YA romance/Fiction story. It’s definitely a winner! I think I should request the other thought-provoking good of the author ASAP! Special Thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for sharing this incredibly lovely ARC with me in exchange my honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    may ❀

    Book 5 completed for #RamadanReadathon y'all this book had so much potential, im so heartbroken over what it could have been 😭😭 just to start off, I would NOT personally classify this as a "Halal" romance, though all the characters are Muslim and do remind us of the rules they are supposed to follow (but like, lbr, no one followed no rules???) so to me, this was a cute romcom with muslim undertones but not representative of what practicing muslims would do in that situation if that makes any sense. Book 5 completed for #RamadanReadathon y'all this book had so much potential, im so heartbroken over what it could have been 😭😭 just to start off, I would NOT personally classify this as a "Halal" romance, though all the characters are Muslim and do remind us of the rules they are supposed to follow (but like, lbr, no one followed no rules???) so to me, this was a cute romcom with muslim undertones but not representative of what practicing muslims would do in that situation if that makes any sense. anyways, onto my analysis of the story: Characters we had a wide range of characters in this book, starting with our main, Danyal, he's not a studious kid. He is charming and sweet and very light-hearted (and ok he's a little conceited about his looks but hes a 19 year old boy, that's kind of expected) and he's an amazing chef-in-training (which gave him extra points in my book) but he's pretty bad when it comes to studies Danyal's character is easy to love. he's not judgemental, he's the one trying to bridge the gap that formed between his friends BUT danyal says some stupid crap that i found was sometimes offensive (more to come on that) the whole premise of the story is that Danyal is in love with his best friend's sister, Kaval, who is very very pretty, comes from a family of wealth and status and honestly, she's kind of out of his league. but boy doesn't care, he wants to marry her. in the meantime, danyal's mother has been setting all these arranged marriage meeting for him to find his potential life partner and one day he meets Bisma, a nerdy girl with a Past and a lot of pain i really, really liked Bisma's character. I thought she was really well-written. she had an added layer of depth to her that made her feel Human. the relationship she has with her little sister, Adorable. I was really worried when her "past" was mentioned bc the ability for that to go wrong was endless but I liked how the focus was on who she was current day and not the mistake she made before the story continues when Danyal is chosen to be representing his class in an academic championship where he has to give a speech on Winston Churchill and because he has no brain cells, he asks Bisma to help him and la la la let the romcom commence Religion i've read a LOT of books that had horrible muslim representation in my day and it always pains me to see it and then i have to publicly drag the book and so forth this book is kind of different because there were some good aspects. i liked how the author put forth the main rules on romance (the not being alone together, no intimacy before marriage, having a chaperon present etc. etc.) but I found it had a weird, convoluted, and sometimes just Wrong way of explaining it I ALSO FOUND THAT THE BOOK DIDN'T REALLY FOLLOW IT'S OWN RULES AND rules, beliefs, and acts of Islam were trivialized or joked about, especially by our main character to get a little chuckle from the reader. and it just made me so upset!!!!!!!!! especially bc it's written by an ownvoice author like 😭😭 dude you know better than to joke about these things. you know how sacred these things are so whyyyyyyy like make your bad jokes but just keep religion out of it pls im begging here also, the main character's best friend (and brother of the pretty, rich girl) started becoming more religious and started attending the mosque lectures and i was like omg!! are we going to see an extra dimensional character here but no, once he started caring more about his religion, he turned into a complete plank of wood. his entire personality was just policing everyone for their sins, being stoic and serious about everything, and in the end, he was the one who had to 'lighten' up and change fdjflkajlkj WHY ARE ALL RELIGIOUS PEOPLE SEEN IN THAT WAY IM !!!! so that pissed me off too :D Other Parts I really liked the conversation we got on historical figures, especially the ones that write history and how they can change it to suit their narrative, especially concerning the legacy of winston churchill. there was talk on colonialism and the bengal famine and it was done in a very informative but not preachy way. i really liked that. I also really liked how easy, light, and engaging the book was. it flew by for me (and im having trouble concentrating on three sentences at the moment, so that's a Win) i also for some reason enjoyed the romance. halal issues aside, (i stopped looking at it as a halal, muslim romance, that helped) i liked how the relationship progressed, how sweet and kind and helpful they were to each other. how they trusted and talked to each other like yes, communication!! dialogue!! speaking to each other!! finally some good freaking food or maybe i'm just so starved for soft romcoms ft. muslim characters that i went easy on this idk, everything's a mess anyways, that's all the words I have for today. i dont have a conclusion and i for sure don't know if you should read this or not. im still questioning if i should have myself. eARC provided by Netgalley for an honest review. Thank you Netgalley!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Neelam

    Thank you to Hodder Books and Netgalley for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review. I was really disappointed when I read this book. I was hoping to see nuanced Muslim rep in this book however that is not what was in this book. I was really excited about this book, it sounded so cute and while the story between Danyal and Bisma was kinda cute I had some serious issues with the Muslim rep. The story between Danyal and Bisma was nice and there were some good parts especially the discussi Thank you to Hodder Books and Netgalley for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review. I was really disappointed when I read this book. I was hoping to see nuanced Muslim rep in this book however that is not what was in this book. I was really excited about this book, it sounded so cute and while the story between Danyal and Bisma was kinda cute I had some serious issues with the Muslim rep. The story between Danyal and Bisma was nice and there were some good parts especially the discussion on colonialism and whitewashing of history I found that culture and Islamic practices are often confused and mixed together and presented as one and the same which I had issues with as the cultural practices often contradict the Islamic practices. The Islamic practices were also really twisted to suit whatever point the author was making which I found really irritating as it would create more misconceptions about Islam. How the explanations of aspects of Islam were explained seemed a bit weird at times too. I didn’t understand why some things were written in the way that they were. For example, the way the reasoning for arranged marriages were explained, essentially a halal way to have sex had me doing a double take and that wasn’t the only time I was at a loss for words as to why certain things were worded the way they were. This was one of many occasions where Islamic practices were twisted and used to make a point rather than actually show what they are. I was pretty angry by the end of the book. I am also tired of seeing “religious” characters shown as judgemental and just boring one dimensional characters. Danyal’s friend did nothing but haram police the other characters and was shown as judgemental towards his friends choices and that he was the only one that needed to “change” I just wish we could get more complex characters when it comes to someone practicing their faith instead of leaning into stereotypes. In fact basically all side characters were one dimensional stereotypes and I was rolling my eyes constantly. There was also a scene where Danyal and Bisma kiss on stage in front of family friends and teachers and then Danyal’s mum throws her shoe at him and proceeds to hit him with said shoe. It was written in a light hearted joking way and then later his mum says sorry that she had to do that and it was to keep up appearances. I just could not believe that something that is actual ABUSE and an issue that many children deal with was used as a joke like this. It’s completely unacceptable. There a couple things I did like seeing in the book. How the legacy of Churchill was discussed in the book and how he may not have been the amazing hero that everyone believes him to be. We get to see that there is more to history than what is written or learnt about. It just depends where you are in the world and what books you read. There was also some relatable parts of the story, how Danyal was seen as a failure because he wasn’t a studious student and excelled in a parent approved field. The double stands in society that Bisma has to deal with too was so heartbreaking yet so realistic. Girls are always held to a much higher standard in Asian society than boys and girls are always blamed when they are less than perfect. So I really felt for Bisma especially how her dad treated her. However the small positives were not enough for me to overlook the glaring issues in the book. From the awful stereotypical Muslim rep to the one dimensional characters and a story where trying to show that Danyal is “not like other Muslims” meaning he is “progressive” made me incredibly angry. I was so disappointed with the Muslim rep in this book especially as it’s ownvoices. I did like some aspects of the story but I just wished the characters had been more complex and had actual nuanced rep rather than stereotypes.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Emmawiththebooks

    I was really pleasantly surprised by this book! I absolutely loved it! Danyal was such a loveable main character, and I loved his relationship with Bisma, as well as Bisma’s relationship with her sister! I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun, family focused emotional read! **Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for my honest review**

  5. 4 out of 5

    Angelica

    First, let me say that this was so much better than I originally thought it would be. I admit that I almost quit reading this book at the start. I was not at all a fan of the main character, Danyal, in the first few chapters. He appeared to be extremely shallow and kind of annoying and I was not feeling it. But, I kept reading. And you know what? I am so glad I did because I ended up greatly enjoying this book and ended up really rooting for his character to succeed.  Danyal has a lot of growth t First, let me say that this was so much better than I originally thought it would be. I admit that I almost quit reading this book at the start. I was not at all a fan of the main character, Danyal, in the first few chapters. He appeared to be extremely shallow and kind of annoying and I was not feeling it. But, I kept reading. And you know what? I am so glad I did because I ended up greatly enjoying this book and ended up really rooting for his character to succeed.  Danyal has a lot of growth throughout the novel, learning to have confidence in himself, as well as learning what it truly means to be in love and be happy. He ended up being way different than he appeared to be in his opening lines, which had him shamelessly trying to flirt with a girl and failing at it. This is a YA romance so let's talk about love. Personally, I really liked the romance aspect of the story between Danyal and Bisma.  At the beginning, Danyal doesn't pay much mind to Bisma as she is not the idealized woman of his dreams. That said, he also does not act dismissive and disrespectful to Bisma either, always treating her with the kindness and respect she deserves. I also liked that their relationship developed organically over time as they learned more about themselves and each other. Aside from it being a romance, this book touches upon a lot of other important and sensitive topics.  I liked how Danyal focused his essay on Churchill on the causes and horrific effects of colonialism and how history obliterates the sins of its heroes and how that is an issue that has negative consequences even today. I learned things about Winston Churchill that I'm sure none of us who attended western schools were taught. Like the fact that Churchill had a hand in creating the man-made famine of 2-3 million Indians in Bengal. Another thing I liked was the use of religion in the novel. I am not Muslim, so I have very little knowledge of the accuracy or effective way in which Islam is presented in this novel. But, I did enjoy the way religion was a casual part of the character's lives, at least in a general way. As someone who does identify as religious, it was refreshing to see young people in novels accept and respect aspects of their religions and be complacent with them. For example, the fact that the main character Danyal was a virgin and alright with being one because that is what his religion called for. I also liked how not every one of his religion was on the same level of faith, for example, Intezar who was certainly not a virgin because he did not adhere to that part of his religion, or Sohrab, who was extremely religious. I think it made everything seem much more complex and real, which I really enjoyed. Although, I don't necessarily like it when people who fully commit to their religion or belief, regardless of what that religion is, are depicted as being fanatics or like they're boring and doing too much. In the end, I really liked this book. It made me laugh on multiple occasions. I listened through parts of the audiobook and really enjoyed the narrator as well. He did a fantastic job at reading and really perfecting Danyal's humor. I would totally recommend this one, especially as an audiobook! **I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.** Follow Me Here Too: My Blog || Twitter || Bloglovin' || Instagram || Tumblr || Pinterest

  6. 4 out of 5

    The Nerd Daily

    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Simone Ritcher There are a lot of reasons for you to pick up More Than Just a Pretty Face by Syed M. Massood. I would like to introduce you to the most important one, which above all else will make you fall head over heels in love with this book: Danyal Jilani. Our main character, Danyal, is everything we love. He is a confident, handsome 19-year-old high school student who works part time as a chef in a French restaurant. His Muslim parents try t Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Simone Ritcher There are a lot of reasons for you to pick up More Than Just a Pretty Face by Syed M. Massood. I would like to introduce you to the most important one, which above all else will make you fall head over heels in love with this book: Danyal Jilani. Our main character, Danyal, is everything we love. He is a confident, handsome 19-year-old high school student who works part time as a chef in a French restaurant. His Muslim parents try to set him up with various marriage prospects, but Danyal only has one girl on his mind: the beautiful Kaval. When his parents introduce him to the superhero-shirt wearing book-nerd Bisma, who has a secret of her own, he befriends her and even asks her for advice regarding Kaval. He accidentally gets nominated for the Renaissance Man, a competition in his high school, which usually only features the best and brightest. Danyal knows that he is neither, at least not in the GPA, grades, and books kind of way. He is supposed to write and present a historical topic about Winston Churchill and is torn between what his teacher, his father and Kaval expect of him; which is praising the man, and, telling the truth about some of his actions while colonialising India. He asks Bisma for help and somewhere in between trips to restaurants, library meetings and early morning runs, Danyal realises that maybe Kaval isn’t the only beautiful girl in his life. First of all, the representation! I was so happy to read a novel in which I could dive into a culture, beliefs, and a point of view, which I had not previously been exposed to (and I am asking myself: Why not?). I think this is an important story, especially in our current day and age. While we get a swoon-worthy, self-confident desi chef (who secretly isn’t as confident as he makes himself out to be) and who makes fantastic croissants, we also get to see the world of a Pakistani-American teenager, trying to navigate his life between ‘the American dream’ and religion. The novel explores a young man trying to understand the world as it is, while still believing in humanity, even though he discovers historic events contrary to that belief and realises that racism is devastatingly still a thing. Danyal also tries to please his parents and make himself happy and, above all, we see Danyal trying to choose between right and wrong and questioning, who even decides what is acceptable and what isn’t? Besides the themes that will undoubtedly make you think about the world we live in and our own parts in it, this is a story about love, first love, and true love. It is a story about friendship, about fighting for one another, about family, and about being unapologetically yourself. If you, like me, love a story with relatable characters, a fierce main character who indeed is more than just a pretty face, and a romance to absolutely die for, this is the book for you. Furthermore, if you enjoy good character development and superb pacing, I will promise you, that you will adore this novel. In short: I laughed, I cried, and from now on, I consider “you have a beautiful face pond” to be the compliments of all compliments. It is my absolute pleasure to give More Than Just A Pretty Face a score from 10/10, accompanied by an invisible 100 emoji.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Finitha Jose

    The first thing that caught my eye is the accolades heaped on the book by the senior editor. I must confess that I read it with a smirk (ever the pessimist!) that is immediately wiped off and replaced by a smile once the story began. By the time it was nearing the end, I was full on laughing mode. Well, looks like some people can actually make lemonade out of all the lemons life throws at them. This story is one of the instances which shows us that there is more than one way of looking at a situ The first thing that caught my eye is the accolades heaped on the book by the senior editor. I must confess that I read it with a smirk (ever the pessimist!) that is immediately wiped off and replaced by a smile once the story began. By the time it was nearing the end, I was full on laughing mode. Well, looks like some people can actually make lemonade out of all the lemons life throws at them. This story is one of the instances which shows us that there is more than one way of looking at a situation. Danyal's life had all ingredients for a disaster -- a dominant father who has no faith in him, foolish first love, bullying classmates -- ah, the list goes on. Added to this is the fact that he is not exactly bright, academically that is. Does that hinder him? Nope, that brilliant smile is forever plastered on his face, however hard everything turns out to be. In a way, he reminds me of many manga characters; especially Naruto, and also Asta in 'Black Clover'. His optimism and the witty take on things is highly infectious and that brings him the help he needed every single time. The way he brings together his two extremist friends takes us into the nuances of modern Muslim lifestyle which makes it more than just a love story. This is the story of a laid back Muslim boy who strives hard to balance the desi traditions with modern ideas and above all, to give voice to the truths that we conveniently forget. If you, like me, love an easy to read, fast-paced story that makes you laugh and think, then this is for you. With a bunch of unforgettable characters and hugely enjoyable dialogues, this wouldn't fail to make an impression. Highly recommended!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Full review HERE I was looking forward to reading this new YA story featuring two Muslim main characters, but I have to say that I expected a little more from it. At first I couldn't really vibe with Danyal, the main character whose POV we follow for the whole book. He isn't very much interested in school, but he's a charming and funny boy. My issue was that sometimes it felt like he was trying a bi The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Full review HERE I was looking forward to reading this new YA story featuring two Muslim main characters, but I have to say that I expected a little more from it. At first I couldn't really vibe with Danyal, the main character whose POV we follow for the whole book. He isn't very much interested in school, but he's a charming and funny boy. My issue was that sometimes it felt like he was trying a bit too hard to be liked by other people. Also, he sometimes made fun of some Muslim traditions and rules and I believe some people might get upset by this kind of behavior. I didn't particularly enjoy it when he made jokes about religion, he was always repeating himself and it wasn't as funny as the author probably hoped it was all going to be. Bisma as a love interest came a bit late into the picture in my opinion. I would have liked to see Danyal develop feelings for her a bit sooner. Also, she seems like such an interesting girl, but I feel like we only got a glimpse of that. Even though I loved how supportive she was of Danyal, I would have liked to see more of her personality shine through the pages of the book. This YA novel tackles some political aspects too, which I found very interesting. I enjoyed reading about Winston Churchill and how the perception most of the people have of him is only a part of the man he truly was. He did some horrible things and I'm glad this book put the focus on them and gave Danyal the chance to talk about this topic in front of the whole school. It was an enjoyable read with some interesting aspects, but I overall expected more from it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Fadwa (Word Wonders)

    DNF @ 30% I did not vibe with the writing of this one and every character felt like a caricature of a person, having one single feature or characteristic that carries them through the book. The dialogue is also super awkward, so i'd rather...read something else.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)

    Thank you to Hear Our Voices BT for including me in the blog tour and thank you to the publishers for the gifted review copy! When I started this book I didn't really know what to expect. The writing was good and it definitely felt like a contemporary. The pacing was pretty quick and after the first two chapters I found myself pretty interested in the story. I didn't feel hooked until about half way through because that was when everything started picking up. I rarely read contemporary and so thi Thank you to Hear Our Voices BT for including me in the blog tour and thank you to the publishers for the gifted review copy! When I started this book I didn't really know what to expect. The writing was good and it definitely felt like a contemporary. The pacing was pretty quick and after the first two chapters I found myself pretty interested in the story. I didn't feel hooked until about half way through because that was when everything started picking up. I rarely read contemporary and so this was a pleasant surprise. I'll be honest and say that there were a lot of topics in this book that I wasn't expecting. I was very surprised when the topic of Winston Churchill was brought up. I loved that there was this challenge and that we went deeper into his history and the horrible things that he did. I especially loved the Danyal challenged that. I loved that he didn't give everyone what they wanted to hear and instead unraveled everything and spoke up about what he believed people should know. The book also had a lot of focus on culture and traditions. I am Muslim so I was really interested to see what this book would bring. I'll be honest and say that some comments irritated me and some I felt were a little problematic. When it comes to Muslim representation I think most of the time it really depends on the person. Not every Muslim person is the same. I don't think I have the right to tell anyone what they should or shouldn't be doing. I'll just say that the Muslim representation fell a little flat for me personally at times. Some came off as very judgmental and harsh and I was really looking for a character who was moderate and would make me feel seen as a Muslim person. I didn't really like the stereotype around Muslims being a focus. It's often shoved in our faces and that annoyed me the most. It didn't feel like an entirely Muslim centered book and the characters in this definitely don't sum up what being a Muslim is. There's a lot of mentions of what it's like for certain things in Islam but it felt kind of ignored I guess? Some things were explained really strangely and I just didn't get the reasoning behind it. I honestly read it as just another contemporary mostly. I enjoyed it more that way. I will be honest and say that for some time I wasn't really sure how I felt about Danyal. As the story progressed I liked him a little better. Especially when he took on Renaissance Man. Bisma was an interesting character and so was her little sister. I wish we had gotten more of Bisma though. I wanted to understand her a little better. I liked her relationship with Danyal and the way it progressed. I won't say too much so I don't spoil this for anyone planning on reading it. Danyal's friends got a little getting used to and up until now I'm not entirely sure how I feel about them. Overall, the story was pretty interesting. The best part for me was Renaissance Man and Danyal working out the things that he did and what he presented in the end. I also loved the food mentions and reading about Danyal cooking and all. It felt very comforting and it was a lot different than what I was expecting and it definitely left some room for a lot of thoughts.

  11. 4 out of 5

    chloe ♡

    i received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. all opinions below are my own. 4.5 stars more than just a pretty face is such an adorable and funny book, and i loved it a lot more than i expected! the cuteness of the novel lingers like the delicious aftertaste of a heartily made dessert (the food reference will make sense later!) and i could not stop smiling. i cannot wait for more people to read it – with the many, many terrible things going on in the world right now, it’s i received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. all opinions below are my own. 4.5 stars more than just a pretty face is such an adorable and funny book, and i loved it a lot more than i expected! the cuteness of the novel lingers like the delicious aftertaste of a heartily made dessert (the food reference will make sense later!) and i could not stop smiling. i cannot wait for more people to read it – with the many, many terrible things going on in the world right now, it’s just exactly what i needed, and i’m sure many readers will feel the exact same way! “tell me, daynal jilani, how exactly are you more than just a pretty face?” i gave her an adorable, irresistible grin. “i’m an absolutely gorgeous face.” how do i even begin? the characters in this book are all so lovable and well-written, and it would take me a very long time if i were to list out every single thing i liked about them. reading this novel felt like i was slowly getting to know and befriend every single one of the characters, and i don’t want to ruin this experience for people who haven’t read it yet, so i’ll try my best to keep it short and brief: danyal jilani, our main character, is a self-proclaimed pretty boy, high school repeater, and aspiring chef, and among all of these identities, his parents are not quite pleased with the latter two. despite his poor academic results, danyal’s a very charming person and has a heart of gold, so reading from his point of view was a very enjoyable experience for me. i began rooting for him the very moment i started reading, and i really admired how he always has his eyes set on his goal of getting into culinary school, works really hard towards it, and carries on despite all the doubts and skepticism other people seem to have about him and his dreams. danyal has always had a huge crush on his best friend’s sister, but when his parents set up an arranged marriage meeting for him and introduce him to bisma, a smart and nerdy microbiology university student at berkley, he has no choice but to comply. i loved bisma – she’s such a kind and helpful person, and a really good friend too. she and danyal had so much chemistry right from the beginning, and i loved seeing them slowly develop feelings for each other. bisma’s sister, suri, reminded me of lara jean song covey’s sister, kitty, in the tatbilb films (not!! the!! books!! unpopular opinion: the book version of kitty is petty and embarrasses her sister for the wrong reasons, it’s unforgivable behaviour). she loves playing matchmaker, often visiting danyal out of the blue and setting him up with her sister. it’s clear that she cares a lot about bisma’s happiness and future, and seeing her take initiative in making sure that her sister gets what she deserves warms my heart ❤ i also really loved the parts about food. danyal is really good at cooking – he not only makes indian food such as kheer (which i would really love to try, by the way! it’s sara‘s favorite pudding, after all) for large gatherings, but also works part-time at a french restaurant. my mouth watered when i read about the meals danyal makes – everything sounds so delicious! i also really liked how he sees food not only as something that can fill people’s bellies, but also as a medium for spreading love and joy among people. for such a light-hearted read, more than just a pretty face also managed to make me reflect on myself and the way i consume information. in the book, danyal is chosen for a school competition called the renaissance man, where he has to give a speech about winston churchill. he then learns from his dad that winston churchill’s policies led to a terrible famine in bengal, and is unsure whether he should describe churchill as a war hero or a ruthless villain in his project. in history textbooks, winston churchill has always been described as a successful leader and admirable figure, and when i learned this in class, i never thought to challenge it. danyal’s story provides so much food for thought about the interpretation of history and standing up for what you believe is right despite what other people expect from you. it also prompted me to do more research on the 1943 bengal famine and educate myself on this little-known side of history.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Fanna

    August 02, 2020: This ownvoices YA contemporary romance is a delight to pick up. A Pakistani-American boy who loves to cook delicious food and has a crush on the most popular girl in his class, finds himself in an academic competition that pushes him to take the help of the Pakistani-American girl in his class—one he isn’t interested in but one he finds himself cooking for, laughing with, and inspired by. In addition to being a budding romance novel, it dives into the historical accuracy and hor August 02, 2020: This ownvoices YA contemporary romance is a delight to pick up. A Pakistani-American boy who loves to cook delicious food and has a crush on the most popular girl in his class, finds himself in an academic competition that pushes him to take the help of the Pakistani-American girl in his class—one he isn’t interested in but one he finds himself cooking for, laughing with, and inspired by. In addition to being a budding romance novel, it dives into the historical accuracy and horrifying reality of the years of colonialism in the Indian subcontinent and I personally appreciate it so much. I'm an ownvoices reader for the desi representation but not for the Muslim representation in this book. Please pay heed to the ownvoices Muslim readers above my opinion. This review is meant for a promotional blog tour but that doesn't influence my opinion in any way. March 25, 2020: So many amazing contemporary authors like Nandini Bajpai, Erin Hahn, Rahul Kanakia, Sabina Khan and Adiba Jaigirdar have praised this one, of course I'm super excited to read it. Also, I just get so happy seeing desi names, uff. Thank you, Hodder & Stoughton for the digital review copy via Netgalley! February 28, 2020: As someone who has always dreamt of falling in love with a chef, this is going to hit me too personally. A desi romance with arranged marriage drama against a backdrop of family & food is exactly what I wish for.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Fizah(Books tales by me)

    Thank you Hear Our Voices for including me in this blog tour. I don't know where to start. Okie, let me try... In this book, all of the characters have Pakistani origin and are Muslims. As a Pakistani, when I heard about this book I got so excited that finally, someone is going to represent us. The problem is when an author mentions religion or culture, things can be sensitive if you miss-represent something. But here the scene was  SUPER AWKWARD. Danyal Jilani, our protagonist, is not the smartest Thank you Hear Our Voices for including me in this blog tour. I don't know where to start. Okie, let me try... In this book, all of the characters have Pakistani origin and are Muslims. As a Pakistani, when I heard about this book I got so excited that finally, someone is going to represent us. The problem is when an author mentions religion or culture, things can be sensitive if you miss-represent something. But here the scene was  SUPER AWKWARD. Danyal Jilani, our protagonist, is not the smartest person but he is humorous and of course pretty as the title mentioned. He can be pretty smart when he wants, but no he kept saying offensive things, trying to manipulate religion and justifying it. He isn't even a good friend. He is ignorant and self-centred, his views regarding life are pretty problematic. Did I mention he wants to be a chief in future? Kaval is Danyal's crush, she is pretty smart and from a sound background. Danyal is smitten with her but isn't able to see that she is way out of her league. Bisma, another problematic character who one day got angry with her parents. So in the result, she went to a party, got drunk, slept with a guy who recorded everything and posted it online (Why not? we all Muslims do this when we get angry, who cares if drinking and other things are prohibited, right?). She doesn't want to lie to someone, so she tells this story to every potential guy. I got the point that if you made a mistake and wants to overcome, people don't let you do it. But here, she never said that she is guilty or something. Her father is angry on all this scenario so he is the bad guy in the story...Pretty Cool. Sohrab, Kaval's brother, the only character who was religious but with the story his character became one dimensional and plan. He turned into an annoying guy who doesn't have a life except preaching. Dude, I've seen a lot of practical Muslims around me who prays but also do fun and other stuff in the limit. It's not the first book where a religious person is shown to be a judgemental character, Why even they do that? It is not the right rep. If I'll talk about the story, it had some serious potential that's why I am more annoyed than ever. I liked the school part, I liked the Danyal being enthusiastic about being the chef part, I liked the way a few situations were handled. This book got so much potential but it just vanished with the story. I am so so angry about this kind of Muslim representation. Even this book even don't know what to do, characters were saying something doing something. Beliefs and religion are not a joke, but characters were joking around by using them. No this is not cool. Did I mention how some dialogues were so problematic?. At many places, the writing style made me bang my head in the wall. PRE-MARTIAL SEX IS PROHIBITED IN ISLAM AND YOU CAN'T JUSTIFY IT. It seems to me that the whole book was trying to justify it which made me so angry. I don't have any problem with any of this thing if this book just doesn't claim to be a Muslim rep...BECAUSE IT ISN'T A MUSLIM REPRESENTATION and it hurts to see books like this.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Darla

    There are many things to like about this book: 1) Danyal is a very likable character who is more self-aware than he gives himself credit for. 2) Bisma has a back story that makes you root for her to find better things. 3) The "lets be friends and collaborate" trope. 4) An inside look at what it looks like for desi families to begin the arranged marriage process. 5) Lots of talk about good food. 6) The Renaissance Man competition. I picked this up for the #ownvoices component and am not qualified There are many things to like about this book: 1) Danyal is a very likable character who is more self-aware than he gives himself credit for. 2) Bisma has a back story that makes you root for her to find better things. 3) The "lets be friends and collaborate" trope. 4) An inside look at what it looks like for desi families to begin the arranged marriage process. 5) Lots of talk about good food. 6) The Renaissance Man competition. I picked this up for the #ownvoices component and am not qualified to rate this title on its authenticity. I really liked the book and learned some new things from reading it. I consider that time well spent. If you liked "Frankly In Love," I also recommend this debut. Thank you to Little, Brown Books and Edelweiss+ for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Vicky Again

    short version: waffling on whether I would or wouldn't recommend this. I really enjoyed the storyline in which Danyal had a huge period of growth and began to think critically about colonialism, what people teach in history class, and the ways this influences our modern world. It was done well and there was lots of time well-spent on Danyal's struggles in choosing between what personally would benefit him and be a safe option (praising Churchill) and the more academically/socially-dangerous but short version: waffling on whether I would or wouldn't recommend this. I really enjoyed the storyline in which Danyal had a huge period of growth and began to think critically about colonialism, what people teach in history class, and the ways this influences our modern world. It was done well and there was lots of time well-spent on Danyal's struggles in choosing between what personally would benefit him and be a safe option (praising Churchill) and the more academically/socially-dangerous but also more personally-rewarding option (critiquing Churchill's role in the Bengal Famine). I think this is a moral conflict a lot of people come across at some point in their life, and seeing how Danyal handled it was good to think about, as well as enjoyable to read. This was probably my favorite part--followed closely by the friendship between Bisma & Danyal. However, I will say that I started out skeptical, because Danyal is pretty rude in the beginning and a bit objectifying. I'm also on the line about how Bisma and her storyline was used TW: (view spoiler)[ non-consensual recording & distribution of Bisma having sex (hide spoiler)] , and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about her role as a supporting character to Danyal's growth. I also can't comment on the #OwnVoices Muslim representation--I would suggest checking out what #OwnVoices readers think, because some have enjoyed and others have not. In general, it wasn't a negative experience for me, and Danyal does grow a lot as a person throughout the story and isn't the jerk he is in the beginning. I read this super quickly, and I also loved reading about the cooking Danyal does!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Fafa's Book Corner

    Mini review: DNF I received an E-ARC as apart of the Hear Our Voices blog tour via Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was really excited to read this book! Unfortunately I didn't enjoy it. There wasn't anything that I liked about this book. I didn't care for the characters or the plot. However I am happy to see more Muslim books being published. I still recommend as I'm sure there are others who will enjoy this.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Adiba Jaigirdar

    I loved this book for MANY reasons, but one of them was that it spoke so starkly and wonderfully about the Bengal famine which often barely registers with non-Bengalis. The book also grapples with what history means, both in the grand scale of things like colonialism and the hero worship of Churchill, and in the smaller scale of our personal history...and how those two things intertwine together. It's such a smart book, but it's also funny and swoony. It had me laughing out loud at multiple poin I loved this book for MANY reasons, but one of them was that it spoke so starkly and wonderfully about the Bengal famine which often barely registers with non-Bengalis. The book also grapples with what history means, both in the grand scale of things like colonialism and the hero worship of Churchill, and in the smaller scale of our personal history...and how those two things intertwine together. It's such a smart book, but it's also funny and swoony. It had me laughing out loud at multiple points. It's the exact kind of romcom I wish I had when I was a teen!

  18. 4 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram

  19. 5 out of 5

    Leah Johnson

    I can't say enough good things about this book. It's smart, it's funny, it's swoon-worthy. It's all of the things that should be on our shelves right now and always. 10/10 have no choice but to stan.

  20. 5 out of 5

    ikram

    full review on my blog! - Before reading this, I expected it would be just like another Muslim romance book and I did not expect it would be completely different! Danyal is more focused on his love with cooking and I just find it adorable. - I like it when a book lets teenagers be teenagers, I’m glad More Than Just a Pretty Face serves the trope. - And oh, it’s friends to lovers trope! I know you’d probably think, “isn’t it arranged marriage?” just wait and see! - Alright, here comes the best frien full review on my blog! - Before reading this, I expected it would be just like another Muslim romance book and I did not expect it would be completely different! Danyal is more focused on his love with cooking and I just find it adorable. - I like it when a book lets teenagers be teenagers, I’m glad More Than Just a Pretty Face serves the trope. - And oh, it’s friends to lovers trope! I know you’d probably think, “isn’t it arranged marriage?” just wait and see! - Alright, here comes the best friends. Danyal has two best friends; Zar and Sohrab, in which they’re polar opposite. Whereas Zar is more laid back Muslim, Sohrab is the devoted one. - So, I’d like to talk more about Sohrab. I can understand why the rest of the characters don’t really like him, but it doesn't mean it's okay to portray Sohrab in a negative way. - I DID NOT expect this book to turn into something heavy. There’s a discussion about historical erasure and colonialisme that are delivered in a way that younger audiences would understand. - Bisma Akram (hey we almost have the same name!) is one of my favorite characters beside Danyal and Suri. - For someone who has done something that is kinda unacceptable in Muslim community, I appreciate Bisma’s bravery for doing what’s right. - Really, this doesn’t feel like rom-com because the interaction and chemistry don’t grow until halfway through the book. - Which is why I just wish that their relationship is more explored, I feel like it’s a little forced. Same thing goes to Danyal’s relationship with his best friends. I want more interaction in between them. The lack of interaction makes other characters feel two dimensional. - I love the characterization of Danyal. In fact, I can relate to him. Although I can see where the author is going to take Danyal--it doesn’t quite reach it, if you know what I mean? Yes, Danyal is amazing, but there’s something that makes me think “oh I wish he was more developed.” = There are a lot of graphic details of food...and it makes me hungry. - This is not a halal-romance, so if you have a problem with that, I don’t think it’s wise for you to pick this book up! - Otherwise, I also think romance is not the central point of the book. ---- Initial thought, August 2nd 2020: Have you ever relate to a book? I just have.

  21. 5 out of 5

    coco

    3.5 stars I thought that this was such an adorable book. Right before reading this I had just DNFd my first book in years and this really brought my spirits up. I can't really speak on the representation in this book because I am not familiar with Muslim customs. However, I am really glad that we're starting to see more diverse books being put out. Danyal and Bisma were such lovable characters. Sure, Danyal said some questionable things, but his charisma really won me over. The first half of this 3.5 stars I thought that this was such an adorable book. Right before reading this I had just DNFd my first book in years and this really brought my spirits up. I can't really speak on the representation in this book because I am not familiar with Muslim customs. However, I am really glad that we're starting to see more diverse books being put out. Danyal and Bisma were such lovable characters. Sure, Danyal said some questionable things, but his charisma really won me over. The first half of this book was pretty slow but I liked getting to know the characters so I didn't really mind. The plot only really begins at the 50 percent mark and that's when I started to become really invested in the story. I was also really surprised to find myself intrigued with the Churchill storyline. I'm not a big fan of history but Syed M. Masood wrote about it in such a captivating way and I was moved by Danyal's commitment to his beliefs. Overall, this was a really good book and I would definitely recommend it! Thank you to Netgalley and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for providing me an ARC in exchange for a honest review

  22. 5 out of 5

    anna ✩

    This book was just WAY TOO CUTE! These are 4 stars completely well deserved now that my heart is filled with love and joy. Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. More Than Just a Pretty Face follows Danyal Jilani, a high school senior with a dream of becoming a chef. Danyal comes from a very traditional family who are constantly trying to find the right woman for him to marry, and constantly trying to get him to go to college. But This book was just WAY TOO CUTE! These are 4 stars completely well deserved now that my heart is filled with love and joy. Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. More Than Just a Pretty Face follows Danyal Jilani, a high school senior with a dream of becoming a chef. Danyal comes from a very traditional family who are constantly trying to find the right woman for him to marry, and constantly trying to get him to go to college. But Danyal is happy with his choice of going to culinary school and trying to achieve his dream of becoming a chef, no matter what anyone else thinks. Unexpectedly, Danyal is chosen to represent his History class in the Renaissance Man - a school wide academic competition. And with the pressure of trying to not completely fail his essay and presentation, Danyal accepts the help of Bisma Akram - a microbiology student with a love for comic books and libraries. Danyal and Bisma's story was just so heartwarming and incredibly cute that I can't help being giddy about them. This book covers teenage romance in a way that will just fill your heart with love and hope that teenage romance can be so much more than what you might be used to. Not only is Danyal and Bisma's story a love story, it is also a story of family, tradition, heartbreak, and societal expectations. More Than Just a Pretty Face ropes in very serious societal and political issues into the story that give it much more depth and all the more reason to love these characters. I must admit I found it pretty difficult to get past the first half of this book, but after that the story was sailing and interesting and page gripping. If you are looking for a fun light hearted young romance which also involves some pretty serious world issues, this is the book for you!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. More Than Just a Pretty Face was a pretty cute book and it was also an eye opener. Mostly because of how people view one another and how they might love one another. It's definitely a beauty on the inside vs. the outside kind of book. Even if people were viewed as beautiful or handsome they still had to somewhat prove that they were more than just a pretty face. Even if it took them a while to figure out how to do so. In it, I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. More Than Just a Pretty Face was a pretty cute book and it was also an eye opener. Mostly because of how people view one another and how they might love one another. It's definitely a beauty on the inside vs. the outside kind of book. Even if people were viewed as beautiful or handsome they still had to somewhat prove that they were more than just a pretty face. Even if it took them a while to figure out how to do so. In it, you will meet Danyal and Bisma. Both are kind of seen as fucks up from their own family. Danyal has dreams of being a chef due to his love of cooking. There's just the small tidbit of him not being completely amazing at school. Nothing really held his interest except for a girl named Kaval. Ugh, Kaval.. she was not my cup of tea. She really annoyed me with how shallow she was throughout this book. I'm glad that Danyal figured out that she and he just weren't meant to be. Even if it took him a freaking long ass time to do so. That being said, him and Bisma were completely adorable and shippable. I loved them so much and it didn't bother me about Bisma's past. Luckily for her, he didn't really either. Yeah, it was a shock at first but they started off as friends. Then everything eventually developed on a deeper level for them and it was just really cute to watch all of that happening. In the end, I really enjoyed this book and I'm really happy that he became someone that everyone could look up to and be proud of. Especially his dad.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Maha

    an ARC was kindly sent to me by the publisher through Netgalley. Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton, this doesn’t affect my opinion in any way. okay, now that i’ve had a good night of sleep and gathered my thoughts, i think it’s time for a review. More Than Just a Pretty Face is actually a very great story. i was surprised to see how much fun i had while reading it. the book tells the story of danyal who is thrown into this competition against his will, so he seeks the help of bisma, this girl wh an ARC was kindly sent to me by the publisher through Netgalley. Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton, this doesn’t affect my opinion in any way. okay, now that i’ve had a good night of sleep and gathered my thoughts, i think it’s time for a review. More Than Just a Pretty Face is actually a very great story. i was surprised to see how much fun i had while reading it. the book tells the story of danyal who is thrown into this competition against his will, so he seeks the help of bisma, this girl whom he met just recently. it’s very well-written, and the plot was not boring at all. i absolutely loved all the talk about history and british colonization. i believe this book is a great way to make this very important issue more known amongst teens. i really liked how the author inserted it into his story and used it as a way of developing his character. i also didn’t mind it at all that the story was more about this than the romance as i was expecting, since it was actually really eye-opening. another thing that i liked was how this story isn’t about being muslim. a lot of the story i read by muslim authors are mainly about how islamophobia and how hard it is to be muslim nowadays, and while i deeply love those ones, More Than Just a Pretty Face is anything but that. it casts muslim characters, yes, but it’s a sappy, cute, fun contemporary, and i believe we deserve those type of stories too. with that being said, this book could’ve been a four-stars (or even a five-stars) read, if not for three issues i had with it that did hinder my enjoyment. first of all, i wish we’ve gotten more of danyal’s relationship with his father. in the beginning of the book, we see that their relationship is a rocky one, with a father constantly shaming his son for not having interests that are deemed honorable. he’s not okay with danyal wanting to be a chef instead of a doctor or engineer, which is the case of many poc families. i wish this was discussed in the book, rather than forgotten about towards the end. my second issue is some of the jokes that i found pretty offensive, especially at the beginning of the book. for example, when danyal and bisma meet for the first time, she tells him about how someone she previously slept had taken a video while they were having sex, so now there’s a sex tape going around, and he comments: "so you’re a porn star now?", and i just...yeah. in another scene bisma comments about how danyal is "such a girl" because he has a face routine or something like that. let’s just say i was not having a blast reading that. and finally, what really bugged me and annoyed me to death while reading this book, was the constant stereotyping of practicing muslims. one of danyal’s friends is seen as less fun and hard to hang out with because lately he spends 99% of his time practicing and when he does hang out, he shoves his beliefs down his freinds’ throats. as a fellow muslim, i know this stereotype is not only present with non-muslims, but also (and especially) among muslims. that’s why i was hoping the characters will start seeing that you can practice and be/have fun (it’s really not rocket science), but unfortunately that didn’t happen. how hard is it to believe that practicing doesn’t steer you away from having fun and living your life to the fullest? in conclusion, as i said in the beginning, More Than Just a Pretty Face is actually a book i did enjoy. i understand why people loved it and why others didn’t. i would recommend going into it knowing everything i said above and reading other muslim bloggers’ reviews. aside from that, this is a funny and cute story that would warm your heart. disclaimer: all quotations are from an ARC. this may be subject to change in the finished copy.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Henning

    This was so very funny, fresh, and timely!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Paula M. of Her Book Thoughts!

    I also made a playlist for this book HERE! "...there were some things you couldn’t compromise on. The things that were part of you, that made up who you were, had to be appreciated by the people who claimed to love you. Otherwise, they were just trying to make you what they were. That’s not love. That’s colonialism. " Right. How do I even start? This book played with my my emotions and my mind and I love every minute of it! In More Than Just A Pretty Face, you can expect a lot of swooni I also made a playlist for this book HERE! "...there were some things you couldn’t compromise on. The things that were part of you, that made up who you were, had to be appreciated by the people who claimed to love you. Otherwise, they were just trying to make you what they were. That’s not love. That’s colonialism. " Right. How do I even start? This book played with my my emotions and my mind and I love every minute of it! In More Than Just A Pretty Face, you can expect a lot of swooning. Like, a lot. But not only that, this book will also make you sad, laugh out loud and most importantly-- it will make you think. This is a story of a young muslim boy who learned the difference between what he wants and what he needs. We'll get to see young Danyal transition from being a boy to a man while being so charming and hilarious. At the same time, MTJAPF offers knowledge for those who are willing enough to grasp it. Reading from a male POV such as Danyals is very refreshing and I will say that a huge chunk of the reason why I like this book so much is because, well, Danyal is very likeable AND relatable. And by relatable I meant, I know a guy like him. The easygoing, full of confidence kind of guy. We all know a guy like Danyal for sure that's why it was extra fun to peel of his layers and watch him become more and more self-aware. I'm a huge fan of the parents of both of our main characters, and by fan I mean I liked how they were penned. I got angry at them, scratched my head a lot of times and questioned how they treated their kids. In short, I was really affected which just shows how fleshed out these characters are. Bisma, even with her minimal participation at some of the chapters, is very adorable and endearing. Her backstory is amazing and I really felt for this character. I like her so much that I want another book with her POV this time. More Than Just A Pretty Face has a set of engaging characters that will surely keep you interested. If there's one character that I think I didn't overly adored, it might be the one that the author set as the "religious" one. I feel like there should've been more chapters dedicated for this subplot. This is also the reason why I wasn't able to give this book a full five star rating as much I want to. I would really love to praise how the lovestory of Bisma and Danyal was done, but rather than focus on that beautiful aspect of the book, I'd like to highlight the awareness that this story left me instead. Living in a country that has been colonized for so long, I found myself absorbed and fully engrossed by Danyals Renaissance Man project. I could go on and on about how impressive this was executed by Syed Masood but I'd rather let you read the book. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading More Than Just A Pretty Face. I would recommend this book for any type of reader and even with any kind of mood you might be in. Danyal's entertaining narration will make you laugh, think and feel and thats already enough reason for you to pick up this book. I can not wait for more from Syed Masood!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Zoë ☆

    So..... I thought this was going to be a cute read, but instead it just made me very uncomfortable. Almost everyone in the main character's life just kept saying how dumb he is???? What's the point of that? And yeah the ending was quite predictable as well. The romance was cute though and that kept me reading (plus it was a very quick read). I wish I would have loved this, but unfortunately I didn't.. (I can't say anything about the muslim rep, but you can look up other reviews that talk about t So..... I thought this was going to be a cute read, but instead it just made me very uncomfortable. Almost everyone in the main character's life just kept saying how dumb he is???? What's the point of that? And yeah the ending was quite predictable as well. The romance was cute though and that kept me reading (plus it was a very quick read). I wish I would have loved this, but unfortunately I didn't.. (I can't say anything about the muslim rep, but you can look up other reviews that talk about that)

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christina (A Reader of Fictions)

    To be clear, I read one chapter of More Than Just a Pretty Face before DNFing. I think the writing is great; Masood has a funny and conversational style that would usually be up my alley. What worried me, though, was the way the MC thinks about and, worse, talks to women, based on his conversation with his crush. When I looked up reviews (check the one and two star reviews), Muslim reviewers have pointed out ways in which they find this own voices rep problematic. Between these two things, I've To be clear, I read one chapter of More Than Just a Pretty Face before DNFing. I think the writing is great; Masood has a funny and conversational style that would usually be up my alley. What worried me, though, was the way the MC thinks about and, worse, talks to women, based on his conversation with his crush. When I looked up reviews (check the one and two star reviews), Muslim reviewers have pointed out ways in which they find this own voices rep problematic. Between these two things, I've chosen not to finish this book. I would still consider reading Masood in the future.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Christina Davis

    My heat is so full ❤️ What a perfect ending!! I highly recommend the audiobook too! Aryian Kassam did a fantastic job narrating this book! I laughed so hard it brought me to tears at times!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Vee_Bookish // YA Book Blogger

    [ARC Provided by NetGalley, my review is unbiased] I'm also a book blogger This is fairly standard contemporary romance fare, with the addition of Muslim characters that made it much more interesting. Naturally, I've not read many books with Muslim rep so I have nothing to compare it to. I did feel like some characters were put in boxes of "very religious and not fun", "questioning religion so is fun", which seemed... odd? I liked Bisma and her sister, Suri, very much, Bisma was a total comic book [ARC Provided by NetGalley, my review is unbiased] I'm also a book blogger This is fairly standard contemporary romance fare, with the addition of Muslim characters that made it much more interesting. Naturally, I've not read many books with Muslim rep so I have nothing to compare it to. I did feel like some characters were put in boxes of "very religious and not fun", "questioning religion so is fun", which seemed... odd? I liked Bisma and her sister, Suri, very much, Bisma was a total comic book geek which I can can stan. I don't know what happened at the beginning of the book with Danyal's character. When I started the book, I was immediately presented with a Danny Zuko character, a boy that was very full of himself, made sexist comments and needed everyone to know how attractive he was. After the first chapter though, Danyal switched character completely, becoming more respectful and passive. It was like when a TV show films the pilot months before the second episode and it's really obvious. The blurb made Danyal sound very much like first-chapter Danyal, so I was expecting to dislike him for the majority of the book and for his character to grow as the story progressed. Due to the second chapter switch though, the Danyal we really get is someone who works hard, he's not very intelligent (as the book constantly reminds us, poking fun of his lack of knowledge on a constant), and is constantly dismissed and ridiculed by everyone around him. It was not fun to read about. I felt like the book should have been about Danyal's love of food, or the Renaissance Man school competition, because for me, it felt like they clashed. Trying to fit in Danyal's job at a French Restaurant left little room to discuss his life as a student, which left a void and it ended up where the only time we were actually at school was during the History classes and during the presentations. Overall it's a cute book and I rooted for the romance, I just felt quite irritated by the constant dragging of Danyal, as it's quite excessive. There was a couple of smaller things that I didn't quite get, like Intezar's name constantly being switched from that to his nickname, Zar, and how much of a stereotype they made Kaval, who was only interested in expensive clothes and bagging a rich husband.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.