I have decided that Irish YA sapphic romances are my new favourite genre. (*Cough* read The Falling In Love Montage by Ciara Smyth *cough*).
Name: Hani and Ishu’s Guide To Fake Dating
Author: Adiba Jaigirdar
Published: May 2021
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.
My first note: ITS IRISH!! While that fact didn’t particularly impact the story after its first introduction, I have decided that Irish YA sapphic romances are my new favourite genre. (*Cough* read The Falling In Love Montage by Ciara Smyth *cough*). Hani and Ishu’s Guide To Fake Dating is such a fast paced, fun read and the cover – the layout of the entire book – is absolutely gorgeous. I’d heard a lot about it in passing, but when I saw it in Waterstones and remembered all that I’d heard, I knew I had to get it. You also can’t beat those Buy One Get One Half Price stickers…
Hani and Ishu were two strong characters and that comes across in the narration, which was from both of the girls’ povs. Two distinct voices. The pace is so fast and engaging that I read 100 pages in one go! The girls’ problems are well, and equally, developed – although make sure to check Trigger Warnings. The book also looks at ethnic, sexual and religious identity; I learned a lot about Muslim and Bengali culture.
I was expecting more angst for how the blurb sold it, but I quite like how they don’t start off despising each other. Enemies-to-lovers can be pretty toxic. I’d also say it slightly lost momentum near the end but that makes sense for the speed of the rest of it!
Hani and Ishu’s Guide To Fake Dating isn’t my new all time favourite, but it was very enjoyable and I love Hani and Ishu’s dynamic together. I’ll be looking out for Adiba Jaigirdar‘s other book!
Have you read Hani and Ishu’s Guide To Fake Dating? Or Adiba Jaigirdar’s debut, The Henna Wars (I really want to!)? Does this look like something you’d be interested in? Let me know in the comments?