Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 250
highly compelling and moving YA contemporary
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
MORE THAN JUST A PRETTY FACE is a fantastic YA contemporary romance that follows Danyal during his senior year of high school. Danyal is 19 and not great at academics- he is barely making it to graduation, but he doesn't mind. Going to college is not his dream- he wants to be a chef. He loves to cook, and he's really good at it. He has an internship at a French restaurant, where he is learning all kinds of skills.

Although it is not what his parents dreamed for him, they are somewhat (mostly) supportive. However, as they go through the arranged marriage process, it seems like this can be a hard sell as his future income may not be so high. His handsome good looks can only get him so far. He dreams of marrying one of his best friend's sister, Kaval, who is really beautiful and does well in school.

When a new marriage prospect, Bisma, comes over, Danyal connects with her- but she seems too good to be true. When he takes her for coffee, she tells him why she's not such a hot commodity. He spends some time with her, and though it doesn't bother him, he still dreams of Kaval. However, he seems to get pulled in by Bisma's family a bit, much to her chagrin, but Danyal is willing to be her friend.

Then, Danyal gets picked to enter the prestigious Renaissance Man contest, which usually only has the top students as contestants. Kaval offers him a line that he can take by winning. However, his topic becomes more personal, and he enlists the help of Bisma. As they work on the project, Danyal learns more about history, the present, and all the things that are so great about Bisma.

What I loved: This was such an enthralling read, and it completely pulled me in from the start. Danyal is a sweet and funny character, who shows us that academics are not everything. It was easy to cheer for whatever he wants right from the start. The brunt of the story really tackles some important topics really poignantly. Danyal takes on Churchill as the history teacher's favorite; however, Churchill's legacy ignores the things he did to India. Danyal examines these critically with his parents and Bisma to consider how this reflects not only on Churchill but also on the way the present is shaped. The discussions around these topics are really thought-provoking and well-thought-out. These aspects and the anti-racist ideas are quite powerful and elevate this book to another level.

I also really appreciated the insight into Islam that we get, not only from Danyal and his parents, but his friends, one of whom does not really follow the tenants and another who is the opposite and much more strict in following them. These insights are really important and add a lot of value to this #ownvoices story.

Final verdict: Highly compelling and powerful, MORE THAN JUST A PRETTY FACE is a YA contemporary romance that delivers not only a great romance but also thought-provoking conversation about history and the racism that is still pervasive today.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 1 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Movies, mansions, and murder in the Golden Age of Hollywood!...
Kamala and Maya's Big Idea
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Meena Harris debuts with an empowering picture book about two...
Harvey Holds His Own (The Harvey Stories, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The West Highland Terrier that brought Harvey Comes Home to...
Everything I Thought I Knew
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A teenage girl wonders if she’s inherited more than just...
The Morning Flower (The Omte Origins, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking returns to...
The Hunt
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Death marked her from her very first breath. Being...
Swallowed by a Secret
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
One dead father. One lying mother. ...
Circus of the Dead Book One
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
There are many ways to die at the Circus...
Roaring
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Colt Clemmons is an agent in a specialized division...
Court of Lions
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Court of Lions is the long-awaited second and final...
More Than Just a Pretty Face
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
For fans of Becky Albertalli and Jenny Han, a...
The Adventurers Guild: Night of Dangers
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
After the events at Llethanyl, city of the elves, Zed...
And Then I Turned into a Mermaid (And Then I Turned into a Mermaid, #1)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
For fans of Emily Windsnap and Maybe A Mermaid, And...
After the Worst Thing Happens
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Left reeling after her thoughtless mistake causes a terrible accident,...
Hirana's War: Book Two in the Eloia Born Series
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Praise for Eloia Born “Loved it! A well-written narrative...
Hans Christian Andersen: The Journey of His Life
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
"If you like, I’ll tell you the story of a...

Latest Member Reviews

 
4.0
"WHAT I LOVED: We think of the glitz, glamorous mega-stars, and classic movies when we think of the Golden Age..."
Paola Santiago and the River of Tears
 
3.0
"Paola “Pao” Santiago loves science and hanging out with her best friends, Emma and Dante. She doesn’t love how superstitious..."
Kamala and Maya's Big Idea
 
5.0
"KAMALA AND MAYA'S BIG IDEA is a picture book based on a true story about pursuing your goals and doing..."
Harvey Holds His Own (The Harvey Stories, #2)
 
4.0
"HARVEY HOLDS HIS OWN is a contemporary middle grade told from three perspectives: Maggie, Harvey, and Austin. Maggie is starting..."
The Night Country (The Hazel Wood #2)
 
4.0
"Alice Proserpine thought she was mostly back to “normal” life after breaking from her story in the Hinterland, but when..."
Ghost Boys
 
5.0
"Jewell Parker Rhodes writes electrifying middle grade stories that pack emotion into every sentence, and GHOST BOYS showcases that skill..."
Everything I Thought I Knew
 
4.3
"What worked: Intriguing plot of Chloe, a seventeen-year-old super-achiever, who ends up collapsing during her senior year in high school..."
Sunshine in the Shadows: Book 2 of the Sunshine Series
 
4.7
"This one is probably the least exciting out of the 3 books, but its lovely getting to know the characters..."
Sunshine Reigns: Book 3 of the Sunshine Series
 
5.0
"This my favourite book of the 3-part series. Sunny comes into her own with a very satisfying ending."
The Adventurers Guild: Night of Dangers
 
5.0
"THE ADVENTURERS GUILD: NIGHT OF DANGERS by Zack Loran Clark and Nick Eliopulos is the culmination of a Middle Grade..."
And Then I Turned into a Mermaid (And Then I Turned into a Mermaid, #1)
 
4.0
"AND THEN I TURNED INTO A MERMAID is a cute and funny middle grade fantasy that follows Molly. Molly is..."
After the Worst Thing Happens
 
5.0
"AFTER THE WORST THING HAPPENS is a compelling middle grade about dealing with death and loss. Army Morand absolutely adores..."