More Than Just a Pretty Face

Featured
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
1004 0
More Than Just a Pretty Face
Age Range
12+
Release Date
August 04, 2020
ISBN
978-0316492355
Buy This Book
      

For fans of Becky Albertalli and Jenny Han, a sweetly funny YA debut about falling in love, family 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. In this young adult debut full of depth and heart, author Syed M. Masood will have readers laughing, sighing, tearing up, and shouting "YES!" at the top of their lungs.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

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 Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 1 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Poison Ivy: Thorns
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
There's something unusual about Pamela Isley--the girl who hides behind...
Lies My Memory Told Me
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
From the thrilling voice of Sacha Wunsch comes a heart-stopping...
Signs of Survival A Memoir of the Holocaust
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
RENEE: I was ten years old then, and my sister...
So. Many. Feelings Stickers: 2,700 Stickers for Every Mood
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
2,700 stickers for every mood! ...
Hi-Five Farm!
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ready, set, off we go! ...
Sugar and Spite
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Jolina can't take Claudine's bullying any longer! The taunts and...
Leaving England
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sometime around now an unnamed virus has laid London and...
Top Choice
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A female-run society. An ambitious girl driven to become its’...
The Dead and the Dark
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Courtney Gould’s thrilling YA debut The Dead and the Dark...
Heart Fire
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the realm of Ryuu within the snow...
When Jackie Hit The Road
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Seventeen-year-old Jackie planned for every situation on her solo road-trip...
Starvation
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
John Green meets Laurie Halse Anderson in this award-winning, "haunting,"...
The Great Destroyers
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Blood, sweat, and death. Welcome...
Fresh
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A hilarious and vulnerable coming-of-age story about the thrilling new...
Illusionary (Hollow Crown, #2)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this thrilling adventure, our magical heroine embarks on a...
Bluebird
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In 1946, Eva leaves behind the rubble of Berlin for...

Latest Member Reviews

Hi-Five Farm!
 
5.0
"HI-FIVE FARM! is an adorable board book adventure with opposites and hi-fives aplenty. The book features many barnyard animals offering..."
Sugar and Spite
 
4.0
"Jolina and her family have moved from Manila to the small island of Isla Pag-Ibig. After the death of her..."
Fearless
 
3.0
"Monica Garcia is thrilled to get an understudy role on Broadway. At 12, this is the first time she will..."
Paradise on Fire
 
4.0
"Addy lives in the Bronx with her grandmother, Bibi, who has moved from Nigeria to care for her after the..."
Tell No Tales: Pirates of the Southern Seas
 
4.5
"TELL NO TALES is a graphic novel that features Anne Bonny and her tale of pirating. She has an amazing..."
Into Darkness (Stuffed, Book 2) (Stuffed, 2)
 
4.0
"STUFFED INTO DARKNESS features Clark who is so excited to go to camp, where the Stuffies protect them from monsters...."
If You Go Down to the Woods Today (Brown Bear Wood)
 
4.0
"IF YOU GO DOWN TO THE WOODS TODAY has a poem on each page which opens up to the items..."
Bunny Will Not Jump!: Ready-to-Read Level 1
 
4.0
"Bear wants nothing more than for Bunny to jump, but he won't do it. Bunny doesn't want to jump and..."
Milo's Christmas Parade
 
5.0
"MILO'S CHRISTMAS PARADE features a little opossum who wants nothing more than to join the Christmas parade. For this reason,..."
Taking Care of Mama Rabbit
 
3.5
"When Mama Rabbit falls ill, it's up to Papa Rabbit to go get medicine and her children to make her..."
A Kid's Guide to Fandom: Exploring Fan-Fic, Cosplay, Gaming, Podcasting, and More in the Geek World!
 
5.0
"A KID'S GUIDE TO FANDOM is exactly what it says and is full of anything and everything nerdy. From cosplaying,..."
Mine
 
4.0
"Lily isn’t thrilled about her family’s move from Colorado to Florida. In Colorado, she had her drama club and her..."
The Republic of Birds
 
3.0
"Once, birds and humans lived together until a war erupted over a firebird’s egg. Now, the humans have their own..."
This Is the Glade Where Jack Lives: Or How a Unicorn Saved the Day
 
5.0
"THIS IS THE GLADE WHERE JACK LIVES is a new take on the traditional "This Is the House that Jack..."
The End Is Just the Beginning
 
5.0
"THE END IS JUST THE BEGINNING is exactly as the title reads. It's a story about how all endings are..."
Dust & Grim
 
4.0
"Thirteen-year-old Molly finds out she's entitled to part of a mortuary business after the death of her father. She also..."
Get Up, Elizabeth!
 
5.0
"Elizabeth needs to get out of bed because she's the princess and has a lot to do. As a princess...."
Happy Little Ogre
 
5.0
"HAPPY LITTLE OGRE features our favorite characters from Shrek as babies. It's full of ogre fun and silliness from burps..."
Clean-Up Time!: Ready-to-Read Pre-Level 1
 
5.0
"Our favorite character, Daniel the Tiger, heads to the park to play with his friends. But when they get there,..."
The Secret Starling
 
3.5
"Clara Starling is used to the drudgery of life with her uncle in his huge mansion. It’s all routine, cold..."