Ayesha at Lastby Published 04 Jun 2019
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Ayesha at Last Ebook Description
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As seen on The Today Show! One of the best summer romance picks!
One of Publishers Weekly Best Romance Books of 2019!
A modern-day Muslim Pride and Prejudice for a new generation of love.
Ayesha Shamsi has a lot going on. Her dreams of being a poet have been set aside for a teaching job so she can pay off her debts to her wealthy uncle. She lives with her boisterous Muslim family and is always being reminded that her flighty younger cousin, Hafsa, is close to rejecting her one hundredth marriage proposal. Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn't want an arranged marriage. Then she meets Khalid, who is just as smart and handsome as he is conservative and judgmental. She is irritatingly attracted to someone who looks down on her choices and who dresses like he belongs in the seventh century.
When a surprise engagement is announced between Khalid and Hafsa, Ayesha is torn between how she feels about the straightforward Khalid and the unsettling new gossip she hears about his family. Looking into the rumors, she finds she has to deal with not only what she discovers about Khalid, but also the truth she realizes about herself.
Ayesha at Last Reviews
The premise and characters alone in this made it so groundbreaking and fun to read. I like that this book explored Islam from both a traditional perspective and a modern one, and how those two interact. The representation in this, the wide cast of brown characters, and the way it's focused from Pride & Prejudice were really done nicely. I liked how snarky and headstrong Ayesha was, and she was modeled after Elizabeth Bennet so well.
The biggest downfall of this book was the pacing. It was so incredibly difficult to pick up because I was never sucked in. The plot isn't bad at all, so I think it's a writing style issue for me. It was quite longwinded and the third person narration of this came off a bit dry. I was so uninvested that I ended up skimming the last bits of it just for the scenes that would solve the main action, which I liked, but there definitely seemed to be a lot of filler.
I'm torn with this book. I wouldn't necessarily call it a romance because there's so many rotating parts, but if you want to read a P&P retelling with a diverse cast, this might be for you.
Ayesha at Last is a modern-day retelling of Pride and Prejudice with a Muslim main character. I loved it! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Ayesha is a modern Muslim and dreams of being a poet, but she has to forgo those dreams at the moment to pay her uncle back. She’s become a teacher.
Ayesha lives with her Muslim family who constantly remind her of potential marriage and that one of her cousins is currently turning down yet another marriage proposal.
Ayesha meets Khalid, and she is struck by his charm instantly. But at the same time, she’s turned off by how conservative and judgmental he can be. His family is also the subject of gossip in the community.
Will Ayesha find love with the flawed Khalid? Will Khalid fall for a modern Muslim woman, one who tests the boundaries of his faith and that of his devout family? Ayesha is devout, too, but Khalid is practicing the Muslim faith entirely in the traditional sense…until he meets Ayesha.
I absolutely loved the culture embedded in Ayesha at Last. It was a learning experience that one can be Muslim and devout but also traditional versus non traditional. The back and forth between the two families was so much fun. The humor was precious and witty, and I loved how similar, but yet original, this felt by comparison to Pride and Prejudice.
Overall, this is a stunning and enlightening retelling, one that I will cherish my experience, and I’m so grateful this story was told. I hope we will see more retellings of this quality in the future from Jalaluddin. Sign me up!
I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
“Sometimes there were no words, only sunshine on your heart.”
Ayesha at Last is a romantic comedy about marriage, love, and family in the Muslim culture. The plot loosely mirrors Pride and Prejudice but also incorporates elements of Shakespeare and other literature.
The main characters, Ayesha and Khalid are not the typical characters who appear in commercial fiction. Ayesha is a strong, independent Muslim woman who is trying to find herself. Khalid too is trying to find himself. He uses his faith, strong-willed mother, and traditional Muslim clothing to hide from what he fears. His appearance provokes some to call him a fundamentalist. Ayesha and Khalid are what I loved most about this book and kept me turning the pages.
While I loved Ayesha and Khalid, I had some issues with the plot. At a certain point, the plot spins out of control as there is too much going on. Trying to cover too many storylines, too many characters, and too much drama detracted from Khalid and Ayesha’s characters. I also had some other issues concerning the plot, but I am not going to get into them because of potential spoilers.
Overall, in spite of some of the issues I had, this was an enjoyable read. I found Ayesha and Khalid’s characters to be refreshing and I was rooting for them. I also loved Nana and Nani. I give Jalaluddin props for pushing boundaries and presenting characters that go outside of the box.
I received an ARC of this book from Edelweiss and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Because while it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single Muslim man must be in want of a wife, there's an even greater truth:To his Indian mother, his own inclinations are of secondary importance.
All the stars for this debut Canadian author! Ayesha at Last was without a doubt my most anticipated 2018 release. Come on, a modern P&P set in Toronto and featuring two Muslim characters. It was absolutely perfect and I was all too sorry when it was finished. The characters(main and secondary) , the plot, the comedy and the romance. I need this to be a movie-ASAP! I laughed, I cried, and I fell in love.
i meant to write this a very long time ago and then i forgot oops hehe
MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD
this book honestly had great potential. judging by the synopsis alone, it basically sounded like the greatest book that would ever grace my life.
when i picked it up, i became instantly invested in the story but somewhere along the way, between the teeny tiny font and the excessively long sentences, my emotional attachment slowly withered away to nothing
- i thought this had a strong start, it showed muslims in their daily life, where the majority of their problems revolved around ridiculous family politics (!!finally!!) and not so much about their race or their colour of skin (which was included too, but to a very BELIEVABLE amount)
- i liked how khalid's character was standing up for himself and his beliefs from the very start (that was so :') to see)
- i loved the close knit family ties and the many different family dynamics we got to see
- i liked how the mosque was given page time and it was shown how the community came together for events and programs
- but here's where my cons come in
- going back to khalid and his way of dressing, a couple characters kept saying how HE was so judgemental and yet they were CONSTANTLY judging his style of dress (his ankle-length robe) and the fact that he grew his beard??? like hypocrisy much
- and his whole development was the fact that he changed both those things to appease the people in his life and i was just baffled why THAT part of him had to be erased. what happened to self-acceptance??
- khalid's mother started off being the stereotypical, involved indian mother and quickly morphed into this ~witch~ of a character that was out to ruin ayesha's life
- she played into a lot of stereotypes (the evil, controlling, possessive mother) and opened manyyyy cans of worms that i never felt were properly addressed (literally, her and her daughter's relationship)
- in my opinion, as a 'halal' romance, i think it was done quite well
- the scene where they were making roti with the grandmother hfkjdahfkjah
- there were scenes where they were with each other and you got to see the internal dilemma they were battling out due to the situation (the name switch) they got themselves into
- and i just WISH it stopped there because that was HONESTLY enough for a lighthearted romance novel
- but no, we had to get trash-man tarek involved
- did tarek's character even need to exist? the only answer is no
trying to do too much
- the biggest flaw i found with this book was that it was trying to do EVERYTHING in the world and then some. it tackled racism in the workplace, halal (and,,,,not so halal) relationships, arranged marriages, family disownment, alcoholism, theft, faking identity, self-righteousness & sleazy dudes, daddy issues, masjid politics etc. etc.
- and i just felt it didnt need to do all that
- if it stuck to telling a romance story, between two people who would never guess themselves to be compatible, then i would have been concise and enjoyable and not this disaster that ended up happening
- and for a book that really went long and hard on explanations and internal dialogue, the ending wrapped up much too quickly to be even remotely realistic
- it's very much 'day-in-the-life' sort of writing and while i appreciated that most of the time, the book felt HUGE
- it felt drawn out and exaggerated and i really really thought it had so much potential to be something amazing but a lot was lost within the excessive descriptions and the unrealistic drama
- listen, jane austen knew what she was doing when she wrote pride & prejudice and i think that if the author stayed closer to that narrative, the story would have been so much more enjoyable
- why cant we just have a cute muslim love story between brown kids without all the excess trash in between???????????????
idk where this fits in, but there were some character inaccuracies i noticed while reading (i cant remember more than this example :( but there were moments when khalid was talking like a 14th century philosopher and then the next minute hes speaking slang and i was just,,,,,bro are you okay?
- i know it's supposed to tie into his character, like the socially awkward guy who's trying to fit in, but still, that's a wild jump to make in one conversation
and yet, the book was funny. it made me laugh out loud. it had it's charming moments, it had it's cute moments.
but i wish khalid's character development wasn't him giving up who he was for the girl he liked. i wish ayesha would stop having these extreme opinions of everyone while telling them they were too judgemental. i wish tarek didn't exist. i wish the book focused on the romance instead of trying to do a million things. i wish a lot of things
~this review is a disaster and so am i, but what else is new??