I picked up this book expecting a cute rom-com for young readers, which it was, but The Love Match is much more than strictly a rom-com! This story is also about the love we share between our communities, friends, and family.
From the Blurb:
Zahra Khan is basically Bangladeshi royalty, but being a princess doesn’t pay the bills in Paterson, New Jersey. While Zahra’s plans for financial security this summer involve working long hours at Chai Ho and saving up for college writing courses, Amma is convinced that all Zahra needs is a “good match,” Jane Austen style.
Enter Harun Emon, who’s wealthy, devastatingly handsome, and…aloof. As soon as Zahra meets him, she knows it’s a bad match. It’s nothing like the connection she has with Nayim Aktar, the new dishwasher at the tea shop, who just gets Zahra in a way no one has before. So, when Zahra finds out that Harun is just as uninterested in this match as she is, they decide to slowly sabotage their parents’ plans. And for once in Zahra’s life, she can have her rossomalai and eat it too: “dating” Harun and keeping Amma happy while catching real feelings for Nayim.
But life — and boys — can be more complicated than Zahra realizes. With her feelings all mixed up, Zahra discovers that sometimes being a good Bengali kid can be a royal pain.
My favorite aspect of this story was that it takes place right after high school. I haven’t read many books where we find the characters in this certain phase of their life where they must figure out what comes next after graduating, especially when the character doesn’t have a concrete plan.
Zahra was accepted into a prestigious college, but due to her familial duties and financial situation, she isn’t able to attend. She has to come up with a new plan and she’s determined to work hard to one day walk the campus of her dream school. Her mother has other goals for her, and she believes Zahra needs a good “match” that can take care of her and her family as well.
To please her mother, Zahra continuously agrees to go on blind dates. That’s when her path crosses Harun’s. Harun is the “perfect” match according to Zahra’s mother. He has the brains, looks, and money. Too bad Harun and Zahra’s personalities completely clash the first time they meet. Both of them are in agreement that they wouldn’t make a good couple despite what their mothers believe. Plus, there may already be a cute guy at work that Zahra may or may not like. Cue the drama!
This book was so fun! I’m typically not a fan of love triangles, but Priyanka Taslim wrote these characters perfectly. Everything felt so natural even with all the drama that surrounded the three characters. Each of them was entertaining on their own but when they were together, I genuinely enjoyed it!
Besides these three, there were some other amazing characters. I loved the rep in this book! Every character is BIPOC and you rarely see this in a book from the main cast. I’m looking forward to reading more stories from Priyanka Taslim! I think she delivered on telling a story that young BIPOC readers will be able to relate to, especially when it comes to Bangladeshi representation.
I think many will also be able to see themselves in Zahra and her family. Her relationship with her mother was very emotional and there were a few times when I got teary because I could easily relate to the struggles both of them were going through. The love they have for one another and their family pulled at my heartstrings.
Overall, The Love Match will make you laugh and cry! It’ll bring a smile to your face with the sweet love story that unfolds, and it’ll have readers questioning the bonds they share with the people they love.
Keep this book on your radar because it’s expected to release on January 3, 2023!