Title: More Than Just a Pretty Face.
Author: Syed M Masood.
Format: E-ARC (Thanks to NetGalley, all opinions are my own!)
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
Page count: 215.
Release day: August 4th 2020.
Genre: YA, Contemporary.
Rating: 3 stars.
What is it about? (Summary from GoodReads)
For fans of Becky Albertalli and Jenny Han, a sweetly funny YA rom-com debut about falling in love, familial 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 long time 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.
Average: 6,29 (which means 3 stars!)
First of all, I cannot say anything about the representation in this book! The characters in this book are Muslim.
I really feel mediocre about this book.. There was nothing really wrong with it, but there was also no part that really grabbed me?!
We read the book from Danyal’s perspective, which I really liked, since we don’t often get YA contemporaries from a male perspective! But I was not a huge fan of Danyal, he was just really stupid about this one girl in the beginning of the book. Also he kept saying that he was stupid or not very bright, on the one I guess this it is realistic that people say this, but it also was a bit annoying..
I don’t think there was any character in this book that I really loved?! None that I hated either, they were all just okay!? Well, actually, I did like Bisma’s younger sister, but she only had a very small role to play haha!
The romance was really cute and develops relatively slowly, which I enjoyed!
Once again I want to mention that I’m not Muslim, so I can’t say anything about the representation. But in this book the ‘rules’ that they have to follow were mentioned so often. I mean it is good that they are mentioned once or twice, since of course not everyone is aware of them (me included), but they reminded us so often, that it was a bit overdone. And I feel like they were not always following the rules they were supposed to follow, and I’m not really sure how realistic that is?!
In this book Danyal gets chosen to represent his history class at the Renaissance Man, which is an academic competition, I really liked this aspect of the book! He has to write some kind of thesis for this, and often when this happens in books, it happens in the background and is not mentioned often. But in this book we really saw the process of him researching and learning, and I actually felt like I learned from this as well!
I guess I recommend this one if you want a quick romcom novel!