Reviews

Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin

quinnster's review

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3.0

At least this wasn’t pretending it wasn’t You’ve Got Mail/The Shop Around the Corner. I did appreciate the modernization of the story to current events but Hana was not a great character so I had a hard time rooting for her. 

laura_cs's review against another edition

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5.0

I received an ARC of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

In her phenomenal sophomore novel, Uzma Jalaluddin follows up her sparkling and powerful debut "Ayesha At Last" with a new story of a young Muslim woman with a passion for stories and radio learning to use her voice and her tight-knit, resilient community that counters hate with love and helping each other.

Hana Khan balances waitressing at her mother's halal restaurant, Three Sisters Biryani Poutine (a VIP dish that only Hana eats, combining Indian and Canadian cuisine), interning at the local radio station, and creating her own podcast "Anonymous Brown Girl Rambles". On top of all of that, she has a lot on her mind: her mother isn't being honest with her about the restaurant's financial problems, her pregnant sister has been put on bed rest, she's always worrying about her disabled father, and now her family has gained two extra roommates, a fiery and mysterious aunt whom Hana has only heard about in stories and a teenage cousin with a passion for baseball and a family legacy of... accounting. Sure. That's what we'll call it... The last thing Hana needs is to learn that a new halal restaurant is about to open in her small, tight-knit neighborhood, and that Three Sisters is going to have competition for the first time. And that they are determined to put Three Sisters out of business.

Hana can't stand rich, arrogant, handsome (why did he have to be handsome????) Aydin, and is determined to put him out of business before he can open his doors. Unfortunately, the more she tries to destroy him, the more fate (and a meddling cousin) throws them together. When a vicious hate-motivated attack rattles Hana and her community, though, everything begins to change and Hana comes to realize that she can continue to use her voice to bring down her competition.... or she can use her voice to tell stories to lift others up.

I adored Hana from the get-go; she's spunky and an odd combination of laid-back and driven. When she puts her mind to something, she goes for it, but especially if it's in the name of someone else, someone she cares for, such as her mother. Eventually, she comes to realize she can apply that to her own desires and what she wants to do with her career in journalism. She doesn't want to be pigeon-holed, to be the token minority resigned to educating people about her culture and religion. She wants to tell meaningful stories, and culture and religion just happen to play a role in some of those stories. Hana's got a voice; she just needed to find her inner strength to use it.

It's easy to fall in love with the vibrant community of Golden Crescent and its occupants--old and new, temporary and permanent. You'll feel their joy and sorrows, their frustration and their strength, and most definitely enjoy the drama of the BOA meetings...

(Also, Ms. Jalaluddin, please write more of Rashid. This boy needs to find true love!)

iwantamonkey's review against another edition

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3.75

Rating mostly because I think I’m too old for this book. BUT it was cute with some charming twists 😉 and great to read a Muslim romance book. 

agmaynard's review

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adventurous emotional hopeful medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.25

More coming of age than romance, though the love interest grows from the podcast commenters, and definitely not a romcom as asserted by the back cover blurb.  Hana has a lot on her shoulders, and with family and friends, they all find a way through.  Cousin and aunt add colorful force whenever they appear.  Warning for anti-Islamic violence and slurs.

readingformyshelf's review against another edition

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funny hopeful inspiring medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.5

lt_reads's review against another edition

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funny hopeful inspiring reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.5

taketwolu's review against another edition

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Hana works for her family’s halal restaurant while hosting her own podcast and interning at a radio station. When Aydin and his father plan to start a competing halal restaurant across the street, Hana fights back and seeks advice from a podcast fan.

Jalauddin balances banter, drama, Islamophobia, racism, romance, and more as we see Hana fighting for her family’s business while also trying to find her own footing. Despite the hate received, I appreciated Hana’s perspective and resilience as it didn’t deter her desire to share more about her identity and culture. Though I was if-y about Aydin, I loved Hana’s family dynamics and her cousin 😂 Overall, this was a fun rivals-to-lovers read featuring a Muslim voice!

 

beasleysbooks's review against another edition

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funny hopeful lighthearted reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

sarahholland's review

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3.0

I've rounded down for the review, but tempted to raise rating to a 4. Definitely would recommend.

areebarehman's review

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emotional funny lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

3.75