A review by emfass
Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron

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


I liked all the attention paid to food in this book, although I would've gladly traded some of the time spent on the page for getting to know the hero better, or exploring the heroine's mental health in more depth. I did appreciate the representation of being so wrapped up in family dynamics and trying to keep everyone happy, and the paradox of simultaneously trying to lead a life of your own.

There were some things I did like about this book, but ultimately I struggled with a lot of it. There was a moment 75% of the way through where Reena, the heroine, is having a reckoning with herself about needing to face her issues. She's taking stock of her life and the things she's dealt with. As her issues were being listed, I noticed that most of these things had taken place off page, or before the book had started, which made me feel a bit...left behind? I found I didn't care as much as I wished I did in this moment of her story. I think this connects into my main struggle with the book: there was a lot of pulling into Reena's mind in the middle of a scene or conversation so that we as the reader could get context/background for what was going on, but it led to me feeling detached from the scene we were currently in, especially when it would go on for a couple paragraphs or pages. Additionally, my number one complaint that arises when a book doesn't really grab me applies here: too much telling, not enough showing.

I was incredibly wary when we met Nadim, especially because of how much he was flirting with Reena after she'd made it clear (I thought) that she wasn't interested, or certainly before she was showing him any mutual interest. With that said, I thought consent representation was pretty great when it came up throughout the rest of the book.

I didn't love the myriad subplots, though I mostly found them hard to track in the moment of revelation when they all came together at the end. In trying to follow the reveals, my brain got tired, and in emerging from the other side, I'm not sure how well they served the story as opposed to just diffusing focus.

Lastly, I am always bummed by fade-to-black steamy scenes. I'm happy for them to exist that way for those readers that want them, but I want to be present for all the moments of the main characters getting to know each other and building intimacy.

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