Title: The Love Match
Author: Priyanka Taslim
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Salaam Reads
Format: Paperback arc
Release Date: January 3, 2023
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before meets Pride and Prejudice in this delightful and heartfelt rom-com about a Bangladeshi American teen whose meddling mother arranges a match to secure their family’s financial security—just as she’s falling in love with someone else.
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.
Zahra Khan has to work long hours at the tea shop Chai Ho the summer after high school. She’s had to give up her dream of studying at Columbia after her father died and she had to help support her family. Her mother decides the best way to help the family would be for Zahra to marry into a rich family. Her mother sets her up with Harun Emon, whose family supports the match. However, Zahra and Harun aren’t interested in being together. They decide to follow through with the dates their parents plan, to show them that they aren’t a good match. Meanwhile, a new boy, Nayim Aktar, starts working at Chai Ho with Zahra. He is an orphan supporting himself, so he doesn’t fit Zahra’s mother’s plans, but she starts to develop feelings for him. Zahra needs to figure out if she should follow her heart or do what’s best for her family.
I loved this story. There were lots of references to classic romances like Jane Austen and Bridgerton. Zahra is a writer, but she struggled to follow her dream because her mom didn’t think it was a profession that would support her. Zahra had to find a way to satisfy her family while also following her dream, but not everyone in real life is lucky enough to find the balance.
The twists at the end really surprised me. There were subtle clues throughout the story but I was pleasantly surprised by how everything happened.
The Love Match is a great YA romance!
Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for sending me a copy of this book.
What to read next:
Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali
From Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon
Have you read The Love Match? What did you think of it?