Summary: The Love Match
In the Love Match, Zahra Khan is a new high school graduate who’s saving up for college—which she’s had to defer because her mom can’t afford to send her just yet. Her mother, though? She thinks their family’s way out is an arranged marriage to a wealthy family. Too bad the family’s son Harun Emon doesn’t care for Zahra. Zahra herself is falling for a new waiter in the cafe where she works. So Harun and Zahra band together to make their parents call off the courtship. But we all know that love doesn’t quite play by the rules, don’t we?
This is such a cute story! As much as it is a romance, so much of the story is about Zahra and her family, their history, and her hopes and dreams. At first, I was annoyed with Zahra’s mother’s insistence on marriage, but eventually, her motives are clear (which aren’t all that better), and I could see the cultural link to arranged marriages (which makes it more understandable).
I liked both love interests, but I was team Harun from page one! Both boys are sweet and obviously have unique positive traits. There’s also an interesting twist that I saw coming (but didn’t want to believe). Zahra has two good friends who happen to be sisters, and the Bangladeshi aunties (the gossip network in their community) makes for an interesting backdrop.
Finally, I could relate to Zahra’s writing ambitions, and I loved the overall resolution of this story.
Overall: The Love Match
The Love Match is a romantic, tender, feel-good Pride and Prejudice retelling with lots of insight into Bangladeshi culture, arranged marriages, and Bangladeshi film history. I listened to the audiobook, which was much easier to get into, and once I did, I couldn’t put this book down. I typically hate love triangles, but this was almost as good as Peter K vs John Ambrose! Both male leads were likable and had appealing strengths, and Zahra really liked them. Definitely recommend.
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