Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’m sharing my review of the sapphic romance, Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating.
Everyone likes Humaira “Hani” Khan—she’s easy going and one of the most popular girls at school. But when she comes out to her friends as bisexual, they invalidate her identity, saying she can’t be bi if she’s only dated guys. Panicked, Hani blurts out that she’s in a relationship…with a girl her friends absolutely hate—Ishita “Ishu” Dey. Ishu is the complete opposite of Hani. She’s an academic overachiever who hopes that becoming head girl will set her on the right track for college. But Ishita agrees to help Hani, if Hani will help her become more popular so that she stands a chance of being elected head girl.
Despite their mutually beneficial pact, they start developing real feelings for each other. But relationships are complicated, and some people will do anything to stop two Bengali girls from achieving happily ever after.
The fake dating / enforced proximety trope is one that I saw work really well in Date Me, Bryson Keller, and this is a book that came highly recommended to me by many people. It absolutely didn’t disappoint.
Both Hani and Ishu have clearly defined voices throughout the book, as to the many other key characters that play roles in their story. Right from the start, we can feel the waves of toxicity rolling off Aisling and Dee, with the way they invalidate everything about Hani, from her dad’s political campaign, to the key fact in her life that she is bisexual. Ironically, it’s the lies that lead to her fake relationship with Ishu that allow her to start to see exactly what they’re like, and that maybe – just maybe – she deserves to be respected for every part of her.
The way the girls are similar at first seems so limited, but they comes to see each other in a brand new light. The way they connect is beautiful because of how authentic it feels; under the surface they see just how much they have in common, and how much their differences draw them together rather than pushing them apart.
From their fake relationship grows a real friendship, and the unity between them when they finally see what they mean to one another is huge. Endearing, life-affirming, and heart warming, this is a must for sapphic readers, and readers who love a romance story.
Thanks so much for stopping by today for this review, which really was one of the most special books I read in February. I’ll be back with new posts every day, and to make sure you don’t miss out, why not click follow below!