Book Review: Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating

Hello everyone! I hope you are all doing well! I am so excited to be sharing this review today! As many of you know, Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating was my most anticipated release of 2021 and was at the top of my pride month TBR.

Before I begin my review, I want to thank Aria @ Book Nook Bits for buddy reading this with me. It was the first time I had ever buddy read with someone and I had so much fun reading and discussing with her!

Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating is told from two perspectives. Hani is a popular, kind girl who often gets pushed around by her best friends. Ishu is a studious, serious girl who is seen as mean by most of her peers. Hani and Ishu rarely talk, except at Bengali events in their community.

But when Hani’s friends say that she isn’t bisexual because she’s never been with a girl, Hani and Ishu decide to fake date. This way, Hani can prove her sexuality to her friends and Ishu can gain popularity, and hopefully become head girl at their school.

The girls become closer and discover their perhaps not-so-fake feelings for each other, but they have to deal with family and friend drama that threatens their relationship.

After loving The Henna Wars and seeing all of the issues discussed in this book, I had very high expectations. And I have to say that they were all met in this book!

I loved both Hani and Ishu as I read this book. Their characters felt very complex, real, and distinct. Unlike other books with multiple perspectives, I had no trouble distinguishing between the voices of Hani and Ishu. Both of them were very different from each other, and I enjoyed getting to see each of their thoughts about the events in the book. I also liked that neither of the characters changed very much once they started to fall for each other and they kept their differing perspectives.

I also loved Hani’s parents. It was really refreshing to read a YA book with a character who had a good relationship with their parents. I loved how supportive they were of Hani’s sexuality and how they expected every member of the family to be honest. The discussions of family in this book, for both Hani and Ishu, were very important to the story.

There were lots of different issues that were tackled in this book, namely biphobia, homophobia, racism, and Islamophobia. Although I can’t really comment on a lot of representation in this book, I found Hani and Ishu’s discussions of their similar yet different cultures to be very interesting. This book also talked about toxic friendships, and while this was often frustrating because Hani’s friends were so terrible, I appreciated how this book talked about how hard it is to stand up to your friends.

The romance in this book was so sweet, and I loved that, even at the beginning, Hani and Ishu really respected each other. I loved how they encouraged each other to grow in different ways. I also liked that, because they were so different, they had to learn to adapt to each other.

If you’re looking for a cute, contemporary romance that doesn’t shy away from real world issues, I would highly recommend this book. If you enjoyed The Henna Wars, I would also highly recommend this book! The books have a very similar style and deal with somewhat similar issues. Overall, I absolutely loved this book and am looking forward to reading everything Adiba Jaigirdar will write next!

Is this book on your TBR? Have you read it? What did you think? Have you read The Henna Wars? Let me know in the comments below! I would love to chat with you!

13 thoughts on “Book Review: Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating

  1. […] This was a really hard question, but I finally have an answer! I’m really bad at picking my favorite anything (which is one of the reasons why this post took so long to write), especially characters. However, I loved Hani’s parents in this book! They were so supportive and I loved how Hani felt like she could talk to them about anything, especially her mother. You can read my review of Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating here. […]

  2. I had such an amazing time buddy reading this with you, and I’m so glad you liked it!! Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating is really such an incredible book, and I’m so excited to read Adiba Jaigirdar’s next books!!

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