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The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  422 ratings  ·  161 reviews
Seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali tries her hardest to live up to her conservative Muslim parents’ expectations, but lately she’s finding that harder and harder to do. She rolls her eyes instead of screaming when they blatantly favor her brother and she dresses conservatively at home, saving her crop tops and makeup for parties her parents don’t know about. Luckily, only a f ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published January 29th 2019 by Scholastic Press
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Ameema Saeed I saw on twitter that the author was partially inspired to write this story, by her own daughter's bravery when she came out!

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4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  422 ratings  ·  161 reviews

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Elise (TheBookishActress)
3 1/2 stars because I can’t tell how I felt about this at all.

The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali follows Rukhsana, a gay girl who is sent to Bangladesh and put into an arranged marriage after being caught in kissing her girlfriend.

So despite my three-star, there were a lot of fantastic aspects of this that I’m sure many will really enjoy!! The representation of Bengali culture is #ownvoices and feels very full-of-heart. Rukhsana’s situation is handled with a good deal of care; her scenario is ve
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
Actual rating: 4.5 stars

*I received an Arc of this book in exchange of an honest review*

CW: Colorism, homophobia, islamophobia, physical assault, hospital, graphic description of rape and domestic abuse, starvation, drugging, forced marriage, death of a loved one, hate crime.

Full review originally posted on my blog: Word Wonders

Uh. How does one start a review for a book that’s ripped them open? I have procrastinated this review for a month and a half, I’ve procrastinated it until I literally
Mar 19, 2018 marked it as to-read

no i don't think y'all understand how excited i am for this book. it's hard enough to get poc representation for asians, but we're getting lgbt+ asian rep? are you KIDDING? this is everything i didn't think i'd get so soon. growing up part of an oppressive culture that frowns on anyone breaking the tradition made me feel so unhappy because i knew i didn't fit the mold. i was so terrified. and now i'll get to see a character go through that too, even if it i
Alice Oseman
This really reminded me of The Miseducation of Cameron Post. Just a bit of a warning about the content (contains mild spoilers): (view spoiler) ...more
Wow. This book was spectacular. And okay, so maybe the ending was a teeny tiny bit unrealistic, but also I don't care. The ending was perfect. RTC.
Rukhsana has been in a relationship with her girlfriend Ariana for a few months and things are going well. Between them, anyway. Rukhsana hasn't been able to share the excitement of this relationship with many people, though: she's Bengali, and her parents are quite conservative, so she knows her being a lesbian would potentially cause her parents to disown her. But when she and Ariana are caught kissing, things go from potentially scary to downright terrifying.

Almost immediately, Rukhsana's par
Vicky Who Reads
Dec 11, 2018 rated it liked it
3 stars

I had a lot of high hopes for this book, and I'm really sad that it just was not my favorite read.

I think the most notable positive about this book was the fantastic representation of Bengali culture (oh my gosh the food made me drool) and how Rukhsana dealt with racism. She confronts her white friends about ways they made her feel uncomfortable/unwelcome/they were not understanding and this scene was definitely one of my favorites in the book.

Similarly, I really enjoyed reading Rukhsana
Apr 18, 2018 marked it as releases-2019
Shelves: buy-asap
kav (xreadingsolacex)
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
disclaimer: i received an arc in exchange for an honest review. this is no way impacted my opinions.

trigger warnings: homophobia, colorism, emotional & physical abuse, hate crimes, implied rape/sexual assault (all of these are combated and not okay-ed, but they are definitely existing themes throughout the book)

You have no idea how hard it is to constantly feel like you have to represent your entire culture.

Sandhya Menon, the author of When Dimple Met Rishi, blurbs this novel by sayi
julianna ➹
I have to admit: the writing was a little weird & unpredictable and just generally, not that flowy? It switched tenses at some times.

However, the middle through the end of this book had me on an emotional rollercoaster but I loved it.

i don't think i have the emotional capacity to write an in-depth review for this book. this book hit incredibly close to home as a bangladeshi sapphic. i honestly spent a majority of the book crying and wishing that i could spare rukhsana from what was happening to her. at several points, i had to set the book down because my tears were staining the pages. however, this book is incredibly important and really dives in deep in regards to what it's like to be LGBTQ+ when you're in a no
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars.

I really enjoyed this! My only qualms with it though are that the writing is very...average, and the pacing definitely had it's rough moments.

Still highly recommend for those who are searching for a new F/F romance! Just be warned that it's actually very dark.

TW: homophobia, homicide against queer people
Dec 03, 2018 added it
*I received this book at Yallfest - thank you to the publishers for handing them out!*

According to the summary on the book, I was supposed to get an emotional read that would have heart and humor - however, I'm not laughing.

Before we talk about anything, I need to give the trigger/content warnings because I definitely didn't see any of them coming. And they are HEAVY trigger warnings, and they can be incredibly triggering so I want to put them out there.

Warning for: extreme homophobia, abuse,
(ZanyAnomaly) Sai Ram
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pridereadathon

I've always come across those tweets and posts on book communities where people from marginalized communities say how emotional they were to get to read about someone from their community in a book, and I agreed and thought I understood. I read Queer YAs and just went: "yay i get to read about a Queer Main character! I feel represented!"

BUT OH MY GOD Sabina Khan changed how I look at representation thoroughly!
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked this one A LOT. It reminded me and would be a good fit for fans of Written In the Stars by Aisha Saeed (it's like the LGBTQ version).
This looks really, really good!! I'm so readyyyyy
anna (readingpeaches)
Dec 15, 2018 marked it as dropped
pls i'm exhausted just let gay kids live their lives in peace
Oct 17, 2017 marked it as to-read
This sounds heart wrenching, I'm in
Jan 28, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was by no means a bad book. In fact it kept me interested and invested throughout the entire novel and I read a good 2/3 of it in one sitting. However, I did have some issues.

Please Note: This was sent to be unsolicited by Scholastic but all thoughts are my own.

This will be spoiler free.

This story follows Rukhsana Ali, a Bangladeshi girl, who is a lesbian and is hiding that part of her life from her family and community. One day her very conservative parents catch her kissing her girlf
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I got from Amazon Vine.

Content warnings: child abuse (physical, emotional, medical, sexual), rape, homophobia, homophobic hate crime. This is not a light read no matter what that minty green background on the cover makes you think.

The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali is about queer pain, a kind that’s both familiar to any of us who come from less-than-accepting families and particular to Rukhsana’s situation. Things turn out okay for her i
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Last time a contemporary book had me so gripped it was The Hate U Give and I can only wish that The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali will know the same kind of success.

I will not comment upon the cultural aspects of this novel because it is not my place as a white person. If you want to learn more about this, I recommend checking the most popular reviews as some of them were written by Bengali readers!

This book was not perfect. I reckon that there were some technical flaws in the writing, but I
Ms. Yingling
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

I loved this one, and the way that Rukhsana tries to make her family happy even though what they want for her is not at all what she wants! I would definitely purchase it for high school, but I find that my students aren't quite ready to worry about college just yet, and romances set in high school tend to be much more angst ridden than middle school ones. I enjoyed this, though! Lots of good descriptions of food!
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hard to put down

Well written story of what happens when parents don’t listen, and follow what others say, instead of what they think is best. Rukhsana is about to be forced into a marriage against her will, because her parents can’t stand that she is a lesbian.

Very realistic story that could and probably would happen today.
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
i have absolutely no idea how this book managed to break my fucking heart into a million itty bitty pieces and then mend it all over again, but it did just that. this is such a hard but necessary read, and it was so stunning. god, i'm emotional.

actual rating: 4.75/5 stars
Books on Stereo
Feb 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
A bit unrealistic with a dash of blandness for flavor.
Saajid Hosein
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
where the fuck do i even begin?

i don't fucking know, that's the answer. just read the damn book.
Feb 05, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5. TW for verbal and physical homophobic abuse, rape, sexual assault towards women and girls, domestic abuse, racism and colourism.

This book had so much included in just the blurb that made it one of my most anticipated reads of the year: a lesbian Bangladeshi Muslim? YES. But all three of those things also made it a book I was incredibly nervous to read. I have to admit I was worried about how the book would portray my country, people, culture and religion - and I hate that I have to feel t
Oct 23, 2017 marked it as 2019-releases
This might be my most anticipated release of 2019. Like it sounds like an LGBT version of my favorite book of 2017 Written in the Stars set partially in Seattle (which I'm excited about because my brother and best friend live there and I live close to there) and Bangladesh. I'm hyped.
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Sabina Khan is the author of THE LOVE & LIES OF RUKHSANA ALI (Scholastic/Spring 2019). She is an educational consultant and a karaoke enthusiast. After living in Germany, Bangladesh, Macao, Illinois and Texas, she has finally settled down in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, with her husband and three daughters, one of whom is a fur baby. She writes about Muslim teens who are straddling cult ...more
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