Review: Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating | Adiba Jaigirdar (ARC)

This review is spoiler free.

“Where are we going?” Hani asks, letting me pull her along.
“Anywhere we can be together,” I say.

Published: 2021, by Hachette Children’s Group.
Pages: 352
Format: ebook/ARC from Netgalley
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, LGBT, Young Adult, Lesbian, Queer, Fiction
Contains: Anger, Bullying, Racism, Homophobia, Strong Language

I received a copy of this book from Hachette Children’s Group through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

‘Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Take Dating’ follows Humaira “Hani” Khan, who’s easy going and one of the most popular girls at school. However, when she comes out to her friends as bisexual, they invalidate her identity. Panicked, Hani blurts out that she’s in a relationship… with a girl her friends absolutely hate – Ishita “Ishu” Dey.

This book has become one of my most anticipated releases of the year, absolutely adoring the concept and giving more of a voice to those who aren’t usually represented in YA Literature. Needless to say, this was such a fun read.

Hani was a sheer delight to read about, adoring her easy-going personality and almost naivety she has towards other people. She truly wanted to believe that her friends were looking out for her and wanted to protect her, when the reality was that they simply didn’t have her best interests at heart.
Ishu was another delightful character, being head-strong and honest from the beginning. Although, her and Hani formed a pact to fake date, there was still honest feelings shining through from their very first date.
However, my favourite character was Ishu’s sister, Nik, who developed beautifully as the plot proceeded to form. She reformed herself before Ishu’s eyes, opening up about their academic competition and vowed to develop a healthier relationship with her sister. It was beautiful to read.
However, the other characters seemed to fall flat with me, especially Hani’s friends. They didn’t seem to have much personality, other than to be the racist, homophobic best friends, and weren’t the most three-dimensional. Nevertheless, if you look beyond those characters, it was an enjoyable read.

Jaigirdar’s simplistic, concise writing made for an incredibly easy read, it being the perfect novel to assist you in diving back into reading. The story moved quickly, jumping from one event to another to keep you entertained and the short chapters that switched narrative really assisted in your progression through the novel.

Overall, I deeply enjoyed this book, it being as entertaining as I’d hoped and is a worthy contender for my favourite read of the month.


2 thoughts on “Review: Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating | Adiba Jaigirdar (ARC)

  1. It sounds like it was still fun despite the problems, and it feels like the author knew the story they wanted to tell from the get-go but had a hard time settling on the definitive villain so they might have spread them out and watered them down to be this collective of friends. Maybe having one or two clear antagonists, like maybe some Mean Girls, would have given much clearly people to hate so we support our main characters. 💜


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