by Ayisha Malik
Release: 14th January 2016
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: Copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
" "Brilliant idea! Excellent! Muslim dating? Well, I had no idea you were allowed to date.' Then he leaned towards me and looked at me sympathetically. 'Are your parents quite disappointed?'
Unlucky in love once again after her possible-marriage-partner-to-be proves a little too close to his parents, Sofia Khan is ready to renounce men for good. Or at least she was, until her boss persuades her to write a tell-all expose about the Muslim dating scene.
As her woes become her work, Sofia must lean on the support of her brilliant friends, baffled colleagues and baffling parents as she goes in search of stories for her book. In amongst the marriage-crazy relatives, racist tube passengers and decidedly odd online daters, could there be a a lingering possibility that she might just be falling in love...?"
Sofia Khan is Not Obliged is a book that I fell in love with from the first few pages. Sofia’s voice is so warm and likeable that you quickly get sucked into her crazy life and root for her like you would a friend.
The book is told in a diary format and follows Sofia’s adventures as a modern muslim woman. After breaking off her engagement with a man a little too close to his family, Sofia swears off men for good to the horror of her relatives. When her boss at the publishing house where she works offers Sofia a book deal she agrees- she might not have a husband but she will have a bloody book! The only problem is the book in question is a tell-all on muslim dating and to write it she’s going to have to throw herself back into the London dating scene for research. With marriage crazy relatives, her friends’ disastrous love lives and a writing deadline Sofia’s about to dive hijab first into the world of romance whether she likes it or not.
Sofia Khan is Not Obliged is a fresh take on Women’s Fiction, I loved getting to take a look at a different way of life that I haven’t seen represented before in this genre. The book tackles some serious themes at times. I got particularly angry at a scene where Sofia is called a terrorist on the tube! But for the most part, the book is warm and funny whilst still shedding light on Sofia’s lifestyle.
As well as the wonderful Sofia Khan, there are so many other brilliant secondary characters to get to know and love. There’s a large cast but every single character is fleshed out and vibrant. Sofia’s relationships with her family and friends were one of my favourite things about this book. I especially loved the relationship that Sofia has with her dad.
Sofia Kahn is Not Obliged is one of those rare books that made me both laugh and cry. Sofia Khan is one of my new favourite heroines - she makes every page sparkle with her funny and intelligent outlook on life. If you’re a fan of Helen Fielding or Mhairi McFarlane, Ayisha Malik may just be your new favourite author. I can’t wait for the sequel!