Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 12 to 18
- Grade: 7 to 12
The romance of Becky Albertalli meets the nuanced family dynamics of Darius the Great is Not Okay in this YA novel from acclaimed author Sabina Khan.
Mehar hasn’t been back to India since she and her mother moved away when she was only four. Hasn’t visited her father, her grandmother, her family, or the home where she grew up. Why would she? Her father made it clear that she’s not his priority when he chose not to come to the US with them.
But when her father announces his engagement to socialite Naz, Mehar reluctantly agrees to return for the wedding. Maybe she and her father can heal their broken relationship. And after all, her father is Indian royalty, and his home is a palace — the wedding is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime affair.
While her father still doesn’t make the time for her, Mehar barely cares once she meets Sufiya, her grandmother’s assistant, and one of the most grounded, thoughtful, kind people she’s ever met! Though they come from totally different worlds, their friendship slowly starts to blossom into something more . . . Mehar thinks.
Meanwhile, Mehar’s dislike for Naz and her social media influencer daughter, Aleena, deepens. She can tell that the two of them are just using her father for his money. Mehar’s starting to think that putting a stop to this wedding might be the best thing for everyone involved.
But what happens when telling her father the truth about Naz and Aleena means putting her relationship with Sufiya at risk . . .
About the author
Sabina Khan writes about Muslim teens who straddle cultures. She was born in Germany, spent her teens in Bangladesh, and lived in Macao, Illinois, and Texas before settling down in British Columbia with her husband, two daughters, and the best puppy in the world. Visit her online at sabina-khan.com.
Praise for What a Desi Girl Wants:
"A madcap romance. Lush and inviting." -- Publishers Weekly
Praise for Zara Hossain Is Here:
Featured in The New York Times
* "[Zara Hossain Is Here] establishes Khan as a powerful rising voice in YA." -- Booklist, starred review
"Fans of Samira Ahmed, Tahereh Mafi, and Randa Abdel-Fattah will find Khan's powerful work timely and affecting." -- School Library Journal
"Khan's examination of the legal difficulties many immigrants face on their road to citizenship, and the precariousness of the immigrant experience more generally, fortify this timely novel." -- Teen Vogue
* "Khan unapologetically tackles prejudice in its various manifestations while simultaneously engaging openly with the complexities of accountability. A vivid account exploring issues many immigrant teens face." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Khan creates a gripping story line centering the conflict between prejudice and tolerance." -- Publishers Weekly
Praise for The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali:
Featured on NBC News and the BBC
A Junior Library Guild Selection
A Teen Indie Next List Pick (IndieBound)
An Amazon Best Book of the Month
"An intersectional, diverse coming of age story that will break your heart in the best way." -- Bustle
* "With an up-close depiction of the intersection of the LGBTQIA+ community with Bengali culture, this hard-hitting and hopeful story is a must-purchase for any YA collection." -- School Library Journal, starred review
"This book will break your heart and then, chapter by chapter, piece it back together again. A much-needed addition to any YA shelf." -- Sandhya Menon, New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi and From Twinkle, With Love
"Heart-wrenching yet hopeful. Sabina Khan crafts a powerful, poignant story about finding yourself, about speaking your truth, and about stepping out of the shadows and into the light." -- Samira Ahmed, New York Times bestselling author of Love, Hate and Other Filters
"A daring and timely novel." -- Tanuja Desai Hidier, author of Born Confused and Bombay Blues
"Bold, heartbreaking, yet hopeful. A story that will stay with you for years to come." -- Sara Farizan, Lambda Award-winning author of If You Could Be Mine
"The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali unapologetically explores the complex ties between families, friends, and intersectional diversity. Khan brings talent and voice in this brilliant novel that will keep you reading until the very last page." -- Nisha Sharma, author of My So-Called Bollywood Life