Delightfully Witty, Heartfelt and Apologetically Real | Blog Tour, Giveaway, Review + Playlist: The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigidar

6:30 AM

In other news: another one of my most anticipated 2020 YA releases DEFINITELY lived up to the hype. The Henna Wars is truly can't-miss-fiction. (So, duh, get it together and check it out. After reading my review, of course.)



The Henna Wars
by Adiba Jaigirdar
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Release Date: May 12th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, LGBT, Contemporary, Queer
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Synopsis:
When Dimple Met Rishi meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in this rom com about two teen girls with rival henna businesses.
When Nishat comes out to her parents, they say she can be anyone she wants—as long as she isn’t herself. Because Muslim girls aren’t lesbians. Nishat doesn’t want to hide who she is, but she also doesn’t want to lose her relationship with her family. And her life only gets harder once a childhood friend walks back into her life.
Flávia is beautiful and charismatic and Nishat falls for her instantly. But when a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, both Flávia and Nishat choose to do henna, even though Flávia is appropriating Nishat’s culture. Amidst sabotage and school stress, their lives get more tangled—but Nishat can’t quite get rid of her crush on Flávia, and realizes there might be more to her than she realized.


There was such a soft, but blunt, feeling that came with reading The Henna Wars. Namely in its main character and Adiba Jaigidar's stunning prose. I wanted to somehow reflect that in the idea of my mix--which proved to be difficult. But, of course, nothing I couldn't work with. In the end, I wanted there to be this bubbly-buzzy feeling that comes with, er, coming of age and falling in love. And finally, loving yourself.  

The song's in this playlist are a mix of upbeat songs that play out perfectly in the mind. In fact, most of these songs popped into my head as I was reading it. The Henna Wars beckoned me to write out the songs as the popped in my mind, but it also didn't allow me to turn away from its beauty for long.

If this is, once again, not working you can find the playlist here on Spotify.

 The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigidar 
Rating: ★★★★★          
 
As always, a copy of this book was provided by the authors in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.  
 
Give it up for you next sapphic swoon-fest The Henna Wars. Not only was this book everything I'd hoped for and wanted, it was so much more than even my best daydreams could have imagined. Let's just say this now to get it out of the way: Adiba Jaigirdar outdid herself in the most beautiful of ways and is a definite voice you need to be looking to in fiction.

(You may recognize her as a contributor for Bookriot.)

On a surface level, I knew that The Henna Wars was bound to be one of the most special works of YA fiction this year. The representation, the tackling of topics such as cultural appropriation, the ideal exploration of enemies-to-lovers. Jaigidar may as well have completed the novel and written all of our names on it. (She's really got our number, you guys. And she's got it good.)

What makes a good story is simple, and complex, all at once: the author is able to make fiction feel like non-fiction. In the case of The Henna Wars, this has never been truer. The characters, in particular our leading lady, Nishat, and the issues it tackles, are alive. The story never fails to pack a punch of emotional truths.

Keep tissues on standby. There were some moments where the gravity of it all really hits you full force.  Ultimately, the way Jaigirdar makes us feel is not unlike life itself. She writes, we listen. Nishat feels, and we feel secondhand emotions through her.

Looking back, all I can about The Henna Wars is that it's filled with a spark of something special and so very important. It's more than just an average coming of age story riddled with the questions of youth and where one belongs in a world as it so desperately tries to smother someone's flame. The Henna Wars is more than just a love story. It's a declaration of self-love, and development, and harsh realities.

The Henna Wars is, hands down, one of the best books you should be reading this summer.

All throughout The Henna Wars, I could feel my heart beating. In rhythm with the romance. In the rush of sympathy and frustration and gratitude and respect I had for Nishat. Nearly every emotion one can think of is there. And it can be heavy. But, it can also make us soar. I have no doubt that The Henna Wars will strike a serious cord with its audience.



Adiba Jaigirdar is a Bangladeshi/Irish writer and teacher. She lives in Dublin, Ireland. She has an MA in Postcolonial Studies from the University of Kent, England and a BA in English and History from UCD, Ireland.
She is a contributor for Bookriot. Previously, she has published short fiction and poetry in various journals and anthologies.
All her work is aided by copious amounts of (kettle-made) tea and a whole lot of Hayley Kiyoko and Janelle Monáe.
She is represented by Uwe Stender at TriadaUS.



Blog Tour:

May 12th

May 13th

Emelies Books - Guest Post
The Little Mouse That Reads - Review
The Reading Corner for All - Review + Favourite Quotes
Lauren’s Boookshelf - Review + Playlist
Dawn Elize - Review

May 14th

Ya It’s Lit - Review + Favourite Quotes
Between the Shelves - Review
Bookishaestha - Review + Playlist + Dream Cast
dinipandareads - Review + Favourite Quotes
SepiaReads - Review

May 15th

BookCrushin - Guest Post
Booked J - Review + Playlist
Feed Your Fiction Addiction - Review
Dazzled by Books - Review + Favourite Quotes
For The Love of Fictional Worlds - Review

May 16th

Kait Plus Books - Interview
Sometimes Leelynn Reads - Review + Playlist + Dream Cast
Wilted Pages - Review
The Various Hues of Blue - Review + Dream Cast + Favourite Quotes
The Mind of a Book Dragon - Review
Annej Reads - Promotional Post

May 17th

QueerBookReport - Review
The Layaway Dragon - Review + Favourite Quotes
Popthebutterfly Reads - Review
Enthralled Bookworm - Review + Playlist
Books_andPoetrii - Review + Favourite Quotes

May 18th

Utopia State of Mind - Interview
Morgan Vega - Review + Favourite Quotes
Wonder stuck - Review
Fangirl Pixie Blog - Review + Playlist + Favourite Quotes
BiblioJoJo - Review

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May 12th

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May 15th

May 16th

May 17th

May 18th

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