Secrets of the Henna Girl
Life as Zeba knows it could be over for good . . .
Zeba Khan is like any other sixteen-year-old girl: enjoying herself, waiting for exam results . . . and dreaming of the day she'll meet her one true love.
Except her parents have other plans.
In Pakistan for the summer, Zeba's world is shattered. Her future is threatened by an unthinkable - and forced - duty to protect her...more
But to Pakistan she goes, to the blistering heat, where she finds out that her parents have decided she is to marry her cousin Asif, her father’s older brother’s son, who is in the military. Zeba becomes a scapegoat in a battle of family pol ...more
Being a Muslim myself, throughout the book, I found myself nodding along with certain phrases and the ideas that were presented from the parents of the main character Zeba as well as the relatives she visits when she goes abroad. Though it's quite a step bac ...more
The story focuses on Zeba's experience in this remote village. She comes to understand more of her parents' culture, and we see some of the consequences of these beliefs.
As a young girl alone in what is, to all intents and purposes, a foreign country Zeba struggles. Thankfully her grandmother is a little more forward thinking than some ...more
Secrets of the Henna Girl by Sufiya Ahmed is a very different book to what I'd normally read. It is very much an 'issues book' as the main thrust of the story involves forced marriage. While I found some parts of the book felt like a learning exercise and therefore didn't feel like natural to the story, other parts were very emotional. This book tells the story of 16 year old Zeba and how her and family went on holiday ...more
I've never been outside of my country since I got here when I was a wee lil one. I haven't left the city for an overnight stay in years and I work in the summer. But if you have a life and go places in the summer, then imagine being sixteen and going to visit your home land. The beautiful landscapes, the relatives, and the food, all await your arrival. Your parents seem testy, but you're not too bothered. It's been awhile for them si ...more
Zeba lives in Britain and aft ...more
I think this is ownvoices Pakistani representation, since the author's other series also has a Pakistani main character, but the only info I could find was that the author was born in India.
Be aware of a transphobic joke on page 102 (one girl tells another that her makeup makes her look like a tr*nsvestite).
This was a little difficult to review, especially since forced marriage plots are prevalent in books with SEA leads. But this book was quite interesting.
I hated how 2D the secondary characters were. The only people who were developed was the band of friends Zeba makes ...more
The story was very interesting and well written that it kept me going with the book.
Some parts of the book annoyed me or made me angry, but I think that's what makes a good book a good book; the readers feeling emotions while reading the book!
I recommend other people to definitely read this book to know about Zeba's story!
But, that being said, the storyline itself, whilst being different, was pretty straightforward and I didn't feel myself excited by it but I was enlight ...more
Arriving in Pakistan, Zeba’s life is drastically changed. She finds out that her parents have promised her hand in marriage to her cousin and the wedding is happening in only a matter of weeks! She ...more
It was a real shame because the author, Sufiya Ahmed, came to visit my ...more
However, when it comes to the positives this book was definitely an eye opener to me. Being half Pakistani myself, the descriptions of Pakistan were A++.
yet I don't think this mentality still exists over there... or maybe it's because we come from the city area, Karachi. This book marvelled me with its morals presente ...more
All the characters were okay, apart from Zeba's mum who had the personality and character development of a stale piece of bread. Zeba herself, although being fine, did frustrate me quite a bit, mainly in the fact she just didn't tell Asif about anything. Why wouldn't you tell him you were being forced into the marriage? Why wouldn't you tell him the on ...more
The secrets of the henna girl by Sufiya Ahmed -
A story that can be highly captive for the west but no so much for us asians. It is a touche topic no doubt but I think the author chooses to gain sympathy for the protagonist by portraying what's worst of our tradition and society. Remember there are good things and there are bad things in every culture and every deed cannot be called following culture. it varies from person to person too. lets us not be biased abou ...more
This beautifully written story of Zeba and her life will keep you wanting to know more like a gossiping aunt prying into the life of this strong-willed individual. The story allows you to think without being overly imposing of the main theme at hand. The author has taken care to introduce it to the reader without force-feeding the reader with it. It was a wonderful read (althoug ...more