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The Marriage Clock

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In Zara Raheem's fresh, funny, smart debut, a young, Muslim-American woman is given three months to find the right husband or else her traditional Indian parents will find one for her--a novel with a universal story that everyone can relate to about the challenges of falling in love.

To Leila Abid's traditional Indian parents, finding a husband in their South Asian-Muslim American community is as easy as match, meet, marry. But for Leila, a marriage of arrangement clashes with her lifelong dreams of a Bollywood romance which has her convinced that real love happens before marriage, not the other way around.

Finding the right husband was always part of her life-plan, but after 26 years of singledom, even Leila is starting to get nervous. And to make matters worse, her parents are panicking, the aunties are talking, and she's wondering, are her expectations just too high? So Leila decides it's time to stop dreaming and start dating.

She makes a deal with her parents: they'll give her three months, until their 30th wedding anniversary, to find a husband on her own terms. But if she fails, they'll take over and arrange her marriage for her.

With the stakes set, Leila succumbs to the impossible mission of satisfying her parents' expectations, while also fulfilling her own western ideals of love. But after a series of speed dates, blind dates, online dates and even ambush dates, the sparks just don't fly! And now, with the marriage clock ticking, and her 3-month deadline looming in the horizon, Leila must face the consequences of what might happen if she doesn't find "the one..."

368 pages, Kindle Edition

First published July 23, 2019

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Zara Raheem

4 books151 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 652 reviews
Profile Image for peachygirl.
267 reviews644 followers
December 17, 2021
ARC received from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

I wanted to love this book, I really did. But I had so many issues with the protagonist and her attitude. For a 26 year old high school teacher, Liela was very immature, indecisive and judgemental. Her dreams of a Bollywood type love story felt like a fourteen year old's obsession with DDLJ. And her unrealistic expectations for "Mr.Perfect" made me roll my eyes constantly.

Liela's plight was relatable to some extent as the pressure to marry at the right age is common in India, as are nosy relatives. Even the writing was pretty good for a debut. But the writer could have tried to stencil a better heroine than this clueless damsel in distress. Also the fact that she's a stickler about not paying for her meal made me respect her less and less.
The ending was nice. Leila putting her self worth before her parents' expectations was a good take. But it felt too little after everything she went through to please her parents.

Not that this was a bad book, but I wasn't satisfied with it. Others might like it, if only for the hilarity in Leila's series of horrible dates.
Profile Image for ♛ may.
806 reviews3,792 followers
July 27, 2019
book #6 completed! for the reading rush, under the challenge of: "read an author’s first book"

i,,,,,,,feel so cheated right now fjkdahfkja wHAT JUST HAPPENED

to start, i was really excited about this book bc i'm dying for some good, accurate, quality content, romcoms featuring asian muslim characters bc gosh, i am in Dire need of them (you have to live wildly through your books okay otherwise what's the point??)

and the book started off pretty good. i thought the writing was engaging and hilarious. i laughed out loud. multiple times. the main character was opinionated and snarky and generally, i like main characters with those traits

but,,,,,,it got worse.

so the first thing everyone should know about our main character, leila is that she is the most judgemental creature to exist.

the more i read, the more i found that her character constantly contradicted herself.
and she just kept complaining and complaining and judging and complaining and i was going to !sCrEaM! if i had to deal with it again

~for example~
leila CONSTANTLY goes on and on and on about how she's looking for "nontraditional" guy "who challenged cultural expectations and didn't adhere to conventional gender roles"

which is great, sis you do you.

but then she goes on this date with this dude she met from a matrimonial website and when he suggests they split the bill, she freaks out. and i quote,
Whatever happened to #13: GENTLEMANLY and #25: CHIVALROUS? I was not old-fashioned by any means, but I grew up in a household where I was taught that men always treated women with courtesy and respect. They opened the doors. They carried the groceries. They paid the bill."


but okay, it wasn't all bad.

there were some really sweet moments with leila and her friends. she has this awesome group of girls that she can joke around with and come to for advice and just chill and i thought that was fantastic.

i also really appreciated the author's unapologetical inclusion of indian heritage. it was included so seamlessly and really enhanced the book with its detailed descriptions and authenticity.

leila does grow as a character (in SOME aspects) and the friendship she built with her cousin was probably my FAVOURITE things about the book. it was really sweet and innocent and precious and i wish there were more scenes along those lines than the ones where leila did something to annoy me 😔

and there were some REALLY adorable moments of romance that had my heart singing and me bursting with squeals (pretty embarrassing i know) and i was ready to ship them to the freaking MOON but we shall not talk anymore about that bc ~spoilers~ and i aint no cheat

for those of y'all who read it.

and finally, we reach the ending. i thought it had a GOOD message and all but WHY DID IT END SO ABRUPTLY. i legit thought i missed a chapter bc,,,,,,,,,,what just happened there.

if you can't read spoilers, just know that the ending kinda ruined the whole book for me and im lowkey bitter right now but just mainly sad and i blame the cute cover for this deception

2 stars
Profile Image for Felicia Grossman.
Author 4 books114 followers
December 23, 2019
I LOVED this book. Like totally loved. Leila is funny and adorable and you only want good things for her (and men who don't ghost her say "BAM" too much or ask about her genetic history or gives her his honest age...). You really feel how she's torn between loving her culture and being frustrated by it (and her well-meaning, lovable, but at times frustrating parents). Her struggle for balance is so genuine.

And every single character is so well-drawn, form Leila's group of friends, to her various dates (and their parents, to her family in India, each is unique and special and you can totally hear everyone's voice.

And the writing--beautiful. There were so many laugh-out-loud moments as well as poignant ones. Lelia's story is familiar and unique and where her journey will take her is up in the air through the entire piece, keeping you reading until the very end. I am so happy I got to read this as an ARC. I can't recommend this book enough!
Profile Image for Sahitya.
1,032 reviews206 followers
June 15, 2019
I so wanted to love this book. I was actually very sure that I would adore it. I won’t say that my expectations were necessarily very high, but I just felt it in my bones and all I’m feeling is sad after finishing the book.

Though I’ve been blogging for around 2 years now, I’m still not very observant and tend to not notice any flaws or problematic issues or cliches in the writing unless they are very explicit. I actually had to ask my other blogger friends what it meant when reviewers talked about show vs tell style of writing. So, imagine my surprise when for the first couple of chapters, there was just telling and no showing in this book at all, and even I was able to recognize that. It wasn’t bad per se but I guess it just wasn’t a great beginning but it turned better once we got into the meat of the story. The book is fairly fast paced throughout, with lots of hilarious and embarrassing dating situations which were entertaining to read about, but sometimes also fell into typical South Asian stereotypes. I obviously enjoyed all the desi elements of the book - food, culture, language, parents’ expectations regarding dating and marriage, arrange marriage system and all the nosy aunties and especially Bollywood. There are so many references to movies and songs and actors which I absolutely loved and found very organic to the story, but I don’t know how readers who aren’t familiar with the industry would feel about it. There was a particular situation that made me feel very nostalgic when the main character starts sobbing uncontrollably while watching the movie Veer Zara and the Tere Liye song starts playing - while this happens to her during a flight journey, it completely transported me to a train journey I took a long time ago when I too started sobbing while listening to the same song. The main character’s reaction when she visits India also felt very relatable and I couldn’t stop reminiscing about my own experiences. It’s these little little moments in the book that made it worth reading for me.

I can’t say the same for the main character Leila. She maybe twenty six years old but is very confused and judgmental, and I was both frustrated with her and felt sympathetic towards her plight. I really felt for her desperation about wanting to get married while also wanting to choose the guy and pleasing her parents, and also answering every single nosy question all the time. I could totally understand the pressure she was under because however dramatic it might seem, it is a reality for many South Asian women. However, she had too many cinematic expectations about romance and marriage and that felt pretty childish. And while I do agree that most of her dates were terrible, they were also quite caricaturish. And she kept questioning her self worth because of a guy and I absolutely hated it, because I guess I just wanted something more from a high school teacher from LA. She was very indecisive throughout, mostly making decisions based on what her friends suggested or her mother manipulated her into. I just wanted her to introspect what she wanted for herself and stand up to her parents. And when it finally happened, I found it to be too little too late and it totally frustrated me because she didn’t even come to that conclusion on her own.

I’m actually not sure how to conclude my review. This book has quite a few rave reviews, so maybe I’m being overly harsh in my judgement. The writing was funny for the most part and very relatable to me as an ownvoices Indian reader (not Muslim though). It’s also a very fast read and I got through it in just a few hours. I think I wanted more from the main character and was disappointed in that regard. I won’t say that I don’t recommend it, because it might just be to someone else’s taste and I wouldn’t want to dissuade any readers.
Profile Image for Meli.
3 reviews
December 27, 2018
I expected this to be a typical romcom, but there was much more depth to the characters and story than I anticipated. The mother, her friends/cousin, and Leila are each flawed and complicated in their own ways and you can't help but cheer for them throughout. I read this in one sitting because I could not put it down. Raheem's book is a hilarious yet honest look at love, heartbreak and the pressures that come with cultural expectations. I recommend this to not only gain insight about Muslim-Indian culture, but also if you just want to be thoroughly entertained.
Profile Image for Jamie Rosenblit.
903 reviews507 followers
August 7, 2019
For anyone who’s ever been pressured to settle down, been on a horrendous date (hello filtered photos), or has had all the Indian matchmaking Aunties in your life try to marry you off (okay, maybe not that one) - The Marriage Clock is going to be as fun of a read for you as it was for me. Relatable, smart and witty with a heroine that you can’t help but root for as she makes her way through the disasters of dating and familial pressure. Zara Raheem has knocked it out of the park with this one.

I received an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Antonella.
3,404 reviews449 followers
May 30, 2020
the heroine just couldn't catch a break and that got old pretty fast...
yes!! for more own voices books
yes!! for more diverse romance books

sadly this one just a bit lacking for me...
it is hard to accept that ending after the whole book her representing her parents' certain way they just like that changed their views or opinion or as it is said they actually "didn't mean it like that"
Profile Image for Christine SY.
1 review1 follower
January 22, 2019
This book was a spark that I needed in life. As a single, 24-year-old college student busy with her own life, marriage is something I have not yet even thought about, and this book definitely opened my eyes in different ways. The Marriage Clock made me realize marriage and love shouldn’t be something forced and rushed upon and that this chapter you encounter in life will come when you meet the right one. Thank you Zara Raheem for reminding me that love shouldn’t be based on a clock, and that it’s something to be worth waiting for.
Profile Image for Eilonwy.
814 reviews205 followers
October 3, 2019
3-1/2 stars, rounded up because it left me in a good mood

Now that she’s reached the impending-spinsterhood age of 26, Leila Abid’s Muslim South Asian American parents are adamant: Find a husband, and find him soon. They even pick a date: Their 35th wedding anniversary, three months away. So Leila dutifully starts a dating campaign to find a man who matches the desired attributes she once wrote on seven napkins*, trying every method available: apps, matchmakers, speed-dating. But while there are plenty of available men, none of them seems to be Mr. Right. And that deadline keeps looming ever closer.
I picked this up expecting a romance, but it turned out to be a very different book. And I actually liked the book it turned out to be better than the one I was anticipating. So, nice fake-out, book!

The first half of the book is pretty light. Each chapter presents one episode in Leila’s dating scheme, and is related wryly and unemotionally as a sort of comedy of manners. Every method of seeking love offers some kind of stumbling block, and she manages to trip over all of them. I thought this was all presented very entertainingly, especially since the chapters are short and don’t dwell on Leila’s experiences -- this is a mostly angst-free story, although Leila does find herself strongly affected by some of her interactions and experiences. (In a way, this was what I was hoping for from Is There Still Sex in the City? but didn’t get.)

The second half of the book gets a bit more serious. Leila begins to panic, but she also begins to have deeper conversations with other people about What Marriage Means, and finally asks herself what exactly she wants from a marriage, rather than what everyone else, especially her parents, seem to be telling her she should want.

I really enjoyed this book. It’s a good mixture of lightness and depth, with its story presented warmly and empathetically. It’s also a very quick read. This was definitely a pleasant surprise.

* “Seven Napkins” would also have been an apt title for this book, as they get referred back to many times over the course of the story.
Profile Image for Suanne.
Author 10 books997 followers
February 11, 2019
I chose to read The Marriage Clock because I’m always interested in reading own voices writing about their culture. About this time last year I read a book the premise of which was finding a man through match.com. Though that book was comical, at the end I felt unsatisfied as a reader as the female protagonist didn’t seem to grow emotionally from her experiences. That is not true of The Marriage Clock. I flew through this book in just a few hours. Raheem’s writing style is simple, direct, and easy to read. Her characters, particularly Leila, are fully developed, funny, and all-to-human. She is a first-generation American with Indian parents. Leila is frequently torn between her more liberal American self and her family-loving Muslim self. Often she’s frustrated by her more traditional parents who have decided it is time she fulfill her destiny and marry, thus starting the countdown on The Marriage Clock. Leila is convinced she’ll find a partner equal to the men her favorite Bollywood movies but with more liberal qualities of an American male tossed into the pot.

Raheem’s description of Leila’s trials in finding a husband range from sad to pathetic to hysterical. Her rejects are each individualized with traits that range from funny to totally bizarre: the guy who uses the sound “bam” to punctuate every sentence, the one who asks about the past medical history of Leila and her entire family; the one who’s far older than he admits to; the one who’s already engaged, but fails to divulge this to Leila; and finally, the one who “ghosts” her after a seemingly great deal in which she thinks they really connected.

This was not a typical romantic comedy, though those elements are present. There is depth to the narration, and the characters are all well-developed, especially Leila’s family and friends. In addition, the glimpses into the Muslim Indian community and culture are wonderful. The Marriage Clock is also an amusing look into traditional arranged marriages with “auntie” matchmakers, biodata spreadsheets compiled by Leila’s parents, speed-dating, and dating apps. The joy of this book, as mentioned above, is the personal growth of Leila and her journey to self-acceptance.
Profile Image for Megha.
284 reviews86 followers
October 16, 2019
I was exctied to give this book a try and I am majorly disappointed. It had so much potential. Being a Bollywood fan I was hoping for a great path that leads to love story but all I got was Leila repeating some stupid list she made based on the Bollywood movies. Leila as a main character was just not good. She tried so hard to categorize all the guys on her ridiculous list and obviously didn't work out for her.

I did not like Leila. She was so indecisive throughout the book. She kept rejecting guys based on some stupid thing and then goes on 1 date with a guy and falls in LOVE with him. Like what?? She had no median. Even her mom annoyed me. She kept talking about Leila like she is failing at life. Being Indian I know how conservative parents can be but Leila's mom was a whole another level.

Honestly, I did not like this book at all. I just kept listening to the audiobook to get it done and over with. I have really hard time dnf-ing books so I just wanted to finish it and I'm gald I don't have to read or listen to this book ever again. Nothing against the author though, I did like the writing style and the flow of things. I just couldn't connect with the character on any level so that's that.
Profile Image for Erica Boyce.
Author 2 books55 followers
February 8, 2019
This is a lovely and hilarious book about family, love, and finding yourself as an adult within your culture's expectations. I devoured it in three days and was so sad to see it end! Raheem deftly draws a cast of very real characters that I felt for and grew to love very quickly. I laughed out loud at several moments! A really fun and thought-provoking read.
Profile Image for Bookphenomena (Micky) .
2,415 reviews385 followers
July 23, 2019
THE MARRIAGE CLOCK is a witty insight into the pressure for marriage to take place on parents’ timescale for an American, South Asian, Muslim woman. Leila was a free-spirited protagonist with a desire not to hurt her parents but also with a strong feminist streak. She was also a big Bollywood fan and this fandom had influenced how she imagined her falling in love to play out.

“He’s a nice guy, but we just didn’t connect,” I said.
“Connect? What is this, a Wi-Fi signal?” My mother glared at me.

What ensued was a series of cringe-worthy, parent-chosen potential spouses. What was even more hilarious was Leila’s attempt to go solo on this husband-finding project and I laughed many times at her attempts. The speed dating scene was particularly hilarious.

“This was definitely not how I pictured my Indian fairy tale panning out. I had imagined me + Shah Rukj Kahn + villa in the mountains + romantic song + dancing penguins. Instead, I got guy with too much gel + weirded-out looks + tone-deaf singer + lifeteime ban from ever stepping foot into this bistro again.”

The parent nightmare was pressurising and real. I couldn’t imagine having to conform and losing my choice in that way and in reality, this was Leila’s biggest difficulty. She was working as a teacher, she’d lived away from home previously and she sought autonomy, empowerment and freedom. So whilst this was a humourous tale, there was a constant streak of poignancy in Leila’s situation that just got me in the gut. At least she had some great friends around her.

The story went from the US to India and back. There were some short but unexpected heart breaks along the way and they really did have a kick. The story completed in a way that stung my romantic heart but made my feminist heart soar, so I can’t be unhappy about that.

This is a debut by Zara Raheem and she wrote engagingly and with wit. I will definitely be searching out any future releases she has; I would say she’s one to watch.

Thank you to William Morrow and Edelweiss for this review copy. The review is also available on A Take From Two Cities blog here.
Profile Image for Malini.
2 reviews
March 29, 2019
Let me start by saying that if you’re not familiar with traditional Indian customs, you may have difficulty understanding Leila’s approach to dating, but for someone like me, I found this book to be so extremely relatable. Leila Abid is given 3 months to find a husband otherwise she’ll end up with someone her parents select for her. What follows is a humorous and realistic glimpse into the world of dating from an Indian American woman’s eyes.

Even though most American women Leila’s age are more experienced with dating at this stage in their lives, Leila's experience differs because of the culture she grew up in, which prohibits all forms of dating until reaching a “marriageable" age. Throughout the book, Leila expresses her frustrations with this custom because of how it stunts and hinders her in her romantical pursuits. Her actions, which some might perceive as immature or naive on the surface is actually a deeper result of her lack of experience due to her cultural upbringing. This also explains why she and many of her suitors are so unprepared and overwhelmed by the dating process. The portrayal of these challenges through Leila’s experiences is both realistic and relatable and a perfect example of how stories like these can offer deeper insights into different cultures and customs. Kudos to the author for bringing awareness to this topic and will definitely be recommending this book!
Profile Image for Stephanie Anze.
657 reviews112 followers
August 2, 2019
Leila Abid is a modern woman, a teacher and she is dreaming about Mr. Right. An avid fan of Bollywood, she dreams of a colorful, dramatic and intense romance and has a very specific and long list of requirements for a future husband. Her tradional Indian parents have other ideas. Already 26 and still single, Leila's parents are concerned that their daughter is not married yet and their relatives are starting to talk. Leila and her parents come to an agreement: she has three months to find a husband (that her parents aprove of) or else they will pick someone for her and arrange a marriage. As the clock winds down, Leila must find the right path for her.

Having come upon this book by chance, the bright cover and the premise lured me in. An easy and fast read, this book also conveys some heavier subject matters. Leila is modern but also embraces the tradional side her culture. Her parents grow concerned that she is not married yet. At 26, some nosy aunties deem her too old not to be married already. Leila does want to get married but she has not meet the right guy yet and now the clock is ticking. But finding a suitable South Asian Muslim man is not an easy task. She tries every variety of dating: blind, online and speed. Still, she is coming up short and the whole process is starting to take its toll on her. While certain elements in this narrative are cliche and predictable, as a whole this was a sweet story about loving oneself. There are plenty of funny moments as Leila meets a cast of men through her dates but also deep ones as she she tries to meet the expectations of others at the expense of herself. There are a few qualms I could talk about as this book is not perfect. However, it still is a nice and cute read for the summer or a lazy afternoon. Overall, a good story.
Profile Image for Vale198.
517 reviews
September 1, 2019
Leila Abid è un’insegnante di 26 anni ancora single i suoi genitori vorrebbero vederla presto sposata , sopratutto la mamma è molto legata alle tradizioni e per lei a quell’eta dovrebbe essere già sposata ,per Leila non è facile lei sogna un grande amore come quelli che si vedono nei suoi adorati film di Bollywood. La mamma le organizza vari incontri ma a lei non vanno bene così lei dice che cercherà da sola il suo futuro marito ma la madre le dà un ultimatum dovrà trovarlo entro la festa dei 30 anni di matrimonio precisamente entro tre mesi altrimenti se la vedrà lei così Leila con l’aiuto delle sue amiche si darà da fare tra incontri al buio , siti di incontri e speed-date....

Ho iniziato questo libro perché amo i film di Bollywood ma devo dire che oltre alle tradizioni del matrimonio non ci ho trovato nulla di interessante , la trama poteva essere molto carina ma a mio parere non è stata sviluppata bene . Il finale poi non mi è piaciuto speravo in un finale diverso . L’insieme però è piacevole per me ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Profile Image for Julia Phillips.
Author 1 book1,338 followers
March 10, 2019
So fresh and charming and fun! I adored being in Leila's world, from her girls' nights with her friends to her conversations with her loving, pressuring parents to her many first dates. What a joy to read.
Profile Image for Hiba.
23 reviews7 followers
September 9, 2019
I've decided I want to make more of an active effort to read both fiction and non-fiction by South Asian authors, or about South Asian culture, so by no means did I go into reading this book from a place of negativity.
That being said, pretty much all I feel about this book having finished it is.....negativity.
The characters are shallow and one-sided, and there are sorry attempts at making them more relatable or human. Every character themselves is there for the sake of being there - for being Leilas's voices of reason, sanity, insanity etc. and none are convincing by themselves.
Leila herself is insufferable and it was practically headache-provoking to have to read the utterly confounding thoughts coming out of her thick skull.
The writing style itself is almost childish, melting complex and multidimensional topics such as culture, religion, and arranged marriages into one-liners and a sad, sad attempt at a romantic comedy (or whatever this book was trying to be).
I'm not even going to finish reviewing this book because I don't think it's genuinely worth my time ok bye.
January 20, 2022
~3.75 stars

First of all, this is not a romance novel. This is Womens Fiction.

In short, this book tackles the social pressure for women to get married and have kids as early as they can and how damaging that pressure is in everyday life. For example, for some people, if you are in your late 20s or in 30s and yet not in a relationship or childless, you are failure, which is a horrible mentality. Another important element mentioned is the way men generally have a free-pass from that pressure.

The topics Raheem adresses in her debut novel is not the most joyful, but this books remains very light-hearted and reads like Chick-Lit. I truly appreciate the optimism of the story.

Even though the MC, Leila, was too judgmental, I approve her final choice. I think her final decision is the best for her.

I truly loved the message of this book. We need more books like this.

Well done, Zara Raheem. 👏🏼
Profile Image for Christie Grotheim.
Author 1 book49 followers
March 30, 2019
This was such an enjoyable read! Leila finds herself pulled between cultures when it comes to dating, love, and marriage, and I rooted for her as she navigates all kinds of dates, some cringe-worthy. This line, especially, made me laugh out loud: "I wanted to grab twenty units of Botox and pump them into his face until he looked like the Mahmoud in the photographs." This is definitely a book most women can relate to. The relationship with her parents was sweet and believable, and I was surprised by the ending!
Profile Image for Lana  (Bibliomedico).
303 reviews251 followers
August 31, 2019
Check Out the full review on My Blog : https://bibliomedico.wordpress.com/20...

This Is a very disappointing book , Boring , misrepresenting and actually Insulting .

I was so excited to read this book as I’m quite fascinated by the Indian Culture and When I read that the main character is Muslim , I was more excited .

We need more diverse books that represent Islam religion as well as the Indian Culture in an honest way . But Unfortunately , This book was totally misleading , misrepresenting and Mixing between the culture and the religion .

When You want to talk and write about Arranged-Marriage , Please DO Research , ASK people who went through it and do NOT use the movies ideas and thoughts .

Arranged- Marriage does NOT mean FORCED – Marriage , there are huge differences between them , Yeah , Many Cultures still believe and depend on Arranged – Marriages ( For example , Middle east culture – Where I live and know people who went through this experience ) .

1. Arranged- Marriages occur with the Complete ACCEPTANCE of both the bride and the Groom . ( if there is no acceptance , then this is FORCED )

2. YEAH, The bride and the Groom MAY meet each other for the first time With their families attendance . But , After that , they meet other times , get to know each each other ( in another words they DATE before getting engaged ) , They Don’t Marry Immediately after their first Meeting .

3.Families DO NOT pressure their children to Marry If they Do NOT want to , Yeah they could nag but not to the degree where You go and write a Whole book About it . ( Keep in mind , I’m talking about Arranged not Forced Marriage , Because In FORCED marriages , They PRESSURE them )

4. Even After Engagement , Any one could totally Refuse to marry , No Forced obligations in Arranged Marriages .

5. NOT just Muslims go through Arranged – Marriages , So please , Do Not Mix Between the Religion and the culture .

This book completely misrepresented the indian Culture , It’s not just what we watch in Bollywood movies , they got amazing values and They are great people who DO NOT think about Marriage only ( even if they did , where is the fault in that , Every human has the right to think and talk about any damn thing they want .)

When An author decide to write a book , In my opinion , they HAVE the responsibility and Obligation , to be honest and Accurate .

In this book , The main Character was so Irritating and childish , The Author was completely insulting with her character building , where is the harm with women having the fairytale ( or as she described it ” the bollywood “ ) ideas about Marriage and Love, what? you are NOW judging Women THOUGHTS !!! What the hell !! .

While reading , I got the sense of Betrayal , Like the author has cheated with her damaging representation .

And How are you describing this as Romance , There is no Romance , yeah , the main character meets Potential Grooms , but that’s not Romance .

To be honest , the Author writing style is actually really good , I enjoyed her words , but the ideas and everything else were disappointing .

I DO NOT recommend this book at all , If you want to read A Romance with Muslim Characters and GOOD representation of Arranged Marriages , Check out My Review of Ayesha At last .
Profile Image for Barbara.
972 reviews125 followers
August 1, 2019
I don't generally read 'chick lit' unless its protagonists are from Asian communities. As a Brit who loves the Indian sub-continent, I'm prone to picking up 'populist' writing to try to better understand how culture is evolving in places like Pakistan and India and I'm also keen on any books about immigrant experience in the broadest sense of the term. I do have a bit of a weakness for an inter-generational conflict over marriage arrangements. That's just me. If you check my list for this year, you'll see I've binged a bit on this sub-genre.

'The Marriage Clock' treads a well-worn path. Leila is an American-born 26-year-old Muslim girl whose parents moved to the USA from India just days after their arranged marriage almost 30 years earlier. Leila's mum wants to arrange her marriage, telling her that she's way too old to still be single. After predictable arguments and quite a lot of nagging, Leila's mum agrees she can have 3 months to find her own husband and after that, the parents get to take over and choose her husband if she fails to deliver on her own.

It's pretty predictable. We do online dating, blind dates arranged by friends, even speed dating and we soon learn that being Muslim doesn't make a lot of difference - there are still a lot more toads than princes. Aunties get involved, pressure is applied, Leila is dressed up and paraded around for the approval and consideration of the community. Nothing very new there.

Some of the guys are laughably awful but Leila herself is far from an easy 'catch'. She's stubborn, judgemental and carries her own heavy baggage of prejudice. As her deadline approaches, she's put through the torment (or not) of going to India for her pretty cousin's wedding and forced to reconsider her approach to dating.

The ending is a bit of a surprise but not a particularly good one. More of a damp squib than a cavalcade of fireworks. The decision taken is not one I'd challenge but it's delivered with so little ceremony that I felt I'd wasted the hours reading everything that went before. All rather disappointing.
Profile Image for Leslie.
660 reviews10 followers
November 25, 2018
This forthcoming novel (July 2019) might easily be written off as "chick lit," but behind the humor, the angst, the determined search for a husband, is a pretty powerful look at the life of a first-generation Indian Muslim young woman whose family's expectations for her are marriage--first, last, and everything. While reading this, I happened on a new NPR report about marriages in India where arranged marriages still account for 4 0ut of 5 unions and where there are dire consequences for choosing to marry outside your religion or caste. Author Raheem does a fine job exploring the various sides of freedom of choice and arranged marriages, and her characters are interesting and three-dimensional personalities. Even the mother, who seems so overbearing, is more realistic than caricatured. This is an eye-opening book for "non-desi" readers and would also be excellent material for discussion groups.
Profile Image for Tillie.
236 reviews
July 16, 2019
Excellent book. Really opened my eyes to the Muslim culture. Leila's dilemma was presented in a very real fashion. Her thoughts and struggles were real and poignant. I applaud her decision in the end.
Profile Image for K. Chess.
Author 2 books76 followers
March 22, 2019
THE MARRIAGE CLOCK was a fun, fast read. Leila is a convincing modern heroine and the Muslim/Indian-American cultural context added depth and interest to her story. I found the speed-dating scene hilarious, the rainstorm swoonworthy, the swift reversals surprising and the resolution satisfying.
Profile Image for Briar's Reviews.
1,823 reviews506 followers
January 15, 2023
The Marriage Clock by Sara Raheem - the rom-com of the year!

I absolutely adored this book. Who doesn't stress about finding the right guy? Now throw in being in a culture where your parents can arrange your marriage, and it might be a little more stressful. But don't worry...they give you three months to find the perfect guy (if he exists).

This book brings so much charm and perspective, and honestly was a breath of fresh air. It was a fun and smile worthy book that packs a lot of culture and hilarity into what can be the most stressful time of someone's life. Friendship, family, culture, and the dating game are all on display in this book.

I cannot hype this book up enough. It's a unique rom-com that will make you laugh, potentially cry, and grimace at how brutal dating can be (oh those bad dates... we've all had one).

Four out of five stars.
Profile Image for Ray.
393 reviews45 followers
July 2, 2019
ARC provided by the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review, thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own

Hey When Dimple Met Rishi check this out, THIS is how to have a very good rep and a good plot.

I absolutely LOVED this book!
It was really well written, the language was simple and straight to the point.
The plot was interesting to say the least, there was always something going on and it had no down moment.

I loved the rep in this book, both racial and religious.
Usually when I read books with muslim characters they're either perfect muslims who do nothing wrong at all, or completely disconnected from their religion.
Leila felt more relatable because she was this person who loved her religion and her culture, but at the same time screwed up here and there and did things that are wrong then recovered from them.

I absolutely loved that ending! It was what I was hoping would happen in the end but I wasn't sure it would.
I kind of felt like I went through a self discovery journey throughout this book and I emerged more confident and sure.

The one thing I must point out though, is the fact that there was no translation for the Hindi words used in this book.
I think it would've been better if the book itself contained a translation of said words, so that non-Indian readers wouldn't have a hard time looking the words up every time then going back to reading.

All in all, this was such a great read and I'm so glad I picked it up.
Profile Image for Bookish Anki  .
76 reviews19 followers
July 24, 2019
Thank you William Morrow Books & Zara Raheem for my free copy.

This was a quick read filled with fun, hearbreaks, wisdom & depth. Leila is given a 3 months ultimatum from her parents to find a boy of her choice from their community, Leila comes up with an 46 qualities checklist that will help her finding her life partner and falling in love with him which is somewhat influenced by Bollywood romantic movies. As her desperate search to find her life partner begins, there comes series of awkward hilarious conversations between her parents, her dates & her girlfriends; off-course not for Leila but for us, readers especially the one’s she has with her mother

Also, being a South Asian myself, I could understand Leila’s frustation to respect her parent’s requests along with doing what’s right for her too. Its not easy to say NO to parents especially when it comes to marriage. They love their children but when it comes to marriage, they are out of control

I loved how the circumstances matures Leila to understand what she actually wants in life & the things she has to confront. The question is whether she will choose herself or her do what parents are expecting from her?

Zara while keeping the story realistic has touched the issues that women face not only within South Asian community but everywhere

I am sure you will enjoy reading this as much as I did.
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