Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Henna Wars” as Want to Read:
The Henna Wars
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Henna Wars

4.66  ·  Rating details ·  35 ratings  ·  30 reviews
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
Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: May 12th 2020 by Page Street
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Henna Wars, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Henna Wars

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  35 ratings  ·  30 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Henna Wars
Adiba Jaigirdar
Mar 06, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
The content warnings for this book is printed in the ARC, and will also be printed in the final copy. But for anyone wondering whether you are in the right headspace to pick it up, the content warnings can be found here.

You can also find links to the first chapter excerpt and the Spotify Playlist on my website!

Happy reading everyone!
a YA contemporary about two girls with competing henna businesses who fall in love??!

i would have wanted to read this regardless. they didn't need to ruin my life with the cover too.

(thanks to the publisher for the ARC)
Mar 14, 2019 marked it as to-read a story featuring two brown girls falling in love? not to be dramatic, but this is everything i've ever wanted.
Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
I had the privilege of reading this book a few months ago and it's honestly one of those stories that is life changing and healing. The story is about Nishat, a gay bengali student who enters a business competition at school, selling henna designs. The story is filled with so much unapologetic bengali pride, a beautiful (and hilarious) sibling relationship reminicent of kitty and lj from TATBILB and an amazing romance starring probably what I'd call my OTP. If it wasn't obvious... You NEED this ...more
Sep 01, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2020-releases
November 12, 2019cover reveal: every time i see POC on the book covers, i go head over heels with all the heart eyes.but this is just too cute with the wavy and curly hair, henna on the hands, nose ring, freckles.

|| henna, henna, henna
|| f/f romance
|| brown girls, brown girls, brown girls
Sahil Javed
Nov 13, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: contemporary, lgbtq
give me brown girls and boys falling in love with the same sex. give me all of that gay stuff.
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
eARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book was one of my most anticipated books of the year, and while it didn't completely live up to all my expectations (they may have been a bit too high) it was still a really great book and an impressive debut.
This follows our main character Nishat, who lived in Bangladesh until she was 10 but then her family moved to Dublin, Ireland. At the beginning of this book, Nishat decides to come out as a lesbian to her parents and it
Francesca Flores
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this book a few months ago and it was brilliant. I'm a relatively slow reader who usually takes about 4-6 days to read a book. I rarely ever read anything in 1-3 days, but I binge-read this. It's so sweet and funny and touching and also realistic and perfect?! I loved reading the story of these girls and can't wait to re-read it once it's on shelves and touching readers' lives.
Why did no one tell me the cover and summary for this were released? I'm so damn excited to read this.
Chloe Gong
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this in one sitting and wanted to hug the book to my chest. Such precious characters and beautiful representation of culture mixed with a storyline that is both hard-hitting and an excellent romcom.
Abi (The Knights Who Say Book)
a wlw romcom rivals-to-romance compared to Simon vs the Homosexual Agenda???? i know this book wasn't specifically tailored to me BUT if it had been, it would still sound exactly like this
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this f/f book so much! Such a gorgeous mix of school girl rivalry, miscommunication, bad player secondary characters causing hijinks and swoon worthy romantic tension plus an insightful exploration of the differences between celebrating and sharing your own culture vs cultural appropriation. (Plus descriptions of Bengali food that had my mouth watering.) I loved the journey that both Nishat and Flávia go through to find each other and truly understand each other, and the way that Henna ...more
Sara➽ Ink Is My Sword
Nov 17, 2019 marked it as to-read
Okay but this sounds freaking cute! AND THE COVER. ...more
Jan 16, 2020 marked it as might-read
* I received a digital ARC of this book (via NetGalley) from its publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Pre-order links: Amazon | Book Depository

My links: Blog | Instagram | Twitter
October 28, 2019: Uhhhh, I know it says cover not final but I am in LOVE with the cover and hope final cover looks like that!!!

November 17, 2019: I’m so so in love with this cover I cant wait for my preorder so I can rub my face all over it like a cat
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this so much!! Got the chance to read it before release and I can't wait for it to be out so everyone can read it too! Nishat is so precious and the story was so well done, THE NUANCE!!

All the stars!!
Nov 13, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: released-2020
ok so this cover is absolutely stunning and ONE OF THE CHARACTERS HAS MY NAME.


Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“What I want more than anything else is to feel like being myself isn’t something that should be hidden and a secret” (end of chapter 18 in the eARC).

Nishat attends a majority White, all-girls Catholic high school in Dublin. Although the administration claims to have a zero-tolerance policy for bullying, students who routinely bully others face no consequences. Nishat has been repeatedly bullied and feels as though she doesn’t really fit in at the school. Her little sister, Priti, fares a little
Sulagna Mondal
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I am all in for the concept of the book! Nishat's story reverberates with a lot of issues we face today. The story perfectly encapsulates homophobia, racism and cultural appropriation in the most honest and heart-warming way. Nishat's family is Bangladeshi Muslim and they belong to a minority community in Ireland. While her parents fought hard and tough to give Nishat and her sister Priti a comfortable life in Ireland, Nishat and Priti face a different kind of discrimination in their lives - a ...more
Feb 03, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
I think my disappointment in this book comes down to the romance, which is really unfortunate. I liked pretty much everything else about this book, but for me personally I found the romance lacking. I wish this weren't the case, and also wonder if I hyped this book up too much before reading it.

Also as another small complaint, this book is set in Ireland but one time a temperature is given that has to be Fahrenheit and that was frustrating and weird. I assume that's just some annoying
Dec 22, 2019 marked it as to-read
can i get this book cover tattooed on my face?? yes please
Jan 31, 2020 added it
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this arc, which I received in exchange for an honest review. I’ll post that review upon publication.
Geneviève (thefreckledbookworm)
CONTENT WARNING : this book contains instances of racism, homophobia, bullying, and a character being outed.

"When Dimple Met Rishi meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in this rom com about two teen girls with rival henna businesses." Yup, this first sentence of the synopsis was enough to convince my bi ass that I needed to send a request to Netgalley for this ARC.

So. THIS BOOK. It was the perfect feel good rom-com, with a full-on emotional roller-coaster ride. The characters were so layered
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely love this book. The Henna Wars is a feel-good YA book. Flavia is Brazallian and and Nishat is from Bangladesh. The both attend school in Ireland. They both have amazing stories about why they are living with family in Ireland. The school they attend host a competition for their class. The competition requires students to work in groups and design a business plan and market it to the community. Winners of the competition get a sizeable cash prize. Both Flavia and Nishat are on teams ...more
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to NetGalley for letting me read an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.

This story follows our main character who recently came out to her conservative, Bengali parents and is trying to use her creative skills at henna to win a school contest. I really enjoyed all of the cultural references throughout this entire book as they created a rich, vivid setting for our characters to be grounded and feel real. The love story was cute but the book was more about the family and school
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A great novel written about the struggles of coming/being forced out of the closet in high school. The intersection of sexuality and cultural and identity is well explained here. I think this is a great read for any teen that may be grappling with their identity in high school or anyone wanting to live unapologetically themselves.
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Can't wait to read!
London Shah
Dec 22, 2019 marked it as to-read
I'm sooo excited about this book, and surely it has the sweetest cover ever!!! <3
Maria Rutkowska
Can May 12th come sooner? I need this in my life
I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

I wholeheartedly adored this: The Henna Wars is a wonderful, sincere story with fantastic characters and relationships. The journey of Nishat and Flávia's relationship was beautifully written and charming to read about, as was the development of Nishat's relationships with her sister, friends and the rest of her family. I loved Nishat, her loved ones and the unapologetic expression of their identities.
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Ace of Spades
  • Grown
  • Dark and Deepest Red
  • The Queen of Nothing
  • The Deathless Girls
  • Almost American Girl
  • The Gravity of Us
  • All the Bad Apples
  • The King of Crows (The Diviners, #4)
  • Crier's War (Crier's War, #1)
  • These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights, #1)
  • Alex in Wonderland
  • The Sound of Stars
  • Girls of Storm and Shadow (Girls of Paper and Fire, #2)
  • Frankly in Love (Frankly in Love, #1)
  • Ink
  • Wilder Girls
  • The Girl Who Stole an Elephant
See similar books…
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.

All her work is aided by copious amounts of (kettle-made) tea and a whole lot of Hayley Kiyoko and Janelle Monáe.

Her debut novel THE HENNA WARS will be published by Page Street in Spring
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »