Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know” as Want to Read:
Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know

by
3.90  ·  Rating details ·  858 ratings  ·  291 reviews
Told in alternating narratives that bridge centuries, the latest novel from New York Times bestselling author Samira Ahmed traces the lives of two young women fighting to write their own stories and escape the pressure of familial burdens and cultural expectations in worlds too long defined by men.

It’s August in Paris and 17-year-old Khayyam Maquet—American, French, India
...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 7th 2020 by Soho Teen
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 Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Latesha Dejean There is a hint at sex because one of the characters was a concubine but it was really only a hint. There is kissing but it doesn't go much further th…moreThere is a hint at sex because one of the characters was a concubine but it was really only a hint. There is kissing but it doesn't go much further than than.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  858 ratings  ·  291 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know
Nilufer Ozmekik
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
OMG! Isn’t it enchanting idea to read a book about two powerful women from different time lines who want to raise their voices and tell their stories! One of them is in Paris, searching for the deepest secrets hid behind a remarkable drawing with a charming French guy carries his descendant Alexandre Dumas’ name! And the other woman is a haseki, leaving behind the walls of Ottoman Harem, telling her secret love triangle story which resulted tragically!

Didn’t you get excited and start to dance l
...more
jv poore
Khayyam’s life is finished and she’s only seventeen.

Ok, that may be a bit over-the-top, but she truly is beyond bummed to have completely blown her chance to achieve her life-long dream. Admittedly, her over-eager attempt to get into the Chicago School of Art Institute was not as well researched as it should have been. The needlessly harsh criticism of one judge plays on repeat in Khayyam’s mind.

The hateful words aren’t wrong; but neither is Khayyam’s theory. A portrait must to be missing from
...more
Ellie (faerieontheshelf)
Ahmed's Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know has a really gripping synopsis: a budding art historian heroine spends her summer in Paris investigating the role of a mysterious woman from the Ottoman Empire who features in works by Alexandre Dumas (most notably the author of The Three Musketeers), the Romantic painter Eugène Delacroix, and the famous English poet Lord Byron. The story by large is fictional, as the woman - Leila - never existed, but Ahmed builds upon an idea I love so much: giving historic ...more
Elle (ellexamines)
Oct 21, 2017 marked it as tbz
Shelves: x-tbr2020
Two teens unravel the mystery of a Muslim woman mentioned in letters from Alexandar Dumas. Yes.
Enne (they/he)
3.5 stars

I'm honestly not sure what happened with this one. It sounds like a book that I should have fallen in love with. Dual timelines, a mystery that connects them both, exploring how history get written and rewritten by the most powerful, I love all of that?? Not to mention the fact that the mystery somehow involves Alexandre Dumas!! As someone who used to love The Three Musketeers when I was younger, that particular detail made me very excited to pick this one up.

So where did it all go wro
...more
Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell
As a fan of Byronic heroes, the title is Relevant to My Interests™
Dany
OH MY GOODNESS

My heart was soaring through the book with the amazing plot and fun mystery.

Khayyam is in Paris for her Summer vacation where she is ridiculed for her art essay for a Young scholar prize. After stepping in dog poop and feeling like a total screw up , Khayyam meets a cute french boy who might actually be a solution to her love life and her chance to get her Young Scholar Prize .

Why should you care / read / pre order Mad , Bad & Dangerous to know? Lemme explain.

Characters

Our MC khay
...more
Sahitya
Despite following the author for a long time on Twitter, I have actually never read her books before. Internment has been on my tbr for a long time but it intimidates the hell out of me and I’m just so scared to read it. But when I saw the blurb for this one, I just knew this was my type of book and I had to read it immediately. And it was amazing.

Even though I mostly read fantasy or romance novels, I am actually very fond of books which have a lot of archeological, historical or artsy elements
...more
Vee_Bookish // YA Book Blogger
[ARC Provided by NetGalley, my review is unbiased]
I'm also a book blogger

While I loved slowly uncovering the mystery of this woman that had faded into the background of these lauded men, I felt it was often to overshadowed by Khayyam's obsession with the guy she just met. I found Khayyam to be a very frustrating character - she's clearly flirting with this new guy, while at the same time being mad at her boyfriend for posting pictures of himself with other girls. Hello, double standards.

I loved
...more
Lulu (the library leopard)
Oct 21, 2017 marked it as tbr-library
Shelves: tbr-poc
ok i'm gonna admit some slight confusion that this isn't related to lord byron but this also sounds AWESOME
Saajid Hosein
Jan 17, 2020 rated it liked it
*Requested and ARC in exchange for honest review.

3.5 for now. Will write a review soon.
- ̗̀  jess  ̖́-
I'm going to be honest: I went into this knowing next to nothing about it, so imagine my delight when I realized it was about a French-American Muslim girl set in Paris on an art history sleuthing mission mixed with poetry and philosophy. Like, this hit the nail on the head for what I like, and honestly, I was hooked.

I really liked Khayyam. She's an aspiring art historian with a very strong sense of determination, trying to fix the first mishap in her (hopeful) career. Khayyam is very admirable
...more
USOM
Mar 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Mad, Bad, & Dangerous to Know hooked me from the first pages. It's full of personality and Khayyam's thoughts jump off the page. I love how quickly she establishes herself in your heart - her fierce ambition, her passion, and her heart. And she only gets better and better! The characters have to be my number one reason for loving this book. Khayyam is a complex character who is both
...more
Geoff
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'm clearly not the target audience for this novel, but one of the reasons I wanted to read it is to give myself a booster shot in remembering what it was like to be a teenager, simultaneously struggling with expectations and self-definition and love and friends and figuring out my moral truth. It's something that I don't want to forget as my kids get older and I approach the potentially turbulent adolescent years form the other side.

That said, I can tell that I'm coming at it from the other sid
...more
Rachel Tiku
Oct 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favs
the best way i can sum up this book is in the words of the main character: “following the breadcrumbs of a literary mystery in paris with a beautiful french boy”

i did not expect to love this as much as i did wow. i expected it to be revolving around a love story more than anything, but there was so much more to it. idk even know how to describe it.

this book told the story from two different perspectives, one from the 1800s and one in current day. as the book goes on, you get to see how these t
...more
Sara
I've rarely encountered a writer like Samira Ahmed who sees so clearly into the mind and heart of a teenager. Its almost a little concerning how good she is at articulating the raging passion and indecision and outright lunacy that comes part and parcel with adolescence. How your priorities are all over the map and your hormones are almost always doing all your thinking and the things you want are vastly more important that whatever anyone else wants. She gets that sweet selfishness in a way I j ...more
aarya
Argh. I’m writing a review a week after reading and I’m docking a star from my initial 4 star rating. This is why I should always write reviews ASAP, because otherwise I over-analyze and realize that some irritating things were EXTRA irritating. I still liked the book and would recommend it for fans of Parisian settings and alternating timelines, but there were enough qualms to make me dock another star.

- Khayyam is freaking great. A+ heroine, would read a ten-book series about her. The Leila pa
...more
Julie
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was an incredibly powerful and moving read. A definite must-have for fans of A.S. Byatt's POSSESSION.
Yogaa Lakshmi
Jul 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-arcs
Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know is a captivating story of two strong willed women, the first one is Khayyam, a French-Indian-Muslim American and a aspiring art historian and the second one is Leila, a 19th century woman, who was the favorite concubine of the king (Pasha) and whose path seems to mysteriously intersect with three great artists of all time- Byron, Delacroix and Alexandre Dumas.

The story unfolds in a very interesting manner, where the POV alternate between the two women. Leila's narra
...more
Sasha Zatz
Mad Bad and Dangerous to Know by Samira Ahmed was a unique, lyrical and wonderful story of two women who wish to write their own stories despite the odds and how their lives intertwine. I was blown away by this gorgeous story, which was at once powerful and timely and fun and entertaining.
Our main character, Khayyam, is spending her summer in Paris, and is determined to use her holiday to investigate further into her art history project on Alexandre Dumas and Lord Byron, but as she looks furthe
...more
Rachel
Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

This book really took me by surprise. I honestly didn't expect to love it as much as I did. The story is beautiful, written well, and has just enough intrigue and complications to keep me turning the pages.

Full review: https://picturethisliteraturecom.word...
...more
Marthabethan
Aug 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was absolutely brilliant!
It was fast paced, fun, captivating and FULL of feminism which I adored.

It tells the story of Khayyam, a young American/ French/ Indian Muslim who has a fascination with Art History and dreams of finding a lost Delacroix painting that she believes was gifted to Alexandre Dumas (the author of The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers). She goes to Paris, France for her yearly summer trip with her parents, and here meets Alexandre Dumas... the great gr
...more
Maureen
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
When you are 17 and feel your life is over, you might not get accepted into your first choice college, and your boyfriend is ghosting you, what do you do? Leave for the summer in Paris with your professor parents and become involved in a literary and artist mystery that you try to solve with a handsome young Parisian college student. This is Khayyem’s story and Leila’s. And it is a page turner. Thanks to Samira for another wonderful novel that celebrates women.
Umairah | Sereadipity
Jun 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
Fizah(Books tales by me)
Jul 09, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf, netgalley, 2020-read
I tried twice but just can't. It simply didn't work for me. The synopsis sounds great, the concept, premises, title, everything seemed so intriguing until I start reading this book. It was just not my cup of tea.
Zoë ☆
This was an enjoyable read!!! The setting was dreamy (because obviously... Paris is amazing) and the investigation was really fun to read about! There were some things that happened romance-wise that I wasn’t a fan of, but other than that I feel like this is a fun summer-y (or spring even) read!! I really want to revisit Paris now 😂🙈
——
Samira Ahmed = yes please!!!
SanaBanana
Oct 22, 2017 marked it as to-read
dude, this sounds AWESOME!!
Tsarah August
"There are literally centuries of women who never got to tell their stories. An invisible hand squeezes my heart for the nameless women history brushed aside."


Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know ★★★★

[Thank you, Netgalley and Samira Ahmed, for providing a digital review copy in exchange for an honest review]

When Khayyam follows her historian parents to Paris for a summer vacation, her heart and mind are in the turmoil of uncertainty. She fears for her academic life going down to flames and a
...more
Celia T
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was really excited for the release of this book - so excited that I kind of assumed it would be a let-down when I actually got to read it. But it wasn't! It was great!
elise (the petite punk)
Thank you NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review

I was super excited for Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know because I absolutely loved Love, Hate, and Other Filters. However, this book just didn't do it for me.

I can't even provide a comprehensive summary of this story because most of the text left my brain immediately after I read it. There really wasn't anything I cared about: the characters, the plot, the writing style, the dialogue, the contemporary and historic
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
  • Pumpkinheads
  • The Tyrant’s Tomb (The Trials of Apollo, #4)
  • Beverly, Right Here
  • The Man with No Borders
  • The Man Who Played with Fire: Stieg Larsson's Lost Files and the Hunt for an Assassin
  • The Toll (Arc of a Scythe, #3)
  • White Like Her: My Family's Story of Race and Racial Passing
  • You Deserve Each Other
  • Supernova (Renegades, #3)
  • Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History
  • The Library of Lost Things
  • The Revolution of Birdie Randolph
  • Punching the Air
  • The Downstairs Girl
  • Clap When You Land
  • Echo Mountain
  • Northwest Resistance
See similar books…
975 followers
SAMIRA AHMED was born in Bombay, India, and grew up in Batavia, Illinois, in a house that smelled like fried onions, spices, and potpourri. She currently resides in the Midwest. She’s lived in Vermont, New York City, and Kauai, where she spent a year searching for the perfect mango.

A graduate of the University of Chicago, she taught high school English for seven years, worked to create over 70 sma
...more

Articles featuring this book

One of the many things we love about authors is that they tend to have some of the best reading recommendations. So, as we head into our...
161 likes · 101 comments
“There are literally centuries of women who never got to tell their stories. An invisible hand squeezes my heart for the nameless women history brushed aside.” 4 likes
“It must be a strange feeling to love a child and all the while be raising them to leave you.” 1 likes
More quotes…