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Hana Khan Carries On

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From the author of Ayesha at Last comes a sparkling new rom-com for fans of “You’ve Got Mail”.

Hana Khan's family-run halal restaurant is on its last legs. So when a flashy competitor gets ready to open nearby, bringing their inevitable closure even closer, she turns to her anonymously-hosted podcast, and her lively and long-lasting relationship with one of her listeners, for advice.

But a hate-motivated attack on their neighbourhood complicates the situation further, as does Hana's growing attraction for Aydin, the young owner of the rival business. Who might not be a complete stranger after all...

A charmingly refreshing and modern love story, Uzma Jalaluddin's tale is humorously warm and filled with gorgeous characters you won't be able to forget. Now in development for film with Mindy Kaling and Amazon Studios.

368 pages, ebook

First published April 13, 2021

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About the author

Uzma Jalaluddin

5 books1,712 followers
I write funny, nuanced stories about Muslims, South Asians, Canadians, people. MUCH ADO ABOUT NADA (June 2023), THREE HOLIDAYS AND A WEDDING (Sept 2023), HANA KHAN CARRIES ON (2021) and AYESHA AT LAST (2019). Find out more at www.uzmajalaluddin.com and thanks for visiting!

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5 stars
2,879 (28%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,004 reviews
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,202 reviews40.8k followers
June 4, 2022
I proudly announce we have a BIG WINNER! This book is bold, thought provocative, unconventional, feeding your inner rebellious self by reflecting a true, genuine, stunning approach to racism, religion, hate crimes!

It is blood boiling, heart pounding, fist clenching, a true emotion trigger with well crafted characters with entertaining, smart, heartfelt, remarkable back stories.

Hana Khan,24 years old, hosting her own podcast, working at radio station as intern and her mother’s Indian-Canadian fusion restaurant is not only the narrator but a talented story teller who share the vivid characters of her own family.

In her own words: she lives in Scarborough: an east end suburb of Toronto/ Canada. Her parents were immigrated from India before she was born. They run a small halal restaurant called Three Sisters Biryani Poutine ( Biryani Poutine is Hana’s favorite dish which sounds not like a real appetite stimulant!!! I love both of those dishes separately and I have to say : sorry Hana but mixing them sounds like worse than the food I randomly cook at home! ) : she gave the name to the restaurant even though they’re only two sisters. Their mother was too busy to waste of her time for finding creative advertising solutions for their small business.

This book reminded me of interesting combination of Meet Cute- Marriage Game- Ex Talk and the hate u give. Those three books seem like so different from each other but when you start to read it, I’m so sure you’ll find small pieces of those amazing book’s story.

But there are two things make this book so unique. Two supporting and remarkable characters who probably stole the book from main characters Hana and Aydin.

They are cousin Rashid( I visualized him as younger Ranbir Kapoor on my mind when I read his parts) and of course Billi a.k.a Kawkab Khala a. k. a. The runaway bride in the tree! ( if this book would be adapted into big screen, Madhuri Dixit would be my first choice to play her! )Those two incredible characters deserve their own books. We need more legendary Aunt Billi adventures!

When Hana started her own podcast show, the boy nicknamed Stanley P became her one and the most loyal audience of her! He always supported Hana with his funny, strict to the point, motivational comments. It seems like they start to like each other even though they don’t know anything about each other’s real names, jobs, families.

In the meantime she meet with Aydin and his father who plan to open a new halal burger joint at the same street. Their small restaurant is already struggling to attract customers’ attention and Aydin’s father acts so hostile against local businesses, threatening them to take their jobs.

Even though Hana can’t resist Aydin’s charms, she need to fight them dirty to save her mother’s business including starting untrue rumors and slanderous comments about their business on social media.

But as she learns about Aydin’s past and his genuine intentions, she starts to question everything about her life: her goals, her perspective, her true identity!

But finally she finds herself at her lowest point. She’s Hana Khan, she’s brave, she’s excellent story teller, she’s daughter of immigrants, she’s sister of soccer star, niece to a warrior queen, cousin of Machiavellian Rashid. She’s wielder of microphones and slinger of the stories!

And in my opinion this warrior, intelligent, brave voice ( especially podcast parts of the book are deserved to be reread several times! They are so motivational and inspirational!) earned my 5 extraordinary, revolutionary, rebellious, powerful stars!

Special thanks to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing for sharing this amazing digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.
Profile Image for Ayman.
202 reviews76.5k followers
April 20, 2022
4.5 ⭐️ lmao this was too good. the banter? the tension? and it being HALAL! it was immaculate.

this was definitely a step up from uzma jalaluddin’s “ayesha at last” this was true and accurate muslim representation. i appreciated it so much. the main character Hana is a baddie and Aydin was just so wholesome. there chemistry was tangible.

the family and side characters is another part that holds this story together. uzma can really write some good family ties.

parts of it was a little slow and hard to get into but it quickly picked up after the first half.

this one is for the muslim baddies. definitely recommend ;)
Profile Image for Lia Carstairs.
409 reviews2,198 followers
April 25, 2021
THIS. this is the Muslim rep i've been looking for😭😭 and the story in general was just amazing

although, i must say that it was the characters that felt kind of flat for me :/ while i could connect with the main character, especially when it came to dealing with Islamophobia, i didn't really love her or any of the other characters, which is what made me give this 3.5 stars instead of 4. for me, if the characters are written so well and im in love with them, i dont care if there's a bad/no plot as long as the characters are good enough to keep me engaged and enjoy myself. if the plot's good but i dont like/care the characters... that'll definitely affect my rating = the case here.

OKAY BUT THE MUSLIM REP AND ISSUES THAT WERE DEALT WITH HERE WAS PERFECT. i went into this book hoping that there would be good representation of Islam and i was not disappointed🥺👏👏 the main character, Hana, didn't feel oppressed by her parents nor did she hate her religion. it's just normal. and she'd actually follow the rules in Islam. also the fact that she would fight back (in a non-violent way ofc) against those who threw insults at her or spoke in a condescending tone because she wore a hijab was amazing.
"No one knows when the dark days will descend, only that they come for us all."

i love how deep this book got in not only how often cultures/races have to deal with so much hatred, but also the stereotypes that others assume represent a whole group of people. i could 100% understand the frustration the main character was feeling when it came to ideas of what to broadcast about Muslims, the options being only the stereotypes people have hear and nothing else. it made me happy seeing Hana refuse to back down from what she believed to be right. there was also the main character actually praying and going to halaqah and salat al jumaa (friday prayer) which didnt feel like tokenization!!!

also, i definitely wasn't expecting that plot twist👀 i have to say though, that i didn't really like the love interest -- like i dont hate him, but nor i do care about him. although i did love how the ending was realistic and not everything was all happy and solved.

so while i didn't love this book, i did really like it and will definitely be reading more from this author!! im just so happy that the Muslim rep was done well, like i cant even express it. definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to see a great representation of Islam/Muslims!!

“While I am scared of what the future will bring, the uncertainty has been refreshing in a strange way. I know who I am in a way I never have before, and know what I'm willing to sacrifice to stay true to myself. I guess that's not a bad lesson to learn at any age.”



Eternally thankful to Harper Collins Canada for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!!


Pre-read Review:

i've seen a lot of great reviews for this and that there's actually good Muslim rep?? im excited ahhhh
Profile Image for Kat (on hiatus).
226 reviews547 followers
February 28, 2021
Hana Khan is a young woman with dreams. Born and bred in Toronto to immigrant parents and waitressing part-time in their halal restaurant, what she really wants is to have her own radio show to shine a light on her fellow Muslims’ life stories, rather than retreading stereotypes. As an intern at a popular local radio station and a podcaster trying to grow an audience for her pseudonymous “Ana’s Brown Girl Rambles”, she’s doing everything she can to make those dreams reality, but sometimes life gets a bit … complicated.

Enter Aydin. In the close-knit Golden Crescent neighborhood, Three Sisters Biryani Poutine is the only game in town as far as halal restaurants go, but business is struggling. When slightly cocky young man, Aydin, and his imperious father show up in town one day with plans to build an upscale gourmet halal restaurant across the street, well … as they say, all is fair in love and war. Luckily, Hana is able to vent her frustrations and get “battle” advice from her longest and most loyal podcast listener, the anonymous ‘StanleyP.’, with whom she has a charming, flirtatious and not-yet defined relationship, since neither of them know each other’s true identity.

Does that part sound like the movie “You’ve Got Mail” where Tom Hanks is the incoming big box bookstore rival of Meg Ryan’s small but beloved neighborhood bookstore, as well as being her anonymous online friend? It should, and I only realized today that the publisher’s blurb actually makes that comparison itself. For over half the book, I thought it would stay in that lane - the standard but delightful ‘fluff ‘n’ stuff’ that most rom-coms do. Things take a slightly darker, but not heavy, turn later when Aydin, Hana, and her adorably fun 18-year-old cousin, Rashid, have a negative encounter that shines a light on the consequences of Muslims being stereotyped and misunderstood and causes further potential threat to their neighborhood.

It stays in rom-com territory, but it also gives immersive insight into the Muslim experience from their point of view, which I appreciated. Why not learn something about another culture WHILE waiting for the inevitable love match to be made? It was eye-opening, thoughtful and fun, which gave it a little more heft than I expect from most books in this genre. Jalaluddin has written a story full of fascinating and mostly likeable characters, a wonderful community rich with tradition, and she even snuck a completely unexpected twist past me! I loved the enemies to friends chemistry between Aydin and Hana, eternal optimist Rashid is just so darn lovable, Hana’s spunky aunt, Kawkab Khala, adds just the right pinch of flavor to the narrative, and the story strikes a nice balance between light-hearted and contemplative. If you’ve watched or read rom-coms, there will be few surprises, but seeing a story through a different cultural lens was a breath of fresh air!


Thanks to NetGalley, Berkeley Publishing Group, and author Uzma Jalaluddin for this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion. This book will be published on April 13, 2021.
Profile Image for S.A. Chakraborty.
Author 11 books10.1k followers
Want to read
October 25, 2020
I freaking loved Ayesha at Last and would very possibly commit a crime for an early copy of this book. Halal restaurant rivals to lovers??? Sign me all the way up.
Profile Image for Sarah MacLean.
Author 30 books13k followers
August 18, 2021
I have read this book twice since it came out, because it scratches a lot of itches for me -- rivals to lovers, restaurant wars, podcasting, an absolutely delightful, incredibly funny heroine. I love it.
Profile Image for Azanta.
186 reviews290 followers
April 5, 2021
Where to begin with my review? I want to first start off by saying that THIS is what I mean by representation. Stories by people of color, by Muslims, and centering people of color and people who look like me. I loved this book and this story, a story that was about family and love and loss resilience in the face of the obstacle that is life, down to its very core and I’m thrilled that it exists. This book hit me emotionally so deeply — I felt seen, validated, and heard with every word. The tears I shed were ones of relief, to be completely honest — relief in solidarity.
Hana Khan, our protagonist, is a flawed character. It makes her feel real, like you’re reading the account of your neighbor’s life. She is neither the perfect Muslim setting up unrealistic standards for the rest of the world’s non-Muslim population, nor is she the worst, throwing her culture, family, and religion under the bus in favor of “fitting in”. There is no belittling any aspect of Hana’s life and speaks of her family’s history and stories with respect despite not having the same lived experiences. Her existence as a flawed woman is not at the sake of her religion and that is more than I can say about other releases coming out this year that are being counted as “amazing Muslim rep”. Our main love interest is not white and does not hold up to what has become a standard of a rejection of religion and culture in mainstream representation of Muslims. It’s the little things these days that make me happy.
This exists as a narrative about personal lives and a story that is not just about our pain/grief/suffering as Muslims. It is a fun, witty, sparkling story of a girl who has a lot of burden to shoulder while balancing drama, racism, Islamophobia, her dreams, and the restaurant owner across the street that’s starting to get under her skin. Perfect combination.
I loved this book through and through and I cant wait for the world to get to read this too.
Profile Image for Jessica.
325 reviews366 followers
April 15, 2021
Hana Khan Carries On is a modern day “You’ve Got Mail” with a podcast, halal restaurants, and Indian culture. This story grabbed my attention from the first page. Hana runs an anonymous podcast. Her first follower has become her friend but they don’t know each other’s true identities. Hana’s family owns the only halal restaurant in town until another halal restaurant opens across the street. Hana will do anything to save her family’s restaurant even though her true passion is with her podcast and radio internship. Aydin is the new restaurant owner’s son who is pushing Aydin to be a ruthless business owner. Aydin develops a friendship with Hana’s cousin and tries to be friends with Hana. I loved the perspective of the Indian Canadian culture in the novel. Family secrets are revealed and Hana must find her voice and figure out what she wants to do. Some parts of the story were hard to read because of the hate toward Indians, but it is an important perspective to hear. Hana Khan Carries On is an interesting and impactful story of rival restaurant owners.

Thank you Berkley Romance for Hana Khan Carries On.

Full Review: https://justreadingjess.wordpress.com...
Profile Image for K.J. Charles.
Author 59 books8,136 followers
June 19, 2021
I thoroughly enjoyed this. A romcom with the You've Got Mail premise that delves into some very hard stuff about discrimination against Muslims and Islamophobic violence. The balance is pretty well struck, since Hana vocalises the question of how to live well in this crappy world a lot, and happiness is in some aspects a conscious act of defiance, a thing she chooses.

Hana is an entertaining character. She teeters on the edge of nope for a while with some flat out terrible bad-person choices. (So does Aydin but we don't see those in action at the time.) But she pulls it back and we see real growth from her, which leads to an immensely satisfying ending. Aydin is less realised, in large part because this is first person narrator. I'd have liked to see more of a reckoning with his past but we're in no doubt it will be dealt with. And the build up of their romance is lovely in an understated, slow growing way.

Lovely secondary cast, in particular Hana's shocking aunt and 18yo cousin whose parents are definitely accountants and not anything else, nope.

The early chapters have a rather noticeable thing where the Indian words and references are painstakingly explained, including a passing reference to someone dressing as a Mughal prince getting a Wikilike two sentence summary of the Mughal Empire with dates. This goes away later, leading me to theorise that some ham-handed editor decided this was the way to make the book accessible to white people, thus showing themselves exactly the sort of othering berk that Hana struggles against in her career. Just saying.
Profile Image for Berit Talks Books.
2,019 reviews15.7k followers
April 24, 2021
An exceptionally engaging romcom! Loved every minute I spent with Hana Khan! Hana is an aspiring radio broadcaster/podcaster. Her family owns a struggling Halalal restaurant that Hana is determined to save. The story is a modern multicultural version of You’ve Got Mail.

Hana was a smart, sweet, savvy, sometimes stubborn character. Aydin is opening a competing Halal restaurant in the same neighborhood as Hana‘s family restaurant. Hana and her lively cousin start plotting ways to sabotage the opening of Aydin’s restaurant. Neanwhile Hana and Aydin start forming a friendship and fighting attraction. Aydin was a great guy and I loved how well his personality complemented Hana’s.My favorite characters however were probably the cousin and the aunt, they just added so much humor and whimsy to the story. There is also a serious part to the story that dealt with racism towards the Muslim community. I thought this was handled so well, it was so timely, and gave me things to think about. I think it is important that own voice Authors can use their platform to show how regular people deal with hatred on a daily basis simply based on the color of their skin or their religious beliefs. It is unfortunate however that this is still an issue in 2021.

If you are a fan of romcoms with fantastic storylines and filled with fabulous characters then this is a can’t miss!

*** Big thank you to Berkley for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***
Profile Image for Lisa.
1,469 reviews563 followers
May 14, 2021
[2.5] Even for a light novel, this one is surprisingly airy. There is almost nothing there. Void of content to fill 300 pages, we are left with Hana carrying on and on and on. I liked Jalaluddin's last novel "Ayesha At Last" - this one feels amateurish in comparison.
Profile Image for Reading_ Tamishly.
4,297 reviews2,290 followers
April 21, 2021
So filmy! Nah, don't kill me.

This one features snobs, drama, Bollywood romance, food porn, podcasts, cliché virtual internet connection, ugly realities and good writing.

I love the multicultural representation and the realistic, well-developed main characters (virtual XYZs do not count). Just do not expect to fall in love with them at their first appearance. However, the side characters seem a bit unsettling.

I wasn't expecting much but yes, the book is coming out at the right time. A little bit of rivalry, a little bit of family, a little bit of drama and lots of feels!

The romance was done well. And I am glad it's not an insta one. It fit well.

I need to taste that biryani. It read so good to be true.
Profile Image for Jessica .
2,077 reviews13.3k followers
December 28, 2021
I loved the premise of this You've Got Mail type of story, but I will say that this book is a lot more women's fiction than romance. Sure Hana is falling for the new competition for her family's restaurant, but so much of this had to do with Hana trying to save her family's restaurant, finding herself in her radio job, and fighting society when it came to her culture. There was a lot going on that did overshadow the romance at the end. If you want a fun and cute rom com, this is not the book for you. This book deals with heavy topics and does have a cute romance, though not as much time is spent on that. I did love Hana's character and having a heroine who works in radio. That was fun! I also really appreciated how supportive and loving her family was. We got to really get to know her entire family and see Hana interact with them a lot, which I loved. Overall I still really enjoyed this book!
Profile Image for Dana Al-Basha |  دانة الباشا.
2,187 reviews786 followers
June 2, 2021
You've Got Mail is one of my favorite movies, and I loved Ayesha At Last, I preordered the book instantly and was surprised by the beauty of the cover!

Hana is a daughter of a chef, her mom owns a restaurant in Canada that isn't doing well, her dream is to become a radio host, she has a podcast and a crush on one of her listeners. Things go south when a new trendy halal restaurant opens and she has an instant attraction with the owner Aydin, their family from India comes to visit while her father battles his illness and her pregnant sister is with them. A hate crime makes her face their situation and where she stands. One thing I didn't understand: How didn't Aydin recognize her voice? Usually, someone into radio has a distinctive voice, and he's her oldest follower.

I love the sense of the Muslim community in Uzma's books, and how this community is part of a bigger community in Canada in general. I wish I was a part of such a loveling close-knitted community, as an expat, we're always out of place.

I got to say in chapter 8 I felt that Hana should have also added the obvious:
بني الإسلام على خمس : شهادة أن لا إله إلا الله ، وأن محمدا رسول الله ، وإقام الصلاة ، وإيتاء الزكاة، وصوم رمضان ، وحج البيت لمن أستطاع اليه سبيلا
translation of hadeeth: Islam was built on five pillars: the testimony that there is no God except Allah and that Muhammad (God's prayer and peace be upon him) is His slave and Messenger, to pray, to give Zakaat (obligatory charity), to fast in Ramadan, and to perform Hajj (pilgrimage) if you are able. The author forgot the most important one: that Prophet Mohammed is God's messenger; as for Jihad, it's not a bad word, and Muslims shouldn't feel ashamed of it, even when they live with foreigners, it means fighting for God and other Muslims when it's needed. Jihad is not only on the battlefield it can be in any form of work, where you push yourself to excel for God, like in your work, raising your children, helping others, etc. When the teacher said prove it, she should've said, this is my faith, not yours, I practice it and this is a Hadeeth by our Prophet who you even forgot to mention. Jihad is very important and required of each Muslim but these five pillars are the fundamental beliefs of Islam.

In chapter 36, Muslims aren't buried in coffins, our bodies are our coffins, and we are returned from death in just our bodies and a shroud of white cloth, the same ones we go to hajj in, so we are buried naked in the ground. There are no pine coffins for Muslims. We believe in grave awakening; even the cloth is loosened upon placing the body in the grave.

I loved Ayesha at Last, this was a very modern retelling of You’ve Got Mail, and Uzma gave us something new and contemporary about hate crimes, competition, letting go, and new beginnings. I liked the story but I didn’t love it. The warmth in You've Got Mail is missing, the sense of everything being good and everyone kind even sworn enemies is not here. I always thought that You've Got Mail is a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice that's why Joe and Kathleen spoke of it. I guess this is Uzma's favorite book.

Profile Image for Meagan (Meagansbookclub).
360 reviews1,783 followers
April 13, 2021
Review // ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [thanks for the free book @berkleyromance !] #berkleypartner #berkleyig

I’m trying to be more mindful of which contemporary romances I read because sometimes they can all start to feel the same.

I went into HANA KHAN CARRIES ON completely blind without reading much of the synopsis or a single review. Can I just say how refreshing this book was?? It’s like a You’ve Got Mail type of story but with deeper character development and culturally eyeopening. I could not read it fast enough!

I appreciated that the romance took a back seat and highlighted so many other important topics (going after your dreams, finding balance in family and culture, self discovery, racism, microaggressions, Islamphobia). By the end, I was so invested in Hana and her family’s well being. I love it when a book brings to light emotions you weren’t expecting to experience. I hope you add this one to your TBR. You won’t regret it.
Profile Image for chaity.
165 reviews347 followers
February 16, 2022
this is the most desi/brown-Muslim book i've read this year.

never thought i'd get to read another one after Love From A to Z, but here we are.

the relationship between the MCs, the family drama, food, more food, Bollywood references, chaotic desi cousins, a cool desi aunty, authentic representations, and everything else that happened in this book cleared my brown skin.

ngl at times it felt like this book tried to fit in way too many things at once, but honestly i don't think that's necessarily a bad thing (instead it's a Bollywood thing lol).

i don't know why this book isn't getting enough attention. Uzma Jalaluddin, ma'am, thank you for this one.
Profile Image for Sahar.
302 reviews242 followers
July 7, 2021
The most recent addition to the expanding genre of Muslim chick-lit, Hana Khan Carries On (HKCO) is yet another novel about a twenty-something year old Muslim woman in the West attempting to reconcile her career goals with familial commitments and expectations. From waitressing part time at her family’s failing restaurant in Toronto, to undertaking an internship at a local radio station and running an anonymous podcast, Hana Khan’s life seems to be the ultimate balancing act. The tightrope begins to wobble, however, when a rival restaurant opens up (by an irritatingly attractive competitor), her internship proves problematic and her mysterious relatives fly in from India.

To be frank, the first half of this book was unbearable. Despite the alternation between the overarching narrative and Hana’s SMS exchanges with a male fan of her podcast, the story felt very flat and stagnant. Where Ayesha at Last almost induced premature hypertension in me (contemplated ringing the GP at one point), HKCO was an utter bore, almost to the point that I considered DNF’ing. It was only after the halfway mark that the story became entertaining and cultural/societal problems were explored. I find Jalaluddin’s writing difficult to digest at times, not least because the dialogue between the characters is incredibly artificial and unrealistic. Dialogue constitutes a significant part of a novel and if the conversations are contrived your readers will not be invested in your characters. For instance Hana’s best friend Yusuf (no comment), talks to her cousin Rashid who recently arrived from India in a very derogatory, childlike and patronizing manner. Not sure if she was trying to exhibit some sort of Arab superiority complex or just that Western immigrants think they have a right to talk to people from back home like degenerates.

To further expand on the characters in HKCO, they weren’t all as insufferable as the ones in her previous book. I actually found myself laughing out loud at some of Rashid’s quips and witty one-liners. Hana herself was quite well portrayed as a practicing, aspirational Muslim woman, and I appreciated Jalaluddin’s effort to integrate ibadah into her daily turbulent life. The antagonist Aydin was also likeable and their relationship felt a lot more organic than Ayesha and Khalid from her other book.

When I say the second half of the book picks up, that doesn’t necessarily mean the plot or writing gets better. It was more entertaining and fast-paced, sure, but some of the plot twists were a bit outlandish, particularly the ones pertaining to Aydin. I’ve also observed that Jalaluddin tends to cram intense scenes/plot twists into a few short chapters as opposed to spreading them out throughout the book. This makes the narrative quite inconsistent and a chore to read. That being said, I did feel more of an emotional connection to the characters in this book and I valued that the cultural problems addressed did not solely pertain to the protagonists—Jalaluddin made an effort to address the qualms of a number of side characters, including Hana’s parents, her aunt and aunt’s friend, as well as the Muslim community at large.

Side note the food mentioned in this book sounded interesting. I do wonder what biryani poutine would taste like.

Profile Image for Basma.
154 reviews
April 6, 2021
Oh my gosh, where do I even begin? This book was a whirlwind of drama, love, gut-wrenching pain, and forgiveness. I laughed, I cried, and I want to pick it up and reread it immediately.

I've never seen You've Got Mail and as usual, I went into this book without reading the synopsis. So knowing absolutely nothing except that I adored the author's other book, Ayesha At Last, I went into this book and absolutely loved it. Hana is a brilliant MC and her perspective was such a great place to read from. Her drive to be a storyteller while sticking to her roots was inspiring, especially as we see her struggling to stick to her morals. Good Muslim representation in all forms of media is often an uphill battle, and we see Hana fighting that battle at her job at the radio station, when they want to run stories on Muslim communities that would actually be harmful. This struck a major chord with me, as I try my best to read and recommend books with good Muslim representation, and it can be extremely frustrating to see bad Muslim representation praised.

In addition to the fight for proper rep, Hana also deals with quite a bit of Islamophobia. This can't be discussed without mild spoilers, so stop by after you've read the book if you don't want some small spoilers! I had actual tears in my eyes reading the Islamophobic attack scene. I've been in that situation where I've had strangers screaming at me because of my religion, and reading about it and what was going on in Hana's head had me bawling. Not only the fact that it happened, but Hana's gut instinct was to think "did I wear too bright of a hijab? Maybe I should have worn a hijab with the Canadian flag on it" (obviously paraphrasing here). The concept that hijabis often feel the need to make themselves smaller in order to avoid being attacked hit way too close for home. And the backlash?? The anti-Muslim protests, the hateful comments, the need to have Hana rehash her trauma over and over again for news stories?! (the exploitation of trauma when it comes to minorities is WAY too common) Props to Uzma Jalaluddin for the fantastic writing of this plot point. I felt so frustrated and so seen. End of spoilers!

This is turning out to be a longer review than I anticipated so I'll wrap it up. The romance was angsty, adorable, and basically everything I wanted from a halal Muslim enemies-to-lovers. I adored Rashid (definitely my favorite character- ), and I grew fond of Aydin, especially as more and more of his story was told. You NEED to pick up this book on April 13th. It's going into my all time favorites.

I received an e-arc of this title from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Zainab Bint Younus.
205 reviews243 followers
April 28, 2021
A 3.7 tbh

I was very disappointed that the "Muslim representation" in this book fell very flat for me - aside from references to the main character wearing hijab, going to the masjid a couple of times, and Jumu'ah/ janaazah, and an almost-contrived Islamophobia plot thread, this could simply have been an ethnic Brown rom com rather than a Muslim one.

The story itself was cute enough but not outstanding. It really bothered me that unlike Ayesha At Last - where at least one main character was clearly and unapologetically religiously Muslim and practicing - the Muslim characters in HKCO engaged in plenty of non-mahram physical touching, best friends of the opposite gender, no issues with dating, and so on.

Even as Hannah Khan herself resents being a token Muslim at the radio station and being forced to cover cliche topics, Uzma Jalaluddin ends up using the tired tropes of Islamophobia to push the novel's storyline itself. Ultimately, I didn't feel particularly invested in either Hannah or any of the other characters - they felt surface level and shallow, and the romance that the book purports to propel is less full of spark and wit than I expected from the author of Ayesha At Last.

I was left feeling disappointed, especially after my initial excitement and pre-ordering the book - something I rarely do. HKCO is definitely missing the fire, spark, originality, and unapologetic Muslim-ness of Ayesha At Last.

What I ended up enjoying most was the family storyline, and in particular, the character of Kawkab Khala and her youthful adventures. The plot twist involving Afsana Aunty was also something I really appreciated, and I honestly feel that more focus on the family aspect rather than the lackluster rivalry and romance would have elevated the novel entirely.

I hate leaving negative reviews esp of an author whose previous work I deeply enjoyed, but it is what it is.
Profile Image for SincerelyTahiry .
120 reviews272 followers
September 30, 2021
It’s 5 am and I’m barely lucid. Once I regain my consciousness after crying myself to sleep dreaming about a love like Aydin and Hana I’ll give y’all a proper review. But for now just know that I’m crying and shaking and throwing up at how good this book is.
Profile Image for Olive Fellows (abookolive).
584 reviews4,730 followers
August 12, 2021
I think this one started off with a lot of promise, but ended up trying to do too much.

Our main character Hana has several jobs: she's an intern at a Toronto radio station where she's very much hoping to be brought on full time, she's a podcaster with a deep love of telling stories, and she also does whatever jobs need doing at her family's Halal restaurant in the Golden Crescent neighborhood. Trouble starts brewing when people at the station want to capitalize off of Hana's identity, a friendly commenter on her podcast turns flirty, and a rival restaurant opens in the neighborhood.

I was so invested in this book at the start, but with all the competing storylines, I found it very difficult to get invested in any one avenue, especially the romance element. I think the author needed to choose the radio station/political track or the restaurant/romance track, not both.

It was a decent book and the cover is BREATHTAKING, but it ultimately came up short for me.
Profile Image for Laurie • The Baking Bookworm.
1,403 reviews369 followers
May 24, 2021

By the time I finished the first chapter of Hana Khan Carries On, I was kicking myself for not reading this book sooner. Yup, it was that good. This wonderful story is written by Canadian Muslim author Uzma Jalaluddin and even though it admits to being similar to You've Got Mail (the Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks 1998 movie), this isn't the typical fluffy Rom-Com.

Along with a sweet, slow-build romance and fan-freakin-tastic banter, Jalaluddin also addresses family dynamics, a titch of mystery and important social commentary. Parts of it reminded me a bit of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas with its coming-into-her-power vibe and its raw focus on social issues. Hana is great main character and through her perspective and struggles, the reader feels her frustration, fear and anger as she deals with stereotyping, microaggressions and xenophobia/Islamophobia within her workplace, her community and over the air waves as a podcaster.

The story is set in Jalaluddin's home city of Toronna (Toronto, for non-TO residents) so many readers will recognize locales. Throughout the book, Hana regularly texts with StanleyP, Hana's favourite (lone?) podcast fan, and the two of them have a great chemistry and banter. His identity isn't revealed until much later but let's be real, his identity is obvious. Even so, I found this book to be highly entertaining as well as enlightening due to the author's rich descriptions of Muslim culture - the food, traditions, and religion. I liked that this story is about a young woman who wants her dream job, who has a busy family life, wants to hang out with her friends and find love ... and who just happens to be Muslim.

I cannot recommend Hana Khan Carries On enough. With humour, heart, authenticity and well-developed characters, Jalaluddin entertains and educates her readers with a story about finding your voice and standing up for your convictions. The story is both bold and sweet with some scenes that had me laughing, others that made me cry and rage but, in the end, I finished it with a better understanding and a strong desire to read Jalaluddin's previous book, Ayesha At Last.

Make this one of your summer reads!
Profile Image for Zoraida.
Author 35 books4,016 followers
October 23, 2022
This book is incredible. It’s thought provoking and the slow burn is delightful.

I usually prefer romance with a lot of smut. This one has none, but I didn’t even miss it in this one. The emotional connection and building of the relationship is so well done.

I really hope people give this book a chance.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for gauri.
181 reviews400 followers
June 5, 2021
read full review on my blog!

a delight from start to finish 🥺

the representation in this book is top notch. i loved Hana's ambition to pursue her career and make her voice and story be heard. her podcasts were such an interesting addition to the story. food descriptions made my mouth water in the middle of the night!! there's also family drama and bonds, a rivalry romance, experience of a hate crime and the importance of marginalised communities being recognised. the author's voice is so authentic, a must read!
Profile Image for CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian.
1,133 reviews1,395 followers
March 26, 2022
This was an utter delight from start to finish. (Not that there isn't hard stuff in this novel, because there is). It has so much going on -- a incredibly romantic love story, the protagonist Hana's journey of personal growth, an indictment of Islamophobia and racism, a celebration of family, and a cast of lovable secondary characters with their own compelling subplots -- yet it never felt too busy or cluttered or rushed.

The book is billed as a loose retelling of "You've Got Mail," set in Toronto with a Muslim Indian Canadian woman at the centre. IMHO, Jalaluddin's novel is much better than the movie. She's taken the film's concept of two people who are anonymous friends online but business enemies in real life falling in love and done it spectacularly. Everything she's added or changed is excellently done and all the shitty stuff from the movie is gone!

Hana is a 24-year-old podcaster / radio broadcaster hopeful who also works part time at her mom's halal restaurant in Golden Crescent, a Toronto neighbourhood of diverse immigrants she's lived in her whole life. Enter Aydin, a Vancouver native who's planning on opening a halal restaurant right down the street from her mom's!! Which is already struggling!! Of course Hana is primed to hate him (no matter how cute he is). Little does she know Aydin is her longtime podcast listener / anonymous online friend!!

As I said this is a deeply romantic love story (with some beautiful and simultaneously sexy moments), but there's a lot more going on. There's Hana's mom's restaurant, of course, but also her sister, who's pregnant and recently been put on bed rest. Hana's 18-year-old mischievous cousin from India, Rashid, has just arrived to stay with them, along with a surprise guest, her sophisticated and rebellious aunt and her aunt's mysterious friend visiting Canada at the same time. (Rashid is hilarious and a total scene stealer).

Hana is having a lot of trouble in her internship at a local radio station, trying to take advantage of the opportunity while navigating constant microaggressions from her white lady boss and clashing with her fellow desi intern who wants to go about getting ahead differently. She's also navigating changing friendships with Yusuf and Lily, her childhood friends and on again off again couple. Even characters not on the page much, like the local imam, feel fleshed out and real.

I just loved this! Highly recommended! In addition to how thoughtfully everything is done, this book is very funny too!

I will say a tiny thing that irked me was the little asides (I am guessing they were placed there at the prompting of an editor) that explain South Asian and/or Muslim terms and cultural details. (For example, explaining what the Moghul empire is and basic Muslim funeral practices).

As a white and non-Muslim person I assume these asides are directed at, I would like to say that I am perfectly capable of googling things and also inferring from context! My main worry is that they'd feel alienating or annoying to readers who are South Asian and/or Muslim. I'd be interested to hear what those readers think.
Profile Image for Rameela (Star).
657 reviews226 followers
July 30, 2021
Initial thoughts: I’m just feeling all the feelings. I thought Ayesha at Last was dramatic but this book took it to a whole new level while also
Making me feel just so invested in everything about this whole family. I didn’t want to put this book down!
Profile Image for romancelibrary.
1,088 reviews466 followers
April 18, 2021
4.5 stars

I received an ARC from HarperCollins Canada in exchange for an honest review.

After finishing Hana Khan Carries On, my new goal in life is to have a meet cute involving biryani. I am officially waiting for a cute brown man to heroically save my plate of biryani from falling 💁🏽‍♀️

Hana Khan aspires to tell stories on public radio and she hopes that her internship at the city radio station will eventually lead to a permanent job. In the meantime, Hana helps out her mother at their struggling family restaurant, Three Sisters Biryani Poutine, the only halal restaurant in the Golden Crescent neighbourhood. Hana also runs an anonymous podcast called "Ana's Brown Girl Rambles," where she develops an online friendship with her most avid listener. When a new upscale halal restaurant is about to open in the neighbourhood, Hana is faced with the possibility of Three Sisters Biryani Poutine closing down. And Hana is ready to do whatever it takes to help her family restaurant stay open, despite feeling an attraction to Aydin, the owner of the new rival restaurant.

There's a lot going on for Hana. She is navigating the perilous waters of public radio at her workplace, where she is subjected to various levels of microagressions from her coworker and her boss. We also get to witness the harmful impact of Islamophobia, xenophobia, and racism on Hana and her neighbourhood community. I'm not going to lie: these scenes were incredibly triggering and hard to read. Hana's experience at work, in particular, echoes a lot of my own personal experiences in the workplace. On top of all of that, Hana has to welcome and accommodate her aunt and her cousin during their surprise visit to Canada. And the cherry on top? A You've Got Mail rivalry romance set in two competing halal restaurants.

Reading Uzma Jalaluddin's books feels like coming home. I was thoroughly immersed in Hana's life and her loveable tight-knit community on Golden Crescent. Hana's journey of self-discovery and growth is the heart of this book. Yes, Hana is naive when it comes to accepting the fate of her family restaurant. Yes, some of Hana's actions are wrong and come across as immature. But that's kind of the whole point of the story. Hana grows and learns from her mistakes and strives to better herself through her words and actions. She makes amends and she finally comes out of her shell and stands up for her principles. Throughout that journey, Hana has the support of her friends, family, and neighbours, who altogether make up an incredible cast of supporting characters.

The romance between Aydin and Hana is sweet and full of pining and tension. Neither Aydin nor Hana is perfect, but they grow throughout the story and their attraction simmers with every confrontation. The ice cream shop scene now lives rent free in my head. And the banter? Oh, the banter was perfection! I was invested in their budding romance from the very beginning because of the banter. I was so into these two as a couple that I often found myself waiting for their next interaction. As much as I enjoyed Aydin and Hana, I would say that Kawkab Khala is hands down my favourite character in this book. And cousin Rashid made me laugh so hard at multiple points in the story. Hana's interaction with her friends, family, and neighbours makes her story a lot more enriching and exciting to read.

Ultimately, this is a story of growth, identity, and family ties and it is brought to life by the vibrant cast of characters. The neighbourhood drama, the family drama, the secret family histories — I loved everything. The sweet and pining romance is an added bonus that made my romance reader heart happy. Hana's passion for family histories, especially the secret ones, has motivated me to seek out stories of my own family. I want to find a way to preserve the stories my parents told me and I want to be more proactive in asking my family members about their story.

My only complaint about this book is the rushed ending. I wanted to spend more time with Aydin as he processed an important change in his life. I think the last chapter should have been longer for that very reason. Aydin's arc suffers a bit because this book is only told from Hana's POV. Aydin is a well-written character for sure, but his story needed to be fleshed out a bit more, especially toward the end. That being said, I think the podcast transcript worked really well as an epilogue of sorts. Honestly, I'm so attached to these characters and I wouldn't mind if the author decided to write a sequel. It's really hard to say goodbye to Hana, Aydin, Rashid, and Kawkab Khala 🥺
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