Title: Ayisha Malik
Author: Sofia Khan is Not Obliged
Page Count/Review Word Count: 444
Disclaimer: While I aim to be unbiased, I received a copy of this for free to review.
This book has been described as the Muslim Bridget Jones, and I guess I can see that – I’ve never read or watched Bridget Jones, but I know what it’s about, and it is true that there are some similarities. This book is laid out like a diary, for example, and it follows the trials and tribulations of Sofia Khan as she attempts to write a book about Muslim dating for her work, even though she doesn’t particularly want to.
Personally, I loved it, despite it not being the sort of genre that I’d usually be interested in. Sofia was a pretty likeable character, and she was certainly three-dimensional – her extended friends and family all had convincing lives of their own as well, and despite the fact that there were loads of them, it wasn’t confusing. By the end of it, you feel like you’re a part of the family.
And one of the good things about it is that, while there is a Muslim flavour to it and whilst religion and racism are portrayed unflinchingly, it’s also a great piece of entertainment. As a reader, you don’t feel like the author is preaching to you, and you also don’t need to be a Muslim (or, indeed, religious at all) for it to be a pleasure to read. It also helps that the book’s laid out in such a way that you speed through it, and feel like you’re always making progress.
Books like this are important, because there’s a lot of shit going down in the world today, and Muslims take more than their fair share of the blame – that’s why racism is a problem in the first place. If more people read books like this, I think the world would be a better place… although there may also be a sudden spike in the number of people getting punched in the face by Muslim women in hijabs. But if they deserve it, maybe we can all just turn a blind eye to it.
Overall, then, this book comes highly recommended from me, even if this is a little different to the sort of stuff that you normally read. There’s something here for everyone really, because even if you can’t relate personally to Sofia, you can relate to the problems that she has in her day-to-day life. Because we’re not so different from each other, and this book highlights that fact perfectly.