That Can Be Arranged: A Muslim Love Story by Huda Fahmy – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I laughed out loud several times, learned some things, and wished I could meet her because she sounds dope.
For insight into what it’s like to have a modern-day arranged marriage (note it’s not a FORCED marriage), for a funny story about finding yourself and finding love
Chaperones, suitors, and arranged marriages aren’t only reserved for the heroines of a Jane Austen novel. They’re just another walk in the park for this leading lady, who is on a mission to find her leading lad. From the brilliant comics Yes, I’m Hot in This, Huda Fahmy tells the hilarious story of how she met and married her husband. Navigating mismatched suitors, gossiping aunties, and societal expectations for Muslim women, That Can Be Arranged deftly and hilariously reveals to readers what it can be like to find a husband as an observant Muslim woman in the twenty-first century.
This was like having a friend you can ask questions about without worrying you’ll accidentally be offensive. Like the answer to the questions you want to ask but aren’t sure you’re allowed to. It was also HILARIOUS! And so, so sweet. I can never turn down a cute little love story!
And oh, man, was this funny. I laughed a lot, and those are often my favorite kinds of reads. Between moments in the story itself and the art that enhanced the jokes, I was positively cackling. It probably sounded a bit like my own zaghrit at times.
It’s obviously a love story, and you pretty much know where it’s heading considering the dedication is “To Gehad.” That just makes it all the more delectable to follow along, cheering for her and thinking “Ooooh girl just wait till you see what’s coming your way…”
There were also some good words of wisdom in there too, and one I particularly liked was when her mother challenges Huda, asking her “What, you think people who date first don’t get divorced?” Like… yeah good point, right?
The main thing keeping it from five stars was the feeling that something was missing from the art style. It felt a bit awkward at first and took some getting used to. I think this is primarily due to the lack of variable line thickness and depth, which made it look very flat and like it was done entirely in MS paint. If it WAS done entirely in MS paint, then I’m actually super impressed. It took some getting used to it, but what she does with her art is fantastic and easily overrides any awkwardness in the style itself. The extra bits of humour and story done through visual elements added a lot to the story and the personalization of it.
PS – I read the foreword, and I recommend you do too. The “I don’t sleep with my hijab on” disclaimer alone was worth it.
Thanks to NetGalley and Andrew McMeels Publishing for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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