Wednesday, 19 January 2022

Audio: The Henna wars by Adiba Jaigirdar


Narrated by: Priya Ayyar


Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins


Release date: 05-12-20


Publisher: Listening Library


YA fiction


To review






One of my audiobooksync books, and since I was out of books I gave it go.




Set in Ireland, which was refreshing for once. Not that we got that much Ireland in the end, lol.




Nishat is Bengali. Attends a Catholic school. And she is gay. So first there is always racial tension, since there are not many poc students. And then the whole school finds out she likes girls. She also has problems at home because muslims are not gay. This book tackles so much, like when there is a contest at school and she decides to do henna, but her Brazilian-Irish crush also decides to do henna. So then we got cultural appropriation too.




If I have to judge something, then maybe it is handling too much. It all works, it's just, instead of anyone learning or accepting things just happen. Her parents barely speak to her, and suddenly they are cool with it. She accepts that her school is a bit racist and homophobic and that is it. I know that that happens, but no one learns a thing. Not that is her job though. But maybe a focus on 2 out of 3 would have given more time for subjects.




Because now we have Nishat falling for Flavia, and maybe there is romance too ;)




All in all, it was a good book that tackled a lot of difficult subjects. I can't say if I have read a single book set in Bangledesh or with Bengali characters. It's always their western neighbors that you read about




Good narration. She did well with different characters and got tone and age very well.






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 family. And her life only gets harder once a childhood friend walks back into her life.




Flávia is beautiful and charismatic and Nishat falls for her instantly. But when a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, both Flávia and Nishat choose to do henna, even though Flávia is appropriating Nishat’s culture. Amidst sabotage and school stress, their lives get more tangled—but Nishat can’t quite get rid of her crush on Flávia, and realizes there might be more to her than she realized.


18 comments:

  1. Lots of issues which may be common and as usual not talked about to "save face" as very often typical in Asian families. Sounds like an engrossing read.

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    Replies
    1. Yes there was a lot of that, her own mother had had problems

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  2. So it had some good points but tried to deliver too much and yet not enough!

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    Replies
    1. I did want it to delve deeper into some of them

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  3. "Her parents barely speak to her, and suddenly they are cool with it. She accepts that her school is a bit racist and homophobic and that is it. I know that that happens, but no one learns a thing."
    I hear you. Real life is like that, most of the time, but...I would expect an "issue" book to work a bit differently.

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    Replies
    1. Like, yes good they had a change of heart, but after not mostly not even speaking to her for weeks..?

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  4. Sounds really interesting!

    "If I have to judge something, then maybe it is handling too much. It all works, it's just, instead of anyone learning or accepting things just happen." <<- THIS is so accurate. I've seen it happen in a lot of books and thought, well that was a wasted opportunity for learning and growth.

    Great review!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I get that they want to show us everything, but sometimes you can show, but still delve deeper into one thing

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  5. I hate when books with good intentions try to pack in too much and the story suffers. But sounds like you still enjoyed it.

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    Replies
    1. It was still good :) But one can always wish for me

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  6. Sometimes there are too many issues in a book. Glad to hear you enjoyed the narration.

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  7. I probably have this one downloaded somewhere if it was on AudiobookSync. This sounds like a decent listen.

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