Hana Khan Carries On is Uzma Jalaluddin’s sophomore novel. Set in Toronto, this book is sweet, fun, and tackles the hard topic of racism. Jalaluddin also does a fabulous job of depicting the differences between many of the South Asian cultures.
In this You’ve Got Mail modern retelling, Hana Khan is a 24 year old Muslim women. As the child to immigrants, she’s was born and raised in Toronto and has dreams of being a radio host, not for the fame but to tell stories. Working on getting her career launched, she’s interning at a radio station and working in her family’s Indian-Canadian fusion restaurant. *Forewarned this book will make your mouth water. *
This is a cute story. It very much follows the tradition of a rom-com and has a few predictable outcomes. However, what really sets this story apart is the way Jalaluddin is able to both keep the story light while also tackling some harder topics, such as racism specifically towards the Muslim community. We see Hana exposed to multiple forms of racism. Some is simply blind hate but others come in the form of ‘well wishers’ trying to be inclusive but missing the key components. I really enjoyed the way Hana stuck to her morals throughout the story, and didn’t ‘sell out’ for lack of a better way to say that.
Jalaluddin, also does a wonderful job of conveying the difference between the South Asian cultures, and highlights that there are so many different cultures that make up the term ‘South Asian’. I don’t think this gets highlighted enough, and so I thoroughly enjoyed that portion of the story. I also think that food is something that can really bring cultures and people together, and I loved that Jalaluddin based the story around a restaurant.
This book is also a great reminder that all families, no matter where you come from, have secrets.
If you’re looking for an own voices romcom, look no future than Hana Khan Carries On. This book is out now and I can’t wait to see what’s next for Jalaluddin.
Hana Khan Carries On is out now. Thank you to Berkley Books for my advanced copy for my honest review. If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my instagram @speakingof_books.