A huge thanks to Attiya Khan and Literally PR for a copy of this book in return for an honest and unbiased review.
What if you met the boy of your dreams but loving him was forbidden?
Aisha Rashid is used to being invisible or bullied and overshadowed by best friend Isabelle. So no one is more surprised than her when Darren Brady, the hot new boy in school, takes an interest in her and not Isabelle. But Aisha is a devout hijab-wearing Muslim and Darren is off limits. Does she follow her heart even if it means losing her own identity? And is Darren really all that he seems? If only there was a way she could keep the boy and her faith. Maybe there is a way? All it takes are ten steps…
- Breaking down perceptions of growing up as a Muslim teenage girl in the UK.
- Learning about boundaries and toxic friendships.
- First love and all the emotions that come with it!
- Sexual identity.
- Diversity & inclusion in publishing and education.
Ten Steps To Us is a very sweet romance novel and suitable for the younger end of Young adult as the content is very mild and appropriate.
Being a teen is a very confusing and daunting time. Add romance and feelings into the mix and it becomes a bubbling cauldron of hormones and emotions. Now add into that messy gloop the fact that your latest crush goes against everything you believe in, and you are part way there to appreciating the dilemma of Aisha when she meets Darren.
Aisha is a Muslim and loves being so. She wants to honour all the cultural and religious teaching but then she meets and falls in love with Darren. She comes up with a 10-step plan to convert Darren to Islam.
I think Khan captures the struggles of being a teen perfectly. Aisha is not a perfect character and can be self-centred, a little judgemental and in some way uncompromising. It was fascinating to explore Aisha’s religion and culture form a positive view. The way she identified so strongly with her beliefs, even beyond her parents, was so interesting to follow.
This is a cute romance that depicts the teenage years really well and Aisha’s struggles felt raw sometimes and made me think about how our country is no where near fully appreciative and respectful to other cultures. There were times hen I was so angry on her behalf.
A lovely debut and I am looking forward to more by this author.
Author Bio – Attiya Khan
Attiya is a mother of three and works as a GP in East London. She has been part of critique groups for around five years and holds an MA in Modern Literature from Birkbeck, where she graduated with merits.
She was selected to be part of the David Higham’s Open day for underrepresented writers, and is also on the longlist for Undiscovered Voices 2020.
Ten Steps To Us is Attiya’s debut book.