The romance of Becky Albertalli meets the nuanced family dynamics of Darius the Great is Not Okay in this YA novel from acclaimed author Sabina Khan.
Mehar hasn't been back to India since she and her mother moved away when she was six. Her father made it clear that she was not his priority when he chose not to come to the United States with them.
But when her father announces his engagement to socialite Naz, Mehar reluctantly agrees to return for the wedding. Maybe she and her father can finally heal their broken relationship. And either way, her father is Indian royalty, and the famil home is a palace--the wedding is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime affair.
Once she arrives in India, Mehar meets Sufiya, her grandmother's assistant. Though they come from totally different worlds, their friendship slowly starts to blossom into something more . . . Mehar thinks.
Meanwhile, Mehar's dislike for Naz and her social media influencer daughter, Aleena, deepens. She can tell the two of them are just using her father for his money. Mehar's starting to think that putting a stop to this wedding might be the best thing for everyone involved.
But what happens when telling her father the truth about Naz and Aleena means putting her relationship with Sufiya at risk?
Mehar knows what she wants. Making it happen is a whole other story.
A queer teen travels from Kansas to attend the wedding of her estranged father, a famous polo player treated like Indian royalty, in this madcap romance by Khan (Meet Me in Mumbai). Ever since queer 18-year-old Mehar Rabbani and her mother emigrated from India to the U.S. without Mehar's father when she was four, her relationship with him has been strained. When he invites Mehar to attend his wedding, she agrees, hoping to rebuild their relationship. Once she's in India, however, her father has little time for her; it turns out that planning a wedding between a beloved athlete and a well-known socialite is a lot more involved than Mehar expected. While he's preoccupied navigating press and media junkets with his fiancé and her social media influencer daughter, Aleena, Mehar is thrust into a world of opulence and grandeur previously unknown to her, all the while growing closer to her extended family and finding friendship—and budding first love—with her grandmother's assistant, Sufiya. A convoluted plot that feels reminiscent of The Reluctant Debutante sometimes moves in fits and starts. Khan nevertheless depicts Mehar's trip to India—including a romantic midnight visit to the Taj Mahal—in dazzling detail that elucidates a lush and inviting atmosphere. Ages 12–up.