Book review | Sway With Me by Syed M. Masood
Author: Syed M. Masood
Genre: YA Romance
No. of pages: 336
Published by: Hodder & Stoughton
Published on: 30th November 2021
My rating: ★★★★☆
Arsalan has learned everything he knows from Nana, his 100-year-old great-grandfather. This includes the fact that when Nana dies, Arsalan will be completely alone in the world, except for his estranged and abusive father. So he turns to Beenish, the step-daughter of a prominent matchmaker, to find him a future life partner. Beenish's request in return? That Arsalan help her ruin her older sister's wedding with a spectacular dance she's been forbidden to perform.
Despite knowing as little about dancing as he does about girls, Arsalan wades into Beenish's chaotic world to discover friends and family he never expected. And though Arsalan's old-school manners and Beenish's take-no-prisoners attitude clash every minute, they find themselves getting closer and closer - literally. All that's left to realize is that the thing they both really want is each other, if only they can get into step.
When the dorky, old-school and literature-fused male protagonist describes his potential love interest as "less of a girl and more of a hurricane" I literally swooned you guys!
The dorky guy I'm talking about is 17 year old Arsalan, who knows nothing about "being cool." His world revolves around old history books, poetry and literature, and his great grandfather whom he lovingly calls "Nana." And his only concern in the world— who's going be with him if his Nana dies (definitely not his abusive, toxic and estranged father). So when he turns to Beenish or Beans, whose step-mother can bring him a potential match or a fiancé, he falls into the dark and wild world of Beenish and her love for dance.
This whirlwind of a book is filled with wholesome-ness that will warm your heart. But be prepared for Arsalan's backstory because that is sure to break your heart. There's a lot of talk about religion in the book, with a myriad of characters with their variety of opinions, but the way these characters respect and honour each other's views has my heart. And this book does it in a totally comic way.
There are many laugh-aloud moments in the book, and aww-mantic moments between Arsalan and Beenish that I'd love to live in. Arsalan's awkwardness around Beenish and Beenish openly flirting with Arsalan is just so sweet. What stood out the most in the book are the characters. Nana is so dynamic, he's like the universal cool grandparent. Beenish and Arsalan's mutual friend Heera Khan, aka Diamond Khan (who refers to himself in third person) is the living definition of a himbo and I'd love to be his friend.
This book is legit sweet. Go read it y'all!
I have already read the author's first book and the quirkiness and the seamless way of narration is still present here. The flow, the narration, the flashbacks, everything flows in an easy way making it an interesting read. The dialogues make the book a fun read all the way. Never did I feel bored or feel that it's slow. Its perfect!
Syed Masood grew up in Karachi, Pakistan, and currently lives in Sacramento, where he is a practicing attorney. He received his J.D. from the William and Mary School of Law after attending the University of Toronto, where he studied English Literature. He wrote a few couplets in Urdu when he was a teenager, and his family still tells everyone he is an Urdu poet. He is not. His passions include good food, dress shoes, sitcoms, and books of all kinds. MORE THAN JUST A PRETTY FACE is his first novel.
I received a copy of the book in exchange of an honest and unbiased review