Young Adult / New Adult
Coming of Age
Femme / Femme
New Adult / Young Adult
Sexual / Gender Identity:
violence, sexual violence, homophobia, hate crimes, forced marriage
The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali
By Sabina Khan
With a welcome mix of humor, heart, and high-stakes drama, Sabina Khan provides a timely and honest portrait of what it's like to grow up feeling unwelcome in your own culture.
Seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali tries her hardest to live up to her conservative Muslim parents’ expectations, but lately she’s finding that impossible to do. She rolls her eyes when they blatantly favor her brother and saves her crop tops and makeup for parties her parents don’t know about. Luckily, only a few more months stand between her carefully monitored life in Seattle and her new life at Caltech. But when her parents catch her kissing her girlfriend Ariana, all of Rukhsana’s plans fall apart.
Her parents are devastated and decide to whisk Rukhsana off to Bangladesh, where she is thrown headfirst into a world of arranged marriages and tradition. Through reading her grandmother’s old diary, Rukhsana gains some much-needed perspective and realizes she must find the courage to fight for her love without losing the connection to her family as a consequence.
“An intersectional, diverse coming of age story that will break your heart in the best way.” — Bustle.com
“With an up-close depiction of the intersection of the LGBTQIA+ community with Bengali culture, this hard-hitting and hopeful story is a must-purchase for any YA collection.” — School Library Journal, starred review
“This book will break your heart and then, chapter by chapter, piece it back together again. A much-needed addition to any YA shelf.” — Sandhya Menon, New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi and From Twinkle, With Love
“Heart-wrenching yet hopeful, The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali is an insightful and honest look at the tangled web of identity, culture, familial loyalty, and love. Sabina Khan crafts a powerful, poignant story about finding yourself, about speaking your truth, and about stepping out of the shadows and into the light.” — Samira Ahmed, New York Times bestselling author of Love, Hate and Other Filters
“A daring and timely novel, The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali delves head-and-heart-first into the universal complexities of navigating duty and desire, tradition and modernity, and friends and family — the one we are born into and the one we choose; the friends who are family, and the family we strive to befriend — all through the prism of multicultured identity. Political, personal, page-turning. Sabina Khan is one to watch.” — Tanuja Desai Hidier, author of Born Confused and Bombay Blues
“Bold, heartbreaking, yet hopeful. A story that will stay with you for years to come.” — Sara Farizan, Lambda Award-winning author of If You Could Be Mine
“The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali unapologetically explores the complex ties between families, friends, and intersectional diversity. Khan brings talent and voice in this brilliant novel that will keep you reading until the very last page.” — Nisha Sharma, author of My So-Called Bollywood Life
“[The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali] takes LGBTQ fiction to another level and will help open readers’ eyes to the realities that many face in these changing times.” — Shelf Awareness