IT ALL COMES BACK TO YOU, by Farah Naz Rishi, Quill Tree Books, Sept. 14, 2021, Hardcover, $17.99 (young adult)
Two exes are thrown together when their siblings fall in love in Farah Naz Rishi’s It All Comes Back to You.
After Kiran Noorani’s mom died, Kiran vowed to keep her dad and sister, Amira, close — to keep her family together. But when Amira announces that she’s dating someone, Kiran’s world is turned upside down.
Deen Malik is thrilled that his brother, Faisal, has found a great girlfriend. Maybe a new love will give Faisal a new lease on life, and Deen can stop feeling guilty for the reason that Faisal needs a do-over in the first place.
When the families meet, Deen and Kiran find themselves face to face. Again. Three years ago — before Amira and Faisal met — Kiran and Deen dated in secret. Until Deen ghosted Kiran.
And now, after discovering hints of Faisal’s shady past, Kiran will stop at nothing to find answers. Deen just wants his brother to be happy — and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep Kiran from reaching the truth. Though the chemistry between Kiran and Deen is undeniable, can either of them take down their walls? —Synopsis provided by Quill Tree Books
It All Comes Back to You reads a bit like a soap opera crossed with a teen movie. It’s chock full of drama — a role-playing game chat, flash-back texts, dance routines, secrets layered upon secrets. But that’s why the book’s appealing. It’s not completely unpredictable, but there are enough twists and turns to keep you coming back for more.
Author Farah Naz Rishi has a welcoming writing style that sort of embraces you from the first. Even though Kiran and Deen’s worlds are new, they feel familiar. Their characters are rooted in family and culture, and that gives them weight and believability.
At more than 400 pages, It All Comes Back to You is a fairly thick rom-com, which probably could have been 50 pages shorter, but is still enjoyable. It’s a good option for fans of Sandhya Menon and Jenny Han.