Counting Down with You-Book Review

49399658A reserved Bangladeshi teenager has twenty-eight days to make the biggest decision of her life after agreeing to fake date her school’s resident bad boy.
How do you make one month last a lifetime?

Karina Ahmed has a plan. Keep her head down, get through high school without a fuss, and follow her parents’ rules—even if it means sacrificing her dreams. When her parents go abroad to Bangladesh for four weeks, Karina expects some peace and quiet. Instead, one simple lie unravels everything.

Karina is my girlfriend.

Tutoring the school’s resident bad boy was already crossing a line. Pretending to date him? Out of the question. But Ace Clyde does everything right—he brings her coffee in the mornings, impresses her friends without trying, and even promises to buy her a dozen books (a week) if she goes along with his fake-dating facade. Though Karina agrees, she can’t help but start counting down the days until her parents come back.

T-minus twenty-eight days until everything returns to normal—but what if Karina no longer wants it to?

Counting Down with You by Tashie Bhuiyan 

FIZAH (4)Pages: 464

Publishing Date: May 4th, 2021

Publisher: Inkyard Press

MY THOUGHTS

I don’t know if you’ll believe me or not but it is the reality that I don’t want to rant about books. I just wanted to read a light and quick book and was looking for some for a while. I was seeing this book for a while on Twitter. I’ve never read a book with Bangladeshi and Muslim reps. I just wanted to read something different yet real. Was it too much to ask?

Karina, our MC, is Muslim and the daughter of Bangladeshi immigrants. Her parents want her to be a doctor anything else is not even an option. She has been doing everything by her parents’ rule until she a white guy Ace who also happens to be the bad boy of the school. Sounds familiar? Yes, it is the plot of every second YA that claimed to be South Asian or Muslim Rep.

This book made me really uncomfortable on more than one occasion. Karina kept saying things like how her parents don’t let her do anything, how she can’t do this and that because her parents don’t let her. On one side she is focused on eating halal, on the other side she is busy kissing the Ace.  On one side she is wearing crop shirts in her parents’ absence on the other side she is claiming that it is her parents, not Islam who ask her to wear modest clothes. At one point she threw the statement that some conservative Muslims believes that Dogs are haram in Islam. The author should have done some research about it before throwing things and she should have explained why Muslims are not allowed to keep dogs in the house.

I really enjoyed the first part of the book except for a few things (such as repetitive writing style) but then things started to get dirty in the second half.  I felt for Karina as she was forced into something she doesn’t want to do,  Anxiety representation was so well done. Nandini, Cora and Karina’s Friendship was adorable and her bond with her brother was a nice touch. I love the way she got her biggest support in form of Dadu. I would have liked it as much as I like other contemporaries. BUT when you claim it to be Bangladeshi and Muslim Rep then you have to make it one.

Her relationship with Ace was cute but also so physical, there was a lot of unnecessary touching and poking. She was uncomfortable at some points but it was romanticized. I also found their relationship dragged and the way their scenes were written felt like fillers. Many characters were used as fillers too. Use them and throw them away. This big was so so so dragged. I always say the ideal length for contemporary books is somewhere between 250 -300. This book was 464 pages long.

Why these brown MC always need a white character to save them from their Villain family?. Why they show most of the parents negative?. Why can’t we read about a Muslim family who lives like a normal family where people shared everything with each other and respects each other’s opinions and wishes.

I am sick of authors using south Asian culture, Islam and Muslim just for sake of diversity and twisting everything about it so their Mass readers will love it. What about authenticity? what about a real rep?. They make MC do everything problematic, taking off hijab, dating, drinking, lying to their parents, villainizing parents, touching, kissing and being in a relationship. Why they always have to show Islam in a bad light…They are doing it again and again and again. And there is no end to it. Only S.K Ali has the guts to show a real Muslim rep and I love her for it. She is a clear example of how one can be a successful author without abusing Muslim reps.

Untitled design

⭐⭐

FIZAH

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. khansajan says:

    S.K Ali does write good Muslim rep. And I think the writer should have distinguished between culture and religion very clearly in order to highlight how Islam is misconstrued because of cultural norms.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Completely agree. So many authors mix both of these and in the results all those terrible Muslim Rep out there.

      Liked by 1 person

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