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The Marvelous Mirza Girls by Sheba Karim is a story of two strong women finding themselves after a loss. As a big fan of Travel YA, I was excited by the main character’s trip to New Delhi, and this one features a mother-daughter duo, which I always love to see. The setting is one of the book’s highlights, making for an immersive reading experience. I would recommend this to those looking for a heartwarming read with a compelling setting.Title: The Marvelous Mirza Girls
Author: Sheba Karim
Publisher: Quill Tree Books
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: May 18, 2021
To cure her post–senior year slump, made worse by the loss of her aunt Sonia, Noreen is ready to follow her mom on a gap year trip to New Delhi, hoping India can lessen her grief and bring her voice back.
In the world’s most polluted city, Noreen soon meets kind, handsome Kabir, who introduces her to the wonders of this magical, complicated place. With Kabir’s help—plus Bollywood celebrities, fourteenth-century ruins, karaoke parties, and Sufi saints—Noreen begins to rediscover her joyful voice.
But when a family scandal erupts, Noreen and Kabir must face complicated questions in their own relationship: What does it mean to truly stand by someone—and what are the boundaries of love?
❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃
Review: The Marvelous Mirza Girls by Sheba Karim
Following the death of her aunt, Noreen and her mother travel to India, hoping to overcome their grief. There, Noreen meets a cute local who shows her around New Delhi and helps her feel whole again. I’m a big fan of books about travel, and these aspects were a big win for me. I will say, I did find the plot a little thin, and at times, it lacks direction. However, the amusement of Noreen’s experiences mostly made up for this.
❀ Likeable Main Character
Noreen is a likeable main character, and she hopes to become a sitcom writer someday. I loved getting to read excerpts from her screenplays, and and she has such an engaging voice. However, I would have liked to see her character develop more throughout the story, besides falling in love. Noreen’s mother also plays a significant role in the book, and I really enjoyed reading about their support for each other. Parents are often absent in YA, so I appreciated this mother-daughter relationship being brought into the spotlight.
❀ Vivid Setting
One of the strongest parts of the book is its setting. Karim transports the reader to New Delhi, spotlighting delicious foods and local attractions to create an immersive reading experience. Current social issues like the #MeToo movement are also discussed. The entire atmosphere of New Delhi is vividly described, and I ultimately loved tagging along with Noreen as she and Kabir explore the city.
❀ A Heartfelt Story
The Marvelous Mirza Girls by Sheba Karimis a heartfelt story of resilience and finding yourself after a loss. The main character has a compelling voice, and I loved the mother-daughter relationship at the centre of the story. I especially enjoyed the New Delhi setting. Fans of the Travel YA genre will not want to miss this one.