*I received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book.*
Zara has always wanted her own love story. A real kind of love. But when her best friend Adnan accidentally tells everyone they’re dating to hide his actual girlfriend, Zara doesn’t know what to do. The news of her relationship appears to lessen the arguments between her parents, so maybe this isn’t all that bad. But how long can they pretend to be in a relationship without straining Adnan’s real one, and can they keep up pretences in front of their friends without ruining everything?
Yeah, this wasn’t very pleasant. I should’ve known I would feel this way after Adnan became an absolute prick towards Zara. By the time we reached the end of this story, it felt like nothing had been added to the overall plot and characters. Even as best friends or fake lovers, Zara and Adnan held no chemistry whatsoever.
The bulk of the story hinges on Zara and Adnan’s relationship; they constantly remind each other that they are the best of friends and nothing else matters because the strength of their friendship should trump all. Adnan insists that despite his new relationship, his friendship with Zara will not falter, but then he continues treating Zara terribly for the entire story. He fails to consider her feelings while he gets the best of both worlds; he gets the girl and gains the adoration of his family for finally “dating” Zara. And what does Zara get? Despite convincing herself that this fake dating would distract her parents from arguing, nothing substantial actually happens. They still fight, upsetting Zara, which defeats the purpose of what she is supposed to be benefiting from this relationship. Adnan doesn’t even do much to keep his end of the bargain; he continues to publicly flirt with his girlfriend in situations where their plans would definitely get them caught; Zara will then have to swoop in to correct the issue, causing arguments between the three of them.
This book would have done well to undergo some further brainstorming. A lot is going on, but nothing really sticks out. Zara and Adnan don’t respect each other, their “plan” lacks any action, and there is just so much going on in the background that the story falters because it doesn’t know where to focus its plot. On top of their fake plan and familial issues, there is also a side plot of Zara’s friend who wants to make a documentary of her new relationship and an anonymous Instagram gossip account that is strangely forgotten for most of the novel.
There’s not much else I can say about this book. Poor Zara. She deserves a lot better.
One thought on “Review: This is How You Fall in Love”
I knew from the premise that this was going to be a mess but I didn’t know that it was that bad 😬 I truly expect a lot more from Zara and Adnan’s friendship tbh.
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