on August 4, 2020
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, contemporary
Source: eARC from Publisher
For fans of Becky Albertalli and Jenny Han, a sweetly funny YA rom-com debut about falling in love, familial expectations, and being a Renaissance Man.
Danyal Jilani doesn't lack confidence. He may not be the smartest guy in the room, but he's funny, gorgeous, and going to make a great chef one day. His father doesn't approve of his career choice, but that hardly matters. What does matter is the opinion of Danyal's longtime crush, the perfect-in-all-ways Kaval, and her family, who consider him a less than ideal arranged marriage prospect.
When Danyal gets selected for Renaissance Man--a school-wide academic championship--it's the perfect opportunity to show everyone he's smarter than they think. He recruits the brilliant, totally-uninterested-in-him Bisma to help with the competition, but the more time Danyal spends with her...the more he learns from her...the more he cooks for her...the more he realizes that happiness may be staring him right in his pretty face.
More Than Just a Pretty Face is a young adult contemporary romance by Syed M. Masood. More Than Just a Pretty Face was a fantastic journey of food, self discovery and two teens finding love in an unexpected place. This book was adorable. Be warned though…it made me really hungry! The main character in this story is a chef, and the way he talks about food basically had me salivating the whole time while I was reading. Other than his cooking talent, he is also a genuinely awesome guy, so that was pretty swoon-worthy as well.
In More Than Just a Pretty Face we meet out main character, Danyal. As I mentioned before Danyal is a chef, but beyond that he is seen as a very confident together teen at school. So much that he was nominated for a school Renaissance man competition, which is a competition for a well rounded guy that seemingly has it all- looks, brains and confidence. I thought Danyal was really intelligent, but he had his doubts because he has never considered himself “book smart” so to ace that part of the competition he enlists the help of Bisma to help with some of the more academic aspects of the competition.
Danyal has an ulterior motive for trying to win the competition. His longtime crush Kaval has a family that doesn’t approve of Danyal and he thinks winning the competition will be prestige enough to win them all over. But if you are a true romance reader like I am, then you know what is really about to happen. Once Danyal and Bisma start hanging out that is when the real magic happens. And Magic it was! I loved seeing the two of them get to know each other, and moreover seeing the change in Danyal himself. Even though he portrays himself as a very confident individual, he really didn’t have enough inner confidence and watching that bloom within him was really satisfying for me as a reader. Not to mention I love Danyal and Bisma together! Love love love them.
More Than Just a Pretty Face has a great romance, great cultural representation, fantastic food references and wonderfully developed characters. This book was a joy to read. I am so excited to read more books from Syed M. Masood! I love to see male main characters. I think we need more of that in young adult books! If you are a fan of great young adult romances with wonderful character development, More Than Just a Pretty Face is a book that I would whole heatedly recommend to you.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2020 New Release Challenge
- Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge 2020