{ARC Review} More Than Just a Pretty Face by Syed M. Masood

July 29, 2020 Blog Tours, Giveaways, Reviews, Young Adult 2 ★★★★

{ARC Review} More Than Just a Pretty Face by Syed M. Masood

{ARC Review} More Than Just a Pretty Face by Syed M. MasoodMore Than Just a Pretty Face by Syed M. Masood
Pages: 352
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.



My Thoughts

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.


About Syed M. Masood

I grew up in Karachi, Pakistan, and currently live in Sacramento, California. There have been plenty of stops in between though. I’m a first generation immigrant, twice over. I’ve been a citizen of three different countries and lived in nine cities. I am, as Goethe, said, “nothing but a wanderer […] on this earth.”

Living among different people, in different countries at fascinating times in their histories, has shaped both my view of the world and my writing. Ultimately, human beings are the same everywhere (despite the fact that they tell themselves, everywhere, that they are different from each other), and the theme of this fundamental human unity informs everything I write.

As to my life outside of writing, I went to the William and Mary School of Law, and before that attended the University of Toronto, where I studied English Literature. I am currently practicing as an attorney and must “measure out my life in coffee spoons” on a daily basis.

Some members of my family will tell you that I’m also a poet. This isn’t true. I wrote a few poems in Urdu when I was a teenager, and I’ve never heard the end of it…which I wouldn’t mind, honestly, if they were any good. As it is, I’m very happy living in prose, thank you very much.

Other interests include good food, video games, sitcoms, and books of all kinds. Most of my time that doesn’t go to writing or billable hours is consumed by my two children, four and two years of age.

Michelle @ Book Briefs

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2020 New Release Challenge
  • Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge 2020

2 Responses to “{ARC Review} More Than Just a Pretty Face by Syed M. Masood”

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