The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali
Fight for love. Fight for family. Fight for yourself.
Seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali has always been fascinated by the universe around her and the laws of physics that keep everything in order. But her life at home isn't so absolute.
Unable to come out to her conservative Muslim parents, she keeps that part of her identity hidden. And that means keeping her girlfriend, Ariana, a secret from them too. Luckily, only a few more months stand between her carefully monitored life at home and a fresh start at Caltech in the fall. But when Rukhsana's mom catches her and Ariana together, her future begins to collapse around her.
Devastated and confused, Rukhsana's parents whisk her off to stay with their extended family in Bangladesh where, along with the loving arms of her grandmother and cousins, she is met with a world of arranged marriages, religious tradition, and intolerance. Fortunately, Rukhsana finds allies along the way and, through reading her grandmother's old diary, finds the courage to take control of her future and fight for her love.
"An intersectional, diverse coming-of-age story that will break your heart in the best way" (Bustle), The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali provides a timely and achingly honest portrait of what it's like to grow up feeling unwelcome in your own culture and proves that love, above all else, has the power to change the world.
Sabina Khan writes about Muslim teens who straddle cultures. She was born in Germany, spent her teens in Bangladesh, and lived in Macao, Illinois, and Texas before settling down in British Columbia with her husband, two daughters, and the best puppy in the world.
An intersectional, diverse coming of age story that will break your heart in the best way. -- Bustle.com
* With an up-close depiction of the intersection of the LGBTQIA+ community with Bengali culture, this hard-hitting and hopeful story is a must-purchase for any YA collection. -- School Library Journal, starred review
This book will break your heart and then, chapter by chapter, piece it back together again. A much-needed addition to any YA shelf. -- Sandhya Menon, New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi and From Twinkle, With Love
Heart-wrenching yet hopeful, The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali is an insightful and honest look at the tangled web of identity, culture, familial loyalty, and love. Sabina Khan crafts a powerful, poignant story about finding yourself, about speaking your truth, and about stepping out of the shadows and into the light. -- Samira Ahmed, New York Times bestselling author of Love, Hate and Other Filters
A daring and timely novel, The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali delves head-and-heart-first into the universal complexities of navigating duty and desire, tradition and modernity, and friends and family -- the one we are born into and the one we choose; the friends who are family, and the family we strive to befriend -- all through the prism of multicultured identity. Political, personal, page-turning. Sabina Khan is one to watch. -- Tanuja Desai Hidier, author of Born Confused and Bombay Blues
Bold, heartbreaking, yet hopeful. A story that will stay with you for years to come. -- Sara Farizan, Lambda Award-winning author of If You Could Be Mine
The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali unapologetically explores the complex ties between families, friends, and intersectional diversity. Khan brings talent and voice in this brilliant novel that will keep you reading until the very last page. -- Nisha Sharma, author of My So-Called Bollywood Life
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