Cover Image: The Mis-Arrangement of Sana Saeed

The Mis-Arrangement of Sana Saeed

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Member Reviews

This was such an excellent book. I absolutely loved the development of Sana and Daniel with their friends-to-strangers-to-lovers. The subplots worked well too, with the mystery of ExGen and threat against Sana. I loved the family dynamics with the aunties and I was completely immersed in the book from start to finish. The Urdu the author uses within the book was done well. The meanings of the words were explained well without losing the flow of the story. Great book, all around!! 

A few things I noticed reading the ebook:
Chapter 3: A sentence reads "We didn't have much else, but he had heaps of love." I think he is supposed to be we?
Chapter 11: A sentence reads "Such decent people - he asked permission for the two of you to see other with a chaperone." I think it is supposed to be "see each other"

Chapter 19: A sentence reads "Despite that tough DAG persona,, he's still the boy I knew." Double comma

Chapter 25: A sentence reads "He has two felonies in and pleaded guilty to domestic assault." I don't think the "in" is supposed to be there

Chapter 29: A sentence reads "She parts her lips and runs a hand on her face" Missing punctuation
Another sentence reads "in my heart loosing all the feeling in my legs" losing/loosing

Chapter 34: A sentence reads "Even after that leech Brain confessed?" Brian/Brain
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Great Muslim representation. I didn’t know exactly how an arrangement marriage came about and thought that they were always forced on the bride. A great look at the day to day life of a Muslim woman and family.
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This book is unapologetically muslim with a great family-saga a la Bollywood and loads of masala. The writing was immaculate, rich in detail with vivid imagery. The sheer details about food made me hungry. There was a ton of culture in the book, and the worldbuilding was good. 

All of the characters felt consistent what with marriage, family feuds, duty to one’s family, property squabbles, and immigrant trauma. I was fascinated with Daniel’s origin and his need to belong. 

As for the romance, it’s a slow-buuuuurn with two love interests but we immediately know which one is the ~one~. I liked Sana and Daniel’s scenes - it was refreshing for a Muslim couple. It was brimming with tension and chemistry between Daniel and Sana, and that kept me turning the pages. Halal dating can be sexy! The pine! The swoon! The angst! 

e-ARC was personally gifted to me by the author via Netgalley.
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I loved this book being a Pakistani American Muslim woman this was the perfect representation.I loved Daniel and Sana and the fact that Sana went with her heart and chose Daniel instead of listening to pressures from those around her. I also loved the desi humor with Rishta aunties and the desi standard time. I also really resonated with the talk of discrimination and how people treat you differently based on things like religion or ethnicity which have been things I and my family and friends have all experienced at one point or another. I also liked how Sana always took care of her brother and wouldn’t hesitate to stand up for him. I loved the bond that Daniel had with him too. Overall I really enjoyed this book. Loved all the references and felt happy seeing my culture and religion in a romance book.
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Now where do I start? I really had high hopes for this book unfortunately it was a major letdown. I'm tempting to dnf it a few times but really force myself to finish it. I skipped a few chapter and practically skimmed some parts. 
What I like were the food and the eating part. They sounds so good and deliciously written. I'm bored of reading too many silly situations and I really hate the mother. She does a lot questionable things that makes me wonder about her sanity. I really couldn't stand her. Sana also pretty rude sometimes. A guy helped your little brother from getting bullied the least you could said was a thank you. Not getting angry at him. I dislike her when she keep on leading Adam. If you don't like a person just says no and stopped acting like you like them. I want more explanation on some part. Also there's too many side characters to remember that It was hard for me to keep up. 

 Thank you to NetGalley and Alcove Press for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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I wanted to like this more than I ultimately did - I was excited for the Muslim Indian hijabi representation, especially in a romance novel, but while Sana's character was interesting, I didn't feel much connection to anyone else in the story. The family drama was definitely more interesting to me than the water pollution storyline - I could see how it was useful to keep Sana and Daniel connected throughout the book, but I didn't feel any depth of urgency about the issue. I never felt any real tension about the "love triangle", just bad for Adam that he was being strung along through no fault of his own. Overall, it was a nice story, it just didn't grab my attention.
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Sana is a Pakistani woman in her early 30s, and her family desperately wants her to be married. If she is married, her mother will allow her to be the guardian for her younger, autistic brother, Zia. As the family struggles with making an arranged marriage that is suitable for Sana, they find a kind, considerate man, Adam, who will be her partner in the arranged marriage. At the same time, Sana is reconnected to Daniel whom she determines she is madly in love with. Sana struggles with making a choice, knowing that arranged marriages often work, but she continues to feel that Daniel is the only choice for her.

The "mis-arrangement" is at times rather forced, and yet the focus on family and security is the most important component of the future marriage. In addition to the marriage arrangement, there are family members who are not exactly in tune with each other, and it's a mystery as to who will marry whom and who in the family will choose the parties in the marriage. 

Sana has a strong personality, and she is determined to choose her own future husband according to her own desires and abilities. Parts of the book seem rather forced, but the final choice of husband makes sense in the end.
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I'm a big fan of second-chance romance and enemies-to-lovers and this book combines those tropes so well! The romantic pining from both sides--especially Daniel's--is so swoony and kept me reading to find out what would happen next. I also loved all the cultural elements woven throughout the story, especially the food. The descriptions really made the scenes come alive and made me feel like I was there. This story has so many complex themes too such as family obligations and immigrant identity that make the story so rich. Noreen's writing is vibrant and lush and packs a lot of emotion--it was so satisfying to see the romance play out and to see how the family feud between Sana and Daniel's families is resolved. This is a beautiful and powerful debut and I can't wait to read more of Noreen's stories!
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"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single desi woman, in want of getting her nagging mom off her back, must eventually settle for the most boringly eligible rishta alive."

The story follows 33 year old Sana Saeed who is torn between love and her duty to her family with Jane Austen references and a bit of a Romeo and Juliet feud. It features gossiping aunties, family drama, as well as complex relationships with parents.

TW: death of a parent, grief, Islamophobia

- The main character's brother is autistic which is representation we don't see often. I just wish he was more developed as a character.
- The environmental justice themes with their job were very interesting and unique
- I would classify this as a 90% halal romance because I don't really know how I feel about the forced-proximity-in-the-workplace thing. There is some casual touching, maybe like 2 hugs, and the car scene and stuff idk if it passes the halal check irl
- My main issue with the book though was how her "romance" with Daniel developed while she was engaged to Adam. It just didn't sit right with me.

- I have to admit that I considered DNFing a few chapters in, but because the author had personally reached out, and that I make a point of always giving books by Muslim authors a chance especially when they feature Muslim characters, I committed to reading it. I really really wanted to like it, I'm so sad I ended up disappointed.

Personally I would only recommend this to someone who's facing the same dilemma as the MC
2.5 stars
e-arc received from the author via NetGalley
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This is such a lovely story. The relationship between Sana and Daniel is full of tension, thanks to all their history, but also so much sweetness. Sana’s issues at work are compelling, and the family dynamics add so much depth. I really enjoyed it!
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Thank you to Alcove Press and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review! I was looking for a good weekend read for a trip and this did the job. It's dramatic and heartfelt, with so so so much pining. It is a workplace romance, which I honestly have a soft spot for, although I know it is not for everyone. It can be a bit cringy at times, but I didn't mind it because I wasn't really going into this with the expectation that it was a perfect romance. It was just a good read and I had fun, and I think going into this with minimal expectations really helped!
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Unfortunately, I cannot say I liked this one, though I wanted to. 
I am not Muslim or Pakistani, though I do have some familiarity with these cultures due to personal relationships. 
I am not sure who the intended audience is. Is this book aimed at a Muslim or Pakistani audience? It's easy to say it is aimed an everybody. There is a lot of language here that people who are not members of that culture would probably not understand. They would probably learn something about the culture, but this representation felt a little melodramatic and exaggerated to me, though I cannot be sure. Maybe is is just the author's writing style. 
I read ~60% and skipped to the last chapter and epilogue because I was really tired of the melodrama and silly situations. It also contained a disproportionate amount of detail about food. Without all of the details about food and eating, this book would have been significantly shorter. The author was probably trying to provide more detail about the culture, but I would have rather read about a greater variety of cultural elements rather than relying so heavily on cuisine. 
This just was not my cup of tea. 
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC. Opinions are my own.
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Thanks to Alcove Press and NetGalley for providing an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

This story was so sweet and the relationships (romantic and familial) were so complex and Interesting. I was hooked early in because there was SO MUCH PINING. 

Sana is a great protagonist, she has a clear love for her family that guides all of her actions. I couldn’t help but to feel bad for her because of the lack of support she had from those around her. I thought the challenges with her mom and sister made a lot of sense and in the context of her family and their culture but I couldn’t stand that they were using her close relationship with her brother against her. Also her best friend was honestly just awful. The author painted her as a quirky comic relief, but I think that fell flat. At some points, Sana had internal monologue doubting her friend’s motives but none of that ever came to a head so it was disappointing.

Some of the family conflict was a little lost on me, and I was struggling to fully understand everything that happened with Daniel’s birth parents and how that had anything to do with the conflict between his family and Sana’s. In the end I just wanted more of an emotional response from Sana and Daniel to their family and their situation.

Overall it was a good read that I would recommend to anyone who is interested in a steam-less but still high tension romance.
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4.5 ☆

To start with, this was a heartening read. I adore books that has an emphasis on family, in particular, the ones in brown communities because family is everything to most of us. Sometimes I feel like the love we have for our families rarely translates to fiction. It was nice to read a book, especially a debut, that breaks stereotypes but had the sense of familiarity we feel when we read books that represent us.

Sana was an interesting character, for sure. Her strength, her determination and again, her love for her family(especially her brother) hit close to home. It's important to read different narratives in literature but it was getting a little tiring to constantly read about characters of colour trying to fit in by becoming someone else and Sana(and all the other characters in the book actually), in contrast, is herself. I loved that.

I'm a little reserved about dramatic endings but considering the overall pace of the book and the plot, the ending was absolutely delightful.

This was a fast-paced childhood friends to enemies to lovers that kept me engaged throughout. It's up for preorders
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There's a lot I like about this book, the Muslim rep was great and I did enjoy the characters and side plots! However, there's a lot of miscommunication/misleading and I wasn't a huge fan of it. The actual romance is super cute, but I was getting frustrated with the characters,
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I'm so sorry but this was not for me and I'm so sad that it wasn't because I was extremely excited for this but I just couldn't force myself to read past more than 25%.

The first thing that really got to me was the use of colloquialisms like bestie but not even used correctly... and also like it just didn't feel right at all coming from 30 year olds. Also words like oh my gawd... i'm sorry it's not the early 2000s either. It just made me cringe too much and I'm usually really lenient about this stuff.

Other than that, the characters just felt a little flat to me and something about the pacing wasn't engaging me at all. I didn't find myself caring at all about the drama between the two families or whatever was happening. And I definitely hated the fact that her mother was holding Sana's brother's autism and healthcare custody over her so she would get married. That just felt so wrong to me and I couldn't get over it. 

I really wish I could have enjoyed what I assume was supposed to pan out as a Muslim desi rom com esque story, but unfortunately this was a miss. I'm sure others will really enjoy it though, but I just can't.
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Thank you so much to Alcove Press and NetGalley for this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. I love a book where the characters are in their thirties or forties, especially in a romance book, so this was refreshing. It's a sweet romance, and honestly, pretty unpredictable. I actually really enjoyed the inclusion of Urdu and English throughout the book, as it was a nod to the intended audience of this book, and while that was not me in particular, I had a wonderful time reading about it. However, the characters fell a bit flat for me. I found myself relating to them, and then not, all in the same breath. Nevertheless, Noreen Mughees leans heavily into Sana's religious background and culture and what she has to go through because of it, making for some very poignant moments that were my personal favorites in the book. 

Overall, I did enjoy the book, but it did not leave a lasting impression on me or anything. In short, it was simply good and enjoyable.
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Absolutely adored the main characters - Romeo and Juliet Bollywood/Middle Eastern style. It's very rare to see a main character in a hijabi or arranged marriages discussed in English novels so I am glad this book has been popping up on many booktok and bookstagram to read lists. The conversations that Sana had with her mother and family about her life plans and relationship are not unique to her culture and will resonate with readers from any culture regardless of arranged or not.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Alcove Press for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

-second chance
-arranged marriage
-workplace romance
-forced proximity (at work)

I want to start my review by saying that I am neither Desi nor Muslim.  I was so excited to read this book and I appreciated how the author used Urdu and explained terms throughout.

I loved Sana.  She loved her family, especially her brother autistic Zia. San was also the family member who fixed everything for everyone so I really wanted her to get what she wanted out of life. And what she wanted was pretty simple: to care for her brother and find a man who was willing to do that and love her.

Enter Daniel, the long lost love of her teens. He's still kind and his eyes still make Sana melt. She still tingles at his touch, Zia loves him and she is going to be seeing him a lot more….at work.  Her mother has arranged a marriage to the bland, kind (and perhaps a little too into her family) Adam. Adam is nice and the textbook perfect man but Sana just isn’t feeling it for him. She is still, and will always be, in love with Daniel.

Daniel ran hot and cold and even though this book is dual point of view, I never could figure out why. I also had trouble telling what Sana was truly feeling. I craved more inner thoughts and motivations.

Sana’s mother was awful to her and to other people. She hated Daniel, not for who he was but for his family situation which was beyond his control. Her manipulation was disturbing. She uses her special needs child as a bait for her schemes and refuses to grant Sana custody of Zia in her will unless Sana marries the man her mother wants her to marry.  It’s clear that Sana and Zia have a special bond and there is no better person to care for him.  Wouldn’t you want the best for your child? What’s more upsetting is that the mother’s behavior is dismissed as being typical Desi mom behavior, as if that makes it okay to mistreat people. 

I really wanted to know what theses characters were thinking and feeling.  Perhaps that would have helped explain their actions better. And I really wanted Sana to react to her mother, and put an end to the manipulation. Also, there were some work plot lines that were confusing and fell flat. Sana is the victim of a horrible racist incident at work, which was never fully explored. There were so many work characters, it became hard to follow what was happening at the office.
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I want yo preface this by saying that I am neither muslim nor desi so my knowledge of the religion and the culture were extremely limited and remain pretty incomplete. However, as a very curious person, this book taught me a few things about Islam and Pakistani culture which I loved! I also want to mention that this book does include elements of islamophobia and racism so be aware of that. Now on the cute rainbows and butterflies side, the romance was very sweet and I liked how the author seemed to take tropes that are often used in romance (arranged marriage, office romance, childhood crush, family feud) and turned them to fit her storyline and the culture of those characters. I read that some people felt like Daniel’s character was inconsistent between his and Sana’s POV but, considering her prejudice against him, it made sense that she wouldn’t like him when he was being so sweet and considerate towards her. Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, this could technically be a Pride and Prejudice retelling? As to the side characters, Zia (Sana’s brother) reminded so much of one of my own family member in the way his autism manifested and I just adored his and Sana’s relationship, it was just so pure and you could feel their love for each other. I was never really attached to Adam as it was extremely clear from the start that Sana was never going to end up with him anyway. I don’t really know how to feel about Ainee, Sana’s BFF, since she was 100% right about not leading Adam on but I didn’t really click with her either. Overall, this was a total surprise and I would completely recommend it to anyone looking for a fun time (/not so much but it was entertaining!). This book totally deserves a 4.5 stars.
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