Cover Image: Courting Samira

Courting Samira

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Member Reviews

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC to review.

Courting Samira was such a sweet read that reminded me so much of the rom coms I grew up on. I loved the classic tropes like the love triangle aspect and I enjoyed the overall romance.

I did struggle at times with the way that the misogyny was handled by the characters, but this was a personal issue for me and not a fault of the author’s at all.

Overall this was a really great read with so many funny relatable moments.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for granting me free access to the advanced digital copy of this book.

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The title of the book basically sums up story. The main character of the story is Samira, a 28 Arab Muslim living in Sydney Australia. She has the typical late twenty something angst, unhappy in her job and being pressured by her family to marry. Then she meets a suitable match at her job and her life begins improving. There is some scandal as this is a love match and not an arranged marriage. A slightly predictable love triangle ensues. It was a cute story and a fun read.

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This is a sweet book with characters who are familiar and loveable. I enjoyed the exposure and insight to a culture I don't have a lot of knowledge about

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**Thank you to NetGalley for sending me this book in return for an honest review.**

What a fun read! I'm always looking for more diverse books and I loved reading about Samira ❤ my only qualm was the "miscommunication" trope. It drives me nuts in books but even with that this was still a really enjoyable read!

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Lots of fun! It’s great to see more Palestinian voices in every genre but especially romance. This book is very true to the Bridget Jones comparison but also does something very original and enjoyable. I’d definitely read another book by this author in the future.

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If you’re looking for a binge worthy book that will make you giddy, you’ve found it!

Courting Samira by Amal Awad was a fun quick read and so cute! Samira is going through the motions of finding a husband as an Arab Muslim. Even though she’s jumping through hoops to court properly, I love that she finds herself at the finish line and not just love!

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I realized, in part due to this book, that the miscommunication trope within romance novels is my least favorite. The character growth between the cousins (Lara, Zahara, and Samira) is what kept me interested in this book when I wanted to throw whatever device I was reading this book on that day whenever Hakeem would go “big brother” and didn’t finally tell Samira how he felt til 80% through the book. I hate to say it, but this book was a flop for me just because I really despise miscommunication tropes.

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Fine enough but I struggled to connect with the characters. To get 40% into a book and still not understand a characters motivation feels frustrating. Obviously everything is from the MCs perspective but the "evil" characters only purpose seemed to go after her. It was obvious for each love interest that they had feelings for her to everyone but her. I was hoping for a really compelling novel about islamic arranged marriages, especially traversing that environment at an older age, but it fell flat.

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This book is a keeper. It was fun, and interesting, and will give you a glimpse into a dating style that you may not already understand. This was a quick read for me but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Samira doesn’t get to make her own decisions, constantly pushed around by family, friends, boss. The little agency she does have is criticized. Everyone was okay with her being single until she met someone /she/ was interested in, then it was a rush to hook her up with her childhood friend who fit all her shallow physical requirements, so obviously he’s the one she should marry.
She barely talks to the childhood friend throughout the book, except to have her interests and pastimes put down by him, and have him try to control her. The new love interest actually asks her about herself, tries to get to know her, shows genuine interest in her interests, in her, in discovering who she is and how she works.
I genuinely have no idea what any of her friends have against him. They barely know him and his family, so she should watch out for him, but her cousin is marrying his brother, and that’s okay. Also, it’s okay for her to accept the proposal of a man she potentially meets only a couple of times in her parents’ kitchen, even if she barely knows him, but not okay to get to know a man who will literally become distant family in a few months? Perfectly logical.
Especially Lara, her intentionally single cousin who never wants to get married is pushing marriage onto her? Why? Samira seems apathetic towards marriage most of the time.
Samira’s life isn’t well established by the author and we continually get new little pieces of info that are /REALLy/ important to her, and then dropped. We also get told she loves reading and movies, but only know of ONE movie she likes.
The G-slur was used. Hope that was taken out of the final American release.
What does she do at her job? What are her goals? It seems to change based upon what the chapter wants, and doesn’t impact anything outside of the work chapters.
Also, mild homophobic micro aggressions in the book. “Metrosexuals” and a guy not being Samira’s type because he dresses more nicely than her and probably has nail polish that he wears… yeah, that’s uncomfy.
Also, this felt like reading a millennial written by a Gen-Xer. Unless Australian younger millennials still use these pejoratives and communicate primarily through email and Facebook, the generational signifiers are very off. I know this was originally published 4 years ago, but as a 26 y/o w/ a 30 y/o husband none of these colloquial gestures rang true for him nor myself.

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Samira is a 27-year-old Muslim woman living in Sydney, Australia. She juggles accepting her parent's suggested matches, her cousin's impending nuptials, and her unfulfilling job at Bridal Bazaar. When she meets her cousin, Zahra's soon-to-be brother-in-law, at a work retreat, she finds herself attracted to him, and her childhood friend, Hakeem, starts to act strangely around her. Pinned between determining which of the two options might be best for her, she has to make difficult choices for the best outcome for her future.

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I loved Samira as a character and the overall plot for this book was good, but I have to say the love interests were not developed enough for me to find either romance or even the love triangle particularly compelling. All of Samira's friends were terrible about Menem when he had done nothing wrong? All because they were secretly team Hakeem? Despite Samira not being remotely interested in Hakeem at that point. Her friends also kept making vague allusions to a previous relationship that didn't work out for Samira, but with no real detail. It felt like Samira was really well developed as a character, but the supporting cast and love interests just weren't there for me. Overall, I think it's a solid book, and I would reach a future work by this author.

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This book follows a young Muslim woman working through the throes of arranged dating and the issues and complexities she faces. It shows some of the intricacies of a young woman trying to navigate in 2 different worlds while finding her own place inside of her own life. This book shows arranged marriage and dating and also explores possible love matches as well. I found it to be an enjoyable read.

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The story of Samira, a Muslim living in Australia. It was really interesting to learn about a different culture. Some great side characters too.

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Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this novel!

Courting Samira is an adorable rom-com. Samira is living at home with her parents while navigating traditional Muslim courting rules with men that just don’t make her heart flutter. She is incredibly bored by the whole thing when her cousin’s engagement is announced and the future husband’s brother becomes interested in Samira. Soon, a surprising love triangle is revealed and Samira must realize who will suit her in the best way.

**SPOILER**
I really enjoyed this book but I honestly felt that there was more chemistry between Samira and Hakeem than with her and Menem, but that may be because they’ve known each other for longer and I like when couples kind of have disagreements, lol. Menem was fine but I wasn’t feeling him.

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Samira, an Arab Muslim 28 year old in Sydney, has entered into a familiar time of life: quarter life crisis. Her entire community is pressuring her to get married, she is unsatisfied with her job at a bridal magazine, and doesn't know where her life is headed. When she meets Menem, also an Arab Muslim, at a work event, her life starts to get much more exiting.

Samira and Menem's courtship starts organically, but non traditionally as they had not been introduced by family. Previous perspective husbands came to her home and both sets of parents did most of the talking. She and Menem get to know each other slowly, before they move the relationship forward.

This is a very sweet romance. The author brings this community to life with many details about meals, clothing and get togethers. I enjoyed Samira's family and friends especially frenemy cousin Zahra.

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What an interesting love story we have here. I don't usually read older FMC doing arranged marriages but the writing was entertaining. It is especially helpful in understanding Muslim and Arab intertwining culture and dating rules. Samira is almost 30, still lives at home, and has yet to get engaged. She's struggling to find purpose in her professional career/internship. Amira has a range of friends from not really religiously Muslim to very conservative hijabi friend and childhood guy friend Hakeem. It was an interesting and refreshing experience to read about and the emotional turmoil Samira goes through, her door knocker Mama Boy's, an ignorant boss, and a blossoming hobby in photography.
This was a great contemporary Muslim Romance story.

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I was really looking forward to this book, but unfortunately it fell a little bit flat for me. I didn't particularly like either of the love interests and found Samira to be a bit immature, despite being 27. It was hard to root for any of them! Also, this is possibly my own fault, but I had been expecting more romance, when this book leaned more towards women's fiction.

Thank you to HarperVia and NetGalley for the advanced copy of this book.

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This book follows a young Muslim woman walking and working through the throes of dating + the complexities she experiences.

Courting Samira was an important exposé on the realities of dating within a religious boundary - should be on everyone’s TBR!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishing teams for the ARC for review!

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