Farah Naz Rishi
After Kiran Noorani’s mom died, Kiran vowed to keep her dad and sister, Amira, close—to keep her family together. But when Amira announces that she’s dating someone, Kiran’s world is turned upside down. Not only will Amira start tearing the family apart, she is dating Kiran’s ex-boyfriend’s brother – who ghosted her three years prior.
After Kiran Noorani’s mom died, Kiran vowed to keep her dad and sister, Amira, close—to keep her family together. But when Amira announces that she’s dating someone, Kiran’s world is turned upside down.
Deen Malik is thrilled that his brother, Faisal, has found a great girlfriend. Maybe a new love will give Faisal a new lease on life, and Deen can stop feeling guilty for the reason that Faisal needs a do-over in the first place.
When the families meet, Deen and Kiran find themselves face to face. Again. Three years ago—before Amira and Faisal met—Kiran and Deen dated in secret. Until Deen ghosted Kiran.
And now, after discovering hints of Faisal’s shady past, Kiran will stop at nothing to find answers. Deen just wants his brother to be happy—and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep Kiran from reaching the truth. Though the chemistry between Kiran and Deen is undeniable, can either of them take down their walls?
It All Comes Back to You is marketed as a young adult romantic comedy… but it is neither romantic or funny. In fact, the tone of this book is quite the opposite. I think it is a shame when publishers make this mistake because it sets up the book and its readers up for failure. I went in expecting a light, young adult romance between two Desi characters and was disappointed to find an overly dramatic coming-of-age story.
I am going to start with the positive. The manner in which Farah Naz Rishi writes this novel is easy to read and felt natural. I was easily pulled into the plot at the beginning and thought the right amount of detail was embedded in the story. The more serious conversations that occur within the pages of It All Comes Back to You were realistic and well-written without seeming inauthentic.
It All Comes Back to You tackles some heavy subjects like the loss of a parent, coming to terms with past mistakes, and leaving your family behind. I think that Farah Naz Rishi did a decent job tackling these subjects, albeit not with the depth I prefer. However, I will note this is a young adult novel, which I do not typically read, and therefore, cannot say if the depth was typical for the genre. I appreciated reading a story about two Muslim Desi families and main characters. It is one of the few books I have read with either South Asian or Muslim protagonists. I, of course, cannot comment on the Muslim representation but will note that some other reviewers have had issues with it.
I found It All Comes Back to You to be much longer than necessary, in large part because the story and plot heavily relied on lack of communication – one of my biggest pet peeves. Had the characters communicated even a fraction better, this book would have been 200 pages shorter at least. It was incredibly frustrating and unnecessary. As a result of this and other issues, the novel seemed much younger than new adult/young adult due to the protagonists’ immaturity. In the end, it was just too much stupid drama for the payoff (the growth of the main characters) and reinforced my desire to steer clear of NA/YA.
Overall, I thought It All Comes Back to You to be okay and will not be recommending it, unless you love overly dramatic contemporary YA.
It All Comes Back to You
September 14, 2021
Note: I received a gifted copy of this book from Book Sparks as part of their 2021 Fall Reading Challenge book tour. Regardless, I always provide a fair and honest review.