The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali Review

Title: The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali

Author: Sabina Khan

Release Date: January 29, 2019

Age Range: 14 to 18

Genre: Fiction

Stars: 5/5


Seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali tries her hardest to live up to her conservative Muslim parents’ expectations, but lately she’s finding that harder and harder to do. She rolls her eyes instead of screaming when they blatantly favor her brother and she dresses conservatively at home, saving her crop tops and makeup for parties her parents don’t know about. Luckily, only a few more months stand between her carefully monitored life in Seattle and her new life at Caltech, where she can pursue her dream of becoming an engineer.

But when her parents catch her kissing her girlfriend Ariana, all of Rukhsana’s plans fall apart. Her parents are devastated; being gay may as well be a death sentence in the Bengali community. They immediately whisk Rukhsana off to Bangladesh, where she is thrown headfirst into a world of arranged marriages and tradition. Only through reading her grandmother’s old diary is Rukhsana able to gain some much needed perspective. 

Rukhsana realizes she must find the courage to fight for her love, but can she do so without losing everyone and everything in her life?


This book tore out my heart, stomped on it until it was flat, took it to a repair shop and had it fixed. It ruined me. I cried (lets be real, silently sobbed)  reading this book. I haven’t cried reading a book in a while. It touched me and it showed me a new experiance that some people have to go through, not only as a queer person, but also as a person of color. 

There are TRIGGER/CONTENT WARNINGS for homophobia, violence, death, and rape.

I haven’t had a book that made me feel this strongly in ages. I’m almost at a loss for words. But in like a good way. It’s a good thing, definitely a good thing. It means the book did it’s job.

Anyone wanting to read this, I will say that this book is super heavy and I’m still amazed that I was able to read it and read it quickly.

Sabina wrote this story so well and it’s left me speechless. I didn’t want to pick up any other book after this one because I was afraid they wouldn’t live up to The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali. I was afraid to move on from this book because it means so much and it has so much emotion in it that you can’t just move on. There’s no moving on and forgetting this story. It will stick with you for a while. 

 And the way it was written, I say, helped set the tone and helped convey the emotion to you in a way that you felt it. 

Sabina Khan did a wonderful job on this story and it’s one to be proud of. I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I did and can’t wait to see whatever one thinks once it’s out.

Pre-order: Link

Goodreads: Link