The Other Half of Happiness – Ayisha Malik Review

Other Half of HappinessSofia Khan is just married. But no-one told her life was going to be this way . . .

Her living situation is in dire straits, her husband Conall is distant, and his annoyingly attractive colleague is ringing all sorts of alarm bells.

When her mother forces them into a belated wedding ceremony (elopement: you can run, but you can’t hide), Sofia wonders if it might be a chance to bring them together. But when it forces Conall to confess his darkest secret, it might just tear them apart.
A book to make you smile, laugh and cry, this is the story of a mixed-race marriage and a mixed-up family, for anyone who’s ever struggled to balance their pride with their principles, or stuck around to try to mend a broken heart.

First of all, when purchasing this book, I didn’t realise that it was the second book however I went ahead and read it anyway and didn’t feel like I was missing that much from not reading the first book. The first book appears to be about how Sofia meets her partner and trying to navigate her way through the Muslim dating scene.

One of the great things about this book is that it is an own voices novel; Ayisha Malik herself is a British Muslim living in London and said that she has drawn on some of her own experiences within this novel.

I struggled with this to start with; it’s told in a chatty diary style fashion which made it easier to read but I felt like it was a bit more difficult to get the detail in the story which you needed and I just didn’t feel hooked. It seemed to have an overall ‘glum’ feeling throughout the book whilst also trying to include the comedy in it and it just felt a bit, wrong? The overall ending also didn’t feel too happy despite it meant to be a happy ending.

I really enjoyed the way that the book incorporated current world events such as the bombing’s which are set in Pakistan and the questions that Sofia gets asked in her interviews in the book for the release of Sofia’s book. It was interesting to see these events played out in the book and I felt they made me think a lot more about the events in real-life which is also a plus.

I’m struggling to give many points on this book – it didn’t really have anything wrong with the book but nothing stood out to me an made this all that memorable and whilst it’s great that this is a Muslim own voices novel. I can’t give a book a high rating just for that. I also don’t feel like going and picking up the first book to read and for these reasons, I only gave this three stars.

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