[Review] Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik

16:17 Cilla P 6 Comments

“Oi,” I shouted. “Terrorists don't wear vintage shoes, you ignorant wanker!”

Sofia Khan is Not Obliged had me smiling from ear-to-ear the whole time I was reading it. It's the kind of book I'd pick up if I'm feeling a little down and want to read something quick but with a lot of heart and humour. It has a fantastic heroine, a brilliant cast of friends and family, and a slowburn romance that at one point literally made me squeal. There is nothing about this book that I didn't love.

Before I gush about the content, I will first highly recommend the audiobook. The narrator makes or breaks an audiobook, and Rita Sharma absolutely made it for me. She brought the characters to life with her voices. I tried reading the paperback at one stage, but actually found that the story was more vibrant as an audiobook.

I also loved the narrator in the story, Sofia. She's religious in that she prays five times a day and finds comfort in her beliefs, but it doesn't mean she'll stop swearing or smoke. She's independent and speaks her mind when she disagrees with her parents, but she also cares deeply about making them happy. Being a first-generation immigrant, she balances the traditions and values of her Pakistani heritage with those which she learned as a Londoner. Complex can be an overused word when describing a fictional character, but it applies here.

Also, I'm not the person to tell you whether she is a good representation of Muslim women, but she seems very much like a person and not a caricature to me. Do read this review for an ownvoice point of view on that!

Sofia's family and friends are wonderful. Her parents at first appear like the typical sitcom-y old married couple who bicker all the time, but then you get glimpses of how difficult marriage can be. I love her relationship with each of her parents as well. Maybe I've read too many YA with absentee parents, but it's endearing to read about parents who are present while being occasionally overbearing and sometimes embarrassing. She also has a great group of female friends. She, Hannah, Suj, and Fozia may have different personalities, but unfailingly support each other's endeavours and bring each other sweets during hard times.

Aaand there's the romance. This was the first time in a while that I actually became invested in a character's journey to find love. It took me a while to see which love interest was going to be the best, which worked for me because it felt that I was discovering them right alongside Sofia. By the time she realises who she was really in love with, I was right there rooting for them.

All in all, this has now become one of my favourite reads for the year. Not bad for a book I randomly picked out from a library catalogue!

Reading this book contributes to the following challenges:

❥ Goodreads Challenge
❥ The Backlist Books Reader Challenge
Title: Sofia Khan is Not Obliged (Sofia Khan #1) ❙ Author: Ayisha Malik ❙ Publisher: Bolinda/Bonnier Audio ❙ Source: Borrowed ❙ Release Date: 1 March 2016

"'Brilliant idea! Excellent! Muslim dating? Well, I had no idea you were allowed to date.' Then he leaned towards me and looked at me sympathetically. 'Are your parents quite disappointed?'

Unlucky in love once again after her possible-marriage-partner-to-be proves a little too close to his parents, Sofia Khan is ready to renounce men for good. Or at least she was, until her boss persuades her to write a tell-all expose about the Muslim dating scene.

As her woes become her work, Sofia must lean on the support of her brilliant friends, baffled colleagues and baffling parents as she goes in search of stories for her book. In amongst the marriage-crazy relatives, racist tube passengers and decidedly odd online daters, could there be a a lingering possibility that she might just be falling in love ?"


  1. I've had this book on my to-read list for ages - it looks so good! I'll definitely be looking into the audiobook now!

  2. I keep seeing this about, really want to try it now!

    1. You should! It's really entertaining.

  3. oh I'm putting this one in GR! I need more 5-star diverse books options :) Great review :)

  4. ugh not sure what happen with my previews comment. So Sorry if this a duplicate. I'll add this book to GR! A 5-start diverse is a MUST READ :)


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