*BLOG TOUR* The Mismatch – Sara Jafari

AD – PR PRODUCT – A copy of this book was given to me free of charge in exchange for a place on this blog tour and an honest review.

Genre: Contemporary | Romance

Pages: 368

My Rating: ☆☆☆☆/5

TRIGGER WARNINGS: This book contains themes that some readers might find distressing. These themes include domestic violence, alcohol consumption or addiction and drug consumption and addiction.

Synopsis: Now that Soraya Nazari has graduated from university, she thinks it’s time to get some of the life experience she feels she’s lacking, partly due to her strict upbringing—and Magnus Evans seems like the perfect way to get it.

Where she’s the somewhat timid, artistic daughter of Iranian immigrants, Magnus is the quintessential British lad. They have little in common, so there’s no way Soraya could ever fall for him. What’s the harm in having some fun as she navigates her postgrad life? And he could give her some distance from her
increasingly complicated home life, where things are strained by her father’s struggles, her mother’s unhappiness and her eldest sister’s estrangement under a vague cloud of shame fifteen years earlier.

Distracting herself with Magnus is easy at first. But just as Soraya realizes there’s more to Magnus than she thought, long-buried secrets, and hard questions, begin to surface—will any of her relationships survive the truth coming out?

Moving between modern-day London and revolutionary Iran, The Mismatch is a gorgeously written coming-of-age story that follows a young woman as she finds love in a most unexpected place, and a path in life amid two different cultures.

My Thoughts: I’m coming towards the end of my time at university and so there were parts of this book where I could really resonate with how Soraya was feeling – will I ever get a job?! I’m about to enter the period of the unknown: job hunting and wondering how I will fund my life, and something I liked about this book was that it was really able to broaden my horizons on things I can do post-completion of my degree to make some money and not go insane. Obviously, not everyone will read this book and think that, however I’m at the exact same stage in life as Soraya, so I really appreciated that.

Please don’t think I’m extremely narrow-minded when I say this, but I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with a Muslim main character. I found it really interesting to learn a little bit more about Islam and the way in which Muslims live and how that differs from my life as someone who is atheist. Going off what I’ve just said, it’s really clear to see that Muslim main characters (or characters in general) in contemporary fiction are really under-represented. I also enjoyed the dual-timeline within the book. Some chapters were focusing on Soraya in 2014/5, whereas there were also chapters focusing on her mum, Neda back in the 1970s when she was a student herself in Iran and then followed her journey to England. Inter-racial relationships such as that between Soraya and Magnus are also a subject I’ve never really seen in books before – WE. NEED. MORE. OF. THIS!!!

I think that the characters in this book are really thoroughly developed – especially Soraya, Neda and Hussein (Soraya’s dad / Neda’s husband). Hussein is definitely a problematic character and the potential trigger warning situations that occur in the book are all revolving around him. Another topic that I feel is under-represented in today’s books (or maybe I just haven’t found them yet) are dysfunctional families. The Nazari family is extremely dysfunctional. However, I like the way that’s represented as I feel a lot of books try to play ‘happy families’ which quite frankly isn’t the case in a lot of households.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would love a sequel which continued to follow Soraya and her family as Soraya enters adulthood. The reason I gave this book 4 stars as opposed to 5 is because I did feel the first 1/3 of the book did really drag and wasn’t always particularly interesting, however it really picked up in the final two thirds of the book.

This book was released on the 24th June 2021 so is available to buy right now!

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