The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar
Release Date: May 12, 2020
Page Count: 400 pages
Nishat doesn’t want to lose her family, but she also doesn’t want to hide who she is, and it only gets harder once a childhood friend walks back into her life. Flávia is beautiful and charismatic, and Nishat falls for her instantly. But when a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, both Flávia and Nishat decide to showcase their talent as henna artists. In a fight to prove who is the best, their lives become more tangled—but Nishat can’t quite get rid of her crush, especially since Flávia seems to like her back.
As the competition heats up, Nishat has a decision to make: stay in the closet for her family, or put aside her differences with Flávia and give their relationship a chance.
Heartbreakingly beautiful! The title was the first thing that caught my eye. It’s been more than a year since I last wore henna on my hands or hair. And I suddenly missed it. Of course after reading the blurb, it was a no brainer! FF romance with rivals to lovers? It was made for me!!
The Henna Wars is both achingly familiar and different at the same time. Be it attending tons of weddings during holidays or eating with my hands or gossiping relatives or the idea of bringing shame on your family. The culture is so ingrained it almost feels like home. This book deals with so many important topics and I love that each one is given enough time.
As a lesbian and a South Asian, I’m really grateful this book exists. Nishant is incredibly realatable. I adore her relationship with her sister, Priti. Thei banter and support is amazing. Honestly everything in this book feels so real. Especially Nishant’s parents.
I would highly recommend this book. The romance, while important, is not really the main part the story. Nishant and Flávia are adorable together though. Also please heed the trigger warnings.
Trigger warnings for racism, homophobia, bullying and a character being outed.