Amal Awad’s Courting Samira follows the romantic journey of Samira Abdel-Aziz, a 27-year-old Palestinian woman working as an editorial assistant in Sydney, Australia. She somehow gets involved in a love triangle with her childhood friend and a charming guy she meets at a work retreat.
Loaded with references to The Princess Bride, Catch-22, Frankenstein, and so many other books and movies, Courting Samira is a rom-com you can’t miss. Here are three things you’ll love about Amal Awad’s Courting Samira!
Summary: Coming from a moderately traditional Muslim family, twenty-seven-year-old Samira Abdel-Aziz has endured her fair share of arranged matches—first dates she calls “doorknock appeals,” where she and her possible suitors eat snacks in her living room in the company of both sets of parents. Her general rule: no shoes with tassels, no cheesy leather jackets, no mustaches. A girl has to have some standards, right? The truth is, Samira is already experiencing enough wedding drama as an assistant at Bridal Bazaar magazine and as a gofer for her soon-to-be-married cousin and nemesis Zahra. She’s not sure she needs to add any of her own.
When she meets the charismatic Menem at a work retreat, Samira finds herself intrigued. But her best friend Lara insists Menem isn’t right for her, and now her childhood friend Hakeem has begun behaving oddly. Adding to the confusion, Samira is offered a promotion, yet isn’t sure it’s the job of her dreams. Suddenly, her life is full of drama and complications, and she realizes that part of growing up is making difficult choices about what—and whom—she really wants.
If You Love Diverse Books…
Courting Samira has diverse representation from start to finish! Not only is the cast of main characters Muslim, but they are also of Middle Eastern heritage. Samira and her family are Palestinian, while Menem and his family are Lebanese. Samira started wearing hijab when she was 21, while some of her cousins chose not to. This book captures the awkwardness of courtship, the reality of marriage, and romance in the context of Muslim and Arab culture.
If You Love A Swoon-Worthy Love Interest…
You’ll love Menem from Courting Samira! He’s handsome, charming, and oh-so-romantic. Menem piques Samira’s curiosity and helps expand her worldview little by little. He asks her what she wants for herself rather than telling her what he expects of her (like the rest of her friends and family). And even through the struggles of a love triangle and uncertainties about the future, their slow-burn romance is well worth the read.
If You Love Family Drama And Wedding Hijinks…
This novel is the one! Samira’s cousin-slash-arch-nemesis Zahra is getting married, and Samira gets roped into wedding planning and being a bridesmaid. Samira’s weekends are full of driving to vendors and DIY-ing wedding favors. And the time-sensitive wedding chaos doesn’t help her already confusing love life. But despite not getting along with Zahra, their relationship improves considerably by the end. But we don’t want to give too much information away.
Courting Samira by Amal Awad is out on November 7. And you can preorder a copy of it here!
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