New York City is the place to be! Or is it? If you’re a part of the population who marvels at the idea of visiting The Big Apple, we’re right there with you. And if you’re not, then you’ll agree with Mina Rahman, the protagonist of A Show For Two by Tashie Bhuiyan. We’re so excited to review Bhuiyan’s latest YA romance, and we’ve come up with five reasons why you should read A Show For Two!
Content Warning: depression
Summary: All Mina Rahman wants is to finally win the Golden Ivy student film competition, get into her dream school, and leave New York City behind for good. When indie film star Emmitt Ramos enrolls in her high school under a secret identity to research his next role, he agrees to star in her short film for the competition…if she acts as his NYC tour guide.
As Mina ventures across the five boroughs with Emmitt, the city she grew up in starts to look more like home than it ever has before. Suddenly, Mina’s dreams—which once seemed impenetrable—begin to crumble, and she’s forced to ask herself: Is winning worth losing everything?
One of the biggest reasons we recommend A Show For Two is how it portrays depression in the protagonist. Mina isn’t simply dealing with an occasional bad day. She’s fighting against a constant state of exhaustion, overthinking, irritability, and the voice in her head telling her she’s never going to be good enough. We appreciate how the author brings attention to Mina’s mental health throughout the story instead of mentioning it once or twice.
Meaningful Life Lessons
Mina Rahman comes from a Bangladeshi family, much like the author Tashie Bhuiyan. Mina struggles with her parents dismissing her dreams of becoming a screenwriter and shaming her for every decision she makes. This novel teaches us that it’s okay to choose the best thing for yourself. It’s okay to follow your dreams, even if it means sacrificing a few things. But it’s also okay to be afraid to follow your dreams because it means you’ll have to sacrifice so much. We feel so validated, and we’re sure you will too.
Charming Love Interest
We can’t forget that this book is inspired by Bhuiyan’s real-life experience when actor Tom Holland enrolled at her school to prepare for his role as Spider-Man. While our first impression of the love interest Emmitt Ramos is that he’s nothing like Tom Holland, we start to fall for him as the story progresses. Emmitt is confident, flirty, smooth-talking, and so, so cheeky. Not to mention he has a British accent. We’re not afraid to admit we would’ve given in to Emmitt’s charms long before Mina does.
Another reason why you should read A Show For Two is for the happy ending. Without giving too much information away, the ending leaves us feeling proud of our main characters! We’re here for the incredible conflict resolution and the final results after months of hard work. (We shed multiple tears when Mina and her sister Anam make up.) Plus, the story doesn’t end with Mina magically repairing her relationship with her parents. We don’t expect anyone to want to stay in a toxic environment just because they’re family. Go Mina for choosing what’s best for her!
We at THP live for pop culture, so you can imagine our excitement when we find out Mina’s younger sister Anam is a hardcore K-Pop fan! As far as we know, she stans TWICE, BTS, ITZY, Blackpink, and WayV. The girl has taste. She has several posters on the walls of her room and dozens of albums on her shelf. We seem to forget how big of an influence K-Pop has today. Even though it shouldn’t surprise us that contemporary YA books make K-Pop references, we have to do a double-take to make sure we read them correctly.
A Show For Two by Tashie Bhuiyan is out May 10th and is available for preorder here!
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