Cover Image: The Mismatch

The Mismatch

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Member Reviews

I finally got around to this book a lot later than I would have liked, but the fact that The Mismatch has already been out for a while has allowed it to build up a good reputation for itself, and I definitely felt that in Jafar's high-quality writing and character development. It felt apt to be reading this book, partially set just after Soraya's graduation from university, as it's something I've recently experienced myself. I felt I could definitely relate to her postgrad anxieties and the pressure to jump straight from full-time education into a full-time job. The dual-narrative between Soraya and her mum Neda provided a nice contrast to observe between the two women, but also showed some real similarities between them as well, ad how their respective adolescences gave the reader insight into their relationships in the present day. I appreciated that Magnus wasn't written to represent the 'perfect' man, there to save Soraya from her troubled family, but rather that he had his own issues and that they could form a bond through that. I'm excited to see what Jafari comes out with next.
3.5 stars
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Soraya cannot get away from her family's expectations and rules, and the restrictions of her religion, even though she has moved out of home. Her family is totally dysfunctional, but the rule is that you never talk about it to anyone else. So for years she lives with totally impossible rules, and yet she is supposed to do her best and be happy. Meeting Magnus and discovering she has more in common with him than she thought, brings all her doubts to a head, and all the rules she lives by into question.
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I went into it with completely the wrong expectations and as such just didn't get out of it what I wanted to and that's not the books fault. As a rating is required I will put it the three for now.

With its cheerful cover and summary pedalling it as an opposites attract storyline, Mismatch gives the appearance of being a light hearted rom com. The reality is completely different. 

This is a romance only in the sense that two characters fall in love but really it's an exploration of culture and religion and how that impacts our life experiences. Of how one generation effects the next. Of learning and growing and failing and getting back up again. In short, this book is heavy going and nowhere near the frothy romance I was hoping for.

The story features two POVs but it's that of our MC Soraya and her mother. I don't really need to always have the perspective of the love interest but it meant that Magnus took a backseat in this story. It was much more a story of mother and daughter than a story of two lovers. 

Overall this was a refreshing read with fascinating touches but perhaps tried to do a little too much all at once in regards to it's heavier topics. I'm sure if this book found it's correct audience it would be well loved, that's just not me this time.
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DNF'd at 34%

This unfortunately just didn’t work for me. I liked the idea of the book but something about the writing was... not enjoyable. The pacing was very slow too. Took me far too long to get into it and by then, I had lost interest. Maybe will try to re-read at a later date.
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Thank you for my earc of this book!
I enjoyed this and especially liked the coming of self aspects. I think if you’re new to romance or don’t like overly romantic books then you’ll enjoy this as it’s much more of a contemporary fox read, and a very enjoyable one at that.
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This is a beautifully written story, I found so much of it relatable, from dating and that feeling after university with your whole life in front of you , it made an interesting and  thought-provoking drama, it explores big themes ( all handled  sensitively) I loved the multiple points of view from  mother and daughter' I found it really added to the story. 

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
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I really enjoyed this book. I loved seeing Iranian culture in this book, it's something I'm not too familiar with and loved reading and learning about it.

However, I don't think romance is the driving factor for this book, nor was it the real bones of the book. I think it much more focused on the relationship between Soraya and her mother. I did, however, love Soraya's coming of age story and acceptance of herself.
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A fab debut.
I enjoyed the dual narrative & seeing the characters learn to negative finding their places in this crazy world.
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A wonderfully poignant, original and thought-provoking story of first love, first heartbreak and generational and cultural differences. A wonderful fresh voice in the publishing scene!

This is a story of a family in generations, in times of changing attitudes, and at a time when there were many global events that impacted people. It was really interesting to read about the open and liberal culture of Iranians in the 70s and then transition that to the reality of modern children of Iranian immigrants in the UK in the mid-2010s. I thought it was a great story of generational trauma, and the diversity of culture and experiences within one people, even within one family. ⁠
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I loved reading Soraya and Neda’s stories, I thought the similarities and differences were almost like mirror images at times. It was also fascinating to see how each of their past experiences and family lives had impacted their relationships with romantic partners and friends. Neda is obviously more introspective and prefers to keep her business to herself and confides only in her closest family members, whereas Soraya, who grew up in the UK, surrounded by British friends, is much more open and confides in them first, while keeping her personal life from her family. ⁠
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This book has been on my TBR for a very long time, and after running into the author, Sara Jafari, signing her books in a Waterstones, it inspired me to finally pick it up. I’m so glad I did, because it was an incredibly quick read, for a book that talks about heavy topics, like sexual assault, religion, substance abuse and domestic violence. This was a great introduction to the historic context of Middle-Eastern and East-Asian cultures and the struggles they have faced when people of these backgrounds move further west. I am by no means an expert or well-versed in this subject, but this has been a really eye-opening first introduction and going forward I will definitely be seeking out more books by Jafari, as well as other authors from nearby countries and with similar backgrounds.
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I thought that this was going to be a romance but it was actually more about Neda and her daughter Soraya. Both told the story from their sides and the men in their lives. Which was fine, but it kind of missed what I was wanting from the book and what you expect when reading the blurb.
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The Mismatch by @sarajafari next to my face which is smiling because who wouldn’t smile when they read this book? This book marked my 15th read of the year, wew. And a slightly different read from all of the children's classics. ⁣
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Thank you to @netgalley and Arrow Publishing who sent me this ebook for free, in exchange for an honest review. Admittedly, this was actually sent to me last year and I’ve sat on it like an IDIOT because this book is a must read. Trust me. ⁣
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Soraya struggles with her female identity, desire for sexual experiences, and her need to feel included and understand her racial identity and religion. Split between living her best university life and obeying her very strict Iranian family, Soraya struggles to balance her Muslim guilt and her need for romance. ⁣
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WHAT a book. I wish this book existed when I was 17 years old, when I was navigating my strict Muslim household with the want to go out and experience the world as a independent woman in England. Toeing the line of both cultures but not feeling like I belonged to either. This book was my whole existence as a teenager and it was so accurate I constantly found myself with my mouth agape in how uncanny Jafari’s tale related to my actual life experiences. ⁣
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So though I received this book for free, I will actually be buying a copy because I want to support this author and this book. Please, if this sparks your interest even a tiny bit, try this one. It might teach you a few things about Muslim teenagers and young women growing up in the UK and other struggles that come with that.⁣
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This book was a little triggering in parts for me, so I would definitely look up the triggers first before going in but overall this book was brilliant. ⁣
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⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️.5
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The Mismatch is the story of Soraya, a British-born woman with Iranian parents, who has grown up in a strict Muslim household with her 3 siblings. We learn more about most members of the family as we move through the story, especially her mother Neda, who has a story thread of her own, detailing when she was Soraya's age in Iran, meeting her husband and starting out married life. Its not always easy reading.

Soraya is a virgin, never been kissed, and as she graduates from university, this is playing more and more on her mind. At graduation she starts talking to Magnus, who has a reputation for being a womaniser. They grow closer and their relationship develops. As always, there are pitfalls and misunderstandings between the two, and it is all set against a much more intense family and cultural background than is often the case in 'rom-com' books.

Well written and kept me engaged
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I unfortunately did not finish this book. I read to around 17% and felt that it wasn't the right book for me at the time. I owe this to being a mood reader and struggling to connect with the characters and setting. I have thought of this boom since putting it down, and seen praise for it across different forums, so will give another chance when the mood strikes.

Have given 3 stars due to intentions of trying again and reading in the future.
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This unfortunately just didn’t work for me. Beautiful writing but I was expecting a more straight up romance and this had a lot more hard hitting themes than I was looking for. A really lovely book if your looking for a more womens fiction with romance elements in it rather than the other way around.
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A beautiful book, I really enjoyed reading Saraya and Nedas story, heartbreaking but promising, a really wonderful book.
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A beautifully written and thought provoking story of love and family.
I was expecting a lovey dovey romance novel but this is far from it. Yes it has some of your standard romance tropes but it balance romance perfectly with more hard hitting themes of race, religion and relationships.
The alternating voice of Soraya and Neda show how hard it is for women to conform to society and family expectations. I loved how it showed both women’s hardship and the consequences of said hardships.
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This book follows 21 year old Soraya, who has recently graduated and is trying to find her way after university. We see her face some troubles at home that resurface years of trauma. We also follow Neda as a a teenager, who is Soraya's mother. 

This book was incredibly hard to read because as said in the book, it is harsh reality for many Muslim women throughout the world. Some parts were difficult to read and I found myself getting frustrated. It was written amazingly and really conveyed many peoples realities. 

The relationship between Magnus and Soraya could have been pushed a little more for me, I sometimes felt it was a bit weak. When Magnus eventually won Soraya back at the end, I did not feel as satisfied as I should have when the two main characters get back together. However, I did really like them together and I'm glad they made it work in the end. 

Neda's point of view was a nice break from Soraya's but definitely harder to read and I found myself less interested in it. However, I did enjoy the more present perspectives of Neda. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and think the author did an amazing job at telling such a harsh reality. I will definitely be reading more books from this author. Thank you for the e-arc!
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I really liked the plot of this book, its characters and its themes. It was trope-y enough to satisfy hard-core rom-com fans but it wasn't contrived or in a cookie-cutter mould. The characters were sympathetic and quite likeable. And the themes of identity, self-hood and growing up set it apart from other romance novels that lack substance or grit. 

But. But. But. I didn't like the writing style. Something about the style felt clunky or awkward. It was frustrating because I cared about the characters but I didn't want to read the book to find out about them. In the end, I zoomed through the book, trying to take in plot and character without focusing on the writing style too much. It just wasn't for me.
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A lovely coming of age story about love but also about abuse.
This was a compelling read  and I’m really looking forward to the next novel from Sara.
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I loved this book, I found the characters compelling and well rounded, the storyline kept me hooked from the start. I would love to read more by this author!
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