The Love Match by Priyanka Taslim: A Love Letter to the Bangladeshi Diaspora

Starting off with a very happy new year to everybody taking the time to read this post! I haven’t been very active for a while, and I’ve been busy with exams and preparations but on the first day of 2023, I’m excited to be sharing my review of The Love Match by Priyanka Taslim.

The Love Match was one of my most anticipated releases of 2023 and I was absolutely baffled when I got approved for an advanced copy of the novel. I couldn’t wait to dive in, and so I did. The book was a great rollercoaster of emotions—joy, sympathy, excitement, comfort and many more. From the relationships to the banter, everything was just perfect and I’d have it no other way.


To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before meets Pride and Prejudice in this delightful and heartfelt rom-com about a Bangladeshi American teen whose meddling mother arranges a match to secure their family’s financial security—just as she’s falling in love with someone else.

Zahra Khan is basically Bangladeshi royalty, but being a princess doesn’t pay the bills in Paterson, New Jersey. While Zahra’s plans for financial security this summer involve working long hours at Chai Ho and saving up for college writing courses, Amma is convinced that all Zahra needs is a “good match,” Jane Austen style.

Enter Harun Emon, who’s wealthy, devastatingly handsome, and…aloof. As soon as Zahra meets him, she knows it’s a bad match. It’s nothing like the connection she has with Nayim Aktar, the new dishwasher at the tea shop, who just gets Zahra in a way no one has before. So, when Zahra finds out that Harun is just as uninterested in this match as she is, they decide to slowly sabotage their parents’ plans. And for once in Zahra’s life, she can have her rossomalai and eat it too: “dating” Harun and keeping Amma happy while catching real feelings for Nayim.

But life—and boys—can be more complicated than Zahra realizes. With her feelings all mixed up, Zahra discovers that sometimes being a good Bengali kid can be a royal pain


Rating – 4.5 stars

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Thank you NetGalley and Salaam Reads, , for presenting me with an ARC of this book in exchange for a honest review. Quotes mentioned in this post are from an advanced copy and are subjected to change.

Nonsensical things, about raven hair and golden eyes, siren songs and sumptuous lips, but soon I’m stringing them together into sentences, into a story.

A love story.

He’s right: having the right muse makes all the difference.

The Love Match is just the type of read that will restore your faith in contemporary romance. Not that it’s bad, but this one just hits differently. This book is a reminder that brown girls are deserving of anything in the world, from fake dating to grand romantic gestures.

Zahra Khan was just everything I could’ve asked for in a protagonist. She is headstrong, knows exactly what she wants, and loves her little messy family. An aspiring writer and a romantic, she works part-time at Chai Ho, that’s owned by her friends’ dad, to make ends meet. One particular thing I liked is the way the author chooses to portray the working class. It’s all too realistic and while it’s a part of the plot, you don’t feel that it is.

Nayim wasn’t wrong. Sometimes I do feel suffocated by Amma’s expectations for me. Sometimes I fear that her desires will suck all the life out of my own dreams. But as I observe her in the faint light of the lamp, I can’t resist getting drawn in by something with no name other than love, and can’t imagine going so far away that she wouldn’t know where I am.

Enter Harun Emon, the wealthy son of the family that runs Gitanjali, the famed Bengali restaurant in New Jersey. In the snap of a finger, Harun is a potential suitor for Zahra and upon their families’ agreements, they are now to go on dates frequently, though they have no interest whatsoever. But Zahra is finding herself falling in love with her new coworker, Nayim Aktar, who’s literally a Prince Charming.

I’m not usually a fan of love triangles unless they’re done well, and they seldom are. But Priyanka Taslim wove a unique story out of this all-brown cast and hell yeah, I love this! Shy and broody Harun is contrasted with charming Nayim in a way that readers aren’t sure whom to root for. But the strings tie together in the end beautifully in a way that’s both pleasing and satisfying.

I feel at home, tucked safely in his arms.

And if we have to wait, if we have to endure an endless parade of chaperones and rules and rumors, if we have to fight for it, so be it. If this is true love, it just might be worth it.

The side characters were such a joy to read! Dahlia, Dani, Arif, and Resna were all lovable characters. And the aunties of the community even have a group chat for themselves where they gossip, how cool is that? This isn’t just a romantic novel but a celebration of all things diaspora and I can’t even begin to describe how fabulous of a book The Love Match was.

In a nutshell, if you’re looking for a read that’s both refreshing and familiar, this romantic novel is just the one you might be looking for. So stop second-guessing and buy The Love Match already!

about the author

Priyanka Taslim is a writer, teacher, and lifelong New Jersey resident. Having grown up in a bustling Bangladeshi diaspora community, surrounded by her mother’s entire clan and many aunties of no relation, her writing often features families, communities, and all the drama therein.

Currently, Priyanka teaches by day and tells all kinds of stories about Bangladeshi characters by night. Her writing usually stars spunky Bengali heroines finding their place in the world … and a little swoony romance, too.

Her debut young adult novel, THE LOVE MATCH, is releasing from Salaam Reads, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, January 2023.


14 thoughts on “The Love Match by Priyanka Taslim: A Love Letter to the Bangladeshi Diaspora”

  1. Happy new year!!
    also this review is perfection and may have also destroyed my hopes of following my tbr- but i love when realism is worked into a story, and this one just sounds. perfect?? so i need it immediately.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lovely review! i really liked one thing you said; “This book is a reminder that brown girls are deserving of anything in the world, from fake dating to grand romantic gestures.” because YES?!?! characters of colour are so often dismissed in romance, so it’s refreshing to find a read where *their* loves/heartbreaks/betrayals etc are written with as much care as their white counterparts!
    i’ll definitely have to pick this book up! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yes, i absolutely agree! it’s always the white girlies getting all the things that they want and TLM just flips these tropes with Zahra getting pined over by two not white, but brown guys who are hopelessly in love with her.

      good representation truly matters and such books just make my heart full ❤️


  3. hjfgdhjghjgfjh its so so nice to see a post from you again I MISSED THEM OK 😭😭 but i hope all the exams went well and am so so excited for more posts from you JFDJHFH!!

    also THIS IS SOUNDS PHENOMENAL. at this point, every time i leave your blog ITS ALWAYS WITH MORE BOOK RECS and i actually really love that?? your reviews are magical.


    but honestly IT JUST SOUNDS SO SO ASIAN AND I WANT??? ALL THE ASIAN??? RIGHT NOW??? PLEASE??? “And the aunties of the community even have a group chat for themselves where they gossip” THIS JUST CHANGES MATTERS OK. EXCUSE ME WHILE I HAUNT THE STORES TILL IT RELEASES. all the quotes you shared are so so beautiful 🥺😭 thank you so so so much for the review I’M IN LOVE WITH IT

    Liked by 1 person

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