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A a sweetly funny YA rom-com debut|Blog Tour: More Than Just a Pretty Face by Syed M. Masood

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Today, I am delighted to host the Blog Tour organised by Hear Our Voices for More Than Just a Pretty Face.

For fans of Becky Albertalli and Jenny Han, a sweetly funny YA rom-com debut about falling in love, familial expectations, and being a Renaissance Man.

Danyal Jilani doesn’t lack confidence. He may not be the smartest guy in the room, but he’s funny, gorgeous, and going to make a great chef one day. His father doesn’t approve of his career choice, but that hardly matters. What does matter is the opinion of Danyal’s longtime crush, the perfect-in-all-ways Kaval, and her family, who consider him a less than ideal arranged marriage prospect.

When Danyal gets selected for Renaissance Man–a school-wide academic championship–it’s the perfect opportunity to show everyone he’s smarter than they think. He recruits the brilliant, totally-uninterested-in-him Bisma to help with the competition, but the more time Danyal spends with her…the more he learns from her…the more he cooks for her…the more he realizes that happiness may be staring him right in his pretty face.

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“By punishing people for what we judge to be sins, by hurting them, we all become sinners. The only thing we have to do with other people is to be careful with their hearts.”

Plot : 4/5
Characters : 4/5
Writing : 3.5/5

Genre : Romance, Teens & YA

Date of Release: August 4th, 2020

* I received the book by the publisher in exchange of an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are unbiased. *

I picked up More Than Just a Pretty Face for the blog tour thinking that it will be a perfect, simple and fun summer read! However, I was proved partially wrong as this book was not your typical YA summer romance story. More Than Just a Pretty Face deals with so many important issues in a very realistic yet subtle way. As an #ownvoices novel, I really think it did a great job at voicing the necessary.

The plot was really well planned. I mean, I could hardly notice any flaws because it was so effortlessly smooth! No unnecessary dragging on one theme or one scene, no plot holes and a perfect pacing! It was quite unique as well.

“I’m really good at letting things go. People screw up. I get it. I screw up all the time and I forgive myself pretty much right away.”

The characters were quite well defined and each played a very important part in making the story more interesting. Danyal’s character did sometimes feel a bit immature but as the story took it’s pace I realized it was done for a reason about which I won’t go into much detail. Overall, All the characters did a really good job at making the story look more relatable and emotionally attracting.

The writing style was very easy going and simple. It was quite intriguing.


Syed Masood author photo (credit Samantha May Photography)

I grew up in Karachi, Pakistan, and currently live in Sacramento, California. There have been plenty of stops in between though. I’m a first generation immigrant, twice over. I’ve been a citizen of three different countries and lived in nine cities.

I am, as Goethe, said, “nothing but a wanderer […] on this earth.”

Living among different people, in different countries at fascinating times in their histories, has shaped both my view of the world and my writing. Ultimately, human beings are the same everywhere (despite the fact that they tell themselves, everywhere, that they are different from each other), and the theme of this fundamental human unity informs everything I write.

As to my life outside of writing, I went to the William and Mary School of Law, and before that attended the University of Toronto, where I studied English Literature. I am currently practicing as an attorney and must “measure out my life in coffee spoons” on a daily basis.

Some members of my family will tell you that I’m also a poet. This isn’t true. I wrote a few poems in Urdu when I was a teenager, and I’ve never heard the end of it…which I wouldn’t mind, honestly, if they were any good. As it is, I’m very happy living in prose, thank you very much.

Other interests include good food, video games, sitcoms, and books of all kinds. Most of my time that doesn’t go to writing or billable hours is consumed by my two children, four and two years of age.










3 thoughts on “A a sweetly funny YA rom-com debut|Blog Tour: More Than Just a Pretty Face by Syed M. Masood

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