[Book Review] Only You by Andaleeb Wajid

Front cover of Only You by Andaleeb Wajid

Details about Only You

Publication date – March 5, 2021

Format – Kindle

Length – 197 pages

Genre – Romance

Amazon India link – https://www.amazon.in/Only-You-Destination-Wedding-Weddings-ebook/dp/B08R94N6Q9

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57320027-only-you?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=yGsyaWeJ9Q&rank=1

My Review of Only You

Only You is the first book I’ve read by Andaleeb and she’s opened up a whole new world for me. My TBR pile has just expanded to include all the rest of the Destination Wedding series books. Only You is Book #5 but can be read as a standalone story.

I’m especially interested in Naima and Uzair’s story because Andaleeb has dropped enough references to convince me that their story would be quite something–with family drama and people changing their minds at the last minute.

Andaleeb’s writing is open, unpretentious, and authentic. It feels like she’s writing the story of someone close to her.

She reveals tiny details bit by bit, gradually making the picture clearer for the reader. This device kept me hooked throughout the book.

I’m being deliberately obtuse here because I want you to enjoy the book with no preconceived notions. When I began to read the story, all I knew was that Only You was about Ghazal and Hamdaan’s love.

The clash between conservative thought and modern lifestyle was depicted well. Ghazal posts photos of her life on Instagram, but her parents won’t allow her to spend time with friends after work or during weekends. She’s working at a firm and earning her keep, but her family won’t allow her to choose her husband!

The incongruity of it all is funny, but it’s also sad because this is reality for many girls in India–Muslim or not.

As characters, Ghazal and Hamdaan are flawed enough to be real people. I found Ghazal to be a strange mix of rebellion and acquiescence. Maybe she’s just extremely good at choosing her battles. Hamdaan indulges in a pity party for way longer than necessary, in my opinion.

I loved the theme of two people, considered “damaged goods” by society, helping each other glue their broken pieces together.

It has always awed me how writers of romance manage to keep readers turning the pages, when they know that there will be a happily-ever-after at the end. We already know that there’s a wedding in there somewhere in Only You, but I was waiting with bated breath for that first kiss without even knowing if it would ever arrive.

The lovemaking scenes are superbly written. After all the stiff and formal ceremonies, it was a treat to the senses.

Ghazal’s brother and sister-in-law deserve special mention here as the only characters who mostly kept a cool head around the “scandals” that kept threatening to tear the family apart. Without their no-nonsense advice, Ghazal and Hamdaan may not have made it past all the prejudice and misunderstandings.

As if you can’t tell already, I thoroughly enjoyed Andaleeb’s version of boy-meets-girl, especially because most of the drama happens AFTER marriage, which complicates things because now there are families, egos and emotions involved.

In conclusion, Only You takes turns being bitter, angsty, sweet, heartwarming and spicy. It’s written with a refreshing focus on the girl’s state of mind and flux of emotions. And it celebrates the blossoming of love despite suffocating customs and rituals, prejudice and misunderstanding.

(I received a review copy from the author via Blogchatter with a request for an honest review.)


5 responses to “[Book Review] Only You by Andaleeb Wajid”

  1. Thank you! I didn’t know her books were on Juggernaut as well. Will check it out. I loved the authentic feel of her writing. In Only You, she’s included Bangalore locations, turns of phrases, little cultural things that I could relate to.

  2. Thank you, Tulika! I’m going to start from Destination Wedding Book #1 (I don’t know the title yet) because Andaleeb really knows how to tell a story. 🙂

  3. I loved your review and your clear verdict. Seems like a great book. I’ve read just one book by Andaleeb Wajid – When She went Away and I quite liked it. Wonder why I didn’t pick up more.

  4. Wonderful review! I have read one of her stories on Juggernaut and I have bought ‘Loving You Twice’ on Kindle (haven’t read though). I like her writing style. 🙂

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