The Marvelous Mirza Girls by Sheba Karim

Publication Date: May 18, 2021


“Part self-discovery, part travelogue, all charming.”  — Kendare Blake #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Three Dark Crowns series 

Gilmore Girls meets vibrant New Delhi in this thoughtful and hilarious new novel about a teen facing family expectations, relationship complications, and hidden secrets in a new country—sprinkled with Sheba Karim’s signature wit and steamy romance, and perfect for readers who loved Mary H. K. Choi’s Emergency Contact and Adib Khorram’s Darius the Great Is Not Okay.   

To cure her post-senior year slump, made worse by the loss of her aunt Sonia, Noreen decides to follow her mom on a gap year trip to New Delhi, hoping India can lessen her grief and bring her voice back. 

In the world’s most polluted city, Noreen soon meets kind, handsome Kabir, who introduces her to the wonders of this magical, complicated place. With the help of Kabir—plus Bollywood celebrities, fourteenth-century ruins, karaoke parties, and Sufi saints—Noreen discovers new meanings for home. 

But when a family scandal erupts, Noreen and Kabir must face complex questions in their own relationship: What does it mean to truly stand by someone—and what are the boundaries of love?

About the Author

Sheba Karim is the author of Mariam Sharma Hits the RoadThat Thing We Call a Heart, and Skunk Girl. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and NYU School of Law and currently lives in Nashville. You can visit her online at 

My Review

When this book was brought to my attention and pitched as Gilmore Girls meets New Delhi, I was sold. Gilmore Girls, as a series, has a special place in my heart for many reasons and I am always looking for something to fill the void it left after it ended. The Marvelous Mirza Girls is about a familial relationship, mainly between a mother and daughter but it is also about a young woman coming of age and dealing with a difficult time in her life, the loss of a loved one.

Although there were some Gilmore-esque aspects to this story, it was a bit more graphic and raw. I did appreciate the story line and the details provided. I am not the target audience for this book, but I can see how it would appeal to it’s intended age group. Even though it is an Own Voices book, as I read it, I was curious as to how some of my more conservative Middle Eastern students would feel reading this.

There are many difficult topics that are mentioned in this book including the #MeToo movement, sexual assault, hate crimes…

I gave this book 3 crowns.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

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