After her science fiction debut novel I Hope You Get This Message, Farah Naz Rishi switches genres in her sophomore novel, It All Comes Back to You. While It All Comes Back to You is a contemporary young adult romance, the book is not necessarily lighthearted. Rishi is not afraid to delve into the messy emotions of grieving and feelings of betrayal while still managing to deliver witty banter in the vein of an enemies-to-lovers romance.
Two exes reunite when their older siblings get engaged
While attending Penn, Kiran Noorani anticipates the day her older sister Amira finishes law school. Then they can finally get a place together, the one they’d always dreamed of. But her dreams come crashing down when she finds out that her sister Amira has a plan of her own—one that involves marrying her boyfriend of three months and moving across the country. Kiran is even more thrown off when she finds out that Amira’s fiancé is Faisal Malik. Because four years prior, she had dated the younger Malik brother—Deen.
Secrets threaten to destroy everything. . .
After promising her dying mother that she would take care of her sister and dad, Kiran has been stuck in the same stage of grief and unable to move forward. As everything changes around her, Kiran struggles to accept her sister’s sudden decision. When Kiran and Deen reunite for their older siblings’ wedding, they decide to keep their past relationship a secret. But when old feelings resurface and painful secrets become buried too deep, the two become suspicious of each other. And Kiran becomes more determined than ever to uncover Deen’s reasons for ghosting her four years ago.
It All Comes Back to You is beautifully done. I wouldn’t consider it the lighthearted rom-com it appears to be, but Farah Naz Rishi captures a heartfelt story about grief, heartache, sibling relationships, and trauma. The characters are authentically flawed and well developed, the relationships between friends and family in the book are complex and relatable, and the Muslim representation is beautifully done. The writing is compelling and Kiran and Deen’s witty banter is wonderfully amusing.
A compelling and genuine coming-of-age story
While the book features some tropes of the young adult genre, I appreciated the way they were done with a unique spin so that they didn’t feel predictable. Another element I enjoyed was the significance of online friendships in the book in a way that didn’t eclipse the main storyline. Kiran’s passion for dance was another enjoyable element to read about.
As a whole, It All Comes Back to You is a heartfelt read. If you are looking for a lighthearted rom-com, or if you enjoy books with stronger elements of romance, then you might want to keep looking. But if you want a complex coming-of-age story about grief, complex familial relationships, and solid Muslim representation with some hilarious banter sprinkled in, then It All Comes Back to You is the perfect read.
It All Comes Back to You by Farah Naz Rishi was released on September 14, 2021.