Hello friends! Glad to share another book review with y’all. Today, I’m reviewing An Unexpected Connection in Between by Arjina Khanom. This is another debut 2022 release. If you love city + LGBTQTIA+ romance, dive in with me!
Rating: 4 Stars
Neeya Chowdhury feels trapped in her own life. As a closeted bisexual 24-year-old, she doesn’t have permission from her Muslim parents to see the world. Her family and culture expect her to marry the man they choose, and they expect her to trust their guidance. While struggling to find her own self within the constraints of tradition and bias, Neeya meets Ariel.
Ariel Gomez is a trans man struggling to find his own place in life. Not only is he starting his female-to-male physical transition and a gender-appropriate name change, but his Christian father is becoming an even bigger obstacle to his dreams. Ariel worries he’ll have to continue on this path alone and isolated.
In Arjina Khanom’s An Unexpected Connection in Between, Ariel and Neeya meet and sparks fly. They find that with each other, they can learn, grow, and finally be themselves. But when they are faced with the reality of what their families, religions, and cultures expect from them, they get pushed to the breaking point.
What will they do? Will they choose each other and fight for their relationship, or will they just choose the easy way and ignore their dreams and desires?
What I Enjoyed
Khanom juggles multiple story elements to provide a very sweet friends-to-lovers romance novel. For example, she shows character growth in a balanced way. Neeya works through a rigorous religious background (relatable to many—not just Muslims) to decide what she really believes in or wants in life. Aaron learns about what true friendship looks like while taking control of his transition journey.
I’m also really impressed by the beautiful writing and story despite the fact that English is not Khanom’s first language. I personally see that as a sign of creativity and intelligence. You’ll notice that both her main characters are immigrants so their English definitely reflects that experience. Again, there are so many experiences that Khanom depicts here; I can see many ways that the readers can see themselves in these characters—even if they don’t consider themselves LGBTQTIA+.
My Final Thoughts
This story is ideal for those of y’all who are in the mood for a sweet romance. This book really shows that love is worth fighting for. I recommend this book for teen readers and up. The characters are college-aged but the content is still appropriate for younger readers looking for LGBTQTIA+ rep. This story is also ideal for those of y’all who love any romance with an NYC backdrop.
Hopefully, I shared enough to pique your curiosity. Want to get reading? If so, I highly recommend you look Arjina Khanom up on social media:
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2 comments on “Book Review: An Unexpected Connection in Between”
Fabulous review! This book sounds super cute! 🙂
Thank you for the comment! It is a super cute book, especially if you love a good love story.