More Than Just A Pretty Face by Syed M. Masood | Audiobook Review

I received this book for free from Library, Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

More Than Just A Pretty Face by Syed M. Masood | Audiobook ReviewMore Than Just a Pretty Face by Syed M. Masood
Narrator: Ariyan Kassam
Length: 8 Hours 7 Minutes
on August 4, 2020
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Humorous, Social Themes, Dating & Sex, Religious, Muslim, Diversity & Multicultural
Pages: 352
Format: Audiobook, Hardcover, eARC
Source: Library, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9780316492386
Goodreads
three-half-stars

For fans of Becky Albertalli and Jenny Han, a sweetly funny YA debut about falling in love, family 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.In this young adult debut full of depth and heart, author Syed M. Masood will have readers laughing, sighing, tearing up, and shouting "YES!" at the top of their lungs.

Why Did I Listen To More Than Just A Pretty Face?

More Than Just A Pretty Face by Syed M. Masood showed up in the mail as a nice surprise. Then, I got super sick from being first trimester and really struggled to read books. Thankfully, audiobooks were a lifeline. I saw this book was available through Brooklyn Public Library Libby (which yay if you live in NY State you can be a member), so I happily put myself on the waitlist for this audiobook. I am just so glad I decided to listen, because I think that made me like the book and Danyal, the main character, more.

What’s The Story Here?

Syed M. Masood’s More Than Just A Pretty Face is about Danyal Jilani, who is a really good looking Muslim teenage boy. Unfortunately, Danyal is not the class genius. However, he ends up selected to be a contestant in his school’s Renaissance man competition. This could be the opportunity to convince his long term crush Kaval, who is essentially perfect, that he is worthy of being a marriage prospect for her. Danyal needs some help though. So, he turns to this girl named Bisma to help him with the competition.

Only, as it turns out, Danyal has chemistry with Bisma. She’s a good listener, kind, and non-judgemental. There, of course, is an obstacle to Danyal and Bisma getting together. To me, it didn’t seem insurmountable, but I also have a different cultural and religious perspective. Anyways, the story then goes on to show what happens when Danyal begins to take the competition seriously and how he generally ends up surprising himself.

What Did I Think Of More Than Just A Pretty Face?

Overall, I had a good experience reading More Than Just A Pretty Face. I liked that Danyal is not the typical YA male. He’s not precocious or the smartest guy in the room. In fact, he was so much more like the guys I grew up with and went to college with. I liked that he was generally nice and confident. I thought that the romance in this book developed between the exact right people. The way it played out was lovely and perfect for the storyline. I also loved seeing Danyal find his confidence when it came to the competition and his topic – also his passion for his people and why his topic had mattered so much to him — how he had to be true to himself and his beliefs.


How’s The Narration?

It must be my year for checking out new audiobook narrators and that’s fair. The audiobook is read by Ariyan Kassam, who as I mentioned, is new to me. It is 8 hours and 7 minutes long and I am pretty sure I listened to this on at least 1.25-1.5x speed. I thought that Kassam was wonderful reading from Danyal’s point of view. His voice had the right cadence and tone. He also makes Danyal come off as quite real and likable. I felt like audiobook was a great way to experience More Than Just A Pretty Face and really held my attention during a year full of distractions.

three-half-stars
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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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