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

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.

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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.

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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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