Book Review: The Henna Wars
The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar is a very well written and adorable book that covers numerous important topics. The story takes place in Ireland and follows Nishat, a Muslim Bengali girl who recently came out to her parents. When old acquaintance Flávia comes back to attend Nishat's school, an insta-crush and struggles ensue when both want to create henna businesses for a school competition.
Even though there is instant crushing and cute romance, their romance doesn't take the forefront of the story. The Henna Wars definitely brings attention to different cultures and cultural appropriation, and this comes up between Nishat and Flávia with their henna businesses. It's an important theme and message of what it means to appreciate a culture and not take advantage of it. I feel this comes up in a lot of YA when authors take from other cultures for their books without truly understanding it, and I'm glad Jaigirdar brought more attention to it.
While I did enjoy the family dynamic and sisterhood, I would have liked to see more in-depth conversations with Nishat's parents, as well as a focus more on apologies. For some of the things that happen in this book, I expected more apologies to be given or at least discussed. Aside from this, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I will definitely be recommending it! Be aware there is racism, homophobia, and outing of a character.
The Henna Wars is out now! Follow the author
Where to purchase: Barnes and Noble
Check with your local Indie Book Stores!