[Blog Tour] Three Reasons to Read The Mismatch by Sara Jafari + Favorite Quotes!

I haven’t picked up a contemporary book in a while, and I’m glad that I picked The Mismatch this time. Many thanks to Qamar Book Tours for the opportunity to participate in this tour! Check out the schedule by clicking on this link.

Publication Information

About the book

For a young woman who just wants to get her first kiss out of the way, a rugby player seems like the perfect mismatch. But a kiss is never just a kiss. . . .

Now that Soraya Nazari has graduated from university, she thinks it’s time she get some of the life experience that she feels she’s still lacking, partly due to her upbringing–and Magnus Evans seems like the perfect way to get it.

Whereas she’s the somewhat timid, artistic daughter of Iranian immigrants, Magnus is the quintessential British lad. Because they have so little in common, Soraya knows there’s no way she could ever fall for him, so what’s the harm in having a little fun as she navigates her postgrad life? Besides, the more she discovers about her mother’s past and the strain between her parents, the less appealing marriage becomes.

Before long, Soraya begins to realize that there’s much more to Magnus than meets the eye. But could she really have a relationship with him? Is she more like her mother than she ever would have thought?

With unforgettable characters at its heart, The Mismatch is a gorgeously written coming-of-age story that shows that love can be found in even the most unexpected places. 

On-page representation: Author of color, second-generation Iranian British diaspora (MC and family), LGBTQ+ side character

Trigger and content warnings: substance abuse (central concept), emotional and physical abuse in the family

Disclaimer: An ARC (Advanced Review Copy) of the book was provided to me by Qamar Blog Tours and Penguin Random House as part of a promotional tour. This does not affect my opinion of the book. Quotes are taken from an unfinished copy and may be subject to change based on final printing.

Here are three reasons to read The Mismatch + some of my favorite quotes!

1. It presents the reality of life after college graduation.

When she rose to go to work, it was no longer dark. It was these things that gave her hope. Not that she was short on that. Hope was the reason so many of her expectations had been systematically dashed.

I often don’t read about what happens after college, and this book perfectly shows the harsh life no literature class has ever prepped me for. Walking into an interview with only a vague understanding of the job description? Realizing that your dream industry isn’t all that was cracked up to be? Simmering in deep rage that some of your peers can coast by through family networks? Yep, this is it. All the paths that Soraya, Magnus, Oliver, and the rest of their cohort take painfully mirror what I’ve seen in my own batch, and these too-honest descriptions makes everything so relatable.

And yes, the world is wider than your degree.

2. It highlights the intersection of faith, culture, and family values–and the all-consuming guilt that comes with it.

But with more and more time spent away from home, she wondered why sex was so evil. Why disobeying her family was so abhorrent. Why so much focus in her family’s preaching was on controlling her, rather than on her being a good and just person.

Though I am not Muslim like Soraya, I can relate so much with the confusion and guilt that comes with making decisions that clash with my upbringing. Is this really part of essential doctrines, or is it a tradition that has simply morphed into fact? Am I disobeying my God, or am I simply going against harmful cultural traditions? Soraya’s college experiences are much more closer to mine than any other book I’ve read, so I have a soft spot for her.

Neda, Soraya’s mom, is also another POV in this book. Her life is molded in a different time, in a different context, and though many of the choices available to her are very different from Soraya’s, they are rooted in the same cycle of faith and guilt. I actually love all her chapters, and I just want to hug her and tell her that she’s strong and wise.

3. It is a journey of breaking free.

It was in that moment she knew she needed to tell her story. Even if just one person read it and could relate, that would be enough. It felt selfish of her not to at least try make one person feel less alone.

Much of the book deals with the fallout of having a family member deal with substance abuse. Both Soraya and Neda tiptoe around this issue and later join forces to say that enough is enough. The journey portrayed in the book is brutally raw, honest, and painful, and I can’t help but cheer for them when they finally come to terms with the forces that have kept them chained and bottled up for so long.

About the Author

Sara Jafari is a London-based British Iranian writer whose work has been longlisted for Spread the Word’s Life Writing Prize and published in gal-dem and The Good Journal. She is a contributor to I Will Not Be Erased and the romance anthology Who’s Loving You. Jafari works as an editor and runs TOKEN magazine, which showcases writing and artwork by underrepresented writers and artists. The Mismatch is her debut novel.

Author site || Goodreads || Instagram || Twitter

Let’s chat:

  • Have you read The Mismatch?
  • Do you have recommendations for books on life after college? Please drop your recs in the comments!

7 thoughts on “[Blog Tour] Three Reasons to Read The Mismatch by Sara Jafari + Favorite Quotes!”

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