ARC Review: The Marvelous Mirza Girls by Sheba Karim

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ARC Review: The Marvelous Mirza Girls by Sheba Karim
The Marvelous Mirza Girls

3 Stars

Book Info

Released: May 18th 2021
Genre: Young Adult
Published by Alannah Lynne
Narrator: Richa Moorjani
Length: 8 hrs and 13 mins
Pages: 400
Format: Audiobook

“If you want a book that will hit that wanderlust bug in you and transport you to India, this is the book for you.”

~ Under the Covers

Noreen travels with her mom to New Delhi on a gap year. Feeling slumpy after her senior year of high school and the death of her aunt, this adventure seems like the perfect opportunity to reignite her life’s purpose.

There are several things worth mentioning about this book.

The setting

If you want a book that will hit that wanderlust bug in you and transport you to India, this is the book for you. The setting and culture felt so vibrant I could almost taste it. This was certainly my favorite part of this book. Noreem is exploring the city with Kabir, a boy she meets upon arrival and of course starts falling for. Getting to see some of the sights through Kabir’s eyes and perspective was also nice because it added depth to the locations they were visiting.

The romance

Yes, there is a romance throughout the book and honestly it was a bit insta lovey and felt like it lacked connection. But it wasn’t something that made me think twice about my enjoyment of the book. It was just there. A bit forgettable.

The family

Specifically here I want to talk about the importance of the mother/daughter relationship in this book. I often found their relationship a bit odd, especially when I compare it to the experience of first generation Indian that I know. At times, Noreem’s mom felt a bit immature herself. But I think that there was growth there in the relationship and it was good to see her be there for  her daughter when she needed to be.

The social issues

I feel like a lot of very important topics are mentioned in this book, but at the same time they are not addressed in any deep way. Everything felt really superficial and without the proper handling and resolution. From MeToo to racism, casteism, discrimination. It would’ve been better to narrow these down to only tackle one but do it justice.

The plot

Actual plot, I mean, there wasn’t much of one? It felt like in the end there was a whole lot of nothing really going on. It’s a mix of scenes that delve into the topics I highlighted above but very little in the character growth or finding oneself as a journey or discovery that I was expecting going in.

Overall, I’m glad I picked this one up. It was a very fast and enjoyable read and a great cultural experience.

What did you think of our review?
Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!

About Sheba Karim

Sheba Karim’s next novel, The Marvelous Mirza Girls, is out May 18th, 2021. She is the author of the YA novels Skunk GirlThat Thing We Call a Heart, which made several Best Book lists including Bank Street and Kirkus, and Mariam Sharma Hits the Road, which was named a NPR Best Book of the Year. Her fiction and essays have been featured in 580 Split, Asia Literary Review, Femina, India Today, Literary Hub, Off Assignment, Shenandoah, South Asian Review, The Rumpus, Time Out Delhi and in several anthologies in the United States and India. She has an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is a Writer-in-Residence at Vanderbilt University.

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Amy R

Thanks for the review.


The setting sounds amazing but with various parts that make you feel Eh, I’ll pass.