Review: It All Comes Back to You

Book cover image. A young woman on the right and young man on the left. They are standing with their backs to each other, but are both looking over their shoulders at each other.

Title: It All Comes Back to You
Author: Farah Naz Rishi
Publisher: Quill Tree Books
Pages: 432
Review copy: Digital ARC via publisher
Availability: On shelves now

Publisher’s Summary: After Kiran Noorani’s mom died, Kiran vowed to keep her dad and sister, Amira, close—to keep her family together. But when Amira announces that she’s dating someone, Kiran’s world is turned upside down.

Deen Malik is thrilled that his brother, Faisal, has found a great girlfriend. Maybe a new love will give Faisal a new lease on life, and Deen can stop feeling guilty for the reason that Faisal needs a do-over in the first place.

When the families meet, Deen and Kiran find themselves face to face. Again. Three years ago—before Amira and Faisal met—Kiran and Deen dated in secret. Until Deen ghosted Kiran.

And now, after discovering hints of Faisal’s shady past, Kiran will stop at nothing to find answers. Deen just wants his brother to be happy—and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep Kiran from reaching the truth. Though the chemistry between Kiran and Deen is undeniable, can either of them take down their walls?

My Thoughts:  Family relationships can be messy and romantic love can be even more so. You can see where this is going. Kiran and Deen already had a bumpy history and with their siblings marriage looming, there is a lot of potential for all kinds of missteps. Like many romances, their story has some amusing miscommunications and misunderstandings, but some of them are painful too.

I read this novel all in one big gulp. The story is compelling with a few interesting twists along with a few predictable aspects of a YA romance. There is a lot more than just the romantic relationship though. The young people in the story are also trying to work out who they are and what they want to devote their time to and what to study. Kiran is passionate about dancing, but also wants to pursue medicine and Deen seems to be lost as he bumbles through his college courses.

They are learning about themselves, but are also learning about the people around them. The siblings love each other fiercely, but are still learning how to communicate with each other. Deen and Kiran also both have friendships that need some attention. The parents are part of the story, but the two families have a sharp contrast. Love plays out in vastly different ways.

There is no doubt that Kiran loves her family members and is very protective, but how she lives this out can be pretty cringeworthy and sometimes downright awful. That was the most difficult–and sometimes hard to believe–part of Kiran’s story. A few times her plotting and actions felt like they were over the top. In one instance, what she attempts to do to make Faisal look bad is downright reprehensible. Slightly spoilery bit here so scroll past the asterisks if you don’t want too much information.


That particular scene was very troubling for me especially given how Kiran was trying to lead Faisal into going against his religious beliefs.


Full disclosure: I am not Muslim, but I couldn’t and wouldn’t want to ignore that aspect of the story. The author shows a few ways that Muslims may live out their faith. Some have wandered from their faith a bit and others are holding on more tightly. In one relationship, the people involved are often taking their religion into consideration as they make decisions regarding that relationship. With another pair, while religion is a part of their lives, it doesn’t seem to be a large factor in the choices they make around dating or other aspects of their lives. As with any religion, there are many ways to live it out and no one story will be able to encompass those many ways.

Recommendation: Get it soon if you’re looking for a romance or contemporary tale that will not always follow the path you would expect. There are many complications along the way, but there are also some humorous moments and plenty of room for character growth.