The Marriage Clock

The Marriage Clock

Named a Must-Read Book of the Summer by POPSUGAR, Bustle, Book Riot, and more! In Zara Raheem's fresh, funny, smart debut, a young, Muslim-American woman is given three months to find the right husband or else her traditional Indian parents will find one for her--a novel with a universal story that everyone can relate to about the challenges of falling in love.To Leila...

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Title:The Marriage Clock
Author:Zara Raheem
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Marriage Clock Reviews

  • Jamie beauty_andthebook_

    For anyone who’s ever been pressured to settle down, been on a horrendous date (hello filtered photos), or has had all the Indian matchmaking Aunties in your life try to marry you off (okay, maybe not that one) - The Marriage Clock is going to be as fun of a read for you as it was for me. Relatable, smart and witty with a heroine that you can’t help but root for as she makes her way through the disasters of dating and familial pressure. Zara Raheem has knocked it out of the park with this one.

    I

    For anyone who’s ever been pressured to settle down, been on a horrendous date (hello filtered photos), or has had all the Indian matchmaking Aunties in your life try to marry you off (okay, maybe not that one) - The Marriage Clock is going to be as fun of a read for you as it was for me. Relatable, smart and witty with a heroine that you can’t help but root for as she makes her way through the disasters of dating and familial pressure. Zara Raheem has knocked it out of the park with this one.

    I received an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.

  • Meli

    I expected this to be a typical romcom, but there was much more depth to the characters and story than I anticipated. The mother, her friends/cousin, and Leila are each flawed and complicated in their own ways and you can't help but cheer for them throughout. I read this in one sitting because I could not put it down. Raheem's book is a hilarious yet honest look at love, heartbreak and the pressures that come with cultural expectations. I recommend this to not only gain insight about

    I expected this to be a typical romcom, but there was much more depth to the characters and story than I anticipated. The mother, her friends/cousin, and Leila are each flawed and complicated in their own ways and you can't help but cheer for them throughout. I read this in one sitting because I could not put it down. Raheem's book is a hilarious yet honest look at love, heartbreak and the pressures that come with cultural expectations. I recommend this to not only gain insight about Muslim-Indian culture, but also if you just want to be thoroughly entertained.

  • Felicia Grossman

    I LOVED this book. Like totally loved. Leila is funny and adorable and you only want good things for her (and men who don't ghost her say "BAM" too much or ask about her genetic history or gives her his honest age...). You really feel how she's torn between loving her culture and being frustrated by it (and her well-meaning, lovable, but at times frustrating parents). Her struggle for balance is so genuine.

    And every single character is so well-drawn, form Leila's group of friends, to her various

    I LOVED this book. Like totally loved. Leila is funny and adorable and you only want good things for her (and men who don't ghost her say "BAM" too much or ask about her genetic history or gives her his honest age...). You really feel how she's torn between loving her culture and being frustrated by it (and her well-meaning, lovable, but at times frustrating parents). Her struggle for balance is so genuine.

    And every single character is so well-drawn, form Leila's group of friends, to her various dates (and their parents, to her family in India, each is unique and special and you can totally hear everyone's voice.

    And the writing--beautiful. There were so many laugh-out-loud moments as well as poignant ones. Lelia's story is familiar and unique and where her journey will take her is up in the air through the entire piece, keeping you reading until the very end. I am so happy I got to read this as an ARC. I can't recommend this book enough!

  • Christine SY

    This book was a spark that I needed in life. As a single, 24-year-old college student busy with her own life, marriage is something I have not yet even thought about, and this book definitely opened my eyes in different ways. The Marriage Clock made me realize marriage and love shouldn’t be something forced and rushed upon and that this chapter you encounter in life will come when you meet the right one. Thank you Zara Raheem for reminding me that love shouldn’t be based on a clock, and that it’

    This book was a spark that I needed in life. As a single, 24-year-old college student busy with her own life, marriage is something I have not yet even thought about, and this book definitely opened my eyes in different ways. The Marriage Clock made me realize marriage and love shouldn’t be something forced and rushed upon and that this chapter you encounter in life will come when you meet the right one. Thank you Zara Raheem for reminding me that love shouldn’t be based on a clock, and that it’s something to be worth waiting for.

  • Erica Boyce

    This is a lovely and hilarious book about family, love, and finding yourself as an adult within your culture's expectations. I devoured it in three days and was so sad to see it end! Raheem deftly draws a cast of very real characters that I felt for and grew to love very quickly. I laughed out loud at several moments! A really fun and thought-provoking read.

  • Suanne

    I chose to read The Marriage Clock because I’m always interested in reading own voices writing about their culture. About this time last year I read a book the premise of which was finding a man through match.com. Though that book was comical, at the end I felt unsatisfied as a reader as the female protagonist didn’t seem to grow emotionally from her experiences. That is not true of The Marriage Clock. I flew through this book in just a few hours. Raheem’s writing style is simple, direct, and

    I chose to read The Marriage Clock because I’m always interested in reading own voices writing about their culture. About this time last year I read a book the premise of which was finding a man through match.com. Though that book was comical, at the end I felt unsatisfied as a reader as the female protagonist didn’t seem to grow emotionally from her experiences. That is not true of The Marriage Clock. I flew through this book in just a few hours. Raheem’s writing style is simple, direct, and easy to read. Her characters, particularly Leila, are fully developed, funny, and all-to-human. She is a first-generation American with Indian parents. Leila is frequently torn between her more liberal American self and her family-loving Muslim self. Often she’s frustrated by her more traditional parents who have decided it is time she fulfill her destiny and marry, thus starting the countdown on The Marriage Clock. Leila is convinced she’ll find a partner equal to the men her favorite Bollywood movies but with more liberal qualities of an American male tossed into the pot.

    Raheem’s description of Leila’s trials in finding a husband range from sad to pathetic to hysterical. Her rejects are each individualized with traits that range from funny to totally bizarre: the guy who uses the sound “bam” to punctuate every sentence, the one who asks about the past medical history of Leila and her entire family; the one who’s far older than he admits to; the one who’s already engaged, but fails to divulge this to Leila; and finally, the one who “ghosts” her after a seemingly great deal in which she thinks they really connected.

    This was not a typical romantic comedy, though those elements are present. There is depth to the narration, and the characters are all well-developed, especially Leila’s family and friends. In addition, the glimpses into the Muslim Indian community and culture are wonderful. The Marriage Clock is also an amusing look into traditional arranged marriages with “auntie” matchmakers, biodata spreadsheets compiled by Leila’s parents, speed-dating, and dating apps. The joy of this book, as mentioned above, is the personal growth of Leila and her journey to self-acceptance.

  • Eilonwy

    3-1/2 stars, rounded up because it left me in a good mood

    3-1/2 stars, rounded up because it left me in a good mood

    I picked this up expecting a romance, but it turned out to be a very different book. And I actually liked the book it turned out to be better than the one I was anticipating. So, nice fake-out, book!

    The first half of the book is pretty light. Each chapter presents one episode in Leila’s dating scheme, and is related wryly and unemotionally as a sort of comedy of manners. Every method of seeking love offers some kind of stumbling block, and she manages to trip over all of them. I thought this was all presented very entertainingly, especially since the chapters are short and don’t dwell on Leila’s experiences -- this is a mostly angst-free story, although Leila does find herself strongly affected by some of her interactions and experiences. (In a way, this was what I was hoping for from

    but didn’t get.)

    The second half of the book gets a bit more serious. Leila begins to panic, but she also begins to have deeper conversations with other people about What Marriage Means, and finally asks herself what exactly

    wants from a marriage, rather than what everyone else, especially her parents, seem to be telling her she should want.

    I really enjoyed this book. It’s a good mixture of lightness and depth, with its story presented warmly and empathetically. It’s also a very quick read. This was definitely a pleasant surprise.

    ------------------------------------------------

    * “Seven Napkins” would also have been an apt title for this book, as they get referred back to many times over the course of the story.

  • Sahitya

    I so wanted to love this book. I was actually very sure that I would adore it. I won’t say that my expectations were necessarily very high, but I just felt it in my bones and all I’m feeling is sad after finishing the book.

    Though I’ve been blogging for around 2 years now, I’m still not very observant and tend to not notice any flaws or problematic issues or cliches in the writing unless they are very explicit. I actually had to ask my other blogger friends what it meant when reviewers talked

    I so wanted to love this book. I was actually very sure that I would adore it. I won’t say that my expectations were necessarily very high, but I just felt it in my bones and all I’m feeling is sad after finishing the book.

    Though I’ve been blogging for around 2 years now, I’m still not very observant and tend to not notice any flaws or problematic issues or cliches in the writing unless they are very explicit. I actually had to ask my other blogger friends what it meant when reviewers talked about show vs tell style of writing. So, imagine my surprise when for the first couple of chapters, there was just telling and no showing in this book at all, and even I was able to recognize that. It wasn’t bad per se but I guess it just wasn’t a great beginning but it turned better once we got into the meat of the story. The book is fairly fast paced throughout, with lots of hilarious and embarrassing dating situations which were entertaining to read about, but sometimes also fell into typical South Asian stereotypes. I obviously enjoyed all the desi elements of the book - food, culture, language, parents’ expectations regarding dating and marriage, arrange marriage system and all the nosy aunties and especially Bollywood. There are so many references to movies and songs and actors which I absolutely loved and found very organic to the story, but I don’t know how readers who aren’t familiar with the industry would feel about it. There was a particular situation that made me feel very nostalgic when the main character starts sobbing uncontrollably while watching the movie Veer Zara and the Tere Liye song starts playing - while this happens to her during a flight journey, it completely transported me to a train journey I took a long time ago when I too started sobbing while listening to the same song. The main character’s reaction when she visits India also felt very relatable and I couldn’t stop reminiscing about my own experiences. It’s these little little moments in the book that made it worth reading for me.

    I can’t say the same for the main character Leila. She maybe twenty six years old but is very confused and judgmental, and I was both frustrated with her and felt sympathetic towards her plight. I really felt for her desperation about wanting to get married while also wanting to choose the guy and pleasing her parents, and also answering every single nosy question all the time. I could totally understand the pressure she was under because however dramatic it might seem, it is a reality for many South Asian women. However, she had too many cinematic expectations about romance and marriage and that felt pretty childish. And while I do agree that most of her dates were terrible, they were also quite caricaturish. And she kept questioning her self worth because of a guy and I absolutely hated it, because I guess I just wanted something more from a high school teacher from LA. She was very indecisive throughout, mostly making decisions based on what her friends suggested or her mother manipulated her into. I just wanted her to introspect what she wanted for herself and stand up to her parents. And when it finally happened, I found it to be too little too late and it totally frustrated me because she didn’t even come to that conclusion on her own.

    I’m actually not sure how to conclude my review. This book has quite a few rave reviews, so maybe I’m being overly harsh in my judgement. The writing was funny for the most part and very relatable to me as an ownvoices Indian reader (not Muslim though). It’s also a very fast read and I got through it in just a few hours. I think I wanted more from the main character and was disappointed in that regard. I won’t say that I don’t recommend it, because it might just be to someone else’s taste and I wouldn’t want to dissuade any readers.

  • peachygirl

    I wanted to love this book, I really did. But I had so many issues with the protagonist and her attitude. For a 26 year old high school teacher, Liela was very immature, indecisive and judgemental. Her Bollywood dreams for a love story felt like a 14 year old's soliloquy. And her unrealistic expectations for a Mr.Perfect made me roll my eyes constantly.

    Her plight was relatable to some extent as the pressure to

    I wanted to love this book, I really did. But I had so many issues with the protagonist and her attitude. For a 26 year old high school teacher, Liela was very immature, indecisive and judgemental. Her Bollywood dreams for a love story felt like a 14 year old's soliloquy. And her unrealistic expectations for a Mr.Perfect made me roll my eyes constantly.

    Her plight was relatable to some extent as the pressure to marry at the right age is common in India, as are nosy relatives. Even the writing was pretty good for a debut. But the writer could have tried to stencil a better heroine than this clueless damsel in distress. Also the fact that she's a stickler about not paying for her meal made me respect her less and less. The ending was nice. Leila putting her self worth before her parents' expectations was a good take. But it felt little after everything she went through to please her parents.

    Not that this was a bad book, but I wasn't satisfied with it. Others might like it, if only for the hilarity in Leila's series of horrible dates. Maybe, it was just me!

  • may ❀

    completed! for the reading rush, under the challenge of:

    i,,,,,,,feel so

    right now fjkdahfkja wHAT JUST HAPPENED

    to start, i was really excited about this book bc i'm dying for some good, accurate, quality content, romcoms featuring asian muslim characters bc gosh, i am in Dire need of them (you have to live wildly through your books okay otherwise what's the point??)

    and the book started off pretty good. i thought the writing was engaging and

    completed! for the reading rush, under the challenge of:

    i,,,,,,,feel so

    right now fjkdahfkja wHAT JUST HAPPENED

    to start, i was really excited about this book bc i'm dying for some good, accurate, quality content, romcoms featuring asian muslim characters bc gosh, i am in Dire need of them (you have to live wildly through your books okay otherwise what's the point??)

    and the book started off pretty good. i thought the writing was engaging and hilarious. i laughed out loud. multiple times. the main character was opinionated and snarky and generally, i like main characters with those traits

    but,,,,,,it got worse.

    so the first thing everyone should know about our main character, leila is that she is the most judgemental creature to exist.

    the more i read, the more i found that her character constantly contradicted herself.

    and she just kept complaining and complaining and judging and complaining and i was going to

    if i had to deal with it again

    ~for example~

    leila CONSTANTLY goes on and on and on about how she's looking for

    guy

    which is

    , sis you do you.

    but then she goes on this date with this dude she met from a matrimonial website and when he suggests they

    , she freaks out. and i quote,

    OKAY BUT LIKE YOU WERE JUST ASKING FOR A GUY WHO CHALLENGED GENDER NORMS SO???? WHERE IS THE SENSE????

    but okay, it wasn't all bad.

    there were some really sweet moments with leila and her friends. she has this awesome group of girls that she can joke around with and come to for advice and just chill and i thought that was fantastic.

    i also really appreciated the author's unapologetical inclusion of indian heritage. it was included so seamlessly and really enhanced the book with its detailed descriptions and authenticity.

    leila does grow as a character (in SOME aspects) and the friendship she built with her cousin was probably my FAVOURITE things about the book. it was really sweet and innocent and precious and i wish there were more scenes along those lines than the ones where leila did something to annoy me 😔

    and there were some REALLY adorable moments of romance that had my heart singing and me bursting with squeals (pretty embarrassing i know) and i was ready to ship them to the freaking MOON but we shall not talk anymore about that bc

    and i aint no cheat

    for those of y'all who read it.

    and finally, we reach the ending. i thought it had a GOOD message and all but WHY DID IT END SO ABRUPTLY. i legit thought i missed a chapter bc,,,,,,,,,,what just happened there.

    if you can't read spoilers, just know that the ending kinda ruined the whole book for me and im lowkey bitter right now but just mainly sad and i blame the cute cover for this deception

    2 stars

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