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Told in alternating narratives that bridge centuries, the latest novel from New York Times bestselling author Samira Ahmed traces the lives of two young women fighting to write their own stories and escape the pressure of familial burdens and cultural expectations in worlds too long defined by men. It’s August in Paris and 17-year-old Khayyam Maquet—American, French, India Told in alternating narratives that bridge centuries, the latest novel from New York Times bestselling author Samira Ahmed traces the lives of two young women fighting to write their own stories and escape the pressure of familial burdens and cultural expectations in worlds too long defined by men. It’s August in Paris and 17-year-old Khayyam Maquet—American, French, Indian, Muslim—is at a crossroads. This holiday with her professor parents should be a dream trip for the budding art historian. But her maybe-ex-boyfriend is probably ghosting her, she might have just blown her chance at getting into her dream college, and now all she really wants is to be back home in Chicago figuring out her messy life instead of brooding in the City of Light. Two hundred years before Khayyam’s summer of discontent, Leila is struggling to survive and keep her true love hidden from the Pasha who has “gifted” her with favored status in his harem. In the present day—and with the company of a descendant of Alexandre Dumas—Khayyam begins to connect allusions to an enigmatic 19th-century Muslim woman whose path may have intersected with Alexandre Dumas, Eugène Delacroix, and Lord Byron. Echoing across centuries, Leila and Khayyam’s lives intertwine, and as one woman’s long-forgotten life is uncovered, another’s is transformed.


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Told in alternating narratives that bridge centuries, the latest novel from New York Times bestselling author Samira Ahmed traces the lives of two young women fighting to write their own stories and escape the pressure of familial burdens and cultural expectations in worlds too long defined by men. It’s August in Paris and 17-year-old Khayyam Maquet—American, French, India Told in alternating narratives that bridge centuries, the latest novel from New York Times bestselling author Samira Ahmed traces the lives of two young women fighting to write their own stories and escape the pressure of familial burdens and cultural expectations in worlds too long defined by men. It’s August in Paris and 17-year-old Khayyam Maquet—American, French, Indian, Muslim—is at a crossroads. This holiday with her professor parents should be a dream trip for the budding art historian. But her maybe-ex-boyfriend is probably ghosting her, she might have just blown her chance at getting into her dream college, and now all she really wants is to be back home in Chicago figuring out her messy life instead of brooding in the City of Light. Two hundred years before Khayyam’s summer of discontent, Leila is struggling to survive and keep her true love hidden from the Pasha who has “gifted” her with favored status in his harem. In the present day—and with the company of a descendant of Alexandre Dumas—Khayyam begins to connect allusions to an enigmatic 19th-century Muslim woman whose path may have intersected with Alexandre Dumas, Eugène Delacroix, and Lord Byron. Echoing across centuries, Leila and Khayyam’s lives intertwine, and as one woman’s long-forgotten life is uncovered, another’s is transformed.

30 review for Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    OMG! Isn’t it enchanting idea to read a book about two powerful women from different time lines who want to raise their voices and tell their stories! One of them is in Paris, searching for the deepest secrets hid behind a remarkable drawing with a charming French guy carries his descendant Alexandre Dumas’ name! And the other woman is a haseki, leaving behind the walls of Ottoman Harem, telling her secret love triangle story which resulted tragically! Didn’t you get excited and start to dance l OMG! Isn’t it enchanting idea to read a book about two powerful women from different time lines who want to raise their voices and tell their stories! One of them is in Paris, searching for the deepest secrets hid behind a remarkable drawing with a charming French guy carries his descendant Alexandre Dumas’ name! And the other woman is a haseki, leaving behind the walls of Ottoman Harem, telling her secret love triangle story which resulted tragically! Didn’t you get excited and start to dance like me? To get in the mood I added some Oriental belly shake moves to my dance but my friends laughed so hard and recorded me (yes, after seeing my magical movies on their phone camera, I decided they were combination of Gangham style and a hamster who tries to catch its own tail! So I gave up!) in the meantime. So I locked myself in my bathroom and kept on dancing (of course I put blanket on the mirror not to see myself) and started my reading! Khayyam, the young heroine of the book named after famous Persian poet Omar Khayyam. She is French American, Indian American and also Muslim American. An immigrant, biracial, interfaith. But she is not a blank page of passport everyone gets to stamp a label of their choosing! She wants to be heard, she wants to leave her traces in the universe! She wants to follow her own path to create her own story she’s destined to do! She wants you to know her name. Just like Leila who wants to take control of her own life and make her own choices but she lives at the world dominated by man power and she has no choice but keep her silence, bow her head and patiently endure the hand life dealt to her. Instead of some historical faults about the harem life structure ( I was planning to work on a documentary about the hidden face of Harem behind the closed doors so I read tons of researches for months but guess what, I went back to work on thriller projects!) the book’s story-telling is pure, lyrical, fascinating. The powerful feminism messages and intersected stories of two different women’s lives and their challenging quest to raise their voices were remarkable. It’s memorable and heart felting, poignant time travel story. Not literally but the author takes your feet off the ground and helps to take a journey between different continents, time zones, cultures to tell us we’re a part of different cultural, lyrical mosaic and a note from a symphony and we deserve to heard, understood and we can actually find our own tunes by our own life experiences! I think I have to read the previous books of Samira Ahmed. Especially “Internment” is part of my long time TBR list and I have to prioritize the best books and work on my pile if I don’t want to be squeezed under them sooner! Special thanks to NetGalley and Soho Teen for sharing this poetic book’s ARC COPY with me in exchange my honest review!

  2. 4 out of 5

    jv poore

    Khayyam’s life is finished and she’s only seventeen. Ok, that may be a bit over-the-top, but she truly is beyond bummed to have completely blown her chance to achieve her life-long dream. Admittedly, her over-eager attempt to get into the Chicago School of Art Institute was not as well researched as it should have been. The needlessly harsh criticism of one judge plays on repeat in Khayyam’s mind. The hateful words aren’t wrong; but neither is Khayyam’s theory. A portrait must to be missing from Khayyam’s life is finished and she’s only seventeen. Ok, that may be a bit over-the-top, but she truly is beyond bummed to have completely blown her chance to achieve her life-long dream. Admittedly, her over-eager attempt to get into the Chicago School of Art Institute was not as well researched as it should have been. The needlessly harsh criticism of one judge plays on repeat in Khayyam’s mind. The hateful words aren’t wrong; but neither is Khayyam’s theory. A portrait must to be missing from Delacroix’s series based on Byron’s prose. And there is no way that a woman who inspired poetry and paintings was a fictional character plucked from a dark fairy-tale. Khayyam will use her month in Paris to do some proper sleuthing. Meeting the adorable descendant of Alexandre Dumas and discovering that he, too, is conducting historical studies could prove to be beneficial. And exponentially more entertaining. As Khayyam gets closer to a truth from the past, she begins to see that even in the present, people are not being completely honest. Going from a having a potential partner to wondering who to trust was unnerving, but uncovering the constantly-controlled life of a mysterious woman was absolutely infuriating. This woman who had been talked about never got the opportunity to speak for herself. Her name was Leila and her story matters. In learning about Leila, Khayyam’s initial goal to rewrite her essay and prove her case grows distant. She’s no longer focused on her future, but resurrecting Leila’s past is imperative. Teenagers are completely capable of being many things at once. Inquisitive, determined and tenacious while inexplicably also reckless, romantic and immature. I’ve not seen those traits so perfectly captured and conveyed before “meeting” Khayyam in Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know by Samira Ahmed. Truly terrific YA Historical Fiction! This review was written for Buried Under Books by jv poore, with a huge thank-you for the Advance Review Copy to donate to my favorite classroom library.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    Two teens unravel the mystery of a Muslim woman mentioned in letters from Alexandar Dumas. Yes.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Enne (they/them)

    i, too, would like to escape to France for the summer and uncover hidden histories with a pretty Parisian boy

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell

    As a fan of Byronic heroes, the title is Relevant to My Interests™

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dany

    OH MY GOODNESS My heart was soaring through the book with the amazing plot and fun mystery. Khayyam is in Paris for her Summer vacation where she is ridiculed for her art essay for a Young scholar prize. After stepping in dog poop and feeling like a total screw up , Khayyam meets a cute french boy who might actually be a solution to her love life and her chance to get her Young Scholar Prize . Why should you care / read / pre order Mad , Bad & Dangerous to know? Lemme explain. Characters Our MC khay OH MY GOODNESS My heart was soaring through the book with the amazing plot and fun mystery. Khayyam is in Paris for her Summer vacation where she is ridiculed for her art essay for a Young scholar prize. After stepping in dog poop and feeling like a total screw up , Khayyam meets a cute french boy who might actually be a solution to her love life and her chance to get her Young Scholar Prize . Why should you care / read / pre order Mad , Bad & Dangerous to know? Lemme explain. Characters Our MC khayyam , named after the famous Persian poet , Omar Khayyam . She is French American. Indian American. Muslim American. Biracial. Interfaith. Child of immigrants. She's the best Indian American portrayal I've seen so far (granted not many) , and Khayyam roxxxx. Khayyam is rightfully angry about Women's voices being silenced all the time. Meet the French hottie , Alexandre Dumas. Hot Cute Tall French Descendant of "The Alexandre Dumas" Alexandre has more layers than what I prematurely described. I can promise you he's not another Étienne St. Clair . I can't say more without giving out spoilers. The Plot Khayyam is invested in digging through Paris to find the voice that was lost in too many men's narratives. Leila just wants to live her life. Which her fate doesn't let her. Leila struggles to live and breathe while fate tosses her around in it's cruel hands. There's more to her story than the men care to tell. Khayyam's determination to unravel the truth is the plot , really. While Khayyam ventures through Leila's life connecting the dots , she can see herself reflected in some ways . Feminism Feminism , #TellHerStory is the theme of this book. Women get to tell their stories. They can't just be muffled around all the time or seen through another male perspective. This , obviously , isn't the male bashing type people seem to think feminism is. I'm mentioning this in my review because this is the message I'm taking away from Samira. I would hate to see it misinterpreted or misunderstood. Let my fears be just paranoia. Writing This is the first full length Samira Ahmed's novel I've read . Her writing is mesmerising. The switching of PoV is so easy to navigate. Not just because of the font difference or the timeline difference. Khayyam and Leila's voices are totally unique and majestic in their own way which made me shed a few tears at some points. I loved Samira's writing so much. The direction the plot was taking is laid out in the first page. And the journey was so amazing. The pacing was even and .. if you haven't noticed , I love this book. So . Damn. Much. If you like Young Adult contemporaries , or , diverse books , or , Specifically looking for Teen Muslim rep , I wholeheartedly recommend reading Mad , Bad & Dangerous to know. This will be a perfect summer read❤️ Thanks for reading my review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sahitya

    Despite following the author for a long time on Twitter, I have actually never read her books before. Internment has been on my tbr for a long time but it intimidates the hell out of me and I’m just so scared to read it. But when I saw the blurb for this one, I just knew this was my type of book and I had to read it immediately. And it was amazing. Even though I mostly read fantasy or romance novels, I am actually very fond of books which have a lot of archeological, historical or artsy elements Despite following the author for a long time on Twitter, I have actually never read her books before. Internment has been on my tbr for a long time but it intimidates the hell out of me and I’m just so scared to read it. But when I saw the blurb for this one, I just knew this was my type of book and I had to read it immediately. And it was amazing. Even though I mostly read fantasy or romance novels, I am actually very fond of books which have a lot of archeological, historical or artsy elements. I usually find these favorite aspects in my adventure novels, so it was actually very refreshing to see a literary/art history related mystery in a YA novel. I’ve never been to Paris but it’s a dream destination of mine, and the setting here in the book was so vivid and lush that I felt transported, but also sad that i haven’t been there already. I also liked that the author takes us to those places in Paris which are not the main tourist attractions - we only get a single mention of the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower doesn’t even get that - but we see the charm in the places which only the locals would know. And the way the author interconnected the stories of Alexandre Dumas, Eugène Delacroix and Lord Byron with the plot of this book was genius and it’s a great feeling to be exploring the lives of such great artists who have left indelible impressions on us. The writing style is equal parts endearing and poetic and beautiful, and I just found myself lost within the words - it was a mesmerizing experience that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. The main theme of the book is about stories - how we all have a story to tell, how the past and present and future are all connected, and an examination into who finally gets their stories told and who are lost to history. We get a very critical look into how women and their accomplishments have been forgotten or deliberately suppressed for ages now, and how it’s important to not let that happen anymore. History is always being rewritten as we go along, because we uncover new facts or alternate POVs which change the context, and it’s our responsibility to ensure that the women and marginalized people whose stories were lost get a chance to voice their truth. And all these discussions happen very organically between the characters within the novel and I thought the author did a marvelous job highlighting the importance of giving women the agency to tell their own stories. I will not say I was completely in love with our main character Khayyam. I definitely admired her love for art history, her desire to prove herself and the earnestness with which she proceeded to bring Leila’s story to light. She is also torn between her multiple identities - Muslim, American, French, Indian - and it was fascinating to see her grow more comfortable in her own skin as the book goes on. But she is also a teenage girl who is attracted to two boys and is conflicted about whom to choose, especially because none of them are perfect - I had to actually remind myself repeatedly not to judge her through my adult gaze. Her parents are professors and I absolutely adored them, and their relationship with her. Total parental goals and these are the kind of adult figures we don’t often see in YA, so that was a nice change. In the past, Leila is a woman of the harem who is not allowed any freedom or privacy, but she is a formidable woman who takes matters into her own hands and decides to carve her own path. It’s a story mired in tragedy but also immense strength, and every step of getting to know her was a joy. Her story also plays such an integral part in Khayyam’s character development, and I commend the author for the beautiful way she wove their narratives together. In conclusion, this was a powerful story of two young Muslim women across centuries trying to carve their own path in life despite all the obstacles, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. If like me, you are a fan of books that combine an engaging story with historical elements, or if you are an art/literary history nerd, I think this book is perfect for you. It has an interesting mystery, flawed but relatable characters and a love of art that permeates the pages. It gave me a lot of joy while reading and I hope it does the same for you too.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lulu (the library leopard)

    ok i'm gonna admit some slight confusion that this isn't related to lord byron but this also sounds AWESOME

  9. 4 out of 5

    Saajid Hosein

    *Requested and ARC in exchange for honest review. 3.5 for now. Will write a review soon.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Vee_Bookish // stan shea couleé

    the UK cover looks like a historical inspired fantasy and the US cover looks like a modern contemporary with cute coffee dates, wild

  11. 5 out of 5

    Geoff

    I'm clearly not the target audience for this novel, but one of the reasons I wanted to read it is to give myself a booster shot in remembering what it was like to be a teenager, simultaneously struggling with expectations and self-definition and love and friends and figuring out my moral truth. It's something that I don't want to forget as my kids get older and I approach the potentially turbulent adolescent years form the other side. That said, I can tell that I'm coming at it from the other sid I'm clearly not the target audience for this novel, but one of the reasons I wanted to read it is to give myself a booster shot in remembering what it was like to be a teenager, simultaneously struggling with expectations and self-definition and love and friends and figuring out my moral truth. It's something that I don't want to forget as my kids get older and I approach the potentially turbulent adolescent years form the other side. That said, I can tell that I'm coming at it from the other side, not only because I identified more with the modern protagonist's parents than her, and found her thoughts about love and ambition more exhausting than insightful. But I think that's on me! One of the things I found interesting about the book were the parallel structure moving back and forth in time between modern Paris and the 19th century Ottoman Empire and Paris. The book is a love letter to art and Paris and to feminism and letting women's voices and stories be heard, and I love that. I also, without spoiling, loved how the relationships in the book were resolved. It was not done in a standard, expected way, and I really appreciated that. **Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    aarya

    Argh. I’m writing a review a week after reading and I’m docking a star from my initial 4 star rating. This is why I should always write reviews ASAP, because otherwise I over-analyze and realize that some irritating things were EXTRA irritating. I still liked the book and would recommend it for fans of Parisian settings and alternating timelines, but there were enough qualms to make me dock another star. - Khayyam is freaking great. A+ heroine, would read a ten-book series about her. The Leila pa Argh. I’m writing a review a week after reading and I’m docking a star from my initial 4 star rating. This is why I should always write reviews ASAP, because otherwise I over-analyze and realize that some irritating things were EXTRA irritating. I still liked the book and would recommend it for fans of Parisian settings and alternating timelines, but there were enough qualms to make me dock another star. - Khayyam is freaking great. A+ heroine, would read a ten-book series about her. The Leila parts are interesting but Khayyam is the star. - I can’t tell what’s fact vs fiction (and there is a lot of fiction re: Leila and her connection to Dumas/Byron) but I also didn’t care. It is a romp! I’m uncertain which Dumas/Byron letters are fictionalized but the historical treasure hunt is super fun. Loved the message on how some people’s stories are lost to history (and if found, should we make them public if they want to stay lost?). - Is a lot of the book unbelievable? Yes. Pretty much the whole book is. You gotta roll with it, from running into Alexandre Dumas’s descendent to embarking on a historical quest in literally two seconds. Let’s not forget sneaking around and stealing locked-up French artifacts. Did I care so much was unbelievable? Nope. It was fun, I loved the adventure, and I rolled with it. - Not a fan of the love triangle storyline but I didn’t hate it. I guess I’m ambiguous? Definitely don’t go in with romance expectations because you will NOT be happy. Khayyam gets a happy ending with herself, not with a boyfriend. - No romantic HEA because cute French guy is a deceiving, cute French guy. The former unfortunately negates the latter. He is redeemed (good-intentioned deception but still a crappy thing to do) and they part as friends, but my heart was broken. This was my original reason for docking a star. I was so sad. - And now my reason for docking another star to a final rating of 3 stars. I was skimming my highlights and found a scene that made me SQUIRM. Okay, so the real-life Alexandre Dumas has a Black grandmother (she was a slave in Haiti). In contemporary times, Khayyam teams up with Dumas’s fictional descendent (also named Alexandre, eyeroll). He truly is a descendant. That isn’t the deception part; I won’t spoil that even though I guessed from foreshadowing. It’s been centuries since Dumas’s lifetime and contemporary fictionalized Alexandre is white-passing/identifies as white (I don’t think he has any other non-white relatives). There’s this discussion about Dumas’s race and his Black grandmother (e.g., how Dumas carried his grandmother’s legacy by taking her surname). The current-day fictionalized Alexandre is talking about his connection to the legacy, the struggles of the Haitian grandmother, the racism faced by Dumas, fictional Alexandre being unable to ignore ancestors that are both slaveholders/slaves, etc. It did feel a bit like “I’m white/privileged but I understand more about Blackness/racism than the average person because I’ve researched my family history from 200 years ago.” Maybe that’s an unfair interpretation, but I got that vibe while rereading. More egregiously, if you take a step back from that particular scene, Dumas’s race isn’t the main topic of conversation anywhere else in the story. I skimmed the book again and it felt... odd. I was looking for discussions of Dumas’s Blackness in particular and it wasn’t omnipresent the way it *should* be. It’s there in bits and pieces, but I don’t think Dumas’s Black identity is as fully realized as Lelia/Khayyam’s Muslim identity. I don’t think anything was offensive; I just perceived a glaring omission. And the more I think about it... perhaps the contemporary/fictional Alexandre would’ve been better off as *not* white. He’s the reader’s main lens for interpreting and understanding real-life Alexandre Dumas. I don’t know! I’m not in any place to say “make X choice to improve the story!” I simply wonder if the book would’ve been better with a fictionalized biracial descendent to interrogate the past. So yeah. I liked reading this book, but it didn’t sit well with me during the review process. I know nothing about Dumas or Byron at all, so I’d be interested in reading a review by someone with more expertise. Still, I’m definitely going to search out Samira Ahmed’s backlist because her voice is exceptional. Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    This was an incredibly powerful and moving read. A definite must-have for fans of A.S. Byatt's POSSESSION.

  14. 5 out of 5

    USOM

    (Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) Mad, Bad, & Dangerous to Know hooked me from the first pages. It's full of personality and Khayyam's thoughts jump off the page. I love how quickly she establishes herself in your heart - her fierce ambition, her passion, and her heart. And she only gets better and better! The characters have to be my number one reason for loving this book. Khayyam is a complex character who is both (Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) Mad, Bad, & Dangerous to Know hooked me from the first pages. It's full of personality and Khayyam's thoughts jump off the page. I love how quickly she establishes herself in your heart - her fierce ambition, her passion, and her heart. And she only gets better and better! The characters have to be my number one reason for loving this book. Khayyam is a complex character who is both driven, but also struggling to come to terms with her own feelings. At the same time, this dual POV book feature Leila a woman who is similarly struggling with matters of the heart as well as her own survival. Leila and Khayyam are linked in a story that weaves art, forgotten women, and love. The way women are often not given a voice, the space to speak, erased from history and looking on from the shadows. Mad, Bad, & Dangerous to Know unravels Leila's story all while allowing Khayyam to evolve as a character, to make mistakes, and to speak her own story. Khayyam talks about the struggles not only of being a woman of color, but also being biracial and how it has impacted her sense of identity. Mad, Bad, & Dangerous to Know is a book rich with layers and full of heart. full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tsarah ✿

    REVIEW 4 stars [This book is brought to me by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review] When Khayyam follows her historian parents to Paris for a summer vacation, her heart and mind are in the turmoil of uncertainty. She fears for her academic life going down to flames and a semi-boyfriend who seems to be inattentive to her. Her concern gradually dissipates as she accidentally stumbles upon a Parisian teenage boy who happens to be a descendant of the famed poet Alexandre Dumas. Thus, she begi REVIEW 4 stars [This book is brought to me by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review] When Khayyam follows her historian parents to Paris for a summer vacation, her heart and mind are in the turmoil of uncertainty. She fears for her academic life going down to flames and a semi-boyfriend who seems to be inattentive to her. Her concern gradually dissipates as she accidentally stumbles upon a Parisian teenage boy who happens to be a descendant of the famed poet Alexandre Dumas. Thus, she begins a journey to uncover the lost meanings of the acclaimed family as well as herself. Based on the simplistic outline of the story, Ahmed illustrates a coming-of-age story veiled as a romantic adventure experienced in the intersection within teenagehood and adulthood, which is set in a self-contradictory backdrop of the sunny city of love. As it goes, the city becomes the silent witness as well as the breaking point to determine whether Khayyam has learned her mistakes and worries enough to move forward with her life in certain confidence. Further speaking of the backdrop, Ahmed incorporates certain historical backgrounds of the 19th century that serve to parallel Khayyam's identity growth, which traverses from Turkey to London to Paris at the end of the tale. They are presented on the fleeting chapters of Leila, a young Turkish woman of the past who lives as a concubine under a harsh regime struggling to find a voice for herself. As her strive for freedom nears the light, both Khayyam and Leila are near the truth that they seek for quite some time. For a novel that talks about quite heavy themes, Ahmed manages to keep her writing light and engaging to her readers by implementing the self-deprecating sass of teenagers these days without rendering Khayyam to be too pitiful on herself, balancing her quite pushy attitude at times. While her confusion in choosing between the two guys appearing in her life, particularly as I don't favor any romantic element related to a love triangle, it's a pleasant surprise to see Khayyam acting assertively in confronting their problems instead of wallowing herself in indescribable confusion. On the other hand, Dumas turns to be more than a mediocre white guy who finds himself fascinated by a teenage girl who is, coincidentally, a history-obsessed brown girl. He comes off quite opportunistic as he determines to save the legacy of his family, yet he is written to be level-headed enough to hold himself accountable for his mistakes. In contrast to the modern characters, the roles of Leila and other historical figures involved in the background are seemingly more passive despite the reserved chapters solely to recount their part. Even for Leila, whose voice is supposed to have an equal strength with the one told by Khayyam, has less impact in a way that makes the readers truly care for her being other than the curiosity on whether her existence is real or a fabrication. Even with some minor weaknesses, Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know by Samira Ahmed is a must-read for those who love pure summer flings of escapades and ventures that is sensitive in its approach to representing the lives of brown girls that intertwine with each other. Surely, if this book catches your eyes somewhere, grab the book and enjoy the charming nuance of Paris.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

    When you are 17 and feel your life is over, you might not get accepted into your first choice college, and your boyfriend is ghosting you, what do you do? Leave for the summer in Paris with your professor parents and become involved in a literary and artist mystery that you try to solve with a handsome young Parisian college student. This is Khayyem’s story and Leila’s. And it is a page turner. Thanks to Samira for another wonderful novel that celebrates women.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Umairah | Sereadipity

    3.5 stars

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review! This book really took me by surprise. I honestly didn't expect to love it as much as I did. The story is beautiful, written well, and has just enough intrigue and complications to keep me turning the pages. Full review: https://picturethisliteraturecom.word... Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review! This book really took me by surprise. I honestly didn't expect to love it as much as I did. The story is beautiful, written well, and has just enough intrigue and complications to keep me turning the pages. Full review: https://picturethisliteraturecom.word...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Zoë ☆

    This was an enjoyable read!!! The setting was dreamy (because obviously... Paris is amazing) and the investigation was really fun to read about! There were some things that happened romance-wise that I wasn’t a fan of, but other than that I feel like this is a fun summer-y (or spring even) read!! I really want to revisit Paris now 😂🙈 —— Samira Ahmed = yes please!!!

  20. 5 out of 5

    SanaBanana

    dude, this sounds AWESOME!!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Celia T

    I was really excited for the release of this book - so excited that I kind of assumed it would be a let-down when I actually got to read it. But it wasn't! It was great!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Patti Sabik

    Terrific romance and mystery while weaving history throughout. I was compelled to research where fact and fiction met when I closed the book because the threads were woven together so seamlessly and believably. Such a fun book with compelling and thought-provoking undertones made this a page-turning read. Characters that were likeable and real; with thoughts that mimicked my own as the story and relationships unfolded. The settings of modern day Paris juxtaposed with 19th century India stimulate Terrific romance and mystery while weaving history throughout. I was compelled to research where fact and fiction met when I closed the book because the threads were woven together so seamlessly and believably. Such a fun book with compelling and thought-provoking undertones made this a page-turning read. Characters that were likeable and real; with thoughts that mimicked my own as the story and relationships unfolded. The settings of modern day Paris juxtaposed with 19th century India stimulates the reader's imagination senses, making it even more enticing to stay immersed in the luxury of this wonderful book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    N

    This book is gorgeous. I love the complexities of personalities and relationships. The convergence of history, story, and the present. How stories change and morph through time. How we skip over some stories or manipulate them for our own gains. Such a wonderful look at complicated emotions.

  24. 4 out of 5

    ♠ TABI ♠

    this sounds glorious

  25. 4 out of 5

    Karen Barber

    Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read this prior to publication, and introducing me to a story that reeled me in slowly. The title stems from a phrase used to describe the poet, Lord Byron. I wasn't sure how this phrase could possibly link to the story, but it eventually became clear. Our narrator is Khayyam, a seventeen year old American student who is fascinated by Art History but who is smarting from her most recent essay being discredited. While on holiday in Paris with her parents, Khay Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read this prior to publication, and introducing me to a story that reeled me in slowly. The title stems from a phrase used to describe the poet, Lord Byron. I wasn't sure how this phrase could possibly link to the story, but it eventually became clear. Our narrator is Khayyam, a seventeen year old American student who is fascinated by Art History but who is smarting from her most recent essay being discredited. While on holiday in Paris with her parents, Khayyam meets Alexandre Dumas (yes, really) - a descendant of the writer. They get talking, and before we know it a strange kind of hunt for missing treasure begins. Both are convinced that Dumas had links with the painter Delacroix, and think that the link has something to do with a mysterious raven-haired beauty mentioned in works by Dumas and Byron, and featuring in paintings by Delacroix. Alongside this story in the present - which, in itself, would have been intriguing - we have the story of Leila, a young woman in the 1800s who has been the favourite of the Pasha, but who cannot bear him children. It takes a while for the links between the characters and their stories to become clear. The hunt itself took something of a backseat for me as I was captivated by the attitudes to women and how history has, often, overlooked so many stories simply because of the gender of the person telling the story. This was definitely a story that appeals on a number of levels. Yes, there are some amazing coincidences in this hunt, but the exploration of identity and the passion coming through for the subject was evident.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rich in Color

    Review copy: ARC via publisher I picked up Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know maybe a month ago, and honestly? I’m still thinking about it. It’s a unique and inspiring story that manages to pull off something incredible. Also, that cover? *chef’s kiss* In Mad, Bad & Dangerous to know, Khayyam Maquet is spending August in Paris — but it’s not exactly a carefree holiday. Her sort-of ex-boyfriend is ghosting her, and she may have lost her chance to get into her dream college. Her passion is art history, a Review copy: ARC via publisher I picked up Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know maybe a month ago, and honestly? I’m still thinking about it. It’s a unique and inspiring story that manages to pull off something incredible. Also, that cover? *chef’s kiss* In Mad, Bad & Dangerous to know, Khayyam Maquet is spending August in Paris — but it’s not exactly a carefree holiday. Her sort-of ex-boyfriend is ghosting her, and she may have lost her chance to get into her dream college. Her passion is art history, and when she encounters a descendant of Alexandre Dumas, she seizes the opportunity to unravel a mystery of art history. Khayyam’s story is interspersed with the story of Leila, a woman from the 19th-century who is the subject of a famous painting. A common theme is the importance of telling untold stories — in this case, Leila’s. I read all of Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know on the plane, and the intersection of the modern day with historical fiction kept me fascinated the whole time. There’s something for everyone: Romance, nerdy art history, a summer in Paris, and a slowly unraveling mystery. The scope of the plot is definitely ambitious, but it really works. Like its title, Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know is something special. I highly recommend giving it a read. Recommendation: Buy it now!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michelle (Fluttering Butterflies)

    I read Mad Bad and Dangerous to Know by Samira Ahmed without really knowing that it was about. I'd read a previous book by the same author and figured I'd request it on a whim and take my chances. I'm so glad that I did as Mad Bad and Dangerous to Know was really fascinating and unravelling this mystery of Leila and also navigating Khayyam's love life really kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved that this book was set in Paris, I loved the descriptions of different foods and pastries, the swoo I read Mad Bad and Dangerous to Know by Samira Ahmed without really knowing that it was about. I'd read a previous book by the same author and figured I'd request it on a whim and take my chances. I'm so glad that I did as Mad Bad and Dangerous to Know was really fascinating and unravelling this mystery of Leila and also navigating Khayyam's love life really kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved that this book was set in Paris, I loved the descriptions of different foods and pastries, the swoony flirting with a cute French boy gave me heart palpitations, and it was just really interesting to discover this link between Byron, Alexandre Dumas and the artist Delacroix. Extra points for all the points made about POC and about finding a way to give a voice to a woman who history had silenced.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Yas

    can i just say- this is by the women that made Internment just take my money all of it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Khayyam, a teen girl who is American and French, Indian and Muslim, biracial and interfaith and a child of immigrant academics, travels to Paris with her parents on summer vacation and, having messed up an art history essay that could have gotten her admitted to her dream school, is determined to do further research to fix the essay, and possibly make a huge art discovery. Enter Alexandre Dumas, the offspring of that famous author who wants to team up with Khayyam for reasons of his own. As a pr Khayyam, a teen girl who is American and French, Indian and Muslim, biracial and interfaith and a child of immigrant academics, travels to Paris with her parents on summer vacation and, having messed up an art history essay that could have gotten her admitted to her dream school, is determined to do further research to fix the essay, and possibly make a huge art discovery. Enter Alexandre Dumas, the offspring of that famous author who wants to team up with Khayyam for reasons of his own. As a premise, I was on board with their sleuthing, despite the repeated Scooby Doo references. I found my attention slipping in the back half of the novel, getting annoyed at Khayyam's boy craziness. She's either thinking about kissing Alexandre or thinking about her ex-boyfriend, like all of the time. Or she's getting angry at the patriarchy for how they have hijacked history, which yeah, but enough already. Add to that some unbelievable storytelling by Leila, the woman Dumas the writer was in love with and who has her own sections, and some almost illegible font used for the letters between Leila & Dumas, and my experience reading became rather frustrated. I really liked Ahmed's Internment and I thought Khayyam could have been a really interesting character if only she was given a bit more dimension. Review from galley.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sacha

    I received this ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. That review will be posted upon publication. Updated 4/7/20: Three stars This book was a solidly mixed bag for me. I had a very hard time with the bulk of the novel, which focuses on Khayyam's perspective. There is a love triangle that I struggled hard (and failed) to care about. Khayyam's problems for the first two-thirds are grating. She finds herself torn between two potential romantic interests, but they are I received this ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. That review will be posted upon publication. Updated 4/7/20: Three stars This book was a solidly mixed bag for me. I had a very hard time with the bulk of the novel, which focuses on Khayyam's perspective. There is a love triangle that I struggled hard (and failed) to care about. Khayyam's problems for the first two-thirds are grating. She finds herself torn between two potential romantic interests, but they are both kind of awful. Since this is her main focus, it has to be the reader's, and it's just...tough to care. The sections told from Leila's perspective are much more interesting; those were the sole reason I completed the book. Overall, I feel a bit disappointed in this. The concept and structure seem so interesting, but overall, the focus on the present-day romantic relationships made me wish for my own jinn to come to the rescue. I have read a lot that I like from this author and look forward to more, but this one just did not work well for me.

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