I had so much fun reading this!!! I love, love, love reading books where the author’s pride for their culture shines so brightly. Nishat’s excitement about her henna business and her banter with her sister were so comforting to read. Jaigirdar captured so many complexities of being a queer teenager of color and all the beauty and pain that comes with it, the support and the struggle. Nishat and Flávia debating cultural appropriation over their warring henna shops and combating discrimination is the perfect rival to lovers dream come true.— Gina
"Impossible to put down." - Kirkus, starred review
Nishat doesn’t want to lose her family, but she also doesn’t want to hide who she is, and it only gets harder once a childhood friend walks back into her life. Flávia is beautiful and charismatic, and Nishat falls for her instantly. But when a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, both Flávia and Nishat decide to showcase their talent as henna artists. In a fight to prove who is the best, their lives become more tangled—but Nishat can’t quite get rid of her crush, especially since Flávia seems to like her back.
As the competition heats up, Nishat has a decision to make: stay in the closet for her family, or put aside her differences with Flávia and give their relationship a chance.
One of TIME's 100 Best YA Books of All Time
“This is a book that will speak to teens who are navigating their own tightrope of identities and assure them that it's okay to be messy, as long as you own up to your mistakes and try to be better moving forward.” —NPR
“[The Henna Wars] will give you a deeper understanding of social justice and friendship. And, how to ALWAYS be the best version of yourself, even if you’re a baller.” —Teen Vogue
“If lesbian enemies-to-lovers between rival Henna business-owning teen girls set in Ireland can't sell you on a book, nothing will.” —Buzzfeed
* "Authentic and inspiring, this debut is one to seek out." —Shelf Awareness, starred review
* “Debut author Jaigirdar seamlessly weaves issues of racism and homophobia into a fast-moving plot peopled with richly drawn characters…Impossible to put down.”
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"a wholly uncontrived story with lesbians who aren't just brown but diverse in a multitude of ways."
"Deeply satisfying... Highly recommended for fans of school stories that celebrate intersectional experiences."