• The Book Goat

Sabina Khan: The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali

Hey friends! Welcome to my very first author interview series! I'm so excited to bring these four authors to you, so let's get started!


by Sabina Khan

Seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali tries her hardest to live up to her conservative Muslim parents’ expectations, but lately she’s finding that harder and harder to do. She rolls her eyes instead of screaming when they blatantly favor her brother and she dresses conservatively at home, saving her crop tops and makeup for parties her parents don’t know about. Luckily, only a few more months stand between her carefully monitored life in Seattle and her new life at Caltech, where she can pursue her dream of becoming an engineer.

But when her parents catch her kissing her girlfriend Ariana, all of Rukhsana’s plans fall apart. Her parents are devastated; being gay may as well be a death sentence in the Bengali community. They immediately whisk Rukhsana off to Bangladesh, where she is thrown headfirst into a world of arranged marriages and tradition. Only through reading her grandmother’s old diary is Rukhsana able to gain some much needed perspective.

Rukhsana realizes she must find the courage to fight for her love, but can she do so without losing everyone and everything in her life?

January 29th, 2019

Introduce yourself and your debut novel.

Hi and thank you so much for having me on your blog! I’m Sabina Khan and my YA contemporary THE LOVE AND LIES OF RUKHSANA ALI will be out on January 29, 2019 from Scholastic.

What’s the most surprising part about your debut journey so far?

I would say what most surprised me in this journey so far is finding out just how many people work hard to put out a book.

Give a shout-out to a fellow debut!

I’d love to give a shout-out to my Scholastic sister, the fabulous Nafiza Azad whose gorgeous and lush prose you’ll all get to experience when her YA Fantasy THE CANDLE AND THE FLAME debuts on May 14, 2019.

Tell us about your novel! How long did it take you to write this book?

I wrote this book in 16 feverish days, writing almost 10-12 hours a day as the story came pouring out of me. Sadly, I have not been able to replicate this process for my next book.

Describe your main character in 3 words.

I would describe Rukhsana as headstrong, persistent and sassy.

Describe your writing space.

I’ve set up a corner by my bedroom window where the sunlight streams through and our resident squirrels peek through the window. I always have scented candles lit in the room and my puppy competing with my laptop for space. I wouldn’t change a thing.

How do you select character names?

I name a lot of my characters after actual people I knew growing up, but for the main characters I usually pick names that were on my list during both my pregnancies.

If you could only buy one book this year, which book would it be?

If I could only buy one book this year it would have to be Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty.

A favorite recipe!

I love Madhur Jaffrey’s recipes for Biryani. This is one I use frequently:


So many thanks to Sabina for doing an interview with me! Don't miss out on her book, releasing 1/29/19!




#interview #novel19s #january #ya #youngadult

meet sofiya!

Sofiya Pasternack is a mental health professional, the highly-distractible author of Jewish MG and YA fantasy, and prone to oversharing gross medical stories.

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