Review: Kamila Knows Best by Farah Heron


Title: Kamila Knows Best 
Author: Farah Heron
Date of publication: 8 March 2022
Genre / Themes: Contemporary Romance / Muslim MCs / Emma retelling 

Author's links: Website / Twitter / Goodreads

My rating: 3 Stars


Kamila Hussain’s life might not be perfect, but, whew, it’s close. She lives a life of comfort, filled with her elaborate Bollywood movie parties, a dog with more Instagram followers than most reality stars, a job she loves, and an endless array of friends who clearly need her help finding love. In fact, Kamila is so busy with her friends’ love lives, she’s hardly given any thought to her own . . .

Fortunately, Kamila has Rohan Nasser. A longtime friend of the family, he’s hugely successful, with the deliciously lean, firm body of a rock climber. Only lately, Kamila’s “harmless flirting” with Rohan is making her insides do a little bhangra dance.

But between planning the local shelter’s puppy prom, throwing a huge work event, and proving to everyone that she’s got it all figured out, Kamila isn’t letting herself get distracted—until her secret nemesis returns to town with an eye for Rohan. Suddenly, it seems like the more Kamila tries to plan, the more things are starting to unravel—and her perfectly ordered life is about to be turned upside down.


I love Farah Heron's writing voice and I have greatly enjoyed her previous books. This one did not work that well for and it's partly my fault for not paying attention that this is a contemporary Emma retelling. As I am not a fan of Emma (nor the book, neither the heroine), and this was very close to the original Emma story, I did not like it as much as I wanted to.

That said, if you are an Emma fan and love the Legally Blond movies, I am fairly certain you will enjoy this book much more than me.

On the plus side, this story had a lot of things I liked - great friendships, complicated families, Indian movies and food. I really liked that we get an older character (Kamila's dad) who deals with depression and anxiety. Mental illness is treated as the serious issue it is, no miracle cure, just persistence and constant effort to be better.

Kamila's friends were all awesome, the support and care that they had for each other was great to see,. At the same time, I felt Kamila went over the top, bending herself out of shape to please everyone around her. Her match-making was the thing I found most annoying. I liked how dedicated she was to her work, but also hated how she constantly played a role and hid her true self in order to make others happy. She was easy going and fun but also so certain of her being right all the time in everything she did, I hated it. The way she was so sure that she knew best how to care for her dad, how to treat Rohan, how to react to her nemesis, how to bring two people together. There was never a moment she questioned herself, never allowed the possibility that other people around her might be right and she might be wrong. She cared deeply for the people in her life but in a sort of controlling, tiring way.

I didn't get to know Rohan as well as Kamila. Her remained distant, a bit enigmatic. The focus was so much on her that he felt not so well developed as a character. The third act break up was all his fault but he was in a difficult situation and then he did his best to make up for it. In a way, I feel Kamila was hiding so much of herself from everyone that they just made the wrong assumptions about her.

The story started slow and then the ending was really busy. I enjoyed the final third though there was still a moment there where I wanted to slap Kamila, she acted so irrationally, I couldn't believe it. It seemed she hadn't changed or learned anything from her mistakes.

Overall, this contemporary Emma retelling is too close to the original and as such not my favourite. Sill, the writing is solid, the cast is fantastic, I am just not the right reader for this.

CW: child abuse (in the past), mental health issues, hospital stay (side character)

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