Sabina Khan

Books Hillary Jacobson, +1 212 556 5600 Email Hillary Jacobson

The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali

book | Fiction | 2019
US & Canada → Scholastic Inc (Ed. Jeffrey West)

Featured on Amazon's Best YA Books of 2019 so far

Featured on the Winter 2018-2019 Kids’ Indie Next List

Featured on BookRiot's list of 2019 YA Books Starring Queer Girls

Featured on Hypable's Most Anticipated LGBTQ YA Books of 2019

Featured on Parade Magazine's 10 Buzzworthy YA Books to Read in 2019

Featured on Bustle's 14 New YA Novels Coming Out in 2019

Featured on Amazon's Best Young Adult Books of February 2019

Featured on Seventeen's 13 Best Books by POC Authors that Every Teen Needs to Read ASAP

Featured on Seventeen's The 12 Best YA Books of 2019 So Far

Listed in Mashable's Best Books of 2019 to Teach Kids about Identity and Acceptance

Featured in the 2020 YALSA Quick Picks for Young Adult Readers List

Featured in the The 2020 Rainbow Book List

With a welcome mix of humour, heart and high-stakes drama, (as well as tantalizing descriptions of food), The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali is a standalone young adult contemporary novel that provides a timely and honest portrait of what it’s like to grow up feeling unwelcome in your own culture.

17-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 favour 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 how can she do so without losing everyone and everything in her life?


Roxane Edouard manages the translation rights for The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali

Audio Rights


The audio rights are handled by Scholastic Inc.

Film Rights


Contact Hillary Jacobson for more information


The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali unapologetically explores the complex ties between families, friends, and intersectional diversity. Khan brings talent and voice in this brilliant debut that will keep you reading until the very last page.

Nisha Sharma, author of My So-Called Bollywood Life

This book will break your heart and then, chapter by chapter, piece it back together again. Chock-full of diversity and powerful representation, The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali is a much-needed addition to any YA shelf.

Sandhya Menon

Sabina Khan crafts a powerful, poignant story about finding yourself, about speaking your truth. 

Samira Ahmed

Bold, heartbreaking, yet hopeful. A story that will stay with you for years to come. 

Sara Farizan

Political, personal, page-turning. Sabina Khan is one to watch. 

Tanuja Desai Hidier

Rukhsana’s voice offers a steady blend of compassion and humor as she schemes—with several likable allies—to follow her dreams, perhaps at the cost of losing her family.

Publishers Weekly

This really takes LGBTQ fiction to another level and will help open readers’ eyes to the realities that many face in these changing times.

Candace Robinson
Vintage Books, Vancouver, WA

Khan's moving novel brings humanity and nuance to what many consider a taboo subject, and her characters are beautifully fleshed out. [...] This moving novel offers readers a deep look into Bengali traditions and dreams for a more inclusive future, with a resilient girl at the heart of it all.

Qurratulayn Muhammad

With an up-close depiction of the intersection of the LGBTQIA+ community with Bengali culture, this hard-hitting and hopeful story is a must-purchase for any YA collection.

School Library Journal (starred review)

Rukhsana builds illuminating relationships with her relatives, making for a coming-of-age story that serves as a testament to the guiding power of love. It's a good read for any angsty teen.

Mashable UK

Hillary Jacobson
+1 212 556 5600
Email Hillary Jacobson
Translation Rights
Roxane Edouard
+44 (0)20 7393 4491
Email Roxane Edouard