Rated Reads shares our pick of the best articles from around the web. This week: the author exploring Muslim guilt around sexuality and how Dua Lipa took over the world.


Sara Jafari’s The Mismatch examines Muslim guilt around sexual desire

Ahead of the release of British-Iranian author Sara Jafari’s The Mismatch, Sahar Esfandiari chats to the writer about why she chose to write about addiction, her experience of growing up in Hull, and how she began writing.

“’The inspiration for The Mismatch was a desire to write a story about someone I feel I could identify with because I never got to read these stories growing up,’ she says. She tells me how, at just 15, she wrote her first book – a Twilight-inspired story ‘with an Iranian Bella,’ she says laughing.”

A story about a young Muslim woman disentangling relationships and sex, this is on our TBR list for the summer.


Dua Lipa on Her International Upbringing, Life With Anwar, and Creating ‘Future Nostalgia’

Tracking the pop singer’s career, Erin Vanderhoof susses out Dua Lipa’s path to stardom.

“Future Nostalgia would have been an unusual record even if it hadn’t arrived at the beginning of a global crisis. It takes a buffet-table approach to the sonic decorations from decades’ worth of disco, funk, and synth pop while also showcasing Lipa’s keen ear for complex vocal melodies and her distinctively raspy and lithe voice,” Vanderhoof writes.

In conversation with the pop sensation, the pair go back to Dua Lipa’s roots, growing up during the conflict in her parent’s home of Kosovo: “‘Everything was Albanian at home, and English was my school life,’ Lipa said. ‘I had so much family in Kosovo, but also because of the situation and not being able to go back, I had never really met my family.'”


Hot Spot: How Greece Has Emerged As Top Location For Film & TV

Azure ocean, hot sun… It turns out a prime holiday location has become the destination of choice for many film crews.

“Indeed, Daniel Craig and the starry ensemble cast of Rian Johnson’s Knives Out 2 are currently filming on the Greek upscale island of Spetses (close to Athens) for Netflix,” Diana Lodderhose writes, “while Millennium Media’s noir thriller The Enforcer with Antonio Banderas and Kate Bosworth is shooting in Thessaloniki, for a Miami-set script. Apple TV Plus’ series Tehran is shooting its second season in the territory and David Cronenberg’s upcoming sci-fi thriller Crimes of the Future is expected to begin shooting in the country next month.”

Boosting the Greek economy has been at the forefront of the drive to sweep in the stars. Looking for a post-Covid break? Greece may be a chance not only for island-hopping but to bump into Kristen Stewart.


Rebecca Black: “The lyrics are fucking gay because they’re about women”

Artist Rebecca Black talks her latest project delving into queer identity, ‘Rebecca Black Was Here’. She reveals the inspiration behind the project, and what it was like to make a comeback after her viral hit “Friday” at age 13.

Along with her newfound freedom to express her identity, Black has also reimagined her style and bolstered her confidence: “’I found that — especially when I’m in like my element, like the whole Rebecca Black thing, I feel fucking good in latex […] I feel fucking good in no clothes. I feel good.'”


The Hosts of ‘The Receipts Podcast’ On Being 21st Century Agony Aunts

Nana Baah talks to the women behind The Receipts Podcast, getting to grips with their “group-chat, magnified” format. About everything from pop culture to relationships to all that’s between the cracks, journalist Tolani Shoneye, personal assistant Audrey Indome and singer Milena Sanchez also frequently become agony aunts for the show.

They sit down for a chat about their writing journey, how the trio first met and what it’s like having so many eyes on them online.

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