Heritage: Scotistani. The daughter of a Scottish-American father and Pakistani mother, Zahra has her mother's big, brown eyes, and her father's red hair and pale skin.
Extended Family: Zahra has a younger sister, Saliyah, and two meddling grandparents who live in the family home. Meanwhile, Zahra has moved across the city to live in an apartment with her dad. Zahra blames her parents' breakup on her grandparents' arrival from Karachi and believes they are trying to turn her into what she calls an MOT, or Member of the Tribe.
Social Life: After her parents separate, Zahra, a mediator by nature, puts her own life on hold and throws her energies into trying to reunite them. Living with her dad means starting sophomore year in a new school, where she feels like an outsider. Getting sent to group therapy feels like hitting rock bottom, but that's where she meets Syd and Kali. At first, the girls seem worlds apart-until they discover they have something major in common: one boyfriend.
The (Ex) Boyfriend: "Rico" Skinner comes into Zahra's life when she's dealing with the fallout of her parents' split. Hot, smart, romantic and fun, Rico makes Zahra believe she's hit the boyfriend jackpot. When he's driving her around in Miss Daisy, an old Shelby Charger, Zahra completely forgets her troubles. But then the truth comes out: Rico is really "Eric," a cheating scumbag.
Philosophy on Romance (After Rico): Negative. When you find out the guy you love was three-timing you, it's hard to trust someone new, but Zahra fights hard to believe it's possible to love again. Maybe one day. In the distant future.
Philosophy on Life: Zahra tries to see both sides of every story, although she sometimes overanalyzes to the point of paralysis. She wants to throw caution to the wind and take chances in life, but acting on that belief is a constant challenge.
Interests: Cooking, cooking, and cooking. Zahra has big plans to become a celebrity chef one day, with her own TV show on the Food Network. When she's not busy working at The Recipe Box, a local cookbook store, Zahra constantly experiments with new recipes.
Personal Style: Zahra likes to blend in with the crowd, dressing in a steady uniform of the Gap, until she reluctantly starts to appreciate the beauty of colorful, East Indian silks and bangles.
Love, Inc.: As Love, Inc's mediator, Zahra keeps the peace-both between clients and between her volatile partners, Syd and Kali. Zahra's special skill is helping to get a relationship back on course. But when a romance has really hit the rocks, she's also good at negotiating the split.
Favorite Motto: Everything is sweeter with a little sugar.
Pet Peeves: Guys who call her bitter. Grandparents who meddle. Curry. People who don't consider baking an art. Shelby Chargers.
Zahra's Tunes to Cook By: