Friday, August 29, 2014

Review + Giveaway: Love Edy by Shewanda Pugh

This book was in no way what I expected, but that's both a good thing and a bad thing. One thing is for sure, this novel is in no way your average contemporary romance, and judging by that cliffhanger, there's more to Hassan and Edy's story than forbidden love. However, I'll get to that little bit later.

As I was reading the first chapter, this book seemed right up my alley. There's the girl pining after the guy, and the guy who supposedly sees her as a little sister. It started off along the lines of my favorite romances, but it was YA instead of NA, and I was engaged. I was excited. I couldn't WAIT to see how their love would unfold. Of course, it took me a while to get used to the fact that Hassan is an Indian boy, since in today's media Indians aren't exactly known for their jock status or hotness (it's not racist since I'm Indian!). After I got on board though, I couldn't wait to see how the couple would overthrow an arranged-at-birth marriage!

I guess it's too bad that I never got to find out >.< I had no idea this was part of a series until I saw the "'Love Edy' continues Fall 2014" note right after the cliffhanger. I kind of died a little inside. The cliffhanger made no sense whatsoever, and left me wondering whether Hassan and Edy would ever get together. I mean, they obviously will, but I don't know if I have the patience to read another novel just to find out, especially since this first book was forcibly dragging me along for the ride. I would have liked this book so much better if it was a stand-alone, shorter, and the characters didn't act like such children.

What did interest me in the novel was the Indian culture. As a person who's going to have an arranged marriage myself one day (though it wasn't arranged at birth, thank goodness), I kept finding myself comparing my life and Hassan's. While his mother was pretty close to an Indian mom, I still think she should have been stricter, and more intent on keeping Edy and Hassan apart. And Hassan complained about wishing he had normal American parents, but his life was pretty close to a normal American's. Unlike him, I'm not allowed to go to parties, and I definitely wouldn't be allowed to just randomly kiss guys. Speaking of, I do not understand how Hassan was allowed to kiss a girl, invite a girl to his house, and/or let her sleep over IN HIS ROOM? NO Indian parent, under ANY, would allow that, especially if his son already had a future bride. Still, while the unusual portrayal of Indian culture bothered me, I doubt it'll really stop anyone from enjoying the story.

As I said before, the plot was pretty interesting, and Wyatt's character was kind of creepy and would have helped make an excellent story, if only this book didn't drag. There were elements added that I didn't see the necessity of, for example, Edy's summer vacation spent with her cousin in New York...I don't think we need to know about how she wanted to learn a new style of dancing. And Edy and Hassan's behavior when they were together? It was obvious they wanted each other, and their jealous tantrums were getting on my nerves. I'm not a person known for having patience, and with the novel spending more time on Edy and Hassan pretending to be friends, Hassan bullying Edy's friend, etc, I soon grew bored.

I spent almost two years with these characters, and I wish 'Love Edy' focused instead on a smaller period of time, quickened the plot, and made Edy just a bit less Hassan-crazy. Nevertheless, that out-of-nowhere ending caught my interest, and I would love to find out exactly what was happening. I'd recommend fans of romance and mixed-culture relationships to give this novel a try, because if there's one thing this book is, it's unique.

Book Synopsis: When Edy Phelps falls hard for her best friend, she knows nothing can come from it. Forget actual chemistry, or the fact that she cherishes his mother more than her own; centuries of tradition say that Hassan will grow up, marry the girl his parents pick, and forget his best friend: the dancer with the bursting smile. Except he can't. In a world erupting with possibilities for the boy with a body of steel and dreams of the NFL, everything seems promised while nothing at all is; when he's denied the girl he wants most. 

Two hearts. Two families devoted through generations of friendship. Could Edy and Hassan really risk all that? And yet ... how could they not?

Source: A copy was received from the author for review.

Title: Love Edy
Author: Shewanda Pugh
Publication Date: June 24, 2014
Publisher: Razor's Edge
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 310 pages


You may think it's weird that I'm giving away a copy of a book I didn't love, but hey, tons of other people did love the book, and the author was kind enough to provide a copy so that you could make your own decision about the novel! Enter below for the chance to win. Giveaway ends September 8th, at 12:00 A.M.