Friday, December 17, 2010

Book Review - Jazz In Love

Jazz in LoveJazz in Love by Neesha Meminger

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Loved this view into a world the same as, yet very different from, the one I grew up in. Jazz's parents launch a Guided Dating Program for her once she is seen hugging an unknown boy. It happens to be her neighbor and friend from childhood, but she fears her parents are so old-word (India) and caste-bound that she can't tell them it was him and meant nothing.

Or did it?

She especially can't tell them about her relationship with Tyler, the new uberhunk in school, who calls her Baby J and leaves her trembling when he smiles. Not even the fear that her parents will send her to live in India can keep her from sneaking out to date him.

Inevitably her lies catch up with her. But not before she reunites her aunt-the victim of an abusive ex-husband-with a lost love on television and gets in major trouble for her effort, gains a boyfriend of the right family and caste that her parents think is perfect, loses him when he comes out as gay (but Indians can't be gay), uncovers Tyler's shameful secrets and discovers that maybe love isn't really what she thinks it is, and that the boy next door might mean more to her than she first realized. If this sounds complicated it is, and the author admirably pulls all the threads together. My one regretis that I wanted to see more of some of the supporting cast, including the aunt and her daughter and Tyler who turns out to be more than just the 2-dimensional player he seems to be in the beginning. No, he's not right for Jazz, but I wish he had done more than just fade away from the pages as the book drew to a close. At least her parents aren't exactly the dragons she paints them and she learns some important lessons about herself, her family and the value of the truth. As for love...she still has plenty of time for that. After she's done that India thing.
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