Jasbir, a.k.a. Jazz, has always been a stellar student and an obedient, albeit wise-cracking, daughter. Everything has gone along just fine--she has good friends in the "genius" program she's been in since kindergarten, her teachers and principal adore her, and her parents dote on her. But now, in her junior year of high school, her mother hears that Jazz was seen hugging a boy on the street and goes ballistic. Mom immediately implements the Guided Dating Plan, which includes setting up blind dates with "suitable," pre-screened Indian candidates. The boy her mother sets her up with, however, is not at all what anyone expects; and the new boy at school, the very UNsuitable hottie, is the one who sets Jazz's blood boiling. When Jazz makes a few out-of-the-ordinary decisions, everything explodes, and she realizes she'll need a lot more than her genius education to get out of the huge mess she's in. Can Jazz find a way to follow her own heart, and still stay in the good graces of her parents?
So pretty! I love the big yellow flower on the cover.
Oh Jazz, I love her so! She's funny!
Jazz In Love was one of the first books I read this year, and honestly set the tone for me for the rest of my reads. It is a light, fun read that really opens your eyes into the Indian culture. Honestly, to dive into a culturally driven book that wasn't about an immigrant or about fighting blatant racism was really refreshing. It's not that I dislike books like that, not at all really. It's just nice to have a light and fun read about a girl who comes from another background. I fell in love with Jazz, and the rest was history.
Jazz, or Jasbir, is one of those characters that is so easy to relate to. Growing up in a very strict Punjabi family means Jazz isn't allowed to hug a boy in public, much less actually be attracted to one. Her future husband, because that's what she should be looking for, needs to meet all the requirements that her mom sets forth in the "Guided Dating Plan". After all, Jazz needs to have the structured life that her family sets forth. Right? Not according to Jazz. With heaping helping of wise-cracking and lots of sneaking around, Jazz is determined to live her own life. When Jazz sets her sights on the very UNsuitable hottie, I think that was my favorite part! Watching her grow and change was fabulous.
There are a lot of underlying messages in this story. Of course on the surface we watch Jazz as she learns to deal with (and bend) her parents very strict rules. She tackles figuring out what parts of what they say she should follow, and which parts she needs to forge her own opinion on. However there is also commentary on friendship here, as well as that battle that all adolescents fight: what is love? Jazz goes through what every teen girl or boy has at some point. An endless crush that seems like the real thing, but is it?
Honestly I loved every single part of Jazz In Love! I wish I could share more, but I failed to write my review right after I read the book and that book is on a tour. Yes my friends, I'm going off of pure memory right here. I can tell you that watching Jazz navigate her love life, her home life, and just the pitfalls of being a teenager was so much fun! I found myself completely in love with all the characters and their lives. This is one of those books that is so much fun to read that you'll breeze right through it! Quick, refreshingly sweet and amazing. Enjoy!
Title: Jazz In Love
Author: Neesha Meminger
Publisher: Ignite Books
Pages: Paperback; 260
Source: Received for promotional tour
FTC Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Final Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart