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22 February 2011

(Blog Tour) Book Review: Jazz In Love

Jazz in Love  Jazz in Love by Neesha Meminger

JAZZ IN LOVE description and cover art courtesy of Goodreads.

Publication Date: 3 January 2011

I purchased an ebook of JAZZ IN LOVE.

The JAZZ IN LOVE Blog Tour was arranged by The Teen {Book} Scene.

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?


The Tweet
JAZZ IN LOVE is a great coming of age story about a girl trying to break away from her parents' influence and be an independent young woman.

What Worked (for Me)
My favorite character in JAZZ IN LOVE is the main character, Jazz. I know this sounds like a well, duh statement, but I have read many books where I could not connect with the main character(s). Such was not the case in this book. Jazz, who has been raised in a traditional Indian household, is a smart and funny seventeen year old girl trying to navigate the waters of young-adulthood while having a crush on a boy deemed "inappropriate" by her parents. I liked how Jazz was willing to go against her parents to stand up for something she really wanted and/or believed in. Not that I am advocating for teens to disobey their parents, but I do believe that ANYONE, teen or otherwise, should stick by their beliefs and be willing to sacrifice for something they really believe in. This ideal is what really allowed me to connect with Jazz and her story.

I also liked the amount of family involvement in JAZZ IN LOVE. I've probably mentioned this in other reviews, but I don't like the old trope that teens can only have a "story" or be involved in something interesting because their parents are absent or don't care. Even when Jazz was doing something against her parents wishes, there was still an obvious and underlying respect for them as people. And this went both ways. Jazz's parents had such strict rules, not just because of their traditional family values, but because they HAD family values and wanted to make sure that Jazz lived up to her potential and respected herself. Even though some of her parents' actions may have been misguided, it was all because they loved Jazz and were trying to do what they thought was best for her.

JAZZ IN LOVE was a departure from my usual reading as it was purely contemporary YA fiction. There were no vampires, werewolves or other paranormal creatures/species. But I'm glad I decided to read JAZZ IN LOVE because it is a well written, slice-of-teenage-life story that has engaging characters, an interesting storyline and witty dialogue.



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