Book Review: Jazz in Love

June 5, 2011

I’d lost my parents’ trust and disappointed them in some pretty major ways. But whatever I’d broken needed to be broken. It wasn’t real. Now, my parents saw the true me–a combination of Jazz and Jassy and Jazzy and Baby J.–not the ideal Jassy they’d etched in their minds.

jazzinloveJazz, the main character in Jazz in Love by Neesha Meminger, is a Sikh Punjabi good girl who does everything right and has a secret love of romance novels. And boys. Romance novels and boys are, unfortunately, forbidden for Jazz. So much so that when she’s caught hugging her best (male) friend Jeeves good-bye on the street where anybody in the world can see, her parents decide she must participate in Guided Dating, so they can make sure she’s dating an appropriate Indian boy.

What I Liked

– I liked Jazz a lot. It’s hard sometimes to tell the story of a good girl who goes off the rails without making her too too, but I thought Jazz’s slow downward spiral (if you want to call it that) was believable and authentic. It makes sense that she would start lying to her parents and not be able to stop.

– The subplot with Auntie Kinder and her long lost sweetheart was super cute and sweet. It was also fairly unpredictable.

– I really loved all of Jazz’s interactions with Jeeves. It’s obvious why the two of them are friends and maintain such a great friendship.

– This is a fast-paced and fun read.

What I Didn’t Like

– I felt there was a lot of stuff left unexplored, especially the relationship between Jazz and Tyler R. There’s one particular thing that happens between them that we never get any follow up on (for those who have read the book: it’s after she meets his parents), and I thought it was pretty major and deserved some real attention from Meminger.

– I don’t get a real sense of Jazz’s parents, and I really couldn’t tell Cindy’s sisters apart. Basically, I would have liked the supporting players to be a little more fleshed out. Not that Cindy’s sisters matter all that much, but more of Jazz’s parents would have been really good.  I feel like even Tyler R. was pretty flat, even though it makes sense because he’s a lust object. The only players in her life that I felt had real depth were Jeeves and Auntie Kinder. I don’t know if the story necessarily needed it, but I did, so.

In conclusion: Nice, fast read. Perfect for the beach or pool this summer. The romance(s) really keep the plot moving along as do some of the wacky choices Jazz makes.

Support Your Local Library: 22/30; YA Reading Challenge 14/20; POC: 12/15

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