Sunday, February 27, 2011

Jazz in Love by Neesha Meminger

Publication Date: January 3, 2011
Summary from Goodreads:

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?

My Two Cents:
Jazz just wants to be a normal teen that makes her own mistakes on her own terms....which is exactly what she does. She is Punjabi and Sikh. Her parents are pretty strict and want her to live a life of a good Indian girl. In other words...don't embarrass them. So far Jazz has made her parents proud but when she first lays eyes on Tyler R. at school all of that goes out of the window. She decides she'll do whatever it takes to have him.
There's also the story of her Aunt Kinder who has been abused by her ex-husband who's now trying to take her daughter away. Apparently her parents had arranged that marriage after seeing her in a "compromising position" with who she felt was her soulmate. Jazz finds this story heartbreaking and devotes her time and a chunk of this book trying to get them two together.

After being seen hugging her good friend Jeeves, Jazz' parents decide to arrange a guided dating plan. This pretty much involves them setting her up with suitable Indian guys. When she gets set up with Mit, it's not exactly love at first sight but works for the both of them. This leaves her more time to devote to Tyler R. There were many time I wanted to grab Jazz and just shake her because she was doing some crazy things that made me gasp.

It also brought up some underlying issues regarding Indians and West Indians that I didn't even know existed. The rules for the Punjabi girls/women were also put out there. I can imagine it must be pretty difficult to live the life of a typical American teenage girl with all of these rules you have to follow.

This was a refreshing book to read. There were no drugs or poverty issues involved therefore giving us a different story. One that makes me smile instead of cringe.


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