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Thursday, March 3, 2011

[Blog Tour] Review: Jazz In Love by Neesha Meminger

In the words of one of my favorite authors, Laurie Faria Stolarz, from her book, Deadly Little Secrets:

"You need to screw up to learn. You need to experience to create greatness."

And in this book, Jazz screwed up big time. No, scratch that. She failed in biblical proportions.

Title: Jazz In Love by Neesha Meminger
Pages: 3260
Release Date: January 3rd 2011
Published by: Ignite Books
Source: Bought (Kindle edition)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository


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?
This book is a thoroughly delightful mix of a unique culture, teenage angst, humor and romance. You want a real protagonist with real life problems? Jazz is here. It can't get anymore real than what Jazz went through in this book.

For once I am glad I am brought up the way my parents did. They're strict most of the time, but as I grow up, I learned that whatever they were doing is for my own good. Jazz learned that lesson the hard way. She's a member of the advance program in her school, bullied because of her intelligence when she was younger, and along with the impeccable school record comes the expectation for her to be the perfect Indian daughter as well, which she is so not.

I guess when you knew what it feels like to have total freedom, you'll probably want to feel it all the time. The restriction Jazz feels and experiences comes from her very own culture, deeply rooted in her family's ways and tradition and its not something bad. We readers are given a taste of how life is as an Indian girl growing up. I guess you can call me old fashion, but I agree with a lot of what her parents said and did. Family pride and honor is always important, and you can't blame Jazz's parents for trying to protect it. However, I do not agree with the "guided dating". Ask anyone you know and you wouldn't want your parents to guide you in your relationship every step of the way.

Jazz's journey is insightful and eye-opening. It's eventful and filled with lessons that has shaped her in ways she can never imagine. Like searching for "The One" and realizing that it's never easy, like what happens in the movies or what's written in books. She's also in the age where teens "rebel" against anything and everything their parents say or want them to do. I was once like that. It's normal. And like all other teenagers, Jazz's journey into discovering that is special and unique to herself.

Jazz is a very lucky girl, having very supportive friends who will be there for her no matter how much crazy schemes she comes up with to help her aunt find romance. I would love to be supported and surrounded by all of her friends, who are as much integral part of the story as Jazz is. I adore Mit. He's gay, he's different, and we get to see how difficult it is for him to live the way he wants to because of his heritage. I love the advices he gives to Jazz, and he's there when she needs him the most.
"I'm a whole bunch of things. Complex. I love my parents- and I know this sounds dweeby, but I love me too. I want to be with Josh. Maybe not forever, but I want to be with a guy."
Mit, afraid at first to show what he really is, gradually came to realize that its important to be honest, and no matter what the consequences was, he wants to be himself. It's what's important.

I don't think I can blame Jazz for her choice in guys. I guess we don't get to choose who we love, and even though she know that its wrong in so many ways, she loved Tyler. Even when he's such a jerk, but he's the one who makes her feel that way. In a way, she was also honest with herself.

And to quote another one of my favorite characters in this book:
"Listen," "I get that you're really into Tyler R., okay? He's hot and all, but you have become a whole different person since you started hanging out with him."

"A guy is no reason to dump your friends, Jazz. When things don't work out with you two, who is going to help you through it?"
Bravo Cindy!

This is why I'm somewhat afraid for my friends having boyfriends. I might sound selfish here, but when they say everything will be as it is before they have boyfriends? It's a lie. Inevitably, the friendship will change. You just have to find a way to make it work. When things don't work out, like in Jazz's case, and they made themselves look stupid in the end, they run back to their friends, and they accept them, because that's what friends do.

I never liked it when she was gradually changing to be the person she never really liked in the first place, (a bindi-bo) but I think it was necessary for Jazz to discover that she's not just Jazz, the smart FSL student. That she can also be wild and spontaneous at times, that she can be Baby J, and Jassy at the same time too. And even if I don't like Tyler, I guess he gets the credit because he helped Jazz realize that.

I was really rooting for Jeeves though. But he's the "safe" choice compared to Tyler, and with all that she's been through, I don't think she'll settle for "safe". It's sad that Jazz had to lose her parents trust for her to realize all of this, but like she said "what was broken could heal". That after all that she had done, her parents finally saw that she's not really the perfect daughter. That she can make mistakes and sometimes screw up too. I'm just glad she got something out of all the crazy things she did.

Overall, Jazz In Love is a heartfelt read about a teenager's life we all should be able to relate to. It's a well-written portrayal of Jazz, a slice of her life, her coming of age, witty, funny and engaging!

My rating

Content (plot, story flow, character):

Shining: Worthy of a Goddess' Love!

Book Cover:

Love the cover! It's very "Jazz".


  1. Nice review. I've had my eye on this book, waiting to see what others said about it. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I love your review! This sounds like a good read! Thanks for the review ;)


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