When Edy Phelps falls hard for her best friend, she knows nothing can come from it. Forget actual chemistry, or the fact that she cherishes his mother more than her own; centuries of tradition say that Hassan will grow up, marry the girl his parents pick, and forget his best friend: the dancer with the bursting smile. Except he can't. In a world erupting with possibilities for the boy with a body of steel and dreams of the NFL, everything seems promised while nothing at all is; when he's denied the girl he wants most.
Two hearts. Two families devoted through generations of friendship. Could Edy and Hassan really risk all that? And yet ... how could they not?
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is an interesting young adult coming of age story. I really enjoyed it.
Edy (Edith) Phelps is an interesting character. She is a youngster of 14 years old, turning 15 when we first meet her. She is a typical teen: a little selfish, judgmental of her peers and extremely sheltered. I liked her, but wanted to shake her at times, especially when she did something or said something that she didn't mean. It was a bit painful watching this character grow up at times, because she had a habit of whining. However, what teen doesn't whine?
Hassan Pradhan is another interesting character. I liked him a lot. He is very protective of Edy, since they had been friends since they were babies. He has a great sense on humour and is a fantastic guy. I loved watching him grapple with his feelings for Edy, whilst trying to keep his friends and other boys from pursuing her.
This is an intriguing coming of age tale. I was completely hooked! The story is told through three character's points of view: Edy, Hassan and Wyatt. I loved seeing the world through their eyes. In a way, this story reminded me of my own teenage years. And, although my experiences were completely different, I can remember watching my peers as they experimented with drink and sex, whilst dealing with puberty and self image. It was interesting watching how Edy, Hassan, Wyatt and the other characters coped with the emotions and everyday issues of being a teen.
I also loved meeting Mason and Matt Dyson. They are twins and best friends with Edy and Hassan, along with their younger brother Lawrence. These three boys are just as protective of Edy, who they see as their sister, even though they are not related. All of these characters, apart from Wyatt come from privileged backgrounds, so they have a bit of a superiority complex at times. Wyatt has his own issues, but has a dark side that surprised me when it was revealed.
This story is full of teenage angst, fragile egos and sweet romance. I loved watching the romance bloom between Edy and Hassan, but wondered if they were destined to be together, or if fate and/or tradition had other ideas. The story ends on an action packed cliffhanger, which left me wanting to find out what happens next.
Shewanda Pugh has written an intriguing multi-racial coming of age tale. I love her writing style, which is not particularly fast paced, but extremely entertaining. The flow of the story was wonderful too. I would definitely consider reading more of her books in the future.
Due to the mention of underage drinking (shown) and sex (implied & not shown), I do not recommend this book to readers under the age of 15. However, I recommend this book if you love YA contemporary romance. - Lynn Worton
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