Thursday, June 19, 2014

Review: Love Edy by Shewanda Pugh

Release Date: June 24th, 2014


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?

Shewanda Pugh
Author of the Crimson Footprints Series
"Romance at its best..." The Kindle Book Review
"A sophisticated read." U.S.A. Today
My Rating
My Review
Love Edy is heartwarming, exciting, intimate, beautiful, and everything that one could possibly want in a romance. From the very first page, the novel will captivate readers and keep them along for the ride. I could not put down the book until I reached the final page (and even then, I didn't want to, there was just nothing left to read). 
There are plenty of traps to fall into with romances, but Pugh manages to avoid all of them. The plot never gets boring, and I always found myself needing to read more. First, I wanted Edy and Hassan together almost as much as they did. I loved the relationship between them, and thought that they worked so well together. As a highly invested reader, I was practically pulling hair out for every moment they didn't admit their true feelings for each other. Even outside of their relationship, there was enough going on to keep the story interesting. Wyatt had a past that I wanted to learn more about, and the ending grew absolutely explosive. (I definitely didn't see it coming, but it was fantastic.)

Characters don't need to be likable for a story to be well-written, but all of the characters in Love Edy were likable to me, and I definitely cannot complain. Edy and Hassan, both coming from extremely wealthy backgrounds, were both 'spoiled' in a sense, but it didn't take away from their characters at all. They both are strong and witty in their unique ways, and I loved reading each of their perspectives. Being as wonderful of a relationship as they have, I probably should not be fond of Wyatt. But I was. I loved his character. Not only does he have a shady past and seems to get the short stick in life, but he's a wild never quite know what to expect. Aside from the three perspectives the story took, all of the secondary and minor characters were interesting to read about. The Dyson twins were funny, and it was great to see the girls like Alyssa and Chloe show that they have substance (and even serve as a wake up call to Edy).

Books like Love Edy make me incredibly happy in the way that they bring diversity into YA. Not everyone in the world is one race, one socioeconomic classification and one religion, and blending cultures to more accurately mirror reality is wonderful. It also shows the conflicts that still exist between cultures and beliefs. Edy and Hassan are perfect for each other, but they have to face a difference in religions, and the tradition of arranged marriages that exists in Hassan's culture. These are real-world issues, and it is nice to see them tastefully done in a YA fiction.

Love Edy is a beautifully written novel with wonderful description and incredible dialogue. I loved every second of it, from the lighthearted scenes of friendship and the swoon-worthy romance to the portions that got darker. I can easily recommend this novel, although I would put aside some time to begin - once you do, you'll have trouble stopping. I'm eagerly looking forward to the next installment.

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