Title: Love, Edy
Author: Shewanda Pugh
Publication Date: June 24th 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Goodreads Blurb: 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?
Note: This eARC was provided by Xpresso Book Tours via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
The writing style is beautiful and even though the story is written from third person we still have access to the main characters’ thoughts and motivations. There are quite a few plot twists and there are elements to the story which set it apart from other books. For example, Hassan’s marriage is arranged since childhood and this puts a “twist” on the usual “friends in love” cliche that is common in YA books. The characters in the book are also in circumstances that would not be considered cultural/social norms for some people. The problems the main characters face are relatable but also unique. I was especially relieved to see that the parents are not glossed over like in most of YA books. Instead Edy and Hassan’s parents play a significant role in their lives.
There are some great interpersonal relationships and I could clearly envision the emotional/sexual tension between Hassan and Edy. Their struggle to overcome their feelings and later cultural/religious barriers are realistic and detailed. Wyatt, Edy’s “friend,” proves to be an interesting character who I entirely underestimated. I initially dismissed him but as I got to know him better, I realized just how clingy and stubborn he is.
Hassan is one of my favorite characters because he has a lot of “levels” to him. At school he’s this popular guy, desired by all the girls, because he’s great at football. At home, he’s freaking out and throwing up in front of Edy, before the math. He’s also a confused adolescent who’s desperately trying to interpret his feelings and make the right decisions. Watching him grow throughout the book and become progressively confident was an interesting experience.
Do I recommend this book? Yes!