Author: Shewanda Pugh
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Young Adult
Synopsis from Goodreads
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?
Love Edy is an interesting story about a girl named Edy. Edy is a 14 year old girl who is in love with her best friend Hassan. Hassan is quickly becoming one of the popular guys in school which means plenty of other girls have taken notice. Edy doesn't know what to do since she can't have him either. His family has already picked out his bride. Edy and Hassan start to notice their lifelong friendship dwindling because of everything and everyone around them. They have a long way to go before they figure out what they want and what they will do.
First off, give me a second to gush over that gorgeous cover again. I love it. Second, thank you "Irresistible Reads" for introducing me to a new author. I really enjoyed this book. I loved how Pugh tapped into various social issues her characters had to face. Pugh also understands the mind of a teenager. Nothing felt far fetched because I could see all the characters the way they are. This is exactly how they would act. It made the book even more interesting for me.
The characters were very interesting and surprisingly complex given their young ages. I both liked and disliked Edy. She is a smart girl, more book smart than street smart, but still. Her family is very rich and established, so Edy is very privileged. There are times when that comes through, but she isn't stuck up. Some things I disliked about her had more to do with how she treated some people. She could be a bit judgmental and is very quick to assume the worse of someone or at least the lowest of them. For instance, let's talk Wyatt. When Edy first sees him she immediately assumes he is hired help, not the actual people moving into her neighborhood. But she quickly finds out that is not the case.
I liked Wyatt a lot. He, however, also has his flaws. I loved how despite his family issues, he doesn't let it swallow him whole. That could be also because of Edy. He is so take by her after they first meet. He was a bit obsessive at times though. This could have easily turned into a stalker story. But he wasn't creepy. He was actually really sweet. Wyatt couldn't believe that Edy wanted to be his friend. Although it does piss me off for her reasoning to befriend him. Wyatt definitely doesn't have anyone in his life to depend on and I hated how Edy didn't think much on that. But the main love was Hassan. I liked Hassan, but he is in the same boat as Edy, well, at times. His protectiveness of Edy was cute, but quite hypocritical. Not to mention his decision making is awful. He loves Edy, but he doesn't ever confront it. The both of them will drive you crazy with their feelings. But I am rooting for them especially given that no on seems to be in support of them being together.
The side characters are also very interesting. Some I love, some not so much. One in particular I am convinced is the devil. I loved Ronnie. He is Hassan's cousin who Edy spends the summer with. He is going through something that no one knows about and for good reason. I would have liked an entire story of him dealing with his family especially his father. It is heartbreaking. But he was a great character. We also had parents. Yeah, parents in a young adult book. That makes me happy. The parents play actual roles here as well specifically the moms. Hassan's mom, Rani, was great, but very set in her ways. There were times I wasn't sure if she really liked Edy or was pretending. But you do kind of see the reason halfway in the book. She is still a good second mom to Edy.
Now Edy's actual mom though...oh boy. Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce the devil in a pantsuit. This woman was atrocious. She treats Edy like trash every chance she gets and you don't understand why. Edy does everything her mom tells her to do. She is fourteen and acing AP classes and was accepted into a prestigious ballet school. Any real mom would be happy about that, not Edy's politically-minded mother. Actually it felt like there was some sort of jealousy on her part at times. I have heard of moms' like this, but man, what the hell. Edy's mom plays a much bigger part in the book than I thought and I can't wait to see what comes next. All I know is that it will not be good.
The story was fast paced. I love Pugh's writing style. Although I admit the transitions of the POVs were a bit weird for me. One second we woukd would be in Edy's mind and it would switch to another character without any indication. But it didn't happen to often, so it won't take you out of the book. But what I love most was how Pugh made the book feel real. I love how she brings up issues of religion, tradition, politics, and more that made the book very modern. I love how all of these played a part in Edy and Hassan's friendship and why it couldn't grow into more. I also love the mystery we are given about Wyatt and some unknown girl named Lottie. We get glimpses of it throughout the book. There is still a lot more to learn. The way we learn it is really insane though. I can't wait for the next book. I don't know what is going on, but s**t just got real.
Overall, this was a good read. I had a few issues, but they didn't take away from the story. I am very excited for book 2. The characters will drive you crazy for all sorts of reasons, but you will be enthralled. You will be put into the mind of teenagers, so it may grate on someone's nerves. But I think you will still enjoy it. It is going to be quite a journey seeing Hassan and Edy fight for each other. They are going to be pushed to their limits given the obstacles they must go through. Again, dying to get my hands on the next book.
*This book belongs to the following challenges*
The Book Vixen's 2014 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge
The Book Vixen's 2014 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
About Shewanda Pugh
Shewanda Pugh is a tomboy who credits Stephen King with being the reason she writes romance. In 2012 she debuted with the first novel in a three part contemporary adult romance series, Crimson Footprints. Since then, she's been shortlisted for the AAMBC Reader's Choice Award, the National Black Book Festival's Best New Author Award, and the Rone Award for Contemporary Fiction in 2012 and 2013. She has an MA in Writing from Nova Southeastern University and a BA in Political Science from Alabama A&M University. Though a native of Boston, MA, she now lives in Miami, FL, where she can soak up sun rays without fear of shivering. Her first young adult romance, Love Edy, is scheduled for release on June 24th, 2014.
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