Saturday, June 21, 2014

Review: Love Edy by Shewanda Pugh

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?

Description taken from Goodreads

I received an ecopy of this book in an exchange for an honest review.

My Review 

Now, I’m going to start with the bad so that we can end on a high note.  Because, we always have to take the good with the bad.

First off, though, let me just say that Shewanda Pugh is an amazing writer.  She definitely has a way with words.  She’s also excellent at writing extremely flawed characters.  Now, I love flawed characters.  They make them seem real and relatable.  I hate perfect, cookie cutter characters that can be recycled time and time again.  Pugh didn’t write perfect characters, but she also didn’t write likable characters.

I found every single one of them to be absolutely irritating.

Edy was a pushover and indecisive.  She used her friend for a hidden agenda and was so whiny and spoiled.

Hassan was controlling and a bit abusive (not physically) and hypocritical to the max.

Wyatt was extremely weak and was attaining a stalker status.

Both sets of parents were old fashioned, also abusive (not physically), and sometimes downright mean with absolutely no excuse.  (I’m glaring at you, Rebecca.)

The only character I really loved was Ronnie Bean, Hassan’s cousin.  And he was only in the book for a little glimpse.

Edy and Hassan’s relationship just didn’t sit right with me.  It was definitely verging on an unsafe and abusive relationship.  With Hassan regulating her friendships and sabotaging them as well was just absolutely ridiculous.  It’s the first sign in ‘How to Recognize if You’re in an Abusive Relationship 101’.  And then getting his friends in on it too.  These weren’t friendships at all and they just disgusted me. 

The ‘love triangle’ didn’t make sense to me.  Edy uses Wyatt to make Hassan jealous.  Wyatt is in love with Edy after a day and calls her at least 20 times a day and texts her at least double that.  Hassan treats Edy like she’s a porcelain doll and can’t sort out his feelings.  Edy has always been in love with Hassan but I see no plausible reason as to why.  He is a horrible person.

The overall plot was a little bland.  All it really was, was a ‘will they, won’t they’ kind of situation with little things thrown in to flesh it out a bit.  The football, the ballet, different cultures, the new style of dance.  I wish there was a bit more to the supporting story lines.

Even though the plot was nothing to write home about, Pugh’s writing was absolutely phenomenal.  It flowed so well.  She definitely has a way with words and I would definitely read more of her work knowing I’ll be in for a treat with her grand descriptions and ability to write out emotions so well.  She just needs a little work on the plot and fleshing things out making it a bit more solid.

I also, really love how much culture there was in this book.  Usually, there isn’t any at all and as I stated above I would have loved to have read even more.  Even though I don’t agree with some of the norms, like the arranged marriage and most of Hassan’s mother’s ideas, it was still a treat to learn a little about this culture.

During the course of Love Edy, we follow Edy through two birthdays which is definitely not something you come across every day while reading a book.  So it was definitely nice to see how things unfolded and to see a bit of character development.

It was also really nice that it was set in New England.  I’m from Connecticut so it was great to catch the subtle descriptions that were so familiar to me.  The old houses, the bitter winters.  It was perfect.

As much as I ragged on the characters and the relationships, I really did enjoy Love Edy.  Was I hoping for a bit more?  Of course.  But did I regret reading it?  Not at all.

And I have to say that the last 10% definitely made me anxious and then it ended on a massive cliffhanger.  I was left in utter shock and completely ready for a second book.

If you enjoy fluffy contemporary romances then definitely check Love Edy out.  It just might be what you’re looking for.

3/5 hearts

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