Author: Ravinder Randhawa
Published by: Createspace on 12th September 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Author, Faye
Links: Goodreads | Wordery | Book Depository | Kindle
'Problems? Confusions? Contradictions? I got them all and if you've got them, then FLAUNT them is my motto.'
Meet Harjinder (aka Hari-jan): 'A' level student, supermarket worker and desperate journalist. Feisty and impulsive, Hari-jan can't refuse a dare and to make matters worse, has fallen in love with the wrong boy. Her best friend Ghazala has taken to wearing hijab and mentoring racists.
Can Hari-jan battle through the hurdles and win her man?
Can Ghazala work out how to do Good in her own way?
A sparkling coming-of-age about love, life and friendship.
First up, hooray for independent publishing!
It's been a while since I've picked up a book where the main character is of Asian descent. The main reason I was keen on reading this book was for the diverse themes. Extra props to the author for including feminism.
Beauty and the Beast wasn't anything like I'd expected it to be, it was quite a huge surprise if I had to be honest. Naturally, one would think this was a fairytale retelling - and to an extent is is - with an Asian twist but I was delighted to find this was actually a YA contemporary! I think the link between the fairytale and this novel is the idea of women being more than damsels in distress who are subject to the stereotypical views of women in society. Out hot-headed protagonist Harjinder AKA Hari-jan, is a fun, sarcastic and charismatic young adult with strong beliefs in equality among males and females. I absolutely loved her! She developed as the story progressed and had great relationships with the other characters. Her aspirations to become a journalist really was admirable because it still counts as writing, which I love.
Hari-jan's best friend Ghazala, is a Muslim, one thing I was won over by because I rarely read about a protagonist's close friend being something other than a White British/American Christian. And to add, the friend is not used to fill in the gaps in the story and instead is given her own plot and issues to face and overcome. Issues relating to the typical Islamic hardships and I'm so glad this was covered.
The romance was fluffy and cute, definitely fun and light and I loved it. The love interest Suresh really caught my interest! He came off as that insufferable critic that hangs around like an annoying rash but I found this highly amusing especially the banter between him and Hari-jan!
This is a very quick and short read and perfect for a time when you need to refresh your mind after reading a dark and intense book. With such lovely characters and great diversity, this was a rather enjoyable read. I felt like something was missing though which is stopping me from giving it a 5 stars and also because I felt the scenes jumped from one to another too quickly, it was a little confusing. But I would recommend this book to all!
Thank you to Faye (Blogger at A Daydreamer's Thoughts and Freelance PR - click here for her website) who gave me the opportunity to read this book and thanks to Ravinder who was super kind enough to send me a copy of her book!