I can't believe I tortured myself yet again
with a YA love story, especially since I'm going to be
Apparently, I'm that much of a masochist.
Fortunately, this isn't just a love story.
All her life, Jeeta has come to expect that after she graduates, nothing will matter except getting married to an eligible man, a man whom her mother will arrange for her. Her eldest sister, after many years of trying, finally gets married. It's only a matter of time before her second sister gets married (it's easy, she's pretty), and finally it will be Jeeta's turn. She doesn't think it will be that easy, nor does her mother, since Jeeta has undesirably dark skin, and a quick and sharp tongue. Jeeta starts to question whether or not to follow tradition when she meets Neel, the cousin of her new-found friend.
This book lets you see the good and bad side of tradition, especially that of an arranged marriage. I personally feel that passionate love is overrated anyway, and I could live with an arranged marriage. It's not just about passion and love, but a mutual respect for each other, and the desire to build something good. Like Antoine Saint-Exupery said:"Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction."
Which just so happens to be one of my favorite quotes.
Jeeta also, along the course of the book, discovers the strengths and abilities she's capable of, and also comes to terms with her mother about custom versus her desire to make a career for herself.
Of course, I can't forget the love angle. Neel and Jeeta, well, it's first love, and I have to say I envy Jeeta. When Jeeta was falling in love with Neel, dang, I felt it. When she was spending time with him, I wished I had someone like Neel to spend that time with. Theirs is a romance quiet but strong, but not without flaws. Exactly my cup of tea.
In the end, it was all about Jeeta, and her coming of age. I'm glad Jeeta came out of it with much more confidence in herself.
And maybe I can, too.*4 stars
. The second read was better. I think this is one of those books that get better with each rereading.