Hot Pink in the City by Medeia Sharif
Publisher: Prizm Books
Genre: Young Adult, Historical
Length: Full Length (190 pages)
Age Recommendation: 16+
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 Stars
Review by: Astilbe
Asma Bashir wants two things: a summer fling and her favorite ’80s songs. During a trip to New York City to stay with relatives, she messes up in her pursuit of both. She loses track of the hunk she met on her airplane ride, and she does the most terrible thing she could possibly do to her strict uncle… ruin his most prized possession, a rare cassette tape.
A wild goose chase around Manhattan and Brooklyn to find a replacement tape yields many adventures — blackmail, theft, a chance to be a TV star, and so much more. Amid all this turmoil, Asma just might be able to find her crush in the busiest, most exciting city in the world.
Everyone has a secret self. Some people hide theirs much better than others do.
Asma’s character development was well done. I felt like I knew everything about her personality by the end of the first chapter, but I was also surprised and delighted by how she changed during the course of her summer visit to her aunt and uncle’s house. My first impression of her was of someone who was quiet and smart. While those are definitely a few adjectives I’d used to describe this character, it was fascinating to get to know the sides of her personality that she didn’t show off regularly as the plot progressed.
There were a few pacing issues in the beginning as the characters were being introduced and Asma’s dilemma unfolded. While I was quite interested in seeing if she’d be able to find another copy of her uncle’s ruined tape, I would have liked to see certain plot twists revealed a little earlier. The first several chapters didn’t have quite as much conflict as I would have liked to see, although this is a minor criticism of a book that I found really enjoyable overall.
The dialogue was witty and memorable. I especially liked how the main character’s voice was written. Asma had the best lines in the story, but her cousin, Nasreen, also made me chuckle a few times as well. What I appreciated the most about the dialogue, though, was how much time was spent giving each character a unique speaking style. It only took a short time for me to know who was talking as soon as they started speaking because the author developed their voices so fully.
I’d recommend Hot Pink in the City to anyone who is in the mood for something fun to read.