Love Edy by Shewanda Pugh

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Love Edy by Shewanda Pugh
Publisher: Razor’s Edge
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (311 pages)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

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?

Few things sting more than loving someone who can’t or won’t love you back.

The character development is superb. Edy’s strengths and weaknesses are revealed gradually, and each one of them is reinforced and allowed to rub up against the other facets of her personality as the plot progresses. She definitely isn’t a perfect person, but I got to know Edy so well that she does feel like a real one due to how much time was spent on exploring everything that makes her unique.

Hassan is almost as well developed, and that isn’t an easy feat to pull off with a secondary character. Their friendship is warm, nuanced, and occasionally conflicted, but what really caught my attention is how incredibly well Edy and Hassan know one another. All it takes is a misplaced glance or a subtle shift in body language for them to communicate. These signals kept me guessing about what might happen next when tension rises between these two!

While I understand that this is the first book in a series, I would have liked to see more of the subplots find closure in the last few scenes. So many of them were left hanging for the sequel that I never felt the sense of resolution that I would expect from a full length novel. The plot asks excellent questions about race, gender, social class, and what it means to love someone selflessly. Had at least a few of these themes been allowed to to reach their natural conclusions, Love Edy would have easily earned a much higher rating.

It’s really hard to admit when you’re wrong. One of the things I enjoyed the most about this tale is how certain characters react when they realize they’ve said or done something hurtful. It’s difficult to discuss this in detail without giving away spoilers, but keep an eye out for the flashes of self-awareness in this tale. Small details like this are what make this reader anticipate the sequel!

Love Edy is a compelling young adult romance that I’d recommend to anyone who is a fan of either genre. It was a fun ride, and I look forward to catching up again with these characters soon.

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