Monday, May 30, 2011

Love Inc. by Yvonne Collins & Sandy Rideout

Title: Love Inc.
Author: Yvonne Collins & Sandy Rideout
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Release Date: January 4, 2011
Date Read: May 19 - 26, 2011
Rating: 4/5 stars 


Zahra, Kali, and Syd would never have met if their parents' marriages hadn't fallen apart. But when the three girls collide in group counseling, they discover they have something else in common: they've each been triple-timed by the same nefarious charmer, Eric, aka Rico, aka Rick. Talk about eye-opening therapy.

Cheerful, diplomatic Zahra is devastated. Rico had been her rock and sole confidant. How could she have missed the signs? Folksy, flirtatious Kali feels almost as bad. She and Rick had only been on a few dates, but they'd felt so promising. Hardened vintage-vixen Syd is beyond tears. She and Eric had real history... Or so she'd thought. Now all three girls have one mission: to show that cheater the folly of his ways.

Project Payback is such a success, the girls soon have clients lining up for their consulting services. Is your boyfriend acting shady? Dying to know if your crush is into you? Need match-making expertise? Look no further than Love, Inc.

Wow! I was really excited to read Love Inc. because it's my first 2011 debut Canadian author novel of the year. It did not disappoint. While I originally read it for it's Canadian-ness and cute cover, I stuck with it for it's awesome plot. 

In most contemporary romances boy and girl meet, fall in love, have some sort of problem and overcome it. Not in this book! Zahra dates several boys throughout the novel and is never quite satisfied with them. I rarely see novels where the female doesn't absolutely adore her crush/boyfriend so it was refreshing to see such a feminist and strong character that could look at a boy and say "Meh, I can do better". Also in most romances if the boyfriend cheats on the girl she'll just mope around or take him back. Zahra, Kali, and Syd teaming up to take revenge on Eric was awesome! 

There is a lack of multicultural or coloured characters in YA literature, a fact that has prompted Diversity in YA. I was really excited to read about Zahra's culture and how it influenced her behaviour and relationships. I found it sort of typical that she had rejected most of her Muslim traditions and as a result her overbearing immigrant grandparents tried to force them back on her. I'd love to read a novel with more liberal elders or a character accepting her ethnicity rather than ignoring it. I really appreciated all the details Yvonne & Sandy researched about Islamic festivals and food, it made the novel more realistic. I didn't really understand how Zahra ended up Caucasian with red hair when her Mother is Pakistani and had hoped that it was just a poor cover choice, but it was referenced several times that Zahra was "fair-skinned". Hmm.

One of my favourite aspects of the novel was it's humour! While some of the plot was unrealistic or unoriginal, Yvonne & Sandy made up for it in laughable quotes and hilarious scenarios. They took the typically tragic event of a divorce and turned it into an awesome tale of teenage love and payback. Another point that lent well to the humour was a cast of quirky characters. From Zahra's sister Saliyah to Syd's Dad's girlfriend to Dieter the cousellor, there's something for everyone! If you're single, engaged, or recently ex-ified, you'll feel a connection to this awesome story about love and framily.

Quote: "Shopping for love at the big box store, shopping for someone I can adore. I asked you for paint you said satin or glossy..." Kali muses, "What should come next?" "That's when I noticed your teeth were all mossy?"

Recommended: The Year of Secret Assignments (Jaclyn Moriarty), A Match Made in High School (Kristin Walker), Miss Match (Wendy Toliver), Flavor of the Week (Tucker Shaw)


  1. Great review! This books sounds interesting, and I'm adding it to my TBR. Love a strong female character and some good humor! :)

  2. I won this one from Goodreads, but I haven't had a chance to pick it up yet. I'm glad that it's generally a good read! =)

  3. aha this sounds like a cute book! Ugh, you just forced me to get my own copy!(:

    Make sure to check out my 50 Follower Giveaway!:D


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