|January 2017; Evatopia Press; ebook (219 pages)|
a free book was provided for this review
The South Asian culture is vividly described in this book, and the lyrical prose style really suits it. The style also helps the magical realism of Laila's traveling to observe strangers and people she knows, especially as she tries to draw a Prince Charming to wake her from her sleep. On the other hand, the point of view switches are even more difficult to tease apart in the beginning because of the lyrical style. Laila isn't a likable character from what we see of her, self-absorbed and prone to stealing boyfriends just because she can. There is the social pressure to marry well and elevate the family's social capital, which is felt by both Saifa and Aidan. The introductions to them, their families, their friends and work worlds is very slow, dragging the first half of the book. Once we see a little less of Laila in the second half, the pace picks up and the plot is more easily understood. This is the first book in a series so it could be that questions raised by the ending will be answered in future novels.
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