IQ "I was going to say, you do suck, but when has that ever stopped you?" Cat pg. 250
In How to Salsa in a Sari, Issa Mazumder must come to terms with the fact that not only did her nerdy boyfriend (Adam) dump her for the most popular girl in school (Cat Morena) but her mother is going to marry Cat's father. Issa is sure that Cat only went after Adam because Cat hates her and wants to make Issa's life miserable and she's determined to ruin Cat's life in order to stop the marriage.
This book had potential, the premise was semi original but it does sound really bratty. I was looking forward to reading about the mix of cultures. Issa is African American and Indian. Cat is Cuban. Issa doesn't talk much about her African American culture, which is understandable since her African American father left them and she's been raised by her Indian mother. For the most part, I thought Issa acted way more immature than Cat. In the beginning, Issa is a more sympathetic character, especially when it's obvious that Cat has no interest in Adam and just used him to make her jealous, but Issa soon becomes an almost unbearable main character. I understand why she did some of what she did but towards the end her actions are desperate and spiteful. Also, she was so frustratingly clueless! It's clear to the reader and Issa's friends and even enemies that a certain person is interested in her, but she keeps dismissing the thought. Then she's upset when he finally moves on. While this annoyed me, it was also realistic so I could appreciate it.
Issa also jumps to conclusions and makes wild accusations. The whole time I was reading the story, I just wanted her to talk to her mother and tell her about the horrible things Cat has done to her. I realize there would have been no story had that happened, but I quickly grew weary of Issa always complaining and not acting rationally. The whole story was predictable too from Rake to Ishaan and Gigi. The only thing I never saw coming was Megan story's. I wasn't too sure why it became a part of the story since it seemed kind of random, but it was a nice break from the whining and scheming. *Spoiler: highlight to read* At the same time, I find it really hard to believe that Megan's friends never asked her about her heritage. I mean just assuming she has a really great tan all year round? Yeah right. But then again, I do think that African Americans are better able to tell if someone is bi racial, so it's not entirely implausible that Megan's white friends never would have known. *End of Spoiler*
Also the ending between Issa and her brother, Amir was random too. It came out of nowhere and the author essentially drops a very interesting tidbit of information, but it's at the end and Amir never elaborates further. I actually cared about where that plotline was going! The characters all fell flat even when the reader learns more about Cat and Issa, they don't garner much sympathy. Cat does start to slowly change, but Issa is paranoid and unwilling to extend the olive branch, which makes the book drag on.
How to Salsa in a Sari may be enjoyed by fans of chick lit. It's light reading(nothing wrong with that) and it has potential. Perhaps if the book was longer and the author had more time to further develop the characters and add in some unique plot twists, it would have lived up to its potential. Part of the problem may have been that I was re-reading the book and I didn't care for it much the first time either, so I really didn't feel like reading it again but I wanted to give it another chance.
Disclosure: I own the book.
PS This weekend I'm not going to be around a computer. So if you email me between Friday-Monday, I will not respond right away. I will have posts up everyday I'm gone and be patient in waiting for my replies to emails. Thank you and have a great weekend!