Lovetorn Kavita Daswani Book Review

Shalini has grown up in Bangalore, India living in a house with 37 relatives. She’s been betrothed since the age of 3 to Vikram, her dad’s BFF’s son. In Lovetorn by Kavita Daswani, Shalini’s dad accepts a job offer in LA and uproots the whole family. Shalini is homesick and lonely and misses Vikram. BUT THEN she meets Toby who makes her tingle. Who will she choose?

Lovetorn, Kavita Daswani, Book Cover

Lovetorn

FIRST OFF, yay for a contemporary young adult book featuring a non-white protagonist. More of those, please publishers! Shalini is easy to relate to, in her loneliness and new girl status. I think many teenage girls have been through the same thing and will be able to empathize with Lovetorn by Kavita Daswani. Shalini’s voice is very straightforward. Lovetorn is told in first person. There is no clunky purple prose to be found.

However, I thought Lovetorn by Kavita Daswani was an average read. Lovetorn is not Sarah Dessen caliber despite the back cover comparison. Lovetorn barely scratched the surface of the issues it raises. And very important issues are covered – bullying, racism, Shalini’s mother’s depression, arranged marriage. I would have liked it if those themes were explored more deeply instead of superficially.

Yet, I think Lovetorn by Kavita Daswani does have an audience with the young end of the YA spectrum as there are no explicit scenes and barely any swear words. The chapters are short and Lovetorn is under 250 pages. Daswani’s pacin is brisk, barely lingering on unnecessary details.

I definitely wanted to see who Shalini would choose and the decision is legitimately tough – between the boy she’s known all her life and are arranged to marry or the new boy who is a classical musician and sets your world on fire. That is a tough decision, yo. Lovetorn will resonate with readers who are into love triangles and have ever felt like the new kid at school.

Disclosure: Review copy provided by publisher.
This book counts for the PoC Reading Challenge.

Other reviews of Lovetorn by Kavita Daswani:

Livre D’Amour
The Readiacs
The Book Pixie

About April (Books&Wine)

April is 28 years old and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. In her free time she can be found reading, working out, or eating junk food. She often wears her sunglasses at night.

Comments

  1. I’m really looking forward to this one as a different kind of contemporary-I’ve never seen any with arranged marriages mentioned. I’m disappointed it was just an average read but I still want to read it-I’m a sucker for short chapters! Thanks for the review.

  2. I first heard about this book on your blog and thought it sounded really good, and I liked the multicultural aspect. The main character seems relatable and the subject matter of arranged marriage is something new, though I’m not crazy about love triangles. I still want to check it out sometime though.

    • I am very glad to hear that you still want to check Lovetorn out, just because I did not love it with all my heart doesn’t mean it’s a bad book, because it’s not, BUT it isn’t making my top best books ever list, ya know?

  3. Bangalore! I love it there. Lived there for four months of my life – four very good months. Anyway, even though it sounds like the book spends very little if any time in India, I’m still excited to check it out someday.

  4. I didn’t care for the “romance” in this book but really liked the parts that focused on Shalini and her family and how they adjusted to moving to the States. I agree that it would have been nice if more time was devoted to their struggles and issues but Kavita Daswani usually writes with a light touch. Blue Jasmine by Kashmira Sheth is an excellent MG book that takes a look at some of the same issues with a more serious tone.

    • Got it, I guess I was just looking for something a little more deeper. I wish I had known that the light touch is typical.

      Kashmira Sheth! I’ve read her before, Keeping Corner was really good. I will definitely look into Blue Jasmine.

  5. Thirty-seven relatives? Wow. That’s a lot of people to live with. An introvert myself, I think I’d lose it. But this does sound like something I should maybe look into for my students–variety on the bookshelf and the girls love love stories.

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