I tried so hard to like this story but it just was not in the cards for me. I struggled to connect to any aspect. I mean, with a cover like that I expected more. (I’m so shallow, I know.) I will do my best to logically explain my reaction to strongly not liking this one and giving it a 1 star review.
First, the characters. Holy mother of all things bacon. The characters were just so shallow, vapid, and flat. The main character, Raya, was supposed to be traveling to India to pay respect to her recently deceased grandmother and spending her last “free” summer trying to find her “center” before her life becomes busy. That sounds great but Raya comes across as more of a boy-crazy diva and petulant child than anything else. In order for her to travel to India, she basically bullied her parents into letting her go. It was obvious who was the child and who was the parent in that household. I don’t know many teenagers (aka “minors) that could do this without throwing the biggest temper tantrum. I knew nothing substantial about the MC other than she was overly obsessed with the Jonas Brothers. Is anyone still obsessed with them? I didn’t think so. The rest of the cast was completely forgettable so don’t ask me about them.
Second, the setting of the story felt very underdeveloped. Wait, it may not have even been developed… it felt like a case of “tell the readers, don’t show them” and I am not ever a fan of those stories. There were many, many times where the setting – INDIA – felt like an afterthought. If the author could not pull me into the setting and make me feel as if I’m there, then I’m out. Nothing was described as more than “a beautiful temple”. Really. That was the best that could be done?
Third, the actual plot left a lot to be desired. I’m not exactly sure what the plot of the story was. Yes, Raya went to India but it felt as if she was not there to pay respect to her grandmother who passed. It felt as if she traveled part of Europe to stare at boys. Oh, and disrespect a sacred garden by having a sexual experience in front of a Holy Statue. You read that right, my darlings.
Everything else about the story was either boring, predictable, and/or downright dreadful. A lot of cussing, bad dialogue, instalove, and lack of development on anything is what lead me to not like this book as much as I wanted to. I don’t ask for much out of a story but I do have basic requirements. This story did not meet any of them. Do I recommend it? Nope, not at all. Am I sorry I read it? I am, actually. It pains me to say that. If you read this and enjoyed it, I do wish I could have read it with your eyes. It just did not work for me.