Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wednesday Reads: Haunting Jasmine

Haunting Jasmine by Anjali Banerjee was a light, fun, women's fiction with a supernatural element that was a joy to read. Plus, you've got a multicultural character that everyone can connect with.

A call from the past brings divorcee Jasmine Mistry home to Shelter Island to run her beloved aunt's bookstore, which has always been rumored to be haunted. With that knowledge, Jasmine embarks on a mystical journey, urged along by her quirky family, and guided by the highly emotional spirits of long-dead authors. Surprisingly, she finds herself moved to heal her broken heart when she falls unexpectedly in love with an enigmatic young stranger.
First Line: "I didn't see this turn of events coming, or going. My ex-husband, Rob, used his charm like a weapon, and ultimately he didn't care whose heart he broke--or whose life he ruined. Neither did he care whose bed he woke up in. My mother would say, Well, Jasmine, that's an American penis for you. You should've married a Bangali. Faithful, good, and true to his culture. Her words conjure an image of the royal Bengali penis decked out in a traditional churidar kurta, its head peeking from the gold-embroidered white silk kurta at our Indian wedding."

You probably see why I included the first paragraph instead of first line this time. I wanted to show you a really great opening. You immediately get a sense of Jasmine's voice and what is most important to her: hating her ex and not following tradition. You also see what the main conflicts are, which, incidentally, are also her ex and her culture. In the next paragraph you learn of another conflict, that of her aunt wishing her to take care of her bookstore. And voila! You're in the story.

Brownie Points: I love, love, love that this isn't your traditional "I see dead people," sort of thing. Jasmine sees the ghosts of dead authors in her aunt's bookstore. That's it. But how cool is that?!

Recommendation: Great for people looking for a light read, slightly quirky women's fiction, a little romance, or supernatural. Also fantastic for those who want a multi-cultural novel but have a hard time finding one that appeals to everyone. Also, don't forget to check out Anjali's other novels, website here (I plan to).

Would I represent it? No. And before you ask why I bothered to review it if my answer is no (you know how rarely that happens), I'll explain. As it's the month of Adult Para&UF on my blog, I decided to give an example of something that I love but won't be representing in the near future. I am sticking to Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy. Whereas I would classify this as Supernatural, or as I often call it, a Supernatural Ghost Story (which I will actually take a look at in YA--but it needs to blow me out of the water; I already have one--thanks Katy!--and the bar's set pretty high). I have, however, come to love reading things like this.


Kristine Asselin said...

It looks great--the cover is lovely. My TBR list is sooooo long, but this might have to get added. Looks like it might be one for a book club read...

Katy Upperman said...

I agree with Kris: Lovely cover. And the first paragraph rocks! I don't read a lot of women's fiction, but this one looks like it might be a nice end-of-summer read.

Anonymous said...

That is a catchy opening paragraph, isn't it? It made me smile!

Martha Ramirez said...

What an awesome idea! Who wouldn't want to read about dead authors? LOL. First lines are creative. Too funny.

Amber said...

This is wonderful how you explain that you enjoyed the book, but still wouldn't represent it.

It gives me a heads up to really look into an agent's represented books and not just assume their generic 'I represent Ya-ficiton' puts me in the category they are looking for.


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