At a time when we are all asking questions about identity, grief, and how to stand up for what is right, this book by the author of A Thousand Questions will hit home with young readers who love Hena Khan and Varian Johnson—or anyone struggling to understand recent U.S. history and how it still affects us today.
Yusuf Azeem has spent all his life in the small town of Frey, Texas—and nearly that long waiting for the chance to participate in the regional robotics competition, which he just knows he can win.
Only, this year is going to be more difficult than he thought. Because this year is the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, an anniversary that has everyone in his Muslim community on edge.
With “Never Forget” banners everywhere and a hostile group of townspeople protesting the new mosque, Yusuf realizes that the country’s anger from two decades ago hasn’t gone away. Can he hold onto his joy—and his friendships—in the face of heartache and prejudice?
Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.
Book: The Jasmine Project
Author: Meredith Ireland
Book Series: Standalone
Diversity: Korean adopted Mc, Filipino side characters and family, Dominican Republic side character brother, Adopted family dynamics, South Asian love interest
Recommended For…: young adult readers, contemporary, romance, family setting up blind dates trope, cooking romance, adopted family
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: September 7, 2021
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Recommended Age: 14+ (Romance, Slight Language, Fat shaming, Slight emotional abuse, Slight microaggressions, Slight HP reference, Alcohol consumption by minors)
Explanation of CWs: There is a couple of instances of swearing. The fat shaming and emotional abuse are brief, but get brought up throughout the novel. There is also one very minute Harry Potter reference and only one scene of alcohol consumption by minors.
Synopsis: Jasmine Yap’s life is great. Well, it’s okay. She’s about to move in with her long-time boyfriend, Paul, before starting a nursing program at community college—all of which she mostly wants. But her stable world is turned upside down when she catches Paul cheating. To her giant, overprotective family, Paul’s loss is their golden ticket to showing Jasmine that she deserves much more. The only problem is, Jasmine refuses to meet anyone new.
But…what if the family set up a situation where she wouldn’t have to know? A secret Jasmine Project.
The plan is simple: use Jasmine’s graduation party as an opportunity for her to meet the most eligible teen bachelors in Orlando. There’s no pressure for Jasmine to choose anyone, of course, but the family hopes their meticulously curated choices will show Jasmine how she should be treated. And maybe one will win her heart.
But with the family fighting for their favorites, bachelors going rogue, and Paul wanting her back, the Jasmine Project may not end in love but total, heartbreaking disaster.
Review: I really enjoyed this book and it reminded me a lot of 10 Blind Dates. The character development was great and the world building was amazing. I felt like this was a really cute read and that it set the “family blind date” trope really well. I also think that the main character was very endearing. I feel like her plight was very relatable to a lot of people, especially me. A lot of people seek that sense of safety and the sense of never changing tides, and they have to learn how to branch out in a scary world.
The only really issue I had with this book is that sometimes the change between the story to the text message conversation and then to the podcast reading was a bit jarring at first, but otherwise I had absolutely no problem with this book.