Review – Beauty and the Beast by Ravinder Randhawa
When the lovely Faye Rogers announced that she was hosting a blog tour for the books Dynamite and Beauty and the Beast by Ravinder Randhawa I jumped at the chance to be a part of it as soon as I read the blurbs! These books sounded so interesting and diverse that I really wanted to see what they were all about. I am completely over the moon to be part of the wonderful blog tour for these books and I am so happy I have had the chance to read them!
For my second stop on this brilliant blog tour I am going to share my thoughts on the book Beauty and the Beast!
You can check out my review of Dynamite a collection of short stories here !
Don’t forget to check out the awesome giveaway at the bottom of the post!
‘Problems? Confusions? Contradictions? I got them all and if you’ve got them, then FLAUNT them is my motto.’ Meet Harjinder (aka Hari-jan): ‘A’ level student, supermarket worker and desperate journalist. Feisty and impulsive, Hari-jan can’t refuse a dare and to make matters worse has fallen in love with the wrong boy.
Her best friend Ghazala has taken to wearing the hijab and mentoring racists.
Can Hari-jan battle through the hurdles and win her man?
Can Ghazala work out how to do Good in her own way?
A sparkling, coming-of-age novel about life, love and friendship.
Publisher – CreateSpace
Published – 12th September 2014
Pages – 250 pages
Format – Paperback & Ebook
Category – YA Contemporary
Source – I was sent a copy of this book by the lovely Faye Roger and the author Ravinder Randhawa as part of the blog tour. This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way and am delighted to write an honest review. Thank you both for sending this to me to read!
** Please note Tales Of Yesterday Reviews are written as spoiler free as possible**
I went into this book quite blind and knowing very little about it and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it! A really great read about friendship, love and life as an Asian teen growing up in England.
Beauty and the Beast is the glimpse into the life of seventeen year old Harjinder (aka Hari-jan). She feels a little left out of her Muslim best friend, Ghazala’s, life and also seems to make an enemy out of popular girl Veronica! When Hari-jan’s piece does not make the school newspaper “Popular Demand” she reluctantly ends up making a bet with Veronica that she can win editor of “Popular Demand” Suresh’s heart (who just happens to be Veronica’s boyfriend) and also gets roped into writing a piece about the local “All Women Beauty Contest”! What pursues is not what Hari-jan expects!
The story is told from feisty, funny Hari-jan’s point of view and she is quite a funny, sarcastic teenage character who I adored as soon as I started reading! Whilst she accepts boundaries and abides by them she also likes to add her own rules into the mix! A typical teenager growing up and exploring trying to find her place in the world!
I loved the will they won’t they relationship between Hari-jan who say’s things as they are and Suresh who can be rather judgemental and sometimes quite rude to Hari-jan. At times Suresh was totally loveable for me as a reader and then at other times totally the other side of the coin and frustrating which is exactly how e is meant to be. The dialogue and banter between Hari-jan and Suresh was hilarious and I could feel Hari-jan’s confusion, feelings and anger towards Suresh on a number of occasions.
It may just be me but it reminded me a little of 10 Things I Hate About You which of course is a retelling of The Taming Of The Shrew. The characters just reminded me of traits of the characters in that film which of course I loved! Saying that it also seemed to have a classical kind of vibe to it also!
I also love how Hari-jan’s best friend Ghazala had her own storyline and faced her own struggles being a Muslim growing up in England and trying to tackle racism in her own way whilst also trying to help and support her family through a difficult time. I admired Ghazala a lot and loved the portrait of friendship between Hari-jan and Ghazala which was realistically written and a real friendship which I enjoyed.
As well as the plot unfolding between the characters the book explored and brought to the forefront knowledge about Asian cultures and traditions. It gave me as a reader a fantastic insight into a culture I know a bit about but not as much as I would like to. The book explores the traditions of arranged marriage, racism, feminism and poverty and I loved the integration of the Asian language within the story which is done with ease. Everything is written so sensitively and enriched with culture and tradition and that is a credit to Ravinder Randhawa’s writing style and as a reader I absorbed every part of it.
A truly diverse, funny and touching read and one that I would highly recommend!
I award this book 4 out of 5 Tales Of Yesterday Books!
You can buy Beauty and the Beast by Ravinda Randhawa here
Or why not add it to your Goodreads wish list here
Or check out my review of Ravinder Randhawa’s short story collection Dynamite here
Or a fab poetry guest post by Ravinder Randhawa here
You can also check out a guest post from Ravinder about her favourite scenes in her other book The Coral Strand here
About Ravinder Randhawa
Ravinder Randhawa is the acclaimed author of the novels Beauty and the Beast (YA), A Wicked Old Woman, The Tiger’s Smile and the short story collection Dynamite. She’s currently working on a trilogy: The Fire-Magician. Ravinder was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Toynbee Hall, Queen Mary’s University, the University of London, and founded the Asian Women Writer’s Collective.
Ravinder was born in India, grew up in leafy Warwickshire, now lives in London and agrees with Samuel Johnson’s saying (though of course, in a gender non-specific way) ‘…if a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.’ Loves good coffee and really good thrillers.
Ravinder Randhawa Blog Tour
Why not catch up on the rest of this wonderful blog tour!
Link to Tour Schedule
Monday 25th May
Tuesday 26th May
Wednesday 27th May
Thursday 28th May
Friday 29th May
Saturday 30th May
Sunday 31st May
There is a tour-wide giveaway during the tour.
The prizes include;
3 Paperback copies of Dynamite
Have you read Beauty and the Beast or any other books by Ravinda Randhawa? What did you think? I would love to hear from you! Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the page or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy !
Happy Reading….go pick up a copy of this book straight away!