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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Neesha Meminger

Introducing the amazing Neesha Meminger! She debuted the same year as I did and her first book is all kinds of wonderful. Shine, Coconut Moon features Samar (aka Sam) and is about growing up Indian American in a post 9/11 world and finding pride and identity in her heritage. There are not a lot of great books like this, especially not in the young adult world, and Shine, Coconut Moon is a must read and I've recommended it to many friends. Well, a few weeks ago, Neesha's second book, Jazz in Love, released and I've included the synopsis below:
"Jasbir, a.k.a. Jazz, has always been a stellar student and an obedient, albeit wise-cracking, daughter. Everything has gone along just fine -- she has good friends in the 'genius' program she's been in since kindergarten, her teachers and principal adore her, and her parents dote on her. But now, in her junior year of high school, her mother hears that Jazz was seen hugging a boy on the street and goes ballistic.
Mom immediately implements the Guided Dating Plan, which includes setting up blind dates with "suitable," pre-screened Indian candidates. The boy her mother sets her up with, however, is not at all what anyone expects; and the new boy at school, the very unsuitable hottie, is the one who sets Jazz's blood boiling.
When Jazz makes a few out-of-the-ordinary decisions, everything explodes, and she realizes she'll need a lot more than her genius education to get out of the huge mess she's in. Can Jazz find a way to follow her own heart, and still stay in the good graces of her parents?"
-Jazz in Love-
I know what you're thinking: "I didn't even know there was a young adult book featuring an awesome Indian American main character, much less two!" Seriously, I can count the number of Indian American YA characters -- major or minor -- on about one and a half hands. Everyone needs to promote and support Neesha's works because they are so unique and from a perspective that is not heard from enough. I also highly recommend reading her guest post for Justine Larbalestier titled: "From Margin to Center: Writing Characters of Color."

What is additionally super cool about Jazz in Love is that Neesha chose to go the independent route and self publish this book because she wanted to story to be out in the world. I'm totally with that and I think she's a real trailblazer and showing every author that if you've got the cred to share a story that needs to be told now, D.I.Y! So go out and get Neesha's two fantastic books and cheer her on as we wait impatiently for a third.

3 comments:

Medeia Sharif said...

I can't wait to read JAZZ after having read SHINE. Plus, I also own your book which I have to get to.

Doret said...

I loved Jazz in Love.

Nook on Sale said...

Jazz in Love sounds really good! I love that the author self-published. Very brave.

 
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