Love, Inc.

Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout, Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (416p) ISBN 978-1-4231-3115-1
This overlong story focuses on high school sophomore Zahra Ahmed-MacDuff—part Pakistani, part Scottish-American—whose parents recently separated. Forced to join a support group for "teens who have ‘families in transition,' " she meets flirty Kali and artistic Syd. When the girls learn they are all dating the same guy, they pull off an over-the-top revenge scheme that leads to the formation of Love, Inc., which helps couples "match, patch, and dispatch," depending on which service is needed. Soon the friends are staking out possible cheaters, mediating breakups, and doling out revenge pranks (these can be vicious: they do $2,000 worth of damage to their ex's car). Collins and Rideout (Girl v. Boy) are most successful when focusing on Zahra's struggle with her ethnic identity; her Pakistani grandparents want her to be more traditional, but she blames their strictness for her family's breakup and wants to prove that "Zahra Ahmed-MacDuff isn't ashamed to be hyphenated." While Zahra eventually comes to terms with her identity and family, even readers who buy the far-fetched premise will have trouble tracking Love, Inc.'s long client list and several subplots. Ages 11–up. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/29/2010
Release date: 01/01/2011
Open Ebook - 197 pages - 978-0-7490-4070-3
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