Reviews for Love, Inc.


Booklist Reviews 2011 March #2
Zahara Ahmed-MacDuff, 15, is not sure why she has been placed in group therapy when it's her recently separated Scottish American dad and Pakistani mom who will not even speak to one another. The aspiring pastry chef finds an unexpected sisterhood, though, when she and fellow group members Kali and Syd discover that they have been three-timed by the same guy and plot revenge. When news spreads of their retribution and other group members and classmates seek their help with matters of the heart, the trio forms Love, Inc. Although keeping track of their lengthy client list can be difficult, the girls' failure to heed their own matchmaking advice drives this predictable yet entertaining first-person narration. Reminiscent of Randa Abdel-Fattah's Ten Things I Hate about Me (2009), Zahara's struggle to reconcile her Scottish American heritage with her mother's Muslim traditions and her sarcastic quips with her Pakistani grandparents, who are ready to marry her off to the first eligible "Member of the Tribe," add depth to this breezy, happy-ending romance. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Fall
When carefree Zahra meets Kali and Syd in group counseling, she's surprised to learn that they all have the same deceitful boyfriend. Brokenhearted--and angry--they form Love, Inc., a consulting service for relationships, breakups, even revenge. Though too much is crammed into the story, it does raise some thoughtful questions. Sympathetic characters and an accessible writing style enhance the book. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2010 December #1

Following her parents' separation, Zahra is forced into group therapy, where she meets Kali and Syd. The three girls quickly find that fractured families are not all they have in common—it turns out that they are all dating the same guy. Despite their differences, they find they are all good at one thing: revenge. After trashing their boyfriend's car and then his reputation, they decide to offer their services to others. The specialty at Love, Inc., is initially payback, but the three jilted girls find they have a wider range of love-related services to offer. Genuinely endearing, narrator Zahra reacts authentically to betrayal, her parents' separation and the confusion of assimilating her Pakistani and Scottish-American roots. Smart dialogue and a hip cast of characters keep the story engaging.  Unfortunately, the plot is too often bogged down by superfluous details that make the book read more like a visitor's guide to Austin, Texas, than a fast-paced novel of romance and revenge. (Fiction. 12 & up)

Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 November #5

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 ,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.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC

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School Library Journal Reviews 2011 May

Gr 7 Up--Tenth-grader Zahra Ahmed-MacDuff struggles with her Pakistani/Scottish-American heritage as well as with her parents' recent separation. She is placed in group counseling with other teens where she meets Kali and Syd. Much to the girls' surprise, they soon find that they have more in common than divorcing parents: the same boyfriend. They are being three-timed by Eric (aka Rico and Rick). The girls plan and orchestrate their revenge on Eric with precision and style. Their Austin, TX, community can't help but notice, and soon word gets around that the trio can be hired for all manner of romantic troubles; thus Love, Inc., is born, specializing in matchmaking, mediation, surveillance, breaking up, and revenge. Business is booming and the teens' friendship also blooms. Through Love, Inc., the girls discover their own strengths and work with them to understand the confusing world of relationships, including their own. Several subplots keep the book flowing and interesting. The three main characters are well-developed, each with her own quirks and fortes, and the supporting cast members are also refreshingly multidimensional. Not necessarily a quick read, but still a worthy one for teens wanting a book that is fun while still containing some substance.--Mindy Whipple, West Jordan Library, UT

[Page 108]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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VOYA Reviews 2011 April
Zahra Ahmed-MacDuff is being pulled in many directions lately. Her parents are separated, and with her grandparents moving in with her mother, she is in the middle of a serious tug of war between her Scottish and Pakistani roots and her current life as an American. Thrown into therapy as a way to cope with all the turmoil, she meets Syd and Kali, whose parents have also split up and who share something else in common: all three are dating the same boy! Eric, aka Ric, aka Rico, has been three-timing them. The way the girls deal with his shenanigans puts them in a small spotlight, and they find themselves approached by other lovelorn individuals asking for help. Thus, Love, Inc. is born. But can the girls juggle school, therapy, Love, Inc., and family obligations all at once? Their adventures ramble all over Austin, Texas, and force them to take a deeper look at what is happening around them and within their own hearts. This is a breezy read with strong appeal for those looking for something "clean" to enjoy.--Spring Lea Henry 3Q 4P M J S Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.

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