Sugar and spice and everything nice — this YA rom-com comped as Jenny Han meets The Bachelorette about a teen Korean American adoptee whose fifty-person family decides to save her from her total dud (and cheater) of a boyfriend via a secret dating contest with three of Orlando’s most eligible bachelors is an absolute delight!
I don’t often ready young adult romances (call me a grinch about all the fluffy happy stuff) but couldn’t pass the wonderfully whimsical The Jasmine Project with its brilliantly diverse cast of characters up! There’s something about this story that just spoke to me.
The story alternates between eighteen-year-old Jasmine’s storyline and text message exchanges between her (big!) family, who’ve all conspired to find her the perfect guy before the summer is up. Your brow might wrinkle at all that meddling, but it’s done with the best of intentions. At its core, the goal is not to hook Jasmine up with the next best guy but to get her to discover her own self-worth (self-discovery is a big theme).
The vibe (like the story’s main character) is sweet and cute and innocent. Jasmine sees the best in people, but without the naivete that would make this story unpalatable. Instead, The Jasmine Project comes with fresh twists in its storyline — from Jasmine’s choice of whom to date (there’s only the hint of a love triangle here) to her decision regarding her future. The ending is empowering and satisfying for romance lovers.
What’s more to love: The bachelors are, in true fiction fashion, too good to be true and just the way we like them. It’s the best kind of escapism with so much swoon factor — that picnic at the beach! I’m an introvert, but Jasmine’s chaotic and loving family has me craving that big-family life. Jasmine’s character arc is center stage and what this story is all about.
Book: The Jasmine Project
Published: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: September 7th, 2021
Age Range: 13 – 18
Book Sparks kindly sent me a free eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion, rating, or the content of my review.