Shalini has been raised in India with her entire extended family – thirty-seven family members living in the house and she is not the least bit excited when her father announces that he has taken a job in the United States and their family of four will be moving there for two years. Not only will she have to leave her extended family, she’ll also have to leave her fiancé, a boy she has been engaged to since she was three. Going from her small private school to being a junior at a large public school is also a challenge. Some people make fun of her and she doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere. To make matters worse, her mother falls into a deep depression and spends days at time in her bedroom.
But then Shalini joins a group called Food4Life and she becomes involved in raising money for the charity. She meets a boy named Toby and is instantly attracted to him. Now she is torn – how can she fall for an American boy when she’s engaged to someone else?
I liked Lovetorn but I felt it was a mess in places. I grant you that I am a middle school librarian and have never been in a high school, but I thought the girls who were mean to Shalini acted more like middle school students than high school students. I also had a hard time believing that a girl who has been engaged and devoted to a boy since she was little would so quickly fall for someone else.
One thing I liked about the story was closeness of her family, and yet their inability at first to help the mom. I felt that this was perhaps the most authentic part of the book.