Love, Inc. by Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout

8:00 AM

Title: Love, Inc.
Authors: Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout
Release Date: January 11, 2011 (hardcover)
Publisher: Hyperion
Pages: 416
Source: Copy Won from Authors/Goodreads First Reads

Overall: 4 Stars

Zahra, Kali, and Syd would never have met if their parents' marriages hadn't  fallen apart. But when the three girls collide in group counseling, they discover they have something else in common: they've each been triple-timed by the same nefarious charmer, Eric, aka Rico, aka Rick. Talk about eye-opening therapy.

Cheerful, diplomatic Zahra is devastated. Rico had been her rock and sole confidant. How could she have missed the signs? Folksy, flirtatious Kali feels almost as bad. She and Rick had only been on a few dates, but they'd felt so promising. Hardened vintage-vixen Syd is beyond tears. She and Eric had real history... Or so she'd thought. Now all three girls have one mission: to show that cheater the folly of his ways.

Project Payback is such a success, the girls soon have clients lining up for their consulting services. Is your boyfriend acting shady? Dying to know if your crush is into you? Need match-making expertise? Look no further than Love, Inc. 

My Thoughts: 
I've been really looking forward to reading Love, Inc. ever since I first heard about it and after loving Girl v. Boy, Sandy and Yvonne's previous collaboration together, I just knew I would enjoy this novel... and I was so right. And don't let the light, happy cover fool you because there is definitely more to this novel than meets the eye!

When Zahra, Kalie, and Syd first meet in group counseling, sent there to help deal with their parent's failed marriages, they don't expect to have anything in common... and least of all, not the same boyfriend. Angry and out for a little bit of revenge, the three girls band together to serve some justice to the boy who broke their hearts. So when Project Payback is a mission success, the girls think that's that and will attempt to move on... but word travels fast and soon the girls have clients in need of some relationship help. Reconnaissance, mediation, revenge and even match-making... these girls will do it all, for a certain fair price of course.

Zahra, Kali and Syd have such different personalities yet their friendship is completely palpable. It was wonderful to see their friendship bloom over the course of the novel from complete strangers to a close knit of friends who were just like family. Kali's fun and flirty, and although seeing her mother's many divorces have stopped her from having a true relationship with someone, she's always the hopeful, bubbly one. Syd is more of the tough girl, but behind this facade, she's lonely and throws herself into art with passion while also caring for her dog Banksy. And then there's Zahra with her dreams of one day becoming a celebrity pastry chef ... and she's sort of the middle ground between them all.

The story is told solely from Zahra's point of view and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Compared to Kali and Syd, she sort of thinks of herself as just an average girl even though she's anything but; she's struggling with her own identity and heritage as she deals with a broken heart. She believes that a great deal of why her parents separated were their two completely different cultures; her father's Scottish background and her mother's Pakistani one. And with her mother's parents visiting from Pakistan and staying at their home, she feels this is the case more than ever. She feels torn between two worlds and is unsure how to stick true to herself without disappointing anyone. Watching as Zahra slowly comes to accept herself was just another aspect I thoroughly enjoyed about this novel!

Moving on to something lighter... there is some pretty awesome relationship advice given in this novel! Kali, Syd, and Zahra may have had their own problems with love but they're sure good at giving advice to others. And I must of course mention Brody... his steady bantering with Zahra was a source of constant amusement for me! He also offered some useful and insightful advice to the girls as well, proving he was much more than just a pretty face. 

Love, Inc. goes beyond being just a light read. It may be humourous with plenty of laugh out loud moments, but it's also a novel about the tribulations of love and family... and how friendships can arise from the most unexpected circumstances. It really does have a bit of everything! 

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  1. I can't wait to read this! It sounds really good. Great review!

  2. Thanks for the review! I've been going back and forth on this one. I read Black Sheep and really enjoyed it so I was thinking about picking up this one too-- especially with such a good concept. Now I think I will!

  3. This sounds so cute! Just the thought of teenage girls doling out relationship advice like ice cream makes me laugh. I'm curious reading about the actual advice they give too. Sweet!

  4. It sounds and looks very cute! I'm glad you found more substance to it than that, it makes me want to read it more. :D Thanks for the review!

  5. I would have totally passed this off as a light, fluffy read so I'm glad I read your review! I really like the sound of Zahra struggling between two different cultures — great that it doesn't just focus on the romance or even friendship angle. Excellent review, Liz, thanks! :)

  6. Great review! Sounds to me like a mix of The Karma Club with The Oracle of Dating (both books that I loved).