Sunday, February 17, 2019

Review - 96 Words for Love

Title:   96 Words for Love
Author:  Rachel Roy, Ava Dash
Genre:   YA Fiction
Publisher:   jimmy patterson
Format:  Kindle
No. of Pages:  320
Date of Publication:  January 15, 2019
My Rating:  3 Stars

James Patterson Presents a modern retelling of a classic Indian legend, 96 Words for Love is a touching coming-of-age story that reads like Eat, Pray, Love for teens.

Ever since her acceptance to UCLA, 17-year-old Raya Liston has been quietly freaking out. She feels simultaneously lost and trapped by a future already mapped out for her.

Then her beloved grandmother dies, and Raya jumps at the chance to spend her last free summer at the ashram in India where her grandmother met and fell in love with her grandfather. Raya hopes to find her center and her true path. But she didn't expect to fall in love... with a country of beautiful contradictions, her fiercely loyal cousin, a local girl with a passion for reading, and a boy who teaches her that in Sanskrit, there are 96 different ways to say the word "love."

A modern retelling of the classic Indian legend of Shakuntala and Dushyanta, 96 Words for Love is a coming-of-age story about finding yourself in unexpected places.


As I am not big on reading YA, the story was a bit basic but I am not going to give too a harsh rating. I tried to imagine a younger person reading this and that helped me to relax into the story. I would imagine that future endeavors by this new author will have a bit more substance.

96 Words for Love is really a good coming of age story. Raya is a biracial teen, of Indian and Black heritage. She has just been accepted to UCLA, and is more than anxious. Her ailing grandmother dies. Raya and her cousin Anandi were told that their grandmother left them something very important - in India - but she passed away before she could provide clear details. So, the girls go to India for a few months to spend time searching, and Raya learns a lot during that time.

This book hits on a lot of things. A lot. There is no shortage of serious issues in this book. Raya agrees to spend time in a temple with very strict rules, rules that she disregards more than once. Her sexual conduct was just so highly inappropriate for being at or near a temple, never mind her age, but that might just be the parent in me talking.

Raya was afforded the opportunity to sort her life out before college, thus making choices that would no doubt mold her entire life. Considering that this is a coming-of-age story I think it done fairly well.  For many this book will be a hit, for me it was just a bit shy of one. 


Rachel Roy is the daughter of an Indian immigrant father and Dutch mother. She is mother to Tallulah and Ava. Rachel is the founder & creative director of her eponymous brand and a tireless activist for using your voice to cultivate change in the world and to design the life you wish to live. Rachel founded Kindness Is Always Fashionable, an entrepreneurial philanthropic platform to help women artisans around the world create sustainable income for their families and communities. In 2018 Rachel was named a United Nations Women Champion for Innovation, and works for the UN advocating gender equality and other critical women’s issues. In 2015, Rachel published, Design Your Life.

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