Review: Opening Act by Suleikha Snyder

OpeningAct-500pxHow I found my way to Opening Act by Suleikha Snyder is a little convoluted, so bear with me.

During the Twitterverse conversations over the weekend regarding That Publisher, Jaid Black got drawn into the conversation more than once. At one point, the topic of cultural appropriation came up, and someone linked to Snyder’s wonderful post about the Bollywood party that was given at RomantiCon 2013, and discussed the concept of cultural appropriation as it surrounds South Asian women. It put into words a lot of the things that make me uncomfortable with henna tattoos and saris that are sometimes popular in my area of the country, and gave me a lot to think about.

I also bought several of Snyder’s books, because they looked fascinating.

Reporter Saroj Shah has been in love with bass player and bartender Adam Harper since her first day of college—seven years ago. Forever thinking of her as part-friend and part-little sister, he’s just been too blind, and too clueless, to see it. Until one pivotal moment pulls her into the spotlight.

The moment Saroj steps on stage, Adam sees his friend in a new light. He can’t take his mind off of her and realizes they could make beautiful music together. But seven years is a long time and Saroj is ready to move on. Adam will have to hit the right note if he wants to prove to Saroj he was worth the wait.

If there’s any trope I love, it’s best-friends-to-lovers, because I (like half of my female friends) was completely obsessed with my male best friend all through high school. I dreamed about him, fantasized about him, and wished he’d give me the time of day. So reading stories that I can fall into like this? Yummy to the extreme.

Opening Act is a quick read, and the love scenes are hot without being explicit. There was a fair amount of JUST SIT DOWN AND TALK ALREADY, GOD, but it was the kind of stuff that couples really do need to sit down and talk about, and have a hard time sitting down and talking about, so that didn’t bother me.

I especially appreciated the multicultural nature of Opening Act. Sometimes, when you’re a white girl living in New England, you can feel incredibly lost when it comes to topics of race. While I thoroughly respect the idea that it’s not the job of people of color to teach white people about racism, at the same time, it can be hard to figure out where the problems are, and how to be an ally, without someone who is willing to provide that education.

Great books like Opening Act help to start those conversations.

Race is not a focus in Opening Act, it’s a fact. Saroj is brown, she is desi, and as a teenager, she sometimes pretended she couldn’t remember her native language so that her mother would leave her alone. She’s a wonderful character, someone I wanted to be friends with from the moment I met her, and when she got her Happily Ever After, I was beyond delighted.

Next up on my kindle, Snyder’s set of Bollywood romances. I was going to buy just the first to try them out, but on her blog she stated that she was donating royalties received from when she posted in mid-August through October from the third book, Bollywood and the Beast to The Trevor Project. So I have some books to read.

Yummy.

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