While I enjoy books of all kinds, I prefer books that promote diversity and or multiculturalism.

Tiger's Quest (Tiger's Curse (Hardcover))

Tiger's Quest - Colleen Houck 3.75 review to come XDReview also on: finally got around to reading the sequel to "Tiger's Curse." I started it a few months back, but put it down, and to be honest, I'm not quite sure why. The main character Kelsey and Kishan, her boyfriend Ren's younger brother, are put at the forefront for this book, and to be honest, I've found that I prefer Kishan!This book had a few things I didn't like, but it was a vast improvement from the first book. For plot and storyline, I believe the world building was amazing. While Indian folklore is the dominant form of mysticism, it borrows from several cultures. China, Japan, Nepal, European. I would've liked to see North African or South African lore though. I don't think it's too much to ask, since they are places with Asian populations. I like that it blended to make it seem all cultures were relative, but when European is the only other dominant lore, it's makes it seem like the dominant culture is following a form of fetichism, and that the next best thing to add is European culture. Maybe the future of the series won't take this route in the future?I didn't predict any STRONG plot turn and twist. The small ones were easy to, but because the strong ones were what made me keep reading, I'll award it the point. The consistency was shaky, but only because the main character often had her head in the clouds over "boys" , instead of the task at hand. I know she's human, but at times, characters seemed to talk only about how hot each brother looked to her. That also slowed down it's pacing at times as well.Character Development was a strong point for this book. Kelsey, despite my feelings about her character perhaps being best suited for an Indian female teen, was quite relatable. She was funny, sarcastic, and most of the time didn't want to be a damsel in distress. I'm adamant on her being Indian however, because it displays cases of white washing for me. But I'll get to that in the diversity portion of the review. The backstory in this sequel is more in depth than the first. We get to learn a few things about Kishan that will definitely make you feel for him. There was also plenty of conflict, but I at times was confused. Kelsey's boyfriend Ren was being held captive, so for months she was in the company of his brother. While I understand that she was being a loyal girlfriend, the love triangle seems pretty pointless. I mean, what's the point if both of them don't have a good chance? This book is unique, for it's use of Indian lore and main characters in modern day story telling, so 1.00 earned all through.Grammar and Style of writing was pretty typical of the industry standard.There were a few errors, but not enough to make note and remember days after finishing the book. Kelsey herself seemed a bit choppy at times, but it wasn't enough to take away from her Voice most of the time. Her POV is clear in first person, and the author creates the voices of each character well enough to distinguish. It's edited to an industry stand point, but could have cut out several points where all Kelsey did was admire the brother's looks every other second. The balance between beats and dialogue is also done well. 0.75 earned. Now to my favorite part: Diversity. While this is one of the few books I've read where most or all but one characters are South Asian, I have some hits and misses about it. I adore that the objects of affection are two South Asian men. I feel as though them being the center point empowers the image of the Indian male with a great service. There are so many stereotypes to Indian men, and for the most part, this comes from having no knowledge of the culture of different types of South Asians. When someone's way of life is different, it's seen as weird. I liked that the author didn't choose to go the route of alienating the culture to seem unappealing.The author also had to do a lot of research to get her lore accurate enough to give it a fantasy spin. Granted, with all lore, things are changed around to make them fit better with the storyline or make them less surreal(I've always believed Americans disliked surrealism). The one negative thing I will say is that it seemed like a forced effort for Kelsey to be Caucasian. While race shouldn't matter, I feel it just seems to be a huge case of whitewashing. Kelsey will not just be helping break the tiger's curse, she'll also be helping the fate of all India. As if Indians are not competent enough to save their own country. I get it. The culture is beautiful, and there's little ways to be apart of it if you're not Indian without whitewashing. But an Indian heroine would have been a breath of fresh air to me, so that readers can see that they're not so different from each other. Ever wonder why it's ok for only Caucasians to admire other races in books, but you hardly ever see a East Asian descent or African descended girl in this same situation?I do feel however that Kelsey is empowered in her own right. In the beginning she chooses to date several guys instead of just going with the obvious. I've read reviews that judged this choice of hers, but she hasn't dated before Ren, and this one person for one person stuff gets boring. Young people have options. They're hardly ever given the opportunity in books to showcase this. Kelsey also took martial arts and the like, so if put in an endangering situation she could defend herself. Beats the alternative of letting your boyfriend turn you into a vampire for super strength. Seems like the easy way out. So for diversity I give it .75 of the point.Miscellaneous scoring , I believe the title and cover art are suiting. They're simple but match the book's route of where it wanted to be. The names are just as they were in the original. Unique to me, but perhaps maybe not to a person of Indian descent. They're unique but simple enough to remember. I do however have to complain about one point. The character descriptions. Kelsey describes herself as plain, or not worthy of the boys too often for me to overlook. If she's so damn plain, why is she not only dating 3 hot guys, but have two hot brothers pinning over her. It doesn't make sense. What's wrong with just admitting the main character is attractive? Is it somehow un-relatable to be considered such?I will never get that about YA books. Let's face it, half the main characters would not pin over a girl who's personality is just beautiful. We have to stop giving book babes too much credit. Men fall for what they see. That's generally what makes them different from women. So that irritates me, and will continue to. The author also choose to make both Ren and Kishan unique looking South Asians. They are both mixed race Indians. They're mother was originally from China, and had "blue" eyes. Ren has inherited this trait, as Kishan has gold eyes. Now Kishan is believable because for the most part, gold can be described as hazel. There are plenty of Indian men with these types of eyes. But blue eyes seems unrealistic, and looking up to see examples of this trait, it looks creepy and not attractive on Indian men. Are men of color not attractive without features common in Caucasians? Even green would have been better, as green often blends better, and plenty of Indian actors have green eyes. I have such a hard time picturing Ren without picturing a white actor~Luke Pasqualino( whom I thought was of South Asian descent but is actually Italian).Overall I enjoyed it and look very much to the sequel. Im actually surprised it rates this high with me XDGuinevere's Rating: 3.75

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