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10 Very Underrated Romance Books

As Romance is the genre I read the most, I will ALWAYS have recommendations for it.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blogging meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and this week’s topic is Genre Freebie, basically any topic related to a genre that we would like to talk about.

I’ve previously shared romance recommendations as Top Ten Romance Reads of 2019, so check that out as well so more books!

[1] Surprise, Baby by Lex Martin and Leslie McAdam

I read this YESTERDAY, actually. I was looking at the new releases in New Adult category and found this book there. It sounded interesting so I picked it up.

It was a pleasant surprise! Talks about second chances, trust, and is a really good story overall.

It’s a hate-to-love romance where they accidentally get pregnant and date during the pregnancy. The story is actually sensible and the characters are good, unlike many other secret-baby-trope books that I’ve read.

Goodreads

[2] Love Lettering by Kate Clayton

I’ve seen this around very less but it’s actually SO GOOD. It’s a comforting romance and I really love how the characters spend time and learn from each other.

The main character made a business out of lettering for events and planners. I’ve never seen that in fiction before so that was super cool.

Love Lettering really deserves more recognition.

Goodreads

[3] Shortcake by Lucy Watson

This is slightly longer than average romance books but it’s so worth it.

I’m a sucker for slow-burn romances where there’s proper relationship growth and the characters get to know each other over time. So this was really nice.

It’s also hate-to-love, if you like that trope!

My complete review

[4] Truth or Dare by Mira Lyn Kelly

This is an old favourite of mine that I’ve spoken about a few times on this blog. It’s barely known but it’s SO GOOD.

It’s a hate-to-love romance between new neighbours in an apartment building with LOTS of snark and hilarious dialogue.

My review

[5] Fumbled by Alexa Martin

I’ve been pretty much YELLING about this book on this blog recently haha. But truly, it’s so underrated! In fact, the author is underrated. More people should pick up her books because they’re so good!

The best part about Fumbled was the girl squad. Their friendship and the fun they have together is the best.

My review

[6] The Hooker & the Hermit by L. H. Cosway and Penny Reid

Cosway is pretty popular among romance readers but this specific book deserves more recognition. I really liked it! It swept me away subtly.

The main character lives a double life where she is a PR manager but also an anonymous blogger. And her blogger persona is VERY famous. She uses her platform for fun and snark at celebrities but also to forward good causes.

Goodreads

[7] Rafe by Rebekah Weatherspoon

Another book that I’ve been yelling about a lot is this one. The few readers who HAVE read this yell about it, but we’re still not enough. This amazing story with strong characters deserves so much more.

This is a romance between a single mother to two twins and a tattooed male nanny. It perfectly deals with boundaries and trust. I love it. I want to see this everywhere.

My review.

[8] Searching For Beautiful by Jennifer Probst

This is an old favourite of mine. Back when I read it for the first time, I was so caught off-guard by how GOOD it was. I reread it immediately, and then read the rest of the series.

But this book is still the best, in my opinion. It’s a beautiful best-friends-to-lovers story. The chemistry was great.

My review

[9] Imperfect Chemistry by Mary Frame

Another old favourite, Imperfect Chemistry is one that blew me off during my early New Adult Romance days. It’s an old book but has BARELY any recognition.

The highlight is the main character, to be honest. She’s a genius and decides to research human emotions. And she’s ADORABLE because she doesn’t have a shy bone in her body. The relationship development was awesome.

My review

[10] Rock Solid by Carly Phillips

A book that truly shows how covers can deceive us. I didn’t expect much from this but it was so good that, so far, I’ve reread it THRICE.

The chemistry between the characters is A+. They have issues that they go through but they communicate and act like adults. Also, the kid adds so much cuteness to the book.

Truly underrated and should be read more.

Goodreads


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What books do you think are underrated? Have you read any of these?

The Bronze Horseman || a history lesson with romance

the bronze horseman by paullina simmons

Title: The Bronze Horseman
Author: Paullina Simmons
Genre: Historical Romance
Category: Adult
Series info: Book #1 of The Bronze Horseman series

This book found its way into my TBR* because of Instagram. I followed @sissireads for romance recommendations and beautiful pictures and quickly caught wind of her UNDYING LOVE for this series. As far as I remember, she owns 75 or so editions of this book!

If a book is SO LOVED, it definitely deserves a chance to be read. Although it’s been in my TBR for a year, I picked it up only now with the added incentive through reading challenges.

This book fits into 2 of my challenges: #StartOnYourShelfathon and 2020 Popsugar Reading Challenge. Click here to know more about them.

*To Be Read list

THE PLOT

The book takes place in war-torn Leningrad, Soviet Union. Tatiana, a young 17 year old girl finds the love of her life by chance while sitting on a bench and eating ice cream. Alexander Belov, a handsome soldier, is also besotted with her.

But love isn’t that simple when you’re in Soviet Union and Hitler is coming after your country. And it becomes even more complicated because Tatiana’s sister is in love with the same man.

MY REVIEW

This book took me a LONG time to read. I used to read a lot back in school but don’t have the time now. It was only after my internship was paused and we went into precautionary quarantine that I got the time to really read this.

The Bronze Horseman is a romance at the core, but it also has a ton of history and politics.

The politics part is brought in because Alexander and Tatiana have many conversations talking about their country, their leaders and their situations. That was pretty interesting to read because I got to know a lot more.

I also really liked the amount of history brought in. It was VERY detailed in the book, and the author spent time on describing small losses and victories as well.

My history lessons in school barely mentioned Russia and, in fact, any other countries in focus other than India. So reading books like this one teaches a ton.

Through Tatiana and her family, we get a very detailed look into the lives of civilians during the war. At some point, it was less romance and more war-focused.

It comes through that the author cares a lot about getting the history right and has used this book to teach readers something about the place she’s from.

As for the romance.. I’m conflicted. I liked the romance sometimes, but the story kept going in circles. The love triangle between Alexander, Tatiana, and Tatiana’s sister Dasha was dragged on way too long.

It might be because I’m a nerd but I preferred the small details of war and history than the romance.

Another thing I noticed was that Alexander is problematic. He is portrayed to be this alpha-male who cares for Tatiana a lot. But multiple times his actions were not healthy. The more times I noticed it, the less I liked him.

Alexander has a temper, is unyielding when he wants something, is persuasive, and is controlling. He is also a hero. The perfect soldier who succeeds in every mission he sets out for.

To contrast, Tatiana is an innocent girl who is believed to be young and fragile but is actually a strong woman in will. She is stubborn, will put herself through hell for people she cares about, and has a habit of giving things away to the less fortunate.

Their dynamic is one I’ve seen many times in romance books. They need each other to balance out. Alexander is there to protect her and is the only person who actually prioritizes her, and she is the only one who sees the real him.

The highlight of the book is the plot overall. This is a huge book and it has the story to justify it. It contains A TON, and it’s worthy of 900 pages. The story from start to finish is quite captivating.

I was actually dreading reading the next book after this because book 2 is another 500 pages. But surprisingly, as I finished this book, I couldn’t wait to get to the next one. The story is good and keeps you interested. I want to know how it all ends.

OVERALL

I actually quite liked the book, despite not liking the romance. I was in it for the history and information. But, that DID get old after a while and I basically skimmed the last bits of the book.

This is not a book to just pick up, because you need time and patience for it.

Would recommend: if you’re into history and have the time and patience for this book.

Would not recommend: if you don’t like long books, details, and problematic heroes. Also if repetition really annoys you.

I rate this book..

3/5 stars

www wednesday @ the wordy habitat, all the bookish updates, currently reading, mini book reviews, books to read next.

WWW Wednesday // 18 March 2020

HELLO Y’ALL!

I’m officially just sitting home with no work and no college for the foreseeable future. Yes I am struggling because I need a purpose to my days and suddenly having all plans cancelled is not great.

BUT.

The silver lining is that I finally have time to read! And I’ve actually been burying myself into books for the last few days. I may catch up to my original reading challenge of 150 books for 2020. Let’s see.

WWW Wednesday is a weekly blogging meme hosted by Taking On a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m not reading anything currently as a paperback or ebook. I’m in-between books. I finished a book just this morning and haven’t picked up another yet.

On the audiobook front, I’m still reading Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed. As I’m not commuting, there’s no real use for an audiobook for me.

But I am planning on finishing it soon. Time to start doodling and listen to audiobooks while in quarantine.

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

I have a proper list after so long! I read quite a bit.

I FINALLY finished The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simmons last weekend. That huge book was a long and wild. There were a ton of elements to it. It had been on my list for a long time. I’m glad I finally got to it.

It was pretty good. While it was very long and sometimes irritating, it was quite nice. I’m looking forward to read the next book because I gotta know how it all ends.

Right after that, I needed a pick-me-up. Especially with the news nowadays, and sitting at home all day, I needed a happy book.

My book club decided to read Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn and IT WAS SO GOOD. I stayed up until 3am and read it in one sitting. It was so nice. The book was actually quite comforting.

The next book isn’t one that I finished. After seeing it around a lot, I picked up The Upside of Falling by Alex Light. I read until 17% then gave up. It wasn’t good. There wasn’t a lot of content, and the beginning was simply glossed over with a dismal plot. As it didn’t interest me at all, I gave up on it.

After that, I went down back to random romance book haha. It’s been a while since I read books with the secret-baby trope. Don’t ask me why I went back to it, I just did.

The next book that I read was Surprise Baby for Christmas by Harmony Knight. I actually did not like it. It was so sub-par. My only takeaway from it is that there exists something called a cryptic pregnancy. I never knew that existed.

The last one is Her Sicilian Baby Revelation by Michelle Smart. This one was actually not bad. I wish there was some more focus on the struggles the female lead and her son went through, though. Their tragic accident and recovery part was kind of glossed over but I would have liked more focus on that.

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

No clue. I’m just picking up random books.

Over the next few days, I am planning on reading the sequel of The Bronze Horseman called Tatiana & Alexander. It’s smaller than the first book so it should be done faster.

And I want to read some book, ANY book, from my physical shelf. Maybe Frankly in Love by David Yoon? Just, any of them haha.

And that’s it for this week’s bookish updates!

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Tell me about your bookish updates! What are you currently reading? What did you read recently?

the sunday post header

The Sunday Post // HECTIC week. Also COVID-19.

The virus has taken over the world, and also all conversations.

What did we all even talk about before? I can barely remember. I wonder what would be trending on twitter if there was no coronavirus now. Probably some tiktok video or something on US 2020 elections. Who knows.

Anyway! Let’s get onto updates. I’ll mention coronavirus-related things at the last lol.

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

READING UPDATE

I didn’t get much time to read in the last week. There was just too much going on. Blogging barely made it into my schedule as well.

As a result, I finished not one book. This is new. But yes, my reading has been affected VERY BADLY.

I am currently reading though. I’m reading The Bronze Horseman by Paulina Simmons. An bookstagrammer I used to follow always recommended this book and owned over 70 editions of it, so I added it to my TBR simply because I want to know why it’s loved so much.

2020 is the year of tackling backlist books, getting to those HUGE intimidating books, and trying out reading challenges. This book fits all the three.

As the book is 900 pages long (!!!!), it feels like I’m not making much of a dent. Especially since I usually get maybe around 15 minutes to read at once. But I really sat down yesterday and made a lot of progress. Right now, I’m 41% through with the book. It’s pretty good but the jury is still mostly out.

While commuting to and from work, I managed to have a little progress on an audiobook as well. I started Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed. It’s pretty nice! I’m about half-way through and I’m enjoying it.

Oh and I reached 5 books behind my Goodreads goal of 150 books. Although I did say in my reading challenge updates post that I’ll wait until I’m 8 books behind to decide, I decided now itself. And I lowered my reading goal to a 100 books. With the other reading priorities like finishing longer books and better books, I’m not really sad about the lower count.

I’m barely ahead on the track with the goal of 100 books, and may lower my goal again sometime later in the year. But it’s okay.

WATCHING UPDATE

Yes I know what you’re thinking. You didn’t find time to read but she found time to watch? Basically you chose to watch over read.

If you thought that, you are kind of right. I did watch on multiple occasions instead of reading. BUT. In my defense, I mostly watched when I was having meals or during small breaks. Its easier to stop watching mid-way than stop reading so I chose to watch when I know I can’t read much.

And on Friday I totally binged for hours just to finish the show.

The show I watched was Crashlanding On You which is a VERY popular Kdrama. Netflix has been throwing it in my face since it released. Multiple friends loved it as well so I eventually watched it too.

It was actually really good. I’m not sure of the accuracy of the situations portrayed, but it was SO GOOD story-wise. It’s an epic love story. But what warmed my heart the most were other platonic relationships portrayed throughout the drama.

Will probably write a review soon. Let’s hope I find the time for it.

OFFICE EVENTS!

One of the reasons that the past week was hectic was because of my wonderful office. I knew before the week began that it would be hectic, and that’s the only reason I wasn’t too tired by the end. I was ready for all the events.

We had a wonderful Women’s Day celebration at office. Well, all the women got dressed up (me too! I wore a dress for the first time!*) All of us women took off from the office around 4pm to go to a nearby cafe for high tea.

It was SUPER FUN. It was a good day 🙂

me on the day of Women's Day celebration!

*yes I had to buy one for the occasion but it was high time I got one tbh. I can’t live off jeans for every occasion.

And since my office is extra, we had another event the next day. On Tuesday we had potluck. There were so many different varieties of food and I was full by the end. That was good too.

And that’s it on the office side for the week, because college took care of the rest.

COLLEGE STUFF

The problem with being a full-time intern and also have an active semester going on at college means that you end up with twice the workload and barely any time. It means filling up your spare time from one to do work for the other.

On Monday, I went to college early in the morning to give a project review and some other updates with my team. And from college, I had to go straight to office. And my home is smack in the middle of them both. Fortunately, the travel wasn’t too bad that day. I reached office in time from college.

But also, I had to go to college wearing a dress. Here, in India, we don’t wear dresses and very trendy clothes to college on normal days. Only during the fest. In fact, my college doesn’t allow shorts or sleeveless clothes usually.

So I had to wear a jacket on top of my dress and had gotten quite a few looks when I went to college. Since my dress was long and all of me was covered, no one said anything. But that was new.

And like my week started with college, it ended with college too.

We were supposed to have our first internal tests on Friday and Saturday. I have literally attended FOUR classes this semester, and those don’t even cover all the three subjects. Plus I slept through two of those classes. So upcoming tests? Not fun.

I studied a bit in the office on Thursday for the 1 test I had on Friday. Thankfully I got some free time with no work and was able to fit studying in. The test wasn’t great, but it wasn’t too bad. I did okay, I guess. We’ll see when results are out.

The two tests I was supposed to have on Saturday got cancelled. Thankfully, I did not start studying for either of them by the time we got the news. After the first exam, I sat down to finish bingeing the Kdrama. Once done, I procrastinated until we got the news lol.

Why did they get cancelled, though?

COVID-19 UPDATE

The virus has finally made it to India, and is spreading fast.

We’re still in phase-2 where only people who went abroad and their direct connections have been infected and tested positive. And we’re trying our best to not move to phase-3 which is community spreading.

The state I live in has had a few cases as well, including 1 death. The government is trying to shut the virus down STAT so we’re going all out. That means no more mass gatherings etc.

This was why my tests on Saturday got cancelled. Schools for younger kids closed down to early vacations a while back. But from Saturday, all grades of school were told to stop. Colleges have shut down as well.

Work across my city is being halted or moved to remote working, including mine starting Monday. I’m super glad because I am now paranoid about travelling in public transport. Especially since there was a positive case very close to home (like, a 5 min walk away) and my immunity is not great either.

I’m staying home, and I’m not stepping out for a while. If I can help it. And I’m working on getting my friends to stay extra cautious (read: paranoid because my paranoia means they’ll be somewhat cautious) too.

We’re working on it. Huge props to health workers and the police who are working very hard. The government and police are doing proper contact tracing etc. to keep the virus from spreading.

We’re doing our best. Fingers crossed. The world is getting scarier, and reading the news about how it’s worsening in other countries (especially Italy and Iran) is damn sad.

Hang in there, y’all! Hwaiting!

As I suddenly had a free weekend, and there’s no going out involved, I decided to tackle reading and blogging. Mostly reading, though. This is a good situation for us introverts and book nerds and Netflix bingers 🙂


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Tell me your updates! How are you holding up? How is life going for you? How is your mental health with the news and current state of the world?

Book Design Tag

Books can be SUPER PRETTY and make you cover buy.

They can also be so creative. The book designs, especially nowadays, are BRILLIANT. Designers come up with such good designs, I get heart eyes.

I found this tag at A Little Haze Book Blog and thought it would be fun to do!


1. A book you bought primarily (or completely) because of the cover.

the crown by kiera cass

The Crown by Kiera Cass. I didn’t even want to read this book because The Heir (it’s immediate prequel) was SO BAD. But. It’s so pretty. So of course I bought it.

2. A book you want to buy that has a beautiful cover

six of crows collector's edition

Since I already own the Six of Crows collector’s edition, I’m going to say Crooked Kindgom collector’s edition! These editions are way too beautiful.

3. Your favourite series design

the selection series

The Selection series by Kiera Cass. All the books look way too good. The dresses, especially.

4. Dust jacket: a book with a beautiful dust jacket, or something unexpected under the jacket

I’m not a huge hardcover follower, so I’m actually not sure. I’m going to say.. A Darker Shade of Magic collector’s edition.

5. Naked hardback: a gorgeous book with no dust jacket

Going with Six of Crows again!

6. A beautiful paperback

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore cover

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew J. Sullivan! When I noticed it in the bookstore last year, I was struck by how beautiful it looks!

7. A nonfiction book with a lovely cover

I’m not a non-fiction person so I don’t keep track of this genre. Skipping this one!

8. A book with great endpapers

Okay I don’t pay much attention to this too. But I did see endpapers of The Shadowhunter’s Codex once and LOVED IT. So I’ll choose that.

9. Spine: a book that looks just as gorgeous spine-out as it does face-out

circe by madeline miller

Circe by Madeline Miller! It’s very catchy showing the spine on my shelf 🙂

10. Tag some friends!

YOU! Only if you want to do this too, of course.


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10 Authors Who Have a Fun Social Media Presence

It’s the age of the internet and that means fans can follow and interact (!!!) with celebrities. For readers, those celebrities are called authors.

There are many authors whom I follow as well. I follow partly for new book news but mostly to know the authors behind the scenes. Like what are they annoyed with today or memes that they find funny. Just fun things!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Authors Who Have a Fun Social Media Presence and this week’s topic is Authors Who Have a Fun Social Media Presence. Let’s get to it!

[1] Rick Riordan

I’ve been following him since the time I joined Twitter, and I totally enjoy his tweets. Especially recently, since he posts updates about a new PJ adaptation (FINGERS CROSSED WE GET ONE!).

[2] V. E. Schwab

She is an ABSOLUTE QUEEN and its fun to follow her both on Twitter and Instagram. Schwab is hilarious, especially with her tweets. Also, most of her tweets are SUPER RELATABLE.

[3] Kiera Cass

She is HILARIOUS. I love following her on both Twitter and Instagram. Her Instagram user name is so cool.

One of the recent highlights was when there was a line in P.S. I Still Love You (Sequel of To All The Boys) that was VERY SIMILAR to a very popular line from her book The One. Everyone started tweeted her about it and she had NO CLUE because she doesn’t watch movies. It was so funny.

[4] Hank Green

Hank Green’s tweets on Twitter are crack. me. up. He also tweets about relevant things that are happening in the world currently.

[5] James Breakwell

HIS ACCOUNT IS MY FAVOURITE.

His tweets are almost ALWAYS funny, and they’re all about his family. His young daughters are such ICONS and it’s so cool to see random life updates through his tweets.

I’ve shown his account to multiple IRL* friends actually.

*In Real Life

I mean.. seriously. I love the 5 year old. (He always refers to them by their ages)

[6] Penny Reid

Considering some of my favourite romance books are written by her, its obvious that she would be just as awesome as a person. Or as a Twitter account.

She also responds and interacts with her fans a TON.

[7] Tahereh Mafi

Her Instagram account is GORGEOUS. First of all, love her fashion and her style. It’s not my style, but I do admire her for having a very distinctive style. Another thing I love is getting glimpses of her CUTE daughter.

View this post on Instagram

never enough words to describe

A post shared by tahereh mafi (@tahereh) on

View this post on Instagram

imagine me hits shelves next month

A post shared by tahereh mafi (@tahereh) on

There are so many more pictures showing off her style that I want to show but then this post will just become an ode to her Instagram.

[8] Adam Silvera

I’ve been following his Twitter WAY before I even read his books. His personality is so cool and it shows through his tweets.

He also frequently gushes about other books and shares what he’s reading/loving.

[9] R. F. Kuang

She’s the author of The Poppy War, but it doesn’t seem like it in her Twitter feed because she talks about all life things more than book things.

One of her tweets became popular and found it’s way into my feed, which was how I started following her. It actually took me a few seconds to realize that she’s the author haha.

Sharing my FAVOURITE tweet thread by her lol.

I actually BURST OUT LAUGHING when I read the first tweet. And I was in public.

[10] Alexa Martin

I’ve spoken about her and her books several times in my posts, especially in the recommendation lists. So, of course, I had to find her online and follow her.


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Who are your favourite people to follow on social media? Tell me below!

Love From A to Z || READ. THIS.

love from a to z by S.K. Ali

Title: Love From A to Z
Author: S.K. Ali
Genre: Contemporary
Category: Young Adult
Series info: Standalone

This book had been on my TBR* for a LONG TIME. Although I had heard really good things about it, I just was never in the mood to get it and read it. Thankfully, that changed recently.

When I got an audiobook subscription, I started going through all the book available and this caught my eye. Since 2020 so far has been reading backlist books, I thought I will tackle this as well. And that was a very good decision.

*To Be Read list

THE PLOT

Adam and Zayneb record their lives in their “marvels and oddities” journals. Although they got the idea in different ways, it’s how they see their lives.

Fate decided to push them together. They come across each other in the London airport waiting for the same flight, and then met each other again through family in Doha.

This book is a love story through and through. But it is made of so much more.

MY REVIEW

THIS. BOOK.

I shouldn’t have waited so long to read it. It’s so damn good.

Love From A to Z is the love story of Adam and Zayneb, who live in different countries and have entirely different plans for life. Their lives are very different, and yet they feel pulled towards each other.

Let’s do this in a list, because lists make everything better.

  • ZAYNEB.

Zayneb is an angry person. She becomes angry when any injustice occurs and cannot sit quietly, accepting it. Especially when it comes to her religion.

Zayneb got suspended for a week right before spring break from school because of a seemingly threatening note against her Islamophobic teacher. After her suspension, she decides that she will become a new person this spring at Doha. A quieter Zayneb. A softer Zayneb.

  • ADAM.

Adam is studying in London, but he stopped going to classes two months ago. After being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, the same condition which took his mom away, he has decided to LIVE. He’s on his way home from University and is faced with the decision to tell his family about MS.

  • CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.

Both Zayneb and Adam go through leaps and bounds in this book. They learn, and they mature. They learn about themselves and find courage to be truly themselves.

Zayneb’s development was especially lovely to see. She wants to become a muter person who will cause less trouble for her parents, but this spring she learns that her experiences aren’t meant to be shushed. I loved that.

  • ISLAM.

This book teaches us so much about the religion, and the beauty of it. I’ll be honest, the only reason I know anything about Christianity is because of books. And I’m super glad that books about Islam are coming up too.

Books have the capability to teach us so much, and this one took the opportunity.

  • ZAYNEB’S AUNT.

I just love her. She’s awesome. I want her as my aunt.

  • MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS.

As Adam has MS, we learn a lot about it as well. The book has a very raw depiction of living with MS and I almost cried at one point. Although I knew the basics about the condition, this is the first time that I learnt about it in detail.

  • MARVELS AND ODDITIES.

The book is written through their journals. As Adam and Zayneb record the marvels and oddities of their lives, we see how they view life and it’s moments.

It was a new way of writing a book and it was nice. I enjoyed the format.

OVERALL

A really REALLY nice book that I totally recommend. I “read” the book through audiobook and it was well narrated so I would suggest that too. It’s the best narrated book I’ve listened to so far.

I rate this…

4/5 stars

reading challenges updates and goals @ the wordy habitat book blog

February Reading Challenges update + March Goals

Hey guys!

February was a shorter month, even though it was a day longer than usual. This basically means that I read one book less than I originally would.

Okay, I’m totally lying. I’m barely finding the time to read, y’all! I’m using the one missing day as an excuse.

While February was more hectic than usual, I still managed to stay a little consistent in my reading. This was only possible because I started listening to audiobooks during commute. Not always, but enough.

It resulted in me reading three extra books! It’s kind of a lifesaver haha.

Anyway, let’s get to the (disappointing) updates and (hopeful) goals.

GOODREADS READING CHALLENGE

When talking about February goals, I mentioned that if I don’t catch up to my goal in February I would reduce my goal. I was 4 books behind at the time.

Today, I’m giving myself a second chance to catch up to my original goal of 150 books. Why, you ask? Because I’ve been consistently 4 books behind all month.

I just need to fit in 4 reads somewhere so I can catch up. Hopefully, it’ll happen.

I’ve made a new goal now, though. If my pace falls behind by 8 books, I WILL reduce it. No second chances.

As of now, I’ve read 22/150 books, leaving me 3 books behind schedule. The only way I reduced one was by reading a very tiny book. Yes, I cheated, but I had no choice.

SOUTH-ASIAN READING CHALLENGE 2020

Last month, I planned to read two books. But I managed to only finish one of them.

Loveboat, Taipei is done. Stories We Never Tell is still sitting unread on my shelf and will probably be there for a while because I’m NOT finding the time to actually read.

I have no specific book in mind for March. If I can read Stories We Never Tell, it would be good. Actually, I stopped keeping track of this challenge completely. Don’t be surprised if it disappears next month haha.*

*sobs internally at my failure

#StartOnYourShelfathon

Does it count if the shelf is my To-Be-Read shelf? I assume not. *sigh*

The only books that qualifies for this challenge (that I read) are:

  • The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Axiom by Kristofor Hellmeister

March goals are low and now optimistic so I know I can hit them. My goal is to read at least ONE from my physical shelf.

2020 POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE

Someone from my book club who is also doing this challenge has finished 19 of the prompts (!!!!!) and here I am with barely any checked off. *cries internally again*

Prompts I completed in February:

  • A book that’s published in 2020: The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa
  • A book set in a country beginning with C: Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen which is set in China.
  • A book you picked because the title caught your attention: The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • A book with at least a 4-star rating on Goodreads: The Third Best Thing by Maya Hughes
  • A book you meant to read in 2019: We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • A book that passes the Bechdel test: What I Like About Me by Jenna Guillaume
  • A book by a WOC: Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali

I had meant to read Stories We Never Tell for the last prompt, but since I didn’t read it, I switched the book so I can check off the prompt. Fortunately, I managed to check off a few extra prompts using the books I read. Yay!

This brings my total to 11 prompts! Okay that’s way more than I expected haha. Fortunately my February reads fit in with random prompts.

I don’t have specific prompt goals for March, but I’d like to hit at least 3. Let’s see!

A RANDOM UPDATE

I’m not doing any challenge to get to my backlist books (like Beat the Backlist challenge which I had done a few years back). But since I do have an audiobook subscription now, I’m using it to check off old books from my TBR.

This is happening only because I found those books when browsing, and I fortunately don’t have to buy them individually. This is a good opportunity to finish them.

And that’s it for this month!

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Are you participating in any challenges? What’s your status?

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The Sunday Post // a very EVENTFUL week

Last week was honestly SO LONG.

I’m spending today just trying to recover from everything haha. So many things happened that I need a whole day (or a whole blog post) to just process everything.

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

Let’s jump right in!

BOOK CLUB MEET!

Last Sunday, I met up with my book club and it was SO NICE. We headed to a year-round book fair first and some of us bought books there.

After that, we had a long lunch and hangout in a new place. The food was quite nice, but the drinks were the highlight. I got cold chocolate and it was great.

And to finish up the meet, we went to our regular bookstore haunt haha. I sold back a couple of my books and got two new ones. Super excited to read them!

All-in-all, it was a really good day. I met two members for the first time ever too.

MUM’S BIRTHDAY

It was my mum’s birthday on Wednesday. Since I’m now getting a stipend from my internship, of course I had to get her a gift.*

There’s a superstition in our culture that says don’t buy anything on Tuesdays. I don’t follow it but my mum does. Hence, I went shopping on Monday after office hours. I made sure to do an earlier shift so I could go shopping for mum.

After hitting multiple stores in a shopping street near the office, I found a bag that matched all the specifications my mum would like. And I got it in a really pretty peach colour too!

I couldn’t hide the bag since it’s big so my mum noticed it the second I walked into our home. So I gave it to her then itself. She loved it. I’m happy 🙂

*We generally don’t gift on birthdays in my family. It’s always like that. We just wish and have good food if we can.

I LOST MY WALLET

Or rather, it was stolen.

I was on my way to the metro station on Friday morning when it disappeared from my bag. After reaching the station, I realized that one of my bag’s pocket zips was open and found out that my wallet was missing.

Assuming that I hadn’t closed the pocket which led to it falling, I went back searching the entire way. But I didn’t find it. I went to the police station nearby to lodge a complaint too.

Just in case, I searched the way twice more. But yeah, it was gone by then. I went back home and blocked my card which was in the wallet. And then I went to my office.

My mum and I were just thinking how could I have lost it. After figuring out logistics, we concluded that it was stolen and not lost. But yeah, I learnt to be careful about where I keep my wallet in the bag.

And in the panic about the wallet, I misplaced my scarf somewhere.

All of it took about two hours so I reached the office a couple hours late. Thankfully, I didn’t miss anything important. But yeah, it was a bad start to the day.

I did get a message in the evening that someone tried to use my card but the transaction was declined since I blocked it. And there was just a little cash and no ID cards in the wallet. Phew.

ETHNIC DAY AT COLLEGE

This was yesterday (Saturday). I wasn’t in the mood to wear ethnic so I wore a nice jumpsuit and went. I was one of the very few not wearing Indian ethnic but who cares. I looked good.

My friends and I took a ton of pictures and danced to music. After that, we went to a mall for a late lunch. And we ended the day with drinks at a nearby restropub.

The highlight of the day was definitely my drink haha. It was called Earl Grey Mixture. It was basically Earl Grey tea, Whiskey, and Ginger Ale. And I absolutely loved it. Credits to my friend Ronj for finding it in the menu and telling me.

ENDING NOTES

It’s been a cycle of office and home. I still haven’t gotten down a routine where I’m productive and that SUCKS. I need to especially start working on my project for college. Aaargh. If I could have Hermione’s time turner right now, it would be great.


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How was your week? Tell me in the comments!

Axiom || Dystopian world of no emotions

Axiom by Kristofor Hellmeister book cover

Title: Axiom
Author: Kristofor Hellmeister
Genre: Science Fiction > Dystopia
Category: Young Adult
Series info: Standalone

Goodreads

I’m very into dystopia. While there are few books that I’ve really liked, I’m always looking for books in the genre that sound interesting.

Axiom was one of those. When the author reached out to me for a review in return for an advanced reader’s copy, I immediately agreed. And I looked forward to reading it as well.

The Plot

Axiom is peaceful. There is no violence and there are no variables. Even death is not a concept here.

People are known as “Figures” and have their own Roles in Axiom. Each Figure’s Role is important to the working of Axiom.

The reason this is seamlessly achieved is because only one person has control of Axiom—the Lord Protector. Only he has control and every Figure exists to serve him. In return for loyalty and obedience, he keeps Axiom peaceful and healthy.

But what happens when some Figures start having emotions? When they break out of Roles to search for purpose in their existence? And is Axiom really so perfect?

This book explores a future possibility where, to eradicate violence, emotions are removed and one person reigns with all control.

My Review

Tackling this review in the form of lists, because lists rock.

What I liked:

  • The world-building.

The first half of the book had me hooked. Through perspectives of characters in very different positions of the world, we get to see the various sides of Axiom.

I was completely engaged when reading about the setting, and how things work in this fictional place. The technology described was very interesting as well.

  • Addition of and debate on concepts like God and morals.

The way God was brought into the story and portrayed was quite clever. In the book, God is known as “Theo”. To me, that was weird in the beginning but it does make sense. No matter the name, it’s the belief that counts.

We see characters who are devout believers as well as characters who don’t even consider of such an existence. Interaction of the two was intriguing, and very similar to the current world’s stance. No matter the time, this debate will probably continue.

  • The ending.

I can’t say why without spoiling it but I appreciated how the book ended. It made me think for a few minutes, and I liked that.

What I did not like:

  • The plot didn’t seem cohesive all the time.

In fact, different characters could have been in entirely different worlds. There was very little connectivity between the different areas of the book, which was jarring during the perspective shifts.

  • Character growth.

This was the thing that got on my nerves the most. Characters would make entire revelations about themselves and/or the world around them based on very little.

In reality, the process of one’s growth is very long. But in this book it took place in the span of a night. Out of nowhere, revelations and identity changes were made. I found it hard to accept, because it happened so suddenly and is done at once.

  • I lost interest at around 50%

Until then, I was swept up in understanding the world and finding out how it worked. When the focus of the writing shifted to the characters, I wasn’t interested in the book as much.

It’s probably because of the way the characters’ journey was shown, especially a few key places about character growth. The world was great but the characters just did not interest me.

Overall

I found the book pretty okay. I didn’t enjoy the book a lot, but it wasn’t bad as well.

Recommended if you like great world-building, dystopian books.

Not recommended if characters and character growth is very important to you.

I rate this book…

2.5/5 stars

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The Sunday Post // short updates

Hey y’all!

We’re onto the last week of the month of February already! How’s everyone holding up? I’m quite tired, to be honest. Mostly mentally and emotionally. One of my main problems is not getting in enough alone time every week to recharge.

All I want is some time to myself haha. But, as this post gets published I’m out with my book club and not alone so.. lol. Maybe next week. Hopefully.

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

Reading Update

I was even more garbage at reading this week than last week. I’m going to reduce my Goodreads challenge for sure at the end of this month.

I read two romance books to pass time, and I’m listening to another one on audiobook right now. It’s mindless reading.

The Thing Around Your Neck is still going on as well, as I’m slowly reading it with a group of people on Instagram.

Another book I’m currently reading as an ebook is an ARC who’s review I have to post later this week. It’s quite good so keep an eye out for that review!

What did I watch last week?

I’m just bingeing episodes of Shark Tank on Netflix lol. I’ve seen the first 6 seasons and few of episodes of season 7, so I’m not missing anything as Netflix only has seasons 7, 8 and 9.

It’s so nice to watch it again. I used to love watching the show and it’s keeping me gripped. The show is actually really nice to watch and I learn a lot of things from it. It’s quite informative in the business point-of-view.

Updates on life!

I paid a visit to the doctor yesterday and I’ve been cleared for surgery. In case you’re a new reader or follower here, I have a neck swelling which is a bronchial cyst. I’ve had it for about a year. A few months back, I ended up in the ER ward due to a common cold which infected the cyst as well. The swelling kept increasing and became painful.

That was when we realized that I HAVE to get a surgery to remove the cyst. But my thyroid levels were too low to go for it.

Now my thyroid levels have increased a bit using meds. Not enough to be in normal range, but it should be okay for general anesthesia. My swelling is staying constant in size now, but it might increase again if I fall sick. And I fall sick very easily.

So we need to do the surgery ASAP. I have to figure out dates with my internship and when I can take off for the surgery. Probably won’t be very soon but sometime in the next few months!

Instagram?

I’ve been BARELY active on Instagram recently, and it’s because I just am not in the mood for using the app. I barely even open the app right now. My motivation for Instagram is coming in waves and… I may stop using it soon? Who knows.

But yeah I haven’t posted on my feed for two weeks and Instagram barely crosses my mind. I don’t open it to engage with others as well.


And that’s it for this week! I know this is way shorter than my usual updates but I don’t have much to say. This past week has been pretty uneventful.

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How was your week? Was it more eventful than mine?

Loveboat, Taipei || unpopular opinion alert!

Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen

Title: Loveboat, Taipei
Author: Abigail Hing Wen
Genre: Contemporary
Category: Young Adult
Series info: Standalone

Goodreads

There’s been a lot of talk about this book since before it’s release. Bloggers who were lucky enough to get an ARC of this praised it a lot. The word got out pretty well, and tons of people got to reading it.

Everything I heard about this book was good. It was only positive. And that’s the reason why I expected it to be really good. I did not expect for it have elements that I really dislike.

But I did.

THE PLOT

Ever is a first generation Chinese-American. And like all Asian parents, they have high dreams for Ever. She’s expected to become a doctor.

But all Ever wants to do is dance. She loves to dance and choreograph dance routines. Her dream is to get into NYU Tisch School of Arts.

During the summer after high school, when she had plans of dancing and other things, her parents suddenly send her to Taipei for a summer programs. They want her to know her culture and learn Mandarin.

But the program nicknamed “Loveboat” is much more than a clean summer program to learn things. And this summer is going to shape Ever’s life in ways she never expected.

MY REVIEW

Let’s do this review in list format because I have MANY POINTS.

WHAT I LIKED:

  • Asian-American life representation.

Life is a lot like that even in Asian countries. Parents sacrifice SO MUCH that us only thinking about doing what makes us happy is almost a crime. I’m literally an engineering student in college and not doing literature because of my parents.

It’s so normal for us. And I love how it’s represented accurately, describing how it is for the kids AND the parents.

  • Complex relationships.

There were so many relationships shown that had layers to them. Between Ever and her romantic interest. Ever and her parents. Ever and her roommate.

There were even second-hand mentions of relationships not explicitly shown in the book. I loved reading all of it because it’s how life is. And the author managed to show just how many different complex relationships exist for just one person.

  • What it’s like to be Asian in America.

As the summer program is full of Asian kids living in other countries, we got a few bits of proper focus on how life is for them. The way they are treated, the almost-normal racist comments. It hit hard, but I feel good knowing that non-Asian readers will understand what it’s like.

  • Dreams and sacrfices.

We know that how we are brought up affects us a lot. It shapes our self-worth, our attitude towards life, and our ambitions and goals. This book really showcased the different types of lives and how parents really affect children.

  • Supporting characters had significance too.

Every supporting character we saw had dreams and goals. They had desires in life. The author showcased so many different scenarios through them. This one group of guys just went around breaking Asian stereotypes and I LOVED IT. Huge points for these things.

  • Character growth.

There was so much of it! Characters learned through mistakes, learnt new things, started having different outlooks and became better people by the end. That was lovely to watch.

What I did not like:

  • The middle of the book was dull and uninteresting.

The beginning started off strong. The ending was good. But damn the middle was annoying.

After Ever got to the program, it became all about teenage rebellion and boy crazy thoughts. It felt like a full one eighty from the first few chapters.

It got me so disinterested in the book that I PAUSED listening to it as an audiobook. In order to make myself finish the book, I had to pick it up as an ebook after a week.

This alone ruined the experience for me.

OVERALL

Other than the random boy-crazy rebelling stuff in the middle which threw the entire book off for me, it was really good.

I recommend this book for the Asian-American representation, complex relationships, and character growth.

But if you don’t like ANY of boy crazy random things, you won’t like it much like me.

I rate this book…

3/5 stars

the sunday post header

The Sunday Post // all the updates!

Hey y’all!

It’s been so long since I’ve posted a life update! I think it’s been about three weeks since my last Sunday post but I didn’t even realize it. The days are going by very fast because all my days are FILLED.

To be honest, I don’t know what exactly to update on but I shall just mention whatever I can think of.

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

My classes started up again.

Yes, I’m still doing my internship. But college doesn’t revolve around us students with internships.

For the last semester, we have classes 3 days a week—Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Since I have internship Monday to Friday, I was (fortunately) given permission to skip classes for two days. Attendance on Saturdays is still required, though.

So from now on, I’m officially back on the six day week track.

Yesterday was my first day back in college and also for many of my friends. Most of us are doing internships so it was like a reunion after so long. It was so nice!

Everyone asked each other updates and caught up on lives. Since we’re a big group, we don’t text individually with everyone else. Most interactions and updates happen in groups so it was much needed.

We spent time like old times yesterday. My friend and I, who got into the same company, treated the rest of our friends in Taco Bell since we got our first stipend. And we played card games, which is a classic thing that we do.

So yeah, it was pretty fun.

Reading Update

I was off to a very good start at the beginning of this week. Especially since I got an audiobook subscription a while back.

But my reading just.. slowed down a lot. During the week I barely read. And Loveboat, Taipei which I was listening to as an audiobook was not very enjoyable. It put me off and I just stopped listening to it for a while.

In order to finish it, I picked it up as an ebook in the last few days and skimmed the rest of it. While the ending was good, I just did not have a good time reading it overall.

Other than that, I finished no other books. So yeah, I’m pretty sure I will be reducing my reading goal for the year.

Here’s the reading update on The Thing Around Your Neck:

TV Show & Movie update

I watched so many things recently!

Extraordinarily You

I watching this Kdrama a couple weeks back. Binged it during the weekend, actually. It was actually really nice. I liked the complexity of the concept and it’s very different than the stories I’ve seen around the same concept.

Sky Castle

Watched this Kdrama during the week a couple weeks back. It’s 20 episodes long and I was HOOKED the whole time. It’s a brilliant drama in the Dark Academia genre which talks about a ton of things. Complex characters, complex relationships and a very interesting story.

Miss Americana

Watched this on Netflix last weekend. I’ve been a real fan of Taylor Swift only in the last year or so, when she started speaking out on things and became more than a regular singer. This movie brought many things from her life to light. It was nice to watch and learn more about her as a person.

P.S. I Still Love You

This sequel to To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before was nice but… I didn’t like it all that much. It wasn’t special. There were a ton of cool plotlines from the book that were scrapped. In fact, almost everything other than the love triangle was scrapped. It made the movie seem to have less substance.

I’m excited to watch the third movie, though. It’s less about new romances and more about life and choices. It should be quite nice.

Spinning Out

I watched this series throughout the past week. It’s actually quite small, with only 10 half-hour episodes.

But it packed SO MUCH in those 5 hours. The show is too good, and I have no idea why Netflix cancelled it WITHIN A MONTH of releasing it. That’s such a disappointment.

It’s honestly one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.

Random thoughts

I’ve been having small but really good conversations with people recently. Just talking about things and finding out various perspectives. It’s always interesting to see how different people view the same thing.

And I really like conversations where we talk about something in depth, ask each other questions on things and explain perspectives. It helps me understand other people better. I also sometimes learn new things.

So yeah. That’s been the random highlight of last week.


That’s about all I have to say. There have been a ton of small things happening but not interesting enough to share lol.

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How was your week? What did you read or watch?

reading challenges updates and goals @ the wordy habitat book blog

January Reading Challenges update + February goals

Hey y’all!

2020 is the first year where I take on reading challenges/readathons for the first time. I mentioned all the ones I’m participating in last year, and I was hesitant if I’ll be able to truly keep up with them. But I’m trying!

In this post, I’ll go through my updates on every challenge and the goals I have for this month.

GOODREADS READING CHALLENGE

I kept my goal 150 books, same as last year. But I’m already behind on the challenge lol.

Right now, I’m 3 books behind on my challenge with 12/150 books completed. 9 books were read in January. That’s a low number compared to previous years as January is usually the month when I read many books. But this time I didn’t have a full sem break in Jan so the reads went down as well.

My goal this month is to catch up with the challenge. If I don’t catch up by the end of February, I’ll mostly lower my goal. The rest of the year will just be more hectic so if I don’t catch up now, I won’t later.

SOUTH-ASIAN READING CHALLENGE 2020

Started by Fanna, the goal is just to read as many South-Asian books as you can. There are also Books of the Month (BOTM) picked by the hosts every month.

In January, I read one of the BOTMs which was My So Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma. I almost didn’t read it but managed to squeeze it in at the end of the month.

For February, I’m reading 2 South-Asian books. One is Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen which I’m currently listening to as an audiobook. The other is Stories We Never Tell by Savi Sharma which I picked up in the bookstore recently.

#StartOnYourShelfathon

In my excitement for this challenge, I made a whole post about what I’d like to read in Janurary. I read three books from that list and stopped following it. I’m a mood reader so I honestly expected it.

Books I read that fit this challenge:

  • Becoming by Michelle Obama
  • Thanks for the Memories by Cecelia Ahern
  • The Silva Mind Control Method by Jose Silva
  • Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

Books I want to read in February:

  • The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (currently reading!)
  • Stories We Never Tell by Savi Sharma
  • Frankly in Love by David Yoon

2020 POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE

My progress on this challenge is LAUGHABLE. The only reason I got any ticked off was because I read books that fit two challenges.

Prompts I completed:

  • Book about a world leader: Becoming by Michelle Obama
  • A book set in Japan: Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
  • A book with more than 20 words in the title: My So Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma
  • A book with a 3 word-title: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

I’m doing the same in February as January. I’m trying to fit all my reads picked for other challenges into prompts for this challenge.

Prompts I’m aiming for in February:

  • A book that’s published in 2020: The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa (already finished!)
  • A book set in a country beginning with C: Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen which is set in China.
  • A book you picked because the title caught your attention: The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie which was a random buy at the bookstore because of the title.
  • A book by a WOC: Stories We Never Tell by Savi Sharma

And that’s it! It feels like a lot haha. Let’s hope I can do it all.

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Are you participating in any challenges? What’s your status?

My So-Called Bollywood Life || the book I needed

my so called bollywood life by nisha sharma book cover // book review by Sumedha @ the wordy habitat

Title: My So-Called Bollywood Life
Author: Nisha Sharma
Genre: Contemporary
Category: Young Adult
Series info: Standalone

Goodreads

I picked up this book as part of the South-Asian Reading Challenge, and I was NOT disappointed. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to read it in January but after Kafka On The Shore I needed something light and this was perfect.

THE PLOT

The book stars Vaneeta “Winnie” Mehta—a film enthusiast (particularly Bollywood films), type A Indian student, and dramatic enough to make Bollywood writers proud.

After Winnie is cheated on and dumped by Raj, whom she thought was “the one” because of an astrologer’s prophecy, she sets out to change her destiny in the stars.

Enter: Dev Khanna, a guy Winnie had a spark with in freshman year before starting to date Raj. A guy who, while not matching her true love prophecy, feels more right for her than Raj ever did.

My So-Called Bollywood Life is perfect for readers who like YA. But it’s even more perfect for Bollywood-lovers. Following Winnie’s complicated life about teenage love, future plans, and family dynamics with Indian traditions, this book will transport you into a fun world.

MY REVIEW

I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK.

I cannot describe just how much I enjoyed this. It has all the Indian elements I ever wanted in a YA setting. As someone who loves YA and barely sees true Indian representation, this warmed my heart so much. I could cry.

All the things I loved:

(pretty much everything lol)

  • Winnie Mehta is awesome. I absolutely loved reading through her perspective. She’s energetic, exuberant, and is very passionate about films. I adored her. ❤
  • EVERYTHING INDIAN. Of course, I have to mention this. Even the few Hindi sentences (smoothly translated in English for everyone else) were a huge addition. I felt included. *cries* The traditions, beliefs, everything was amazing to read about. #relatable

“Kamina, kutta, sala,” she said sweetly when she answered (the phone).

  • Family presence. Winnie’s relationship with her family, especially her dad and grandmom, was so nice to see.
  • It wasn’t just romance. A lot of YA novels tend to sideline everything else in the favour of scenes that contribute to the romance. That didn’t happen here. We saw enough about Winnie’s culture, other relationships, and mostly importantly her drive towards film. She was determined to do anything to get into NYU. The struggle and stress was shown.
  • Winnie and Bridget. These two best friends were adorable to watch and I loved everything about their friendship.
  • The romance. I mean, come on. Of course I’m going to mention this. As the heart of the story, the romance did NOT disappoint. Honestly, it gave me quite a few feels.

“I’m done with romance.”

Nani snorted. “You’re Indian! We live for romance.”

A book is not just made of major plot points, but also the small settings. My So-Called Bollywood Life was chock full of small scenes/parts which make a difference to the reader. From Winnie dreaming about her favourite actor to people belittling Indian beliefs, there were tons of moments that added to the experience.

OVERALL

Thoroughly enjoyed the book, and totally recommend it to all YA lovers.

I did notice that it’s not specifically targeted for Indian readers, as in that the traditions are subtly explained and Hindi terms are translated. So if you want to have a fun and light YA read, you can pick this up without any worries.

I’m so glad I was introduced to this book through the challenge because I doubt I would have come across it otherwise.

I rate this book…

4.5/5 stars