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

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

WWW Wednesday // 05 Feb 2020

Hey everyone!

Ever since my internship started halfway through January, my reading has significantly gone down. Right now, I’m 4 books behind on my Goodreads reading challenge. This last week, I’ve been reading whenever I can to keep pace.

My goal is to catch up on the challenge in the next two weeks or so. Let’s hope I can do it lol. Otherwise, I might reduce my goal.

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 did you recently finish reading?

1. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

To be honest, I finished this on 26th which is not in the last 7 days. But I want to talk about it since I didn’t in any post.

I like the author’s style as in Norwegian Wood. The underlying intention of the plot was a good concept as well. But the world-building and the fully developed plot did not make sense. I was confused a lot. After I finished the book, it left no lasting impression on me.

It was honestly disappointing. I expected a lot out of it since it’s a very popular Murakami book that many love, but I didn’t like it. Only after posting my disappointment over it did I find that many others didn’t like it as well.

So yeah, it is a popular book that I didn’t like.

2. My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma

Read this as part of the South-Asian Reading Challenge after Kafka on the Shore since I wanted an easy feel-good book. It was really nice! Loved all the Indian elements and Bollywood references. The romance was quite nice too. But mainly, I loved the characters.

I’ll post a review on it in a few days, so look out for that!

3. Well Met by Jen DeLuca

When this released, it became super popular amongst romance readers online. The hype made me wary because it can always lead me wrong in the romance genre. There are things that I specifically don’t like.

I finally decided to read it as I already had it on my Kindle. And it was nice!!!! The book was so nice.

Main points: set in a small town, includes a Renaissance Fair(!!) and the romance is hate-to-love. It was so nice to watch the two main characters grow closer through banter and conversations about Shakespeare.

The hype did not lead me wrong here.

4. #TheRealCinderella by Yesenia Vargas

Okay so I’ll be honest. This wasn’t even on my radar.

I got an audiobook subscription few days back, mainly to listen during commute. As I walk for most of my commute duration, I can’t read. Audiobooks never worked for me before but I really wanted to try them again since it’ll help with my commute.

I found this book while perusing the selection available on Storytel. Since it would be my first time listening to an audiobook while commuting, I thought I’d try an easy read to see if I can manage concentrating to the book while on my way.

#TheRealCinderella sounded very much like the movie A Cinderella Story starring Hillary Duff and Chad Michael Murray. I was curious whether the story was an almost literal copy, and it would be an easy read. That’s why I picked it up randomly.

Now that I’ve finished it, I can say that it was pretty much the same as the movie’s plot. Click here for my full review on the book.


What are you currently reading?

It seems to that I’ve gone back to reading multiple books at a time haha. And it’s only because they’re all on different mediums.

1. The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Picked this one up in my last bookstore run. I was curious and honestly wanted a small book to read. This caught my eye since it’s short stories.

I’ve read only about two short stories so far, but it’s going good. I’m not a fan of short stories, generally. I want to try though. Let’s hope I enjoy it.

2. Not the Girl You Marry by Andie J. Christopher

This was already on my Kindle and my Kindle was next to me on the couch during my weekend laziness. So I started reading this book.

Not going to lie, I don’t think I’ll like it..? The beginning was kinda weird and I don’t like the characters all that much. I’ll read a bit more and decide whether I want to DNF* it.

*Did Not Finish: book blogger speak for not liking the book enough to abandon it midway.

3. Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen

Quite a few people I follow have been RAVING about this book, especially Fanna. When I saw the title available on Storytel, I had to start it as my next audiobook.

I just started it this morning on my way to work so I’m not going to make any judgements just yet. Let’s see how it goes.


What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m a mood reader and I pick up books randomly, so I’m not sure. But there are books that I hope to read this month. It could be next week, or it may not be.

1. Stories We Never Tell by Savi Sharma

Picked this book up on my last bookstore run along with The Thing Around Your Neck. It caught my eye because the author is claimed to be India’s highest selling female author. I’ve never heard of her though, so I thought I’ll give her work a try.

The synopsis clues in that it’s a romance so it should be perfect for February’s South-Asian Reading Challenge prompt which is Mohabbat i.e. love. Keeping in theme with Valentine’s day and all.

2. The Worst Best Man by Mia Rosa

This book has been on my TBR for a while now, ever since I saw it on someone’s blog post. It released just yesterday and I’m super excited to read it.

I also found a romance book club on Instagram called Romancetheque Book Club. It is hosted by @thebibliotheque whom I’ve been following for a long time, and our reading tastes are quite similar. Joining the book club was a no-brainer.

The book pick for February is The Worst Best Man so it’s extra incentive for me to read this book soon.


And that’s it for my bookish updates!

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

The Bluest Eye || a confusing read

The bluest eye by Toni Morrison book review

Title: The Bluest Eye
Author: Toni Morrison
Genre: Fiction
Series info: Standalone

Goodreads

For the past couple months, I’ve been seeing Toni Morrison mentioned a lot online. Several bookstagrammers and bloggers whom I follow are reading Morrisson’s works. Of course, all of this got me curious about the author and her works.

Right in time, my book club chose The Bluest Eye as our book of the month. That got me motivated to read the book and try the author’s works.

Trigger warnings: racist slurs, bullying, rape, neglect, abuse, humiliation. (Probably more but I can’t remember, so make sure to find out before picking it up)

The Plot

The Bluest Eye is Toni Morrison’s debut novel and has a unique take on racism. Through this novel, the author crafts a situation which causes a young Black girl to desperately want blue eyes.

Showcasing multiple issues such as racism, abuse, and neglect, the book shows how hard life is for a young innocent girl to want blue eyes. Blue eyes, which are usually a feature of white people who are loved and cherished.

The Bluest Eye is definitely not a light read. It’s poignant with a message in every chapter, and has a strong voice as a book.

My Review

First of all, let me say that this book wasn’t easy to read. And this was so because of multiple reasons.

The timeline of the book isn’t linear. The chapters are scattered and it is up to the reader to figure out the timeline after reading most or all of the book. The jumps were very confusing in the beginning that I gave up trying to make sense, and instead just took the book chapter by chapter.

As the chapters were scattered, I was trying to understand what was happening and piece together the timeline. Hence, I couldn’t connect with the characters or feel for them. That was unfortunate, because it would have made much more of an impact on me.

Morrison’s writing is very different than what I’m used to, and the way she spoke about and crafted the situations was something to get used to. That also played a part in the book not being a good read for me.

One thing that quite irritated me was the point of view shown. Some chapters are in first person point of view of a supporting character, not the main one. But most of the book is in third person point of view. The random switching, without sense, was off-putting.

Every chapter in the book had something to show, by itself. I really liked that. Because even if I managed to read just one chapter a day, I’m still getting some meaning out of it.

As The Bluest Eye deals with heavy issues, it’s not an easy book. Morrison doesn’t describe things very graphically, but it’s enough that it makes a lasting impression on you. This played a part in me reading the book very slowly.

Overall

Honestly, I’m not too sure about whether I liked this book or not. I would have liked it a lot more if the chapters weren’t jumbled up. But because of that, I simply could not get lost into the book and was confused for a lot of time.

I will be picking up at least another book by Morrison, though. I want to know why this author is so popular and I don’t think The Bluest Eye did justice.

I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone looking for a light read. Pick this one up only if you have the time to devote to reading it. It’s a slow but meaningful read.

I rate this book..

2.5/5 stars

Have you read Toni Morrison’s books? Or, are they on your list?

top ten tuesday header image

Ten Most Recent Additions To My Bookshelf

Hey everyone!

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a list about books and we’re overdue for one. And today’s topic is exciting!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt has come in the right time because there have been quite a few additions to my bookshelf recently, and I can’t wait to talk about all of them.

I’m listing my physical additions first and then the ones on my Kindle!

[1] Release by Patrick Ness

I met up with my Bangalore Book Club on Sunday and Sukhaja from Bookish Bulletin* was SO KIND to giveaway** the books that she doesn’t have space for anymore. It went off almost like an auction, with first dibs called on the Whatsapp group.

I managed to nab this book and I’m so happy to finally own a Patrick Ness! I’ve been wanting to read his work for a long time and this will finally push me to it.

*check out her YouTube channel as she has some really good book recs on it!
**P.S. I gave away a couple books as well, so my bookshelf is still kinda balanced haha.

[2] Stories We Never Tell by Savi Sharma

I went to my favourite bookstore with the other Book Club members and sold back two* of my books for store credit. Of course I had to get new books, and I wanted to go for some new books that I haven’t heard of before.

Stories We Never Tell caught my eye as I was just going around in the bookstore, and the tagline “the most popular female author of India” caught my eye. With the South Asian Reading Challenge going on, I’m definitely trying to read more books by Indian authors and this looked perfect to try.

I will let y’all know how it is once I’m done!

*yes 4 books disappeared from my shelf in total! I like how I’m managing to keep my number of books constant haha.

The Ten Most Recent Additions to My Bookshelf - books in picture: Stories We Never Tell by Savi Sharma, The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Release by Patrick Ness

[3] The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I actually also own Americanah by the same author, which was an old Book of the Month picked by the club but one that I haven’t gotten to yet. I am intrigued by the popularity of Adichie’s works though and definitely will read more. I hadn’t heard of The Thing Around Your Neck before but many fellow book club members have and loved it, so of course I got it.

It’s a pretty thin book so I do think I’ll pick it up sooner, especially since it’s also a collection of short stories.

[4] Six of Crows Collector’s Edition by Leigh Bardugo

I already spoke about this in my life update but if you haven’t read that yet, my awesome-sauce friends gifted me this GORGEOUS edition after seeing it on my wishlist. I was so shocked when I saw it and my reaction is recorded on video for proof. It’s the most beautiful book I own at the moment.

six of crows collector's edition

[5] Circe by Madeline Miller

Another birthday gift that I received, this one from my book club, was Circe. It is a book that most of the members have either read or want to read, so I trust where they’re coming from and am super excited to read it.

Also, doesn’t hurt that this book is gorgeous too haha. I can’t resist pretty books.

circe by madeline miller

[6] Frankly In Love by David Yoon

My book club* did a Secret Santa pool back in December, and this LOVELY book was the gift that I got from my Santa. It’s a book that was on my wishlist but one that I would always pass up for another book, so I’m super glad that my Santa got it for me. I’m definitely going to be reading it soon when I need a YA contemporary kick.

*wow they’re being referenced a LOT today haha

Frankly in love by David Yoon

[7] The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

This book was this month’s Book of the Month pick, and I’m actually already done reading it. It came at the right time since Toni Morrison is rising in popularity and I’ve become intrigued by her works as well.

As I read this book, I was confused by the timeline and the point of the story. We kept shifting focus on characters, and some chapters are in first person while all others are in third person point of view. The author’s intention was to let us read and assemble the timeline ourselves, but it caused a disconnect between me and the characters. I couldn’t truly connect with them because I was trying to grasp the story.

It is a profound story involving themes of racism, sexism, neglect, abuse, and other strong topics. I am still looking forward to read more from the author as I’ve heard her writing is not like this all the time.

[8] My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma

As I am taking part in the South Asian Reading Challenge this year, I will be picking up some books for their prompts.

My So-Called Bollywood Life is the backlist book recommended by the hosts for this month’s theme “shuruat” i.e. beginning. The premise sounds interesting and while I may not be able to read it this month itself, I am excited to read it soon.

[9] Us, Again by Elle Maxwell

Recently, I’ve been reading books with strong themes—ones that require concentration and mulling over. This has made me want a light hearted book to offset them and I always turn to romance during these times.

Us, Again is a romance book that I got on impulse off my Goodreads TBR and am currently reading. I’m not enjoying it very much, as the male lead is pushy and slightly problematic, but it’s a book I’m simply reading to pass the time. So, yeah. Hopefully I like it by the end but I won’t be too disappointed if I don’t.

[10] Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno

I’m pretty sure this book caught my eye either on Goodreads as someone else was reading it or through a book recommendations blog post. I’m unsure of where exactly, but it sounded really nice and I impulsively got it on my Kindle.

I’m generally quite picky about my paperback and hardback buys but I go all impulsive on ebooks haha.


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What are the most recent additions to your bookshelf? Have you read any of the books I mentioned above?

Thanks For The Memories || an interesting idea

thanks for the memories book cover || review

Title: Thanks for the Memories
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Genre: General Fiction
Series info: Standalone

Goodreads

I’ll be honest, the only reason I got this book was because it was being sold for a really low price in a book fair. I hadn’t even heard of this book before, and the synopsis at the back gave NO CLUE to the actual story.

THE PLOT

The book starts with Joyce having a fall on the stairs and losing her baby. She has a lot of blood loss as well, which leads to her getting a blood transfusion in the hospital. She barely survives.

When she wakes up after the incident, Joyce is almost like a different person. She knows things that she never even cared about, and remembers things that she has never experienced. Suddenly, she knows about architecture and history, and speaks Latin. Which is completely bizarre.

The other protagonist of the book is Justin, a guest professor at a college in Dublin and an art and history enthusiast. He was convinced to donate blood one day, which could someone’s life.

After Joyce’s incident, she becomes way too much like Justin. She has his memories and inherited his characteristics. One can say that his blood was given to her in the transfusion, which also transferred his memories and characteristics.

Throughout the book, we follow Joyce and Justin as they go on with their lives which somehow interleaves and changes everything.

MY REVIEW

First of all, a very interesting idea. It’s the thought that if something directly from a person’s heart is transferred to another person, it could transfer memories and characteristics as well.

The problem with this idea, which showed in the book, was a lack of plot around it. We just follow Joyce and Justin. There’s no great plot-line except this idea. Which kind of made it boring, and easy to skim. I read this book in a day because it was easy to read fast because there wasn’t very much substance in every line.

I liked following Joyce’s journey after losing the baby which signals the end of her marriage. She moves back in with her widowed father and they learn to share space after so long. Their bond was pure, and although it had it’s annoyances, they support each other and have new adventures.

Justin was a fun character to read about. Simply because he’s kinda embarrassing and quirky. He has his flaws, which is seen very clearly, but his story was fun to read. He is a divorced man who moved to London to be closer to his teenage daughter, and travels to Dublin regularly for guest lectures. It’s hard for him to adjust to this new life after leaving behind a great life in America, but he does it for his daughter.

Now, the point that I really want to talk about. The ending. The ending was disappointing. After all that chase and adventures, the last bit felt rushed and quite out of place. The falling in love part did NOT make sense. Joyce and Justin didn’t even really know each other. And considering that they share a lot of characteristics now, it’s quite weird.

I did not like the ending, but I guess the author didn’t know how to end the book since it doesn’t actually have a plot. It makes sense why she chose to do this but… eh.

OVERALL

It was an okay read. I wasn’t very invested in it, and it was more of a pass-the-time read. I’m glad that I didn’t go in with expectations.

This book had been sitting on my shelf for almost a year so it’s good that I finally got to it and read it. Even though it wasn’t in my TBR, it’s part of my #StartOnYourShelfathon to finish the books I currently own first before buying new ones and reading them.

I rate this book..

2.5/5 stars

Have you read books by Cecelia Ahern? What’s your opinion on this idea that blood transfusion could transfer characteristics?

Becoming || inspires hope for change

becoming book cover

Title: Becoming
Author: Michelle Obama
Genre: Autobiography

Goodreads

Becoming, since it’s release, has been praised to the stars by just about everyone. All the readers I follow posted about it, and it was my book club’s pick sometime last year. I didn’t have the time to read it then, though. I finally picked up the book in November, but did not have the time or patience for a non-fiction.

In order to motivate myself to finish it this year, I chose Becoming as the book for a prompt in the Popsugar Reading Challenge and also included it in #StartOnYouRShelfathon. And it worked! I finished the book as my second read of the year. We’re off to a good start.

MY REVIEW

Once I was actually in the mood to read this book, which was so a few days back, I couldn’t stop reading it. Although it’s an autobiography, Michelle Obama’s life has been very interesting that it almost feels as if I’m reading fiction. She has written her story so beautifully, showing how she was brought up and what made her into who she is today.

Even when it’s not pretty or perfect. Even when it’s more real than you want it to be. Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.

Becoming is a brilliant book that sends a message of hope, change, and power in resilience. It was inspiring and motivating.

How Michelle Obama was portrayed in the media is such a contrast to how she is in the book. She, along with her husband and family, are humanized and broken down to the small quirks that makes them. She speaks about her struggles, her fears, and her weakness plainly. There was no hiding, but instead she owned every part of her story.

In my opinion, a major reason that this book resonates with people across the world is how Michelle openly talks about her struggles which many others are going through as well. She talks about the struggles of being a woman, being Black in a predominantly White country, being a woman in male-dominated field, being a working mother, and being the wife to a politician.

Confidence, I’d learned then, sometimes needs to be called from within. I’ve repeated the same words to myself many times now, through many climbs.

Am I good enough? Yes I am.

It was wonderful to read her thoughts and feelings on everything, especially the negative ones. In the end, she overcame all of that and stood strong. Michelle Obama learned how to adapt and use her resources to help other people. She recognizes all her privileges, from the people in her life to the power she has, and works to make changes in the US.

Through Michelle Obama, we also get insight into Barack Obama as more than the former US President. We see him as a passionate person, a fact-guy, as a husband, and as a father. It was interesting to see their relationship from the start and the issues they went through as he climbed the political ladder.

The choice, as he saw it, was this: You give up or you work for change. “What’s better for us?” Barack called to the people gathered in the room. “Do we settle for the world as it is, or do we work for the world as it should be?”

I was most curious to read about the Obama family’s time in the White House and I was not disappointed. A major portion of the book took place during those 8 years, and Michelle spoke about everything. We read about the staff, the rooms, and multiple small quirks of living there. Their life changed drastically the day Barack Obama became the President-Elect, and Michelle showed the overwhelming changes in the book.

Being the First Lady is very much different to being the President. The role doesn’t have all the hard power of the President, nor does it give the platform to talk about the same issues. But being First Lady does give power due to the image. Reading about Michelle Obama’s journey in the role was intriguing and inspiring.

A First Lady’s power is a curious thing—as soft and undefined as the role itself. And yet I was learning to harness it.

One thing that Michelle Obama counted on for several years was the support from her girl friends. The power of female friendships is not spoken about much, in fiction or non-fiction, and it was really nice to see Michelle talk about it multiple times.

OVERALL

I should stop talking because there is SO MUCH in the book that I loved and several more quotes that I want to add. I can probably talk for an hour about this book.

But all I’ll say is, read this book if you haven’t yet. It’s a wonderful and inspiring story that drives home one thing: you are worth it, you can make changes in this world as well.

There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.

Michelle Obama

I rate this book..

5/5 stars

Have you read Becoming? Do you have favourite quotes from the book?

blogmas 2019 header image

A-Z Reading Challenge 2019

It’s the end of the year! Which means that it’s time to look back on all the challenges and see how we’ve done.

I didn’t join in on any challenges this year since I knew that I won’t be able to keep up with them all. College has been HECTIC, and I was expecting it. But there are two challenges that I always participate in passively. It’s the Goodreads reading challenge, where I set my goal to 150 books this year. Another is the A-Z Reading Challenge.

How this challenge works is that we have to read books for every alphabet. For A, we should read a book whose name starts with A. The one rule is that “The”, “A” and “An” doesn’t count. For Q, X and Z, the letters can be anywhere in the title.

P.S. This is part of my blogmas! Follow my blog to not miss any of my posts since I’ll be posting everyday leading up to Christmas. You can also check out all the posts I’ve published so far.

Here’s what my list looks like!

A – Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

B – Butterface by Avery Flynn

C – City of Ghosts by V.E. Schwab

D – Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi

E – Educated by Tara Westover

F – The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

G – Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

H – Heartache and Hope by Jay McLean

I – Intercepted by Alexa Martin

J – Justice by K.C. Lynn

K – Knots by Deblina Bhattacharya

L – The Lie by C.L. Taylor

M – Muffin Top by Avery Flynn

me standing next to a stack of books of my height

N – Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

O – On The Come Up by Angie Thomas

P – Punk 57

Q – Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

R – Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

S – The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

T – That Girl From Nowhere by Dorothy Koomson

U – The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

V – A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

W – The Wicked King by Holly Black

X – The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Y – The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Z – The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez


I completed it! When I was planning this post and noted down the books for every letter, I was still missing Q and Y. It was only last week that I managed to complete those haha. And that’s by cleverly choosing a small book for Y. But I’m glad I did 24 letters without consciously trying!

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Are you doing the A to Z Reading Challenge as well? Or are you doing any other challenge? Tell me in the comments!

The Gilded Wolves || full of adventure

Title: The Gilded Wolves
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Genre: Fantasy
Category: Young Adult
Series info: Book 1 in The Gilded Wolves series

Goodreads

Even though I haven’t read much Young Adult this year, I still notice the popular books and trends. One of the books which has been HYPED UP is The Gilded Wolves. Almost everyone was talking about it. Especially since it involves a diverse set of characters, the praise was high.

So when I got the mood to read a YA book, this was the first one that I picked.

SYNOPSIS

The book is set in France, 1889. But we don’t really see the mundane France. Right from the beginning, we’re introduced to the new concept of “Forging” and the hidden Fantasy world.

In this hidden world lies The Order, and the Four Houses that protect the art of Forging. Severin, the last heir of one of the houses, was denied of his birthright as patriarch of the house years back. Ever since, he has been on the path of revenge, and his only mission is to be instated with his birthright.

Over the years, he has brought together a band of people to work with him. Laila, the dancer from India with her own mission. Enrique, a well-read historian looking to be recognized. Zofia, a very smart engineer with a debt. And Tristan, Severin’s brother in everything except blood.

Right as Severin’s dream is close enough to reach for, things go awry and the group is thrust into a mission they didn’t sign up for. Together, they discover hidden truths and learnt what it truly means to be family.

MY REVIEW

First of all, this book reminded me why I loved the Fantasy genre. It has been so long since I read a Fantasy book, and reading this was like breathing fresh air. It was wonderful.

The plot is very captivating. We are taken on an adventure through this book. An adventure with a denied birthright, Forging, mystery, manipulation, secrets, betrayal and magical objects. Basically everything you want in a great Fantasy book.

The writing was very descriptive. We are given details about everything, especially the history in this world. At times, I found the descriptions and background information too much. Yes they’re planning something and are researching a lot for it, but there was way too much unnecessary information for me to read through with concentration. That could have been reduced.

Even though the plot was really good, what really made the book great were the characters. The characters were brilliant. They were each unique and fully-fledged i.e. with depth and layers. Every character was endearing in their own way. They are precious.

There was also enough highlight on each of them. I never felt like we saw more of one or two and less of the others. They were all equally the main characters of this book.

The found family trope was executed beautifully. The relationships between the characters, and what the relationships mean to them, was shows really well. The interactions were very fun to read as well, and didn’t feel like an overkill.*

*cough Aurora Rising cough

Many readers have compared this book to Six of Crows. While I do see the similarities—with the plot type and character relationships—I still think that they are entirely separate books. They have similar concepts but each with their own spin and meaning to it.

OVERALL

I’m very happy with this book. I absolutely loved reading about the characters going on their dangerous adventures together. It also brought back some of my love of YA Fantasy.

Would recommend especially: if you’re looking for a book with the found family trope, with a very Fantasy-world, and adventure.

I rate this book..

4/5 stars

Have you read The Gilded Wolves? Do you like the Fantasy genre?

Wilder Girls || gory and creepy

Title: Wilder Girls
Author: Rory Power
Genre: Thriller/Mystery
Category: Young Adult
Series info: Standalone

Goodreads

When this book was released, it became a huge hit in the Bookstagram community. Everywhere I saw, people were reading or talking about this book. This cover was shown to me so many times that I didn’t even have to add it to my TBR, it was just imprinted in my head.

It took me a while to pick it up since I wasn’t in the mood for YA. But the second I wanted to, I read this one. And it’s safe to say that I went in with HUGE expectations.

SYNOPSIS

The book is set on Raxter Island, which has been taken over by a disease called “The Tox”. It has affected the entire island including the trees, the animals, and even the people. Ever since it hit, the island has been put on quarantine.

The girls in Raxter School, a boarding school which has now turned into a weird hell, have scales on their body, bones sticking out, and other weird body parts which have developed because of the Tox. They were told that a solution will be found, and to just hold on, but it’s been 18 months. They stay locked up in the school, only a few wandering out for supplies.

Hetty, Byatt and Reese are a tight knit group. When Byatt goes missing, Hetty vows that she will find her. In the process, she discovers so much more that she was looking for.

MY REVIEW

Let’s do this in parts.

THE GOOD

This book is unique. I have never come across a story like this in YA, and it was very interesting to read. The Tox is an unknown thing, and no one knows what it is, how it actually came to Raxter, or how to get rid of it. They’re just hanging on and living with it.

Reading the book will put you in that world. The writing is highly detailed and eerie. Sometimes, I could barely handle it because I was so grossed out with the descriptions. The author hold back from exactly detailing everything related to the Tox. I was slightly nauseous a couple times as well*. The writing also sets the creepy vibe well. This is not a happy book. It’s one meant to creep you out.

The characters and the relationships were nice. We focus more on Hetty, Byatt and Reese. The complex relationships between these three was nice to see. They’re super close and will always have each other’s backs.

*note: don’t read when eating, or right after eating.

THE OKAY

I feel like the characters were sometimes underdeveloped. Since we read through Hetty, we know a lot about her and she’s a full-fledged character. I can’t say the same for Byatt and Reese, and we barely think about others if not Tox-related. The characters could have been worked on much more. Byatt especially confused me. I always felt like I’m reading a surface-level version of her. There was no clear depth.

The plot, overall, was quite unimpressive. The book spends so long describing the Tox and it’s effects on everyone, and how daily life has become since the quarantine. But it never pays off. It’s as if the author thought of this situation and somehow constructed a plot around it, but the plot was never the main focus. It didn’t feel like there was a point to it.

THE BAD

I’m someone who is ALWAYS up for romance, no matter the genre. So when I saw the hints of romance in this book, I was ecstatic at first. But a while later, I wish it didn’t exist.

The romance felt like a needless addition to the plot, and at times it took attention completely away from the main plot*. The timing of the romance scenes was very inconvenient as well. I just could not go with it. I wish there was no romance at all.

*if there’s actually a main plot.

The book got pretty boring about halfway. By that point, all the Tox descriptions and intrigue was waning. I needed some actual plot, but none was forthcoming. I actually had to pause reading it, read another book, and then get back to it. By the 80% point, I was speed-reading so I could be done with the book faster.

But the book’s ending was NOT satisfying. I really hated the way the book rushed through to provide some form of an ending. But it doesn’t actually end as well.. It was an open ending! There’s still so much mystery around the Tox and what happens to the three girls. We still barely know anything. It’s like the author gave us clues and told “figure it out yourself.” To have sat through an entire book, that was highly underwhelming.

OVERALL

I was highly disappointed. For the amount of hype going around, this book is not worth it. Sure, the concept of the Tox, and the descriptions and vibe were cool. It was very different than the usual YA books we get. But I still would have liked a proper plot and some form of definitive ending.

Considering that the book was about the Tox, the least it could have done was leave me with no questions about it. But I still don’t exactly know what the Tox is.

Would recommend: if you’re looking for a unique YA with creepy vibes.

Would not recommend: if you can’t handle descriptive gore, and like proper endings.

I rate this book..

2.5/5 stars

top ten tuesday header image

Top 10 Romance Reads of 2019

2019 was my year of romance reading.

Over the last few years, the number of romance books I read has been slowly increasing. This year, my favourite genre changed from Fantasy to Romance. Or maybe it changed late last year but I only came to terms with it in 2019.

Since I was all into Adult Romance, I gobbled up romance books A LOT. My Goodreads challenge has very few books which are not in the Adult Romance genre. As I read so many of them, I thought I’d share my favourites with y’all.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is a freebie, so we’re free to post any top 10 list of ours. And I’m so glad because I can’t join in on any of the Christmas lists haha.

Note: most of these are Adult Romances and contain various degrees of explicit scenes.


[1] Rafe by Rebekan Weatherspoon

Rafe

I read this book only recently and it has SWOOPED into my favourites easily, destroying the chance for any other book. This book was SO GOOD. I’m still reeling from that reading experience.

  • Awesome chemistry.
  • Cute AF six year old.
  • BREAKING GENDER STEREOTYPES.
  • Being understanding and respectable about boundaries!!!
  • ADULTS ACTING LIKE RESPONSIBLE ADULTS.
  • Slow and true relationship growth.

I read that book twice in the span of a month. After my first read, I read two other books, but then this was just too good and nothing else compared so I HAD to reread it.

Click here to read my entire review.


[2] Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan

long shot

This is too good to not be one of the top picks. I knew when I was reading the book that it would make into my top reads of 2019. It deserves more talk and more recognition.

  • SO MUCH MORE THAN ROMANCE.
  • Will definitely break your heart at least once.
  • Domestic abuse rep.
  • HARD TO READ.
  • The romance is so worth it, though.
  • STRONG CHARACTERS.
  • Major trigger warnings!!!! (mentioned in my review)

Click here to read my review.


[3] RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE BY CASEY MCQUISTON

red white and royal blue

Honestly, is there ANY surprise that this is included in my list?

  • HILARIOUS.
  • Very strong characters.
  • T H E R O M A N C E.
  • It’s suuuuuper gay and chaotic.
  • BRITISH PRINCE AND FIRST SON OF AMERICA!
  • Cute as heck.
  • The banter between the characters is highly entertaining.
  • YOU SHOULD READ IT.

Click here to see my full review.


[4] The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

the flatshare

Yoo this book will NOT get out of my head. It’s been so long since I read it, and it still pops up in my thoughts like ?? What is that effect? The plot is ah-mazing.

  • OPPOSITES ATTRACT.
  • They share an apartment, and a bed, but have never met.
  • CUUTE ROMANCE.
  • Conversations via sticky notes around the house!!
  • A+ CHARACTERS.
  • Finding long lost love!!!
  • An adorable meddling 5 year old.
  • GREAT CHEMISTRY.
  • Content warnings mentioned in my review.

Click here to read my review.


[5] The Friend Zone by Abby Jiminez

the friend zone book cover

This. Book. It gave me way too many feels, and broke my heart a little too much before saving me. A really really nice romance book with a well thought-out plot.

  • STRONG FEMALE LEAD.
  • Female lead has uterine fibroids, and we see it affecting her life in detail.
  • FRIENDS TO LOVERS.
  • Open-minded and understanding male lead.
  • AWESOMESAUCE CHEMISTRY.

Click here to read my review.


[6] FUMBLED BY ALEXA MARTIN

fumbled

Alexa Martin is an author whom I discovered this year and am LOVING her work. Fumbled was my first book of hers and I’m sure I’ll read many more.

  • HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS.
  • A super cute 10 year old!
  • Perfect for fans of football.
  • FRIENDS GOALS.
  • Just is a very fun read.

Click here to read my full review.


[7] HEARTACHE & HOPE BY JAY MCLEAN

heartache and hope

Okay so I actually did not write a full review for this because I binge read both the books in this duet in less than two days. After that, I was just reeling from the effects and my heart needed TIME. Then I just couldn’t not form proper sentences for this book.

  • WILL BREAK YOUR HEART. Definitely. For sure.
  • Heartache and Hope. The title says it all. It’ll break you, fix you back, and repeat.
  • HIGH SCHOOL LOVE.
  • A really good plot. And so unique.
  • VAR VETERAN REP. PTSD REP. DISABILITY REP.
  • Honestly, all the representations were brilliant. The female lead’s mum suffers from PTSD after being a PoW. It’s.. a lot to take in.
  • You will need time to heal after this duet.
  • WORTH IT.

Advised to read content warnings before picking up the book.


[8] FAKE IT TILL YOU BREAK IT BY JENN P. NGUYEN

fake it till you break it

This is the only Young Adult book in this list. It’s technically contemporary but it’s pretty much romance so I’m counting it.

  • ENEMIES TO LOVERS TROPE.
  • In a different way, it’s also kind of friends-to-lovers trope.
  • FAKE DATING TROPE.
  • The characters are awesome.
  • ADORABLE AF RELATIONSHIP.
  • It’s a light and very fun read.

Click here to read my review.


[9] THE UNHONEYMOONERS BY CHRISTINA LAUREN

the unhoneymooners

Christina Lauren have smoothed into my favourite Romance authors list. So of course one of their books would be in this list.

  • Perfect vacation read.
  • Or just for a chill afternoon.
  • ENEMIES TO LOVERS TROPE.
  • The plot was really nice.
  • HILARIOUS BANTER.
  • Cool characters.
  • WILL MAKE YOU LAUGH.

[10] FOREVER RIGHT NOW BY EMMA SCOTT

forever right now book cover

When I found and picked up this book, I didn’t have many expectations. I just read it, and it was okay. But by the time I finished the book, it really made an impact on me. I spent days just thinking about it. After a while, I reread it and liked it even more.

This is one of those books which sneaks up on you and you don’t even realise when it becomes one of your favourites.

  • ALCOHOLIC RECOVERY REP.
  • A strong female lead, who I’m honestly inspired by.
  • She’s also very compassionate.
  • SINGLE DAD TROPE.
  • The characters in this book were A+.
  • SLOW-BURN ROMANCE.
  • Emotional and sweet.
  • MAKES A LASTING IMPRESSION.

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And those were my top romance reads of the year! (so far haha)

What were your favourite reads of 2019? Have you read any of these books? If you’ve done today’s Top Ten Tuesday, leave your links below!

Heads You Win || highly captivating read

heads you win cover page

Title: Heads You Win
Author: Jeffrey Archer
Genre: Fiction
Series info: Standalone book

Goodreads

I’m a HUGE fan of Jeffrey Archer’s books. Back when I frequented the library near me, I took the opportunity to gorge on every Archer novel that they had. (Except short stories, because I don’t like short stories haha) And I loved every single one of them. My favourite Archer book is Kane and Abel, which was brilliant.

When I saw Heads You Win on sale on Flipkart recently, with an unbelievable discount, I grabbed it immediately. The synopsis didn’t matter to me, but it did make me more excited to read the book.

SYNOPSIS

Heads You Win starts in Leningrad, Russia with our main character Alex Karpenko. Alex is a young boy in school with high ambitions. When his father is murdered by the KGB for forming a worker’s union, Alex and his mother flee Russia in a ship with the help of Alex’s uncle. When they are about to flee, they’re given the option of hiding in the ship to USA or Britain. Alex flips a coin, which makes the decision for them.

As the reader, we don’t know what the coin chose. From the time Alex flips the coin, we follow both paths. We get to see what Alex’s life would be like if they went to Britain, and if they went to USA. And in each path, Alex and his mother wonder multiple times what would have happened if they chose to go into the other ship’s crate.

The book spans thirty years, and follows both lives of Alex. But which is the real one? Is there a winner?

MY REVIEW

The book was very captivating. Once I started the book, I oblivious to my surroundings. Even my mum laughed at just how out of it was while reading. Right from the first sentence, the book caught me in it’s world and didn’t let go. After a very long, I finished a general fiction book very fast. I read it in two sittings.

Jeffrey Archer’s writing has always made his books great for me. No matter the characters or the plot, he manages to grab my attention. This book was a little extra special because we get almost two different stories, and both are good enough to have a book of their own. Archer weaves two very interesting lives with politics, family, intrigue and plot twists.

The book showed the USA life as “Alex” and the Britain life as “Sasha”, just so the readers can understand which alternate life we’re reading about. Both Alex and Sasha’s lives were thrilling to read. It was interesting to read how the same person’s life turns out when they’re given different opportunities. The most interesting part was the end. After thirty years, how different are their lives? And is Alex’s biggest ambition the same no matter what life he leads?

As a reader, you can either simply enjoy the book and it’s thrilling plot, or you can wonder about hidden meanings. Until I finished the book, I simply enjoyed it. But after turning the last page, all I could think about was the hidden meaning. Does your entire fate depend on a single choice? Will it vary very much, or will you flourish the same either way? Will your life end differently based on that one choice?

While the plots were really good, I was intrigued about how the book will end very early. As the book progressed, all I could think about was “which life is the real one?” That was my burning question. I had huge expectations for the end.

But, the ending sorely disappointed me. Until the last two chapters, I kept the two lives straight and wasn’t confused. But the last two chapters threw everything out the window and confused me. It was badly written, and almost as if the intention was to mess with us. I had to read the last part THRICE. And even after that, I’m unclear about what exactly happened.

I’m not alone in the confusion, because I went onto Goodreads and found that everyone is in the same boat as me. The ending ruined the whole book. It was the one thing that I looked forward to and because it messed everything up, it ruined my experience with the book.

And as to my burning question? It wasn’t answered. The book’s title points to the fact that whatever “heads” pointed to, is the real one. But we’re never told which is heads and which is tails.

OVERALL

I’m not sure if I’m glad I read the book, or if I regret it.

Pros:

  • I love it when a book makes me think and wonder for days after I finish it.
  • The storylines were thrilling and I loved reading them.
  • The ending opens up discussion, even if it was bad. It does have a meaning.

Cons:

  • The ending was SO BAD!
  • Kinda feels like the author wasn’t sure what to do, and just wrote a random ending.
  • The book leaves you with a bad experience, just because of the last two chapters.

Would recommend: if you want an engaging read which will make you question and wonder things. Also if you won’t be too bothered with a badly written ending.

Would not recommend: if a book’s ending means a lot to you, and your reading experience.

I rate this book..

3/5 stars

If you had to choose: the plot or the ending? Which matters more to you?

Song of the Crimson Flower || blog tour + review

song of the crimson flower cover

Title: Song of the Crimson Flower
Author: Julie C. Dao
Genre: Fantasy
Category: Young Adult
Series info: Standalone

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | BookDepository

When I got the chance to be a host for the blog tour for this book, I JUMPED on the chance. An Asian-based YA fantasy? I’m sold. I also have Julie C Dao’s Forest of a Thousand Lanterns in my TBR, actually. (Don’t ask me why I haven’t gotten to it yet lol) I was super excited to read and review an ARC by this popular author.

SYNOPSIS

Bao is a physician’s apprentice, well on his way to become a kind and skillful physician. But he also has a secret dream, which is to be together with the girl he loves. Lan, the kind, smart and absolutely beautiful daughter of a nobleman holds his heart.

When Bao confesses his feelings to her, she cruelly rejects him. Bao, stinging with hurt and embarrassment, sets off to find the infamous river witch so she can erase his love for Lan. But instead, the river witch places a curse on him which can only be broken by true love.

Lan, dealing with her own heartbreak, decides to help Bao look for the witch in apology so that his curse can be lifted. Their journey to the witch becomes so much more, leading them to the Empress’s party to the rival kingdom Gray City, to new friends, and a great adventure which entirely changes their lives.

MY REVIEW

The biggest charm of this book is the vibe. The writing, the world-building and setting, with the type of characters created a very specific and quite a unique vibe. I immediately picked up on it in the beginning, and it stayed until the very end. The Vietnamese names added to the charm as well.

The thing I liked the most was the character development. Both our main characters, Bao and Lan, go through so much and grow in the story. It’s very clearly seen. We also get to see what changed their thinking, and how they mature in their decisions and in emotional reactions. I’m always pro-character development and hence, I really enjoyed it.

The story was pretty good as well. While I wasn’t overly fond of the plot, it was enjoyable because of the characters. The overall idea was good, but I just couldn’t like the plot all that much, especially in the middle of the book.

But, with all of these good points, I didn’t like the book much. And the reason is the pacing. The pacing felt so off. It was slow, then suddenly very fast, back to slow and draggy, and would pick up pace again. It went like that for the entirety of the book, and I was annoyed. A consistent pace matters so much to a story, especially when it’s fantasy. Because it wasn’t consistent and gave me whiplash, I couldn’t enjoy the book.

OVERALL

The characters were great but the pacing. That just ruined it for me, unfortunately. One thing I’m glad about is that the author kept this as only one book. Perhaps the pacing was so because it’s only one book. Too much story to tell? I’m not sure. But I am glad that the story ended here.

Considering it’s only one book, for fantasy, it’s pretty good. There’s a good story, great characters, and a specific vibe.

If you’re in the mood for fantasy, but don’t have the patience for a series, you can pick this one up.

I rate this book..

3/5 stars

Thank you to the author and Netgalley for the eARC. And huge thanks to Rafael and Erika for allowing me to host a stop on the tour.

AUTHOR BIO

Julie C. Dao (www.juliedao.com) is a proud Vietnamese-American who was born in upstate New York. She studied medicine in college, but came to realize blood and needles were her Kryptonite. By day, she worked in science news and research; by night, she wrote books about heroines unafraid to fight for their dreams, which inspired her to follow her passion of becoming a published author. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is her debut novel. Julie lives in New England. Follow her on Twitter @jules_writes.

Julie is represented by Tamar Rydzinski of the Laura Dail Literary Agency.

Rafe || what a great romance book

Title: Rafe: A Male Buff Nanny
Author: Rebekah Weatherspoon
Genre: Romance
Category: Adult
Series info: Standalone

Goodreads

I was introduced to this book by Olivia @ Stories For Coffee on Instagram. She highly recommended this, saying that every romance lover should read it. I immediately checked it out, and I got hooked in by the synopsis. A book where the traditional male and female roles are reversed, features people of colour, and has cute kids? Count me in!

SYNOPSIS

Rafe is a live-in nanny, and has been in the job stream for several years. He doesn’t look like a traditional nanny, with the beard and tattoos and the size, but he’s a great one. Rafe has a knack for working with kids and likes helping families function. But he’s currently at a stage in his life where he wants his own family, and is considering switching job streams.

When a Dr. Sloan Copeland is in dire need of a nanny ASAP, and contacts Rafe, he agrees with the idea of working for her for only a year. And he has decided that he will work on getting his own life straight and figuring out things during the time as well. What he wasn’t ready for, was the sizzling attraction to Sloan. And he especially wasn’t ready for it to be reciprocated.

With Rafe living with Sloan and her twin six-year-olds, it doesn’t take long for their chemistry to break down walls and throw out rules. But will they give in and have a future, or will it go up in flames?

MY THOUGHTS

This book was so good, y’all!

First of all, THE CHEMISTRY. I could not get enough of Rafe and Sloan. There was attraction right from the start, and it kept building even though they confessed it and decided to keep things professional. But obviously, that was not meant to last.

Second, the whole plot was really nice. I was hooked onto reading and finding out more right from the start. The romance, Sloan’s issues with her ex-husband, the cute and troublesome twins, and Rafe’s family all brought the plot together very well. I really liked that the plot wasn’t one-dimensional, with the focus on only the romance. There were many other small plot points and anecdotes as well.

What I loved the most was how the two main characters handled their attraction and, later, relationship. It was all done thoughtfully and in a mature manner. I usually see romance plots that are stupid simply to add drama so this was refreshing. I was truly reading about two mature, responsible, and thoughtful adults. Not adults with teenager brains and hormones.

The writing was hella engaging. Right from the first line, I relaxed and dived into the book. In fact, I read the book in ONE sitting. I didn’t feel like taking a break or even looking up. The story had me gripped in that wonderful world and I didn’t want to leave. The writing is the biggest reason why I enjoyed the book so much.

And of course, the twins made the book so much more fun! I absolutely loved reading about Avery and Addison. Smart and troublesome six-year olds with their own personalities and who are not used to just increase the cuteness? Love it.

OVERALL

I absolutely loved the book, and writing this review has made me want to reread it. (That’s bad, I have many books on my TBR that I need to get to.) I loved every single thing about the book, and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT for romance lovers. I’d say give it a go even if you’re just meh about romances because it’s a good one.

I can’t wait to read more books from the author, because I need some more of this awesomeness!

I rate this book..

5/5 stars

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

WWW Wednesday // 9 October 2019

Hey everyone!

I hope y’all have been having a great week so far. I’m having a really chill week because I had Monday and Tuesday off for a festival. I also have tests from Saturday (which I have NOT prepared for), so I’m all ready for the week to turn stressful haha.

Anyway, let’s get to the book talk and updates!

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?

First of all, I think I’m going into a slump. I just don’t know what to read next, and I’m not overly into reading? Once I pick up a book, I do okay. But picking a book is so hard. I also realized that I’m SO BEHIND on newer fantasy books, and I think it’s because I’m straying away from my favourite genre and that’s making me sad.

Random rants aside, I picked up Five Dark Fates by Kendare Blake yesterday. I pushed myself to pick it up just so I’d be done with the series. I remember being super mad after finishing book 2 and finding out that it didn’t end. After book 1, the publishers extended the contract with Blake to 4 books. The story dragged on unnecessarily, which annoyed the heck out of me. Ever since then, I’ve not been into the series as much.

I haven’t read much of the book yet, though. I’ll let y’all know my thoughts next week.


What did you recently finish reading?

In the last week I finished SIX BOOKS!!! This can be attributed to the fact that I got a long weekend with three days off. I spent all of Monday only reading because I had bad cramps. I basically laid on bed and distracted myself by reading. Most of my reads were romance books, which are the easiest to read, so there’s also that.

First book that I finished was That Girl From Nowhere by Dorothy Koomson. I liked the book. But I didn’t like it that much. My main problem with the book is that the story didn’t feel cohesive. There was so much going on, and each part was good, but the several parts didn’t seem to fit together.

The story was mainly about the main character who is adopted, and finds her birth family by coincidence. The main concepts were adoption, regret/guilt, identity, loneliness, and belongingness. The book also highlighted emotional abuse, racism (intentional and unintentional) and mental healing. There was romance and reconciliation. To add to all that, there was even a mystery element with a possible murder.

Now, you might understand why I felt that the book was a poor mesh of several different plots. Some of them were unnecessary, in my opinion. Because there were so many topics to focus on, every topic felt underdeveloped.

I gave the book 3/5 stars.

After that, I decided to read a light-hearted romance book. I had Tomboy by Avery Flynn on my Kindle library already, so I picked that up. It was so good! Tomboy is now my favourite book of The Hartigans series. I wasn’t fond of book 1, and was just okay with book 2. But book 3 totally made me like it. I especially liked the two main characters. The chemistry was really good too. I gave it 4/5 stars.

Rebel by Marie Lu was my next read. To be honest, I was slightly procrastinating reading it. I REALLY wanted to read it, and I’ve been waiting for more about my favourite characters since 9th grade, but it’s also the LAST BOOK. I will never see these characters again. This book is a proper good bye to the characters, and I wasn’t ready for that.

The anticipation finally won, though. The book was beautiful. I needed it. I’m so glad that it exists.

I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.

After Rebel, I got on a romance kick. I had lots of time with a long weekend to read books in one sitting. I read three books in the last two days, y’all. That was some intense reading.

Rafe by Rebekah Weatherspoon was recommended “to all romance lovers” by Olivia @ storiesforcoffee on Instagram, and I immediately gave it a shot. It was SO GOOD, y’all! It was perfect. I loved the story, the romance, the characters, the dialogues, and especially the chemistry. It’s a perfect romance book to read. I really like how the professional aspect of “dating the nanny” thing was handled. It was all done very well. I even liked the supporting characters. I rated it 5/5 stars.

I don’t know why but whenever I need a new book, but also a comfort read, I go for books with babies. And I’ve found the secret-baby trope VERY interesting. I’ve been into the trope for a long time now, so it’s hard for me to find books with it which sound good. I hit gold with The Baby Bargain by Jennifer Apodaca. It had the right amount of everything. I liked the characters, loved the chemistry, and was engaged by the danger element. It’s in my favs list now. I gave it 4.5/5 stars.

The book I finished most recently was Finding Tomorrow by Kahlen Aymes. It’s book 2 in a series, although it can be read as a standalone. I read Trading Yesterday (book 1) because it has the secret-baby trope, and that book was SAD. It made me cry, y’all. It had sad, desolate, regret, guilt and more desolate vibes. I did want to read about Jensen, though, so I picked up Finding Tomorrow.

I have to say, the author is really onto destroying my heart by torturing the characters. The first book dealt with leukemia, and this one dealt with domestic abuse. Fun, right? Anyway, I really liked the book. I loved Jensen. I loved the kids. Books with kids are always better, somehow. I gave it 3.5/5 stars.

Now, I can’t wait for the next two books. In my version of Finding Tomorrow, the release dates for the next two books are written as July and October 2019 but ?? THE BOOKS AREN’T OUT YET???? I saw the author’s website and only the third book is listed as “coming soon”?! I’m dying here. I need those books.


What do you think you’ll read next?

I have absolutely no clue. I may try to pick up something that’s on my fall TBR, but it all depends on my mood.


And that’s all about my bookish updates!

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What book are you currently reading? What did you finish reading recently? Tell me in the comments!

Aurora Rising || kinda disappointing??

aurora rising book cover

Title: Aurora Rising
Authors: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Genre: Science Fiction
Category: Young Adult
Series info: Book 1 of Aurora Cycle series

Goodreads

I’ve heard SO MUCH about this book, almost all of them good. The hype went up to a point that I thought this book was the epitome of everything good. I heard that it portrays friendships well. It’s main theme is that a group of mismatched kids are stuck together to go on missions, and they’re required to be heroes. They’re the unlikeliest of heroes.

With all of that, you can assume right that I expected a LOT. And I’m sad to say, that my expectations weren’t met.

SYNOPSIS

Right before his graduation from Aurora Academy, where he’d be able to pick amongst the students for his cadet, Tyler Jones goes out alone into the void to calm his nerves. While there, he finds a lost spaceship from 200 years back and manages to rescue the only surviving passenger, Aurora O’Malley, who is deep asleep in her cryogenic pod.

Tyler is more concerned about the graduation ceremony, though. He gets back to find out that it’s all over and his cadet is made up of students who haven’t been picked by anyone else.

This group will have to get their stuff together and work together, though, because it looks like things with Aurora are much more complicated than they can predict. And they might just have to become heroes because there’s no one else to take over.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

MY REVIEW

I’ll say what you’re thinking. That sounds like an AWESOME concept. A bunch of misfits stuck together who have to save people and become heroes? Whaat.

In reality, though, it wasn’t that glamourous. In fact, I found the camaraderie between the squad members quite forced. That’s supposed to be the best part of the book—watching them interact and become friends. It was okay in some areas, but at times it was just very forced.

For example, they’d be in the middle of a very serious situation and they need to be using their brains to get our ASAP. Instead, they’d volley insults and crack random jokes. It was weird. And highly unrealistic.

CAT B: THIS IS TOTALLY BLOODY SIDEWAYS….
SCARLETT J: I’M AFRAIN I MUST CONCUR WITH MY PUNCHY BUT LEARNED COLLEAGUE.
CAT B: THANKS, ROOMIE.
SCARLETT J: ALL GOOD, GIRL. YOU’VE STILL GOT MY EYELINER BTW.

see what I mean?? They were knee deep in figurative shit and.. they were talking random stuff.

The characters were great, individually. I wasn’t interested in all of them, though. Probably because there was more spotlight on a few of the characters, which meant that we only really got to know them. The others were faded away in the background.

As for the plot, it was actually pretty good. I liked the plot. It was interesting, and perfect for a young adult sci-fi novel. Just the right amount of adventure and cluelessness.

The plot’s awesomeness was brought down a notch by the dialogues though. There was way too much talking and random conversations like what I quoted above. It killed the vibe multiple times and I was FRUSTRATED. So yeah, the writing could have definitely been better.

I loved the world-building. Or in this case, universe-building. I loved the tit-bits we got about all the different races, and how the current political situation is. That was fun to read about. I would have preferred more info, though.

OVERALL

Not very impressed. It was all “meh” towards the end, and I couldn’t wait to finish the book and move on. I am excited for the next book, though. Simply for the one couple I ship.

I rate this book…

3/5 stars