light up the shining night stars

Look at the stars. See yourself in them.

Internet famous || everything was perfect… except the guy (the irony) — August 13, 2017

Internet famous || everything was perfect… except the guy (the irony)

internet famous.jpgTitle: Internet Famous

Author: Danika Stone

Genre: YA contemporary

Status: Standalone

Goodreads


Synopsis:

High school senior and internet sensation Madison Nakama seems to have it all: a happy family, good grades, and a massive online following for her pop-culture blog. But when her mother suddenly abandons the family, Madi finds herself struggling to keep up with all of her commitments.

Fandom to the rescue! As her online fans band together to help, an online/offline flirtation sparks with Laurent, a French exchange student. Their internet romance—played out in the comments section of her MadLibs blog—attracts the attention of an internet troll who threatens the separation of Madi’s real and online personas. With her carefully constructed life unraveling, Madi must uncover the hacker’s identity before he can do any more damage, or risk losing the people she loves the most… Laurent included.

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

I first heard of the book through twitter when a book blogger I follow tweeted while reading it. It sounded like a book I would totally love, so the second I could get my hands on it, I read it.

It’s been about two weeks since I read it, and I don’t remember a lot (blame finals) but I shall try to give a proper review.

Here’s a list form, simply because:

  1. Madi.

I LOVED her! She was so relatable and I had absolutely no problem in diving into her and the story. She’s a shy girl who has a (really popular) blog on tumblr which is basically surrounded around rewatches of movies. Throughout the book we see her watching films, live-tweeting along with all her followers while watching the movie, and also giving a review on her blog later. She takes online classes and spends a lot of her time around the schedule of her younger sister Sarah, who has special needs (not named in the book).

2. Sarah

Sarah is someone who needs routine. Madi picks her up from school at the same time, standing in the same place, she and Madi watch TV at a certain time at night, and such. Since there’s only Madi who seems to care, a lot of her routine includes Madi following it. I really liked her character and how her diagnosis (?) was deliberately not pointed out. I hated that their parents didn’t care for Sarah.

3. Madi and Sarah’s relationship

Almost all the time Madi is thinking about Sarah, but in the moments where we see them leaning on each other emotionally—especially Madi taking comfort from Sarah, were my favourites. I absolutely LOVED them being sisters and any moment between them :’)

4. The blogging life

I’ve never read about rewatches, so this was interesting. As in every book centering around bloggers, we have problems related to fame. Madi has a stalker. And she suspects the person to be one of her followers. This includes the “danger” part of the story.

The part I loved most, and this might seem small, of her as a blogger was how she communicated with her followers, and circumvented around the needy and loud follower. It was interesting to read about when she finally met a lot of hem face-to-face.

5. The romance

When she was feeling low one day, Madi decides to text a follower of hers and vent. She quickly makes a bond with Laurent and later agrees to meet up with a lot of her followers for a gathered rewatch. There’s romance between her and Laurent and it’s seen online to everyone after that, the way they tweet and converse. It does become a problem with favouritism and such, at one point.

I liked their story, but I wasn’t overly attached to it. Their dates were cute and it was all nice, but something held me back from liking it. The next point will tell you what.

6. Laurent

He was TOO. DARN. PERFECT.

This was what I had a major problem with, throughout the book. Laurent was COMPLETELY PERFECT. It felt unreal. Not only was he the best gentleman ever, he cared for Madi so much, was always there, he was tall and handsome. He also did NOT have any life problem. NADA.

And as if the looks weren’t enough? HE WAS FRENCH. All that French accent and cuteness and hotness and… stahp. Enough.

Usually in books like this, where I relate a lot, I love the romantic interest. I have found the one book where I didn’t.

 

Overall

I would have been in love with the book, if not for Laurent. Somehow, with him being too perfect, I couldn’t love the book much since the romance keeps popping up.

Since the ending gave me a high, I initially rated it a 4.5 (on the high) but after thinking on it, I changed my rating to 3.5. Guess it’s a good thing I write reviews quite late—I can provide a coherent, well-thought point of view.

three-and-a-half-stars

 

The Gravity of Us || numb guy + over-feeling girl + a baby = a very interesting story — August 11, 2017

The Gravity of Us || numb guy + over-feeling girl + a baby = a very interesting story

the gravity of usTitle: The Gravity of Us

Author: Brittainy C. Cherry

Genre: Adult Romance

Status: Book 4 of Elementals series but can be read as a standalone

Goodreads


Synopsis:

Graham Russell and I weren’t made for one another.

I was driven by emotion; he was apathetic. I dreamed while he lived in nightmares. I cried when he had no tears to shed.

Despite his frozen heart and my readiness to run, we sometimes shared seconds. Seconds when our eyes locked and we saw each other’s secrets. Seconds when his lips tasted my fears, and I breathed in his pains. Seconds when we both imagined what it would be like to love one another.

Those seconds left us floating, but when reality knocked us sideways, gravity forced us to descend.

Graham Russell wasn’t a man who knew how to love, and I wasn’t a woman who knew how to either. Yet if I had the chance to fall again, I’d fall with him forever.

Even if we were destined to crash against solid ground.

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

This was a VERY different book. What felt different?

  • the writing style
  • the main characters

Let me dive in into more detail.

The Plot

Lucille “Lucy” is living with her boyfriend, managing a florist business along with her sister, Mary, and she meets Graham when dropping off flowers to a funeral. Coincidentally, the funeral is of Graham’s father.

We’re given a small backstory on both the characters before either of them meet. Graham’s story with his wife and their child; Lucy’s sister’s cancer recovery and how she supported her, and also a teeny bit about her boyfriend.

Graham and Lucy are brought together by their individual concerns about Graham’s daughter, Talon. Lucy cares about Talon as she finds out that her eldest sister Lyric is Talon’s mother; and once Lyric bails on Talon and Graham at the hospital when Talon was in a bad condition, Lucy decides to help.

Slowly, slowly, Lucy and Graham bond.

The Characters

Graham is apathetic, unfeeling, and basically does not (want to) have emotions. He’s also a brilliant writer, whose books are very popular. His backstory is also quite captivating, and how it affects him later in life hit me in the heart. Despite all of this, what made me fall in love with the book was his relationship with his daughter Talon. He made so much effort right from the beginning to care for Talon, even though he totally expects himself to become like his own father and basically fail. I melted every single time he was brought back to life through caring for Talon. This might be a romance story, but Graham and Talon were a HUGE part of why the story is captivating.

“..And she’ not eating much. I’m not sure what to do, so I was going to try kangaroo care.”

“What’s kangaroo care?”

“It’s when the parent and the child have skin-to-skin contact to form a bond. It works best for mothers, I believe, though the nurses told me I should try it, which seems pointless,” he grumbled as the crying continued. He held her as if she was a football and swayed frantically, almost as if he was falling apart from not being able to calm her.

That was when I started loving Graham.

Lucy is the exact opposite. If Graham was monochromatic, Lucy was all the colours flashing, at the same time, on high intensity. She felt so much and never shied away from her feelings. She’s a herb-loving hippie woman and she was just perfect for Graham. What I loved most about Lucy was that she was loyal. She stuck through with Graham and Talon, didn’t even consider NOT helping when she found out about Talon, cared for those she loved without asking for anything and she fell in love unapologetically.

The Romance

Together, they were PERFECT.

I loved that the relationship growth was slow, and I fell in love with them as a couple a bit more every single time they became a little closer.

“Love doesn’t push things away. Love doesn’t suffocate. It makes the world bloom. She taught me that. She taught me how love works.”

Overall

A book I FELL into and I stayed there. I was slightly disoriented after finishing it because I didn’t want to leave. There were so many small tiny things that, together, makes you want to grab this book and absorb it into yourself. Absolutely loved it.

I haven’t read the other books in this series, but after reading this one I’m definitely going to try them out.

Sometimes when your heart wanted a full-length novel, the world only gave you a novella, and sometimes when you wanted forever you only had those few seconds of now. And all I could do, all anyone could ever do, was make each moment count.

five-stars

 

Have you read this book? Have you read any other books by Brittainy C. Cherry? I would honestly LOVE to read more books with such main characters, who are the complete opposite and fit together like two halves of a whole. Have you read any other books like this? Do let me know in the comments!

Love at the Italian lake || just a normal love story? — August 3, 2017

Love at the Italian lake || just a normal love story?

love at the italian lake.jpgTitle: Love at the Italian lake

Author: Darcie Boleyn

Genre: Romance

Status: Standalone

Goodreads


Synopsis:

On the shores of Lake Garda, a beautiful romance unfolds. But is it only for summer? Don’t miss this gorgeous, heart-warming novel from Darcie Boleyn, bestselling author of 2017 smash-hit Summer at Conwenna Cove.

Sophia Bertoni discovers her boyfriend in bed with another woman, and realizes her life is going nowhere. Leaving her high-pressure job, she travels to Italy to stay with her grandmother while she figures out her next move.

When Sophia – quite literally – bumps into devastatingly handsome Joe Lancaster her plans are turned upside down. As the two realize they’re both spending the summer in the same town, a love affair seems on the cards.

But Sophia and Joe are both burdened by family secrets. Despite their attraction, will the sun set on Sophia and Joe’s romance – or will they find love at the Italian lake?

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

When I read the synopsis, I guessed that this book would have the usual elements as other similar romance books I’ve read. And I was right.

The Plot

Sophia has been leading a boring and exhausting life. She catches her boyfriend cheating and takes this change to change her life completely, meaning she quits her job as well. All she wants is to be happy. She splurges on good clothes (for once) with help from her mom and sister-in-law and heads to Italy on a holiday/visit to her grandmother’s. She’s taking it as a time out to figure out what to do next.

Italy? ✓
Pizza? ✓
Gelato? ✓
Handsome man who bumped into you? ✓
A family secret? ✓
Absolutely no clue what to do in life? ✓✓✓✓

I was excited for this book because it’s set in Italy, and I love  Italy because of Love and Gelato. I have to say, though, the highlights on the city wasn’t as much. And the pizza and gelato was mentioned only once each. I’m a foodie lover, so I’m a disappointed about that.

 

What I liked:

  • The pace of the relationship. Sophia and Joe took time to grow closer and there was no rush. It’s very believable. And practical.
  • People in their 30s being clueless about life. Finally one book where adults don’t have their careers and futures completely planned out. We can change directions later. It’s totally cool and we don’t have to figure everything out at our “prime” (And it made me feel better about myself.)

What I didn’t like:

This is going to be a bigger list, so brace yourselves.

  • The “family issue” on Sophia’s side was way overdone. I get that the secret is life changing, but it doesn’t affect Sophia so much for her to react that bad. She literally cried! I was totally put off by the way the problem was exaggerated and I didn’t like Sophia’s reaction to it, mostly.
  • Joe was too perfect. Please tell me, would you not be suspicious if a guy you’re on a “summer fling” with offers to go shopping with you and says “we can do whatever you want, we’ll go wherever you want, I’ll come with you”. He’s kind, charming, really good looking, very thoughtful and so much more. I never saw anything to his personality except his love for photography. Speaking of..

Sophia wondered how he was so perfectly thoughtful.

You’re not alone in that.

  • Now that I think of it, I didn’t get Sophia’s and Joe’s personalities much. The small likes and dislikes, quirks etc that make up a person? I didn’t notice any of that.
  • Joe had only one flaw, and that was putting off communication. Sophia spoke to him very freely and he listens. But when she offers to listen, he simply says “let’s not ruin the good time we’re having”. Probably never would be a good time, if you see that way. Even after the 50% mark of the book, his life/past was still vague. I hardly knew anything about him. And this is even though the book is in dual POV, so we can’t blame it on the fact that we were clueless because Sophia was clueless. This irritated me so much, because I didn’t at all know Joe!
  • Also the “secret” on Joe’s side was very predictable once we were given two sentences on it. The amount of hush hush on that was exaggerated because, hello, we live in the 21st century. And they’re in their 30s i.e. they’re matured enough. Why was he so afraid of telling Sophia earlier, I don’t know.
  • Oh and Sophia’s decision to never get into another relationship because she got cheated on by her ex-boyfriend? Whom she didn’t even love or have a connection with or honestly care about? She declares no-love-zone for that? *sigh* No.
  • Also, for as much as Sophia and Joe decided to “see where this goes” i.e. have a summer fling, they didn’t sleep together? They simply went on dates and that’s basically dating?? (Oh yeah, speaking of, there are no sexually explicit scenes in the book. So if you want a book like that, here’s one)
  • The first kiss was so abrupt and out of place? I sat there with an indifferent expression through it. I felt nothing.

 

Overall

I didn’t like the book. It’s a normal love story with nothing very special. It was just okay. I didn’t hate it, but I wasn’t enamoured by it either.

two-stars

P.S. this is part of a blog tour. The following shows all the stops in the tour:

Love at the Italian Lake Blog Tour Header (4).png

 

Searching for beautiful || it was SO DARN CHARMING — July 29, 2017

Searching for beautiful || it was SO DARN CHARMING

searching for beautiful.jpgTitle: Searching for Beautiful

Author: Jennifer Probst

Genre: Adult contemporary romance

Status: Book 3 of Searching For series, but can be read as a standalone

Goodreads || Amazon


Synopsis:

Genevieve MacKenzie has her life completely under control. About to wed the charming Chief doctor at the local hospital, she’s an up-and-coming surgeon with everything she could ever want. Until an escape through the church window on the day of her wedding sends her life into a tailspin…and flings her right into her best friend’s arms.

When Wolfe catches his best friend falling out a window on her wedding day, he doesn’t ask questions. He whisks her away, determined to watch over her and discover the truth behind her desperate escape. But when his feelings turn more than platonic, he realizes he may risk his most important relationship in order to protect his damaged heart, and the woman he loves.

Can Genevieve and Wolfe’s friendship turn into something deeper—or is it already too late for true love?

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

(Yes, I’m still in my romance-reading streak.)

I wanted to read a story about best friends who become lovers, and Goodreads showed me a list including this.

The Plot

Genevieve is a surgeon-in-training, about to marry her boss. The book starts with her panicking right before her wedding. Just normal wedding jitters? She doesn’t think so. On a whim, listening to her gut, she jumps out the window in her wedding dress, planning to run. Coincidentally, her best friend Wolfe was smoking just near where she landed. He helps her in running away and takes her to a holiday place to recoup and recover before dealing with the aftermath.

But, there’s that chemistry bubbling up between them. This is a romance story, after all. They fall in love.

The plot is mostly about Gen getting over her ex-fiance. She felt suffocated and trapped in that relationship, and without her realising he slowly began dominating her life and cutting off any connections that may make her realise that this isn’t right. I loved reading a book where the abuse was mental, not physical (at least, hadn’t been by the time she ran away) and the character’s recovery from it. She slowly started SEEING what exactly that douche was doing. The book portrayed abuse which doesn’t seem harmful to anyone because of the abuser’s smartness.

The Characters

  • I really liked reading from Gen‘s POV. She was a character you could easily get into.
  • Wolfe was charming. He’s exactly the guy you wouldn’t assume to be how he is. He also has a dark past, but it wasn’t thrown into the reader’s face. All the issues were appropriately addressed and handled. I basically loved Wolfe. I might want to clone him into real life. Just a teeny bit. I LOVED how much he loved his adoptive family and was this big SWEETHEART.
  • All of Gen’s friends (who were featured in the previous books of this series, I presume) were really cool. I really liked the group dynamic.
  • Wolfe’s fam were THE BEST EVER. They are so supportive and loving and just amazing ❤
  • David, Gen’s fiance, was very well written. I absolutely hated him as a person. He deserved worse.

The Romance

It wasn’t insta-love, obviously. But it was also not “I broke up with my fiance a minute back and now I want you”. Wolfe loved her for a while but from Gen’s side, it was slow. And I’m really damn glad about the pace of the relationship. If Gen and Wolfe started dating within a short time of the wedding disaster, I would have negatively criticised it.

Also, the chemistry between them. I could almost FEEL it. They totally fit and were perfect ❤

Overall

A light enough read, not too heavy for the heart. It’s one of those books I would read in the morning while sitting in the balcony with a drink. It gives you the feels and makes you feel really happy by the end. If you like romance, I say go for this!

I quite want to read the other books of this series. I might, a while later.

five-stars

 

 

Present perfect || short review because I can’t be bothered for more — July 22, 2017

Present perfect || short review because I can’t be bothered for more

22887477Title: Present perfect

Author: Alison G. Bailey

Genre: NA Contemporary Romance

Status: first book of the Perfect series but can be read as Standalone

Goodreads || Amazon || book depository


Synopsis:

“I’ve been unsure about many things in my life except for one thing, that I have always loved him. Every single minute of every single day that I have been on this earth, my heart has belonged to him. It has never been a question, never a doubt. The love had taken on many different forms over the years, but it had always been a constant.

Everyone has their definition of love. There have been countless songs sung about it. A gazillion books, articles, and poems written about it. There are experts on love who will tell you how to get it, keep it, and get over it.

We’re led to believe love is complicated. It’s not the love that’s complicated. It’s all the crap that we attach to it and put in front of it that makes it difficult. If you’re smart, you’ll realize this before it’s too late and simplify.”

—————————————————–

Amanda Kelly spent her entire life trying to control every aspect of it, while striving for perfection. Her obsession with being perfect, along with her feelings of worthlessness, consumed her. The one thing she thought was perfect in her life was the bond she shared with her best friend, Noah.
Everything was going according to her life plan until she woke up one day and realized she had fallen in love with him. The one thing she couldn’t control was the affect he had on her. Noah had the power to give her one hundred lifetimes of happiness, which also gave him the power to completely devastate her. He was the one thing in her life that was perfect, but she couldn’t allow herself to have him.
Her life begins to unravel. Events take over and force her to let go of her dreams and desires. She needs to realize that a person cannot control the events in their life, only their reaction to them…but will it be too late for her to save her relationship with her best friend? Present Perfect is a story of how past events have present consequences and how perfect your present could be if you stopped fighting and just allowed it to happen.

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

I ALMOST DNF-ed this book at 70 pages in. It was ENDLESS drama of the guy declaring love, the girl having an inner monologue of “tell him you love him too!” but actually replying “no I can’t do this, I just want to remain friends”.

Can we just NOT have such story arcs anymore please? It gets on my bloody nerves!

I don’t know why I stuck through it, and I have only mild consolation for it. The redeeming quality which made me give it 2.5 and not lesser was the ending (by when I was literally flipping pages without reading much just so I could finish it), and also a side character whom I ADORED. And also the male MC but I got tired of him being too darn patient by the end.

There were also many MANY issues thrown in which weren’t all dealt with completely. Some were given proper attention but there was this one issue which, I felt, was just there for it’s presence and to show that it was represented. No dealing with that issue, no repercussions, NADA. That left me very unsettled.

Overall

Not a book I’d recommend easily. If you want the constant repetition of the same dialogues and situations for MOST of the book, and wouldn’t mind a very irritating lead, go ahead.

two-and-a-half-stars

Touch & Go || ’twas a touch-and-go — July 20, 2017

Touch & Go || ’twas a touch-and-go

22471033Title: Touch & Go

Author: Mira Lyn Kelly

Genre: NA contemporary romance

Status: Second book of the Dare to love trilogy, but can be read as standalone

Goodreads


Synopsis:

Vivacious and successful, Ava Meyers is living her dream life, except for one thing: Ever since childhood, she’s been in love with her best friend . . . and she’s never admitted it. Back then, Sam Farrow was a damaged young man with a tough past. Now he’s supremely confident, super-sexy, and totally untouchable—until the night when Sam pretends to be Ava’s boyfriend to save her from some unwanted attention. In a moment of weakness, Ava finds out that a long friendship is no match for blistering sexual chemistry.

After years of denying his own feelings, Sam finds that one amazing night with Ava isn’t enough to chase away all the pent-up fantasies. So he proposes they spend a few weeks driving each other wild, exhausting their every desire, and then return to their perfect platonic relationship like nothing ever happened. But Sam’s plan has one fatal flaw: the part where they give each other up. Because the more they let go of their inhibitions, the more they’re tempted to never go back.

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

Read my review of the first book of this trilogy, Truth and Dare, here.

I found this book through “books-like-this” lists on Goodreads, and since I really like best-friends-to-lovers stories, this was right up my alley! I had such high expectations because it sounded SO GOOD in the synopsis. I literally read through the first book in HOURS so I could get to this in time.

But?

I was really disappointed. I finished this in a few hours as well but it was mostly because I expected something great to happen or for it to have a really pretty ending. I did get a HEA, but I wasn’t happy? Why? Why why oh why? I believe I have found another one of the very few best-friends-to-lovers books I did NOT like.

What was actually in the book?

We have Ava and Sam—best of friends and utterly perfect together. Why are they not dating? Some stupid reasons. Which make up the book.

Ava is completely in love with Sam. Sam is the guy who goes through one-nighters like they’re nothing. And she stays his best friend. Because of more stupid reasons (or maybe the same? I don’t care?).

In my review of Truth and Dare, I mentioned that it was very refreshing to read a romance book without dark and depressing pasts. Well, we get that in this book through Sam. I wasn’t happy. Honestly, the whole plot just didn’t call out to me when I actually read the book.

Especially the ending! What was that!! I hated that make-up scene where they FINALLY get together! Oh my gosh. Just, no.

Did I at least like the characters?

  • Ana: not really. I quite liked her before but she failed to charm me in this book. Shame.
  • Sam: I kinda liked him but not as much as I expected I would. (If you ask me to pick, Tyler from the previous book, no doubts)
  • The friends were pretty much the same as in the last book so I’m not gonna bother with that. They were fine. I liked reading further about Maggie and Tyler.

Do I want to talk about the romance?

Thanks for asking! I don’t, in fact.

Short story: I didn’t like it.

So overall..

The whole book felt like a disappointment and I’m sad over it. True to it’s title, it was touch and go for me. Maybe if you went in without expectations it’ll be good? I don’t know?

two-and-a-half-stars

Truth or Dare || yess gimme MCs with such camaraderie please — July 13, 2017

Truth or Dare || yess gimme MCs with such camaraderie please

truth or dare.jpg

Title: Truth or Dare

Author: Mira Lyn Kelly

Genre: NA contemporary romance

Status: First book of the Dare to Love trilogy, but can be read as standalone

Goodreads || Amazon 


Synopsis:

In a deliciously sexy twist on the classic game, Mira Lyn Kelly proves that when playing truth or dare—always choose dare.

After her one attempt at commitment ends with the discovery that her fiancé already has a wife and kid, Maggie Lawson vows that the only people she’ll love ’til death do they part will be her friends. Unfortunately that means Maggie letting her bestie rope her into a year-long dating dare: score a new date each month or pay a penalty. Seems doable—until Maggie’s date stands her up, leaving only one option: the sexy stud who just moved in upstairs. The problem? He and Maggie can’t stop fighting—and that’s just the beginning.

His name is Tyler Daniels and the last thing he needs is his neighbor distracting him with her girl-next-door smile and sharp tongue. Tyler’s in Chicago for one reason: to woo back his selfish ex in order to reclaim the child he once thought was his—and that means keeping Maggie out of his bed. A tall order, since Maggie has become a bigger temptation than he ever expected to face. But before they can even consider leaving the past behind, Maggie and Tyler must accept a brand-new dare: real, forever love.

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

I was searching for books like Darker Water when I came across Touch and Go, which is the second book of this series and I really liked the premise! But even though it could be read as a standalone, I wanted to read this one first and I’m so glad I did!

The Plot

After a very disastrous mistake is very nearly averted, Maggie doesn’t want to jump into commitments anytime soon. But her best friend wants to put herself out there and convinces Maggie to make a pact with her—to go out with one person every single month for a year, in hopes of finding their “one”.

Right about the same time, Tyler moves into the same building a floor above Maggie’s and they get off to a wrong start, leading to them referring to each other as “Apartment Two” (Maggie) and “Apartment Three” (Tyler). There’s tiny tension, quite a bit of banter and trash talk between them. Then, a jilted date of Maggie’s and Tyler being at the appropriate place and offering himself up to be her date of the month leads to so much more.

What I loved most was the pace of their relationship. The book spans over a YEAR and through that, slowly slowly, Tyler and Maggie get together. They went from arguing neighbours to reluctant friends to lovers and I. LOVED. IT.

The Characters

Maggie was so EASY TO LIKE. And even though there wasn’t something very special about her, I loved her character and she felt new and different. Also, this isn’t a “heavy dark past” book so her issues weren’t the norm, which I see in so many NA books now.

Tyler was a CUTIE-PATOOTIE. His issue in the book was COMPLETELY NEW. I have never read about such a character or issue and I FELL. IN. LOVE. with him. He was perfect. I want him. I ranted to my best friend in those short minutes when I took a break from reading that I want him and how he’s perfect.

The group of friends was #goals. I loved all of them and how they gelled together. PERFECTO.

The Romance

I said it before, and it’s worth saying twice, the pace of the relationship was what I wanted. Too many books with too-soon falling-in-love time period have made me think more critically that the first thing I look for in a book is the relationship growth.

Maggie and Tyler were also really cute with their trash talk banter, having fun insulting each other and stuff. THEY. SO. ADORBS. I SHIP IT.

Overall

Really good book. I finished it in a few hours (partly because I couldn’t wait for the second book which I started an hour after finishing this one). Definitely recommended for those who want friends-to-lovers, really good and light read, and a book that doesn’t rip your heart into pieces with too much sadness.

five-stars

When Dimple met Rishi || cute Bollywood-ish story in a book — July 8, 2017

When Dimple met Rishi || cute Bollywood-ish story in a book

WDMR.jpgTitle: When Dimple met Rishi

Author: Sandhya Menon

Genre: YA contemporary romance

Status: Standalone

Goodreads || Amazon || book depository


Synopsis:

A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

I LOVED the premise of this book. It’s basically everything I wanted, which was:

  • representation of Indian traditions, especially marriages
  • freedom to date, hangout and hold hands (at least) in public (which isn’t really possible in India), which is why I tend to read books set in other countries more
  • GEEKS.
  • conventions for geeks
  • the Indian elements, like phrases in Hindi and reference to Indian snacks/food/events
  • a realistic MC

so when I read the synopsis, I was sold. 

Allow me to tell you, in detail, everything I liked:

1. Dimple. She was the PERFECT Indian girl MC I could ever want. Especially because she’s my personality twin. She’s a computer geek, is a modern girl, doesn’t believe in arranged marriages, just wants to code and achieve something instead of priming herself for the “perfect guy” to come along and marry her. She also fangirls HEAVILY over Jenny Lindt, who is a bigtime coder and a big name in the industry.

2. All the Hindi phrases. Not very many, but there were quite a few Hindi phrases littered around the book like in normal conversation how you would expect in Indian families. Translation wasn’t provided for all of them (even though not required in those areas), but for those who don’t know the language, and are like me who want to know EVERYTHING, it might be irksome. As I knew, and LOVED the inserts, it just made me love the book more.

3. InsomniaCon. I’m just inserting that point here because I’m LITERALLY DIMPLE and would totally geek out on going to an event like this. And I would have put in as much effort as her. Basically, throughout Dimple’s POVs, I was imagining myself in her place and it was SO EASY. Even her thought process was like mine!

4. Representation of what happens in an Indian household when your parents try to be matchmakers. Two scenarios—one of Dimple’s where she does NOT WANT to get married but is set up by her parents and is incessantly goaded on by her mom, making Dimple hate her; and two, of Rishi’s, where he’s totally in sync with his parents and their choices and follows the traditions to the dot. Therefore, absolutely no conflict.

5. Also, while we’re on the topic. I LOVED the absolutely chilled parents who simply wanted the best for their kids. (But I’m going to chalk most of it up to the fact that they’re living in America and not India where most parents would want the “bonding” happening right before their eyes because #supervision)

6. The relationship development between Dimple and Rishi. It was so ADORABLE and CUTE AF. Dimple and Rishi, being polar opposites, took a while to actually connect and all of it was SO FLIPPIN ADORABLE. Also, THIS is how arranged marriages SHOULD work. Give the couple some time to bond away from parents and letting them make their own choices. Not “make the decision in the four hours you spend together in the same room with all your family” trend that usually took place until now in the real world.

7. Following your hearts and doing what you love. Again, two scenarios represented by the MCs and their lives. The book shows the expectations of family members from us kids and how our “choices” are mapped before we even know what they are. Many sets of parents believe that the choices they make are the ones that their child wants, and if the child rebels? They say that he/she doesn’t really know what they want! And that the parents do! It tricky, tacky, and really stressful for all parties involved. It’s not known enough by non-Indians, and I LOVE the idea that everyone will have some more insight into living an Indian life.

8. Also #diversity. It’s everything Indian.

 

Now, let’s move onto what I did NOT like:

1. Rishi. He’s the idealist. He’s the Daniel (from The Sun is also a Star) of WDMR (kind of). The perfect Indian son. I outright hated him in the beginning. He was TOO. DARN. PERFECT. There was literally no issue in his life except the one talked about in the book. I expected a little more drama, or something. But even in the end everything went smoothly and I just could NOT get in with it. I really don’t like him. (Which is rich, considering Dimple and I are one and she is IN LOVE with him. Makes me wonder if a guy like him is my type. I do not want to continue this thought process of mine.)

2. The “happily ever after” view of arranged marriages. Don’t get me wrong, arranged marriages DO work. But for some, not all. And only the working marriages were shown in this book, and if all the marriages were like that, I admit, I would have been Rishi—putting blind faith in the system. But the fact is, it isn’t all roses and daises. Many (and most, if you consider all the relationships I’ve seen closely) arranged marriages don’t “work”. Sure, almost everyone still remain “family” to the outside world, but there are issues which exist DUE to the fact that the respective couples didn’t know each other long enough. But then that’s because the “bonding” between two persons occurs for hours, and not days like with Dimple and Rishi.

Call me cynical or negative, but I simply cannot support the ideal of all arranged marriages ending well. Dimple and Rishi’s (and also their parents) story is just what I would LIKE to see and believe in. But what IS, is a different issue.

 

(so basically everything I didn’t like was only because of who I am and what I like so you can also simply disregard these points and assume the book is perfect)

 

Overall

A book which will give you ALL THE FEELS and perhaps be a five-star to most readers. I definitely recommend the book to anyone and everyone, mostly because of the GIGANTIC Indian representation that I’m bloomin’ proud of.

four-stars

Always and forever, Lara Jean || basically just Lara Jean and Peter K. together — July 3, 2017

Always and forever, Lara Jean || basically just Lara Jean and Peter K. together

30312860Title: Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Author: Jenny Han

Genre: YA Contemporary

Status: book 3 of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

Goodreads || Amazon IN || Amazon US || Amazon UK || book depository


Synopsis:

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbour, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

I jumped and squealed when the news came out that we’d have a third book on the Song girls. I waited A THOUSAND YEARS for this. But all through it, I really wondered what would be the plot of this. Because it didn’t seem like there was much left, unless she brings some big twist in.

What I liked:

  • Lara Jean and Peter K. together. Obviously. I loved seeing them as a couple. They’re so cute and perfect and omg.
  • I liked that their dad finally found someone and moved on. He deserves it.
  • Morgan’s detachment to small details since she doesn’t live at home anymore, and how she doesn’t expect it, was shown so well. I wouldn’t have accepted anything of better situation because it wouldn’t have been real.
  • The indecision of what future holds (even though we only think as far as college) and the senior year stuff was nice. Since I was a senior in that position a year back, I relate so much.

What I didn’t like:

  • Lara Jean and Peter K. Not obviously​?
  • They were too perfect. TOO darn perfect. It didn’t feel completely real.
  • Plus, PETER was too perfect. At times I felt like there was too much give on his side and less on her side. Almost like he moulded around her. It was nice and what you want in a dream boyfriend, but.. it felt too good to be true. And I like some truth. Especially in relationships.
  • Sure, there were problems, but until that part it was all perfect.
  • I can’t find a guy I semi-like and then there’s the perfectness overflowing from the book.
  • I’m going to go back to my hole and read a book after this.
  • That was basically my only problem with the book.
  • But it feels like a big problem.
  • Why are they so darn perfect.
  • Why is he so darn perfect.

Overall

A good book. Not necessarily required to be read after the second because there isn’t any huge thing. It’s just life going on. If you can’t get enough of Lara Jean and Peter and have been living off fanfiction (are there fanfics for this?) (there must be), you’ll love this book.

 

Have you read the book? Or have you read the previous books? If not, are they on your TBR? What do you think of this book? Do you agree/disagree with any of my points? Is there anything else that could be discussed? Tell me everything. 

Darker water || quirky MCs and an entertaining read — June 29, 2017

Darker water || quirky MCs and an entertaining read

darker water.jpgTitle: Darker Water

Author: Lauren Stewart

Genre: NA contemporary romance

Status: Standalone

Goodreads || Amazon || book depository


Synopsis:

After another painful breakup, Laney Temple finally understands that love is a fairytale and sex rarely comes with a happy ending. She’s too busy for it right now anyway–she has a business to run, art to create, and candy to crush. Eventually she’ll be ready to switch from her plastic-or-silicon lover to a flesh-and-blood one. But before that happens, she needs to be sure she won’t feel any of those annoying emotions that make her heart do things it wasn’t meant to do…

Like break

Carson Bennett is completely upfront about what he wants, and it has nothing to do with Laney’s heart. Her lips? Hell yeah. Other parts of her body? You better f*cking believe it. But her heart? Nope, not even a little. Until it does… a lot. But having feelings for someone isn’t allowed. It’s the kind of thing you’re supposed to push down deep and cover up with one-night stands, sarcasm, and booze…

Like secrets

Two people want the same thing—a commitment to nothing more than great sex in a bunch of different positions. Simple. Enjoyable. A win-win. Problem is, those two people have families and fears and pain that spill into every moment of their lives, control what they do and who they are. And if either Carson or Laney can’t free themselves from the past, they’ll both be pulled under by it.

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

I should just accept it—I’m craving NA romances this year. When I try to read fantasy or YA, and there’s even the slightest lull in the story, I immediately look for a new NA romance book and dive in.

I found this while looking on “book like these” lists on Goodreads, compared to books I’ve read and liked.

For once, the story involves the female MC, too, wanting a no-strings attached relationship (even though she’s the complete opposite).

The Plot

The book starts with Laney being dumped out-of-the-blue by a guy, who is just the latest in her life following the trend, and she decides that SHE is the problem, therefore deciding to give up. She has a theory that she takes all the princes and turns them into frogs when they’re dating, resulting in her being dumped/cheated on/being short-sighted.

After a short while of being single, she is approached by Carson who is the usual player. BUT, what is unusual is that she WANTS that. He doesn’t fall in love with her on first sight and proclaim her as “the one” or anything. And Laney prefers that. So when he proposes a no-strings attached night together, she readily accepts.

But before the actually get to it, Laney realises that she wouldn’t be able to keep sex and the heart separate, and would fall for him, so puts a stop to it. Carson continues to chase her, though, trying to prove that he is NOT a prince and that she wouldn’t fall for him.

The book is basically them falling in love very very slowly (no insta-love, thank goodness), fighting their feelings when it starts to run deeper and also dealing with life and past issues.

The Characters

  • Laney was a new personality for me. She’s a hopeless romantic who falls in love easily and years to not be that way. She denies sleeping with Carson because she’s afraid she’ll start to like him as more and it would end in a disaster. Her career was something new, too. She carved/made furniture. SHE is the one handy with tools and fixes things. She totally has a knack for making beautiful furniture.
  • Carson is the head of a charity foundation. He’s also mega-rich. But that blood money is tainted. He has had a bad past with his parents, and is still tormented by his mother (and occasionally step-sister). He is the guy who is get-what-you-see. Except for the family issues, that is. You don’t go into something with him without knowing what exactly it is.

The Romance

As I said before, there’s no insta-love. Their relationship develops purely for the “benefits” part. I really liked their relationship, which was part-friendship and part Carson trying to get laid. And it was nice to read about Laney’s resistance because she wants to not have deeper feelings.

Their easy banter and the way they go together was really cool. I liked reading them, basically. The ending scene could have been done a little better, I admit. It was okay.

Overall

Quite good writing+plot+romance+characters= puts it higher than many other books. I was sad to finish the book and have no more of it. Recommended for NA romance lovers, insta-love haters, and especially those who want an actual relationship developed first.

four-stars

Until Lilly || exactly what I was looking for — June 18, 2017

Until Lilly || exactly what I was looking for

18781540Title: Until Lilly

Author: Aurora Rose Reynolds

Genre: NA Contemporary Romance

Status: Book 3 of Until series

Goodreads || Amazon IN || Amazon US || Amazon UK || book depository


Synopsis:

When Cash Mayson was forced to choose between the love of his life and his unborn child, he knew exactly what he had to do. No matter how broken it left him.

When Lilly Donovan was forced to accept that the guy she loved wasn’t who she thought he was and became a single mother, she knew exactly what she had to do. Proving just how strong she was.
What happens when years later you find out that everything you thought you knew was a lie?

Can two people who once loved each other overcome the obstacles that are thrown at them and fall in love all over again?

Cash Mayson had forgotten how it felt to be loved Until Lilly came back into his life. And now that he remembers, he will do everything within his power to keep not only the woman that he loves, but also his children.

The power of love is a beautiful thing.

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

Back in February and again in April, I got an urge to read book with secret baby romance tropes. In case you don’t know,

Secret-baby romance trope is basically a story where two people slept together, got separated due to some reason, and a while after that the girl finds out she’s pregnant but is not able to/won’t approach the father. Sometime after the baby is born (months or years), the father comes back into their lives and finds out about the baby. Book ends with a Happily Ever After where they’re all together.

Cheesy, I know. But I felt like reading books along these lines. Maybe it was because I was listening to Rockabye on repeat, or because I remembered such a twist in another book (not gonna say which) I read last year.

Until Lilly was the top-voted book in the Goodreads list, so I read it first, and it had everything I wanted.

The Plot

Lilly and Cash were dating, and had just had sex for the first time, when an “ex” of Cash claims to be pregnant. She threatens Cash that she’ll have an abortion if he doesn’t put her first. So he breaks it off with Lilly for the baby.

But then Lilly also becomes pregnant. The one time she reaches out to Cash, the reply text told her to “get rid of it” and therefore she never bothered again.

Years later Cash and Lilly happen upon each other in a children’s play area. Cash knows the second he sees Ashlyn that she’s his. For the sake of Ashlyn Lilly agrees to not ice out Cash, and that’s their second beginning.

What I loved:

  • Level-headed MCs. They didn’t lose their minds and fight on-spot, or stay stubborn. They tried to figure it out. At this point, I’ve read enough books with the secret-baby trope to recognise the good stuff. Cash didn’t immediately start talking to lawyers about rights and custody. He thought about Lilly and her point of view too. That is HUGE.
  • Cute kids. I loved Ashlyn and Jax. They added the cuteness required into the story, and I love how they bonded instantly. It was beautiful. :’)
  • Good romance. Lilly and Cash slowly got together again. It was not immediate or hot and fast. It was realistic, and I liked that. Plus, Cash wasn’t some alpha-male who took charge instantly and started barking orders, claiming Lilly as his—no. The normalcy of this story made me love it.
  • Sexy times. It IS NA after all. I did like the sex scenes.
  • A villian. Forgive me, but I like reading books with a good ol’ bitchy villian sometimes. Slightly unrealistic? Some might say. But I still want it. Here, it was Cash’s ex. And she was portrayed pretty well.
  • #familygoals. If you’ve been reading my reviews for long enough, the one thing that never fails to make me love a book is good platonic relationships. Especially that of a family. Cash’s fam was GOALS. And I love them.

With all of this goodness, it isn’t surprising that I was sold.

Overall

If you’re looking for a good book with the trope, or simply a good NA romance book, I highly suggest picking this up.

Here’s a fact: I read the book twice. After the first time, I rated it four stars and moved on to other books with the trope. Almost all of them sucked majorly in comparison. And slowly I realized how good this book actually is, and changed my rating to 5 stars after the reread.

five-stars

 

 

Poison Princess || how did I just get through the whole book — June 11, 2017

Poison Princess || how did I just get through the whole book

20759393.jpgTitle: Poison Princess

Author: Kresley Cole

Genre: YA fantasy

Status: Book 1 of The Arcana Chronicles

Goodreads || Amazon IN || Amazon US || Amazon UK || book depository


Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Evie Greene thought her horrific apocalyptic hallucinations were a sign that she was slowly losing her mind. But when her visions come true, decimating the world around her and killing everyone she loves, Evie is forced to accept that she was seeing the future. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she turns to wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate, the gorgeous and dangerous Jackson Deveaux for help. As Jackson and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have got the same call and discover that Evie is not the only one with special powers. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and as the battle between good and evil intensifies, it is not always clear who is on which side…

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

I read this book solely because one of my friends has been pushing me to read it for over a year. I wasn’t very enthusiastic, because I’ve read one other book by the same author called The Professional, again on insistence of the same friend, and I hated it.

Now, enough of the backstory and onto the review.

The Plot

Evie has been having hallucinations and dreams, hearing voices for a while, and she was sent to a mental institution to “get fixed”. Of course, the voices and hallucinations don’t stop. Then, one day, all of them come true. The apocalypse starts, marked by an event called the “Flash”. Everything is now remembered as Before Flash and After Flash. After this, all the events seemed very similar to the book Angelfall, except for the hallucinations, dreams and voices.

I wasn’t very impressed by the way things were going because the major focus kept coming back on Evie and Jackson’s romance and relationship. The same things kept coming back up—how she’s stuck-up, looks down on him, is useless and needs him for protection and to survive etc. Then there would be her fantasizing about him and gazing at him. I’ve gotten way too many descriptions of how good he looks.

The deal with the “Arcana” is that all the characters depicted in the Arcana deck of cards are real and every some years the Arcana are born and the same chain of events follow. Or so I think. There wasn’t enough focus on Arcana as I would have liked.

The story is a mix of fantasy, normal teen angst and romance in an apocalyptic setting. 

The Characters
  • Evie: I kind of hated her. She whined a lot, didn’t bother learning in earnest, just tagged along and let Jackson do everything, was spineless most of the time and was actually useless, as Jackson said. I get that the “character improvement” required this, to show the difference in her in the end, but she literally did not make any effort unless she absolutely HAD to.
  • Jackson: He didn’t fit. I almost felt like his character was mostly just what the author wanted to add in i.e. wrong-side-of-the-tracks, badass, troubled childhood etc. Him being completely human didn’t bother me as much as the traits. His character was so cliched. But he didn’t actually fit in with the Arcana story and didn’t gel in. I could have done with Jackson having a completely different personality and story.

I can’t talk about every side character, but I can say that none of them made an impression on me. If I had to pick, Matthew would be my choice, but I would just rather pick none.

The Romance

I honestly just don’t want to talk about this. Yes, I disliked it that much.

Evie and Jackson’s story would seem like the usual cliched one where the popular rich girl who is nice to everyone goes for the badass boy who is more than what he seems. Only there’s an apocalypse. Oh and she’s one of the Arcana, which he has no idea about. 

There was so much imbalance between the amount of pining over each other and everything else. Every time I felt like, okay it’s going fine and something’s going to happen related to the plot, we get Evie fantasizing about Jackson again.

There also wasn’t any actual bonding between them. Just some chemistry which appears out of nowhere at times, and them simply wanting each other.

In short, I did NOT get the romance.

Overall

My major issues are

  1. The romance.
  2. The fact that I still do not know what exactly Arcana is. There was too much Evie and Jackson going on for actual substance on Arcana.

The only saving grace, which prevented me from giving the book one star, would be the end. That was when something finALLY HAPPENED. I went through the whole book waiting for an “it” factor and for some action. I got it in the very end, and it wasn’t that long either.

will read the next book, because:

  • it doesn’t seem as if I’ve read one whole book. The incompleteness is felt.
  • everyone I’ve spoken to who has read this series loves it. Why.
  • I want to know what Arcana actually is.
  • I have a feeling the second book is going to be better?

two-stars

Have you read The Arcana Chronicles? What did you think? Or is it on your TBR? Have you read any other Kresley Cole books? Also my thoughts on this books are so jumbled I still don’t know if the review turned out okay, so let me know if you understood what I’m trying to say 😛

Forever my girl || I FINALLY FOUND A (kinda) GOOD ONE — May 25, 2017

Forever my girl || I FINALLY FOUND A (kinda) GOOD ONE

16119079Title: Forever my girl

Author: Heidi McLaughlin

Genre: NA Contemporary Romance

Status: Part of The Beaumont series but can be read as a standalone.

Goodreads || Amazon IN || Amazon US || Amazon UK || book depository


Synopsis:

I was never supposed to be a rock star. I had my life all planned out for me. Play football in college. Go to the NFL. Marry my high school sweetheart and live happily ever after.

I broke both our hearts that day when I told her I was leaving. I was young. I made the right decision for me, but the wrong decision for us. I’ve poured my soul into my music, but I’ve never forgotten her. Her smell, her smile.

And now I’m going back.

After ten years.

I hope I can explain that after all this time.

I still want her to be my forever girl.

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before but I went on a downward (or upward, depending on how you take it) spiral of books with secret-baby tropes. Basically, girl and guy have sex, separate for various reasons, girl finds out she’s pregnant, guy finds our years later and second-time round of falling in love (with a child, too, of course).

Turns out, after the initial raging craving for it, it’s now appearing in short spikes. Can I take this moment to let you know HOW FEW GOOD BOOKS exist on this topic? VERY FEW. I now can list a number of things that could go wrong with such a plot because I’ve done enough research.

Anyway, onto the book. I shall give my review in a list because #lists_are_awesome and I just feel like. (Bear with me pls thanks)

The Plot

  • Liam is the usual rock star living the usual rock star life (which we see in other NA romance books). But *gasp* TWIST! He already found love (Josie) and he actually left her to give a shot at this life. Not the usual “meets girl who has no clue who he is or knows and hates him and they fall in love” etc.
  • They were going to have a white-picket fence life with adorable kids in a small town and he left because SO SUBURBAN AND I WANNA SING BYE.
  • Sure, their hearts broke. Also ANOTHER TWIST! She found out she was pregnant after he dumped her so crudely. You won’t know this from the book but then the blurb is also a teeny bit vague. (I dislike vague and vague-ish blurbs.)
  • Due to a tragic event, Liam comes back to the town, sad and also longing for Josie. Btw this is after TEN LONG YEARS. Yeah, he ditched everyone from his old life, even bestie. *sniff*
  • (I need to finish this section fast I’m basically giving away the story dammit)
  • Josie moved on. She now has a 9 year old amazing son. Liam is shocked.
  • They fall in love again, but it takes a while and a lot of work on his side.

What I liked:

  • Liam was actually nice. Josie was also cool.
  • NOAH (their kid) WAS AWESOME.
  • Liam didn’t barge in and start claiming Josie as his when he found out that Josie moved on with Nick (who wanted her even when she was with Liam). He only didn’t compromise on his son. Nick or him was Josie’s choice.
  • Liam and Noah ❤
  • We get to see glimpses of the old Liam and Josie through flashbacks and I absolutely adore that stage of them.
  • There weren’t any tragic mistakes or things in the book that I absolutely hated (like so many others) and this deserves a good rating cuz of that because it’s kind oF A JEWEL. OKAY? OKAY.

What I didn’t like:

  • Stupid, but, I really wish the author had chosen more distinguishable names instead of Noah,  Nick and Liam. In the beginning few chapters I got confused between all of them. And for about half the book I confused Noah and Nick and kept getting annoyed that “wait wasn’t she just hugging Nick and being like omg my kid?? why is she kissing him now?? oh wait.. that was NOAH.”
  • Also, when (inevitably) true love wins and Josie breaks up with Nick, the emotional toll on Noah (the kid) isn’t shown?? Nick just went *POOF* and it had absolutely NO effect on Noah?? Nick was like a father to him! For YEARS!
  • And since we’re on that, Nick and Josie were together for SIX years and things down-spiralled so fast. It was like Nick was a new person with Liam back. Either he was hiding that side of him for so long, or the execution in the book was off. Six years. Finished in ONE NIGHT. Just like that. That was my biggest peeve.

Overall

A good book. One of the few I would recommend first which has the secret-baby trope. If you like rock stars, second chances, father-son bonding and no very tragic peeves with the book, I definitely suggest giving this boom a shot.

three-and-a-half-stars

A Gleam of Light || down an informative road about Hopi Indians — April 22, 2017

A Gleam of Light || down an informative road about Hopi Indians

a gleam of light.jpgTitle: A Gleam of Light

Authors: T.J. and M.L. Wolf

Genre: Fiction

Status: Book One of The Survival Trilogy

Goodreads || Amazon IN || Amazon US ||

Synopsis:

In 1995, at the age of eight, Una Waters survived a terrifying encounter at 30,000 feet aboard Flight 564 from Dallas to Las Vegas. It changed her forever. After 21 years, and a decade away from the Hopi Reservation where she grew up as a child, a surprise plea for help brings Una back, to solve a mystery that threatens their traditional way of life. The U.S. Army’s sudden interest regarding a cave discovery in the Sacred Peaks has triggered alarm, leading to violence. With the help of friends, new and old, Una must confront her painful past, seek proof to qualify the ancient site for protection under law, and stand up to a stiff-necked general, whose agenda is more concerned with retrieving a mysterious power source.

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

I received a free copy of the book from the authors (THANK YOU!!) in exchange for a review. This does not affect my review in any way.

The whole story revolves around Hopi Indians in Arizona—their myths, traditions and beliefs. I was very intrigued because I had never heard of this tribe before. Naturally, knowing they’re called that, I looked for similarities between their cultures and mine. I found none, actually, and became increasingly confused as to why they’re called Hopi Indians. From the story, I know that they’re not migrants either. Once done with this review, I’ll be heading off to research about them more.

The Plot

Una Waters comes back home to Arizona and her people after several years to try and resolve an issue on behalf of her tribe and the US government/army. The army personnel are trying to get to a cave hoping to understand better about something unknown, but it’s on sacred ground which are supposedly protected by an act of the law in favour of the natives. While trying to be a medium between both parties, many more things get uncovered and the readers are taken on a journey of history and myth (which also include supernatural elements).

Honestly, it’s hard to condense the whole plot into a few lines. I had thought that the Goodreads synopsis was a little too vague to properly understand what the book is about, but now that I’ve read it, I understand how hard it is to write a synopsis.

Here are a few things that are spoken about in the book:

  • Hopi Indians and their struggles.
  • The myths, beliefs and traditions of the tribe.
  • Talk about stages of the world. This is the only thing that kind of matched one of our stories (here in India) which says that we’re currently living in the “fourth” world and the world will start anew after this (or something like that..).
  • US government/army ops. Their “secret” projects.
  • UFOs, “Sky People”.
  • Unexplainable happenings around the world. This part I loved the most. They acknowledged, and tried to explain, things such as people learning new languages out of the blue, people becoming geniuses overnight etc.

I loved that there was so much research done into the topic of this book, because I never felt like I had to Google and do research on m own to understand things. Everything was explained, but not as if they’re giving us a glossary. Even if my “research” doesn’t get many results, I still learnt a lot from the book itself.

The Characters

I liked Una. She wasn’t very special regarding talents or anything, but her personality was perfect for the role. She had the determination to fight for her people, and that is what I loved about her most. Even though the book is written in third person POV, her patriotism and love is clearly seen.

I quite liked all the people of her tribe. They were written perfectly. I loved that we could exactly get the vibe of Hopi.

Una had met two of the characters Jack and Ashcroft before, so they have a bit of history and an event that binds them. They are kind of secondary main characters—compared to Una. I didn’t like either of them, though. They were just okay.

The Romance

There wasn’t any. Honestly, if there was, I would have been quite put off because I don’t think it would seam well with the storyline and the characters, during all of the events taking place. There are a few hints to further developments but we don’t see any of those things happening in the current timeline. I’m glad for that. It was a good choice of the authors to leave it out.

 

Overall

A book to pick up if you’re in the mood for some history, diversity and to learn about new things. I loved the diversity and the detailed information given to us about everything. Totally recommend if you want lots of diversity, whole new setting and some mythical (or not!) history.

three-stars

Lock & Key || not really impressed — April 15, 2017

Lock & Key || not really impressed

lock and key.jpgTitle: Lock and Key

Author: Sarah Dessen

Genre: YA contemporary

Status: Standalone

Goodreads || Amazon US || Amazon UK || Amazon IN || book depository ||


Synopsis:

“Ruby, where is your mother?” Ruby knows that the game is up. For the past few months, she’s been on her own in the yellow house, managing somehow, knowing that her mother will probably never return.That’s how she comes to live with Cora, the sister she
hasn’t seen in ten years, and Cora’s husband Jamie, whose down-to-earth demeanor makes it hard for Ruby to believe he founded the most popular networking Web site around. A luxurious house, fancy private school, a new wardrobe, the promise of college and a future—it’s a dream come true. So why is Ruby such a reluctant Cinderella, wary and defensive? And why is Nate, the genial boy next door with some secrets of his own, unable to accept the help that Ruby is just learning to give?

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I usually like Dessen’s books, and that’s why picked this up the second I saw it in a second-hand bookstore. Unfortunately, I didn’t like it that much.

The Plot

I didn’t like the plot much, to be honest. When Ruby is placed under her sister’s guardianship, complete with a good place to live and opportunities that could take her places in life, she’s still very bitter and wants to leave. I almost felt like going through and yelling at her to at least make use of the opportunities! A really good school, crowd and lifestyle is there for her. And yet, she just wants to run away.

She does start opening up and settling down, although it takes months. But I never got a feeling that she really CARED about anything. It’s hard to relate when it feels like she’s simply doing the minimum.

The plot revolves around her understanding the definition of family, accepting relationships and help. But you might not even realise that it is so unless you sit down and dissect everything you’ve read to figure it out. It all felt very… dull. But that could also be because the MC wasn’t animated AT ALL.

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The Characters

The characters in this book really put me off. I didn’t have any issue in Dessen’s other books, but I simply didn’t resonate with or attach to any one from Lock & Key. The only character I MILDLY understood was Nate, the MC’s romantic interest. Every character was just okay, if you ask me to rate them.

Only one side character had an oomph factor, and she wasn’t even portrayed that much.

The Romance

I wasn’t impressed by this, either, to be honest. It wasn’t insta-love, far from it actually, but there also wasn’t much chemistry or substance in the relationship. It felt dull too.

The only thing I liked in the book

Ruby carried around the key of the only house which felt like home on a thin rope around her neck. When she started working for a jeweller, it set off a trend as the designer made other “KeyChains” with decorated keys on chains and sold them. I liked the idea so much that I took a decorated key from a normal keychain I had, put it on a chain, and wore it for a while.

Overall

Not a great read, and definitely didn’t like it as much as the other Dessen books I’ve read. It was a bit disappointing actually. As I bought the book in a second-hand bookstore, I’m planning on selling it back and buying some other book with the money I’ll get.

two-and-a-half-stars

 

Have you read this book? Have you read any other Sarah Dessen books? What did you think? Do you think the KeyChains trend is cool too? Do you have any accessory like that? Or any accessory which is sentimental?