Review: When Dimple Met Rishi (aka cutest contemporary in ages!)

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Summary:

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 Thoughts:

This. Book.

This might be the CUTEST contemporary I’ve read in awhile! I was grinning so much over how fun it was!

First of all, I was ecstatic that my Secret Sister through the OTSPsecretsister project sent me this book because I’d been looking forward to it. (If you’re reading this then THANK YOU again!) That package actually arrived right before I was about to leave for the beach in June and I thought, “you know what. I have lots to read for school, but I’m going to take this and read fun stuff this weekend!” I actually read another book first and then started this, but both were amazing beach reads!

I never could have imagined a book like this, but I’m so glad that I found it. This is a book that, while it might look lengthy to some, will end up being a quick read because of how adorably captivating the story is. I do not know of another young adult book that discusses arranged marriages, but this provides any interesting look at Indian culture that is rare in books. While this is a fun, light contemporary romance, it also does a great job of providing representation to several groups, both culturally and through personalities and interests displayed in the characters.

I can’t wait to read more from Sandhya in the future after enjoying this one so much!

-M

 

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Quick Update!

Well, hello!

I promise that I didn’t fall off the Earth!

My Summer has been crazy busy with starting grad school, trips, and preparing for a play that will happen the first weekend in August.

I’ve done very little “fun” reading and lots of reading for the class I’ve been taking this summer. We actually had good books in class, but I’m a mood reader.

NEVERTHELESS!!

I have a review coming next Tuesday for Kasie West’s new book Lucky in Love, but let me just go ahead and tell you to preorder it now.

I’m also working on a review for the ADORABLE When Dimple Met Rishi. I read both books when I went to the beach for a weekend in June and was determined to not just read for school. Expect Dimple to be posted Friday and Lucky on Tuesday.

I may even throw in a few mini reviews for some of the books I’ve read for school.

That said…back to school work! This class has been crazy.

-Melanie

The Upside of Unrequited

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Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is.

Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.

Right?

My Thoughts:

I think I put off reading this because I was worried that I wouldn’t like it as much as Simon.

Man, I was wrong.

First of all, Molly was completely relatable. I found myself understanding exactly where she was coming from all throughout the book. I don’t feel like I relate to main characters often, but I totally got Molly.

Next, the cast of characters as a whole was SO diverse! There were so many groups represented and, from what I can tell, represented well. That’s huge for YA as we need more of that all the time.

I can honestly say that I can’t come up with a single complaint for this book. I read it fast and basically devoured the entire story. It was so cute, but also full of some good truths about relationships (both romantic and family) that everyone, not just teens, needs.

Spoiler- There’s also cameos from Simon and some of his friends in the book even though they don’t live in the same place, so that was great and a good treat.

Upon finishing Unrequited, I was kind of lost wondering what on Earth I should read next as it was such a great book. With that said, I cannot recommend this one enough and look forward to seeing what Becky does next!

-M

Review: The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

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Summary:

When Gia Montgomery’s boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she’d been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend—two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it’s not the real Bradley she’s thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn’t even know. But tracking him down doesn’t mean they’re done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend’s graduation party—three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

My Thoughts:

I’m not sure that Kasie West can do wrong when it comes to a contemporary romance.

This was my 3rd Kasie West book to read and I think it’s my new favorite so far (This one, PS I Like You, By Your Side–in that order). I’m anticipating reading her future as well as the other older titles I still haven’t read.

Anyways, one thing about Kasie’s books is that the synopsis never makes them seem as good as they really are. For example, the synopsis for this sounds super cheesy. Not even going to lie about it.

Either way, I thought the concept was cute even if the synopsis sounded cheesy, so I was glad it ended up working out in my favor.

I don’t want to say much for the sake of spoilers, but the character development for Gia was great for me. I loved seeing how she grew and changed as a person.

Her ending was almost exactly what I wanted. My only complaint is that I wish there was an epilogue. Maybe something telling what happens over the summer or once she gets to college. However, I get that it was probably best left the way it was.

This would be a great summertime beach read because it reads quickly, but I’m glad that I didn’t wait that long to read it. I own two of her older books and haven’t read them, so I’m looking forward to getting to them soon as well as her upcoming book in July, Lucky in Love.

-M

Review: Windfall by Jennifer E Smith

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Summary:

Alice doesn’t believe in luck—at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for some time now, she’s been pining for her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday—just when it seems they might be on the brink of something—she buys him a lottery ticket on a lark. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes.

At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two of them are no strangers to misfortune. As a kid, Alice won the worst kind of lottery possible when her parents died just over a year apart from each other. And Teddy’s father abandoned his family not long after that, leaving them to grapple with his gambling debts. Through it all, Teddy and Alice have leaned on each other. But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy’s newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall.

As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice learns more about herself than she ever could have imagined . . . and about the unexpected ways in which luck and love sometimes intersect.

My Thoughts:

First of all, yes- this book is super predictable as far as the story goes.

That said, it is also a cute story that I got completely immersed in and could not put down.

I’d had an ARC of Windfall for MONTHS and finally decided to read it since it was close to the release date. The next thing I knew, it’d been a few hours and I was halfway into the book. I finished the second half two days later (I’m busy, y’all!) and it held my attention just the same way.

So, sure, the story of winning a lottery ticket might be  predictable in its aftermath, but I still loved the journey just the same.

There was a secondary love interest that I almost wish had not even been in the story because there was so little development to that. In fact, at one point I thought he’d show up again, but nope…never to be heard from again.

I did love Alice’s struggle of finding her place and figuring out what she wanted to do with her life amidst the drama of her friend, and crush, Teddy winning the lottery. Alice had a rough childhood, so I was almost more interested in how she was going to turn out than I was in what was going to happen between her and Teddy.

This was only the second book I’d read from Jennifer Smith, but I definitely intend to read more soon.

Windfall releases tomorrow (May 2, 2017), so go ahead and order it for your fun read for summer.

Review: The Names They Gave Us

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Summary:

Lucy Hansson was ready for a perfect summer with her boyfriend, working at her childhood Bible camp on the lake. But when her mom’s cancer reappears, Lucy falters—in faith, in love, and in her ability to cope. When her boyfriend “pauses” their relationship and her summer job switches to a different camp—one for troubled kids—Lucy isn’t sure how much more she can handle. Attempting to accept a new normal, Lucy slowly regains footing among her vibrant, diverse coworkers, Sundays with her mom, and a crush on a fellow counselor. But when long-hidden family secrets emerge, can Lucy set aside her problems and discover what grace really means?

My Thoughts:

I’m so for 3 for 3 on loving Emery Lord’s books. I haven’t yet read her first book, but the other three have completely blown me away and I think I’m eventually going to need to read her debut. I thought The Start of Me and You was adorable, but also showed a strong picture of a girl going through grief. I loved how When We Collided brought bipolar disorder to the forefront of the story. And now…now she’s used cancer to cause a teen to question her religious faith and I’m completely here for it.

Here’s the thing- as a Christian, I very rarely read Christian fiction. The characters are rarely realistic or easy to relate to. That’s not the case with Lucy. She’s done everything right, but yet her mother’s cancer has returned. Lucy’s journey of her faith is one that I think most people go through at some point and it feels real.

I will say that I wanted a bit more from the ending, but it wasn’t to the point that I was disappointed. The ending is just too open for me and almost felt abrupt after a lot of build-up. Either way, this was still easily a 5 star read for me and one that I loved and will return to one day and re-read.

-M

Review: It Happens All The Time

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Book Info:

From master storyteller Amy Hatvany—whose writing has been hailed as “gripping and emotionally honest” (Stephanie Evanovich, New York Times bestselling author)—comes a provocative and compelling novel about two friends whose lives are changed by a drunken kiss.

I want to rewind the clock, take back the night when the world shattered. I want to erase everything that went wrong.

Amber Bryant and Tyler Hicks have been best friends since they were teenagers—trusting and depending on each other through some of the darkest periods of their young lives. And while Amber has always felt that their relationship is strictly platonic, Tyler has long harbored the secret desire that they might one day become more than friends.

Returning home for the summer after her college graduation, Amber begins spending more time with Tyler than she has in years. Despite the fact that Amber is engaged to her college sweetheart, a flirtation begins to grow between them. One night, fueled by alcohol and concerns about whether she’s getting married too young, Amber kisses Tyler.

What happens next will change them forever.

In alternating points of view, It Happens All the Time examines the complexity of sexual dynamics between men and women and offers an incisive exploration of gender roles, expectations, and the ever-timely issue of consent.

My Thoughts:

First off, this is always a timely and important issue.

It Happens All the Time is an interesting look at the issue of date rape, to put it blankly with spoilers.

The book provides an interesting look at both sides of the situation and how both main characters react. It attempts to clear the issues of consent that so often clutter the new with different stories. Does it matter if the other person originally appeared to be consenting? What about the relationship at hand? Tons of these are cleared in the fact that- “No” is still “No.”

I did have a few problems with the main character because there was too much focus on her problems dealing with anorexia. While that is also an important issue, it at time felt like it was too much. I also have a problem with something in the ending that she did as a reaction, but that would be a spoiler. The thing I don’t like just felt over the top and like she could have got her point across another way.

Either way, this was an interesting book, especially the way that it showed both sides of the story. It released Tuesday, so it is available now.

-M