Book Review: Beautiful Broken Hearts by Kami Garcia

33158532Beautiful Broken Hearts
Author: Kami Garcia
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Imprint
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

From #1 New York Times–bestselling author Kami Garcia comes a red-hot romance that will break your heart and put it back together again.

Her heart has to break before it can open.

When star soccer player Peyton Rios receives an offer from her first-choice college, senior year starts off exactly as planned. But when Peyton uncovers her boyfriend’s dark secret, she confronts him—and finds herself falling down a flight of stairs. Peyton’s knee—and maybe her dream of going pro—is shattered. Everyone is talking: Was she pushed, or did she fall? Peyton knows the truth, even if no one believes her.

He has to let someone in before it’s too late.

With her future on the line, Peyton goes to stay with her uncle in a small Tennessee town to focus on her recovery. Dating is the last thing on her mind—until she meets sweet, sexy Owen Law.

But Peyton doesn’t trust her heart, especially when she senses that Owen is hiding something. When their secrets are finally exposed, Peyton has to decide if love is worth fighting for.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I enjoyed Kami Garcia’s previous contemporary, The Lovely Reckless, and this one was no different. Beautiful Broken Hearts follow the story of Peyton Rios, a biracial (half-Cuban, half-white) and talented soccer player whose dreams of going to UNC with a scholarship is wiped away after one incident with her abusive boyfriend. In the author’s note, Garcia wrote about how she was in a similar situation in her life, and discussed the importance of seeking out for help when needed (including resources such as Break the Cycle and the National Domestic Violence Hotline). I think this book was especially important in highlighting abusive/manipulative relationships, and above all, the fact that sometimes you need to just put yourself first, before anything – or anyone – else.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Girls Can’t Hit by TS Easton Review | Feminism =/= Telling, Not Showing

Girls Can’t Hit
Author: TS Easton
Release Date: July 17, 2018
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

A funny, feminist teen story about knowing when to train . . . and when to fight.

Fleur Waters never takes anything seriously – until she turns up at her local boxing club one day, just to prove a point. She’s the only girl there, and the warm-up alone is exhausting . . . but the workout gives her an escape from home and school, and when she lands her first uppercut on a punching bag she feels a rare glow of satisfaction.

So she goes back the next week, determined to improve. Fleur’s overprotective mum can’t abide the idea of her entering a boxing ring, why won’t she join her pilates class instead? Her friends don’t get it either and even her boyfriend, ‘Prince’ George, seems concerned by her growing muscles and appetite – but it’s Fleur’s body, Fleur’s life, so she digs her heels in and carries on with her training.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I was super excited for this book because, hello! Feminist story about a girl who, despite external protests, becomes a boxer? But unfortunately the execution of this premise made it a 2.5 star read for me, rounded down to 2 because I just don’t get Fleur’s humor. This book is also a revamp, as it was published last year already, so check out the cute new cover!

Continue reading

ARC Review: The Boyfriend Bracket by Kate Evangelista

35796027The Boyfriend Bracket
Author:Kate Evangelista
Release Date: June 18, 2018
Publisher: SwoonReads
Get it Here:Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Stella has had a hopeless crush on Will, her older brother’s best friend FOREVER, but now that Cam and Will have graduated and are going off to college, this year is her chance to really strike out on her own. Without her overprotective brother and his sidekick around to distract her, she can focus on having all the typical high school experiences that she’s always dreamed of—starting with finding a boyfriend! With the help of her best friend Franklin, she comes up with the perfect plan to have a boyfriend by Christmas: The Boyfriend Bracket.

Or it seems like the perfect plan…right up until Will starts showing up again. How is she supposed to find the perfect boyfriend when none of her dates measure up to the one boy she can never have?

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I wish I liked this book more than I did! The Boyfriend Bracket is all the fluff of a marshmallow, but nothing past the sugary-sweetness. The fact that it’s a bit over 200 pages doesn’t help either, giving only glimpses of character and relationship development. Over the course of these pages, Stella goes through almost her whole senior year of high school. It’s a huge time frame that passes by really quickly, making for a hastened pace that makes the glimpses mentioned above even more scarce. Nonetheless, it was an adorable read that romcom lovers should consider picking up!

Continue reading

ARC Review: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

36199084The Kiss Quotient
Author: Helen Hoang
Release Date: June 5, 2018
Publisher: Berkley Romance
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases–a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice–with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan–from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I literally can’t find the words to describe how much I love this book. The Kiss Quotient is definitely on my top romance books for this year (I know it’s really early, but I adore this book wayy too much). The Kiss Quotient follows the developing love story of an econometrician, Stella, and an escort, Michael, as one steps out of her shell and the other finds the value within himself. I loved both of these characters and their voice – flaws and all. Fans of the fake dating trope are going to be mesmerized by this book. Continue reading

ARC Review: From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon

36373464From Twinkle, With Love
Author: Sandhya Menon
Release Date: May 22, 2018
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Aspiring filmmaker and wallflower Twinkle Mehra has stories she wants to tell and universes she wants to explore, if only the world would listen. So when fellow film geek Sahil Roy approaches her to direct a movie for the upcoming Summer Festival, Twinkle is all over it. The chance to publicly showcase her voice as a director? Dream come true. The fact that it gets her closer to her longtime crush, Neil Roy—a.k.a. Sahil’s twin brother? Dream come true x 2.

When mystery man “N” begins emailing her, Twinkle is sure it’s Neil, finally ready to begin their happily-ever-after. The only slightly inconvenient problem is that, in the course of movie-making, she’s fallen madly in love with the irresistibly adorkable Sahil.

Twinkle soon realizes that resistance is futile: The romance she’s got is not the one she’s scripted. But will it be enough?

Told through the letters Twinkle writes to her favorite female filmmakers, From Twinkle, with Love navigates big truths about friendship, family, and the unexpected places love can find you.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Another stunning story from Sandhya Menon. I adored From Twinkle, With Love from cover to cover. It’s heartwarming, it’s real, and it’s empowering. Told mostly from Twinkle’s diary (along with blog posts, text messages, and emails), this book follows Twinkle’s growth from quiet geek to powerful director. Her character changes are honestly so real and down-to-earth, and I love her even more for it – even when some of these changes aren’t that positive. There’s a super light and sweet romance, and a wonderful exploration of family and friendships. Menon writes another stellar contemporary that YA readers need to get as soon as they can. Continue reading

ARC Review: My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma

22524101My So-Called Bollywood Life
Author: Nisha Sharma
Release Date: May 15, 2018
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

The romance of Stephanie Perkins meets the quirk of Maureen Johnson, then gets a Bollywood twist in this fate-filled debut that takes the future into its own hands.

Winnie Mehta was never really convinced that Raj was her soul mate, but their love was written in the stars. Literally, a pandit predicted Winnie would find the love of her life before her eighteenth birthday, and Raj meets all the qualifications. Which is why Winnie is shocked when she returns from her summer at film camp to find her boyfriend of three years hooking up with Jenny Dickens. As a self-proclaimed Bollywood expert, Winnie knows this is not how her perfect ending is scripted.

Then there’s Dev, a fellow film geek and one of the few people Winnie can count on. Dev is smart and charming, and he challenges Winnie to look beyond her horoscope and find someone she’d pick for herself. But does falling for Dev mean giving up on her prophecy and her chance to live happily ever after? To find her perfect ending, Winnie will need a little bit of help from fate, family, and of course, a Bollywood movie star.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

OH. MY. GOD. This book was absolutely STUNNING. Let me give you five reasons on why I’m rating this book five stars:

Preface: I know for a fact that some readers are going to say “This book had too much drama” or “This book was predictable” or “These characters were immature” or along those lines. The drama part is true, so come into the book with that expectation in mind. My main point is that this is a total rom-com, and thus, romance is a focal point to this book (as well as hella character development). What can I say? I’m weak for fluffy romantic comedies. ESPECIALLY when they feature marginalized characters. Continue reading

Blog Tour: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett Review (With the Help of Emojis!) + Giveaway

Hello everyone!

I’m incredibly excited to be on this blog tour for Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett. I’ve been following all her YA contemporary novels, and they have ALL been a hit. She’s definitely one author that you can’t miss out on! Starry Eyes brings two characters to life that you’re going to absolutely fall in love with, just like I did. There’s camping, survival skills, the cutest banter, and wonderful exploration of family dynamics. Let’s get this party started!


35297469Starry Eyes
Author: Jenn Bennett
Release Date: April 3, 2018
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Get it Here:Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Indiebound | iBooks

Synopsis:

Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their fami-lies are the modern day, Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.

But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

What could go wrong?

With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safe-ty. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.

And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection sur-vive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Suchhhh a good YA contemporary read. Perfect for the summer: that comfortable time in-between semesters where teens have that sense of freedom and independence. Jenn Bennett always writes hit contemporaries, and Starry Eyes was no exception. There were excellent, down-to-earth characters, the most wholesome romance, and an adventurous setting. There was a bit more drama than her past books, but the atmosphere of the book overall remained light and sweet. Here are some reasons, with the help of emojis, that explain why I recommend this book. Continue reading

Book Review: Say You’ll Remember Me by Katie McGarry

35133826Say You’ll Remember Me
Author: Katie McGarry
Release Date: January 30, 2018
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
When Drix was convicted of a crime–one he didn’t commit–he thought his life was over. But opportunity came with the new Second Chance Program, the governor’s newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated and back into society. Drix knows this is his chance to get his life back on track, even if it means being paraded in front of reporters for a while.Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor’s daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. But the expectations and pressure to be someone she isn’t may be too much to handle. She wants to follow her own path, whatever that means.

When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle’s parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix’s messy life.

But sometimes love can breach all barriers.

Fighting against a society that can’t imagine them together, Drix and Elle must push themselves–Drix to confront the truth of the robbery, and Elle to assert her independence–and each other to finally get what they deserve.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I was in the mood for a feel-good contemporary Young Adult book, and Say You’ll Remember Me hit all the right spots. There’s a forbidden romance that has some insta-attraction, amazing character growth, and the exploration of familial dynamics from two vastly different point of views. I’ve only read one other book by McGarry, but so far they’ve both been successful, and I can’t wait to see what she writes next. Continue reading

ARC Review: The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

11.15.17_THEWEDDINGDATE_invite_v15

33815781The Wedding Date
Author: Jasmine Guillory
Release Date: January 30, 2018
Publisher: Berkley
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in a fun and flirty debut novel.

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally do. But there’s something about Drew Nichols that’s too hard to resist.On the eve of his ex’s wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend…

After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she’s the mayor’s chief of staff. Too bad they can’t stop thinking about the other…

They’re just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century–or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want…

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I adored The Wedding Date and highly recommend it for contemporary readers who like a sweet and heartwarming story of two passionate people who meet each other in the oddest circumstance and find love through it. Alexa was a woman of my heart; she’s confident in her work environment and does her job well, but her love life wasn’t really going anywhere. Drew is the kind of guy to date a girl and break it off with her just when things were going well. They have instant chemistry and find themselves drawn towards the other, despite living across the state of California. Continue reading

Book Review: You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner

25701463You’re Welcome, Universe
Author: Whitney Gardner
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher: Knopf
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

When Julia finds a slur about her best friend scrawled across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a beautiful (albeit illegal) graffiti mural.

Her supposed best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her two mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a “mainstream” school in the suburbs, where she’s treated like an outcast as the only deaf student. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could convince her to give that up.

Out in the ’burbs, Julia paints anywhere she can, eager to claim some turf of her own. But Julia soon learns that she might not be the only vandal in town. Someone is adding to her tags, making them better, showing off—and showing Julia up in the process. She expected her art might get painted over by cops. But she never imagined getting dragged into a full-blown graffiti war.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I’ve had a copy of You’re Welcome, Universe for the longest time but haven’t had the chance to pick it up until now. I’m so glad I did, because this book left me with all the feels. You’re Welcome, Universe follows the first person POV of Julia, a protagonist who is as flawed as she is artistic. I adored her growth throughout the story and how her role as an angry teen evolved towards someone who understands and appreciates the love surrounding her (or, less of an angry teen). As an artist myself, I really identified with Julia’s need to release her art and emotions into the world. However, I’d also like to add that Julia does participate in illegal activity in the book (street graffiti in public places) and shouldn’t be condoned. Other than that, You’re Welcome, Universe was a beautiful exploration of art, friendships, growth, and the love that we experience in our lives. Continue reading