Graphic Novel Review: Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani

33163360Pashmina
Author: Nidhi Chanani
Release Date: October 3, 2017
Publisher: First Second
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Priyanka Das has so many unanswered questions: Why did her mother abandon her home in India years ago? What was it like there? And most importantly, who is her father, and why did her mom leave him behind? But Pri’s mom avoids these questions–the topic of India is permanently closed.

For Pri, her mother’s homeland can only exist in her imagination. That is, until she find a mysterious pashmina tucked away in a forgotten suitcase. When she wraps herself in it, she is transported to a place more vivid and colorful than any guidebook or Bollywood film. But is this the real India? And what is that shadow lurking in the background? To learn the truth, Pri must travel farther than she’s ever dared and find the family she never knew.

In this heartwarming graphic novel debut, Nidhi Chanani weaves a tale about the hardship and self-discovery that is born from juggling two cultures and two worlds.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

This was the first graphic novel I’ve read in a loooong time. Pashmina was an absolute delight to read. The art was mesmerizing, and the story itself so empowering and touching.

Pashmina follows Priyanka Das, a teen Indian-American who has trouble coming to terms with the Indian side of heritage. When the opportunity arises for her to visit her aunt back in India, she snags on it. After all, this is the country where her mother was from but almost never talks about. What teen wouldn’t be curious about her heritage? With the help of a magical pashmina, a wool shawl from her mother’s briefcase, she finds out more about her culture, her family’s past, and her own person. The story was absolutely touching, as you can’t help but relate to Priyanka’s frustrations and doubts at first. She doesn’t believe in her art, her classmates pick on her, and her favorite uncle is having a baby who will no doubt replace her. But through her journey in India, she discovers the importance of family, freedom, and the truly important parts of life, wrapped in love and care. The small incorporation of Indian culture was awesome to see (those huge DOSAS! YUM!), and the authentic voice of this #ownvoices book will speak to a reader’s heart. Any first or second-generation teen searching for their own heritage and person needs to pick this book up. Continue reading

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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

Monthly Wrap-Up: Not A Teen Anymore, But A Young Adult?

Hello everyone!

Hope you are doing well. I’m currently procrastinating on studying for finals, which is taking place this week and next, by scheduling this review. *whispers* someone help me summon the motivation to get work done for the first time since classes ended

I was asking one of my friends a couple of days ago, “Are we still considered teens?” And her immediate response was “Young adults.” I guess that makes sense (we’re all 19 now), since we’ve passed the point of adult (18 in America), but are still trying to navigate our ways through life. I can’t help but compare that to how we identify actual Young Adult books, whose main characters range from early to late high school. Did we stop becoming Young Adults after going to college or the military or the work force? Because if anything, that really is the time to navigate how us young adults want to live out our lives. And also, so much experimentation! Anyway, I’ll draft up a more elaborate discussion post about this later. Continue reading

ARC Review: Isle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier

30339493Isle of Blood and Stone
Author: Makiia Lucier
Release Date: April 10, 2018
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Ulises asked, “How can I look at these maps, see this riddle, and do nothing? They are my brothers.”
Elias reached across the table and flicked aside two shells with a fingertip. The map curled into itself. “It’s bound to be a goose chase. You know that?”
“Or a treasure hunt,” Ulises countered, “and you’ve always been good at those.”

Nineteen-year-old Elias is a royal explorer, a skilled mapmaker, and the new king of del Mar’s oldest friend. Soon he will embark on the adventure of a lifetime, an expedition past the Strait of Cain and into uncharted waters. Nothing stands in his way…until a long-ago tragedy creeps back into the light, threatening all he holds dear.

The people of St. John del Mar have never recovered from the loss of their boy princes, kidnapped eighteen years ago, both presumed dead. But when two maps surface, each bearing the same hidden riddle, troubling questions arise. What really happened to the young heirs? And why do the maps appear to be drawn by Lord Antoni, Elias’s father, who vanished on that same fateful day? With the king’s beautiful cousin by his side-whether he wants her there or not-Elias will race to solve the riddle of the princes. He will have to use his wits and guard his back. Because some truths are better left buried…and an unknown enemy stalks his every turn.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Isle of Blood and Stone comes off to me as one of those quieter YA fantasies that are hidden gems. It’s not fast-paced, nor does it have tons of thrilling action. But the characterizations fuel the story as we follow on an 18-year old mystery that needs to be solved. Despite the sedate pace, I enjoyed the emphasis in the story on maps and following the political intrigue within St. John del Mar. There’s a marked focus on character relationships and heading into danger, as well as fantastical elements that add flavor to the story. I’d recommend Isle of Blood and Stone to fantasy readers who don’t mind less action in favor of characterization and solving mysteries. It’s for sure a deviation from the princes and princesses route that YA fantasies like to take. 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

Monthly Wrap-Up: Stress, Stress, Slump, And Stress

Okay everyone, apologies in advance because I really need to get my blog commenting back in the game.

February was a… hectic month for me. I was constantly tired and slept for 2-3 hours multiple nights a week, which was severely unhealthy. In addition, I started eating at the wrong times and eating a lot per meal, which was really not good for my metabolism. Suffice it to say, I’m trying to be more healthy in terms of food and sleep these next five weeks of college (and then summer!).  Continue reading

ARC Review: Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Unearthed #1)

25446297Unearthed
Authors: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Series: Unearthed #1
Release Date: January 8, 2018
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

When Earth intercepts a message from a long-extinct alien race, it seems like the solution the planet has been waiting for. The Undying’s advanced technology has the potential to undo environmental damage and turn lives around, and Gaia, their former home planet, is a treasure trove waiting to be uncovered.

For Jules Addison and his fellow scholars, the discovery of an alien culture offers unprecedented opportunity for study… as long as scavengers like Amelia Radcliffe don’t loot everything first. Mia and Jules’ different reasons for smuggling themselves onto Gaia put them immediately at odds, but after escaping a dangerous confrontation with other scavvers, they form a fragile alliance.

In order to penetrate the Undying temple and reach the tech and information hidden within, the two must decode the ancient race’s secrets and survive their traps. But the more they learn about the Undying, the more their presence in the temple seems to be part of a grand design that could spell the end of the human race…

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Unearthed brings an interesting concept to life: looking back at history in the future. While it takes place in a sci-fi setting where humans have found access to Gaia, a planet that seems almost habitable for our species, much of the narrative is done thinking about the past. It pairs up an unlikely duo – an archaeologist and a scavenger – in a nonstop adventure that continues from beginning to end of the book. Readers looking for action and adventure, get on this story. And readers who want something for substantial, perhaps save this one for a day when you want something light. Continue reading