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

WWW Wednesday // 27th May 2020

It’s the end of May, y’all!

Time is flying by, especially now that I’m kind of used to staying at home and am adjusted to this routine. It’s been almost three months of staying at home.

How are y’all doing? I really want to know. This crazy situation started in March and it’s showing no signs of reducing. How are you doing physically, mentally, and emotionally?

WWW Wednesday is a weekly blogging meme hosted by Taking On a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?
picture of book and tea

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m currently reading two books right now. The first one is The Color Purple by Alice Walker which I started over a week back. I’m about 35% through it. It’s a hard read and I’m not able to pick it up very easily. I’ve decided that I will read a part of it every few days. It’ll take a while to finish it but that’s okay.

The second one is Emma by Jane Austen which I’m only 6 chapters through. I should read a few more by this weekend because we have another discussion then.


WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

#1

The first book I finished in the last week was Pride by Ibi Zoboi which I had read as an audiobook. It was quite nice. I enjoyed the new setting for P&P and while it doesn’t exactly follow another version of the same plot, it was close enough. Some things felt rushed and off but overall I liked it.

3/5 stars.

book, tea, and flowers

#2

The other book that I finished was Beach Read by Emily Henry. It’s a popular book receiving a lot of talk recently and I wanted a romance to breeze through so I picked it up. While I don’t agree with the hype, it was quite nice. Some things about the story are things that have been done a lot in romance books and I wasn’t interested in another spin on them. It was okay but wouldn’t recommend it over several other great romance books.

3/5 stars.

#3

Another book that I finished is The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar which is this month’s new release pick for the South Asian Reading Challenge. I was supposed to finish it yesterday but wasn’t able to read all day due to work and college work. But I did get some time to read before work this morning and I finished it!

I really liked it and will probably write a review soon.

4/5 stars.

#4

Okay this book is not a “finished read” but I’m technically done with it so I’ll talk about it here.

I was really looking forward to The Betrothed by Kiera Cass because I enjoyed the first three books of The Selection. I started it on audiobook but it was not great. At about 45% in, I spoke about it on Instagram and my friend commented like “NO STOP READING IT DON’T READ IT”. I asked him why and read reviews on Goodreads, all of which said that it is super disappointing.

Because of them, I decided to read a spoiler-y review and that cemented the decision to abandon the book for me. It’s a stupid story and its a good thing my friend warned me about it.

Did Not Finish.


WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

No clue at all. Hopefully something nice though. At least 4 stars.

an open book with a lot of tabs

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What are you currently reading? Have you read any of the books that I mentioned?

The Joy Luck Club || explores mother-daughter relationships

Title: The Joy Luck Club
Author: Amy Tan
Genre: Fiction
Series info: Standalone

Goodreads

The first time I ever heard of/saw this book was when I was going through book lists for a 2020 Popsugar Reading Challenge prompt. The prompt was to read a book set in a country starting with “C” and this book fit because it’s set in China during some parts.

It was only after I read the book that I found it being mentioned everywhere. It is quite popular! Unknowingly, I had read a book which is revered as a classic.

THE PLOT

The book tells the stories of four pairs of mothers and daughters. The elder women lived a part of their life in China and migrated to America through different circumstances. Their daughters are born in America and grow up with very different values and ideals.

This book explores the differences in these women’s lives and the divide between them due to vastly different upbringings.

MY REVIEW

Let me preface by saying that this review consists of my opinions only and my reading experience might not be the same as many others.

The Joy Luck Club is a beautifully written book that explores Asian-American mother-daughter relationships where the mothers and the daughters barely know each other.

And it is possible for all of them to barely know each other because the parenting style of Asian moms is very different. The thing I found common is that mothers concentrate so much on giving to their daughters and raising them well that they miss out on talking about their own experiences.

The mothers are basically trying to pass on the learnt lessons without putting their daughters through knowing of those experiences that taught those lessons. Children shouldn’t have to go through the hardships of their own to learn the same things.

“Then you must teach my daughter this same lesson. How to lose your innocence but not your hope. How to laugh forever.”

But in fact, this is what causes the divide between the mothers and daughters. The American born and bred daughters do not understand why their Chinese mothers say things or demand that they do certain things.

“So this is what I will do. I will gather together my past and look. I will see a thing that has already happened. the pain that cut my spirit loose. I will hold that pain in my hand until it becomes hard and shiny, more clear. And then my fierceness can come back, my golden side, my black side. I will use this sharp pain to penetrate my daughter’s tough skin and cut her tiger spirit loose. She will fight me, because this is the nature of two tigers. But I will win and giver her my spirit, because this is the way a mother loves her daughter.”

The book shows us the experiences of these eight women in different stages of their lives. We read about the mothers’ lives back when they were in China and how they came to America. We also read through the daughters’ points of view where they are only exposed to American ideals.

Each of their lives are full of meaning, mistakes, overcomings and fights for freedom. It was very interesting to read about them not only because each experience was intriguing but especially to realise just how different their lives are.

I especially loved reading about the mothers’ lives. The way they show emotion, the way they react to things, and even simple opinions differ so much because of how their life was in China.

“Now you see,’ said the turtle, drifting back into the pond, ‘why it is useless to cry. Your tears do not wash away your sorrows. They feed someone else’s joy. And that is why you must learn to swallow your own tears.”

Although each chapter was interesting to read and was beautifully written, I was not able to enjoy the book as a whole. These very different stories are not part of a whole. They’re completely different narrations and lives that are interlocked by thin threads and these threads don’t have much substance to them.

The way these stories are connected is not important because the point of the book is the stories themselves, individually and as part of their respective mother-daughter duo.

And because of that, I cannot really review taking the entire book into picture. I liked the individual stories themselves but as a book, where they are all supposed to a part of something, it fell short.

At no time was so I interested in the book that I left everything else to continue reading it. Or I wasn’t entranced enough to get back to it really fast. In fact, the book took me quite a while to read.

“There’s no hope. There’s no reason to keep trying.
Because you must. This is not hope. Not reason. This is your fate. This is your life, what you must do.”

The best feature of the book is the writing. The writing is so beautiful that each sentence is infused with meaning and emotion. There is no sentence, no word, that is useless or out of space.

And there are so many lines that are teachings. There are several quotable sentences that I had a hard time picking what to show in this post.

“Wisdom is like a bottomless pond. You throw stones in and they sink into darkness and dissolve. Her eyes looking back do not reflect anything.
I think this to myself even though I love my daughter. She and I have shared the same body. There is a part of her mind that is a part of mine. But when she was born she sprang from me like a slippery fish, and has been swimming away ever since. All her life, I have watched her as though from another shore.”

OVERALL

It’s definitely a lovely book but I was not able to enjoy it as much as I’m sure a lot of other readers would.

If you’re interested in books that explore complicated relationships, have beautiful writing and also show a lot about cultures, you will probably like this one.

I rate this book..

3/5 stars

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

WWW Wednesday // 20th May 2020

It’s been a slow week of reading.

Remember how I was reading 3-4 books a week for the last couple months? Well, it slowed down a little this week. Instead, the number went to another section.

You’ll see what I mean.

WWW Wednesday is a weekly blogging meme hosted by Taking On a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

I’m reading MANY books currently. And that’s why I haven’t finished more.

#1

I’m still listening to Pride by Ibi Zoboi on audiobook. I did make progress last week and am 65% into the book. Even though I didn’t get a chance to listen to it more than once, I couldn’t help but think about where I left off multiple times.

#2

I started reading The Color Purple by Alice Walker early last week. I didn’t read the blurb and jumped right in so I was surprised about the story. I didn’t know that it dealt with heavy topics and is not easy to read.

I only read it for about a day before I put a pause on it. I will get back to it slowly over time because it’s not a book I can read at once.

The book actually reminds me of The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison because of the themes and language.

#3

The last book that I’m currently reading is Emma by Jane Austen. I started it just last night actually and am less than a chapter in.

I joined a book club through twitter with a few others and we decided to read Emma so that’s why I picked it up. It has been on my TBR for a long time so its good that I finally have the motivation to read it.

What did you recently finish reading?

I managed to finish two books last week.

#1

The first was I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver which I finished last Wednesday.

I’m really glad that I finally read it. It gave me perspective on some things especially since it is my first book with a non-binary main character.

It was really nice. Definitely recommend it.

4/5 stars.

me standing with my kindle

#2

The second book that I managed to finish was Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal. I finished it just last night.

It’s honestly a GREAT book. I like how the author told multiple perspectives of Indians who settle in other countries hoping to provide more for their children. But the best part was obviously ripping apart the stigma around sex and talking about it.

4/5 stars.


What do you think you’ll read next?

I don’t think I should plan my next reads because I’m currently reading three haha.

That being said, the books I really want to read next are Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar and Beach Read by Emily Henry.

Of course, there’s also The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins which just released. I’m not sure I’ll be reading it very soon though. I haven’t even gotten the book yet.


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What are you currently reading? What did you recently read?

With The Fire On High // a lovely read

Title: With The Fire On High
Author: Elizabeth Acevedo
Genre: Contemporary
Category: Young Adult
Series info: Standalone

Goodreads

I’ve looked forward to this book ever since I heard about it. The Poet X was SO GOOD and cemented the author as one of the really good ones for me. And I expected quite a bit from it because it has gotten a lot of praise among my reader friends.

THE PLOT

Emoni Santiago is in her final year of high school but her future looks shaky. She is a mother to a toddler, lives with her grandma, and is barely making ends money-wise.

The only place she can let go of worries is in the kitchen where her hands move with almost a brain of their own. The kitchen is where the magic happens. Cooking has been her passion since she was a kid.

Senior year comes with new changes in the form of a new cooking class (with an optional trip abroad!) and also a cute new boy. Emoni has to handle all the pressures while also raising her kid.

MY REVIEW

This book did NOT disappoint me. I had expectations from this book and it met all of them, and some more.

  • The story was wonderful to read.

It’s not a specific plot. The book follows Emoni through her senior year of high school and we also see flashbacks. Almost half the chapters were flashbacks where Emoni talks about important moments in her life that make the person she is.

While it didn’t have a specific plot line, the book was very enjoyable. I read the book in about two sittings. It’s easy to read fast and get immersed into.

  • Emoni was really nice.

The book follows Emoni navigating her complicated life. On one hand, she is a teenager with dreams of getting into culinary school. On the other hand, she is a mother and almost an adult, and she has to work to support her child with her abuela’s help.

“I’ve had a lot of things to feel ashamed about and I’ve learned most of them are other people’s problems, not mine.”

It was really interesting to read about her life especially because Acevedo seamlessly brought together all the different aspects and problems life.

  • All. The. Food.

Emoni is super gifted in the kitchen and her hands just pick up ingredients in the process. She even makes combinations that most people wouldn’t think of.

All the food descriptions made my mouth water. I can only imagine Emoni’s dishes in real life.

“My Aunt Sara says it’s in our blood, an innate need to tell a story through food. ‘Buela says it’s definitely a blessing, magic.”

  • The writing was really good.

Acevedo is a very good writer and her lyrical writing was present in this book as well. Some of the lines and paragraphs gripped me with feelings. The writing easily pulled me into the book’s world.

“I feel like I’m being pulled in a hundred different directions and my feet are stuck in cement.”

  • Artful showing of complicated relationships.

We see so many relationships in this book. Emoni’s relationship with her daughter, with her abuela, with her best friend and so many more.

My favourite relationship was between Emoni and her Cooking class teacher. They are two very different people who learn from each other through a love for cooking. It’s a unique and lovely representation of how teachers can influence your life.

Another relationship that I found interesting was between Emoni and her daughter’s father who is also a teenager. They fooled around as typical teenagers which ended with her pregnant. It was interesting to see how they navigate waters as parents and also teenagers.

  • The love aspect of the book had something to teach.

The book is not about Emoni falling in love and finding the perfect guy for her. That is not the book’s purpose which I really appreciated. There is so much more to show through Emoni and the author took the chance to do that instead of focusing on a romantic relationship.

That being said, there was a romance part in the plot.

Malachi is a transfer student who likes Emoni and tries to befriend her. But she is definitely extra cautious and has a jaded view of boys which means Malachi had to try harder to even befriend her.

It was interesting to see how Emoni reacted to being pursued, especially after her one and only previous relationship which her daughter was born out of.

“That’s what I learned, about him and most guys: who they are when they’re giving you flowers and trying to get in your pants is not who they REALLY are when it’s no longer spring and they’ve found a new jawn to hang out with. And I know the past isn’t a mirror image of the future, but it’s a reflection of what can be; and when your first love breaks your heart, the shards of that can still draw blood for a long, long time.”

  • What I liked the most about this book:

My favourite aspect of the book was that Emoni was not restricted to one part of her life. Her story was not just about being a teenage mother or about love or just about following her dreams.

Young adult contemporary books mostly focus on one thing in the book but it’s not reality because life is made up of many paths. I really liked that this book showed all the sides of Emoni and spent time on every aspect of her life.

“Everything changes. I’ll learn to be fine.”

OVERALL

Really enjoyed this and highly suggest it! It’s a beautiful book with great writing and great characters.

I rate this book..

4/5 stars

top ten tuesday header image

The Last Ten Books I Abandoned // and why

Hey everyone!

I haven’t done a Top Ten Tuesday post in a long time but today’s prompt is one that I’m excited about. I need this chance to talk about books that I abandoned and all my opinions on them.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl.

[1] Tempt the Boss by Natasha Madison

Now, romance books with boss-employee relationships is NOT my comfort zone. In fact, I kind of hate it. I just don’t see a way it would be acceptable, for me. It stands in the bottom of my preferences, only preferred over teacher-student relationships.

But I tried to give the trope a chance in April. Only because the romancetheque book club chose this trope for their April books of the month.

I actually liked the first book so I downloaded the extra reads as well and Tempt the Boss was one of them.

I HATED IT.

Usually I mark abandoned books in my DNF* shelf on Goodreads and not as “read”. But I marked this one as read just so I could write a rant review for it. My review, as I had written on Goodreads:

I’m sorry but putting a laxative into your boss’s drink is going TOO FAR. It’s not just a prank anymore. It’s not professional, especially when it’s your SECOND day at work. I stopped reading right after that. The prank and further (lack of) consequences were unbelievable.

*Did Not Finish

[2] Happily Ever All-Star by Sosie Star

I picked this up like all my random romance reads. From Goodreads recommendations or lists.

And it was okay in the beginning. It was not bad. But I just couldn’t like it past a certain point??

It was trying too hard to be humourous and the chemistry between the main characters was weird.

The book wasn’t for me.

[3] The Upside of Falling by Alex Light

This book is actually quite popular in the YA community! I’ve heard some praises for it. And since it is a fake dating trope story, I was looking forward to it.

But the beginning was so rushed. Everything happened in a short time. And there wasn’t a proper reasoning or story arc to START fake dating.

It was as if the author took parts of other fake dating YA books and mixed them all together here. It was weird and if the beginning of such an iconic trope can’t interest me, the rest of the book definitely won’t. Hence, I abandoned it.

[4] Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennet

This is another sort-of popular book in the YA community. Some of the people I follow on bookstagram really liked it. And it has an interesting synopsis so I picked it up.

I actually have nothing against this book. I just was not interested in it, personally. The story was fine, the characters were fine, and the writing was okay too. But my interest in the book was zero. And that’s why I abandoned it.

[5] Not the Girl You Marry by Andie J. Christopher

I read and abandoned this book back in December 2019. I cannot remember why I didn’t like it.

Now that I look at it again, the premise sounds good enough. It has the fake-dating trope. I think I DNFed it because it was not delivering like I expected from the synopsis. Pretty sure it was boring and that’s why I gave it up.

Who really knows. Not me for sure.

[6] Until Fools Find Gold by Mary B. Moore

I have good patience with bad romances. Not sure if you know that but I do. Proof is the fact that I barely DNF books. I abandoned only 4 this year and I’ve read 57 books. So either I have patience or I just have really good luck at picking books. I’ll claim the former.

There was this point where I was picking random books set in the same world as Aurora Rose Reynold’s Until series. I have no clue why but some of them were free on Kindle so I tried them. And I read previews for some others, just to see if they were nice.

This was one of them and it was VERY annoying. The male lead was too much of an alpha-male. The female character was annoying as well. Overall, not a good read and I gave it up pretty quickly.

[7] Until Merri by Suzanne Halliday

Another one like the previous book I mentioned. I cannot remember why I did not like this one but I guess it annoyed me? In fact I’m pretty sure I only read the preview on Goodreads for this one and gave it up.

*shrugs*

[8] Until Midnight by Gwendolyn Grace

By this point, you must have realized that these spin-off books by other authors just were NOT nice. I think I liked only one of them.

This book also does not exist in my memory. I don’t know why I DNFed it, but I did. That’s all.

[9] Do Not Disturb by Layla Frost

I marked this as DNF in SEPTEMBER 2019 so forgive me for my lack of memory. It seems that after a while I just push these books out of my brain.

This one is also HIGHLY rated in Goodreads and has many praising reviews. I cannot figure out why I abandoned it lol.

[10] Deep by Kylie Scott

Now, I actually do really like this series by Kylie Scott. The first book was really good and I liked the next two books as well.

Deep is book 4 in the series and when I realized I hadn’t read it, I picked it up. And.. it was bad. I remember exactly where I stopped reading this book and why.

This romance involves a surprise pregnancy. And when the pregnancy did get revealed, the scene was very cringey and unrealistic and confusing. It was done badly and I couldn’t figure out whether it was meant to be funny or heroic or .. ??? I don’t know!

It turned me off the book so I abandoned it. I was disappointed that the last book of the series was sour for me.

me reading a book

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Have you read any of these books? What causes you to abandon books usually?

Verity || twisted, creepy, addicting

Title: Verity
Author: Colleen Hoover
Genre: Thriller
Category: Adult
Series info: Standalone

Goodreads

I’ve read many Colleen Hoover books and almost all are feeling-heavy romance books. The next Colleen Hoover book I was considering was Regretting You but after many negative reviews, I decided not to read it.

Verity showed up in my radar when I was looking for books to read for the 2020 Popsugar Reading Challenge prompt “book with an upside down image in the cover”. Verity was listed in the book recommendations list for this prompt and I decided to try it.

I did not even read the synopsis so I expected a romance book. This book blew me away though.

THE PLOT

Lowen’s mum just died after battling cancer for several months. Being a writer is hard but being a writer with an unpopular book out, no job and lots of bills? It’s a dead end.

When she’s just about being evicted from her place, she gets an offer to write for a popular series instead of the real author Verity. And it pays a lot.

So she moves into Verity’s house where she’s barely functioning after a car accident, trying to understand the series and make an outline. But all is not what it seems in the huge house.

Verity and her husband’s twin daughters died one after the other, and soon after that Verity crashes into a tree? Either it’s just really bad luck or there’s something else going on. And Lowen is about to find out.

MY REVIEW

This book was SO ADDICTING, y’all.

I expect romances and touchy feely stories from Colleen Hoover so this blew me way. She should really write more books in this genre!

Let me describe my emotions as I read this book:

  • first confused, because the vibe was not like a romance book.
  • intrigue.
  • more intrigue.
  • straight up SHOCKED.
  • a d d i c t e d.
  • reading as fast as I can because THIS. BOOK. OMG.
  • more shock.
  • also disbelief?!

And that was until only about 50% through.

Let’s talk about my feelings in a list because I need structure to talk coherently.

  • the plot was so cool.

I loved how it began and introduced us to the characters. The charm to the characters immediately drew me in. The random setting in the beginning was actually a really good hook.

The story progressed so well. The way things were unveiled kept me hooked in every chapter.

  • the writing.

The story follows Lowen in the current time but when she reads Verity’s autobiographical manuscript, we’re transported back to that timeline as well. And let me tell you, the manuscript chapters are the most adrenaline-inducing.

Colleen Hoover just managed to GRIP me.

  • the characters.

They were complex and had layers which got peeled back slowly as the story goes on. It’s not a book where the characters are perfect, but they’re perfect for the story.

And they’re quite interesting, especially Verity.

  • mystery and thrill ON POINT.

Honestly, this is the best book by Colleen Hoover that I’ve read so far. Forget the romance books, I want more books like this from her.

My heart was stuck in my throat around the end. I could not lift my eyes from my Kindle and I was sitting in a tense position while reading it. For the last hour I was pretty much locked in place.

The experience was too good.

  • the ending and aftermath.

The ending was TOO DAMN GOOD. For TWO nights after I finished the book I was just thinking about it before sleep. As in, I was trying to sleep but took an hour extra to fall asleep because this book wouldn’t leave my head. The scenes, the dialogues, the characters, the ending kept playing on loop in my head.

It gave me a proper book hangover.

OVERALL

The book blew me away and you should DEFINITELY read it.

It’s not a long book either so it’s good as a thriller book to read in one or two days. And I guarantee that you will get hooked in as well. The characters, the plot, and the vibe from the writing all fit together so well to create a headspace when reading it.

I rate this book..

5/5 stars

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

WWW Wednesday // 5th May 2020

I have had a GOOD reading week y’all, and I can’t wait to talk about it.

WWW Wednesdays were posts that I used to do occasionally when I read enough book in a week to talk about. But since I started social distancing, it’s been working out so well.

It’s a good thing y’all get my opinions through these posts because I can not review all the books I read in detail. I read more than I can review haha.

WWW Wednesday is a weekly blogging meme hosted by Taking On a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?
bright picture of an open book

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently listening to Pride by Ibi Zoboi. This has been on my TBr for a while now but mostly as a “maybe” read. But I saw this while browsing through audiobooks about a month back and wanted to read it.

Fortunately it also works for multiple 2020 Popsugar Reading Challenge prompts too. I’ll be checking off “a book with the same name/title as of a movie/TV show but is unrelated to it” with it.

It’s also narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo which I did not realize before. It’s a coincidence, which you’ll realize in the next section of this post.

I’m not reading anything else as of now.


What did you recently finish reading?

It was a good reading week and I have A LIST so settle down for this.

#1

The first book that I read was With The Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo. And yes, this is the coincidence that I was talking about. Reading a book by her and listening to a book narrated by her in the same week without intention? Good coincidence.

I really liked With The Fire On High. It’s kind of a wholesome book. The main character Emoni was really nice to read about. Her growth throughout the book as she goes from a teenager to an adult while also being a mother was wonderful to see. I loved the story.

4/5 stars.

#2

The next book that I read was What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter. I added this to my TBR before it released and was reminded of it through Tiffany’s recent review.

Although I didn’t have high hopes for it, especially after that review, I still wanted to read it. Halle is a book blogger and also a cupcake enthusiast. It was nice to read about the book blogger experiences, especially about all the Twitter drama which I actively avoid in real life.

Overall, not that impressed but it had some good parts. The family focus was lovely.

3/5 stars.

me with a high stack of books.

#3

I finally finished The School For Good and Evil by Soman Chainani! The audiobook took me FOREVER i.e. a whole month. I’m sure even y’all got tired of me saying that I’m still reading it every week in these updates.

If only I had the opportunity to read this book back in middle grade. I would have loved it even more. It’s such a good book, with the different take on fairytales that we all wanted. Especially the ending.

4/5 stars. (Would have been 5/5 if I was in middle grade)

#4

My last read of the week was The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. I found this book while going through the Goodreads list suggested for the 2020 Popsugar Reading Challenge prompt “a book set in a country starting with C”.

It caught my eye in the list and the premise sounded interesting too. The book is about 4 sets of mothers and daughters. All the mothers are women who grew up in China and immigrated to America and formed a “Joy Luck Club”. All the daughters are Americans at heart.

The book shows the lives of both generations and the divide between them. How they almost talk different languages and barely know each other.

It was a wonderful read and I liked the stories. I did find it hard to read fast, though. It took me a whole week to read because I took breaks to read other books that caught my attention more.

3/5 stars.


What do you think you’ll read next?

picture of a cafe I visited. there's also my Kindle on the table.
this is an old picture, don’t worry lol.

There’s a subtle plan I’ve been following for the past few weeks. For every three books, I read:

  • one which is easy to read and will make me happy. (usually romance/YA contemporary)
  • one for a reading challenge. (and I try to make it work for multiple challenges)
  • one random book either from ones I already own or a new one.

I don’t choose the all the books in advance, but it’s how I’ve been keeping my reading consistent. Picking up books that I can read fast and will mostly like regularly helps in keeping book slumps away.

Sometimes I try to combine them too!

So for this coming week, I’d like to read Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal. It’s been sitting on my bookshelf for a while now and I’d like to read it. It’s also praised a lot by some of my bookstagram friends, so I’m excited to see what it is about.

It will be for my #StartOnYourShelfathon challenge.

Another book I’d like to read is Truth or Beard by Penny Reid. Although I absolutely love the author’s works, I haven’t tried her Winston Brothers series yet. It is highly praised by many in the romance book world so I’m excited to finally pick it up!

If I read something other than these two, it’ll be a random choice according to mood.


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What are you currently reading? What did you finish reading recently? I’d love to know!

100 Days of Sunlight || the feels <3

Title: 100 Days of Sunlight
Author: Abbie Simmons
Genre: Contemporary
Category: Young Adult
Series info: Standalone

Goodreads

This book has been on my TBR since it released. I used to read Abbie’s blog very often and I was very excited to read this book since she kept posting and talking about it. Back then she just had a blog and not a YouTube channel.

I finally got to it because of the 2020 Popsugar Reading Challenge. This book also qualifies prompt “A book with a character with a vision impairment or enhancement (a nod to 20/20 vision).”

THE PLOT

Tessa lost her sight in a car accident and the doctors said that she might regain her sight in 100 days. All Tessa has to do is hold on for a 100 days and try to live without sight. But that’s hard when her only outlet is writing poetry and she can’t blog poetry without sight.

Enter Weston. He is hired as a typist for Tessa, but he’s much more than that. Weston knows how Tessa feels because he lives with prosthetic legs after an accident. He vows to help Tessa understand that life is still beautiful.

“Visual beauty is only one form of beauty.”

MY REVIEW

I LOVED THIS BOOK.

I also read it in almost one sitting. Meaning, I started it in the morning before work and read it every single spare second I got.

  • The characters were great.

I absolutely loved reading about all the characters in this book. Tessa and Weston were good, but so were all the supporting characters. Tessa’s grandparents, Weston’s brothers and best friend—all of them captured a piece of my heart.

  • Struggles and character growth.

Although this book is mainly about Tessa, we also see Weston’s journey through flashbacks. It was incredibly humbling and inspiring to read the stories of both these characters. Especially Weston, who is an inspiration. I could totally picture real life Weston growing up to become a motivational speaker.

“Letting go feels like giving up. But if you don’t let go, you’ll drown. I know the feeling. And it sucks. But Life sucks sometimes. And yeah, it gets back up. But you don’t have to stay on your knees.”

  • Tessa + Weston

Through Weston helping Tessa through her current situation, they start to have feelings for each other. This romance is purely young love.

And I like that their relationship was simple. A lot of YA books try to bring in tons different things into the story for the relationship in order to make things interesting. Hence this simple relationship where two people start to like each other without a metaphorical obstacle course was refreshing.

“This stubborn, kind, impertinent, obnoxiously optimistic boy is doing something to me.

And it feels good.”

  • THE FEELS.

This book made me feel so much! I felt awed, inspired, sad (I did cry), happy, and content. Reading this book was like having an emotional journey.

It was amazing to read.

  • Bits of the author’s personality.

Since I followed Abbie for a while and know a little bit about her, I could see how she put herself into the book. The most obvious thing was her love for waffles which translated into the book as well.

“Well?’ he asks when I don’t open my eyes and silently savor the goodness. ‘What do you taste?’
I smile despite myself. ‘The most amazing waffles under the sun.”

OVERALL

I absolutely enjoyed reading this book. It’s the perfect YA contemporary to read in one sitting because it WILL absorb you.

Recommended to anyone looking for a book with depth but also warmth and sunshine.

I rate it..

4.5/5 stars


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What book did you finish last? How was it?

The Bromance Book Club || I LOVE this.

Title: The Bromance Book Club
Author: Lyssa Kay Adams
Genre: Romance
Category: Adult
Series info: Book 1 of Bromance Book Club series, but can be read as standalone.

Goodreads

This book has been on my TBR for a LONG time. I’ve seen it around in reviews and social media for a long time, but I somehow just didn’t want to pick it up?? No clue why. But that’s how my mood works.

My mood finally acquiesced last week and allowed me to pick it up. And I LOVE it.

The Plot

Gavin Scott wins in the baseball field but he’s been losing at home. With his marriage in trouble, and the reveal of an embarrassing secret, he HAS to pull things together ASAP.

Looking at him drowning himself in alcohol and tears, Gavin’s teammates decide to help him out with some advice. And this advice comes in the form of romance book recommendations.

Gavin starts to read these romance books that are “cringey books just for women” with reluctance and doubt. But he quickly starts to realize just why women like it so much. They’re books by women, for women, depicting how women like to be treated.

Soon, Gavin turns to these books to help him win back his wife and save his marriage.

I LOVED THIS BOOK.

Let’s talk about this in a list because I need SOME structure to my review.

  • The concept itself.

Where men read romance books and realize that they’re not just trashy novels with cringey stories. This book shows men ACTUALLY READING these romance books, realizing why women love them, and learning from them.

It was great to read about. I now want to make my future partner read at least one romance book. They’re so much more than their image.

  • The characters.

They’re so nice *cries*

They’re flawed, strong, and real. I love them.

Character growth is also really nice. I give it 12/10.

  • The romance.

Considering that the characters are married, it is a second chance romance.

Gavin and Thea got married too soon because of an unplanned pregnancy. They were in love but they didn’t spend enough time dating and getting to know each other. It has affected their relationship in the long run.

This second chance romance was so sweet and nice. I loved reading about it.

  • All. The. Relationships.

The friendships and other familial relationships depicted here were so nice. I especially loved the sisterly relationship between Thea and Olivia. Sisters forever ❤

  • The overall plot.

It was very entertaining. I was totally engaged.

This book was supposed to be a quick read as a break before I do other things but I ended up reading all of it in one sitting. I did NOT realize the time!

Overall

Loved it. Totally recommend it.

If you’re looking for a romance book that’s doing things a little different than others, pick this one up! You will not regret it.

I rate this book..

5/5 stars


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What’s the last book that you REALLY enjoyed?

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

WWW Wednesday // 15th April 2020

Lockdown reading is in full swing!

Finding time to read has been quite a chore since this year began which led me to actually decreasing my reading goal for the year. But since social distancing and lockdown* began, I’ve have more time to read. And of course I wasn’t going to waste it.

*click the link to find out how I’ve been doing recently!

WWW Wednesday is a weekly blogging meme hosted by Taking On a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

an open book with a cup of tea

The only book that I’m currently in the middle of is The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani. It’s a middle grade fantasy book that I’ve been wanting to read for AGES. And when I say ages, I say it literally.

This book is NUMBER 1 on my Goodreads TBR* of 437 books. It’s one of the FIRST books I marked as want-to-read. And I’ve had my Goodreads account since January 2013. That was back when I was actually IN middle school.

During the lockdown I’m trying to get to books that have been sitting unread on my physical bookshelf for long or books that I’ve been meaning to read for a long time.

Since this book was available in Storytel (where I have a subscription) as an audiobook, I didn’t hesistate to pick it up.

And I’m LOVING it. It’s such a cool book and definitely would have been a favourite for middle school me.

*To Be Read list/stack

What did you recently finish reading?

I’ve read a LOT of books recently, especially since my last WWW Wednesday post. But in order to keep this post shorter, I’ll talk about the books that I’ve read in the last 7 days.

Side note: if you’d like to understand my rating scale, click here.

me standing with my kindle

#1

My last book was one that I finished just last night called Just One Year by Penelope Ward. I meant to read just a bit of it as a break after ending work and before getting to do chores and stuff. But the next time I looked up from the book was when I FINISHED it.

I had read the book without noticing the time. In fact, I had a very late dinner because of it. I LOVED the book. It engaged me on every single page. Sure, it did have a few cliche romance book elements but the good parts outweighed the bad. Any book that engages me so much is a winner.

4/5 stars.

#2

The second last book I read was Inappropriate by Vi Keeland. I picked up this book solely because it’s part of the books picked for this month for romancetheque book club. This month’s theme was CEO/boss relationships which is out of my comfort zone and what I usually like. But I thought I’d give the books a chance, and I read all of them.

I’m glad that books on this concept are not as bad as the ones I had read years back, when I first tried reading about CEO/boss relationships. This has definitely opened up my reading horizons a little bit.

Speaking of the book itself, Inappropriate was very hard to judge and rate. It had some cliche and unrealistic elements that I did not like. But on the other hand, it was probably the best handled CEO romance book I’ve ever read. It wasn’t even actually “inappropriate”, so the title is kind of a clickbait.

I appreciated most of the plot, but I did not like a few key comments on mental illnesses which stuck in my head and made me rethink giving it a better rating. So, yeah. That part won. I gave the book 2.5/5 stars even though I did kind of enjoy it. There might be a detailed review on this soon.

#3

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams is a book that I’ve been eyeing for a LONG time. I finally gave in and read the book, and now regret waiting this long to read it.

This book has been the highlight of my week. No kidding. It was so damn good.

Highlights of the book:

  • Character growth. This really needed emphasis.
  • Relationship growth.
  • Second chance romance in the BEST way.
  • The characters were all awesome.

And of course, I loved the concept of the book. I’ll most likely continue the series.

5/5 stars.

me reading a book

#4

I was looking for a read that wouldn’t take too much of my attention or brain power. At these times, I usually reread books. Until Lilly by Aurora Rose Reynolds is a book that I have a love-hate relationship with as I mentioned in my review and an extra in-depth discussion on it.

It caught my eye in my Kindle list and I just started reading it. At this point, I can’t see through the bad parts of this book to notice the good. So yeah. That was a disappointing reread but sufficed my mood at the time.

Old rating: 3/5 stars. This reread was 2/5 stars.

#5

Imagine Me by Tahereh Mafi was NOT what I expected. I really liked Defy Me so my expectations were about the same for this book.

But that was not the result. Although I didn’t hate this book, I also didn’t really like it. The book was rushed, there chaos all around, sometimes I was simply reading because I wanted to finish it. It was all over the place and not satisfying as an ending.

Also, I HATED the epilogue. It was confusing, not satisfying, abrupt, and just.. did not leave me happy. The characters were even not acting like themselves in the epilogue!

I’d have preferred if the series ended with book 3 even if it meant that we didn’t get books 4 and 5 which I liked.

2.5/5 stars simply because I liked a few parts.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Definitely Circe by Madeline Miller. By book club chose it as the book of the month through votes. Coincidentally, they gifted me the paperback copy of this book for my birthday as well. Super glad that I’ll be finally reading it.

Other than that, who even knows. I’m a huge mood reader.

my feet surrounded by books

And that’s it for my updates this week! I’ll see y’all soon with some new updates and opinions.

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What are YOU currently reading? What did you finish recently? Share with me in the comments!

Stories We Never Tell || confusing and surprising

stories we never tell book cover // book review by the wordy habitat

Title: Stories We Never Tell
Author: Savi Sharma
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Category: Adult
Series info: Standalone

Goodreads

This book was a total impulse buy. I was going around the bookstore looking for books that I haven’t seen before and was open-minded to read something new.

This book boasts that the author is “India’s “highest selling female author” and that hooked me in. That tagline was the reason for my purchase, and I really hoped that it would be good.

Content warning for the book: Drug and alcohol abuse, over-dosage.

THE PLOT

The book follows two characters Jhanvi and Ashray through a difficult time in their lives which were turning points for them.

Jhanvi is a social media influencer who dropped out of college to pursue her Instagram career. She works hard at her job, which bleeds itself into her life. Her life is a series of mistakes and coping from them due to the limelight.

Ashray’s life seems to be only looking up, with a new job and prospects of a lovely new girlfriend. He has everything he can dream of. Sure, he can be naive about love, but as long as he can make him mother happy, he’s content.

The book shows Jhanvi and Ashray both going through difficult times in their lives which barely intersect.

MY REVIEW

I started this book with a lot of hopes. I hadn’t read an Indian book in a while and was looking forward to it.

But I quickly disliked it. Until 60% of the book, I really disliked the book. Everything seemed predictable, the female lead was annoying, and I did not understand where the story was going. I decided to fully read it only because I bought a paperback copy.

But after 60% of the book, it did a 180 degree turn. I FINALLY understood what the author tried to do, and where the story was going. I finally understood the purpose of this book. And I LIKED IT. I really liked it.

So that’s the one thing this book has going for it: it will surprise you. I was not expecting the turn in the story but I wholeheartedly welcomed it.

It’s going to be really hard to not spoil the surprise in my review, so please bear with me being vague.

  • Jhanvi was the source of my annoyance.

I’ve read a fair share of books involving celebrities and popular people. At this point, their stories are quite predictable. The fame gets to them, people don’t stick around them, they lash out, and things go wrong with drugs and alcohol.

Usually, the stories show them being saved by love. And that’s what I was expecting here. But the book surprised me.

  • Jhanvi’s journey and growth was the best part of this book.

She’s not a perfect character with a pretty story. Her story is one of mistakes and faults. Jhanvi is a flawed person with insecurities who tries to make the best of her life.

I felt like I was in constant competition with a world of woman. It drove me to pursue perfection even more relentlessly, in a bid to show them that they were not in my league.

I really like her journey, especially in the second half of the book. The way Jhanvi reacted to things and her actions then defined her character. It’s the best character growth in a woman.

  • Ashray’s journey was… okay.

I was quite meh about Ashray right from the start. I didn’t dislike him but I didn’t like him either. The point in his story was not clear.

He’s a kind man who thinks the world of his mother (who adopted him from an orphanage) and his only goal is to make his mother happy. Ashray is also not one of the normal men who grow up with toxic masculinity. His mum brought him up right.

So Ashray was quite perfect in my eyes. I didn’t understand his story. It took until the climax of the book for me to get it, but it was too late to become invested in him.

  • Friendship is one of the main themes in this book.

Most of the books I read somehow revolve around finding love, whether they’re a romance book or not. This was one of the few books where friendship mattered more than love. I really liked that.

  • T H E R A P Y .

This is an Indian book, and knowing the Indian society, I was NOT expecting this book to openly talk about therapy. That was quite surprising and I was very impressed with the way the author showed it.

  • The book’s messages was nice.

Jhanvi and Ashray’s stories are quite different.

Jhanvi’s showed that it’s never too late to turn your life around. That was a very uplifting message.

Ashray’s story showed that even if you do everything right, life can still throw you down. All you can do is get back up and make something out of those troubles.

No one ever fully recovers. Recovery is a process, ongoing and always changing.

  • The writing was really annoying at times.

I’ve noticed how many Indian authors write super deep quote and words in order to bring depth to their story and characters. It’s not required, and sometimes it feels out of place.

For example, in this book most of Jhanvi’s chapters start with some super deep reflection on an abstract concept.

Destruction. The kind that only you can prevent or the type only your behaviour can provoke. A downward spiral, an annihilation you could have prevented if you had decided to. If you chose to take a second to breathe, to think, but you didn’t; you thought you couldn’t, and now, in the aftermath, all that is left is wreckage.

This is fine normally but this musing right before the main character wakes up on the bathroom floor seems out of place.

  • The book doesn’t seem cohesive until the end.

The message was confusing. The story was confusing and annoying. And I could not like the book. Even the synopsis of the book is very vague compared to what the story actually is.

The overall message could have been made a little clearer. I would have liked the book better if I had known that it was not going to be another version of “love saves everyone.”

I was disappointed that the book was good but the message was so unclear that I spent half the book annoyed.

OVERALL

The book was okay.

It could have been done better, though. Even having a proper synopsis at the back would make SO MUCH DIFFERENCE.

The title of the book makes some sense, but not total sense. By the time I realized why the title was chosen, I didn’t really care. I just wanted to finish the book.

Do I recommend it? Not sure. It was good at the end but I can’t ignore the fact that most of the book had me annoyed.

Pick it up if you’re ready to be confused for half the book.

I rate this book..

2.5/5 stars


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Have you ever been sorely disappointed by a book? What was it?

Axiom || Dystopian world of no emotions

Axiom by Kristofor Hellmeister book cover

Title: Axiom
Author: Kristofor Hellmeister
Genre: Science Fiction > Dystopia
Category: Young Adult
Series info: Standalone

Goodreads

I’m very into dystopia. While there are few books that I’ve really liked, I’m always looking for books in the genre that sound interesting.

Axiom was one of those. When the author reached out to me for a review in return for an advanced reader’s copy, I immediately agreed. And I looked forward to reading it as well.

The Plot

Axiom is peaceful. There is no violence and there are no variables. Even death is not a concept here.

People are known as “Figures” and have their own Roles in Axiom. Each Figure’s Role is important to the working of Axiom.

The reason this is seamlessly achieved is because only one person has control of Axiom—the Lord Protector. Only he has control and every Figure exists to serve him. In return for loyalty and obedience, he keeps Axiom peaceful and healthy.

But what happens when some Figures start having emotions? When they break out of Roles to search for purpose in their existence? And is Axiom really so perfect?

This book explores a future possibility where, to eradicate violence, emotions are removed and one person reigns with all control.

My Review

Tackling this review in the form of lists, because lists rock.

What I liked:

  • The world-building.

The first half of the book had me hooked. Through perspectives of characters in very different positions of the world, we get to see the various sides of Axiom.

I was completely engaged when reading about the setting, and how things work in this fictional place. The technology described was very interesting as well.

  • Addition of and debate on concepts like God and morals.

The way God was brought into the story and portrayed was quite clever. In the book, God is known as “Theo”. To me, that was weird in the beginning but it does make sense. No matter the name, it’s the belief that counts.

We see characters who are devout believers as well as characters who don’t even consider of such an existence. Interaction of the two was intriguing, and very similar to the current world’s stance. No matter the time, this debate will probably continue.

  • The ending.

I can’t say why without spoiling it but I appreciated how the book ended. It made me think for a few minutes, and I liked that.

What I did not like:

  • The plot didn’t seem cohesive all the time.

In fact, different characters could have been in entirely different worlds. There was very little connectivity between the different areas of the book, which was jarring during the perspective shifts.

  • Character growth.

This was the thing that got on my nerves the most. Characters would make entire revelations about themselves and/or the world around them based on very little.

In reality, the process of one’s growth is very long. But in this book it took place in the span of a night. Out of nowhere, revelations and identity changes were made. I found it hard to accept, because it happened so suddenly and is done at once.

  • I lost interest at around 50%

Until then, I was swept up in understanding the world and finding out how it worked. When the focus of the writing shifted to the characters, I wasn’t interested in the book as much.

It’s probably because of the way the characters’ journey was shown, especially a few key places about character growth. The world was great but the characters just did not interest me.

Overall

I found the book pretty okay. I didn’t enjoy the book a lot, but it wasn’t bad as well.

Recommended if you like great world-building, dystopian books.

Not recommended if characters and character growth is very important to you.

I rate this book…

2.5/5 stars

top ten tuesday header image

The Last Ten Books That Gave Me a Book Hangover

Books that leave you with book hangovers are the best books.

They affect you so much that you CANNOT MOVE ON.

And to be honest, I’ve not read many such books. I’m someone who likes to read quick and move on quick. I usually move on to other books soon. Hence, the books that give me a book hangover and grip me for days after finishing them are BRILLIANT.

My standards are pretty high lol.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ The Artsy Reader Girl to talk about books and this post’s topic is The Last Ten Books That Gave Me a Book Hangover.

Edit: I seem to have messed up my dates and picked up last week’s topic. You can see how out of it I am haha. Such a shame because this week’s topic is SO GOOD *cries*

[1] Heads You Win by Jeffrey Archer

heads you win book cover

Jeffrey Archer’s books always suck me in and give me a book hangover, although of different levels. The unique thing about this book was that it WASN’T ACTUALLY GOOD??? The ending got me so messed up and I still have a 100 questions.

After finishing the book, I thought about it and went around in circles for DAYS. Although the ending ruined the experience for me, it IS a very good book. And the author made sure I won’t forget it lol. That ending was… something.

Click here to see my full review of the book.

[2] Rafe by Rebekah Weatherspoon

Rafe book cover

Okay so you want to know why a fluffy romance book gave me a book hangover?

It’s because this book was AMAZING.

  • GOOD, STRONG, MATURE CHARACTERS.
  • A very nice plot.
  • PROPER REPRESENTATION.
  • No random nonsense or just fluff.
  • It was over all just really well written and
  • It was great to read.

I couldn’t stop thinking about the book after finishing it. I read a couple other books after it, and CAME BACK to reread this book because it wasn’t getting out of my head.

Click here to read my review.

[3] Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Norwegian Wood book cover

Okay this one gave me a PROPER HANGOVER.

When I finished reading it, I reread the last part then had to sit with my thoughts for quite a while. Just thinking and processing.

I spent the next one day just thinking about the entirety of this book and having questions. In order to get it all out, I found a random person on Reddit to discuss with lol. That’s how much I needed to talk about it and get it out of my system.

A brilliant book. In fact I did make notes on it for a review but never ended up writing it because my thoughts were never clear enough.

[4] Heartache duet by Jay McLean

heartache & hope book cover

Technically, I got a book hangover by the complete duology. I read books 1 and 2 continuously and hence they gave me a book hangover together.

This is another review that I eventually didn’t end up writing. My thoughts were quite clear but my emotions were ALL OVER THE PLACE. I didn’t trust myself to review clearly and hence I didn’t.

It was part of my best books of 2019 though. That should say enough.

The books deal with many themes but basically they BREAK YOUR HEART. Using realistic and heartbreaking situations, the authors weaved a romance story which is so much more. It has a happy ending but the road to it was brutal.

[5] The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

the poet x book cover

Honestly, the fact that this is on this list shouldn’t even be a surprise.

It’s a brilliant and powerful book. The words, the writing, the story, the representation, the EMOTION—they were all hard-hitting and on-point.

Click here to read my review.

[6] Forever Right Now by Emma Scott

forever right now book cover

Another book that was mentioned in my best of 2019 list that I didn’t review. Because I didn’t know how to.

This book is romance but also involves the struggles of an ex-drug addict in recovery. It’s about second chances, and about family.

I didn’t even see this book affecting me much while reading it. But it subtly made a big impression on me. I didn’t even realize it became one of my best reads until a couple days after finishing it.

The realization came when I realized that I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and it had me going back to reread parts multiple times.

If you want a romance book recommendation that is underrated but really good, this is it.

[7] Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

queen of air and darkness book cover

This needs ZERO explanation.

Cassandra Clare’s The Dark Artifices trilogy was TOO DAMN GOOD and the last book gave EVERYONE a book hangover. That’s the truth. Let’s move on.

[8] The Perfect Husband by Lisa Gardner

the perfect husband book cover

This mystery + thriller book BLEW ME AWAY. I couldn’t stop talking about it to my friend.

Coincidentally, my friend actually referred to this book recently and remembered exact details because I was SO PASSIONATE about this book.

Click here to read my review.

[9] Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

Josh & Hazel's guide to not dating book cover

Simply because this book was way too adorable. The characters were perfect, the chemistry was on-point, and the story had me HOOKED.

It also includes my #1 trope which is friends-to-lovers. Christina Lauren wrote this book so well and it’s one of my all-time best romance books. I’ve reread it SO MANY TIMES.

Click here to read my review.

[10] Radio Silence

radio silence book cover

Alice Oseman is popular for a very valid reason. And Radio Silence is her most popular book for a REASON.

I’ve never read a book like Radio Silence before. The plot, the characters, the VIBE—all of it was unique and immersive. After finishing the book, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I had so many feelings.

Click here to read my review.

And those were the last ten books that gave me a book hangover! This week’s prompt was actually fun to do because I got to talk about awesome books lol.

Take my recommendation and go READ THESE.

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What are some books that gave you book hangovers?

Loveboat, Taipei || unpopular opinion alert!

Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen

Title: Loveboat, Taipei
Author: Abigail Hing Wen
Genre: Contemporary
Category: Young Adult
Series info: Standalone

Goodreads

There’s been a lot of talk about this book since before it’s release. Bloggers who were lucky enough to get an ARC of this praised it a lot. The word got out pretty well, and tons of people got to reading it.

Everything I heard about this book was good. It was only positive. And that’s the reason why I expected it to be really good. I did not expect for it have elements that I really dislike.

But I did.

THE PLOT

Ever is a first generation Chinese-American. And like all Asian parents, they have high dreams for Ever. She’s expected to become a doctor.

But all Ever wants to do is dance. She loves to dance and choreograph dance routines. Her dream is to get into NYU Tisch School of Arts.

During the summer after high school, when she had plans of dancing and other things, her parents suddenly send her to Taipei for a summer programs. They want her to know her culture and learn Mandarin.

But the program nicknamed “Loveboat” is much more than a clean summer program to learn things. And this summer is going to shape Ever’s life in ways she never expected.

MY REVIEW

Let’s do this review in list format because I have MANY POINTS.

WHAT I LIKED:

  • Asian-American life representation.

Life is a lot like that even in Asian countries. Parents sacrifice SO MUCH that us only thinking about doing what makes us happy is almost a crime. I’m literally an engineering student in college and not doing literature because of my parents.

It’s so normal for us. And I love how it’s represented accurately, describing how it is for the kids AND the parents.

  • Complex relationships.

There were so many relationships shown that had layers to them. Between Ever and her romantic interest. Ever and her parents. Ever and her roommate.

There were even second-hand mentions of relationships not explicitly shown in the book. I loved reading all of it because it’s how life is. And the author managed to show just how many different complex relationships exist for just one person.

  • What it’s like to be Asian in America.

As the summer program is full of Asian kids living in other countries, we got a few bits of proper focus on how life is for them. The way they are treated, the almost-normal racist comments. It hit hard, but I feel good knowing that non-Asian readers will understand what it’s like.

  • Dreams and sacrfices.

We know that how we are brought up affects us a lot. It shapes our self-worth, our attitude towards life, and our ambitions and goals. This book really showcased the different types of lives and how parents really affect children.

  • Supporting characters had significance too.

Every supporting character we saw had dreams and goals. They had desires in life. The author showcased so many different scenarios through them. This one group of guys just went around breaking Asian stereotypes and I LOVED IT. Huge points for these things.

  • Character growth.

There was so much of it! Characters learned through mistakes, learnt new things, started having different outlooks and became better people by the end. That was lovely to watch.

What I did not like:

  • The middle of the book was dull and uninteresting.

The beginning started off strong. The ending was good. But damn the middle was annoying.

After Ever got to the program, it became all about teenage rebellion and boy crazy thoughts. It felt like a full one eighty from the first few chapters.

It got me so disinterested in the book that I PAUSED listening to it as an audiobook. In order to make myself finish the book, I had to pick it up as an ebook after a week.

This alone ruined the experience for me.

OVERALL

Other than the random boy-crazy rebelling stuff in the middle which threw the entire book off for me, it was really good.

I recommend this book for the Asian-American representation, complex relationships, and character growth.

But if you don’t like ANY of boy crazy random things, you won’t like it much like me.

I rate this book…

3/5 stars

Becoming || inspires hope for change

becoming book cover

Title: Becoming
Author: Michelle Obama
Genre: Autobiography

Goodreads

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

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

MY REVIEW

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

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

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

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

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

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

Am I good enough? Yes I am.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OVERALL

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

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

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

Michelle Obama

I rate this book..

5/5 stars

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