Books, Reviews, YA Fiction

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (review) | YES to the Indian rep but I still got issues (surprise surprise!!)

Imagine my joy (and apprehension) when I finally stumbled upon a copy of When Dimple Met Rishi in my school library, the book that people had been going nuts over at Goodreads. If you guys didn’t know already, I’m Indian, and it makes me absolutely crazy, excited, and understandably scared that this book features Indian MCs and a view into our vast culture. Unfortunately, besides this fact, the romance, characters, and overall writing did NOT do great things for me.

I finished this book quick because it was entertaining and easy to read, but the writing was repetitive and the plot was practically nonexistent. The book had practically no direction but still happened to remain as predictable as typical dramatic Bollywood love story. Basically nothing happens for 75% of the book and then when something finally does, you’re so bored that you don’t even care about continuing. Especially since you already know what’s coming. I mean, it only took 2 days to get through this book, but halfway through, I was this:

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Dimple and Rishi, I will say, have pretty realistic goals, flaws, and personalities. Dimple is passionate and independent, but is rebellious toward her traditional parents (specifically her mother) who tend to focus more on her appearance and acquiring husbands than her interest in coding and computer science. Rishi, on the other hand, is much more welcoming and embracing of his culture, but has trouble expressing his true passions to his parents. The characters themselves were too inconsistent for me to be invested in, but I could relate to both of their insecurities and fears about who they were and what others wanted them to be. The secondary characters, however, were altogether unnecessary. Besides adding a dash of cringe (which every Bollywood movie contains, let’s be real), they served no purpose but to stir up drama that had nothing to do with the message of the book or the plot.

Continue reading “When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (review) | YES to the Indian rep but I still got issues (surprise surprise!!)”

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Books, Reviews, YA Fiction

WWW Wednesday #11

WWW Wednesday (2)WWW Wednesday is a weekly event where you share (1) What you’re currently reading, (2) What you recently finished reading, and (3) What you think you’ll read next. Originally hosted Taking On A World Of Words.

What’s up, guys? I know, I know. I skipped out on last Wednesday, but I’m willing to make that up to y’all with a LOADED WWW Wednesday post.

What are you currently reading?

28458598Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

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

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

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

FINALLY. I have finally got to the book that readers (especially South Indian ones) have been talking about for ages. I’m a South Indian myself, and currently I’m about a 1/4 through, and while it’s pretty entertaining, cute, and easy to read… I do have a few things to complain about. I let you know my full thoughts soon after I finish it!

What have you recently finished reading?

18006496The queen has returned.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series continues Celaena’s epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

AHHHH I’m LOVING this series. The character development just keeps building and building, the plot is constantly thickening, and the events that take place in this book are just… incredibly unpredictable and shocking. The writing has improved immensely since Throne Of Glass, and the relationships between the characters (Aelin x Rowan, Lysandra x Aelin, Aedion!!!) are so realistic and intriguing because you truly feel like you know these people. Besides a few complaints (which mostly have to do with everyone being up Aelin’s ass, but what else is new?), I hereby declare that Sarah J. Mass has officially got her hold on me. Empire Of Storms, where you at?

And …

6527740They come first.

My vision was growing dimmer, the blackness and ghosts closing in. I swore it was like I could hear Robert whispering in my ear: The world of the dead won’t give you up a second time. Just before the light completely vanished, I saw Dimitri’s face join Lissa’s. I wanted to smile. I decided then that if the two people I loved most were safe, I could leave this world.

The dead could finally have me.

Rose Hathaway has always played by her own rules. She broke the law when she ran away from St. Vladimir’s Academy with her best friend and last surviving Dragomir princess, Lissa. She broke the law when she fell in love with her gorgeous, off-limits instructor, Dimitri. And she dared to defy Queen Tatiana, leader of the Moroi world, risking her life and reputation to protect generations of dhampir guardians to come.

Now the law has finally caught up with Rose – for a crime she didn’t even commit. She’s in prison for the highest offense imaginable: the assassination of a monarch. She’ll need help from both Dimitri and Adrian to find the one living person who can stall her execution and force the Moroi elite to acknowledge a shocking new candidate for the royal throne: Vasilisa Dragomir.

But the clock on Rose’s life is running out. Rose knows in her heart the world of the dead wants her back…and this time she is truly out of second chances. The big question is, when your whole life is about saving others, who will save you?

Join Rose, Dimitri, Adrian, and Lissa in Last Sacrifice, the epic, unforgettable finale to Richelle Mead’s international #1 bestselling Vampire Academy series.

It’s the FINALE guys!! I have to say though, as conclusions go, this one was kind of underwhelming. I enjoyed Rose’s dynamics with the rest of the characters and it was fairly mysterious and entertaining enough. I definitely liked Lissa and Sydney’s characters better (especially because their character development always felt stunted to me), and Adrian certainly improved too. However, the plot progressed at the pace of a snail and the crescendo and buildup I was waiting for… never really came. It didn’t have the epic feel I wanted it to have, but I’m still interested in this world. Since I’m liking Sydney a lot more now, I’ll definitely check out the Bloodlines series soon.

What will you be reading next?

28260587The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.

With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what—and who—to sacrifice if she’s to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.

I don’t care if it’s too soon, I will get my hands on this book or I will die trying. It’s only been about a week since Queen Of Shadows, but I’m already facing withdrawals from being apart from my babies for so long. And when I do get my hands on it, it better not disappoint!

Thanks for viewing, guys! What are you guys currently reading and what do you plan on reading next? Leave me a comment below! 🙂

Books

In Other Lands, by Sarah Rees Brennan | Review

4 Stars

“What’s your name?”

“Serene.”

“Serena?” Elliot asked.

“Serene,” said Serene. “My full name is Serene-Heart-in-the-Chaos-of-Battle.”

Elliot’s mouth fell open. “That is badass.”

The Borderlands aren’t like anywhere else. Don’t try to smuggle a phone or any other piece of technology over the wall that marks the Border—unless you enjoy a fireworks display in your backpack. (Ballpoint pens are okay.) There are elves, harpies, and—best of all as far as Elliot is concerned—mermaids.

Elliot? Who’s Elliot? Elliot is thirteen years old. He’s smart and just a tiny bit obnoxious. Sometimes more than a tiny bit. When his class goes on a field trip and he can see a wall that no one else can see, he is given the chance to go to school in the Borderlands.

It turns out that on the other side of the wall, classes involve a lot more weaponry and fitness training and fewer mermaids than he expected. On the other hand, there’s Serene-Heart-in-the-Chaos-of-Battle, an elven warrior who is more beautiful than anyone Elliot has ever seen, and then there’s her human friend Luke: sunny, blond, and annoyingly likeable. There are lots of interesting books. There’s even the chance Elliot might be able to change the world. 

Man, it’s been a while since I read this book (and by a while I mean maybe three weeks), so I’ve had a sufficient amount of processing time to decide how much I liked this book. Let’s get started!

In Other Lands is essentially a version of Harry Potter where Harry, or Elliot, in this case, goes through five years of magic schooling in the course of one book. The story essentially follows Elliot’s journey into the Borderlands and his discovery of the world while making friends and discovering himself.

Now, if I were you, I would have raised an eyebrow immediately at five years of Hogwarts in one book. I mean, if J.K Rowling needed seven books (plus eight movies and a play and an amusement park and five more prequel movies but that’s beside the point), how could Brennan possibly pull it off? Well, dear reader, to that I say you’re right… except in this case.

This book is not really about the Borderlands. It’s honestly not even about magic or schooling, considering how little time the characters spend in actual classes. This is a book about Elliot Schafer, muggle-born wiseass and possibly one of my favorite characters of all time. Elliot’s character is basically what you would act like if you found out about a magical world existing under your nose. He detests quills and parchment and promptly spreads the word about ballpoint pens, laments the lack of technological revolutions, and best of all, is completely against violence Continue reading “In Other Lands, by Sarah Rees Brennan | Review”

Books, New Releases, Original Post, YA Fiction

Anticipated releases: March 2018

February brought us really interesting fantasy releases, but March’s releases are totally taking this to the next level. Let’s get into it!

34499221Release Date: March 6th, 2018

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

Yay, another fantasy! And this one has a gorgeous cover, a dangerous princess, and SIRENS. I’ve never read a book with sirens before, and I hella hyped for this one.

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34728667Release Date: March 6th, 2018

Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.

Isn’t it cool that Black Panther, a movie set in a fictional African country that possesses science-fiction and fantasy elements, came out just a little while ago, and now we’re getting even more of West African magic? This book sounds incredible, and the rave reviews on Goodreads are only further encouraging me to get my hands on it quickly.

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35604686Release Date: March 20th, 2018

Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird.

Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life.

Alternating between real and magic, past and present, friendship and romance, hope and despair, The Astonishing Color of After is a novel about finding oneself through family history, art, grief, and love.

This is different! It features a mixed Asian-american heroine, some fantasy aspects, and a unique setting. I’m very interested in seeing how Pan combines all these elements to create a story.

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Thanks for viewing, guys! What March releases are you most hyped for? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

 

Books, Original Post, YA Fiction

WWW Wednesday #10

WWW Wednesday (2)WWW Wednesday is a weekly event where you share (1) What you’re currently reading, (2) What you recently finished reading, and (3) What you think you’ll read next. Originally hosted Taking On A World Of Words.

Hey guys! It’s the end of February, and my reading schedule is finally (somewhat) back on track. Let’s get to it!

What are you currently reading?

35271523The Tower of Babel is the greatest marvel in the world. Immense as a mountain, the ancient Tower holds unnumbered ringdoms, warring and peaceful, stacked one on the other like the layers of a cake. It is a world of geniuses and tyrants, of airships and steam engines, of unusual animals and mysterious machines.

Soon after arriving for his honeymoon at the Tower, the mild-mannered headmaster of a small village school, Thomas Senlin, gets separated from his wife, Marya, in the overwhelming swarm of tourists, residents, and miscreants.

Senlin is determined to find Marya, but to do so he’ll have to navigate madhouses, ballrooms, and burlesque theaters. He must survive betrayal, assassination, and the long guns of a flying fortress. But if he hopes to find his wife, he will have to do more than just endure.

This quiet man of letters must become a man of action.

Yes, I’m still reading this. Yes, I’m highly disappointed in myself. Yes, I WILL most definitely finish it in a few days. Kind of. Sort of. Maybe.

And …

248704Ambitious New York City teenager Craig Gilner is determined to succeed at life – which means getting into the right high school to get into the right job. But once Craig aces his way into Manhattan’s Executive Pre-Professional High School, the pressure becomes unbearable. He stops eating and sleeping until, one night, he nearly kills himself.

Craig’s suicidal episode gets him checked into a mental hospital, where his new neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors, and the self-elected President Armelio. There, Craig is finally able to confront the sources of his anxiety.

Ned Vizzini, who himself spent time in a psychiatric hospital, has created a remarkably moving tale about the sometimes unexpected road to happiness.

I’ve heard a lot about this book over the years, but have never managed to check it out until now. It’s a pretty good time to pick it up, especially with the number of books tackling mental illness coming out recently.

What have you recently finished reading?

6479259After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s—and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives beyond the Academy’s iron gates to begin. But Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri, and she knows he’s out there, somewhere.

This Vampire Academy was not nearly as entertaining as its predecessors, but still fairly easy to read. Not much happens in this book, but it does raise some interesting plot points and no matter how many bad decisions Rose makes, I still can’t help but love her the same. Next one is the grand finale! HYPEEEE

What will you be reading next?

18006496The queen has returned.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series continues Celaena’s epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

It’s been a while since I’ve read Heir Of Fire but there’s no way I’m re-reading that thick-ass book. And about Queen Of Shadows, this shit better not disappoint. It’s not everyday I willingly read fantasies this large. Sheesh.

Thanks for viewing, guys! What are you guys currently reading and what do you plan on reading next? Leave me a comment below! 🙂

Books, Reviews, YA Fiction

February 2018 wrap-up

Well, well, there goes February. Was it just me, or did February seem super long to you guys? January went by quickly, but February just draaaggged. Anyway, this month I read 6 books, which isn’t … bad. I’m hoping I can fit a few more in for March though!

Books I’ve read:

The Smell Of Other’s People Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock – 3.5 stars

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows –  4.25 stars

Starflight (Starflight #1) by Melissa Landers – 4.25 stars

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2) by Cassandra Clare – 4 stars

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare – 4.5 stars

Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5) by Richelle Mead – 3.25 stars

February posts

Anticipated releases: February 2018 

Renegades by Marissa Meyer (review, Aliza)

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lisa McBride (review)

WWW Wednesday #7 

A List Of Cages by Robin Roe (review)

The Smell Of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock (review)

WWW Wednesday #8 

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (review)

WWW Wednesday #9 

The Infernal Devices trilogy review (re-read)

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (review, Aliza)

Aside from reading, how many of you guys went and saw that Black Panther movie?! I saw it last week, and I don’t mean to add to the hype, but goddamn. The music, the cinematography, the action sequences, and the characters were so, so well done. I’m still listening to that Kendrick Lamar-curated soundtrack, by the way.

Thanks for viewing, guys! How did your February go? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

Books

A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini | Review

4.5 Stars

At once an incredible chronicle of thirty years of Afghan history and a deeply moving story of family, friendship, faith, and the salvation to be found in love.

Propelled by the same superb instinct for storytelling that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once an incredible chronicle of thirty years of Afghan history, and a deeply moving story of family, friendship, faith, and the salvation to be found in love.

Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them—in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul—they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation.

With heart-wrenching power and suspense, Hosseini shows how a woman’s love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end it is love—or even the memory of love—that is often the key to survival.

So this is a book I’ve been meaning to read for a while, and when I found out my high school English class was going to read it soon, I said, “Absolutely not,” and read the book super quickly on my own before high school could neuter what I knew was supposed to be a good book. Well, I am glad I did, because A Thousand Splendid Suns was fantastic and heartbreaking, without the high school over-analysis that I know will ruin this for me eventually.

Let me start by saying that this book is well outside my typical genre pool. I’m a sci-fi, fantasy, and realistic fiction reader, and this book mostly belongs to that scary genre hiding in a dark corner, historical. This might have been a reason why I didn’t read this relatively popular book until now, but my arbitrary prejudices were in no way a deterrent whilst actually reading this book.

A Thousand Splendid Suns follows the story of Afghanistan, from the Soviet occupation in the 60s through 9/11 and ends in 2003. This region of the world is foreign in many ways to me, much to my chagrin. Living in the US clearly put me in a bubble where I can name the exact battle where George Washington crossed the Delaware, but not even know that Afghanistan was Soviet controlled for such a huge chunk of time. It’s eye-opening, truly, and the stories of Mariam and Laila thus Continue reading “A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini | Review”