Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry- audiobook review

Rating:5/5,⭐

Blurb:
Quinn keeps lists of everything—from the days she’s ugly cried, to all the boys she’d like to kiss. Her lists keep her sane. By writing her fears on paper, she never has to face them in real life. That is, until her journal goes missing…

An anonymous account posts one of her lists on Instagram for the whole school to see and blackmails her into facing seven of her greatest fears, or else her entire journal will go public.  Desperate, she teams up with Carter Bennett—the last known person to have her journal—in a race against time to track down the blackmailer.

They journey through everything Quinn’s been too afraid to face, and along the way, Quinn finds the courage to be honest, to live in the moment, and to fall in love.

My thoughts:
This was such a cute and wholesome read.
I liked the main character, Quinn. Her character was well developed and I found her very realistic. The slow burn romance between her and Carter was well done.
The book also deals with so many important topics like cyber bullying, racism, facing fears, friendship etc. The author addresses all these issues with care.
The ending was perfect, I liked the way everything ties up neatly.
I do recommend it, it’s perfect for the fans of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.

Malibu Rising- book review

Blurb:  Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu –especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva.
By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come bubbling to the surface.

Rating:3.5/5,⭐

My thoughts:


‘Malibu Rising’ was such a delight to read. I loved all of the Riva siblings. Their characters were well developed and memorable. I was able to connect with all of them.
The narration was remarkable and  engaging. I liked how the plot unfolds and we come to know about their family secrets.
This book also discusses about important issues and it also made me realise that we have normalized so much misogyny in our society.
The thing which I disliked about the book was that after so much of build up; I found the climax disappointing and it didn’t meet my expectations.
Overall I did have a good time reading it. This is one of those stories that will stay long with you. If you like books with some drama and mystery, then I will definitely recommend this. I am looking forward to read more by this author.

Thanks to @netgalley for proving me an e-arc to review.

Hana Khan Carries On- book review

Blurb:

Sales are slow at Three Sisters Biryani Poutine, the only halal restaurant in the close-knit Golden Crescent neighbourhood. Hana waitresses there part time, but what she really wants is to tell stories on the radio. If she can just outshine her fellow intern at the city radio station, she may have a chance at landing a job. In the meantime, Hana pours her thoughts and dreams into a podcast, where she forms a lively relationship with one of her listeners. But soon she’ll need all the support she can get: a new competing restaurant, a more upscale halal place, is about to open in the Golden Crescent, threatening Three Sisters.

When her mysterious aunt and her teenage cousin arrive from India for a surprise visit, they draw Hana into a long-buried family secret. A hate-motivated attack on their neighbourhood complicates the situation further, as does Hana’s growing attraction for Aydin, the young owner of the rival restaurant—who might not be a complete stranger after all.

As life on the Golden Crescent unravels, Hana must learn to use her voice, draw on the strength of her community and decide what her future should be. 

My thoughts:

This was a very wholesome and heartwarming read. I totally loved reading it
.
The thing I liked the most was the book had such raw and real characters. I loved the main character Hana, her character was well developed and she was easy to relate to.

The plot was carefully crafted and had unexpected turns which kept me interested. The book also talks about so many important issues and it was interesting to read about Hana’s experience as a Muslim in Canada.
I also loved the romance in this book, it was slow burn and I am glad it was not insta-love.

The only thing I didn’t like was the author referred Rashid’s (Hana’s cousin visiting from India) parents as mafia, I found it very stereotypical and problematic, I honestly think we don’t need this kind of representation. Otherwise the book was totally perfect and thought provoking. It would be amazing if it gets adapted as a movie. I am hoping to reread it soon. If you loved The Hate You Give and The Marriage Game than I would totally recommend this book.

Lost in the Never Woods- book review

Qotd: A book that didn’t live up to your expectations?

Rating: 2/5,⭐

Blurb:

It’s been five years since Wendy and her two brothers went missing in the woods, but when the town’s children start to disappear, the questions surrounding her brothers’ mysterious circumstances are brought back into light. Attempting to flee her past, Wendy almost runs over an unconscious boy lying in the middle of the road, and gets pulled into the mystery haunting the town.

Peter, a boy she thought lived only in her stories, claims that if they don’t do something, the missing children will meet the same fate as her brothers. In order to find them and rescue the missing kids, Wendy must confront what’s waiting for her in the woods.

My thoughts:

This is a dark retelling of Peter Pan. I was looking forward to read this since I found the storyline very interesting but unfortunately it failed to impress me.

First of all I think this book had no plot at all. The book is full of filler scenes and is quite repetitive. The pacing of the book is very slow and a lot of scenes could have been easily deleted without affecting the book.  In the first half of the book practically nothing happened, the author just kept beating around the bush.

It did have a major plot twist towards the end but due to poor execution it didn’t have much impact.

I found the main character Wendy one dimensional and I found it hard difficult to connect with her.

Also, the romance between Wendy and Peter felt forced and rushed. I think it was not needed at all. I wish if the author had maintained a friendly relationship between them.

Overall I think it was a lackluster retelling, which lacked creativity and originality. I think it would have worked better as a short story. I do think some readers will enjoy reading it.

American Betiya- book tour

Today I’m excited to participate in the Book Tour for ‘America Betiya’ hosted by Hear Our Voices Book Tours

Blurb:
This book follows Rani Kelkar who is an Indian-American teenager, as she tries to navigate between meeting her parent’s expectations, focusing on her study and staying away from boys.
She has never lied to her parents, until she meets Oliver. The same qualities that draw her in–his tattoos, his charisma, his passion for art–make him her mother’s worst nightmare. They begin dating in secret, but when Oliver’s troubled home life unravels, he starts to ask more of Rani than she knows how to give, desperately trying to fit into her world, no matter how high the cost. When a twist of fate leads Rani from Evanston, Illinois to Pune, India for a summer, she has a reckoning with herself–and what’s really brewing beneath the surface of her first love.


My thoughts:
I was really excited to read ‘American Betiya’ and I have to say it didn’t disappoint me. I totally loved Rani, her character was well crafted and was multi dimensional. I was able to easily connect with her. I liked she was proud of her culture and didn’t let anyone make her feel ashamed of it. The book deals with themes like: racism, ethnicity, culture differences, toxic relationships and drug addiction.
Anuradha was also able to capture what it means to be a South Asian living in a western country really well.
I did have some issues with the book. The pacing was the main problem- I felt it was very inconsistent and got somewhat repetitive towards the end and some scenes could have been easily deleted without affecting the book much. Also I didn’t like the author described Gandhi as “great” because he was known to be misogynist and racist.
Overall, it was an enjoyable read. I think this book has one of the best South Asian representation. If you like books by Nisha Sharma, Sandhya Menon and Sophie Kinsella than I think you will certainly like this.

Also sharing some of my favorite quotes from the book:

Sonata Form- book tour

QOTD: If you could have any mythological creature as pet, what would it be?

Today is my stop on the Pride Book Tours, book tour for ‘Sonata Form’ by Carole Cummings. Thanks to Pride Book Tours for providing me an e-copy of this book.

Synopsis:
Award-winning author Carole Cummings really brings it with her newest gay romantic fantasy. Wartime, magic, and dragons!
Old Forge is known for its dragons— savage little things, more singe than snarl—and Milo Priddy is known for his way with them. But as rumblings of conflict appear on the horizon, the dragons start to disappear. As dragonkin, Milo knows what he must do. But it is an uneasy choice, one he dares not reveal even to his lover, Ellis.
As the leader of neighbouring Wellech, Ellis has his own hard choices. His skills are crucial to a secure homeland. And, more and more, the life he and Milo once hoped to share is under threat—not only from outside but within.
For their own people are sowing mistrust of the magic users, seeding the betrayal of not only the dragons, but their kin.

Like Home by Louisa Onomè- book tour

Title: Like Home

Author: Louisa Onomè

Pubisher: Harper Collins

Genre: YA Fiction

Synopsis:

Fans of Netflix’s On My Block and readers of Elizabeth Acevedo and Angie Thomas will love this debut novel about a girl whose life is turned upside down after one local act of vandalism throws both her relationships and neighborhood into turmoil.

Chinelo, or Nelo as her best friend Kate calls her, is all about her neighborhood Ginger East. She loves its chill vibe, ride-or-die sense of community, and the memories she has growing up there with her friends. Ginger East isn’t what it used to be though. After a deadly incident at the local arcade, most of her friends’ families moved away. Kate, whose family owns the local corner store, is still there and as long as that stays constant, Nelo’s good.

When Kate’s parent’s store is vandalized and the vandal still at large, Nelo is shaken to her core. And then the police and the media get involved and more of the outside world descends upon Ginger East with promises to “fix the neighborhood.” Suddenly, Nelo finds herself in the middle of a drama unfolding on a national scale.

Worse yet, Kate is acting strange. She’s pushing Nelo away at the exact moment they need each other most. Now Nelo’s entire world is morphing into something she hates and she must figure out how to get things back on track or risk losing everything–and everyone–she loves.

About the author:

Louisa Onomé is a Nigerian-Canadian writer of books for teens. She holds a BA in professional writing from York University and is an all-around cheerleader for diverse works and writers. When she is not writing, her hobbies include picking up languages she may never use, crying over her favourite video games, and perfecting her skincare routine. She currently resides in the Toronto area.

The Girl Who Stole an Elephant – book review

Rating: 4/5,⭐

Chaya, a no-nonsense, outspoken hero, leads her friends and a gorgeous elephant on a noisy, fraught, joyous adventure through the jungle where revolution is stirring and leeches lurk. Will stealing the queen’s jewels be the beginning or the end of everything for the intrepid gang?

This was an entertaining read- full of action and adventure. I liked the way the author built the world and I also liked reading about Sri Lankan culture and traditions.
At first I found the main character Chaya a bit annoying and impulsive. But I liked how she developed into a sympathetic and a caring character.
I liked the plot it was fun and fast paced. I found the storyline predictable but I liked the way the author executed it.
I felt the ending was very rushed and abrupt. There were some storylines which were left unresolved, so it left me a bit unsatisfied.
Overall it was an enjoyable read and young readers will definitely love it. It’s a perfect book for the fans of Aladdin and Robin Hood.

I would like to thank Netgalley for providing me an E-ARC to review.

The Gilded Ones- review

Today I’m excited to participate in the Book Tour for The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna hosted by Hear Our Voices Book Tours

Author Info:

Namina Forna is a young adult novelist based in Los Angeles, and the author of the
upcoming epic fantasy YA novel The Gilded Ones. Originally from Sierra Leone, West
Africa, she moved to the US when she was nine and has been traveling back and forth
ever since. Namina has an MFA in film and TV production from USC School of
Cinematic Arts and a BA from Spelman College. She works as a screenwriter in LA and
loves telling stories with fierce female leads.

Serena Singh Flips the Script- book review



Rating:3/5,⭐


This book is about Serena Singh, who is an independent woman and is not interested in marriage and having babies. She finally has her dream job but she notices that all of her old friendships have faded way. Unfortunately,making friends as an adult is hard, specially when you are closed off and don’t let anyone in. Serena tries to navigate a new job, a new boyfriend, familial drama, disastrous attempts at finding friends, and figuring out who she really is.

I loved Serena, she was so complex and sassy, I totally loved how the author develops her character throughout the book. I also liked that the romance, wasn’t a huge part of the story. Instead it focuses more on female friendships and Serena reconnecting with her parents and discovering herself and what she wants. The way the author portrays Serena’s relationship with her mother, Sandeep was so accurate and relate able. Among the side characters, Sandeep was my favourite. I liked that she always tried to understand Serena and supported her decisions.

The second half of the book fell flat for me and it felt very disconnected and slow paced. The author did include some humorous scenes, but they were very cringe and were not needed at all.

Overall it was an entertaining read and I do recommend it if you like reading light and heartwarming books.

I would like to thank Netgalley and Berkley publishing for providing me an e-arc to review.
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