When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Publication Date: May 30th 2017 by Simon Pulse
Source: ARC from Publisher via Edelweiss
Rating: ★★★★
Amazon / Book Depository

Synopsis

A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Dimple 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.

I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.

First of all, let’s admire the cover of this book! Since the cover reveal was made, I immediately added this to my tbr because of how adorable the cover was! It’s not everyday we get to see an Indian girl on a cover of a book!

This book was straight up quirky, nerdy, and truly enjoyable. I enjoyed Dimple and Rishi’s banter and interaction from the get go. Both of them are huge nerds in their own ways and I just love it! Dimple is feisty, smart, and passionate. In contrast to Dimple’s feistiness, Rishi is such a pure soft boy!!! He’s so adorable and I love the fact that he never gave up on Dimple, even as friends.

The story was told in alternating POVs, which I love, but because of the formatting of the ARC, it was a little hard for me to keep track of the shift in the POV, but overall it was delightful to see the story in both voices. Dimple and Rishi totally complements each other in a lot of ways, and they’re one of my favorite YA couples to date.

“You. Are. Beautiful. Lajawab. My only worry is that I might not be able to do you justice.”

I also enjoyed how the Indian culture was integrated in the book, and how it steered away from the usual culture I see from Bollywood movies. It was modernized in a way, that kids are getting more freedom make their own choices in life since their tradition plays a big part in the story. It’s also sex positive!

I think the only issue I had was it’s a little predictable especially towards the end. Although, we all love our happy endings, don’t we?

Sandhya Menon’s debut is a sassy rom-com that will leave you laughing, crying, and swooning all at the same time. Menon’s writing is so lovely and heartwarming and I can’t wait to read more from her. I definitely recommend this book to everyone!

Celebrating One’s Adult Life with Coming of Age

 

I once gifted this book to a friend of mine when she turned 18, and she told me that she really enjoyed it, so I got curious about the content. Luckily, Summit Books sent me a copy of this book so I was able to read it.

I really enjoyed the short stories included in the book. Most of the authors are familiar to me, and I have read some of their other works. Some of the authors are local celebrities here in the Philippines and it was cool to see another creative aspect of them.

My favorite story from the anthology is Agay Llanera’s Birthday Girl. It’s the story of Laya, who died from an accident on her 18th birthday and was given the chance to relive one day, any day of her choice, and she picked the last day of her dad’s life upon knowing that her dad hasn’t crossed over yet.

One of the things I really liked about the story was the innocence and sincerity of Laya’s father. The story was set during the Martial Law era in the Philippines, although it wasn’t explicitly mentioned. I picked it up early from the story.  To cut this short, her dad was one of the many people who fought for freedom and became one of the casualties so Laya wasn’t able to meet him, and that was her only chance. Laya gave him the chance to write a letter to her mom, who was pregnant with Laya during the time. With that, they all were able to get closure, and Laya helped her dad cross over.

A simple story, with a deep meaning. It made me think about the other Martial Law victims, and their families who haven’t found their own closure, and justice. I met Agay last April but I forgot to mention this to her, I’ll be sure to tell her how much I loved this story the next time we meet!

I also enjoyed the illustrations from the book. Each work comes with an illustration, which looked like they belong to a beautiful creative zine with some indie vibe. This was a pretty good book overall, but I pretty much skipped some of the content because they weren’t just getting into me. I still recommend this book, especially as a gift to people turning 18!

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
Publication Date: May 30th 2017 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC from Publisher via Netgalley
Rating: ★★★★★
Amazon / Book Depository

Synopsis

Desi Lee knows how carburetors work. She learned CPR at the age of five. As a high school senior, she has never missed a day of school and has never had a B in her entire life. She’s for sure going to Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation-magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds her answer in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Rules for True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and fake car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.

I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.

As someone who’s deeply obsessed with K-dramas, reading this book was absolutely enjoyable. I was constantly reminded of some scenes from K-dramas I’ve already seen and it was really fun.

I love Desi’s character and her persistence for everything. I can definitely relate to her in that aspect. I also adore her relationship with her father! For some reason, she reminded me of Duk Seon’s (from Reply 1988) relationship with her father. Desi also has great friends along with her, Wes and Fiona, and their whole dynamics just keeps me going. I also love the fact that they refer to Luca as Won Bin for his code name, just because he’s the hottest Korean actor alive. I’m not even going to beg to differ, though he’s not really my favorite hahaha!

“Sometimes you just have to accept the shit that life hands you.”

Luca also had some usual k-drama tropes going on, which I think is mostly applied to the love interest, parents that are a little disinterested for his passion. I also adored his personality and I do feel kilig everytime he calls Desi a “nerd”, kind of like the same way Joon Hyung refers to Bok Joo as “Chubs” in Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo.

The story is definitely k-drama worthy, and I love it. It’s something I’d love to watch someday. That’s the thing about k-dramas, no matter how cliche the tropes are and they kind of follow a pattern, they still make me swoon and I can’t stop watching them. Same thing goes with this book, even though it took me a long time to finish it, I still managed to squeeze in a some time just because I can’t stop reading.

Overall, this book was a really sweet, heartfelt, and light contemporary read. The k-drama recs at the end of the book (and references throughout the story) was a bonus! I definitely recommend this book to all k-drama fans!

Blog Tour || The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
Publication Date: April 11th 2017 by Balzer + Bray
Source: ARC for Blog Tour
Rating: ★★★★★
Amazon / Book Depository

Synopsis

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid. He’s a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.

Right?

I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.

This book is straight up relatable, especially for me, a real life Molly. Fat, and no boyfriend since birth. I love this book as much as I did Simon and there’s no doubt that Becky Albertalli knows exactly how tickle my fancy with her characters and their stories.

Since I’m probably just going to vomit some words about this book, I’m just going to divide it to three sections.

Characters

I abso-freaking-lutely love all the characters in the story. Molly definitely was my girl. I’ve never related to a girl so fast! I adore her so much, I could wrap some bubble film around her and protect her. It wasn’t hard to envision myself in her shoes because I’m her, and she’s me (except I’m 4 years older haha). Molly is exceptionally talented when it comes to DIY crafts, and she’s one of the people who can utilize Pinterest so damn well. Also, she has like 20+ crushes which also screams ME!

I also adored Cassie, Molly’s twin, and her being a badass. She speaks her mind frankly. Although, it was hard to read the scenes where Cassie and Molly had some fight because I could definitely relate to it and it sort of brought up some memories from my teenage years, still I felt like it was a good thing that this kind of narrative was used.

I also enjoyed reading Mina (Cassie’s new girlfriend), Will (that hipster sidekick), and Olivia (One of Molly and Cassie’s friends) and their backstories. Reid though, this freaking nerdy doofus, I love this guy so much and all his weird funny everything.

I also loved the Simon, Nick, and Abby cameos!

Romance

The romance was super fricking adorable LIKE WHAAAAT?? I just love it so much but I will keep my mouth shut just because.

Message

I really loved the message this book has put out, especially for readers who can definitely identify, not only with Molly, but also to the other characters in the story. Molly also deals with anxiety, and actually has a good anxiety rep. This book also celebrates all different kinds of love, may it be romantic love, familial love, or love between friends.

Overall, I love the diversity of the characters and the issues tackled in the book. The balance between the feel good fluffs and the actual tackling of issues made the book enjoyable to read!