The Secret of a Heart note -Book Review

“Somewhere between right and wrong lies a garden surrounded by thorns, and I have met you there.”

The Secret of a Heart note by Stacey Lee is an amazing read about something I’ve never heard of -Aromateurs and their love elixirs.

The Secret of a Heart Note

Book Blurb

An evocative novel about a teen aroma expert who uses her extrasensitive sense of smell to mix perfumes that help others fall in love while protecting her own heart at all costs

Sometimes love is right under your nose. As one of only two aromateurs left on the planet, sixteen-year-old Mimosa knows what her future holds: a lifetime of weeding, mixing love elixirs, and matchmaking—all while remaining incurably alone. For Mim, the rules are clear: falling in love would render her nose useless, taking away her one great talent. Still, Mimosa doesn’t want to spend her life elbow-deep in soil and begonias. She dreams of a normal high school experience with friends, sports practices, debate club, and even a boyfriend. But when she accidentally gives an elixir to the wrong woman and has to rely on the lovesick woman’s son, the school soccer star, to help fix the situation, Mim quickly begins to realize that falling in love isn’t always a choice you can make.

At once hopeful, funny, and romantic, Stacey Lee’s The Secret of a Heart Note is a richly evocative coming-of-age story that gives a fresh perspective on falling in love and finding one’s place in the world.

My thoughts..

What if feelings and emotions had a smell? What if like thumbprint, all of us had our own scent prints?

Otherwise called as love witches, the aromateurs are experts at mixing the right kind of flowers based on scentprint of a person and concocting an elixir that will be used to spray on their love interest. If there was a spark already, this elixir will make it possible for the other person to acknowledge it and act on it.

According to her mom, Mimosa and she are the last aromateurs left on earth,  as Mim’s aunt Bryony had lost her sense of smell (heightened/ hypersensitive) after kissing a guy (and falling in love). Also they are always around flower pollen, that its easy for other humans to get ‘infected’ if there’s skin contact and they become love sick towards them.

So the catch is, they can create magic in other’s lives, but can’t fall in love, not at the cost of losing their ‘gift’.

Mim longs for a normal teenage life, the angst and the lovesick feeling. But she needs to take care of their garden, weed, concoct and serve their customers. What happens when an elixir is given to the wrong subject and how she tries to rectify her mistake is what follows next. One important thing is, her wrong subject is the mother of her high school heartthrob who she secretly crushes on – Coach who smells like “Campfire -charred cedar, roasted hickory, fir needles”.

I loved how feelings and emotions were compared to flower scents.  Like the dandelion refers to ‘flirtation’ and hope smells like pink hydrangea and disappointment smells like a fog. A different kind of magic and an almost star-crossed lead pair.. I loved this book and everything about it. Though i don’t know about much of the flowers she has mentioned in the book, i could see the effort Stacey has put into studying each of them – color, a possible emotion to connect it with etc. Unique, refreshing and ambrosial 🙂

If only everyone were able to smell feelings and react accordingly, the world would be a better and fun place to live 🙂

My rating is 4.5/5 🙂

Publishers : Katherine Tegen Books | Available at Amazon.in

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5 Books I Loved Less Than I Thought I Would

I normally don’t “hate” books but this week’s topic at Top Ten Tuesdays (A weekly meme created by the The Broke and the Bookish) was Ten Books I Loved Less/More Than I Thought I Would (recently or all time). And I couldn’t get 10 books and i have just listed 5.

These are books for which I had great expectations owing to hype created by other bookworms or they were written by favorite authors.

I know some of the books that i didn’t like might be a big shock for a majority of YA lovers. Some of these are bestsellers, but still these are the books that I didn’t finish reading because I wasn’t hooked or simply didn’t like it.

  • Dreamology by Lucy Keating

I’ll admit i picked the book for its pretty covers. And it did seem a bit intriguing with the title but threw me off with all “meets in dream- meets in real life” crap. Hellooo, they made a movie in Tamil in the 90’s where a guy meets the girl who he dreams of in real life and tries to woo her. Atleast that movie wasn’t this bad.

 

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  • Heartless by  Marissa Meyer

Don’t know what the hype is all about in here, i felt like the first half was like watching Merida.

  • Shopaholic to the stars by Sophie Kinsella

Sophie Kinsella is one of my favorite authors and i was beyond devastated at this 7th book in the shopaholic series. The series should have just ended with book 5.

  • Royal Wedding (Princess Diaries #11)

Another series that i loved, grew up reading with and became a part of my teen years was Princess diaries. And when i heard there was a 11th book after so many years, I did have some doubts and I was right. The book was nothing like the first 10 books. I didn’t like it at all.. 😦 I did manage to read it fully though.

  • The Crown (The Selection #5) by Kiera Cass

I have already rambled enough about how this book was a huge disappointment. Ms.Cass should have just stopped with book 3.

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What were the books that disappointed you recently 🙂 Just to have a fair warning..

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Open-Eyed Meditations – Book Review

People who know me better definitely wouldn’t believe i’m reading a non-fiction book. Hell, I wouldn’t believe me either.. 😀 But when this book was given for review I just couldn’t resist. I’ve been trying to grow out of my favorite book genres and this was a welcome change.

The book blurb…

Open-eyed Meditations is a beautiful compilation of thoughts wherein each meditation takes you on a journey to the past, bringing a secret herb to heal a problem of the present.
A true distillation of ancient wisdom tips for modern lives, this unique self-help book uses the wisdom of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata to solve your everyday problems.
Beyond the storyline, something deeper is waiting to be discovered from these ancient texts. This book is an attempt to uncover the hidden layer of wealth that is cleverly packaged within the commonly known storylines.

The book is written by Shubha Vilas -a motivational speaker, lifestyle coach, and a storyteller par excellence.

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My thoughts..

The very first lines from the Introduction drew me to the book and despite my disinterest  towards non-fic I was sure that this book would be an exception.

When you are open to life, life opens to you. The upper limit of your ability to learn is determined by the upper limit of your desire to learn.

The reason i loved that line was a certain colleague of mine is driving me crazy because I have to keep telling him the same thing a 100 times. I’m usually not that annoyed about training someone, but this person is a senior and he has no desire to learn and me teaching him something is completely a waste of my time. Okay, moving on 😛

This book offers you really great nuggets of wisdom suitable for everyday crisis and encounters. And it does so by comparing situations in the Ramayana and Mahabharata and how the epic heroes themselves acted on their issues. I for one, haven’t read both the epics and loved the little stories in each topic.

The contents of the book are divided into 64 chapters or meditations like the author refers them to. Each of these meditations are centered around character building, modern day problems and self motivation. And this book isn’t something you read and put it back in your shelf, it’s like the go to book whenever you meet those problems or in need of a little help in analyzing them. And Shubha Vilas has taken care not to elaborate too much, keeps it simple in 2 or 3 pages and also provides a concise version of that particular topic towards the end.

My favorite ‘meditations’ were “Conditions apply – in Love’ where he explain how conditions in a relationship can destroy the happiness in it by comparing with life of King Shantanu who fell in love with Ganga who puts a condition that he should never question her actions. Their relationship ended because it drove Shantanu to heights of frustration when he couldn’t question her about throwing away every child born to them into a river. But Draupadi’s marriage with the Pandavas worked because of conditions of mutual respect and cooperation. When the condition is constructive, it is welcomed in relationships, but if its laid on self-interest and restricts the other person, it only adds frustration and bitterness!.

Another one was “Crossing the LoC in Relationships”. Here the LoC is LoR (Line of Respect) and Shubha Vilas stresses that respect and care should never be lost in relationships and boundaries need to be respected.

Love is the force transforming self-centered babies to non self conscious mature adults

How to win relationships and maintain healthy bonds with others is beautifully explained in “The investment that returns hearts”. He compares Vali and Sugriva’s relationship and how Vali being a self-focused, unforgiving brother strangles their bond and how Rama was a Sugrive-focussed stranger who helped him get back his kingdom and dignity. Doing something for others, depositing your love will only give loads in return.

A few lines from it :

When we meditate on what we can do for other, we are actually watering the root of the relationship. When you enter into the relationship looking for massive doses of gratification, you are strangling the relationship even before it has begun to breathe normally

All in all, I liked the book and even though it’s a non-fiction, self help book it does not bore you mainly because of the analogies and the little stories from the great epics. There’s nothing much to say about the cover, as these kind of books have abstract images only. I did love the way the topics (meditations) were named. Very catchy!

If you are into self-help, motivational books, do give this one a try.

I’m thankful to Blogadda for sending me this copy for review. My rating is 4/5.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Last in the series..

2017 will be the year where many book series and TV series are coming to an end. *cringes*

You never know how to get out of that bubble once a series ends, and I for one, am very bad at it. I know you can re-read and binge-watch the series again n again. But still, the feeling of doom *eye rolls, i know* is inevitable. Here’s a look at the list of most anticipated books/TV series that bid goodbye this year.

To all the boys I loved Before by Jenny Han

This trilogy (hopefully) is coming to an end with the third book ‘Always and Forever, Lara Jean’ hitting the stores in May 2017. It’s a cheesy, cute high school romance novel that starts out with a teen writing letters for all her crushes but doesn’t send them. I’m a Peter-Lara shipper and i’m just praying that the final book doesn’t throw in a big bucket of water on-my-face by shipping John and Lara Jean. I know the terrible series endings of Jenny Han previously experienced in “Summer” trilogy and “Burn for Burn” trilogy. 😦

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I fell for the book covers first ❤

ACOWAR by Sarah J Maas

I LOVE SARAH J.MASS. I love RHYSAND!!!! Period. Enough said, let’s see what book three is gonna bring.

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Untitled book 3 of The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman

I haven’t read this one but i’m hearing rave reviews about it. The trilogy is based on life in a different planet, interstellar and all that. Annndddd its in epistolatory format which i love.. Should pick this one soon..

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The Vampire Diaries

I’ve been watching this all these years and it breaks my heart to bid goodbye to Stefan Salvatore, favorite-st TV boyfriend *shudders*. I know people go gaga over Damon, i do too. But Stefan is THE boyfriend i love, i adore, i would kill for *heart eyes*

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I just hope they end the series with both the brothers alive.

The Originals

Omg, this one!!! Only for KLAUS!!! Still have to wait sooooo long for the next and final season to be aired in March. My husband and i just love KLAUS… There’s something deep about him that’s beyond words. Really angry with the show producers for finishing it off soo soon 😦

Mikaelson family, cant wait to see you!

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Game of Thrones

Yes, this majestic and beyond brilliance series will be ending this year and with just 7 episodes. Why oh why!!

Highlight of last season was Sansa Stark meeting Jon Snow. *happy tears* And this season lets wait to see whether the Starks are getting back together. Go Arya!!!

Pretty Little Liars

I once loved this series and then they turned it round n round n round and i don’t know who killed who or who slept with who or who’s father is who 😛 Why can’t they just be honest and go to the police or their parents and save ourselves another murder.

But i still watch it 😀 just to know how things are gonna wrap up.

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All good things must come to an end and sadly another book/TV series will be there to fangirl about says the wise owl in me 😛

 

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By your side – Book Review

I’ve loved all the books written by Kasie West and when i heard that her latest is out, i felt i MUST read it. Because she writes cute, feel-good contemporaries.

You can get this book from Amazon

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Book blurb: When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.
Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

My thoughts..

Who wouldn’t love to get locked in a library.. i wouldn’t mind but definitely not for three days *gulp*. And with a history of panic attacks, Autumn must survive the three days by engaging in not-so-welcome conversations with her unexpected companion Dax. I’m all for hate-to-love tropes and dived right into the story.

Let’s just say I wasn’t completely satisfied. There’s a dark,mysterious guy and the goody-goody girl but then there’s anxiety and mental health issues in as well. Some of the things were just not acceptable, how can friends be totally superficial, like they cant seem to notice Autumn has anxiety issues. Yes the bad boy (at least by reputation) and the girl romance was alluring, but that wasn’t the main part of this book. And add in the love triangle and jealous, over protective best-friend. Nope, i loved The Fill-in boyfriend and P.S. I like you and other contemporaries by Kasie and this wasn’t like that.

And I didn’t like the cover :/ Also the first thing that intrigued people before the book was published was “locked in a library”. Sadly, it could have been a supermarket or a laundromat for it didn’t make any difference. The bookish or literary love (Like ‘Words in Deep Blue’ by Cath Crowley, centered around a book store) that i was expecting wasn’t there, it was just a place where they found themselves locked in, together. The only thing that’s remotely bookish, is the copy of Hamlet that Dax carries around with him.

My rating would be 3/5. A 3 and not 2.5 because when Autumn was with Dax, I was able to relate to the Kasie West i had grown to enjoy..you know, the swoon-worthy scenes n all..

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The Big Book Box of happiness

If you are reading this and still not aware of book boxes in India, go check my post on the growing number of book subscription boxes in our country, curated with love for all bibliophiles. Like i mentioned there, I got my first TBB (The Big Book) box this month. You can check out their plans from the website here. I’m not an Espresso girl but hey, the Cappuccino boxes were totally adorbs but a bit above my book budget. (I had already done some book shopping online 😥 )

So i ordered myself an Espresso box, a little late i should say and got it after almost everyone in Bookstagram revealed the Readable and Collectible book of the month :/

Nevertheless, i enjoyed and squeaked and did happy dances when i received my box, a gift from me to me, just a day before Valentine’s.

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Happy Unboxing!!!

Contents….

  • Readable book of the month – A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard published on Jan 10 2017!!!!!
  • Collectible of the month -an absolutely stunning hardcover – Dumplin by Julie Murphy
  • A cute little A5 notebook from Daily Objects (How to chill like a Cat)
  • An even more cute little jotter from Limn Designs (Little book of Big Thoughts – Stripes)

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  • A beautiful cup and saucer
  • Four Harry Potter House bookmarks, Two magnetic bookmarks (<3 <3)
  • A Gourmet Popcorn from 4700 BCE (Yet to be opened and munched on 😀 )
  • Two tea packets from Teabox India  (Fresh Darjeeling Masala & Fresh Mountain Rose)
  • 6 cute wooden pegs
  • Amazon Kindle discount vouchers

Phew… that was too much stacked in one awesome box.

Not to mention my giveaway prize – 1984 by George Orwell was inside too!!!

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My thoughts..

Would totally go for their boxes in the coming months. Love how beautifully they have curated every box. Its worth your money and you get to have some amazing collections to your bookshelf.

The March theme is “Mythological March” and TBB box has already revealed the Readable of the month.. *Drumrolls* Its Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman published on 7th Feb 2017 !!! What are you waiting for… Grab ’em boxes before they are sold out 😀

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A very badly taken picture, i know, but i was EXCITED!!!!!

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ACOWAR !!

All Rhysand fans out there would have known that ACOWAR book cover has been revealed.

Now waiting for the book to be released!!! *Squeal* May 2nd is so far away..

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Very very curious to know what happens in book 3 of ‘A court of Thorns and Roses’ (ACOTAR) by Sarah J Mass. Thought it looked like a retelling of Beauty and Beast in book#1, the second book ‘A court of Mist and Fury’ (ACOMAF) just blew my mind *Cant get enough of Rhysand*

The April book box theme of “Books n Beyond” is related to Rhys they said, and off i went and pre-booked.. Book yours now.. 😀

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