Anxious People |Book Review

“We are just strangers passing each other, your anxieties briefly brushing against mine as the fibres of our coats touch momentarily on a crowded pavement somewhere. We never really know what we do to each other, with each other, for each other.” ⁣

I had the chance of listening to an Audiobook listening copy (ALC) of Anxious People by Fredrik Backman through Libro.fm

This book is probably the first Backman I managed to finish and even before reading his books I’ve shelved him in my favorite authors list.

Suicide , Anxiety, Depression

A bank robbery gone wrong, a hostage situation that shouldn’t have happened. That’s it – this forms the outline of this brilliant story that talks about how a bunch of strangers’ life gets interconnected with each other. The story line sounds simple, but its told in a kind-of-beating-around-the-bush, prolonging-the-ending kinda way. Which can be a little off-putting to some.

If you have seen any hostage movie, they generally have these emotional scenes about the captives and in some cases the people who held them hostages. (Stockholm syndrome, ofcourse!) So this book also follows the same but what makes it more beautiful is “a book is always better than a movie” and the writing that’s so satirical and whimsy and touching. It reads like a study on people, behavior of people who have some common ground experiencing the same thing but going through their own stuff, own back stories.

The book might trick you into thinking its lighthearted but some of the stories and anecdotes are so heavy but not kinda preachy. There are a lot of sensitive subjects discussed and some of them with a hint of humor. I don’t wanna give off spoilers but the way few characters life where interlinked without them being aware of it and the teeny tiny twists in the story will keep you engrossed. I also loved the emotional bonding between some of the characters specifically the father-son police duo Jim and Jack.

The book definitely made me laugh and dab my eyes at some places. So ofcourse I give it a solid 5 star!!

Regretting You – Book Review

Disclaimer : I’m a mad Colleen Hoover fan, so this review might be biased 😀

Regretting You is told in alternate perspective from a mother (Morgan) and daughter (Clara) duo who have a strained relationship which is further tested after a tragic loss in the family. Morgan marries her high school boyfriend Chris after getting pregnant with Clara, so all she wants for her daughter is to not make the same mistakes as her. With both of them left to manage their grief, certain devastating secrets are revealed and things get MESSY!!.⁣
I loved Morgan with all my heart, her story broke me and warmed me throughout the book. There is ofcourse romance, but I loved the relationship arc of the mother daughter duo. (WHO AM I KIDDING, I totally cried for an unrequited love story which I WIL NOT talk about). The book can turn out to be heavy, messy and deep but it overwhelmed me. Colleen Hoover’s writing always does. You get all the feels while reading it and gives you things to think about.. ⁣⁣
⁣⁣ ⁣⁣

I obviously rated it a 5 ⭐️. I have highlighted so many lines that (even though have nothing to resonate with me) pulled all the heartstrings. ⁣⁣
⁣and the reason I chose this quote, is precisely why I named my blog Little voids. ⁣

The House in the Cerulean Sea ~ Book Review

A female garden gnome with a beard 

A green blob who doesn’t have an identity but thinks he is a boy

A wyvern with hoarding affinities 

A feisty forest sprite and a boy who can turn himself into a dog (a were-dog?)

And there’s the devil’s spawn , Antichrist! 

Meet the 6 kids that steal your heart and light up the world in this beautiful book. Get ready to be sucked into their innocence and the fiercely protective Arthur ❤️

Shield your heart, Mr.Baker, because that is what they go for first!

You know who should read this book? JKR, no offence! Bcos this book is all about treating people, especially marginalized ones, equally and understanding that they belong to this world as much as anyone else. And for someone who hardly reads between the lines because of my privileged ass, Even I found so many parallels comparing to the real world and bawled my eyes out! 

if you want to read something deeply satisfying and at the same time educative, you must absolutely pick The House in the Cerulean Sea. It will forever be on my favourites shelf and for sure will be the book I read to my future kid.

Let me tell you this book has some of the best characters you will fall for and cherish. Chauncey melts my heart and I can’t even start about Theo, the wyvern. The amazing character arc of Linus Baker and this gem called Arthur Parnassus and the naughtiest kid Lucy. I’ve highlighted so much in my ebook that I’m badly aching for a physical copy , but damn you Quarantine! You just need to read to understand why!.

If its not already obvious, All the stars in the world !!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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𝐒𝐡𝐢𝐞𝐥𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐭, 𝐌𝐫.𝐁𝐚𝐤𝐞𝐫, 𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐠𝐨 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐟𝐢𝐫𝐬𝐭! ⁣ ⁣ ⁣ A female garden gnome with a beard ⁣ A green blob who doesn’t have an identity but thinks he is a boy⁣ A wyvern with hoarding affinities ⁣ A forest sprite and a boy who can turn himself into a dog ⁣ And there’s the devil’s spawn , Antichrist! ⁣ ⁣ Meet the 6 kids that steal your heart and light up the world in this beautiful book. Get ready to be sucked into their innocence and the fiercely protective Arthur ❤️⁣ ⁣ You know who should read this book? JKR, no offence! Bcos this book is all about treating people, especially marginalized ones, equally and that they belong to this world as much as anyone else. And for someone who hardly reads between the lines because of my privileged ass, Even I found so many parallels comparing to the real world and bawled my eyes out! ⁣ If you want to read something 𝐃𝐄𝐄𝐏𝐋𝐘 𝐒𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐒𝐅𝐘𝐈𝐍𝐆 and at the same time educative, you must absolutely pick this book! It will forever be on my favorites shelf and for sure will be the book 𝐈 𝐑𝐄𝐀𝐃 𝐓𝐎 𝐌𝐘 𝐅𝐔𝐓𝐔𝐑𝐄 𝐊𝐈𝐃. ⁣ Cannot stop without tagging these people who shoved the book on my face @bookstersisters @d_three_broomsticks @_booksnmusic ❤️❤️❤️⁣ ⁣ ⁣ ⁣ ⁣ ⁣ #cozyreading #readergram #becauseofreading #booksofinstagram #booktography #ireadYA #bookaesthetic #mybookfeatures #bibliophile #aquietstyle #booknerd #bookstagramindia #bookphotography #bookaddict #Bookstagram #bookishglee #bookishfeatures #bibliofeature #fortheloveofbooks #thehouseintheceruleansea #linusbaker #tjklune #bookishlyreviews #fantasticallydiversereads

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Daisy Jones & The Six

I CAN’T GET OVER THIS BOOK EVEN AFTER MONTHS!!!!

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This book is the best-est that I read last year and it obviously made it to my most favourite books list.

Every book out there is mostly a piece of fiction, that’s common knowledge. But certain books strike so real that you can find it really hard to believe that the characters didn’t exist in real life. Probably why everyone feels that way about this book is its unique form of story telling – it’s completely written through interviews. So this post is not exactly a review, but an outlet for my gushing emotions whenever I think about this book.

When I finished listening to this book, it was freaking 2am. And I was crying !!! So much of Ugly crying. I mean, I never cared about Rock n Roll bands. Ever! And I was crying over a fictional band. From the 1970’s.

Fair warning, continue, if you have already read the book!

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The first few chapters are told in parallel about Daisy growing up in L.A with absentee parents and brothers Billy and Graham Dunne forming their own musical band. The interview goes on about how The Six were formed and the band members start narrating the rest of the story – the drugs, the women, the heartbreak and everything in between. Billy Dunne comes off as this controlling lead singer who takes pride in the music he writes and never lets the band go from his track. As this book is in interview format you can see how the change in Billy’s behaviour affects his brother and his bandmates. The relationship between Camila and Billy – is like the Biblical Love.. you know like love is patient, love is kind stuff? Its all about faith and trusting the other. Initially I shipped Camila and Billy, I’ll be honest.

When Daisy joins The Six, I was eagerly waiting for her to meet Billy. Because the Daisy of the first few pages didn’t make an impression on me. I kinda hated her and I loved Billy. Controlling, edgy Billy. Not the carefree, spirited Daisy. I know I’m a weirdo. So I was waiting to see how these two would get along. When Daisy and Billy put their heads together and create a song for the first time, I swear the imagery in my mind was pure magic. There were fireworks in my sky, let me tell you 😊 And I’m the kind of person who hates the “other” man/woman in a relationship, but me shipping Daisy and Billy was even more shocking to my own self. But, speaking in Anne Shirley terms, they both are kindred spirits, okay? They are MEANT to be!!

The songs that Billy and Daisy write together – I WANT TO hear them!! I cannot stop waiting for the TV series and I’m dying to listen to the songs.

And oh my god, I can’t even talk about the show in 1979, Chicago Stadium!! I cried so much.. It felt so much real, like its happening to my friend, to me! Thats how a book should be, imo. Only THE BEST you know. And I don’t even wanna talk about the ending. Okay ? I hated Camila more towards the end. But towards the end, is when I truly loved Daisy.

I know this post has been only about Billy and Daisy but I couldn’t help myself. The next best characters in this book are Graham and Karen. I could totally write a separate post about them.

“I wish someone had told me that love isn’t torture. Because I thought love was this thing that was supposed to tear you in two and leave you heartbroken and make your heart race in the worst way. I thought love was bombs and tears and blood. I did not know that it was supposed to make you lighter, not heavier. I didn’t know it was supposed to take only the kind of work that makes you softer. I thought love was war. I didn’t know it was supposed to… I didn’t know it was supposed to be peace.”

It’s an all-star read for me and I’m very much looking forward to the TV series.
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The Hand on the Wall|ARC review|Blog Tour|Giveaway

Welcome to my stop in the blog tour of one of my most anticipated book releases of the year – The Hand On The Wall by Maureen Johnson. I have already reviewed books one and two here if you would like to check it out. I would like to thank The Fantastic Flying Book Club and HarperCollins for giving me an opportunity to read the conclusion to this wonderful series much before everyone 😀

About the Book

The Hand on the Wall (Truly Devious #3)
by Maureen Johnson
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: January 21st 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Purchase from Amazon, B&N, Book Depository

Synopsis

Ellingham Academy must be cursed. Three people are now dead. One, a victim of either a prank gone wrong or a murder. Another, dead by misadventure. And now, an accident in Burlington has claimed another life. All three in the wrong place at the wrong time. All at the exact moment of Stevie’s greatest triumph.

She knows who Truly Devious is. She’s solved it. The greatest case of the century.At least, she thinks she has. With this latest tragedy, it’s hard to concentrate on the past. Not only has someone died in town, but David disappeared of his own free will and is up to something. Stevie is sure that somehow—somehow—all these things connect. The three deaths in the present. The deaths in the past. The missing Alice Ellingham and the missing David Eastman. Somewhere in this place of riddles and puzzles there must be answers.

Then another accident occurs as a massive storm heads toward Vermont. This is too much for the parents and administrators. Ellingham Academy is evacuated. Obviously, it’s time for Stevie to do something stupid. It’s time to stay on the mountain and face the storm—and a murderer.In the tantalizing finale to the Truly Devious trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson expertly tangles her dual narrative threads and ignites an explosive end for all who’ve walked through Ellingham Academy.

My Thoughts

If you have read books 1 & 2, you would know they both end in a cliffhanger. The Hand on the Wall provides you all the answers you have been waiting for and it does so, with a lot of twists and page turning scenes. I’m at awe of Maureen Johnson’s writing because she maintains the same suspense throughout the three books and keeps us super engaged. I think before bingeing into this book, one should go back n just waltz through books 1 & 2 for hidden clues in there. I’m not saying you might find some, you may or may not. But definitely you wouldn’t expect the twist that comes at the beginning of book 3. BuWAHHAhaha, I’m evil!(Although in hindsight, maybe not, because this was released on an excerpt in Epic Reads site)

Okay as I cannot talk about the plot, let’s talk about the characters. I cannot believe I love the series so much but not the main character, Stevie Bell. Don’t come at me, ok, I just don’t find her character to be interesting. She’s socially awkward, yeah, but there is not much in her that I find intriguing enough, although definitely good anxiety rep.. On the other hand, I like David 😀 He is trouble personified and is hell bound on causing ermmm hell for his father. In this book though, he drives both Stevie and us insane. And there’s one more socially awkward person – Nate, who even though tends to avoid contact at all possible cost, surprises us now and then with quirky remarks and is the supportive best friend to Stevie. Other than these three, rest of the characters didn’t have much to offer. And oooh I forgot, I liked Leonard Holmes Nair too. (No spoiler intended :P)

Overall, the book was a satisfying 4.5 stars for me. I rated it as such because I never lost interest and the parallel timelines are nicely done.

Before I finish, there’s a US only give-away  that runs till 4th Feb 2020 and you can click on the link and participate to win a copy of the book. Go !!

Favorite Quotes

Nate being Nate –

Are you trying to make me have an emotion?

Also Nate –

“Fun fact,” Stevie said, trying to lighten the mood in the vast gloomy space. “this fireplace?, Henry the Eighth had one just like it, in Hampton Court. Albert Ellingham had an exact copy made.”

“Fun Fact,” Nate replied, “Henry the Eighth killed two of his wives. Who wants a murderer’s fireplace?”.

“I’m not sure, but thats the name of my new game show”.

Stevie’s inner turmoil at one point in the book –

Why were humans wired like this? Why were we built with a current that could short out our powers of reason and judgement at any time? Why were we filled with chemicals that made us stupid? How could you feel so excited and enraged and like you were being pierced with a thousand emotional needles in the brain all at the same time?

Dream Cast

So the below dream cast is totally in my opinion (and some friends’ too) and as such opinions might differ. And also let me point out, it was difficult to put a face to these characters because not many of them have character descriptions.

Practice note-7 2

I hope we can all agree on one Mr Edward King, if not all of them 😀

I hope you enjoy(ed) reading this series like I did. Do drop in your thoughts on the series. An don’t forget to check the rest of the tour here

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About the Author

Maureen Johnson is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of several YA novels, including 13 Little Blue Envelopes, Suite Scarlett, The Name of the Star, and Truly Devious. She has also done collaborative works, such as Let It Snow (with John Green and Lauren Myracle), and The Bane Chronicles (with Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan). Her work has appeared in publications such as The New York Times, Buzzfeed, and The Guardian, and she has also served as a scriptwriter for EA Games. She has an MFA in Writing from Columbia University and lives in New York City.

Goodreads | Website | Instagram|Twitter

To All the Books I Read in 2019

Do I even have to explain this blog post? 😀

I tried so hard to reach my Goodreads goal of 65 books last year that I was flying through half unread books, minutes before 2020, and somehow finished 65. I neglected my blog pretty much for the year, but nevertheless a small roundup of books I loved and cherished, incoming.

Onto the 5 stars reads – actually the books I’ve rated 5 stars are the ones that made me ugly cry 😀 and obviously books that were well written. I can sometimes be partial and rate a favourite author’s book with a 5 star but I would always mention that I’m being partial and opinions might differ.

  • All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover – ugly crying ensured
  • A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi – all the feels, this one!
  • The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden – the best conclusion to the trilogy
  • Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid – Ugly crying, tbh still not completed its review.
  • 100 days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons – Beautiful book with an amazing disability rep
  • The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen – Partial to this one!!
  • The Travelling Cat chronicles by Hiro Arikawa – Again ugly crying, hold onto those tissues.
  • 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff – Very very heartwarming!!
  • Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E Harrow – Beautiful worlds and amazing writing.
  • Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo – Really loved the way the series took shape and ended.

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Some books that cut pretty much close to a 5 stars –

  • The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson
  • Verity by Colleen Hoover
  • Save the Date by Morgan Matson
  • Comics will break your heart by Faith Erin Hicks
  • The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
  • The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbie Waxman
  • Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

I’m pretty sure Taylor Jenkins Reid and Beth O’Leary have become auto-buy authors for me. And I noticed something else, my most read genre of 2019 is contemporary, closely followed by YA fantasy and historical fiction. I’m gonna change that in 2020 and I’m focusing more on Epic/High Fantasy books that have been recommended to me through Instagram. Towards the end of 2019, I discovered Brandon Sanderson and fantasy has not been the same after his books. Looking forward to reading more epic books this year!!

Find something you read and liked in my list? Were your ratings same as mine?

 

84 Charing Cross Road – Book Review

“I don’t browse in bookshops, I browse in libraries, where you can take a book home and read it, and if you like it you go to a bookshop and buy it.”

This is a wonderful book of letters written between an American writer and the employees working in a used book store in the U.K..

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Let me tell you this isn’t a romance book filled with love letters ( bcos I had that misconception). The letters are written through a span of 20 years and has nothing but lots of love for books, appreciation for used books particularly non-fiction and a growing intercontinental friendship.

Growing up, I loved the idea of penpals. (Writing letters to strangers who turn into friends, was one of my biggest fantasy when I was a little girl, but it never came true bcos a) I was lazy and b) yup, just laziness.)

But Helene not just sends letters inquiring about books but also sends the employees and their families, lots of food as gifts over Holidays. And you know what makes it more heartwarming? This is all real, just like Helene loves only the real thing and not fiction, these events really happened and the letters were made public and into a book.

Even though I wasn’t aware of half the books she mentions in the letters, I could relate with her the whole time. You can see how the friendship unfolds from the way Frank and Helene address each other in the beginning and how informal it gets later. There’s so much I loved that I’m finding it hard to express how deeply broken I was, by the end of the book. Such a short sweet read! 

Do not forget to pick this book up, if you are looking for something to warm your heart, to resonate with a bookworm’s struggle in finding the right editions and just plain old-fashioned epistolary novel between strangers who have one thing in common – Books! 

I can’t not leave without the much popular quote from the book –

“If you happen to pass by 84 Charing Cross Road, kiss it for me? I owe it so much.”

5 🌟 and more! 

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Tweet Cute |ARC review

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord was an ARC I wished for in Netgalley and the wish was granted (a first, for me!) by them wonderful folks. For which I’m immensely grateful. Because the book did not disappoint. And to my surprise, it felt like like I got what I missed for while reading “Technically, you started it” and “Comics will break your heart”.

Let me be clear, I enjoyed the two books but I felt something was missing in either of them. The Romeo-Juliet-esque plot in CWBYH and the texting-a-stranger-You-got-Mail kinda thing in TYSI was nice but definitely lacked somehwhere. Enter Tweet Cute and my corny, sappy heart did a happy dance. I loved it ❤Tweet Cute

So the plot is basically You’ve Got mail but instead of bookstore we have a big fast food chain restaurant picking up fight with a family deli. Through their social media accounts in Twitter. Which is actually managed by the teens of the family, who happen to study in the same private school. Like small world, y’all!.

Pepper (swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist) and Jack (class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side) do not know their fighting each other in Twitter and also befriending each other in Weasel, the anonymous chat app built by Jack exclusively for his school kids. I loved their banter and their tweet wars as much as I loved their character. Pepper has this altogether other side that Jack gets to see and Jack has this app building interests which no one is aware of in his family because all credits usually go to his identical twin, who is the star kid in his school.

I loved the family dynamics – Pepper and her sister’s bonding over a baking blog, Jack and his grandmother’s love for the deli, the twins’ parents – and also the friendship between Pepper and Pooja. I did not like Pepper’s mom though. The book also shows how social media can get into your lives and makes things blown out of proportions.

I need to warn you! Do not read the book overnight or you will be left with a longing and empty stomach craving for Monster cakes and cheese sandwiches.

Altogether the book feels like a fun package, with lots of banter, food cravings and a new book boyfriend!

My rating 4/5 stars ❤

About the Book

Author: Emma Lord
Publishers: Wednesday Books
Release date : 21 Jan 2020

Synopsis
Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming ― mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.

All’s fair in love and cheese ― that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life ― on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate ― people on the internet are shipping them?? ― their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.

You can buy the book from Amazon.com |Kobo

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By Any Means Necessary – Blog Tour |Review & Favourite Quotes

Today’s my stop in the blog tour of Candice Montgomery’s amazing book – By any means necessary and so today I get to share what are the things I loved in this book along with a few quotes.

Thank you to The Fantastic Flying Book Club and Page Street Publishing for providing me a physical copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

About the book

Author: Candice Montgomery
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Release Date: October 8th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes&Noble |Book Depository |Kobo |Google Books

Synopsis

An honest reflection on cultural identify, class, and gentrification. Fans of Nic Stone and Elizabeth Acevedo will eagerly anticipate Torrey.On the day Torrey officially becomes a college freshman, he gets a call that might force him to drop out before he’s even made it through orientation: the bee farm his beloved uncle Miles left him after his tragic death is being foreclosed on.Torrey would love nothing more than to leave behind the family and neighborhood that’s bleeding him dry. But he still feels compelled to care for the project of his uncle’s heart. As the farm heads for auction, Torrey precariously balances choosing a major and texting Gabriel—the first boy he ever kissed—with the fight to stop his uncle’s legacy from being demolished. But as notice letters pile up and lawyers appear at his dorm, dividing himself between family and future becomes impossible unless he sacrifices a part of himself.

My thoughts

Firstly I would like to say that this book was not at all what I expected it to be. At first, I found it hard to get into the book, because its told only in first person and from Torrey’s POV. So I was beginning to get bored thinking it’s going to be the voice of a person who is only going to keep grumbling about the situation he is in. But the story evolved and with it, Torrey too.

To say life’s been tough for Torrey wouldn’t be an exaggeration. The kid is Black and poor and gay in a homophobic society that still treats persons of colour differently.

I text Lisa again, because I need somebody. You know that feeling, right? Where you just need somebody, anybody really, to care about you down to your marrow. Someone who’ll make you their Number One.

I liked the cutesy way Gabriel and Torrey become a couple. No beating around the bush, or pushing and pulling each other till the end of the book. And totally loved how Gabe calls Torrey his Principe (Spanish for Prince) *insert heart-eyes*

Gabriel is all risk and wild decisions. But me? I am hesitation. I am Gabriel’s antonym. The Taurus to his Pisces.

And when I was beginning to get antsy about the lack of strong females, Candice blesses us with Emery. I loved her so much. Together with the CAKE ( Clarke, Auburn, Kennedy, Emery) or alone with Torrey, she just rocks and I loved her so much. Even Torrey is amazed by her. I loved the below quote from the book because its so beautifully written about a girl, from a guy’s point of view. A guy who is not a boyfriend !!

Girl’s a poem in the boxing ring. She’s breathless. She’s gorgeous. she’s moving — dancing. She’s a fire blazing in a rainstorm, a strike of lightning across a cornfield. She’s everything.

And ooh who wouldn’t love the scene where Torrey takes her to the apiary and they harvest honey together!! The imagery in itself was so much pleasing and I loved it. And Torrey leaves you surprised by the random bee facts he throws in and I did not know most of them.

Most people don’t know that there are more than twenty thousand species of bees, only four of which are honey bees. And why should they? I mean, did you know that?

Not only bees, IMG_8283Torrey also lets you know what is really happening in the Black ‘hoods. How gentrification is affecting their livelihood and displacing them. I love how through him, the author is trying to bring attention to how silently the society is replacing the Hoods and white-washing them. Also loved how so MUCH importance is given to their community, the women and their ways, the dialect, the habits, standing for each other, being your own support system. From the college professor who makes Torrey learn punctuality to Emery who provides him all the support he can get, I say Torrey is blessed with all these women in his life. ❤

I had very few problems with a book – like Torrey digressing a lot from his point and jumping randomly from one thought to another and Torrey’s spiral into vandalism. But they teeny tiny minor things that I’m willing to overlook because overall, this is such a powerful book. Having read books by Ibi Zoboi, Elizabeth Acevedo, Angie Thomas, I know where all this anger comes from and I get it – I get how every single oppressed soul feels like, through these wonderful authors. I’m so glad I got this chance to read Candace’s second book and I very much recommend it.

Leaving you with few other favourite quotes from the book.

I like thinking that we loved like the seasons changed for nothing, because we were everything that couldn’t exist during the little showers of rain that didn’t get along with the sparks lit between us — and yet, still we did.

It’s everywhere, this gentrification shit. It’s careless and it escapes me how people – white people who have never been and will never be affected by this – would fail to explore all avenues and future points of downfall. I know, I know. I’m not being naive here. They don’t give a shit, and if it keeps Blacks and brown folks under a shoe then their work has been done.

Systemic Oppression. Google it.

My rating 4/5 stars.

About the Author

Candice “Cam” Montgomery is an LA transplant now living in the woods of Seattle, where she writes YoungAdult novels. Her debut novel, HOME AND AWAY can be found online and in stores now, and her sophomore novel, BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY will be released October of 2019. By day, Cam writes about Black teens across all their intersections. By night, she bartends at a tiny place nestled inside one of Washington’s greenest trees. She is an avid Studio Ghibli fan and will make you watch at least one episode of Sailor Moon and listen to one Beyoncé record before she’ll call you “friend.”

Goodreads   |   Website   |   Twitter   |   Instagram

Giveaway

Prize: Win a copy of By Any Means Necessary by Candice Montgomery (US/CAN Only)

Starts: October 8th2019Ends: October 22nd2019

Direct Link to Giveaway

Also, show some love and do visit the other tour stops. You can find the tour schedule here.

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Never Have I Ever | Audiobook Review

I listened to the audiobook version of this book that is available on Storytel.in

Never have I ever by Joshilyn Jackson is a domestic suspense novel which is about Amy Whey and her haunting past which comes back to bite her in a seemingly innocent (drunk) game of Never Have I ever.IMG_8057

What could possibly go wrong at a bookclub meeting when a stranger shows up at your doorstep? Amy is not happy with the way things turn out when her enigmatic new neighbour Roux starts asking her friends about their deep dark secrets. Some secrets if revealed would turn their lives upside down and Amy is hell bent on hers staying hidden. What follows is a game of cat and mice and Amy trying to understand who Roux is and trying to put an end to her charade. This book easily captivates you and pulls you into the plot and just when you think you’ve got it figured out, shoves another plot twist to your face.

I loved how Amy’s life had taken a turn from the past she is running from and how she found a life, thanks to her best friend Charlotte and becomes 15-yr old Maddy’s stepmother. I loved her relationship with Maddy and without giving away spoilers, would like to point out how excellently she manages a parental situation in the book. She’s a scuba diving instructor and after marrying Maddy’s father, has a kid named Oliver and manages the house, the kids and the neighborhood bookclub efficiently, until Roux comes into their neighbourhood. Roux is the perfect mysterious newcomer who doesn’t reveal much about her and has her way of getting things done for her by manipulating others. When I began with the book, it felt seemingly harmless but towards the end it took a U-turn and turned into U/A rating.

I recommend this book, if you are looking for domestic suspense novels filled with middle-aged soccer moms, neighbourhood gossips and of course, plot-twists you never see coming.

I rate it 4/5 stars.

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