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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The Travelling Cat Chronicles |AudioBook Review

The Travelling cat Chronicles written by Hiro Arikawa and translated by Philip Gabriel, is a touching, bittersweet and beautiful story of a young man in his thirties – Satoru – and his cat, Nana. When you come across a story with a pet involved, you know you are in for a heartbreak. And yes, this book will have it’s fair share of making you cry.

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The Movie Adaptation

Satoru is this amazing guy – who has lost his parents Image result for the travelling cat chroniclesearly in his life, has been forced to move around a lot during his school life, thus making new friends in every school and in every part of his life – yet leads life with no complaints. When he is really young, he and his friend find a stray kitten and circumstances make Satoru to adopt the cat and he loves it more than his life. When he is forced to move, he has to send the cat away to a relative and is very much heartbroken. All through his teenage, he plans to save money and visit his dear cat but fate once again closes the door on him.

Now an adult, Satoru is living alone and when he finds a street cat under his car, he immediately develops a liking towards it because it of its shocking resemblance to his old pet. When the stray cat is wounded, Satoru takes him in and moves houses for the sake of him and the two of them start bonding. After an amazing couple of years together, destiny forces Satoru to find a new home for Nana and goes on a travel to find his old friends to ask for their help. The story is about how Nana and Satoru meet his friends from every part of his life and what happens to their friendship in the end.

I gotta tell you, this is one amazing book and you MUST read it. Go on! Even if you aren’t a cat lover (hell, I ain’t one) you cannot stop falling in love with Nana’s sass and feisty narration. The author draws a beautiful picture of Satoru and his friendly and compassionate and patient nature that one can’t stop wondering “is he for real”. The man cries for a cat !! How can I not fall in love with the story?

Satoru might be reaching out to his friends for help but in the end he is helping each of them knowingly or unknowingly. He values his friendship so much – both human and feline!.

This is a simple yet an unforgettable journey for both Satoru and Nana and the part where they visit Hokkaido Island is so vivid and the imagery is beautiful.

But its not something to be sad about. As we count up the memories from one journey, we head off on another.

Special appreciation to the translator and LOTS OF LOVE to the narrator George Blagden of the audiobook. He was soothing to listen to and funny when reading Nana’s lines.

My rating 5 stars.

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Why I Loved The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

If you haven’t read “The Bookish Life of Nina Hill” by Abbi Waxman and are looking for ways to get convinced to pick the book, this is the right place to be. Or if you have read the book, lurrrved it as much as I did, lets discuss in the comments!!

Ok I’m gonna talk about the main character and why I felt the book resonates with every bookworm out there. Nina Hill has it all and is living the dream!!

“Your life is so full of excitement and adventure? ”

“Are your Kidding? I have a weekly book club, a regular movie night, a dedicated physical wellness practice at least one night a week, a cat.. I am living the dream”

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Title

First off, what pulled me towards the book was, duh! The Title of course !! I wanted to know how the “bookish”life is interpreted and was dying to read the book.

Nina is a Planner

Not a planner person myself but I’ve always tried to maintain one. I’m a wannabe planner. 😀 Nina Hill of the book is a planner and fills it with lists , things to do just for the sake of ticking them off. I mean, who doesn’t love checking things off ?

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She loved having color coordinated folders and lists and spent half an hour each morning reviewing her planner, setting her goals and intentions for the day, and generally pondering. …. She only wished there was more to actually, you know, plan.

Bookstore love

Nina works at a bookstore (I don’t need to add more, do I ?) and she loves the shop so much that she doesn’t mind the pay. She feels at “home” in the bookstore and loves the “soothing rows of book spines

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Introvert, prefers books over company

Nina keeps herself occupied with trivia and book clubs but internally screams to be left alone. She even feels like closing the doors of the bookstore to avoid customers and prefers reading instead.

Nina was a quiet, reserved person; in private she was all-singing, all-dancing cavalcade of light and motion

The clubs

The Book club names and Trivia group names are all so nerdy and so funny and creative. For example there was a trivia group called ‘Yer a Quizzard, Harry’. Nina has bookclubs on every Wednesday and each of them for a different genre. The young adult fiction club that meets on 3rd Wednesdays is called the District Zero and the sci-fi book club meets on fourth Wednesdays and are named Electric Sheep Grazing Club.

If there was a fifth Wednesday in the month, she would wing it, because she liked to live dangerously. Book nerds are daredevils, as you know

Love for Literary characters

A true bookworm at heart !! Nina feels fictional characters are as much real as the people she meets everyday. Haven’t we all cried late into the night over a fictional character? Thats the same with Nina too. She has even cried in the midst of people, int he bookstore while explaining the plot of her favourite book.

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Prefers people who read

If Nina Hill meets a drop-dead gorgeous guy and he doesn’t read , she wouldn’t date him. Yep.. thats a deal breaker for her.

Nina’s to-die for Bookshelves

Nina has complete floor to ceiling book shelves  filled with books and sorted based on Book of the Month selections, Signed book copies, rare first editions and books she has already read arranged alphabetically. And yet she is still worried about shelf space 😀

Shelf space was always a problem for the dedicated booklover.

This bookish life of Nina is part and parcel of the book which revolves around other things as well. Like inheriting a family all of a sudden and having a serious boyfriend. But I’m not gonna talk about all of that. Its the acute representation of the life of a bookworm. The love for libraries and smelling books and finding joy in books and in your reading space. She’s like Belle, Elizabeth Bennett, Hermione Granger, Scout Finch, Jo March, Rory Gilmore and You.. You who loves reading.

Go read the book and thank me later (not that I wrote it, but still !)

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P.S All GIF’s used in this post are from GIPHY

Author Blog|Buy the book from Amazon

Upon a Burning Throne – Book Review

Author: Ashok Banker

Part of a Series: Yes, Book#1 of the Burnt Empire Saga

Publishers: Simon & Schuster India

Source: Review copy provided by the Publishers as part of the blog tour

Synopsis
In Image result for upon a burning throne reviewa world where demigods and demons walk among mortals, the Emperor of the vast Burnt Empire has died, leaving a turbulent realm without an emperor. Two young princes, Adri and Shvate, are in line to rule, but birthright does not guarantee inheritance: For any successor must sit upon the legendary Burning Throne and pass The Test of Fire. Imbued with dark sorceries, the throne is a crucible—one that incinerates the unworthy.

Adri and Shvate pass The Test and are declared heirs to the empire… but there is another with a claim to power, another who also survives: a girl from an outlying kingdom. When this girl, whose father is the powerful demonlord Jarsun, is denied her claim by the interim leaders, Jarsun declares war, vowing to tear the Burnt Empire apart—leaving the young princes Adri and Shvate to rule a shattered realm embroiled in rebellion and chaos….
Welcome to the Burnt Empire Saga..

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This huge book is a retelling of the Epic Mahabaratha and is also pitched as the Indian Game of Thrones.

Let me start by saying, its right in one way with the comparison to GoT – the paperback has 343 pages but can easily be 600+pages of words fit into it. Its huge,  I mean to cover 20 pages it took me an hour!! And the characters – so many names to remember and the world, oh my god!! Incredibly built, for sure but a lot of information dump that it takes a little time to process everything. As this is the first book in the series, the author has taken time to get the reader acquainted with its world and characters. Its both an advantage and a disadvantage.

I should also mention that I haven’t read the original Epic , just bits and pieces from the television drama. I’m not completely aware of the story or the characters so it was a little fun for me to guess which character is who and already figuring out how or what his/her destiny would be. I was initially impressed with Vrath, the mighty Demi-god and Jilana the dowager queen, but then the story started moving around Shvate and Adri, Jilana’s grandsons.

There were disoriented timelapse events that confused me, maybe its just me because I read the book in intervals because of my full-time job.

Despite the heavy world building, slower pace in the beginning,  the book is bound to keep you hooked with its action sequences and that cliffhanger towards the end. With the promise of an even better sequel, the book finishes off in glory!.

A 3.5 stars from me.

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P.S I’m a tad late in posting my review, this was supposed to be up by 28th July.

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

First and foremost, no one tagged me 🙂 I was just thinking of doing a mid year round up when I came across this tag and decided to do it, since its more fun than what I originally planned.

So this year, I set my GoodReads goal to 65 books. Not too much, not very less. Something I will be able to manage with a full-time job. And I did pretty good I think (?!) considering I finished 32 books. Off we go to the tag!!

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1) Best book you’ve read so far in 2019

Image result for daisy jones & the six a novel Hands down the best book I read this year (so far). I still can’t believe that the entire band is fictional and my heartbroken over it even though I read it two months ago. Haven’t been able to put my feelings about the book into words, STILL!! If you haven’t read it yet, please do not waste anymore time and go pick it up.

 

2) Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2019

I Image result for winter of the witchhave read only two books that are a part of a series, this year and they were The Vanishing Stair and The Winter of the Witch. Both of them were really good, but if I were to pick the best, definitely The Winter of the Witch.

The book is what you can call a truly fitting and best ending to the Winternight Trilogy. I fell in love with Katherine Arden’s writing right from the first book and Vasya is THE BEST!!

3) New release(s) you haven’t read yet, but want to

This question cannot be answered with just one name 😀 I have so many books in my Amazon Wishlist and my bookshelf in Storytel.in, not to mention the number of physical books waiting to be picked up. But I really really want to read Wicked Saints by Emily A Duncan and Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan. I’m still waiting for my pre-order of Sarah Dessen’s The Rest of the Story to arrive and she’s my number one author, so obviously DYING here!!. And yes, I haven’t read King of Scars even though I pre-ordered the book in 2018. I have never read any book from the Grishaverse so I’m waiting to pick them all chronologically.

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4) Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

So many books.. These are all recommendations from Bookstagram folks who were lucky enough to get the ARCs except for the Colleen Hoover book, because I’ll read anything she writes, without recommendations 😀

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5) Biggest disappointment

I was very much disappointed with Sally Thorne’s 99 percent mine. I think I have already ranted enough  about it.

6) Biggest surprise

My biggest surprise of the first half of 2019 was Nocturna by Maya Motayne. I never thought I would enjoy the book because it was a tad slow towards the beginning and I was very much close to giving up.

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7) Favorite new author (Debut or new to you)

I very much fell in love with Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare and for the first time I read Taylor Jenkins Reid this year and cursed myself for missing out on her books all this time.

8) Newest fictional crush

Mmmhmmm.. I would have to choose between Leon from The Flatshare and Daisy Jones from the book and ofcourse my forever OTP Vasya and Morozko.

9) Newest favorite character

I loved Mo from The Flatshare, Billy from Daisy Jones, Luka from Nocturna. Mo and Luka are secondary characters but still hold a special place in the book for being supportive, protective friends. And Billy s a whole other thing I’m not delving into right now okay *ugly cries*

10) Book that made you cry

Daisy Jones & The Six – most featured in the tags I think!. I also read All your Perfects (Colleen Hoover, 2018) and ended up with a lot of ugly crying in the middle of the night.

11) Book that made you happy

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This book is technically releasing in the second half of the year – 100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons but I was approved to read the ARC (read my review here) and it was such a beautiful book about not giving up and looking for the positive side in life.

12) Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

Image result for binding bridget collins  I self-imposed a ban on myself and I’m only allowed to buy one book a month, because I subscribe to audiobooks in Storytel.in and trying to reduce my expenses. Because the more I buy, the more I tend to not read, also because audiobooks have been really convenient. So I have limited choices when it comes to books I got so far in this year.

I bought The Binding by Bridget Collins especially because of its stunning cover.

13) What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

Everything I listed under Questions#3 & #4 along with some books released in the previous years – Shades of Magic series, Six of Crows series etc. I hope I will be able to read the books from my shelves and bring down the TBR count.

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I loved doing this tag and if you are reading this, consider yourself tagged! If you eventually do it, do drop me a link to the blog post in the comments section. I would love to learn about the books you read and loved.

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100 Days of Sunlight | ARC review

Author: Abbie Emmons
Source: E-ARC received through NetGalley
Releases on : Aug 2019
Buy the book from Amazon

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I requested for this book after seeing its beautiful cover and through the recommendation of a bookstagrammer friend.

Tessa Dickinson is a home-schooled, 4572344816-yr old poetry blogger who lives with her grandparents. She has no friends, except for her blogging community friends who she group-chats with. When Tessa loses her eye-sight in an accident, she becomes miserable and angry and is no longer the same person she was before. In an attempt to cheer her up, her grandparents decide to run a advertisement looking for help – a typist – someone of Tessa’s age to write in her blog while she dictates. Enter Weston Ludovico, son of the newspaper where the ad is about to be printed. He decides to help Tessa even though she refuses it and shuts the door in his face. He loves how he is poorly treated by Tessa not because he is some sick psycho but because he lost his legs three years ago and is tired of people treating him differently. The book describes 100 days of Tessa’s life where she is temporarily blind and how her pessimistic self changes over the period.

When I first began with this book I thought why was Tessa’s character written this way – so pessimistic, so cold and inconsiderate about actual visually impaired people who might be reading it. But let me tell you, this book has been written through the point of view of Tessa, who is recently blind, is unable to accept it and is rightfully angry about it. And there’s a whole lot of sunshine and positive aspects that come up later in the book that makes the initial whining acceptable and realistic.

Weston’s story was sooo good, so so good. I loved how the alternating POV’s were used, from Weston’s past and Tessa’s present. I fell in love with how reckless he is initially showed and how he doesn’t quit and grows through his pain and does not allow the amputation to stump his life. Instead of using all of it to Tessa and giving a TedX talk to her, he gradually shows her there’s so much to life, so much more to experience and I totally loved how obnoxiously optimistic he is. And Weston’s family ? God!! I loved every sibling of his and his mother, his best friend Rudy. They aren’t just secondary characters and I loved how Abbie Emmons has given importance to every one of them.

This isn’t your Insta-love story, because Tessa can’t see and Weston isn’t there to fall in love with her (initially..) but to help her cope up. This isn’t about absent parents, prom dates, drugs or college applications. This is about finding light in the darkness and accepting yourself. This is a heartbreaking-uplifting kinda book that balances out romance, grief, friendship, family and happiness altogether.

“You’re not your asthma,” I continued “or your diabetes or you depression or your anorexia or your social anxiety. You see, most people would look at me and say that I have every right to be miserable. But I don’t. I have no right. And neither do you.”

Obviously, a 5 star read for me, considering it’s a debut that is so beautifully written.

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The Exact Opposite of Okay – Blog Tour|Book Review | Giveaway

Author: Laura Steven
Publishers: HarperTeen
Released on : June 11 2019
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Edelweiss E-ARC provided by Publishers

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Welcome to my stop (well, technically my post should have been up by 9th June, but but…*adulting sucks*) for the FFBC blog tour of The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven. Today I’m going to share how much I enjoyed reading this wonderful book and towards the end of the post you will find a link to the Rafflecopter giveaway (US only).

Synopsis

Bitingly funny and shockingly relevant, The Exact Opposite of Okay is a bold, brave, and necessary read for fans of Louise O’Neill and Jennifer Mathieu.Eighteen-year-old Izzy O’Neill knows exactly who she is—a loyal friend, an aspiring comedian, and a person who believes that milk shakes and Reese’s peanut butter cups are major food groups. But after she’s caught in a compromising position with the son of a politician, it seemslike everyone around her is eager to give her a new label: slut.Izzy is certain that the whole thing will blow over and she can get back to worrying about how she doesn’t reciprocate her best friend Danny’s feelings for her and wondering how she is evergoing to find a way out of their small town. Only it doesn’t.And while she’s used to laughing her way out of any situation, as she finds herself first the center of high school gossip and then in the middle of a national scandal, it’s hard even for her to find humor in the situation.Izzy may be determined not to let anyone else define who she is, but that proves easier said than done when it seems like everyone has something to say about her.

66A90218-C769-41B7-9C55-0090641CF710I was gifted a previous edition of this book by a lovely online friend and right from page one, the book had me hooked. Izzy O’Neill is unabashedly funny throughout the book even when handling not so funny situations.

Izzy O’Neil uses humor as a coping mechanism. She is an aspiring screenwriter, an orphan and is poor. What happens when a completely private part of her life becomes viral and how it turns her life upside down and she becomes the object of ridicule and slut shaming is the rest of the story.

“Oh, you know, I’m all right. It sucks a bit. But you know. Fine.” This is an understatement on a par with “the political landscape in the Middle East is a little tense”, but I’m not in the mood to go into specifics.

The relationship dynamics in this book was absolutely good! Be it the grandma-granddaughter love or the friendship between Ajita and Izzy , it felt so good to read about them. Every girl deserves an Ajita in their life! Not to mention the Drama teacher Mrs Crannon. She is one among the sweetest people in Izzy’s life and I loved how supportive she was. And kudos to the author for not completely bashing out on teachers and for showing the world that the good ones do co-exist.

The book deals with several important topics – blaming girls for everything and having double standards when it comes to slut-shaming and also a lesser talked about topic – revenge porn. (Though I felt that everything happening all of a sudden to Izzy felt a little unrealistic, let’s just forget all about it and look at the bigger picture here) The not-so subtle feministic approach towards the end deserves all the applause !

I did love Izzy but her actions confused me. For instance who doesn’t  password protect their phone, considering it has nude pictures of oneself in it? How can someone be so careless. I’m not judging her like the rest of the people in her town do, but i was genuinely concerned about this. And why didn’t she not make an effort at the very beginning to find the cause of all the miserable things happening in her life ? 🧐

The book reminded me of Awkward, 13 Reasons Why and Simon Vs the Homosapiens. In a good way 🙂

72659DB6-CD84-45D7-8428-DD0EFDD90791I rated the book a 4 out of 5 stars.

Thank you to the amazing people at The Fantastic Flying Book Club and the publishers for giving me this opportunity. Please take your time in going through the schedule for the entire tour and have a look at the blogs taking part in it here.

BOOK LINKS
Goodreads |Amazon | Bookdepository

Rafflecopter Giveaway Link (US ONLY)

About the Author

Laura Steven is an author, journalist and screenwriter from the northernmost town in England. The Exact Opposite of Okay, her YA debut, was published by Egmont in March 2018. The sequel, A Girl Called Shameless, will follow in 2019.As well as mentoring aspiring authors through schemes like Pitch Wars, Laura works for Mslexia, a non-profit organisation supporting women writers. She graduated with Distinction from her MA in Creative Writing in 2017, and her TV pilot Clickbait –a mockumentary about journalists at a viral news agency –was a finalist in British Comedy’s 2016 Sitcom Mission.Laura is represented by Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary and Media Inc

If you have read the book, do let me know your thoughts on this.. 

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Nocturna (A Forgery Of Magic#1) | Book Review

Nocturna (A Forgery of Magic, #1)Author: Maya Motayne
Genre : Young Adult Fantasy
Source: Audiobook available from Storytel.in
Audiobook Duration: 12 hours
Released on: 07-May-2019
Publishers: Balzer + Bray

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Let me warn you, its dark ! Dark Fantasy and a lot of magic – elemental and a special kinda one called propio – a magic that’s unique to each person and appears to them when they really need it.

Prince Alfehr is not ready to ascend the throne – the throne that was supposedly his brother Dez’s – and is hellbent in avenging his brother’s death and trying to bring him back, all at the same time. Finn Voy is a badass thief, and her propio is face-shifting that helps her survive and to escape her mentor-slash-evil-adopted-father.  Luka is Alfie’s cousin and his best friend, who is left with the loss of dealing with Dez and a runaway Alfie and is rightfully mad at him for leaving him.

When Alfie accidentally releases a dark magic into the world, he seeks the help of his best friend and Finn (who he meets when he is reckless and trying to get hold of forbidden magic books) Together they devise a plan – one that leaves Alfie with no other choice than to get help from the person who caused his brother’s death. Only Problem – the dark magic is growing and infecting his people and said murderer is in an isolated prison bound with magic. So the plot is all about how and if they survive this evil magic thing.

So the world … is amazingly built, intricate details are shared throughout the book. The history of the Kingdom of Castallan , their elemental magic and how they were enslaved by the Englass and fought their freedom strikes a similarity with real world. And there is also the story about how the Gods created Castallan and and about Sombra, the God of Darkness who is buried because of his threat of bringing about Nocturna to the world.

The main characters – all three of them were good and I loved Luka so much!! Finn was fantastic and broken and monstrous, while Alfie was hurting and scared and conflicted. The author has hinted a romance between them but nothing happens in this book so maybe the next one and I can’t wait !! But all together, this first instalment was almost perfect and fulfils all fantasy lovers expectations.

The relationship between this book and me could be described as a slow burn romance!! I initially found it really hard to get into the story because of the complex magic system, but the book wowed me over towards the end. I read other reviews when I was about to give up in the beginning and many found it similar to Shades of Magic series by VE Schwab. I’m yet to read it, so that didn’t put me off.

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A definite 4 stars from me!!.

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Have you read this book? Let me know your thoughts on it, if you have.

You can buy the book from Amazon using my link.