Windfall – Book Review

Author : Jennifer E Smith

Publisher : Pan Macmillan UK

Pub Date: 04 May 2017

Source : Own copy

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Book Blurb :

Let luck find you.

Alice doesn’t believe in luck—at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for some time now, she’s been pining for her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday—just when it seems they might be on the brink of something—she buys him a lottery ticket on a lark. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes.

At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two of them are no strangers to misfortune. As a kid, Alice won the worst kind of lottery possible when her parents died just over a year apart from each other. And Teddy’s father abandoned his family not long after that, leaving them to grapple with his gambling debts. Through it all, Teddy and Alice have leaned on each other. But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy’s newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall.

As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice learns more about herself than she ever could have imagined…and about the unexpected ways in which luck and love sometimes intersect.

My Thoughts

This book is about finding luck during the unlikeliest of times and how that turn of good fortune affects relationships.

Alice has always been in love with Teddy, but he remains oblivious  of this fact as she fears it will wreck their friendship. She mourns her parents death and has not mentally accepted Leo’s family as her own, especially Leo’s father, her uncle, who is also mourning his brother’s death. She is showered with enough love in her present living situation but she always feels like an outsider, an orphan. I did not like this side of her because she is wasting away her days (years!!) mourning for people who aren’t there and losing the ones who love her.

Coming to Teddy, when you’re a teen and all of a sudden you win millions in a lottery, you are bound to go overboard. That’s what Teddy does when his luck soars on his birthday, when his birthday gift from Alice makes him a millionaire. But his shopping spree and unwanted vacations annoy Alice as she expects him to spend it in a good way, like charity. *eyeroll*

I agree to a certain extent with Alice, but Teddy isn’t a 30-year old, he’s just had a twist in fortune and is allowed to go gaga over his riches. At least for some time. I couldn’t understand why Alice was such a goody-goody.

Some YA books, portray teens in a very intolerant way, and some like this one show characters like Alice as mature beyond their age. I liked Leo’s parents, they were sensible and knew their way around kids, especially the not-handling-Leo-like-a-glass-doll because he’s gay  was super cool.

The book was a tad disappointing with the main characters, and I felt that like this isn’t Jen E Smith’s BEST!.

My rating is 3/5.

Tell Me Three Things – Book Review

Author : Julie Buxbaum

Publisher : Delacorte Press

Pub Date: 05 April 2016

Source : Own copy

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Book Blurb :

Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Tell Me Three ThingsJust when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

Julie Buxbaum mixes comedy and tragedy, love and loss, pain and elation, in her debut YA novel filled with characters who will come to feel like friends.

My Thoughts

I love a good contemporary and this book just made it to my favorite list of contemporaries. A dead parent, a gay character, a love triangle – everything i usually get bore of in YA books. But this book was neatly written, nothing too much of all these things, just a little dash of them.

Moodboard

I loved the writing, the way Jessie n SN email/IM each other. The identity was really very obvious and that would have turned me off too usually but not this book.  What can i say, i'm seriously bitten by this one ❤

The one most important thing I loved was… how beautifully they portrayed the loss of a loved one, how each one was dealing with the grief. Not just concentrating on Jessie, but her step mom, her step brother Theo, here dad and finally Ethan (I love that name!!) And how they are trying to mend relationships with one another.

Fav quote:

There's nothing lonelier than a hand on a glass.. Maybe because it's so rarely reciprocated.

Tell me three things:

1)I love this book

2)I'm definitely reading all Julie Buxbaum books

3)My rating is 5/5 😀

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The Return of Damayanti – Book Review

On his second adventure, Bhrigu Mahesh is called to help by a hapless, retired clerk named Nataraj Bhakti, who thinks he is being haunted by the spirit of his dead wife. As he investigates, the mystery deepens and takes a sinister turn. A woman gets brutally murdered, and the great detective faces the challenge to either catch the killer or risk the destruction of many innocent lives.

My Thoughts:

This is the second book in the Bhrigu Mahesh Phd series and I have not read the first book in the series. As i was provided a paperback copy for review, I was given an option to download the first book in the series using a book stub that was provided along with the review package. I was already in short of time, due to a mishap with the Postal 34630759services and I had only a day for reviewing this book so I couldn’t check the first one.

I believe this can be read as a standalone novel, but there is little background story offered for the two main characters of the book.

Bhrigu Mahesh and his friend Sutte are portrayed like Sherlock and Watson, and to a degree Bhrigu is more like Hercule Poirot. While reading the book, my mind went to these fictional heroes because of several similarities in character especially the one I most hate – belittling the companion. When Sutte doesn’t understand Bhrigu’s perception, he never clears it out for his friend and gets irritated at his superficial knowledge.

In this book, the duo are approached by a retired government clerk as he fears that his dead wife’s ghost has returned to haunt him. Bhrigu takes upon the offer of visiting Nataraj Bhakti’s ancestral home to investigate further on the case. Whilst Sutte isn’t happy with the arrangement, as the house in itself looks haunted and basic necessities are a big problem, he settles in after meeting Nataraj’s widowed sister, Savita. Bhrigu keeps observing thinks and when the paranormal activities subsides after his stay, he doesn’t immediately offer his client the cause of the problem but rather returns home. The detective and his friend are rushed back to the village of Krishna Dwar after hearing the news of Savita’s murder. They investigate the murder with the help of local police and identify the murderer by page 300 itself. The rest 140+ pages go on about the person behind the scenes and his influence on the murderer.

Personally I felt the book dragged at places. Instead of introducing the main characters and a little background story on them, there goes a chapter long discussion with Bhrigu’s friend Daisy. Big descriptions that were not needed or repeated could have been edited.

As it is a thriller, readers are bound to be intrigued on the happenings of the story and when a murder is involved, we need a lot of action. Be it the phantom part or the murder investigation, the detective kept most things to himself until the final reveal. So naturally, I started getting bored. After the murderer is revealed, I pretty much got an idea about why he/she was influenced and who had influenced.

The writing was okay but there were too many mistakes like “there parents/her wife/there profile pictures etc. The common mistake was there instead of there.

The book talks about the alpha-male, how women are mistreated still in some rural areas and asking them to fight for their rights, but playing around with the minds of the weaker sex isn’t what I expected.

My rating would be 3/5.

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

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The One – Book review

Author : John Marrs

Publisher : Random House UK

Pub Date: 25 May 2017

Source : Own copy

Get your copy from Amazon.in

Book Blurb

How far would you go to find THE ONE?
One simple mouth swab is all it takes. A quick DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for.The One
A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one other person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love. Now, five more people meet their Match. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others…
A psychological thriller with a difference, this is a truly unique novel which is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.

My Thoughts

I will try hard not to include spoilers in my review.

I really liked this book and to my surprise I was not able to guess many things like i usually do while reading a thriller. Actually there’s a killer in this book, but it is revealed in the beginning so that’s not what I meant about guessing. The story actually follows five different people who in some way or the other have registered with the ‘Match Your DNA’ service that promises to find the person’s soulmate by genetic match.

So there are these 5 different narrations all of them told in third person and almost all the chapter gives you a surprise or shock. And in no way I could outguess them. I did , a very few but those were really obvious ones. Just when you think that like you are able to follow the story and predict how its gonna end, there will come another twist 😛

Out of all the five, I liked the serial killer’s story. I was able to guess that one’s ending 😀

There were some typos here and there but the writing was good. I’m not much into descriptive explanations and this book was crisp and didn’t go much into the details unnecessarily. I don’t want to reveal much about the characters but you will enjoy reading about them.

I highly recommend this book if you are looking for one with so many twists and turns.

My rating 5 stars 🙂

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Always and Forever, Lara Jean – Book Review

Author : Jenny Han

Publisher : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Pub Date: 02 May 2017

Source : Own copy

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Book Blurb :

Lara Jean’s letter-writing days aren’t over in this surprise follow-up to the New York Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3)Times bestselling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You. Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding. But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family-and possibly the boy she loves-behind. When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

My thoughts :

This is the last book of the To all the boys trilogy. You have to read the first two before starting this one.

This book kept me on my edge!!! Throughout the book I kept wondering whether Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky are going to break up. I mean I was ready to break down and melt down into a puddle. Having read other Trilogies of Jenny Han, and remembering what a wreck it made me (I still feel sorry for Reeve Tabatsky from the Burn for Burn trilogy ;_( )

So while i was expecting the worst and was kinda prepared for it, I should say I loved this book. It didnt seem like a fitting  end to a series, the second book was more like it. But still, it felt like a nice long epilogue for what happens next in happily ever after.

It’s all about nostalgia, fear of the future and never leaving loved ones yet at the same time carving your niche!!

Kitty was and will always be my favorite of the Song Sisters, she is smart, witty, has great fashion sense and makes things funnier and happier.

Peter Kavinsky is bae and I loved the way he loves Lara Jean ❤ He is perfectly imperfect, a guy who learns to braid his girlfriend’s hair, who wants to surprise her in the sweetest ways possible but feels down when they turn out otherwise. ‘He is such a boy!”

I never like Margot and this book was the same for me, she is my least favorite Song sister. This journey of Lara Jean’s life is definitely a sweet, funny and cutesy story. And oh my god that ending!

My rating is ofcourse 5 stars 🙂

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The Upside of Unrequited – Book Review

Author : Becky Albertalli

Publisher : Penguin Random House

Pub Date: 11 April 2017

Source : Own copy

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Book Blurb

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love-she's lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always inThe Upside of Unrequitedsecret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can't stomach the idea of rejection. So she's careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie's orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly's cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly's totally not dying of loneliness-except for the part where she is.
Luckily, Cassie's new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny, flirtatious, and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she'll get her first kiss and she'll get her twin back.

There's only one problem: Molly's coworker, Reid. He's an awkward Tolkien superfan, and there's absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

My Thoughts

This is Becky Albertalli's second book and I've never read Simon Vs the Homosapiens. But I heard about this book through Instagram and decided to buy a copy and got the imported one from Amazon, only to know that it got published in India weeks later at a much lesser price 😐

So when i started reading the book, the first thought that came to my mind was, am I too old for this one. Because the main protagonist was behaving like a 14-year old, very self conscious, with huge amounts of insecurity..  I always read YA books and i love the fact that i'm able to relate to a lot of them. But this book had me questioning my love towards YA. Especially because of the 4+ ratings other readers are giving it.

Molly has had 20 plus crushes and the plot says she knows a lot about unrequited love. Does she? She hasn't ever really tried.. she has never made a step towards her crush. There's not enough said about how she was pining for a particular crush.  And the book is all about getting her a boyfriend. Go figure!

“I guess it’s just this feeling that my body is secretly all wrong. Which means any guy who assumes I’m normal is going to flip his shit if we get to the point of nakedness. Whoa. Nope. Not what I signed up for.”

I think the book was just trying too much?! There were so many diverse characters, like so many (Molly's moms, a pan-sexual Korean American girlfriend, Jews, gay best friends you name it..) i think it was all just for reaching said groups. One dying character would have completed the list i guess…

i'm not trying to be cynical,  I really wanted to like the book.Maybe it would have appealed to 12-19 year olds, i mean actual teens instead of me, a tween.

The only part of the book i actually liked was the twins' relationship. That was real.. the feeling of hurt and being invisible to your own sibling after he/she becomes involved in a relationship and to top it all you learn about said relationship through social media!. That was… sad.. and it was what kept me hooked to the book. Like i wanted to know how do they rectify their situation.. But I don't mean that i liked Cassie. She was mean to her sister, a little bossy at times.

Characterization – ummmm i need to think hard for this one. I think i liked Nadine, Molly's mom. I did  not like Molly or Will. I loved the geeky Middle Earth loving Reid.

The writing was funny here and there. Not so great if i'd rather sum it up.

The entire book was about finding a boyfriend, to finally feel 'belonging' and be experienced enough to talk about kisses n sex. Grow a spine and stop whining  was what I kept telling Molly throughout the book.

Jenny Han's To all the boys I loved before was good, if we are to talk about unrequited crushes.

A huge disappointment, this one. 2.5/5 stars.

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A Court Of Wings and Ruin – Book Review

Author : Sarah J Maas

Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing

Pub Date: 2 May 2017

Source : Own copy got through Story Trunk May box.

Get the book from Amazon.in, Infibeam

Book Blurb

A nightmare, I’d told Tamlin. I was the nightmare. A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit—and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords—and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

My Thoughts

Oh my GAWWDDDD!!!

That was my first reaction after finishing the book. I cried, I shuddered, I was at loss of words while reading and after finishing the book. This is PERFECTION!.  This could have been the final book of the series as it is very well written but SJM decides to keep her fans hooked and so is rewarding us with another in 2018. But its so faaarrrr away and is already on top of my anticipated books of 2018.

Where should i begin about this book.. whatever i write will never make justice. SJM has never left any character to be in the shadows. Everyone has their limelight moment and i liked that. The intensity between Cassian and Nesta was too much , ufff!!! I was waiting for this to happen and still that story is left hanging and all that build up kills me.

Tamlin the Tool!! what can i say, i hated him right from the first book.. but this book made him look a little bit bearable to me.

Do you remember the Grammy Awards ceremony where Adele keeps telling how much she loves Beyonce and Beyonce is mouthing the words I love you with tears in her eyes… Well, that’s me, during a particular chapter (i promise not to give away which one) crying all the way saying I love you Rhysand!!! My Night triumphant, how much do i adore thee, you will never know!!

I cannot stop thinking about Rhysand not even after days of finishing the book. He is the best-est!!  I can write an entire post about him.. I mean I should write one.. 🙂

Feyre’s character was already well established in book two, and that’s just maintained here as she grows out to be strong and independent, thanks to her wonderful High Lord.

I hate wars even if its in books and this war was pretty intense. I was fearing for each n every character’s life. SJM made me turn the pages like a mad person.

If you still haven’t read the book or started the series, please just do.

My rating is 4.5 stars. (I didn’t like the frequent sex scenes, i felt they were totally unnecessary given the intense build up in Book 2, hence the minus 0.5)

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