Tea & Book Chat: We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han (Summer #3)

Personal Thoughts:  To say I’d been putting off reading We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han would be an understatement.  Being my last currently published unread work of Jenny’s, I found myself unable to pick it up because I was so not ready to say goodbye to Cousins, Belly, Jere and Conrad nor to the prospect of having another book of hers to read should the mood strike.  Since Always and Forever Lara Jean is releasing in just over a month, I finally decided to go for it.  I can also say that my subconscious fully backs up the above reasoning because the night that I finished We’ll Always Have Summer, I had a dream that I was vacationing at Zoella’s house, eating an ice cream cone and perusing her bookshelves when I found a never before seen Jenny Han YA book (the cover had a boy and a girl laying in the grass- the girl was wearing a red polka dot dress and heart sunglasses) and I was in all my glory.  Imagine the disappointment when I awoke to find that I had no ice cream, nor the new Jenny book that my mind invented to fill a deep need.

Plot Summary:  I think this goes without saying but as this is the third and final book in the series, there will be spoilers ahead.  We’ll Always Have Summer picks up two years after It’s Not Summer Without You ends.  Belly and Jere have been dating and attending college together and Conrad’s been off at med school in California.  After Belly and Jeremiah’s relationship hits a really rough patch, things between them start accelerating and then Belly must decide once and for all which brother her heart belongs to.

Critique:  This book definitely won’t be for everyone.  Heck, if Jenny Han hadn’t written it, chances are it that it wouldn’t have been for me either.  It’s hard to get behind a series that leans on the angsty side of teen romance and who’s plot revolves around a love triangle.  As if that weren’t enough, it’s a sibling love triangle to boot.  But nonetheless, Jenny Han has once again gotten me invested in the characters she crafts.  No matter how immature Belly may act, how self destructive Conrad can be or how possessive Jere is, I had to read their story through to the very end.  There were a ton of moments where I wanted to slap each one of them, especially in this final installment, but still, I needed to know the outcome of their story.  I don’t want to get into the plot of this final book because there’s an event that sets the whole thing in motion and I don’t feel right spoiling either the trigger or the actions taken afterward for you.  I can tell you that this is the most satisfying conclusion I could’ve hoped for.  My ship has sailed!

Do I Recommend?:  I thoroughly enjoy Jenny Han’s characters and storytelling so if you’re in the same boat I would recommend you give this series a try.  As I mentioned above, the Summer series revolves around a sibling love triangle for all three books so this book is definitely not for everyone.

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Kristin

Tea & Book Chat: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Personal Thoughts:  I made it a goal of mine to read at least one book from several different authors this year (I actually made a video about it if you’re interested!) and Huntley Fitzpatrick was one of the names I planned on crossing off my author bucket list.  I think it’s good to branch out and try new authors because you never know if you’ll find a new favorite which is what happened to me with Huntley when I finished reading My Life Next Door.  I decided to read her books in publication and after finishing, I found out that her second novel, The Boy Most Likely To is actually a companion novel (following one of my favorite characters!!!!) so now I’m even more thrilled to have more to look forward to.

Plot Summary:  Samantha Reed is the daughter of a politician with a seemingly perfect life, and yet, she takes nothing for granted.  Despite money being no object, Samantha works several jobs, studies hard and always follows the rules her mother has set forth.  But still, Samantha has spent a lot of her time sitting outside her window watching the family next door, the Garretts, with their many children live life in a way that her own mother has always deemed irresponsible.  Still Samantha, yearns to get to know them and everything changes for her when Jase Garrett climbs her roof and the pair start falling deeply in love with one another.  Samantha keeps Jase at arms length from everything and everyone in her life but she has no issue falling into Jase’s.  And as most stories go, once everything seemed perfect, tragedy strikes and Samantha is torn between Jase’s family and her own.

Critique:  This book is just full of swoons.  Samantha is a really likable protagonist.  She always tries to do the right thing, plus she’s responsible, caring and trusting.  When Samanatha’s sister leaves for the summer and her mother hires a new campaign manager / much younger boyfriend, she finally opens up to the incredibly handsome boy next door about her life. Jase is such a sweetheart- the quintessential nice guy- who does everything he can for the people he loves.  Jase is great with his younger siblings and he works hard and trains hard to make college an attainable future path for himself.  Despite how different Jase and Samantha are, they form such an incredible bond and it is a pleasure to see their love for each other grow.  Sam also has twins Nan, a nut about getting into the perfect college, and Tim, an addict who is basically a ticking time bomb to contend with.  What I loved most about this book is the big family aspect.  Every member of Jase’s family has such a distinct personality and I love how open and accepting they are of everyone.  Their house might not be the tidiest, but there’s just so much love there!  Each character had an intriguing story arc- whether on a personal level or as a contributing factor to the overall story- and there were some really high stakes conflicts that I did not see coming.  While this may seem like a cute fluffy contemporary, do not be fooled! There is depth galore and some really high stress moments.

Do I Recommend?:  Yes! I really and truly loved this book and I cannot wait to read the companion novel!  The Garretts are not a family that I’ll be letting go of anytime soon.

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Kristin

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis Book Look + Giveaway

I’m so excited to be part of the blog tour for Mindy McGinnis’s newest book, Given to the Sea.  Last year, The Female of the Species ended up being one of my favorite contemporary reads of the year so, naturally, Given to the Sea has been one of my most anticipated 2017 releases.  This time around, Mindy is delving in the world of fantasy and she’s tackling another important social issue- a female’s obligation to reproduce. Here’s a synopsis of the story (Let me know if you also get Moana songs stuck in your head when you read the plot summary!):

Khosa is Given to the Sea, a girl born to be fed to the water, her flesh preventing a wave like the one that destroyed the Kingdom of Stille in days of old. But before she’s allowed to dance – an uncontrollable twitching of the limbs that will carry her to the shore in a frenzy – she must produce an heir. Yet the thought of human touch sends shudders down her spine that not even the sound of the tide can match.

Vincent is third in line to inherit his throne, royalty in a kingdom where the old linger and the young inherit only boredom. When Khosa arrives without an heir he knows his father will ensure she fulfills her duty, at whatever cost. Torn between protecting the throne he will someday fill, and the girl whose fate is tied to its very existence, Vincent’s loyalty is at odds with his heart.

Dara and Donil are the last of the Indiri, a native race whose dwindling magic grows weaker as the island country fades. Animals cease to bear young, creatures of the sea take to the land, and the Pietra – fierce fighters who destroyed the Indiri a generation before – are now marching from their stony shores for the twin’s adopted homeland, Stille.

Witt leads the Pietra, their army the only family he has ever known. The stone shores harbor a secret, a growing threat that will envelop the entire land – and he will conquer every speck of soil to ensure the survival of his people.

The tides are turning in Stille, where royals scheme, Pietrans march, and the rising sea calls for its Given. 

Book Look

Given to the Sea

 

Given to the Sea Book Look by superspacechick

It was so much fun putting together this book look! I love beach inspired fashion and now that Spring weather is finally on its way here, finding these pieces was a real treat! The long blue dress reminds me of Khosa’s gorgeous gown on the cover and then I pulled accessories that tie into the colors of the sea as well as the gold typography.  If you’re interested in buying anything in the look, you can click on the Polyvore link above for details!

Giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis (ARV: $17.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on April 3, 2017 and 12:00 AM on April 24, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about April 26, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

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Tour Schedule

Week One:

April 3 – Brittany’s Book Rambles – Author Guest Post

April 4 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Reasons to Read Mindy’s Books

April 5 – Mundie Moms – Review & Favorite Quotes

April 6SuperSpaceChick – 5 Reasons to Read Given to the Sea

April 7Fiction Fare – Author Q&A

 

Week Two:

April 10Alexa Loves Books – Bookish Style File

April 11Good Choice Reading – Author Q&A

April 12Oh the Book Feels – Given to the Sea Pinterst Board

April 13Bookworm Everlasting – Review

April 14Dark Faerie Tales – Author Q&A

 

Week Three:

April 17The Young Folks – Author Q&A

April 18Once Upon a Twilight – Review

April 19The Hardcover Lover – Given to the Sea Mood Board

April 20Bibliophile Gathering – Review

April 21YA Wednesdays – Author Guest Post

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Kristin

READING CHALLENGE WRAP UP: MARCH 2017

Welcome to my reading challenges recap for 2017!  This is a monthly post where I’ll be updating my progress throughout the year by challenge so you (and I) can see a breakdown of what I’ve read and which goals those books apply to.  I’m always open to suggestions in the comments as well! If you’re interested in learning more about any of the challenges below, you can view my sign-up post!

Goal: 75

Read so far: 31… thinking I’ll be upping my Goodreads goal

Books Read: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi, Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers, By Your Side by Kasie West, Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare, Wires and Nerves by Marissa Meyer, When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas, We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by JK Rowling, My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick, Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Favorite read of the month:

Oh man this is way to hard. March was such an exceptional reading month for me!

Goal: 40

Read so far: 8

Favorite Read of the month: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (The Dark Artifices #1)

Goal: 21+

Read so far: 7

Favorite read of the month: TIE: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon & My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Goal: 1-30

Read so far: 7

Favorite read of the month: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Goal: 20

Read so far: 6

Favorite read of the month: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (are you sensing a pattern here too?)

Goal: 30

Read so far: 23

Favorite Read of the monthLady Midnight by Cassandra Clare – Still killing the RockMyTBR challenge!

Goal: 51-75 points

Points so far: 36 points

Favorite read of the monthMortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

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Kristin

April Small Goals

I’ve seen a bunch of people post small monthly goals and I really like the idea of re-centering and re-evaluating everything more frequently.  It’s awesome to make yearly goals but it’s also easy to lose focus or forget about them entirely over the 365 day period we’re aiming to accomplish them in.  Having small monthly goals to help get to those bigger picture yearly ones is something I’m eager to try out!

Oops, I totally forgot to do a February small goals post until most of the way through the month so we’re just skipping it and resuming with March!

MARCH CHECK-IN

1) Read all the books – Well, obviously not ALL the books because I do have the gift of unlimited time but I feel like I’ve had a rocky start to my reading year and I want to turn that around in March.  Both of the books I’ve started so far this month (The Star-Touched Queen and Mortal Heart) are completely gripping me and I just feel myself emerging victorious from this slump that has plagued me since December. 

DONE! I read a total of 12 books in March which I’m pretty happy with! One of them was Lady Midnight which is my longest book for the year so far at 698 pages.

2) Clean out my closet… AGAIN  – I already did this one time after Marie Kondo-ing but I feel ready to do a second go around.  I still have more than I need and I really want to pare down my wardrobe even further.  Also along with this goal, I want to finish reading The Curated Closet!

Mostly!  I did do a second clean out but I still feel like I could let go of more as I replace the things I wear most often.

3) Be more active / enjoy these random spring days that keep coming our way  – I can’t decided whether to be happy or horrified with our recent weather but I do know that I want to take advantage of it completely! After our little mini-vacay I’ve been craving some outdoor adventure and I refuse to let the extra sunlight pass me by!

FAIL (but it’s not entirely my fault). The weather has been CRAZY but I’m finally feeling like Spring is on the way so this seems like a more realistic April goal.

APRIL GOALS

1) Read at least 10 books – I have another exciting TBR set aside and I’m hoping to get through a bunch of backlist books before May, the month of a million new releases, is upon us!

2) Complete the #BookishPotter17 Instagram Challenge  – I usually try to commit to 3-4 instagram challenges per month so if I don’t like a specific prompt for a day I can chose to take a photo of something in one of the other challenges but I’m pretty confident that I want to stick to the #BookishPotter17 challenge because HARRY POTTER<3.

3) Order & send out Wedding Thank You Notes  – Andrew and I are coming upon our first wedding anniversary and the time has come to order and send out our thank you notes! This one has been on my goals list for months at this point but we just haven’t ordered them yet.  This year, there’s no excuse!

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1

A Court of Thorns and Roses Wrap-up Post + Giveaway

Welcome to the first wrap up post which is part of the A Court of Thorns and Roses re-read organized by Alexa of Alexa Loves Books, Cristina of Girl in the Pages and myself!

  1. What were the differences between your first and second experiences reading A Court of Thorns and Roses?

Well, the most obvious difference is that my initial impressions of Tamlin have been completely changed.  When I first read A Court of Thorns and Roses, I was so enchanted by the Spring Court and everything going on there.  By the end of the book, I already had my suspicions that Rhysand would play a bigger role, but I never expected to love him more than any other male character in any book series in existence.  This time around, it was pretty evident that Tamlin is a possessive fae with no regard for female freedom.  Some of the lines that he said that stuck out to me most are “So, if Feyre can’t be bothered to listen to orders, then I can’t be held accountable for the consequences.”  He also says “No, I don’t want you to live somewhere else.  I want you here, where I can look after you- where I can come home and know you’re here, painting and safe.” The first statement comes off as completely rapey and the second proves that he doesn’t care what Feyre wants, he just wants her to be his female accessory to the throne.  I also loved the beginning conversation between Lucien and Feyre where she says that if she were fae, she would fit in with the weaker servants and he doesn’t disagree… boy are they in for a surprise!

  1. What parallels can you draw between ACOTAR and Beauty and the Beast?

The are several parallels to be drawn between A Court of Thorns and Roses and Beauty and the Beast.  My favorite of which being the curse in the Spring Court.  Amarantha tricked Tamlin and his court into attending a masquerade ball and since then, no one has been able to remove their mask (except for Tamlin who can shapeshift into a beast which frees him).  I had forgotten that Lucien is stuck in a fox mask but it makes sense since that’s my favorite animal and he was my favorite character in ACOTAR.  Another parallel is the fact that Tamlin takes Feyre away from her family and her old life.  He “saves” her from the life she’s been leading, all the while keeping her as a captor in his own home.  Feyre ends up falling in love with him despite their beginning just like in Beauty and the Beast.

  1. What aspect(s) of the world building in ACOTAR is your favorite?  What world building elements do you hope to see expanded upon in ACOWAR that have not been explored yet?

My favorite part of the world-building is the world of Prythian in general! I live for all of the different descriptions of the courts and the events that take place in them.  Between A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury, we’ve gotten a pretty good idea of the way things are run in the Spring Court, the Night Court and the Summer Court so I’m really hoping for more information about the Autumn Court, the Winter Court, the Dawn Court and the Day Court.  I feel like I already have a clear vision of them in my head based on the names, but I want to get to know the characters running them and see how they’ll play into the eventual war.

GIVEAWAY

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Kristin

Tea & Book Chat: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (Dark Artifices #1)

Personal Thoughts:  If you watch my YouTube channel at all, you’ll know that I spent a lot of last year catching up on the extensive backlist of Cassandra Clare’s world of Shadowhunters in anticipation of Lady Midnight.  I thought I had been all caught up until Tale From the Shadowhunter Academy came out of seemingly nowhere and I begrudgingly read that one as well before finally reaching for the first Dark Artifices book.  I’ve had a rocky relationship with the Shadowhunters books (I didn’t love The Mortal Instruments until City of Heavenly Fire, I lived for The Infernal Devices, and the short stories are always hit or miss to me) but I’ve definitely found a new favorite in Lady Midnight.  I’m glad I’ll be all caught up for the release of Lord of Shadows because I have so many questions!

Plot Summary:  Lady Midnight takes place five years after the events of City of Heavenly Fire unfold at the Shadowhunter Institute in Los Angeles.  We meet the new cast of characters in CoHF, an endearing family of Blackthorns, some with ties to the fae, and the middle Blackthorn Julian’s sassy best friend Emma Carstairs.  Julian and Emma become parabati in the short stories preceding Lady Midnight and we find them on their home turf as mysterious murders start plaguing LA.  Emma has reason to believe that the recent murders are tied to that of her parents which occurred five years prior and were blamed on Sebastian but the Clave is uninterested in hearing any other theories so the gang takes it upon themselves to start investigating with an unlikely ally.

Critique:  GUSH. I loved Lady Midnight.  I am so happy that I read everything else prior to picking this one up because there are SO many references to earlier storylines, characters in the previous series and little Easter eggs that wouldn’t have meant anything to me had I not had that emotional attachment to their history.  Does Lady Midnight work as a standalone series? Yes, you do not *need* to read everything else but I would highly recommend it.  I cannot even express how much I love the Blackthorn family.  They are now second to only the Weasley’s in my heart.  Teenage Julian has spent his life from twelve years old and beyond acting as the father to all of his younger siblings and covering for his not-all-there uncle as head of the LA Institute.  He’s shouldered more responsibility than any young person should ever have to deal with and he handles everything with such a level head.  Emma is now my second favorite female in the Shadowhunter realm (Tessa holding the top spot).  Her love for Julian and her love for the kids she helped raise combined with her no-nonsense attitude is something to be admired.  Emma and Julian both do everything they can for the people they love and they’re completely in tune with each other, which is why in theory they would be the perfect parabati.  But, parabati falling in love with one another is strictly forbidden by Shadowhunter law with no explanation as to why (the law is hard but it is the law).  For a pair of teens who suffered a traumatic experience together, took on parental roles of Julian’s brother and sisters, and made a rash decision to become parabati so they would never be separated, you can bet there’s some major conflict as they start to discover the feelings they’ve been suppressing for each other.  Then there’s also the lovable Cristina, who is the Shadowhunter equivalent of studying abroad at the LA Institute while simultaneously running from a past that she’s not yet ready to discuss.  As with all Shadowhunter books, we also run into vampires, faeries, warlocks and more.  Part of what makes Lady Midnight stand out from the other sets of Shadowhunter stories is that Cassandra Clare doesn’t need to rebuild the world.  We’re all so familiar with it at this point that the main focus is on the characters and the story she’s crafting.  Plus, the character cameos from other series just sent my heart fluttering like mad!  I could go on and on but I’ll just say that I really loved this book and I have so many questions after everything that went down.  My conspiracy theories are running wild with me and I need Lord of Shadows in my life as soon as possible.

Do I Recommend?:  So much yes! I really really really recommend you make yourself push through all the previous books though.  I don’t think this one will resonate as much if you don’t have the emotional attachment to certain characters or the Shadowhunter lore to guide you through the current state of their world.

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Kristin

Tea & Book Chat: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel (Themis Files #1)

Personal Thoughts:  As you may remember from my Dark Matter review, I’ve been focusing on reading more adult books this year, particularly sci-fi and fantasy.  After binge-watching the first season in The Expanse series, I had a craving for more sci-fi and I didn’t yet want to fill it with Leviathan Wakes (although that is the next adult sci-fi book atop my TBR).  I landed on Sleeping Giants because 1) that cover! 2) that cover without the dust jacket! and 3) Penguin was kind enough to send me the second book in the series, Waking Gods, which is being released on April 4th so I thought this would be a good time to catch up! And FYI because I know you’re curious, Waking Gods also has a beautiful cover with an sans dust jacket.  (But question! If you know whether this series is a duology, trilogy or series, please let me know! I only see two books listed on goodreads but early reviewers seem to be saying that the second book ends on a cliffhanger).

Plot Summary:  It’s almost difficult to summarize the plot of Sleeping Giants because it’s such a strange story.  It begins with a prologue about a young girl at her birthday party who wants nothing more than to sneak off and use her new bike.  Once she does so, she bikes into the woods, only to crash and land in a really strange room atop a giant metallic hand.  Seventeen years later, the mystery of the giant hand is no closer to being solved and the young girl grows up to be a physicist who takes over as the leader in learning the origins of the hand.

Critique:  Sleeping Giants is told through a series of case files, each one documenting an interview between a nameless and mysterious interviewer and various members of the hand team, government officials and a couple of other people of interest.  The intrigue is real in this book as the team lead by Rose Franklin, works to decode the otherworldly symbols and learn more about the origins and metal used in crafting the giant hand with an unlimited amount of government funding and an incredibly tangled web of countries vying for control of such an anomaly.  While the air of mystery surrounding literally everything (the narrator, the hand, why the team chosen is qualified) kept me interested from start to finish, I did feel that it was a bit challenging to connect with the characters since we really only get a limited view of their psyche through the answers to the questions they’re asked (with the exception of a handful of journal entries, all of which the characters know are being monitored so there’s not much free thinking going on there either).  I totally understand that this is a “bigger picture” kind of story and the characters are mostly replaceable with the exception of the narrator but it was still missing any kind of human connection that I could get behind.  When the story ended, I left feeling almost as clueless as I had at it’s beginning which is why I am eager to start Waking Gods but also nervous that it won’t answer all of my burning questions!

Do I Recommend?:  If you like adult sci-fi, then I do! I think Sleeping Giants is definitely worth a read and it will keep your mind reeling with questions and thinking on a global and solar system wide level.  But if you prefer character driven tales, I would steer clear.

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Kristin

Tea & Book Chat: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Personal Thoughts: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon was high upon my list for most anticipated contemporary releases in 2017 so when a beautiful red box containing the ARC and some other goodies arrived at my house, I was physically jumping up and down.  It was the best surprise to come home to!  Like most of the book community, I have been making an effort to read more diversely and I became particularly interested in When Dimple Met Rishi when I learned that it featured two Indian protagonists who are computer programming nerds.  Consider me sold! (PS. Every single time I look at the beautiful cover I find myself craving an iced coffee.)

Plot Summary: When Dimple Met Rishi follows two Indian protagonists at a computer programming summer camp as they struggle with balancing the expectations their parents put upon them with finding their own happiness.  The pair end up at the program for two hugely different reasons- Dimple is a complete and total computer programming nerd.  She’s going to Stanford in the Fall for programming and she basically lives and breathes computers.  She sees this opportunity as the chance to meet her programming idol, start making a name for herself early on in her field and escape her mother’s incessant nagging that she find the Ideal Indian Husband.  Then there’s Rishi, a kind hearted guy who packs his bags and heads to San Francisco to meet his potential future wife.  As it turns out, Rishi and Dimple’s parents thought they could be a good match and Rishi, who is all about traditions and pleasing his parents, sets out in the hopes of meeting the girl he’ll marry.

Critique: I’m happy to say that When Dimple Met Rishi not only lived up to the hype for me, but also far surpassed it.  The book is told in dual perspectives, from both Dimple and Rishi, which allowed the reader to get two very polarizing views of the same culture.  I love both Dimple and Rishi equally and as much as I disliked some of the side characters, they added so much to the overall story.  There were a ton of moments where I was laughing at the dialogue, the situations and the awkwardness of everything occurring.  Rishi is the sweetest, most adorkable male love interest and his optimism and self confidence are so admirable.  Then there’s loud, outspoken Dimple who is a force to be reckoned with.  She’s so sure of herself, her vision for her future and the misogynistic boundaries others have tried to place on her.  Seeing the two of them open up to one another and let the best of their personalities positively influence the other one is such a joy (especially after their catastrophic first encounter).  The way that Menon perfected such complex relationships and seamlessly wove Indian culture into the story makes it difficult to believe that When Dimple Met Rishi could possibly be a debut novel.  The friendship dynamic between Dimple and Celia who decide to be roommates but end up having completely incompatible sets of friends and how they handle it is something I would love to see more of in YA. And of course, the whole reason they’re in San Fran, the competition to develop the most promising app, kept me hooked the entire time.

Do I Recommend?: Absolutely! When Dimple Met Rishi is such a heartwarming and real contemporary story and I’m so excited for it to be released into world so we can all talk about how much we adore these characters!  I’ll also most definitely be picking up any future books that Sandhya Menon writes!

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Kristin

Life Lately Update Post

Hi all! This is going to be a kind of rambling post since I feel like I’ve neglected my blog for the past week! The funny thing is, I have like 8 book reviews sitting in my drafts but I’ve been too lazy / busy to take photos for them so this is what you’re getting instead :-)  First of all, HOW AMAZING IS BEAUTY AND THE BEAST?!?!?! I cannot even tell you how much I loved the new live action adaptation.  It’s easily one of my favorite Disney movies ever at this point.  Everything was so glamorous and French! Second of all, I have rainbow bookshelves now! It took A LOT of time and I’m not finished putting everything away yet but looking at these shelves so far gives me a sense of calm (I think because I only used books that are the same height).  I’m worried about adjusting to finding books while I’m filming but I’m sure I’ll pick up on it quickly!  And I moved all of my Harry Potter merchandise to one bookshelf… and it still seems like I don’t have enough space.  Only me!

Next, me, Alexa and Cristina have been doing a re-read of ACOTAR by Sarah J Maas and I just finished yesterday (way ahead of schedule!).  I just couldn’t put it down this time around and my reading experience was completely different knowing what I know about ACOMAF.  It was also the perfect book to read to cure my Beauty and the Beast hangover!  I’m also finally reading the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay and it’s just like seeing the film again<3  I also started a new (hopefully monthly) video series on my channel today- my Bookish Merch Haul!  It basically just shows all the bookish and geeky merchandise I amassed in the past month.  Let me know what you think because I had fun filming it! (Even though it took forever to pull all the links >.<).  I’m also so excited that this week is almost over for me.  I’m off on Friday because I have TWO weddings to attend! I still have to try on my dress which just arrived on Monday… here’s hoping it fits!

And just overall, Andrew and I have finally been eating healthier and I think we’ve both felt better as a result! Spending so much time cooking after work has definitely taken away some free time but as long as I have BookTube to keep my company, it doesn’t seem like such a chore.  And speaking of eating healthy, I’m pretty excited that Spring and ice cream season are upon us.  Despite the random cold weather, I’m hopeful that we’ll transition into those 70 degree days I’ve been longing for! What have you been up to lately?

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Kristin
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