Midweek Mini Reviews #30

This Midweek Mini Reviews post features two new YA titles.

10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon
I’ve been excited for Samir and Pinky’s story ever since they interacted with each other in There’s Something About Sweetie! On the surface Pinky and Samir appeared to be complete opposites of so it was adorable seeing them get to know each other better and fall for each other’s true selves. As someone who grew up with cousins around my age, I liked the relationship between Pinky and her cousin, Dolly especially how they’re able to acknowledge their jealously of each other. I do hope that Dolly gets her own book someday. The relationship between Pinky and her mother was another interesting one. It’s one that many immigrant daughters could relate to especially if they feel like they could never see eye to eye with their moms. i do wish however that more time was spent on resolving this complicated relationship as I couldn’t buy her mother’s change of heart with very little lead up. This could also be in part due to the minor pacing issues in the book. There was a lot of back-and-forth and as a result everything felt rushed near the end. I also could have done without the possum or butterfly habitat subplots as they took time away from the development of Samir and Pinky’s romance in addition to resolving the tension between Pinky and her mother. Nevertheless, 10 Things I Hate About Pinky delivered an enjoyable fake dating, hate to love story that was the perfect light and fluffy distraction from the current craziness. Highly recommended if you enjoyed Sandhya Menon’s other books, especially if you love the humour, banter and heart in her books.

The Best Laid Plans by Cameron Lund 
Some nooks just read like movies. With its themes of high school relationship dramas, hookups and secret crushes Cameron Lund’s The Best Laid Plans feels like it could have been a teen movie on Netflix or Freeform. I’m always game for a friends to lover story and heard good things about this one. What I liked about The Best Laid Plans was its accurate portrayal of the high school experience, sure there were a few rather cliché and dramatic moments but for the most part the book does a decent job at subverting the usual cliché YA tropes. The characters mostly felt real and I could definitely see people I knew in them. It was also interesting to see how the book didn’t shy away from how messy and toxic friendships in high school could get while not making any of the characters out to be a one-dimensional villain. It was also refreshing for them to acknowledge how not everyone in a friend group is actually “friends” and sometimes you tolerate people because of mutual friends. I’m pretty satisfied with the ending even if the romance started to lose some of its magic near the end with all the reveals. Nevertheless, while nothing special The Best Laid Plans was a well-paced and well written novel.

 

 

 

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above reviews consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Book Review | If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha

Authour:
Frances Cha
Format:
ARC
Publication date:
April 21st, 2020
Publisher:
Ballantine Books
Source:
Received from publisher

Review:
Almost every person, has some kind of insecurity. For women more often than not it is tied to their physical appearance. This is what makes If I Had Your Face a compelling story as the characters live in a society that is not only patriarchal, but also unforgiving if you do not meet the almost impossible beauty standards and/or know the right people.

Frances Cha’s If I Had Your Face, follows four different women who are at different stages of their life despite being mostly around the same age. Of the four women, I initially thought the first narrator, Ara would be my favourite as she initially appeared sympathetic due to her being mute, however I quickly realized that she was both childish and selfish, which was not helped by the fact that she was also spoiled by everyone around her. This left her with few redeeming qualities. The other character I couldn’t connect with was Wonna as it just seem like she was never satisfied, although her somewhat tragic back story did move me a little to her side even if her actions remained baffling.

On the other hand Kyuri and Miho were better developed and more fleshed out than the other women. As a result, more of the book is devoted to showing how in spite of their struggles they persist and manage to work with what they had in order for them to make a life of their own. Interestingly enough the two of them appeared to be total opposites on the surface as Kyuri has had multiple plastic surgeries to be “beautiful” while Miho is considered a “natural” beauty in spite of being a bit of an enigma. And yet both Kyuri and Miho were incredibly aware of where they stood in society, and what they needed to do to carry out their goals. In fact, one of my favourite moments was witnessing Miho come to a certain realization about her boyfriend and instead of sinking into depression, she decides to take matters into her own hand and find a way to ensure she benefits from her circumstances.

The writing in If I Had Your Face is simple yet elegant, and all four of the women’s journeys were remarkable enough that I could have easily finished this book in one sitting. Even if you aren’t a woman living in Seoul, If I Had Your Face has several themes that would resonate with all women who are feeling the pressure from both their parents and society to adhere to a certain path.

If I Had Your Face was a captivating read for me despite knowing little about the culture in South Korea beforehand. Moreover, I enjoyed watching the somewhat messy sisterhood and kinship between the four incredibly different women as they struggled both at work and in their other relationships. While there is no guaranteed of a happy outcome for any of these characters, I felt satisfied in the end, knowing that there was hope for all the women especially if they continue to have each other’s backs.

 

 

 

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Recently in Romance #4

 Recently in Romance is a new to this blog review feature where I’ll be sharing my thoughts on some romance novels I’ve read. This review feature was originally created by Mostly Ya Lit.

this Is Love by Melissa Foster

 Having gotten to Remi more in Call Her Mine, I was excited that she was getting her own book before the end of 2019. With This is Love, I liked that we got to know more about Remi’s past and why her brother is so over protective. I also loved how Remi and mason bonded over their past trauma and loss and how it brought them closer. That being said, Mason and Remi were probably my least favourite Melissa Foster couple because even though the attraction and sexual tension was there I couldn’t completely buy into their relationship once they got together. There were a few moments where they appeared to be a genuine couple, however there were more times where they were too saccharine. Like the other books in Melissa Foster’s series, This is Love hints at a few couples that will be the focus of future books. I’m not sure if I will pick up the others because on one hand, I’ve found Harley’s doggedness with it comes to Piper to be frankly irritating, however, on the other hand best friends to lovers is my favourite romance trope. Nevertheless, for the most part I’ve enjoyed my time in the communities of Sugar Lake and Harmony Pointe and am glad to have gotten to know these all these characters especially the Daltons.

Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai
Publisher Social Media:  Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/

The Right Swipe was one of my favourite reads of 2019 however, its follow-up, Girl Gone Viral was a bit of a disappointment for me. Not only was it much more tamed and way less steamy than any of Rai’s other books in the past but the romance felt underdeveloped. The build up to Jas and Katrina’s romance was underwhelming even if the readers knew that the two had secret feelings for each other for some time. They also barely interacted with each other romantically instead there were more scenes of Katrina interacting with her staff and with Rhiannon and Jia and of Jas with his family. That being said, I loved the cast of side characters in this book, including the girls and their awesome friendship as well as Jas’ family who show that even happy families have their baggage. I also loved how far Katrina had come from her first appearance in the series and even since the start of her book. Girl Gone Viral looks at the downsides of social media and shows how something that may seem like fun to, everyone can have negative consequences for those actually involved. After all, real people are not fictional characters and even in today’s era of social media everyone deserves to have their privacy respected and to feel safe in public. In the end, I’ll probably pick up the next book for Jia’s story, though it will be with lower expectations.

 

 

 

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above reviews consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.