TOP TEN TUESDAY : The Ten Most Recent Additions to My TBR List

Hello all! Back with another TTT entry for another week. I’ll just name the most recent entries to my TBR based on my Goodreads Want-To-Read list.

Top Ten Tuesday is a blog meme hosted by the awesome That Artsy Reader Girl.


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What The Wind Knows 

Amy Harmon is one of my top favorite contemporary authors. And I absolutely loved the last historical fiction she wrote – From Sand And Ash. She’s a master at creating a mood in her books. This one’s a time-travel fantasy set in the Ireland of 1921. I can’t wait to get my hands on this one!

Goodreads Link – here.

 

 


The Place On Dalhousie

I could write essays on how much I love Melina Marchetta, okay? History suggests that if I read a book written by her, I’m bound to love it. I’ve been waiting for this book since I read the short story When Rosie Met Jim which is sort of a prologue to this book back in 2017. This book couldn’t come soon enough.

Goodreads Link – here.

 

 


Circe

I love Greek Mythology, retellings and strong women. This book happens to have all of them. Need I say more?

 

Goodreads Link – here.

 

 

 


The Poppy War

I found out about this book a little later than I’d have liked thanks to a friend’s review of it on Goodreads. The premise, the genre and the word-of-mouth – everything about this book compelled me to add it to my TBR.

 

Goodreads Link – here.

 


The Unhoneymooners

Two words. Christina Lauren.

A wedding? The bridesmaid and the best man? Hijacking a honeymoon? A lie about being married?

Gimme already!

Goodreads Link – here.

 

 

The Girl He Used To Know

This is one of the very first books I requested for in Netgalley… and got refused. So this was one of those cases of wanting what you can’t have (for the time being). And of course I love the sound of the book.

 

Goodreads Link – here.

 

 

We Came Here To Forget

The cover was the first thing that attracted me. The premise of a young olympic skier escaping to Argentina after losing everything and reinventing herself with a group of expats was what sold it for me.  Hoping that it will be a good one.

Goodreads Link – here.

 

 

 


The Vanishing Stair

I’ve just started Truly Devious. And I’m really liking it so far. So I just went ahead and added the sequel to my TBR. I’m hoping to love the series even more as I go ahead.

 

Goodreads Link – here.

 

 


The Beautiful

I can’t remember the last time I was this intrigued by the premise of a Young Adult with vampires. This one also happens to be a historical fiction. And this is Renée Ahdieh we’re talking about. Can you blame me for having high hopes?

 

 

Goodreads Link – here.


Park Avenue Summer

Mad Men meets Devil Wears Prada. This book promises an insider’s look at the rise of Helen Gurley Brown- the woman who changed the dynamics of what magazines would do as an editor-in-chief at Cosmopolitan – through the eyes of her assistant who I assume is fictional.

I’m really intrigued and excited by the sound of this book. Hope it won’t disappoint.

Goodreads Link – here.


This is it. Fingers crossed that these books live up to my expectations!
2019, please don’t let me down!

BOOK REVIEW : IT ONLY HAPPENS IN MOVIES


Audrey is over romance. Since her parents’ relationship imploded her mother’s been catatonic, so she takes a cinema job to get out of the house. But there she meets wannabe film-maker Harry. Nobody expects Audrey and Harry to fall in love as hard and fast as they do. But that doesn’t mean things are easy. Because real love isn’t like the movies…

The greatest love story ever told doesn’t feature kissing in the snow or racing to airports. It features pain and confusion and hope and wonder and a ban on cheesy clichés. Oh, and zombies… YA star Holly Bourne tackles real love in this hugely funny and poignant novel.

 


 

What’s not to like about this book?
A broken and yet badass heroine? Yes.
Feminism? Yes.
Fake zombies? Yes.
An amazingly real book? YES.

It Only Happens In Movies is a rare take on the problematic impact of romantic movies. The author takes everything wrong about romantic movies and deconstructs them through the awesome main protagonist Audrey.

Audrey – who funnily enough was named after Audrey Hepburn – has had enough of romance. Her father’s betrayal and her so-called first love dumping her has left her broken and cynical. I could totally relate to her disdain for romantic films. But more than that, I relate to her struggles. We see her grow from this broken and humiliated girl to a confident and self-respecting person who knows what she deserves. I absolutely adored her.

The prologue gives us a sense of what’s coming with the central romance right away. But the thing is, the romance isn’t central at all. It’s Audrey’s journey that’s central. And for once, I just wanted Audrey to be happy, regardless of the outcome of her romance. I liked Harry a lot too. He’s my favorite kind of jerk with a soft heart. But he’s also an idiot. I liked Audrey’s group of friends, especially Leroy. I loved the parts with the zombie movie filming, the theater shenanigans and of course the conversations about movies. My only complaint with the book was that the problems with Audrey’s mother got too conveniently resolved.

I’m so happy that I read this book. It points out a lot of problematic things that we take for granted in movies and in real life. The feminist outlook wasn’t in-your-face but it was spot-on. I could connect to Audrey on a very personal level. Also, I have now a list of movies I want to watch, thanks to the references in the book.


★★★★☆


 

BOOK REVIEW : BE THE GIRL


Almost sixteen-year-old Aria Jones is starting over. New postal code, new last name, new rules. But she doesn’t mind, because it means she can leave her painful regrets behind. In the bustling town of Eastmonte, she can become someone else. Someone better.

With the Hartford family living next door, it seems she will succeed. Sure, Cassie Hartford may be the epitome of social awkwardness thanks to her autism, but she also offers an innocent and sincere friendship that Aria learns to appreciate. And Cassie’s older brother, Emmett—a popular Junior A hockey player with a bright future—well … Aria wishes that friendship could lead to something more. If he didn’t already have a girlfriend, maybe it would.

But Aria soon finds herself in a dicey moral predicament that could derail her attempt at a fresh start. It is her loyalty to Cassie and her growing crush on Emmett that leads her to make a risky move, one that earns her a vindictive enemy who is determined to splinter her happy new world.


 

I had high expectations from K A Tucker’s next after I absolutely adored The Simple Wild.

Did I love this book as much as The Simple Wild? No.
Was it a good book anyway? Yes.

Why didn’t I love this book? Aria. She’s a real character. The way she is written is excellent. She’s a teenager and the author does so well to bring that to life! But her being a teenager is the reason I could not endear myself to her. I just couldn’t relate to her angst. And when the cause of her angst was revealed, I was even more conflicted. How can I elucidate my feelings towards her for most of the book? I don’t necessarily like her as a person but as a reader I absolutely love the character? Does that make sense? Nevertheless, at the end, she does something truly brave that earned my respect.

My favorite character of the book was Cassie. I want to read more about her. Would it be too much to ask for a separate book for her? I also liked Emmett. It’s rare to get a nice guy as a hero these days. Especially in books about high school. These guys are usually written as broody and intense. And that’s why I found him such a refreshing character! The romance felt very natural and uncomplicated. I was not as invested in it as I’d like to be but that’s fine because this story was not about the romance.

The story here is not fast-paced. It takes time to build up. There’s not many important things happening and it’s more character driven than anything. And I appreciate that. It felt very real. The themes of bullying, forgiveness and second chances explored here ring very close to reality. I think everyone should read this book!


★★★


 

TAG : BOOK BLOGGER CONFESSIONS

Fictionnochaser tagged me in this fun little post a while ago. Some of the prompts took some thought and the others didn’t take any at all!

RULES

  1. Answer these questions truthfully.
  2. Once you’re done, tag 5 other book bloggers to answer these questions next.

 

WHICH BOOK, MOST RECENTLY, DID YOU NOT FINISH?

Emma Scott is an author that I like a lot but her Bring Down The Stars had so much angst that I felt was unnecessary, and I felt so much frustrated with the protagonist’s actions, I just couldn’t finish it. I simply did not have patience for all the noble idiocy of the hero and just the love triangle. It was the case of “It’s not you, It’s me”.

WHICH BOOK IS YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE?

Books by Judith McNaught, probably.

WHICH BOOK DO YOU LOVE TO HATE?

Twilight.

WHICH BOOK WOULD YOU THROW INTO THE SEA?

None! I could never throw away a book like that!

 

WHICH BOOK HAVE YOU READ THE MOST?

Harry Potter Series.

WHICH BOOK WOULD YOU HATE TO RECEIVE AS A PRESENT?

Books are my favorite presents in the world! I can’t think of hating a book gift. If I ever hate one, I’ll just regift it to someone.

 

WHICH BOOK COULD YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT?

Harry Potter series.

WHICH BOOK MADE YOU THE ANGRIEST?

Allegiant by Veronica Roth.

WHICH BOOK MADE YOU CRY THE MOST?

Gone With The Wind. I cried for half an hour after finishing the book.

 

WHICH BOOK COVER DO YOU HATE THE MOST?

Any book by Ilona Andrews. They write such great books and then those books get the crappiest covers that I’d be embarrassed to own. It’s criminal, I tell you.


So, I don’t know what happened but I had tagged earlier people earlier but for some reason the tags were not saved when I published. Typical me! So, forgive me for editing this to add the tags again –

Meow| TukunjilBookandmorebd | Mariam Sara

Of course, if you have already done this tag or don’t feel like doing it, that’s fine! This is just for fun!


 

TOP TEN TUESDAY : Books I Meant To Read In 2018 But Didn’t Get To

I’m back to doing doing TTT after two weeks. I just had to do this topic! Gotta give add that extra layer of guilt any chance I get. I feel like I have a gazillion books I meant to read but didn’t get to in 2018. So it’ll be hard to narrow it down to just 10. But let’s try anyway.

For anyone who doesn’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the amazing That Artsy Reader Girl.


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The Great Alone : Okay. I’ll be honest. I did start it and read a few pages. But something came up that kept me busy for a few days. I have yet to pick it up again. Sigh.

 

Children of Blood And Bone : I might be one of the very rare few who have still not read the book. I disappoint myself.

 

Circe : Everything about this book appeals to me – the cover, the genre, the premise. But I found out about this book very late and I just couldn’t for some reason get to read it. I hope to amend that soon, though.

 

The Seven And A Half Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle : This one was just a case of laziness on my part. I haven’t heard one bad thing about this book. But I know that I’ll be reading this soon enough, after I can get done with the backlog with my ARCs.

 

A Reaper At The Gates: I had planned to re-read the first two before starting this one. But I just couldn’t get myself to start the series again. Ergo this one’s still unread.

 

 

 

The Hate U Give: I don’t know what is it that really stops me from starting this book. This is a book that I meant to read in 2017 and I didn’t. I then intended to read it in 2018 and I didn’t. I intend to read it in 2019 too. Will this finally be the year? I certainly hope so!

 

Becoming: I don’t normally get tempted by non-fiction easily. But Becoming is one book that I just feel like I HAVE to get my hands in. It released in late-2018 and it was a non-fiction. I already had a lot of fictions to finish from my TBR to make time for this. But I see myself starting it soon enough.

 


The Name Of The Wind: Another book I don’t know why I couldn’t make myself start. I know I’m gonna like it. So what’s stopping me?

 

The City Of Brass: I started this book back in 2017 but couldn’t finish it because I got entangled in some family drama. And then although I wanted to pick it up the next year, it just kept evading my mind. I am sure that I’m gonna love this book. I just need to get into the mood to start it.

 

Truly Devious: Good news is that I’ve just recently started the book. So, 2019 might just be the year!


 

ARC Review : Miracle Creek

A literary courtroom drama about a Korean immigrant family and a young, single mother accused of murdering her eight-year-old autistic son.

My husband asked me to lie. Not a big lie. He probably didn’t even consider it a lie, and neither did I, at first …

In the small town of Miracle Creek, Virginia, Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine—a pressurized oxygen chamber that patients enter for therapeutic “dives” with the hopes of curing issues like autism or infertility. But when the Miracle Submarine mysteriously explodes, killing two people, a dramatic murder trial upends the Yoos’ small community.

Who or what caused the explosion? Was it the mother of one of the patients, who claimed to be sick that day but was smoking down by the creek? Or was it Young and Pak themselves, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? The ensuing trial uncovers unimaginable secrets from that night—trysts in the woods, mysterious notes, child-abuse charges—as well as tense rivalries and alliances among a group of people driven to extraordinary degrees of desperation and sacrifice.


What an engrossing debut by an author who knows how to write mysteries where every character has a story to tell!

This a courtroom drama where we get to see the story from every character’s point of view. And yet, the mystery of who is the culprit keeps you at your toes till the final reveal. I loved how every time I would become almost sure about a certain character being the culprit, the author throws a new curveball at us.

Every character is dishonest here. Everybody has their secrets and motives. Everybody lies. This book explores so many themes – motherhood, autism, immigration, abuse. But I think above all, it was about the extents that a mother could go to for her child. One thing that impressed me was how the author tackled the topic of struggle that every mother faces in their frustration with their inability to control their children’s life – be it their health or behavior.

It took me awhile to get into the story. What ultimately sucked me in was the courtroom shenanigans. The cross-examinations were so well done! I would have loved to see the culmination of the whole thing in a courtroom too. Not that I didn’t like the way it happened, but I was hoping for the case to culminate like a typical courtroom drama. Kudos to the author for making it unpredictable!

Even when I thought I had it all figured it out, I was wrong. And that makes me so happy! There are a lot of important themes going on here, all of which have a depth to them that made me stop and think what or who was right and wrong here. A great read!


review

★★★★☆


Publication Date: 16th April, 2019.
Source: ARC from Publisher (via Netgalley)

Links –  AmazonGoodreads |Barnes & Noble

TAG: OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE

booktag

Thanks to Sara @ Bibliophagist for tagging me in this! Been a while since I did one of these and this one particularly looks really fun.

The tag was originally created by Emma @ emmmabooks on YouTube.


THE ONE RULE

You have to pick ONE GENRE that you frequently read about… and then, you can’t use ANY books from that genre while answering the questions!


 MY GENRE

It’s hard to pick one genre. But I’ve read a bunch of Young Adult books recently so I’ll go with that.


A BOOK THAT IS AN EXCEPTION WHEN IT COMES TO GENRES OR ELEMENTS YOU DON’T TYPICALLY LIKE

I hate love triangles and books where protagonists are married to other people. Tarryn Fisher’s Love The Way You Lies is probably the only exception where I enjoyed these elements.

A BOOK YOU ENJOYED FROM A GENRE THAT YOU PREVIOUSLY HELD SOME STIGMA AGAINST

I have had this prejudice for a long time against middle-grade books that they are childish and won’t hold my interest. Unwritten definitely proved me wrong.

A BOOK YOU DIDN’T KNOW WAS OUTSIDE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE UNTIL YOU STARTED READING IT

I’d read it a long time ago and thought it was a typical urban fantasy novel. But I still can’t forget my horror when at the end a sequence leads to a menagerie. I didn’t even know what a menagerie was until that novel! Apparently, there is another edition of the book without that scene. I’m still scarred from that read and almost always read reviews now before starting a book.

PICK A FRIEND WHO MOTIVATES YOU TO PICK UP BOOKS YOU MIGHT NOT NORMALLY BE INTERESTED IN — IS THERE A BOOK THEY CONVINCED YOU TO GIVE A TRY?

Not a friend. But my brother. He’s the one who shaped my literary, pop-cultural and music interests, growing up. He was the one who convinced me to give Harry Potter a try and in a way played the biggest role in making me a bookworm. He’s also the one who made me try things like graphic novels and manga which I’d never probably have picked up myself.
Funny story – he gave me Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban to me when I was 13. I couldn’t understand a thing and gave it back to him. The next day, he handed the first book to me and insisted to give it a try. The rest – as they say – is history.

A BOOK THAT IS OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE, BUT YOU WOULD LIKE TO READ

I feel very reluctant to pick up Crime and Punishment because I feel like it will make me think deep thoughts I’d rather not think about. But I also want to read it so much! It’s such a warring dilemma.

A BOOK/GENRE SO OUTSIDE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE THAT YOU’LL PROBABLY NEVER GIVE IT A CHANCE

I’ll DEFINITELY never read this book. Incest is a BIG NO for me. I’ve had a couple friends rave about this book to me. But funnily enough, none of them happened to have any siblings. So, there’s that.


Since there’s no rule that I have to tag someone else, I’ll just take the lazy route and not tag anyone. But if you find this interesting and want to do it, count yourself tagged and let me know! 

ARC Review : THE BEANTOWN GIRLS

A novel of love, courage, and danger unfolds as World War II’s brightest heroines—the best of friends—take on the front lines.

1944: Fiona Denning has her entire future planned out. She’ll work in city hall, marry her fiancé when he returns from the war, and settle down in the Boston suburbs. But when her fiancé is reported missing after being shot down in Germany, Fiona’s long-held plans are shattered.

Determined to learn her fiancé’s fate, Fiona leaves Boston to volunteer overseas as a Red Cross Clubmobile girl, recruiting her two best friends to come along. There’s the outspoken Viviana, who is more than happy to quit her secretarial job for a taste of adventure. Then there’s Dottie, a shy music teacher whose melodious talents are sure to bring heart and hope to the boys on the front lines.

Chosen for their inner strength and outer charm, the trio isn’t prepared for the daunting challenges of war. But through it all come new friendships and romances, unforeseen dangers, and unexpected dreams. As the three friends begin to understand the real reasons they all came to the front, their courage and camaraderie will see them through some of the best and worst times of their lives.


reviewWe are not even one month in for 2019 and I already have found what would be one of my top favorites of the year! It already is the best I’ve read so far in the year. I LOVE IT!

There’s so much to love in this book. Where do I even start?! The friendship of the girls with their unique arcs, the details of the wars, the stories of the soldiers, the love stories. And the emotions! I won’t lie. I shed tears quite a few times.

My favorite thing about the book is the group of girls, even beyond the main trio who are so inherently different than each other and yet their friendship and bond was so strong! I don’t know who I love more. Dottie, the shy and quiet one who comes on her own by the end of the book. Viviana, the vivacious and uninhibited one. Fiona, the intrepid and determined one. Then there’s Blanche, Martha, Frankie and Liz. I loved all of them but my heart went all out to Fiona. I felt her emotions, her conflicts, her determination like it was me. But what stood out to me was the bond between the three that compelled Dottie and Viviana to leave everything and accompany Fiona on her journey.

The love stories of the three characters were as different as them. And yet, they never overshadowed the main story itself. And the story was about the journey of all these characters. I’m proud to say that each of these journeys were so fulfilling to read about. There are so many characters that I could name that would stay with me.

There were a couple of parts in the book where I thought “Now, that could never happen during the war” but the note at the end of the book proved me wrong! These things actually happened! She took stories from real life and put her own twist on it. The research the author put towards this story is mind-blowing! I’m in awe of her.

I can’t express how perfectly the author illustrated that era in the book. That time, the places, the situations – they all felt spot-on. She nailed the tension, camaraderie, fearlessness and the uncertainty of the soldiers and the war itself. And yet, in digging deep into the details, she never let the story lose its heart. Even with the backdrop of the war, it still was a heart-warming and a somewhat feel-good story.

This was a story about love, loss, friendship, loyalty, war and above all bravery. I could beg you to give this book a chance! Wholeheartedly recommended!


review

★★★★★


Publication Date: 5th February, 2019.
Source: ARC from Publisher (via Netgalley)

Links –  AmazonGoodreads | Barnes & Noble

Book Review : THE KISS THIEF

They say your first kiss should be earned.

Mine was stolen by a devil in a masquerade mask under the black Chicago sky.

They say the vows you take on your wedding day are sacred.

Mine were broken before we left church.

They say your heart only beats for one man.

Mine split and bled for two rivals who fought for it until the bitter end.

I was promised to Angelo Bandini, the heir to one of the most powerful families in the Chicago Outfit.

Then taken by Senator Wolfe Keaton, who held my father’s sins over his head to force me into marriage.

They say that all great love stories have a happy ending.

One kiss.
Two men.
Three lives.
Entwined together.

And somewhere between these two men, I had to find my forever.


review

I hate it when I can’t be aboard the hype train. I want to love the book as much as everyone seems to do! But I just can’t. I like it. But not as much as I’d hoped to have. I’m sure I’d have loved The Kiss Thief a lot more if I’d read it a few years ago. Goes to show that I really have aged as a reader.

There were tropes that I usually enjoy a lot! Enemies-to-lovers and arranged marriage. I was kinda on the edge about the love triangle but there was nothing to be hesitant about. It was clear from the start which guy’s the hero here. My problem with the book is the writing. It was juvenile at places. Some of the lines felt so ridiculous to read, especially from characters that are supposed to be senators and mafia lords.

I enjoyed the romance. I enjoyed Wolfe’s alpha persona. Francesca also was a great character, supposedly weak and naive but displaying strength and boldness when needed. Wolfe and Francesca had chemistry in spades. But I was not convinced by their decisions and actions. I was not convinced by the plot points.

I was expecting more of an insight into the decisions they make. We only see the outcomes or their decisions and realizations but not the process. Like at one point, one character admits that they love someone. But we are just told that they are in love. And that they realized it when the latter left them. And that’s it. Wait. That’s it? You put us through so much angst to just throw it like that?

I liked the ending. There is much-needed groveling and humbling. That was gratifying. But I find it lazy writing when I don’t get to see the thought process of a character even though we are reading their point of view. I’m probably being too harsh because it wasn’t a bad book. I just had higher expectations.


review

★★★☆☆


 

Book Review : THE WICKED KING (The Folk Of The Air #2)


You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.


reviewYay! A sequel that I love even more than its predecessor!

 

The start was a little slow for my taste. But what kept me going was the anticipation of nothing good. The stakes are higher than ever before! Jude is between a rock and a hard place here. I wouldn’t fancy myself in her shoes. Still, some of her decisions continued to annoy and frustrate me to no end.

My favorite characters were Cardan and Madoc. I actually felt for Cardan more than any other characters during most of the book. It also helped that we get more insight into his upbringing. What wouldn’t I do to get inside his head!  Another character whose head I would love to get inside is Madoc. His ambition for power and affection for Jude are so conflicting and complexly entwined that makes me eager to see what’s in store for him!

Jude’s relationship with both Madoc and Cardan are what I enjoyed the most. Madoc and Jude keep betraying each other and yet it’s obvious that the so-called father and daughter both have a soft spot for each other. I know we’ll see more of their relationship in the next book and I can’t wait for it.  On the other hand, I have no idea where we are headed with Cardan and Jude. The tension between them was on point! The power play and trust issues, the self-contradictory feelings, the mutual betrayals – it’s definitely not a healthy relationship, but it’s certainly the most irresistible part of the series for me!

The reversals in this book were just so good! They kept me hooked till the end. I admit that the title of the third book kinda gave away one twist for me but my expectations were thwarted even with that! The characterization, the conflicts, the twists are all spot on! Now I’m left with bitter feelings toward Holly Black for making me wait two years for the next!


review
★★★☆


 

Links –  AmazonGoodreads Barnes & Noble