BOOK REVIEW : YOU DESERVE EACH OTHER

Author: Sarah Hogle
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository.
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Genre: Romance; Contemporary Romance.
Release Date: April 7th 2020.


synopsis


When your nemesis also happens to be your fiancé, happily ever after becomes a lot more complicated in this wickedly funny, lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy debut.

Naomi Westfield has the perfect fiancé: Nicholas Rose holds doors open for her, remembers her restaurant orders, and comes from the kind of upstanding society family any bride would love to be a part of. They never fight. They’re preparing for their lavish wedding that’s three months away. And she is miserably and utterly sick of him.

Naomi wants out, but there’s a catch: whoever ends the engagement will have to foot the nonrefundable wedding bill. When Naomi discovers that Nicholas, too, has been feigning contentment, the two of them go head-to-head in a battle of pranks, sabotage, and all-out emotional warfare.

But with the countdown looming to the wedding that may or may not come to pass, Naomi finds her resolve slipping. Because now that they have nothing to lose, they’re finally being themselves–and having fun with the last person they expect: each other.


review

Nicholas and Naomi have been in a relationship for almost 2 years now. But lately, she can’t remember what she saw in him in the first place or how they even met. She feels stuck in a relationship with an impending and doomed wedding with a man who she loves only 18% on a good day.

God knows how long I’d been waiting to read the book. While it did not deliver 100%, it also did not disappoint. My favorite thing about the book was the relationship between Nicholas and Naomi. Theirs is a classic example of what a lack of communication does to a relationship. Hogle kept it very realistic – their fights with each other, the relationship issues they have. Even their reasons for not ending the relationship struck a realistic chord with me.

I liked Naomi. Her insecurities, vulnerability and lack of self-confidence made her a relatable character. Nicholas is perfect by the books. But he is a geek from the inside, with his own insecurities and issues. At the beginning, we are only exposed to his flaws, thanks to Naomi’s narration. But slowly, it becomes clear that neither of them are perfect and they stopped making efforts a long time ago. And as Naomi starts to open up about her frustrations, a bridge is also opened between the two to fix their relationship. At first, it’s all about one-upping each other but before they know it, they are making efforts to be there for each other.

I liked the evolution of Naomi and Nicholas’s relationship. I was delighted with their banter and fights. I specially loved it when Nicholas or Naomi lost their cool. It was hilarious how matter-of-fact Naomi was at first, with her predictions of a divorce in the future and Nicholas’s possible adultery or his multiple marriages in the future. The transition from that to her jealousy at a very real possibility of an affair was very satisfactory to read.

Only thing I would have liked better was knowing where Nicholas’s head is at the beginning of the book. Was he also intent on ending the relationship like Naomi was? Also, there is a part at the end where Nicholas does something uncharacteristic towards his parents. That felt a little off-field to me.

But I really enjoyed this book. It’s by no means perfect but still was a highly satisfying read.


ratings

★★★☆

MONTHLY WRAP UP : JANUARY 2020

monthly wrap up

Reviews:

ARCs :

Headliners (London Celebrities, #5)

Headliners ★★★★★
Where The Lost Wander ★★★★★

 

Non- ARCs :

The Map from Here to There (The Start of Me and You, #2)The Most Fun We Ever HadLucky CallerThe Silent Patient
The Map From Here to There ★★★☆☆
The Most Fun We Ever Had ★★★★★
Lucky Caller
★★★★★
The Silent Patient ★★★☆☆
Tweet Cute ★★★☆☆

Non – Review Posts

Top Ten Tuesday :
Most Anticipated Jan-April Releases of 2020

Others
2019 End of Year Book Survey

 

Wrapping Up July ‘2019

monthly wrap up.png

July Reviews:

ARCs :

Valencia and Valentine ★★★☆☆
Seneca Lake ★★★☆☆


Non- ARCs :

Next Year In Havana ★★★★☆
Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold ★★★★★
The Austen Playbook ★★★★☆ 
Spin The Dawn ★★★★☆

Re(ar)view

 

 

 

 

The Start of Me and You


Non – Review Posts

Top Ten Tuesday :
Top Ten Favorite Character Redemption Arcs


Guys, I am behind on so many ARCs! I don’t have any excuses for slacking with my reading in July. But I’m a feeling a lot more motivated about my reading in August. Because this month will mark one year of my blogging journey! Any special ides on how I can make the anniversary special? I’m still clueless on what to do for the occassion. 

RE(AR)VIEW : THE START OF ME AND YOU

Hello all! I’ve found in my life that the best way to cure a reading slump is rereading old favorites. So I thought of starting a new corner where I could discuss my favorite books after rereading them. First book to be featured here – Emery Lord’s The Start of Me and You!

Also, good news! I’m officially over my reading slump. Thanks to this book!


rearview



It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?

 


The Start of Me and You has created a place in my heart as one of my most favorite YAs. And I loved it even more when I reread it on perhaps my 3rd reread.

Let’s discuss my favorite parts about the book!

  • Mr. Bingley and Jane – Paige and Max are characters you’d usually see as the best friends of main characters in other books. In fact, the more you read, the more you feel that Ryan and Tessa (Paige and Max’s best friends) are the characters you’re used to seeing as protagonists. There is a running comparison even to Jane and Mr. Bennett. At the very beginning, Paige rejects a comparison to Jane and calls herself Elizabeth. After that Max calls her Jane. It was adorable. Their friendship was adorable.
  • The unlikely pair – Paige is the quiet girl who just wants to fit in. Max is the resident geek who’s been bullied in the past. I was so used to seeing characters like Paige being paired with jocks like Ryan, Max being paired with the likes of beautiful and popular Tessa, that I enjoyed the novelty a lot!
  • The friendships – The friendships in the book was my favorite thing! Be it Paige’s strong friendship with Tessa, Morgan and Kaeleigh, or Max’s friendship with his cousin Ryan. Then Paige’s growing friendship with Max was also endearing to read. I loved how Paige slowly embraced her inner geek, hanging out with Max. I wanted to be part of Max and Paige’s gang by the end. Whatever struggles each of the characters had, none of it was because of their friendships. There were no jealousies or insecurities. And all the characters did have their own distinctive arcs that I enjoyed as a reader.
  • Miscellaneous – Altogether, there’s a lot to love about the book. There are small moments and distinctive character traits that make that endear you to the story. Like Max’s love for airplanes, Max and Tessa’s common taste of music, Max and Paige’s Quizbowl, Paige’s well intention-ed crush on Ryan, the realistic sibling love-hate relationship between Paige and Cameron. It was all just so cute!

And you know what else I love about this book? There was a surprise announcement (three years after the release of the first one) of a sequel this year! And it’s got a release date for January next year. I’m so excited! I plan to reread this one again when the release date for the sequel is nearer. Aaaaa!

Would you look at the cover for the sequel? ADORABLE!

 

BOOK REVIEW : JERSEY SIX


How far would you go for revenge?

A hit-and-run accident leaves Jersey Six orphaned and homeless on the streets of Newark, shattering her dreams of school dances, pink nail polish, and a diploma.

Eight years later, a burn victim with amnesia wanders into Jersey’s barely-existent life. She resists his efforts to form a friendship until he reveals knowledge of the person responsible for derailing her future. Through their unusual friendship, she discovers a way to avenge the deaths of her foster parents.

All she has to do is destroy the world’s biggest rock star.

In the ultimate game of sex, lies, and manipulation, can Jersey discover the truth? Or will she be blinded by attraction, deceived by love, and destroyed by her past?


review

I felt so much anger when reading this crazy story!

When I read the synopsis, I thought it would be a lot like Cruel Intentions. But it wasn’t.

Jersey has been living rough in the streets since her foster parents got killed in an accident when she was 15. 8 years later, Chris – a burn victim suffering from amnesia comes her way in the local gym. He remembers bits and pieces from his past. And he also claims that he knows the guy who killed Jersey’s foster parents. So Jersey takes him under her wings and lets him live with her, so that when he can remember everything and reveal the mystery behind the death of her foster parents, she can kill him.

Then Jersey has a meet-cute with Ian. She has no idea he’s a rockstar. He decides to take pity on her and offers a job to her. Without knowing what the job is, she takes it up because she’ll get a place to live in and free food. But she also convinces him to take Chris with them. They join his crew for a tour. Jersey and Ian share a mutual attraction. But then Chris claims that Ian is the guy who killed her foster parents. He encourages her to seduce him and then kill him.

Okay. The plot had enough meat to keep me going. I didn’t know what to expect.. Well, rather, what I expected didn’t come to fruition. But  there was definitely enough mystery to keep me interested, even while I kept saying to myself ‘WTF is going on!’.

I just could not tolerate Jersey as a heroine. She has had a horrible childhood. She’s been subject to all kinds of abuse and whatnot. But that did not justify her violent, unpredictable and over-reactive behavior to me. I found her to be really unbalanced. And I completely abhorred her erratic treatment of Ian.

She meets this guy she has no idea about. And she takes everything he says for face value. I’m talking about Chris here. He has amnesia and only can recall fragments from his past. And she just lets that misguide her into playing this push-pull game with Ian. I found her character to be contradictory. She finds it hard to trust Ian but could do that easily with Chris. She can’t trust Ian and yet takes advantage of all the benefits of being with him.

Ian has provided her with a stable life and she is so bloodthirsty and obsessed with one incident of her past that she is ready to kill him if he proves to be what she thinks he is. She also has minimal regrets for her wrongs. And then in the end, she does something I consider to be unforgivable.

Ian was frustrating in his own right. If he came clean right at the beginning, all this lunacy would not ensue. But I guess, we wouldn’t have this story then too.

I don’t mind books about protagonists who are flawed as much as Jersey is. But we don’t really see her redeem herself. We don’t see her recover from her erratic and manic behavior. We don’t see her go to therapy or any conscious attempt to right her wrongs.

I usually love Jewel E An’s unique stories. She has a unorthodox writing style that appeals to me. But this one just totally missed the mark for me and turned out to be my least  favorite book by her.


ratings

★★☆☆☆

TOP TEN TUESDAY : Most Anticipated releases of Second Half of 2019

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Let’s just get to it…

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.


No Fences in Alaska

A coming-of-age about pregnant teenager escapes her inconsiderate parents and takes refuge with her estranged her grandfather suffering from Alzheimer’s.

This one releases in a week. And I can’t wait to read it!

Release Date:  June 27th 2019
Links : Goodreads | Amazon

 


Marriage Clock

A Muslim American-Indian girl given 3 months to find a groom for herself, before her parents can find one for her.

Living in a society where this is pretty common and welcome even, I can totally relate to this premise. Hope this lives up to my expectations!

Release Date June 27th 2019
Links : Goodreads | Amazon

 

Say You Still Love Me

K. A. Tucker. Second Chance romance. An ambitious heroine. Yeah, I like the sound of that.

Release Date:  August 6th 2019
Links : Goodreads | Amazon

 

 

 

Well Met

A flirty summer romance between two characters working in a local renaissance fair. I’m hoping for lots of cuteness and laughter!

Release Date: September 3rd 2019
Links : Goodreads | Amazon

 

 

The Lady and The Highwayman

Hero enlists heroine’s help to look for an elusive writer not knowing that she’s the one he’s looking for.

Hoping for a battle of wits between the two and a captivating read!

Release Date: September 3rd 2019
Links : Goodreads | Amazon

 

 


Ninth House

Three words.

Leigh Bardugo. Fantasy. Leigh Bardugo.

Release Date: October 1st 2019 2019
Links : Goodreads | Amazon

 

 

The Beautiful

A paranormal historical fiction. And it’s been ages since I read a good vampire story… well, any vampire story. Please don’t disappoint me!

Release Date:  October 8th 2019
Links : Goodreads | Amazon

 

 

Twice in a Blue Moon

Christina Lauren has become a pick-me-up author from me. Besides, I’m always open to a good second-chance romance.

Fingers crossed!

Release Date: October 22nd 2019
Links : Goodreads | Amazon

 


Full Disclosure

A teenager looking for a startover at a new high school without letting word of her HIV disease ruining things for her.
So, this book has LGBTQ. POC. HIV?

Gimme already!

Release Date: October 29th 2019
Links : Goodreads | Amazon

 


Dangerous Alliance

An Austentacious Romance? More importantly a historical romance with an Austen-obsessed heroine? Color me intrigued.

Release Date: December 3rd 2019
Links : Goodreads | Amazon

 

 


Are any of these books in your list? Or are you interested by any of them? Let me know!

ARC REVIEW : LAST SUMMER

I always like it when a book surprises me in the end. And that final twist at the end certainly took me by surprise. But it felt a little too unreal and far-fetched to me. Also, the ending was bit of a cliff-hanger, with the author choosing to keep things a little open ended. While I could see where this could head to, but I’d also like a definitive ending.
Oh, how I wish I could rant properly about my complaints with the story! But it would be too spoiler-y for a book that hasn’t even released yet.
But any problems I have with this book are totally to do with my own rationale and personal opinions. This book definitely ticks the right boxes as far as the genre of thriller and suspense are concerned!

ratings

★★★☆☆

Publication Date: 9th July, 2019.
Source: ARC from Publisher (via Netgalley)

Links – Amazon | Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday : Cozy/Wintry Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the amazing That Artsy Reader Girl! Today’s theme is Cozy/Wintry Reads. I’ll take this to mean reads that take my minds to a wintry place. It might be because of the setting of the book, or a particular feature, or just my plain old imagination.

Here we go!


A Court of Thorns and Roses

 

A Court of Frost and Starlight

 

A Simple Wild

Sky In The Deep

Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows

 

Outlander

 

One Day In December

 

Memoirs Of A Geisha


I know I added 3 books from Harry Potter here. But the rest of the books don’t make me think of Winter. Also, I’m feeling too lazy to think of more books! 

 

Top Ten Tuesday : Platonic Relationships In Books

TTT Time! For all those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by  That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Platonic relationships (friendships, parent/child, siblings, family, etc.) I’m really excited about this topic! Here are my favorite platonic relationships –


 

Harry & Hermione (Harry Potter) : Undoubtedly my favorite platonic relationship from any book. Best friends from every sense, these two are the best not-sibling siblings ever! I’m not including Ron because it’s all about platonic this week, and I feel like Harry & Hermion’s friendship does not get talked about enough!

Rhys, Cassian & Azriel (A Court of Thorns & Roses) : I love the whole gang including Mor and Amren. But there’s just something about the brotherhood between Rhys, Cassian & Azriel that tugs at my heartstrings! And how cute is this fanart by arz29?

 


Jude & Jessica Day (Jack & Jill Trilogy) : Jude and Jessica are siblings who have to start over as part of something akin to a Witness Protection Program after their parents are murdered. They become Jack and Jill Knight. This series might be dark but these two made me laugh out loud and feel all warm. As Jessica says, Jill is the first love of her life! One of my top favorite siblings in books!


Froi & his parents (Froi of the Exiles) :
I’m not gonna talk about who the parents are because that would be a spoiler. But Melina Marchetta writes the best family dynamics and Froi’s equation with his parents was so real and honest that it’d be unfair not including them in this list.

 


F
lint & Harrison (Look The Part) : This was one of the best contemporary romances I read this year. Flint lost his wife to an accident in a car which he was driving under the influence of alcohol. Now, the only goal of his life is to ensure that his mildly autistic son Harrison grows to have the best life. This father-son relationship was my absolute favorite!


The Baylors (Hidden Legacy Series) :
The Baylors made for an amazingly peculiar family who entertained me to no end. Particularly the relationship between the siblings and the cousins appealed to me like nothing else!

 


Taylor and Co. (Jellicoe Road) : Jellicoe Road occupies an entire part of my heart. The friendship between Taylor, Santangelo, Jonah and Raffy is just so beautiful! I love them and every character of the book to pieces!

 


Diana, Josh & Lou (Wait For It) : Diana’s brother dies and leaves the responsibility of this two sons Josh and Lou to Diana. The way Diana became a mother to Josh and Lou without any ounce of hesitation, and their love for each other makes my heart all warm and gooey!

 


Rose, Daisy & Lily (Callaway Sisters) :
These sisters are as different to each other as Mars and Saturn are to Earth. Yet, their loyalty and support for each other is incomparable. I was confused about choosing between these 3 or the friendship between their counterparts Connor, Ryke and Loren which is remarkable considering them not sharing blood. But I’ve already added too many brotherhoods and bromances here. Gotta share the sister love!

 

Darcy & Bingley (Pride And Prejudice) : Another Bromance that I just had to add!  Bingley is the jelly to Darcy’s Peanut butter. The iconic friendship between these men completely opposite in nature makes my heart swell! And look at how Darcy has his adoring eyes for Bingley!


have a feeling that I’m forgetting some iconic relationships here! I think it’s obvious that I have a thing for bromances, though. Guilty as charged! What are some of your favorite bromances? Or sismances (Is that even a word?) for that matter? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

 

2 Monthversary Special: Raya Asks – Audiobooks

Hello, everybody! Yesterday marked two months of my blogging journey. I started this blog on the 24th of August. I can’t believe it’s already been 2 months! I know it might not be that special to many people. I mean, 2 months is like a blip in the larger scheme of things. But I’ve had such a great time in the past 2 months just because of this blog and the love you’ve given to it! It still amazes me to think that people actually read my ramblings! I wanted to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you who has ever taken the time to comment on, like or read my blog! You have no idea what that means to me!

So, I thought of doing something different to celebrate my third month into blogging. Tada! here’s my first interactive post! I was a bit peevish previously to try this as I thought nobody would be interested. But look what two months has done to my confidence! I feel brave enough to try new things. More specifically, a new feature – Questions!

I haven’t been able to read as much as usual in the past 2 weeks because of recently starting a new internship. That, in addition to my final semester at Grad School and Master’s thesis is leaving me too tired to make time or energy for my reads. And I thought of branching more into audiobooks as a result. Now, I’m still comparatively a beginner when it comes to audiobooks and I need suggestions!

So, here’s my question –

What Are Your Top Favorite Audiobooks?

Now, I’m open to all genres. But I’m currently in the mood for listening to anything along the lines of contemporary or romance. (Because I’ve mainly listened to fantasy audiobooks so far). I wouldn’t even mind listening to a book I’ve already read as long as I liked the book and the narration does justice to it.

P.S. I might make this a weekly interactive thing where I ask you about more bookish recommendations, depending on your responses to this post.  I might change the name, though. Using my name in third person comes off as a bit pretentious. Heh.

Anyhow, looking forward to you recommendations!