TAG : SUMMER GOALS BOOK TAG

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So, Summer is almost over where I live. But that doesn’t mean I’ll miss out the chance on doing this fun tag! Thanks to Ashley for tagging me in this! I’m sorry for my delayed take on this tag, though.

A Series You Plan on Finishing by the End of the Summer

The Mistborn series probably. It’s a series I’ve been wanting to pick up for more than a year now.

A Romance You Plan on Reading by the End of the Summer

There are a lot of romances on my TBR. But I’m looking forward to Perfectly Adequate by Jewel E. Ann. It comes out at the end of September.

 

A New Release You Really Want to Read

I’m planning on starting Well Met by Jen DeLuca soon. Fingers crossed I like it!

A Bookish Goal You Want to Accomplish

For now, finish the 8 or so ARCs still waiting on my Netgalley list, and not send requests for any more ARCs in the meantime.

A Non-Bookish Goal You Set for Yourself for the Summer

To learn swimming! I’ve just started swimming classes. It’s about time I get over my fear of water.

Read on the Beach or in a Park?

Both. I’m not discriminate about places when reading. All I need is some quiet and calm around me for that.

Go-To Summer Read: Cute Romance or Thriller?

Cute romances all the way!

What’s Your Biggest Dream/Goal in Life?

One thing I’ve realized in life is that nothing goes according to plans. So no, I just want to be happy whatever I end up doing!


I won’t be tagging anyone this time, but feel free to do the tag if you’re interested. Do let me know in the comments if you’re gonna do it!

 

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ARC REVIEW : WE MET IN DECEMBER

Following a year in the life of a twenty-something British woman who falls hard for her London flat mate, this clever, fun, and unforgettable romantic comedy is the perfect feel-good holiday read.

Two people. One house. A year that changes everything. 

Twenty-nine-year-old Jess is following her dream and moving to London. It’s December, and she’s taking a room in a crumbling, but grand, Notting Hill house-share with four virtual strangers. On her first night, Jess meets Alex, the guy sharing her floor, at a Christmas dinner hosted by her landlord. They don’t kiss, but as far as Jess is concerned the connection is clear. She starts planning how they will knock down the wall between them to spend more time together.

But when Jess returns from a two-week Christmas holiday, she finds Alex has started dating someone else—beautiful Emma, who lives on the floor above them. Now Jess faces a year of bumping into (hell, sharing a bathroom with) the man of her dreams…and the woman of his.


review

Okay. Look at that title and the synopsis. Can you blame me for having subconsciously compared it with my absolute favorite “One Day in December“? I’m unreasonably angry with this book as if it’s intentionally mislead me to compare the two.

Not that there are no similarities between the books. Both take place over a period of time. The characters are forced not to act on their feelings. There’s an involvement with a mutual friend. But that’s where the similarities end.

There’s no angst. No unresolved tension. No heartache. No sparks. No chemistry. Whatsoever.

Jess falls for Alex right off the bat. She can’t stop self-gushing over his handsome looks. And before we know it, she’s telling us about how she can’t stop herself from falling in love with him the more time they spend together. But that’s the thing. She’s telling us this. We don’t see these things happening. And there was nothing remotely convincing about her words.

On the other hand, the first time we get into Alex’s head, which is quite far in the book, he can only talk about his ‘friends with benefit’ thing with another housemate Emma, and his worry over how to navigate it, as he has no interest in starting a relationship  after a disastrous break-up with his ex Alice. His feelings for Jess simply don’t get enough breathing space to convincingly develop.

This book is supposed to be a romance, but we get more time spent on secondary characters and their stories than the central romance. Nothing interesting happens. We get excruciatingly minute details on Jess’s new life in Notting Hill, but not on her feelings for Jess, except for one line here and there. There’s no proper buildup of the romance. Even the character development is lacking. The author barely scratches the surface when it comes to developing the romance.

I simply wanted more from the book that has been compared to Richard Curtis romances. Are you freaking serious? If you want me to go into this book thinking it will be similar to Love Actually, Notting Hill and Bridget Jones, you better deliver on the awkward heroes, the amazing chemistry, great one-liners. At least give me some semblance of a romance!

The only good thing about the book was that it’s a fast read.


ratings

★★☆☆☆

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

Links –  AmazonGoodreads Book Depository

ARC REVIEW : THE LOVE SOLUTION

It’s all in the chemistry…

Sisters Sarah and Molly are close, but they couldn’t be more different. Sarah runs a craft business and is obsessed with all things shiny and glam, whilst Molly is much more at home in her white coat and goggles, working in a science lab.

When Molly is put onto a new assignment, she’s over the moon. It’s a high-profile, top secret project – and she has a handsome new boss to ogle at when she’s not bending over a petri dish…

But when Sarah finds herself on the painful end of a disastrous break-up, no amount of Ben & Jerry’s or trashy rom-coms can cheer her up. She wants to take a more drastic approach to dealing with her heartbreak, and one that only her sister – and perhaps a sprinkle of science – can help with . . .

Will Sarah find love where she least expects it, or is it really all in the chemistry?


reviewI never rule out a book just because of the morality of the characters. Even if I don’t agree with their decisions, as long as I can understand where they’re coming from, I can bear with the questionable morality. But that never happened in this book. Not only the way the author plays with morality and ethics in this story is hugely problematic; But I also could not make sense of any of their actions.

Take Molly for example. She’s a scientist working on an important project which has to stay confidential. It’s top-secret. And she discloses it to her sister Sarah without any qualms. That was the first strike for me.

The second strike was Sarah using the secret project to get back her ex. Here’s where the morality of the characters come into question. I was confounded by the utter disregard of the characters for all the ethical aspects of this action and ignorance of a concept as important as consent.

Look, if you want to sell a story about characters doing questionable things, at least take some time to justify their actions. But no, for the life of me, I couldn’t understand what was so special about Sarah’s ex that drove her so crazy in love. All the love interests were unimpressive. And where was the hell was the romance that the synopsis promises? The focus was on all the wrong things. I would’ve at least liked the bonding between the sisters, if not for my irritation at the two of them and their absurd stupidity.

This was just a very problematic story with little to offer.


ratings

★☆☆☆☆

Publication Date: 15th August, 2019.
Source: ARC from Publisher (via Netgalley)

Links –  AmazonGoodreads | Kobo

 

ARC REVIEW : CARNEGIE HILL

Deception is just another day in the lives of the elite.

At age thirty-three, Penelope “Pepper” Bradford has no career, no passion and no children. Her intrusive parents still treat her like a child. Moving into the Chelmsford Arms with her fiancé Rick, an up-and-coming financier, and joining the co-op board give her some control over her life—until her parents take a gut dislike to Rick and urge Pepper to call off the wedding. When, the week before the wedding, she glimpses a trail of desperate text messages from Rick’s obsessed female client, Pepper realizes that her parents might be right.

She looks to her older neighbors in the building to help decide whether to stay with Rick, not realizing that their marriages are in crisis, too. Birdie and George’s bond frays after George is forced into retirement at sixty-two. And Francis alienates Carol, his wife of fifty years, and everyone else he knows, after being diagnosed with an inoperable heart condition. To her surprise, Pepper’s best model for love may be a clandestine romance between Caleb and Sergei, a porter and a doorman.

Jonathan Vatner’s Carnegie Hill is a belated-coming-of-age novel about sustaining a marriage—and knowing when to walk away. It chronicles the lives of wealthy New Yorkers and the staff who serve them, as they suffer together and rebound, struggle to free themselves from family entanglements, deceive each other out of love and weakness, and fumble their way to honesty.


review

It took me a long time to review this ARC even though I read it some time ago. The words just did not come effortlessly for this one. That happens when I’m really underwhelmed by a book.

Carnegie Hill follows Pepper as she tries to find meaning in her life. She joins a co-op board. But even if she’s the central character, the story is as much as about her neighbors as it is about her. And unfortunately for me, I didn’t find a single character worth rooting for.

Let’s start with Pepper. She’s a heiress, and her problems echo that of someone just out of college, not in their thirties. The only difference is that she has a fiance she’s very serious about. Not that I have any problem with the idea of what the synopsis labels ‘belated coming-of-age’. My problem lies with all the bark and the little bite Pepper has. She spends all her time being indignant and outraged about everything, and does very little to change things. I also found her to be very intrusive, with little respect for personal boundaries. Over the course of the book, she kept growing on my nerves.

There’s a fiance who Pepper seemed to be obstinately holding on to. The little I say about him, the better. He’s even more unlikable than Pepper.

We also get POV of other residents from Pepper’s building. The three couples that Pepper looks to for answers about marriage are Georg and Birdie – who are trying to navigate their lives after a sudden retirement for George; Francis and Carol – who are suffering due to Francis’s secrets about his health; Caleb and Sergei – the everyday life couple whose lives and views are a little too simplistic. The switch from one character to another took away from the writing. The story was disjointed. And it didn’t help that I found most of the characters to be tiresome caricatures, who only tested my patience.

Books like these make me want to be more selective about requesting for ARCs.


ratings

★★☆☆☆

Publication Date: 20th August, 2019.
Source: ARC from Publisher (via Netgalley)

Links –  Amazon Goodreads Book Depository

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOP TEN TUESDAY : Books I Enjoyed That Are Outside of My Comfort Zone

Happy Tuesday y’all! I’m doing TTT after a long time! I missed doing it. Hope to get my groove back this September.

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.


THE DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL

It took me a long time to actually pick up this book because the idea of reading the book about a girl who is about to be executed by the Nazis disturbed me like nothing else. But I finally made myself read it and I regret nothing.

ME BEFORE YOU

I’m not comfortable with themes of euthanasia. Nor do I have any taste for books where a protagonist dies. I didn’t have any idea that these things would be included in the book, but I still enjoyed the book.

THE SEVEN AND HALF DEATHS OF EVELYN HARDCASTLE


Time loops are not my thing. It’s too convoluted for my reading taste. And even though I was confused by a lot that was going on in the book. But I definitely savored every word of this book.

OUTLANDER

I also have no taste for time travel. But Outlander is a book that I really liked. It had the right amount of romance, action, adventure and suspense. But the series only gets worse. I didn’t even get past the first 3 books.

 

ALL THE PRETTY MONSTERS

Nothing could be more out of my comfort zone than reverse harem. I doubt if I’ll ever read this genre again, but I can’t deny how much I loved the series of All the Pretty Monsters.

TRANSCEND DUET

I love Jewel E. Ann as much as I hate love triangles. But my love for the author was justified as she did a pretty great job with the love triangle with it. Themes like reincarnation are also out of my comfort zone but I loved how this theme was executed in the book.

FEARLESS
Motorcycle club books are not my cup of tea. Fearless by Lauren Gilley was an exception.

KULTI

I was initially very uncomfortable with romances having big age difference between the main couple. Now I’m more open to reading books with this theme. And I think Kulti played a big part in that.

DIRTY RED

Reading a book with the ‘Other woman’ of the series as the protagonist isn’t something I thought I’d ever do and enjoy. But this was the second book of the trilogy and I really liked seeing the world from the eyes of a character I hated.

RUNNING BAREFOOT

Teacher-Student romances are not a genre you’ll find me reading usually. But I picked this book because of my love for Amy Harmon. And it exceeded my expectations. This was much more than a teacher-student romance, it was all about a girl and her journey to finding herself..

 

 

BLOGVERSARY : ONE YEAR OF MY BLOGGING JOURNEY!

Hello all! So it has now officially been a year since I started my blogging journey! I started blogging with a some apprehension, a little hesitance, and lots of nervousness. It was an impulsive decision and I was clueless about what would come of it.

I still remain clueless. But with each day, I only grow gladder that I decided to take the leap of faith. And it’s only because of you guys! This community has been so welcoming and inspiring since day one! I couldn’t be any more grateful.

Blogging hasn’t always been easy. It’s been a struggle at times to come up with reviews on books, or posting regularly at times. But at the end of the day, blogging has only made me a better reader. It’s made me more introspective about the books I read.

The best thing about this journey has been that I could share my reading experiences with everyone. I’ve learned a lot about myself, gotten some great book recommendations, and got acquainted with some amazing people!

I still have a lot to learn and much to improve, of course. And I hope you guys will be there to keep inspiring me throughout it all.

Now some GIFs to express what words can’t!

 

 

Happy reading, everyone!


 

ARC REVIEW : 100 DAYS OF SUNLIGHT

When 16-year-old poetry blogger Tessa Dickinson is involved in a car accident and loses her eyesight for 100 days, she feels like her whole world has been turned upside-down.

Terrified that her vision might never return, Tessa feels like she has nothing left to be happy about. But when her grandparents place an ad in the local newspaper looking for a typist to help Tessa continue writing and blogging, an unlikely answer knocks at their door: Weston Ludovico, a boy her age with bright eyes, an optimistic smile…and no legs.

Knowing how angry and afraid Tessa is feeling, Weston thinks he can help her. But he has one condition — no one can tell Tessa about his disability. And because she can’t see him, she treats him with contempt: screaming at him to get out of her house and never come back. But for Weston, it’s the most amazing feeling: to be treated like a normal person, not just a sob story. So he comes back. Again and again and again.

Tessa spurns Weston’s “obnoxious optimism”, convinced that he has no idea what she’s going through. But Weston knows exactly how she feels and reaches into her darkness to show her that there is more than one way to experience the world. As Tessa grows closer to Weston, she finds it harder and harder to imagine life without him — and Weston can’t imagine life without her. But he still hasn’t told her the truth, and when Tessa’s sight returns he’ll have to make the hardest decision of his life: vanish from Tessa’s world…or overcome his fear of being seen.

100 Days of Sunlight is a poignant and heartfelt novel by author Abbie Emmons. If you like sweet contemporary romance and strong family themes then you’ll love this touching story of hope, healing, and getting back up when life knocks you down.


review

I really tried to like this book. And I failed.

I could compare my feelings towards this book to that of what I felt after The Fault in Our Stars. Two young teens, both with their own diseases (disabilities in this case), finding solace in each other. And here also, I struggled to connect or relate to either of the two.

Okay. Here’s the first thing that I was not impressed by – Weston suddenly out of nowhere deciding that he would be a friend to Tessa. We see him right off the bat decide to make Tessa see the beautiful things in life, even in her temporary blindness. Okay. But why? They didn’t know each other beforehand, and Tessa was horrible to him from the start. I get the idea that it’s supposed to be because Tessa is the first person who can’t look at him pity for his condition, because she’s blind, and he likes that. But the writer does not expand on these feelings, except maybe a line or two.

Second thing that I didn’t like was how quickly Tessa and Weston grew an attachment. I get that they’re forced by their proximity and in Tessa’s case, isolation from the rest of the world. But I still would’ve liked them to take some more time to build their connection towards each other. But this is not any major issue.

My major issue was not being able to connect Weston and Tessa. Weston came off as a little too self-righteous and self-assured on his decisions when it came to Tessa. That was a turn-off. Tessa, on the other hand, was just unlikable. I get that she has a lot of problems but her character development felt lacking to me. I just couldn’t bring myself to sympathize with her.

I commend the author for touching upon many difficult and serious themes in this book, particularly that of mental health, family, etc. but I think that the quality of the writing needed to be better for these themes to have more of an impact on me. There were some genuinely cute and funny moments. It brings me back to my first point. I wanted to like the book, because it had an important message. But the writing made that difficult.

definitely think that this book would appeal more to younger newer readers. But I’ve read too many YAs in my days to have found anything novel or unpredictable about this book.


ratings

★★★☆☆

Publication Date: 7th August, 2019.
Source: ARC from Publisher (via Netgalley)

Links –  Amazon Goodreads Book Depository