When Dimple Met Rishi

By Sandhya Menon

Source: Borrowed ARC

Series: n/a

Publication Date: May 30, 2017

Published by Simon Pulse

My Rating: four-stars

When Dimple Met Rishi

Cover image and synopsis from Goodreads:

A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

I was so excited to read this book! I’d heard such good things about it and it was getting lots of buzz. So I was thrilled when a friend gave me her ARC to read!

When Dimple Met Rishi was so fun to read! I loved the characters. I loved Rishi’s optimism and earnestness, contrasted with Dimple’s sarcasm. They were such opposites in many ways, but maybe that’s why they were such a good match.

I loved the romance, going from the idea of an arranged marriage to being completely ruled out to falling in love! It was so adorable! And I loved reading about Dimple and Rishi’s families and backgrounds, and reading about Bollywood films. I also loved that they were working on building an app. I think this is the second book I’ve read this year (the other is Romancing the Throne) that had a female character talking about coding and web development and building apps, and I just thought it was so interesting.

This book definitely lived up to my expectations and I’ve already purchased a finished copy! Recommended!

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

By Taylor Jenkins Reid

Source: Received from the publisher

Series: n/a

Received from the publisher, for free, for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Publication Date: June 13, 2017

My Rating: four-stars

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Cover image and synopsis from Goodreads:

From Taylor Jenkins Reid comes an unforgettable and sweeping novel about one classic film actress’s relentless rise to the top—the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.

Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Filled with emotional insight and written with Reid’s signature talent, this is a fascinating journey through the splendor of Old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it takes—to face the truth.

I’ve only read one of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s previous books (After I Do), and I really liked it. So when I heard she had a new book coming out this year, I was intrigued. And when I read the synopsis, I knew I had to read it!

Old Hollywood/the Golden Age of Hollywood is so interesting to me, and I loved reading about Evelyn’s rise to fame. And as I was reading this book, I was pausing to look up classic film clips online. Evelyn’s story was full of highs and lows, and I was fully invested in its outcome.

I don’t want to give anything away so I won’t talk about the plot. But Taylor Jenkins Reid shows how complex the relationships are between friends, family, lovers and spouses.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was a wonderful, well-written, moving story. This is definitely my favourite of the two Taylor Jenkins Reid books I’ve read. Highly recommended!!

Pick up a copy for yourself:

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Week In Review

May 5 – 11

via GIPHY

Hello! Happy weekend! I’m going to see Wonder Woman today and I’m super excited!

It was also a very exciting book week! I received some books from Penguin Random House Canada (thank you!!) that I am mega excited about:

A Map for Wrecked Girls, Jessica Taylor;

Warcross, Marie Lu; and

Jane, Unlimited, Kristin Cashore.

I love these covers. And I can’t wait to read them all! They sound so good!

I also picked up a few books that I have been really really wanting to get my hands on:

My Life with Bob, Pamela Paul;

Family Don’t End with Blood, Lynn Zubernis (Ed.);

Over the Garden Wall, Volume One, Jim Campbell;

Internet Famous, Danika Stone;

The Party, Robyn Harding; and

The Impossible Fortress, Jason Rekulak.

I finished reading three books:

The Lying Game, Ruth Ware;

The Bookshop on the Corner, Jenny Colgan (SO adorable); and

Over the Garden Wall, Volume One.

Currently, I’m reading Jenny Han’s Always and Forever, Lara Jean, and Dear Reader, by Mary O’Connell. I’m really liking both so far!

On the blog, I posted two reviews this past week:

Into the Water, Paula Hawkins; and

None of the Above, I.W. Gregorio.

Ok that’s it for me! Time to get ready to see Wonder Woman, which I hope will be amazing! Happy Sunday!

None of the Above

By I.W. Gregorio

Source: Purchased

Series: n/a

Publication Date: April 7, 2015

Published by Balzer & Bray

My Rating: four-stars

None of the Above

Cover image and synopsis from Goodreads:

A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she was born intersex… and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school. Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between.

What if everything you knew about yourself changed in an instant?

When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She’s a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she’s madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she’s decided that she’s ready to take things to the next level with him.

But Kristin’s first time isn’t the perfect moment she’s planned—something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy “parts.”

Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin’s entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self?

This was the most recent pick for one of my book clubs and I was really looking forward to reading it.

Once I got into this book, I couldn’t put it down. Kristin’s story was so interesting – I learned a lot from this book – and I needed to know how the story would end. What would she decide to do about school? Would she talk things out with her friends and would they make up?

I really liked Kristin’s relationship with her father. They clearly loved each other, and she kept trying to protect him by hiding things or keeping things from him. I could understand why she was doing that, and I remember being a teenager – sometimes you don’t want to tell your parents about something if you think it will hurt or upset them.

Overall, this was really good and made for some great book club discussion. Recommended!

Into the Water

By Paula Hawkins

Source: Received from the publisher

Series: n/a

Received from the publisher, for free, for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Publication Date: May 2, 2017

Published by Riverhead Books

My Rating: three-half-stars

Into the Water

Cover image and synopsis from Goodreads:

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.

With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.

Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.

I really enjoyed The Girl on the Train, so I was definitely looking forward to reading Paula Hawkins’ follow up.

I wanted to read this book as soon as possible, before I read reviews or had the story spoiled for me in any way. The hard cover I received was a big book, but once I got into it, I read the book in a couple of days.

At first I was confused by all of the characters and time jumps. I was sure that it would come together, but initially I found myself very confused about who everyone was and how they were all connected.

I really liked the mood and atmosphere of the story. The setting was great for a mystery. But I don’t know if it’s because there were so many characters or what, but I didn’t fee like I really connected to any of the characters, or that I really got to know any of them. I wasn’t super invested in the outcome of any one individual’s storyline but I was curious to see, plot-wise, what would happen.

Also, I thought the ‘Drowning Pool’ and stories like Libby’s were going to factor into the story more than they did. I kind of felt like nothing much came of it. It was interesting background information for the story and contributed to the mood and tension, I suppose.

As for the mystery itself, I have very spoiler-y feelings about it. I won’t go into detail here, but I didn’t find it very satisfying.

Overall, I did find Into the Water to be an entertaining, fun read – perhaps one that tried to be a little too twisty for its own good in the end. I didn’t love the book, but I liked it, and will be interested to read the next book from Paula Hawkins.