Thursday, July 6, 2017

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Title: When Dimple Met Rishi

Release Date: May 30, 2017

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Pages: 380

Received: Bought

Star Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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.[goodreads]

My Thoughts

One of my favorites this summer. When Dimple Met Rishi is a novel that captivates your heart and influences more people to understand that culture is important and should be respected. But this love story, was so unique and of its own kind. I know I may overuse “unique”, but I mean it in the most genuine way. The storytelling was precise from bringing heartwarming teasing, to seeing the raw and unmasked truths.

Also, Dimple being a woman of color and in tech is such a brilliant and beautiful thing because of the tech industry being so concentrated in men. This token chimed with my own personal pursuit. I've realized “You can’t be, what you can’t see”. It's rang in my head and this novel takes me home.

The setting in a “hackathon” esque area was very interesting and fun. This novel doesn't only bring a love story, but a story on the privileges people have over others AND their rhetoric around it. Rishi, a more traditionalist, is planning to be in an arranged marriage with Dimple, who is more of a free spirit. These two will eventually hit it off and ideals change, while feelings accumulate.

There’s not enough I can say about this one. It left me contemplating my own culture and the traditions I want to hold and ones I can’t let anyone decide for me.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Title: Uprooted

Release Date: May 19, 2015

Publisher: Del Rey

Pages: 435

Received: Bought

Star Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life. Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood. The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows— everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her. But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.[goodreads]

My Thoughts

This was my first fantasy-esque novel in a loong time. I believe this is a good kick start to a fantasy high! The premise was captivating, just like the beginning chapters! The world building was long, but it was worth reading the characters walk through the world.

I went into Uprooted not knowing much, and I highly suggest it. The only things I would've liked to known was that Dragon, not a real dragon, but just a name. And the main character is Aneiszka. The writer develops the story in a detailed fashion to allow the reader to soak in the high staked world.

I was reminded of SO many other tales, while reading this one. Like for example Beauty and the Beast! More of the setting and landscape. And Shadow and Bone, for its dark, fantasy elements. But all in all, Uprooted was on its own stage. The blow in the beginning wasn't has hard hitting throughout the novel, but I still enjoyed it. There's so much potential not for this series, but for the world! I'm so excited to tell this tale. Enjoy.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

Title: I Believe in a Thing Called Love

Release Date: May 30, 2017

Publisher: BYR

Pages: 336

Received: Bought

Star Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Desi Lee believes anything is possible if you have a plan. That’s how she became student body president. Varsity soccer star. And it’s how she’ll get into Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds guidance in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Steps to True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and staged car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that love is about way more than just drama.

My Thoughts

The premise of this novel was MADE for me. I love summer contemporaries AND kdramas. I know kdramas seem repetitive when meets the eye, but I agree with the main character Desi, how the build up and intimacy make the moments worth it. This novel picked me up into the perfect summer mood. I suggest this to anyone in need of a smack of summer in one punch.

Obviously, the novel follows a young Korean American in high school, who like most teenagers worry about, boys. Other than being the valedictorian and perfect SAT scorer, she can’t seem to handle herself when it comes to guys. She’s clumsy and awkward at heart, and I love how relatable and authentic her personality is.

Desi follows the common steps every kdrama couple goes through for their happily ever after. So of course, a new guy, Luca, steps into her narrative. The plan seems foolproof right?

I loved how the writer plays on not only kdrama cliches, but common cliches in American culture. It’s poignant and messy, but these dramatic events work. Also, I treasure the family dynamics and culture because searching for diverse books in a sea is difficult, but the first step is to look. I enjoyed the storytelling and larger character realizations. This is one not to miss!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Armchair Book Expo 2017: Day 1

 Hello! Day 1 is here for Book Expo! Introductions are so exciting because it brings the lovely book community together. I'm happy to introduce myself and I hope to hear more from all of you! Please comment below, so I can check out your post. 


I am...Readical. But behind Readical is me, Marcey. I review YA books, where I voice my concerns, passions, and raves. 

Currently...I'm studying computer science and have been hectic with school. It's difficult to put aside time for reading, but that's where I hope to improve my time management. (and priorities aka books)

My current read... is Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. Let me know if you've read it!

My social media... My twitter handle is @marceyreads or Follow me and tell me you're from Armchair BE and I'll follow you back!

I hope to hear from you! Thank you for a warm welcome.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts

Title: Royal Bastards

Release Date: May 30, 2017

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Pages: 352

Received: Publisher

Star Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Being a bastard blows. Tilla would know. Her father, Lord Kent of the Western Province, loved her as a child, but cast her aside as soon as he had trueborn children.

At sixteen, Tilla spends her days exploring long-forgotten tunnels beneath the castle with her stablehand half brother, Jax, and her nights drinking with the servants, passing out on Jax’s floor while her castle bedroom collects dust. Tilla secretly longs to sit by her father’s side, resplendent in a sparkling gown, enjoying feasts with the rest of the family. Instead, she sits with the other bastards, like Miles of House Hampstedt, an awkward scholar who’s been in love with Tilla since they were children.

Then, at a feast honoring the visiting princess Lyriana, the royal shocks everyone by choosing to sit at the Bastards’ Table. Before she knows it, Tilla is leading the sheltered princess on a late-night escapade. Along with Jax, Miles, and fellow bastard Zell, a Zitochi warrior from the north, they stumble upon a crime they were never meant to witness.

Rebellion is brewing in the west, and a brutal coup leaves Lyriana’s uncle, the Royal Archmagus, dead—with Lyriana next on the list. The group flees for their lives, relentlessly pursued by murderous mercenaries; their own parents have put a price on their heads to prevent the king and his powerful Royal Mages from discovering their treachery.

The bastards band together, realizing they alone have the power to prevent a civil war that will tear their kingdom apart—if they can warn the king in time. And if they can survive the journey . .  [goodreads]

My Thoughts

*No spoilers!

Everything in this book was what I needed to fulfill my fantasy craze. My eyes were peeled towards the enchanting world building: the magic and the ever growing kingdom. After each page, the plot thickened to be more compelling and mesmerizing as the last. There is plenty of action to keep anyone focused and entertained.

Royal Bastards, was a solid read and I recommend anyone who is in the mood for some YA fantasy, to pick this one up. There was always someone new to meet in the plot and I grew to become very interested in them. One issue I had was the very simplistic writing in a very historic and fantasy background, which didn't pull me in all the way.

I usually try not to pick a fight with the main character, but Tilla was not my favorite. But I enjoyed how the author tied the ends on the character and story arcs. There were more lessons learned in the end by the main characters, but it pulled the novel more together.

I hope there will be more after this because I'd like to see where the author takes these complex characters in his world. It was strong in female bonds and power, which I can never get enough of. This was full of humor and intrigue, so don't miss out!

*received in exchange for an honest review (Thank You!)

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

Title: Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Release Date: May 2, 2017

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Pages: 336

Received: Purchased

Star Rating: ★ ★ ★  

Lara Jean’s letter-writing days aren’t over in this surprise follow-up to the New York Times bestselling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding. But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind. When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to? [goodreads]

My Thoughts

First: check out my reviews of the first two books in the trilogy!

*Includes spoilers-- You've been warned

A cherry on top. This is exactly how Jenny Han ended her sweetest book series. I'm usually late to the party, but when I bought this and read it in one day, it was an expecting ending. I haven't reread the second one in a looong time, but I thought I knew where this was going because of the synopsis. Jenny Han captures the reader, with more than savory and sweet diction, but with powerful character dynamics from the Song sisters, to her relationship with Peter.

Senior year! Lara Jean and Peter began the book with a stronger, faithful, and bubbly relationship than their last. They immediately drawn me in because their relationship is so playful. I absolutely adored Kitty; she reminds me of Lily from Modern Family! I couldn't exactly remember Stormy at first, but it all came back to me when I heard about John. Then I thought about all the other boys she loved before! Like all the pity mentions of Josh were hilarious, he was obviously the rotten apple in the bunch. I had a small feeling we were going to see Josh, but it never happened. But either way, he is the past, and Peter is Lara Jean's future.

Peter and Lara Jean's relationship was definitely on the table the entire novel. We've heard the saying the entire series, "Don't be the girl that goes to college with a boyfriend". I could not see this go any other way, but in despair for Lara Jean. But the commitment Peter has for Lara Jean, was a true testament to his love for her. The tensions between them rose from their families, to their future together. We learn more about Peter's parents, nothing that wasn't new, his dad left him and his mom's distrust of Lara Jean. Lara Jean was almost just pestering Peter about his dad, but I was also angry that he didn't go to graduation because he didn't see Peter do well without him. But his mom is another story. A whole talk with Lara Jean. How she is ruining Peter's future?! I was even more disappointed when Lara Jean believed her entirely. The breakup was dramatic to say the least. The wedding came at the perfect point for a resolution and more lovey dovey comments.

Margo and Ms Rothschild were a complicated relationship. Margo didn't want her mom to be replaced and she felt like Ms Rothschild was too comfortable at home, when she was away at college. Jenny Han amplifies common tropes to her characters, but masterly renders the storytelling from cliches. There was not a pleasant resolution between these two characters, but I know it'll work out in the end.

Korea. The best gift, but also at the worst timing. I didn't like the idea of this trip at this point of time because of the rising tensions with Peter, college switching, the wedding, I convinced myself Korea was a plot hole, where no character mentioned it again. This large event was used as another wall between Peter and Lara Jean. But just the fact that no one mentioned something briefly like, "Remember when we...",... none of that.

One final thing I loved dearly, was college choosing. Lara Jean didn't get into a selective school all her peers, and her boyfriend, got into, but it leads her to a path with a higher ranked school and best first impression. The spontaneous rendezvous with Chris to the college that suddenly un-waitlisted her was such an exciting and thrilling experience. It was basically one last hurrah for these two besties and it lightened the mood.

 I loved that the novel ends in a full circle, from the very beginning contract. The story of how someone met is usually a special one and I'm teary-eyed about Peter and Lara Jean's.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Daily

Hello readers! I know my hiatus was long, but I'm here to mention the upcoming events and posts I have in store! It's been a hectic year, always hustling and bustling, but I know my roots: this blog. I want to evolve this blog to become something I've always wanted it to be. I know I'll put extra hard work into this blog this summer, so enjoy the sun and keep reading!

Images by Freepik