When Dimple Met Rishi – By Sandhya Menon

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Goodreads Synopsis: 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.

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This is going to be a hard book for me to review, because while I liked parts of it, I also decided not to finish reading it.  I decided to stop reading it because of other things in my life that I found I was taking out on the book, and eventually decided I should just put down the book, and then pick it up again in a year or two.  I think I might simply put this review into a list of things I liked about the book, and things I didn’t like.

Pros: 

  1. Dimple. Dimple herself is a great character, she’s smart, she’s motivated, she wants to work with web development. I mean even her name is great, I love the name Dimple.  For the first bit of the book, I enjoyed her character a lot. Her reaction to Rishi calling her his “future wife” was amazing. I mean who wouldn’t throw coffee on a stranger who wanted to marry you?
  2. Rishi. He was also a great character. I loved that he was on board with the arranged marriage, I loved that he was religious (he says “Gods bless you” in response to a sneeze and then goes on to explain his beliefs) and his romanticism was pretty darned cute.
  3. Culture. I loved all of the details about Indian culture, the food and language. I thought this was pretty cool.

Cons: 

  1. Dimple. After meeting Rishi at the college and then working with him on the project, suddenly Dimple seems to forget why she’s there. All motivation to design her app and win the contest seems to peeter out.  This was frustrating because it seemed contrary to what her character was set out to be. Where went the determined feminist girl I liked in the first few chapters?  When Dimple Met Rishi unfortunately follows the troupe of when a girl meets a guy suddenly all of her life goals mean nothing and all she wants to do is kiss him.
  2. One True Love Troupe. Kill me now. I hate this troupe with a burning passion. And it was honestly the last thing I expected from this book. I’m just so tired of this unrealistic idea that there’s one magical person in the world for you. It’s bullshit and ultimately the reason I stopped reading this book.
  3. Dual POV. If you’ve read my blog for very long you know that I hate POV jumps, and that it frustrates me to no end.

In conclusion When Dimple Met Rishi was simple just “It’s me not you.” I wasn’t in the right head space to read the book. I recommend you read and decide for yourself if you liked it or not. It seemed like it could be a very cute fluffy read, and there are definitely times when we all want to read books like that.  I gave this book 3 stars on Goodreads.

Queens of Geek – By Jen Wilde

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Goodreads Synopsis: When BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie go to SupaCon, they know it’s going to be a blast. What they don’t expect is for it to change their lives forever. Charlie likes to stand out. SupaCon is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star, Reese Ryan. When Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought. While Charlie dodges questions about her personal life, Taylor starts asking questions about her own.

Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about the Queen Firestone SupaFan Contest, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.

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Queens of Geek had a lot of hype around it, so I figured why not read it? I love geeky things, this might be the book for me.

I think this book was just not for me. I didn’t really enjoy the writing very much. I didn’t enjoy the geekery. It felt flat to me. Like someone just wrote a novel, placed it at a convention for coolness and then threw in every ”geeky” reference to try and make the book relatable.

The characters weren’t bad. Charlie was pretty cool, I loved that she was bisexual and that the book actually used the word BISEXUAL. I did enjoy the romance between her and new girlfriend, I thought it was pretty adorable.

I liked that Taylor was chubby, and had anxiety and also was neurodivergent. I wanted to like her character more, but I also felt that she was fairly flat character. I wanted her to be more than just a geek and anxious. I wanted to see more of her personality, but it just never came out. Overall though I think that Wilde did a good job of making sure she had a diverse cast.

The plot was my main problem, it’s focus is entirely on the romances going on.  And I felt like it could have been about so much more.  But in the end, I didn’t have a hard time reading the book. I liked the characters, and I thought it had a pretty adorable ending. Queens of Geek gets 3 stars from me.

Dial Em For Murder by Marni Bates

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Goodreads Synopsis: Humor and mayhem ensue when a teen girl gets caught up in the death of a hi-tech hitman and must try to stay one step ahead of the killers lurking in the shadows of an exclusive prep school.

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I didn’t make it past 15% in this book I was so bored and done with it’s cliche story. Dial Em for Murder seemed like such a great idea when I read the synopsis. But from page 1 this book is a disappointment.

Emmy is obnoxious and annoying from the beginning, and that was my first problem. She writes terrible romance novels and actually thinks they are great stories, now could be amusing if she wasn’t even more annoying outside of her writing life. She has about as much personality as a pancake. She’s white, she’s straight, she just another girl shipped off to a boarding school because reasons.

My other problems were with the rest of the characters and the plot. The love interest is your stereotypical straight white rich YA guy, complete with an ridiculous name.  You also have the father (now dead) with a mysterious past. Etc etc etc. Could this get any more cliche?

To sum up I was bored out of my mind reading this book. I did not finish it, I didn’t even try.  I gave this 1 star on Goodreads.  I was given a copy of this ARC by edelweiss, thank you to them! Maybe I’ll have better luck with my next read.

 

We Are Okay – By Nina LaCour

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Goodreads Synopsis: Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart. 

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We Are Okay is one of my favorite types of stories. I love books about relationships, books with beautiful writing, and books were all the emotions of the characters feel as real as my own.

The story follows Marin whose going through some hard times in life, she’s moved away from her home to go to school and she hasn’t talked to anyone she used to know.  Right away I felt like I could sympathize with her because I’ve known what it feels like to just want to run away and never look back.  As I read more I found the rest of the characters to be understandable and relatable as well. Mabel is such a great friend, and I loved how she never gives up on Marin, even when she’s hurt and angry at Marin.  The character of the grandfather was also adorable, sweet and the plot twist with him and Marin was heartbreaking.   I was sucked into the story from page 1. And even though I was able to guess some of the ending, I was never pulled out of the story by my guessing.

I throughly enjoyed reading We Are Okay.  I gave it four stars on Goodreads, and I totally recommend it to you all.

Has anyone else read We Are Okay? I’d love to discuss it in the comments! 

Otherbound – By Corinne Duyvis

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Goodreads Synopsis: Amara is never alone. Not when she’s protecting the cursed princess she unwillingly serves. Not when they’re fleeing across dunes and islands and seas to stay alive. Not when she’s punished, ordered around, or neglected. She can’t be alone, because a boy from another world experiences all that alongside her, looking through her eyes.

Nolan longs for a life uninterrupted. Every time he blinks, he’s yanked from his Arizona town into Amara’s mind, a world away, which makes even simple things like hobbies and homework impossible. He’s spent years as a powerless observer of Amara’s life. Amara has no idea . . . until he learns to control her, and they communicate for the first time. Amara is terrified. Then, she’s furious. All Amara and Nolan want is to be free of each other. But Nolan’s breakthrough has dangerous consequences. Now, they’ll have to work together to survive–and discover the truth about their connection.

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This book boiled down to being very “meh” for me. Despite the bisexuality, diversity and disabled representations, it was just a little bit slow.

Nolan and Amara are fairly good characters. They are unique and had great diversity. Amara was also mute, and Nolan is an amputee. I thought the way they interacted was well written, and realistic.  My complaints with the book weren’t with the characters, in fact I think this book as a brilliant premise. It was mostly that I found the book so slow. After the first 60 pages the book lost it’s pacing, and from then on it was either cliche, slow or just plain boring.  The world also felt like it could have been explained more, I didn’t understand the magic system and I also didn’t really understand the curse surrounded Cilla. I guess I just wanted to know more, and to feel more for the characters. Sadly I never did.

I gave Otherbound three stars on Goodreads.

Over You – By Amy Reed

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Goodreads Synopsis: Max would follow Sadie anywhere, so when Sadie decides to ditch her problems and escape to Nebraska for the summer, it’s only natural for Max to go along. Max is Sadie’s confidante, her protector, and her best friend. This summer will be all about them. This summer will be perfect. And then they meet Dylan. Dylan is dark, dangerous, and intoxicating, and he awakens something in Max that she never knew existed. No matter how much she wants to, she can’t back away from him. But Sadie has her own intensity, and has never allowed Max to become close with anyone else. Max doesn’t know who she is without Sadie, but she’d better start learning. Because if she doesn’t make a decision about Dylan, about Sadie, about herself it’s going to be made for her.

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Well this book was a roller-coaster, to say the least.

Over You follows to friends over a summer. Max and Sadie have been friends for a long time, Max is the one that holds them both together, Sadie the one who controls the relationship and gets them into trouble.  Originally I had thought that this book was going to be a lot more about toxic relationships, but after I finished the book I felt like it had really just skimmed over that. The relationship between the two girls is confusing to say the least.  Why has Max let Sadie be so manipulative and controlling? I was never sure. What’s going on in Max’s family life that has her depressed? Again, I wasn’t sure. Over You felt vague.

I didn’t like the writing style. I found the mythological stories at the beginning of each chapter random and confusing.  The characters weren’t written the best. Max and Sadie both had issues, which would have been okay if the conclusion had been better. Dylan was creepy as all get out, the synopsis makes it seem like he’s just more wild. Actually he’s a 21 year old guy trying to make out with 17 year olds.  Which was a huge problem for me.  I also felt like the book was biphobic and anti-non monogamy, which also upset me.

Overall it wasn’t that great of a read. I gave it 2 stars on goodreads.