Sunday, August 20, 2017

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon || Lucky in Love by Kasie West || Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally || Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia - Contemporary Mash-Up Reviews

WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI

My Rating: ★★★★★

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.

My Thoughts: Can we say super cute romance and fantastic representation? That is what When Dimple Met Rishi has to offer the world (I mean besides a great story). This book had so much hype before I read it... but it absolutely lived up to it. Dimple is my new hero! She is strong and independent... she is a girl who loves STEM... she has values but still cares about others opinions. And Rishi... he is a precious little cinnamon roll who all men should idolize to be.

But in all seriousness, this story is about two Indian-American teenagers who have been set up for a possible arranged marriage by their parents. This is a topic of conversation for which I know very little about, but I learned so much from reading about it in this book. As this book is an owned-voices novel, I expected that all of the great cultural and academic representation would be accurately portrayed... and from what I hear from the Indian community is that this is completely the case! On top of that, this book is also hilarious and geeky. Basically what i'm saying is that this book has it all and can easily appeal to a large variety of people. With that in mind, I recommend everyone read this book. I think it is one of the most important reads of the year and, honestly, one of my favorites so far.
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LUCKY IN LOVE

My Rating: ★★★☆

Synopsis: Maddie’s not impulsive. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment— She wins! In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun…until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust. Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

My Thoughts: Lucky in Love is a cute, summer romance story about a girl who wins the lottery. It was a quick, fun read, but it's not all that original. This is the second book that I have read this year that focuses around someone winning the lottery. However, that is not what makes this book unoriginal. Maddie hides her lottery win from her crush, Seth, because she doesn't want his opinions and feelings about her to change. I have seen this trope about a thousand times and it never feels fresh. The plot is also quite predictable and has some unlikeable characters. I swear it's not all bad though. I did enjoy my time reading this book because of Maddie and Seth's relationship. They were so cute together and the progression of their feelings for each other were slow and realistic. Too many times have I read a Y/A contemporary novel where the two main characters fell in love practically two chapters in. Overall, this is not my favorite Kasie West book. I love her writing, but I have read two of her other books that I feel were far superior. If you are looking for a quick, summery read then I would recommend it. It is quite perfect for a day outside under a shady tree!
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COMING UP FOR AIR

Series: Hundred Oaks #8

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Synopsis: Swim. Eat. Shower. School. Snack. Swim. Swim. Swim. Dinner. Homework. Bed. Repeat. All of Maggie’s focus and free time is spent swimming. She’s not only striving to earn scholarships—she’s training to qualify for the Olympics. It helps that her best friend, Levi, is also on the team and cheers her on. But Levi’s already earned an Olympic try out, so she feels even more pressure to succeed. And it’s not until Maggie’s away on a college visit that she realizes how much of the “typical” high school experience she’s missed by being in the pool. Not one to shy away from a challenge, Maggie decides to squeeze the most out of her senior year. First up? Making out with a guy. And Levi could be the perfect candidate. After all, they already spend a lot of time together. But as Maggie slowly starts to uncover new feelings for Levi, how much is she willing to lose to win?

My Thoughts: This book took me completely by surprise! Coming Up for Air was my first Miranda Kenneally book and I didn't really know what to expect. To some people, Kenneally is one of the quintessential YA contemporary authors and to others her writing is underwhelming. However, I quite enjoyed my time reading this book though and flew through it in two days. 

Coming Up for Air tells a great coming of age story. Maggie is a competitive swimmer, but her love for swimming gets in the way of her living a normal teenage life. She is about to go to college, but she has never really had a boyfriend. The love story introduced in this book felt very natural to me... it was adorable and believable and I totally shipped it. I also LOVED the swimming aspect. I don't normally like books that deal with sports (which is probably why I have never read a Kenneally book before), but I think that swimming is the one sport that everyone loves. Who doesn't like the feel of water on their skin? Overall, I enjoyed this book more than I would have ever thought. I look forward to reading more of Kenneally's books in the future!
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ELIZA AND HER MONSTERS

My Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis: In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try. Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile. But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

My Thoughts: I loved this book so much! Eliza and Her Monsters spoke to my soul as this is a book for fangirls and internet obsessed nuts like me. I kept hearing that this book is like Fangirl but even better. I thought to myself "How could that be"... I love Fangirl for it's story about the college experience and for it's winks and nods to Harry Potter. However, I now understand why everyone was saying this. I don't think Eliza and her Monsters tops Fangirl for me, but it may have an equal amount of love in my heart.

The thing that this book has that Fangirl doesn't have, is the emotional punch to the gut. I got about 3/4 of the way through and all of a sudden I started crying. Confessions started coming out and I honestly never saw any of it coming. This book also has great representation for anxiety-based disorders. I, personally, don't suffer from anxiety, but I have heard from many people who do that they can identify with this book. Books resonate the most when people can find their own type of representation and feel the way the characters feel. Overall, I absolutely recommend this book to everyone. I think I can officially call it one of my all-time favorites and will re-read it for years to come.

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