Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #7 - Kissing Max Holden by Katy Upperman


When I first saw this book, my first thought was: "What a cute cover, I hope the story is just as cute!". From what I've read from trusted reviewers and book blogging friends, this book is just as cute as I've been hoping for, but also has raw and emotional moments, i.e. my favourite type of contemparary romance. Plus, I've heard that this book includes lots of amazing baking treats (I'm getting serious Lara Jean vibes here) and it's been blurbed by Erin Bowman, who has amazing book taste. She said: "Full of wit, humor, and spine-tingling smooches, Kissing Max Holden combines the classic themes of contemporary romance with riveting family drama. … I literally could not put this book down and would buy a physical copy for my shelf in a heartbeat. I can't wait to read what Katy writes next." Seriously, how good does that sound!?
I'm hoping that this is going to be a wondeful summer read, perfect for reading on my holidays.


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Kissing Max Holden was a terrible idea...

After his father has a life-altering stroke, Max Holden isn't himself. As his long-time friend, Jillian Eldridge only wants to help him, but she doesn't know how. When Max climbs through her window one night, Jill knows that she shouldn't let him kiss her. But she can't resist, and when they're caught in the act by her dad, Jill swears it'll never happen again. Because kissing Max Holden is a terrible idea.

With a new baby sibling on the way, her parents fighting all the time, and her dream of culinary school up in the air, Jill starts spending more and more time with Max. And even though her father disapproves and Max still has a girlfriend, not kissing Max is easier said than done. Will Jill follow her heart and allow their friendship to blossom into something more, or will she listen to her head and stop kissing Max Holden once and for all?


Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: August 1st 2017 by Swoon Reads
Doesn't it sound SO CUTE?



  Are you guys excited for this one too? Let me know, I'd love to chat!

Love,


 

Sunday, 18 June 2017

My Bookish Pet Peeves - Cover Changes, Stickers and Movie Covers


Generally, I'm a pretty tolerant person, but sometimes, there are bookish things that drive me CRAZY! For a bit of fun, I decided to list these things which drive me mad. Maybe they'll change, maybe they won't, but I know I can't be the only person that gets annoyed by these things <3 
P.S. I've found some wonderful posts on this topic by lovely bloggers, so all credit goes to them for coming up with this topic before me. Here's some links: here and here and here and here.


There are a few exceptions, but generally cover changes in YA series are THE WORST. It's even worse if the covers change mide series, so that the books DON'T EVEN MATCH. The worst offender for this is probably The Diviners series by Libba Bray. The first book had the most incredible cover, with a beautiful under-cover gold design of roses and lines (ooh, ahh). But then, typically, they changed it for the second book. At least the cover was still pretty, but it had none of the beauty of the first book. Then, imagine my horror when I found that they've changed the covers again (WHY!?) for the third book! *cries* 


 Other nightmare-ish cover changes include The Winner's series by Marie Rutkowski (but at least the publishers listened in this case and ended up releasing the last book with the beautiful original cover and the Across the Universe series by Beth Revis. The inital covers for this series were so beautiful, so WHY OH WHY did they feel the need to change them mid-series?!
There are a couple of exceptions to this rule, of course. Namely, the Anna and the French Kiss series and the Shatter me series. Seriously, both of those books badly needed a cover change and they ended up with beautiful covers. 

Isn't it THE MOST ANNOYING THING when you get those oddly sized books that just don't fit anywhere on your shelves? One of the worst offenders are international editions, which I tend to buy if I can't get the US edition (I'll explain this in the next section). Like, why can't they just have a default size for books - paperback size, hardcover size and large hardcover size. Also, WHY DO MASS MARKET PAPERBACKS EXIST? I don't think I know a single person who likes them, and they're just so little and not floppy and ughhhhhhhh.....
A book series that is really bad for this is the Poison Study series by Maria V Snyder. Not only is it a nightmare to get similar covers since some of them are out of print, the last three books in the series are a completely different size from the first three!



 This one I'm pretty sure I'm alone in. But....I kind of hate the UK/AUS book format.... The covers are always horrible, but worst of all, they come in this petite size which is completely rigid and has no floppiness to it, so it's impossible to read without breaking the spine. I actually kind of hate them. There are only three UK editions I like equally to the US editions - Caraval by Stephanie Garber, Nevernight by Jay Kristoff and Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. Even so, I bought the US edition of all three. And I've never found a UK paperback which I've liked. This is kind of a problem for me becuase I live in the UK, so US editions are super rare and it's a nightmare to get ahold of them. I've never met any other bookworms who feel this way, so.... If you love UK covers, I am so jealous of you, I wish I did! <3



Seeing a person's face on a YA book is an automatic NO for me. It looks so cheesy and generally the models are making dramatic faces which totally ruins the cover. This was a huge thing a few years ago, but thankfully seems to be fading out now. I'm Team "No Faces on Covers" XD 

Movies covers are just the worst. I think that the fact that I hate movie covers so much is due to my love of simple covers, usually with typography. Movie covers are completely the opposite, usually cluttered and covered in faces (uh-oh). I would never buy a movie cover, no matter how much I loved the book. This might also be because I think it's important that people can imagine the characters however they like, so that they can relate to them more. Here are some of my most hated movie covers:



This one annoys me so much, I can't really say much about it without getting mad. One of my least favourite book tropes is when A main characters has a mental illness or disability, which upon the appearance of the love interest, disappears. Yes, having a supportive partner can mean the world in coping with your difficulties, but your struggles are yours alone and cannot be "fixed" by someone else. I particularly hate when characters with anxiety disorders suddenly become outgoing and not anxious at all after falling in love. THAT'S NOT HOW ANXIETY WORKS.


 
 I work full-time as a bookseller every year and it pains me to sticker up books. I know when I find a book I want in a bookstore and see that pesky sticker on it, my heart sinks a little. I know they're supposed to be "fully removable" and "non-marking", but the truth is, sometimes they're not. I have a copy of Jenny Han's The Summer I Turn Pretty which will be forever marked with a sticky mess in the upper right hand corner where I tried to unsuccesfully remove a half price sticker. WHY? WHYYYYYY????




Do you guys have any weird bookish pet peeves? Do you agree with any of mine? Let me know.

Love,


 


Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #6 - Jane Unlimited by Kristin Cashore



I don't know if I've mentioned this before on my blog, but Kristin Cashore is my favourite author of all time. Her Graceling Trilogy is probably my favourite work of fiction apart from the Harry Potter series. It's a beautiful fantasy about a world where people are "graced" with a special talent, with the only physical sign of this being their different couloured eyes. The characters are so so special to me, and the world is just incredible. Maybe one day, I will write a series review for the Graceling series, but probably not. I just don't think I could possibly put into words just how incredible this story is and how much I love it.
Anyway, the final book in the Graceling Realms series, Bitterblue, was published in 2012, and ever since I've been hungrily waiting for a new Kristin Cashore book. This one sounds COMPLETELY different to her first series, but so intruiging. To be honest, I will read anything she writes. Anything. Plus, this one has gotten AMAZING reviews from people I trust, and the cover is perhaps one of the most beautiful I've ever seen. It's my most anticipated book of the year.



32991569Jane has lived an ordinary life, raised by her aunt Magnolia—an adjunct professor and deep sea photographer. Jane counted on Magnolia to make the world feel expansive and to turn life into an adventure. But Aunt Magnolia was lost a few months ago in Antarctica on one of her expeditions.

Now, with no direction, a year out of high school, and obsessed with making umbrellas that look like her own dreams (but mostly just mourning her aunt), she is easily swept away by Kiran Thrash—a glamorous, capricious acquaintance who shows up and asks Jane to accompany her to a gala at her family's island mansion called Tu Reviens.

Jane remembers her aunt telling her: "If anyone ever invites to you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you'll go." With nothing but a trunkful of umbrella parts to her name, Jane ventures out to the Thrash estate. Then her story takes a turn, or rather, five turns. What Jane doesn't know is that Tu Reviens will offer her choices that can ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But at Tu Reviens, every choice comes with a reward, or a price.


Hardcover, 464 pages
Expected publication: September 19th 2017 by Kathy Dawson Books

I don't know how I will wait for the next 3 months!



Have you guys read the Graceling Realms series? Are you excited for this one too? Let me know, I'd love to chat!

Love,


 

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Review: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon


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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 won a book of choice from Grace over a G-SwizzelBooks on Youtube and this is the book I chose. Thank you Grace <3.


 Okay - to start off with, expect this review to be extremely rambly, becuase I adored it so much. It's been years since I wanted to reread a book as soon as I finished it, but this was one of those books. It's just incredible. 

Why I loved this one:
  • The Characters - I am totally and completely obsessed with both Dimple and Rishi. Dimple is so fierce and amazing and I totally related to her quest to convice others that SHE DID NOT NEED A BOYFRIEND. And Rishi! He's so cute and chivalrous and always stands up for Dimple, without speaking over her... if that makes sense. He's just the best boyfriend ever and they are THE BEST COUPLE. Their relationship is so cute and adorable, but also so realilistic, and I really loved the way all their conflicts were dealt with. And that ending. It was just so beautiful! *swoons*


  • The Setting and the Competition -I loved the fact that this was set in a university summer school so much. The descriptions of school art fairs, nearby little Italian restraunts and the university campus itself were so atmospheric, and I adored the actual app competition aspect of the story itself. In fact, I wish we could have heard even more about the app development.


  • The Culture - this is a diverse book, and I love reading about two American Indian teens so so much. I learnt so much about Indian culture and I loved all the scenes where either protangonist was talking to their families. It was so wonderful to read all about their culture, especially from conservative, respectful Rishi's point of view. Honestly, I could just read another whole book all about their families and all of their traditions. Thank you Sandhya, for writing a book with American Indian teenagers, that so many can relate to. <3


  • The Message - there were so many amazing messages in this book, from respecting your family, to accepting who you are, to accepting others' differences, to loving with your whole heart. This is a book and will be rereading and recommending forever.


Also, THIS COVER *heart eyes*. Isn't it so beautiful? Aren't the images of Dimple and Rishi so amazing?




Best Quote: “This is our life. We get to decide the rules. We get to say what goes and what stays, what matters and what doesn’t.” 




 


(5 stars)



I am so so obsessed with this one! Have you guys read it? If not, please do so we can fangirl together! Leave your thoughts in the comments! <3


Love,




Saturday, 3 June 2017

Series Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before




Everyone knows that Jenny Han is one of my favourite contempary writers, so when I heard the To All the Boys I Heard Before duology was being extended to a trilogy, I was so thrilled. Then came the title and cover (which I adored!) and I became more and more nervous that this one wouldn't live up to my expectations. This week, I finally completed the trilogy, and I'm so happy to say that the last book in the trilogy lived up to my every expectation, making this one of my favourite contemporary series of all time. As soon as I finished, I knew I just had to write a series review, so here is one, complete with my incoherent ramblings about how much I adore these characters. 

(Warning - there may be mild spoilers ahead!) 



So, without further ado, here are the reasons why I adore this book so much:



 

Honestly, Jenny Han may well have written some of my favourite characters of all time. Lara Jean is so sweet and innocent, and has the most amazing sense of humour. Most of all, she feels REAL. She has hobbies, she feels deeply, and she is so insanely relatable. Peter K is cute, and a great boyfriend, but has faults. My favourites of all have to be Lara Jean's family. I adore Kitty, Margot, Trina and Lara's Dad so much. Jenny Han just has a knack for writing family dynamics that I have never seen before. The dialogue is natural, and never feels forced, and Kitty, the youngest, is portrayed perfectly as a child. Even more minor characters such as Josh, Chris and John are fully fleshed out and beautifully portrayed.
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One of my favourite things about this book is the romance. It's a slow burn in the first book, but quickly heats up to become one of sweetest love stories I've ever read. It's romantic, but not cheesy, and Peter and Lara Jean's banter is adorable (especially the parts where Lara Jean educates Peter on all things Harry Potter!). All conflicts in the relationship are realistic and don't feel forced, and are pefectly foreshadowed. I also love the way the couple respect each other and take things slowly, which is rarely seen in YA. I love it!
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I love the diversity in this story. Learning about Lara Jean's Korean culture and customs from her Mom was so informative for me and I love the way this was integrated into the story. I wish we could have gotten to hear more about Lara Jean's mother and grandmother.
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 School life is portrayed exactly how I remembered it to be for me in this novel! It brought back all the memories of the cattiness of teenagers and the gossiping and the overwhelming feelings of first love. I love the way Lara Jean was so studious, and I loved her school friends and how different they all were, from Chris to Lucas. The final great part of the school description was during the final book, Always and Forever Lara Jean: the college applications. I related to this part so hard, and the stress, excitement and confusion of applying to college.
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One of my favourite aspects of this book is the description of all of Lara Jean's various items of baking. All those cookies and cupcakes and cakes - it's just so amazing and gives the book such a cutsie feel. One of my favourite parts of the final book in the trilogy is Lara Jean's search for the perfect cookie recipe. I was living for all those wonderful descriptions of rich, sumptuous cookies!
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  • “When someone's been gone a long time, at first you save up all the things you want to tell them. You try to keep track of everything in your head. But it's like trying to hold on to a fistful of sand: all the little bits slip out of your hands, and then you're just clutching air and grit.”


  • ““Love is scary: it changes; it can go away. That's the part of the risk. I don't want to be scared anymore.”


  • “It's not like in the movies. It's better, because it's real.” 
 

  • “People come in and out of your life. For a time they are your world; they are everything. And then one day they’re not. There’s no telling how long you will have them near.” 


  • “I say, “In the contract we said we wouldn’t break each other’s hearts. What if we do it again?” Fiercely he says, “What if we do? If we’re so guarded, it’s not going to be anything. Let’s do it  for real, Lara Jean. Let’s go all in. No more contract. No more safety net. You can break my heart. Do whatever you want with it.”  
 
  • “So I take Peter’s hand; I put it on my heart. I tell him, “You have to take good care of this, because it’s yours."


  • “Kitty's always saying how origin stories are important. At college, when people ask us how we met, how will we answer them? The short story is, we grew up together. But that's more Josh's and my story. High school sweet-hearts? That's Peter and Gen's story. So what's ours, then? I suppose I'll say it all started with a love letter.
I know that Jenny Han says that this is the last book about Lara Jean and Peter, but I NEED more. I need volumes and volumes and volumes about Lara Jean and Peter K's adventures at college. I just cannot stop thinking about these characters.




(Five stars)



I love these books so much. Have you guys read them? If not, I hope I have convinced you! Let me know if I have! If so, please leave a comment so we can collectively fangirl ^-^



Love,