Book Review- When Dimple Met Rishi

Thursday, 24 January 2019
Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
Published: 30th May 2017
Pages: 380
Genre: YA, Romance, Contemporary, Diverse

Rating: 4/5 stars

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
I received this novel from Net Galley and Hodder and Stoughton in return for an honest review.
I had heard a lot of great things about this novel online since its publication in 2017, and since there is now a sequel to read too, I really felt that I should pick it up!
I will admit that this is not the type of book I would normally read, I don't read a lot of contemporary novels, especially contemporary YA, but I watched To All The Boys I Loved Before on Netflix, and I was really in the mood for something light and adorable.
This novel is cute, like CUTE cute. The characters are adorable, the way they act is adorable, the whole novel has this warm glow. It was really easy to read, and a perfect pick-me-up read if you require one.
The main characters are instantly likeable, and their chemistry and banter is very sweet and entertaining to read. I loved Dimple, she was smart and sassy, and although I did get a bit irritated by her on occasions, overall she was a great character. I felt basically the same way about Rishi. A bit irritating but in general sweet and likeable. In the beginning I wasn't that keen on him, but as we learnt more about him and why he acted the way he did, I really grew to like him a lot. Their relationship is near perfect. They compliment each other so well, and it's a joy to read about them.
I also really liked the setting of this novel, any YA novel set at University/college is a plus for me, if you can recommend any good ones please let me know in the comments??
I also liked the coding/app development aspect of the novel, it was something very different in YA, it was nice to read a book celebrating braininess.
It was also important for me that the characters were POC. I can't comment on how accurate the depictions were but I'm constantly striving to read more diverse reads, and this one is a good one.
Overall I really enjoyed this novel. I gave it 4/5 stars, and if you're looking for a sweet diverse YA contemporary read, this one is perfect to pick up.

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Have you read When Dimple Met Rishi? Did you enjoy it? Let me know!
Happy reading!

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

Monday, 7 January 2019

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at the Book Date.

Happy new year everyone!
One of my new years resolutions is to read more books, especially those I've owned for a long time. I'm also hoping to up the number of books I read in general, there's something about working in a bookshop that makes me less eager to pick up a book when I get off work.
Anyway lets begin!!

What I Read Last Week:

This is a YA non-fiction novel about Alexander Hamilton, and if you're looking for an easy and accessible novel about Hamilton this is a perfect place to start!  Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

This novel was a Christmas gift from a friend, and honestly I wasn't sure if I would enjoy it, but it turns out I still love a good YA paranormal novel!!  Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
What I'm Currently Reading:

I have an advanced proof of this novel, and it's definitely one of my most anticipated reads of the year! Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Up Next:

What are you reading this week? Have you read any of these novels? Let's chat books!!

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My Favourite Books of 2018!

Tuesday, 1 January 2019
Hello 2019!! I hope you all had a fabulous Hogmanay celebrating however you chose! I had a lovely chilled evening with my family.
Now that the new year is here, I thought it was time to wrap up what my favourite reads of 2018 were. These are not in any particular order, just the 18 I enjoyed the most!

  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (review here). This was one of the first books I read in 2018, and it is incredible. It's the true story of Lale Solokov, a Jew who became the tattooist in Auschwitz during his imprisonment there. However, this isn't a totally dark read, it has many somber moments but it also has many moments of light and hope. 
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  • Pantomime by Laura Lam. I had never heard of this book but I picked it up on a whim from the sci-fi/fantasy section and I'm so glad I did. It's an amazing fantasy novel with excellent LGBTQ representation which I really enjoyed. This is the first novel in a trilogy and I can't wait to read the next two!!

  • Savage Island by Bryony Pearce (review here). This is a YA horror/thriller about a group of teenagers who take part in an "Iron Teen" competition to win £1 million, but who soon realise that other teams will do anything to win, even kill! This is a very fast-paced and exciting novel, if you're looking for an exhilarating read to start 2019 this is a good shout!! 
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  • The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan (review here). I love Hogan's writing, and when I saw she had a new novel out I was excited to read it. This novel did not disappoint, Hogan's ability to write well-developed and nuanced characters is amazing, and this novel is a beautiful and moving novel about heartbreak and loss and coming to terms with those feelings.
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  • When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalamithi. I don't read a lot of non-fiction so it's unusual for there to be many in my Yearly Wrap-Up, but this year there are two!! The first of this is this book by Kalamithi, about his battle with cancer while reflecting on his too-short career as a neurosurgeon. It's very moving, poignant and uplifting.
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  • Mud by Emily Thomas (review here). I have read more contemporary YA novels this year, and this is one of my highlights for sure. Lydia lives on a barge on the Thames, and has to deal with a new school and new friends and a new family, while coping with her new living situation. This novel is loosely based on the author's own childhood, and Lydia is one of the most enjoyable teen protagonists I have read about in a while!
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  • Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig. The second non-fiction book on my list is a hugely popular book. I loved How To Stay Alive, one of Haig's fiction novels, and I've wanted to read his non-fiction for ages. Haig candidly discusses his battle with depression and anxiety, and how he lives with his mental health. I highly recommend this book to anyone, whether you suffer from mental health problems or just want to understand mental health a bit more.
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  • Ascension by Victor Dixen (review here). If you haven't been following the blog you may have missed out on my favourite series of the year, the Phobos series. In this series, 12 teens enter a speed dating show with a difference, they will settle and colonise on Mars. It's fast-paced and action-packed and has a brilliant selection of characters!
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  • Secrets of A Sun King by Emma Carroll. I run a children's bookclub as part of my job and this has allowed me to read way more children's books. This was the first book we read for the bookclub, and it is brilliant. If you like Ancient Egypt and action stories this will appeal to you.
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  • The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. This Agatha Christie-esque thriller novel is definitely in my top 3 books of the year. It's an incredibly detailed and well-developed thriller/mystery novel that definitely kept me guessing until the last minute.
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  • Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. This is a novel that I have wanted to read for many years, and have just never got around to reading. But this year I finally got around to picking it up, and I'm so glad I did. It's very gothic and the characters are fascinating, if you haven't picked it up it's definitely worth checking out.
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  • Distortion by Victor Dixen (review here). This is the second spot for Dixen on my list this year, his series is just that good! They are being translated into English, so I will have to wait for the next instalment in this series!
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  • S.T.A.G.S by M.A Bennett. Continuing my YA themed year, this was another highlight for me. A contemporary thriller set in a boarding school (who can resist a boarding school novel?!?) this was an exciting and bloody novel, which cleverly used the narration to further the story. Greer, the narrator is telling the story looking back, and the extra comments and opinions she adds with hindsight really adds to the tension of the novel.
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  • Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Another YA sci-fi novel which I loved this year was Obsidio. It's the final novel in The Illuminae Files trilogy, one of my favourite trilogies, one I would highly recommend if you like YA or sci-fi!
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  • Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve. This was a re-read for me, I wanted to read the series again before I see the movie! Thankfully this novel stood up to how much I enjoyed it when I originally read it years ago! If you enjoy Steampunk and dystopian novels aimed at children that are readable at all ages, this series will be perfect!!
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  • The Way of All Flesh by Ambrose Perry. To break up the YA cascade, I read a couple of new fiction releases including this one. Set in 1800s Edinburgh, this is a heady mix of crime solving and early medicine development, which makes for a excellent and action packed thriller.
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  • A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G Drews. Another contemporary YA read which I loved was this one. This is an emotional and moving novel about Beck who is a piano prodigy but is desperately searching for more in life, and trying to fit in at school.
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  • The Electric State by Simon Stalenhag. Towards the end of 2018 I picked up a few graphic novels to try and reach my Goodreads goal! My favourite that I picked was this one, a post-apocalyptic novel set in an America savaged by drones and technology. A heartwarming and thought-provoking graphic novel, with some incredible artwork, I would highly recommend this!
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I hope that 2019 is a wonderful year for everyone, with plenty of books! 
Leave your links to your books of the year in the comments, I love seeing what everyone else has enjoyed reading.

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Distortion Blog Tour | Book Review and Giveaway!!

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Thanks so much to Ellen and Hot Key Books for allowing me to be a part of this tour!

Title: Distortion
Author: Victor Dixen
Published: 18th October 2018
Pages: 576
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi
Series: Phobos #2

Rating: 5/5

After a speed-dating show that is literally out of this world, twelve young astronauts are set to become the first humans to colonise Mars. They are also the victims of the cruellest of plots.
Léonor thought she was a pioneer on an extraordinary mission. She thought she had left all regrets behind her on Earth. But when memories are this painful, there can be no forgetting . . -Goodreads
I was so excited when I saw an email pop up in my inbox with the subject 'Victor Dixen blog tour', I read and adored Ascension earlier this summer, and I have been desperate to read the sequel! You can read my review of Ascension here. 
Ascension was left on such a cliff-hanger and this book picks up right where Ascension ended, with Leo having to come to terms with her dramatic discovery and break it to the rest of the crew. The pace doesn't slow down at all, the novel is just as breath-taking and it's searing pace makes this book almost impossible to put down. I read it in just a few hours!
I love the idea of this series, I described Ascension as Love Island in space, and although the speed-dating element has lessened slightly in this novel, it's still an important part of this novel. The author has continued the quirky plot but he has developed it, it is much more than that by book 2. 
The characters are brilliant, Leo is one of the best protagonists I have read in YA in a long time, and I don't just say that as a fellow ginger!! It's impossible not to root for Leo, she's so kind and caring yet so brave and so intelligent too. She really wanted this trip to Mars to be her happily ever after, and she seems so close at times, and yet so far at others. 
The whole group of characters are so well developed, both the group in space and the other characters (both the allies to the Mars team, and those working against them). Dixen allows every character time to grow and develop and builds a multi-dimensional character. They all make informed and in-character choices and I can't wait to read more about them all. 
The author makes use of a split narrative to tell the story, we get the contestants' points of view, Serena's perspective and a number of other characters which I won't reveal just in case it spoils the story. Even with these split narratives, Dixen never repeats information from other POVs and this helps to keep the plot flying along so quickly.
This novel is just as good as Ascension. It's action-packed and fast-paced and just as well written. If you're looking for a good action-packed YA novel this series is a great choice.

Many thanks again to Hot Key Books.

If you would like to win copies of Ascension and Distortion head over to my Twitter where I'm hosting a giveaway, thanks to Hot Key Books!! Check out the competition here
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