Book Review: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

when dimple met rishi When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Published by Simon Pulse on May 30, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 380 – hardcover, 384 – paperback, 320 – ebook

Format Read: paperback ARC

Rating: 4 stars

Source: Simon & Schuster

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Blurb:

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.


Review:

Many thanks to the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

This. This was the perfect cute summer romance read. Filled with dynamic characters and a very engaging plot, this book was an absolute delight to devour! I’ve been looking forward to this book for ages, and it did not disappoint at all!! I don’t know how many times I’ll be saying this in my review, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

The story is told through the alternating POVs of Dimple and Rishi. The alternating POVs allowed us to view scenes from Rishi’s cheerful, optimistic perspective and from Dimple’s cautious, realistic perspective. It’s also written in 3rd perspective – which actually didn’t detract much from the story being told!

Rishi and Dimple’s interactions were always something to behold. I reallyy loved them. Their first meeting was hilarious, and the consequent ones were equally as entertaining to read. They were such dimensional characters, and their romance was so cute! I think Dimple is an amazing heroine – she’s smart, cautious and levelheaded. She is definitely her own person. Rishi is so swoon-worthy, too! He’s adorkable and goofy and just perfect! The yang to Dimple’s yin. (Or was it the other way around? Don’t attack me.)

Rishi and Dimple’s dynamic is made even better when you throw the “arranged marriage” aspect into the mix. Typically, books pertaining to arranged marriage are always negative and depressing as hell, with the parents being depicted as evil dictators. However, in this book, that was not the case at all. Rishi and Dimple’s parents were (relatively) chill about it. They weren’t all “Get married or die!!”; they were more like “Here, we arranged a quite opportune marriage for you. You don’t have to do it, but it’d be cool if you did.” They obviously wanted what’s best for their children and didn’t try to force anything they didn’t want on them.

In addition to all of the above, the cultural aspect of the book was soo perfect! The way it was presented made me curious to know so much more! The clothes, the food, the homage to Bollywood movies… everything! Both Indian and non-Indian readers alike are sure to appreciate this.

I do admit, there were times when the story felt a little too predictable, especially towards the end when I felt like I was reading a mix of contemporary romance novels. But that definitely isn’t enough to keep me from reading.

Overall, this book had all the feels! This was a light, fun, engaging read with constant humor and swoon-worthy romance. The characters were realistic and dimensional, and the diversity was on point. The writing flowed really well with the story, and the alternating POVs offered fresh insight into the characters’ minds. I really recommend this book if you need a quick, unique read to devour and feast on!

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Rating: 4 fish

4 fish

Book Review: The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova

alchemists of loomThe Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova

Published by Keymaster Press on January 10, 2017

Genres: Fantasy, Steampunk

Pages: 380 – hardcover & ebook

Format Read: paperback ARC

Rating: 4 stars

Source: Keymaster Press

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Blurb:

Her vengeance. His vision.

Ari lost everything she once loved when the Five Guilds’ resistance fell to the Dragon King. Now, she uses her unparalleled gift for clockwork machinery in tandem with notoriously unscrupulous morals to contribute to a thriving underground organ market. There isn’t a place on Loom that is secure from the engineer turned thief, and her magical talents are sold to the highest bidder as long as the job defies their Dragon oppressors.

Cvareh would do anything to see his sister usurp the Dragon King and sit on the throne. His family’s house has endured the shame of being the lowest rung in the Dragons’ society for far too long. The Alchemist Guild, down on Loom, may just hold the key to putting his kin in power, if Cvareh can get to them before the Dragon King’s assassins.

When Ari stumbles upon a wounded Cvareh, she sees an opportunity to slaughter an enemy and make a profit off his corpse. But the Dragon sees an opportunity to navigate Loom with the best person to get him where he wants to go.

He offers her the one thing Ari can’t refuse: A wish of her greatest desire, if she brings him to the Alchemists of Loom.


Review:

*Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way impacted my views and opinions below.*

Wow. It’s a known fact that Elise Kova’s Air Awakens series is one of my all-time favorite books. So you’d understand why I had doubts about going into a whole new world (without Vhalla & Aldrik!) Fortunately, these doubts were unfounded. This was an extremely captivating book, and it was nothing like Air Awakens! I was blown away by the complexity of the world & characters. The imagination and creativity needed must’ve been off the charts! Round of applause to Elise!

When I first started reading, I may have struggled a bit to get past the first 10-20% of the book. This was probably because it took a while to familiarize myself with the world & its characters. Seriously, when I say the world was complex, I mean it. It’s overwhelming to a reader who usually sticks to YA Fantasy. This is high fantasy. However, when I got past the beginning & really started to connect to the characters, I was hooked. The book is told in the alternating POVs of Arianna, Cvareh, and Florence (and occasionally, Leona).

Don’t expect the characters in this book to be the warm, heroic type, because they certainly aren’t. They all come from different backgrounds and have their own agendas. Everyone is cutthroat as hell. I really grew to love everyone, though. Especially Arianna. The way Arianna’s character is written at the beginning makes it hard for the reader to really connect with or even like her. However, as the story unfolds, we get glimpses into her past which really helps the reader put together a clearer picture of Ari. In a way, she reminded me of Celaena from ToG and Arya Stark from GoT.

My favorite thing about this book is the slow burn relationship of Ari and Cvareh. I’m a sucker for the enemies-to-reluctant-friends-to-lovers(¿) trope. I loved how hot and cold Ari’s attitude was toward Cvareh at times and I absolutely loved how Cvareh wasn’t having any of Ari’s shit. Their relationship dynamic was really intense & complicated. There are obviously still quite a few secrets between them; I’m excited to see where they’re headed in the next book! They’re no Vhalla and Aldrik, but I still absolutely adored them.

Of course, Ari & Cvareh’s isn’t the only amazing relationship. The dynamic between Cvareh, Florence, and Ari was phenomenal; I loved reading their interactions! They all have such different personalities that really shine through on the page. Such well-rounded, dimensional characters!

This book wouldn’t be what it is without the extraordinary plot and worldbuilding. The wonderfully set up atmosphere of the story, combined with the extremely detailed world, made for a kickass story. Elise really outdid herself with the worldbuilding in this one. The writing also contributed to the excellent worldbuilding. It really helped further immerse the reader into the story. It was excellent, as per usual.

In conclusion, if you’re a fantasy or steampunk fan, then The Alchemists of Loom is sure to delight you. This is a world where the magical and the mechanical collide. Although it took me a while to acclimate to it, the world is wonderfully built and the atmosphere is wonderfully set up. The characters are very dimensional, with distinct personalities that really shine through on the page. Also, their relationship dynamics were very intriguing to read about. The Alchemists of Loom has it all — a highly intelligent, unapologetic protagonist, an action-filled plot, an elaborate world, and superb writing. I’m so glad Elise Kova blessed us with this!

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Rating: 4 fish!

4 fish

 

Book Review: Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

of-fire-n-stars

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

Published by Balzer + Bray on November 22, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT Romance

Pages: 389 – hardcover, 400 – ebook

Format Read: paperback ARC

Rating: 2 stars

Source: HarperCollins

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Blurb:

Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.

Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine—called Mare—the sister of her betrothed.

When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two become closer, Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. And soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.

But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.


Review:

Thanks to the publisher, HarperCollins, for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way impacted my views and opinions.

Honestly, the f/f romance is the only thing that intrigued me about this book. If it weren’t for the romance, I probably would have skimmed right past this book and onto the next one. It’s that unmemorable. The most frustrating thing in the whole entire world is reading a book with such.good.potential. I didn’t even have any expectations and this book managed to let them down.

Firstly, what irked me the most was the complete, utter lack of character depth. This isn’t like in most books, where only the secondary characters lack complexity. Here, even our main protagonists are as shallow as a kiddies pool. Denna was so incredibly boring. I’m glad hers is not the only POV, because I might not have been able to finish the book otherwise. It’s obvious Denna is meant to be the “good” one, with repeated mentions of how sweet-tempered, polite, and intelligent she is. The literal embodiment of a princess. Mare, on the other hand, is the “wild” princess; she’s fiery, tomboyish, and disobedient, as is repeatedly stated every few chapters. I liked their relationship and how it progressed from enemies to friends to lovers, but I did feel like there was certainly an element of unnecessary angst. The forbidden romance wasn’t even “forbidden”. The ‘I-love-you-but-I-can’t-be-with-you’ trope was heavily employed as a means to further the plot’s angst, which was very annoying.

Aside from Mare and Denna, literally no one else is worth mentioning. The secondary characters are even more unmemorable and shallow than the main characters. What even was their purpose? I wouldn’t even be able to tell you their personalities, because they have none!! Go ahead, ask me their names. I guarantee you, the only name I’d be able to recall is Mare. She’s the only character who was on the right track to being properly fleshed out.

The second thing that bothered me about this book was the insane amount of plot holes and nonexistent world-building. We’re plunged into this world with no knowledge of the political and cultural workings of the land we are in, and no knowledge of the magical system there — something about ambient magic and a siphon and a silver bowl was dropped three-fourths through the book, what is all that? Also, why do the Mynarians hate magic? Who are these ‘Six’ that everyone keeps running around and cursing? Why is there even a need for a political alliance between Havemont and Mynaria? Why does everyone hate the Zumordans when they’ve done nothing to you? I understand this is YA Fantasy, but I’m not expecting Game of Thrones level world-building. Is it too much to ask for at least some semblance of an explanation for the world we’re plunged into? Unfortunately, this book reads like it was written for a much more juvenile audience that wouldn’t care much for character complexity and world-building.

Thirdly, nothing remotely intriguing occurs in the entirety of the book! The politics were extremely yawn-inducing and the incompetence of the adults extremely frustrating. I was looking forward to Mare and Denna’s horse training, but that (like many other aspects of the book) completely fell short. Frankly, I felt like the horses were given more depth, complexity, and attention than the main characters.

In conclusion, I could go on and on about so many other disappointing aspects, such as the obvious contrivedness of some scenes and the predictability of the whole book in general. Of Fire and Stars is a book that had great potential with its f/f romance, but failed to follow through on that potential. Lack of character complexity, one-dimensional relationships, nonexistent world-building, and a tedious plot are mainly what ruined this book for me and many others who had eagerly anticipated this read.

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2 fish

Book Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

tdcThree Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Published by HarperTeen on September 20, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Pages: 398 – hardcover, 416 – paperback & ebook

Format Read: eARC

Rating: 2 stars

Source: HarperCollins

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Blurb:

Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.


Review:

Many thanks to the publisher, HarperCollins, for providing me with an ARC of this book. This in no way impacted my views and opinions below.

I know a lot of people have been looking forward to this book, myself being one of them, but I just- couldn’t. Three Dark Crowns had an interesting premise and lots of potential, but it unfortunately failed to live up to it. I would’ve thought that my dislike of this book was because of my reading slump (gosh darn it, school) if I hadn’t seen quite a few reviews complaining about it, too. I never DNF books, and yet I was VERY tempted to do so for this book. It was just.so.boring! While I was reading the book, I actually looked up a few spoiler free reviews to see if anyone struggled as much as I did. I found a few, but they said that it gets interesting near the very end (“with a mind-boggling plot twist!!1!” they said). So I skimmed to the last few pages, and read the “plot twist” and all I thought was Okay? That’s it?? I was just soo frustrated that I wasted all this time on this book.

My main issue with this book is that it’s just so tedious and boring. We have three main POVs from three triplet queens – each with her own unique power. Katharine is a poisoner, Arsinoe, a naturalist, and Mirabella, an elemental. They can’t get the throne merely by royal birth – no, they have to fight each other to the death in order to get it, and the last one standing becomes Queen until she produces triplets and so on. You’d think that with 3 main characters and 3 POVs I’d enjoy at least one of them, right? Wrong. I didn’t look forward to any of the POVs, and I literally didn’t care about any of the aforementioned characters. There’s Jules, Arsinoe’s best friend, though. I didn’t hate her as much as the other characters, but I just wish she was developed a bit more. She deserves so much better!

Since we’re on the topic of characters, let’s take a moment to talk about the love triangle. Yes, yes, I hear y’all groaning. I usually don’t despise love triangles as much as the rest of the book community seems to do, but this one, you guys, this one. I’m internally screaming in frustration just thinking about it. YOU HAD A PERFECTLY GOOD COUPLE, BUT NOO, YOU JUST HAD TO TURN IT INTO AN UGLY ASS INSTA-LOVE TRIANGLE. Add to that the fact that the love triangle includes cheating? Um, I’m out. I’m not going to post major spoilers, but if you typically dislike love triangles, then this definitely isn’t for you. Also, much like the rest of the book, the romance in this book was very dull. There was no spark between the characters and their love interests, and I frankly couldn’t care less about any of them.

Okay, so let’s talk about the actual plot of this book. The reason I haven’t talked about it earlier is as follows: it’s practically nonexistent for the first 80% of the book. Seriously, for a story about sisters having to kill each other for the throne, the action was seriously lacking. The pacing was slow, and the atmosphere was very quiet and restrained. This book was in desperate need of a healthy dose of bloodletting and politics. It may have picked up toward the very end, but that still doesn’t make up for the lack of plot in the first place.

In short, I don’t think Three Dark Crowns lived up to its hype. I tried to find something positive to add to this review, but I couldn’t, so that’s saying something. The three main characters were just there, serving no purpose whatsoever, and the pacing of this book was extremely tedious. Plus, the terribly executed love triangle certainly doesn’t get any bonus points in my book. It’s frustrating thinking about what this book could have been because the premise and cover are absolutely stunning. I may be the black sheep amongst the tons of reviews praising this book, but this just wasn’t for me.

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2 fish

Book Review: When We Collided by Emery Lord

when we collided When We Collided by Emery Lord

Published by Bloomsbury Children’s on April 5, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction

Pages: 344 – paperback, 352 – ebook & hardcover

Format Read: paperback

Rating: 4 stars

Source: Bloomsbury UK

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Blurb:

Meet Vivi and Jonah: A girl and a boy whose love has the power save or destroy them.

Vivi and Jonah couldn’t be more different. Vivi craves anything joyful or beautiful that life can offer. Jonah has been burdened by responsibility for his family ever since his father died. As summer begins, Jonah resigns himself to another season of getting by. Then Vivi arrives, and suddenly life seems brighter and better. Jonah is the perfect project for Vivi, and things finally feel right for Jonah. Their love is the answer to everything. But soon Vivi’s zest for life falters, as her adventurousness becomes true danger-seeking. Jonah tries to keep her safe, but there’s something important Vivi hasn’t told him.

Perfect for fans of E. Lockhart and Jandy Nelson, When We Collided is a powerful story of two teens whose love is put to the test by forces beyond their control.


Review:

Many thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacted my views & opinions below.

“Maybe we were dying planets, Jonah, being drawn into the darkness. When we collided, we bounced each other back into orbit. And now we have to do that – we have to return to our own paths because that’s what we gave each other.”

This book was bursting with bittersweet truth, vivid descriptions, and otherworldly characters. It was such a beautiful read; basically, it was everything you’d expect from Emery Lord. The way Vivi’s depression and bipolar disorder were depicted was extremely heartfelt. Seriously, it took my breath away. The writing was absolutely stunning and artistic – I devoured this book, guys.

I’ve read quite a few books about mental illness and I was afraid this wouldn’t come off as authentic, but I needn’t have worried. I understand that this story is very close to Ms. Lord’s heart and she did manage to tell it in a very compelling manner. Both the main characters, Vivi and Jonah, are struggling… a lot. Vivi with her bipolar disorder and Jonah with his grief over his father’s death & having to take care of his siblings. Their dual narrative was amazing and really well-balanced. Vivi was so peculiar and extreme whereas Jonah was inherently normal and grounded. I do admit their relationship wasn’t very healthy and there was a bit of instalove, but I did go into this book expecting that. Maybe that’s why I wasn’t disappointed about how toxic they were to each other sometimes – I still shipped them. I didn’t see their relationship as far-fetched at all, like so many others before me did. The ending was perfect, in my opinion. It’s open-ended. There is hope – it’s a promise. I’m glad the author didn’t choose to just magically resolve everything with rainbows and unicorns.

Of course, Vivi and Jonah aren’t the only vibrant characters we’re introduced to. There’s also Jonah’s family of six. Naomi, Silas, Bekah, Isaac, Leah, and their absent grieving mother. The family dynamic was faintly reminiscent of My Life Next Door, which I absolutely loved. Trust me, there really aren’t enough big family books floating around. Each character introduced was memorable and vivid and they never felt like justsecondary characters to me. From Carrie (Vivi’s mom) to Officer Hayashi to Felix and Ellie, they were all connected to each other with a strong sense of community.

Another aspect of this book that I really liked was the writing. It was so floaty and artistic and imaginative, which made it very captivating to read. I literally couldn’t stop turning pages. It was hilarious and funny while still managing to tackle the darker scenes very wonderfully. The writing is what gave Vivi such a manic voice in the story and Jonah such a weighed-down voice. It was unquestionably magnificent.

I don’t think words alone can express how amazing this book truly was. It was heartfelt and moving with a touch of hilarity. It was meaningful, but that was also mixed with fun and humor. The characters were vivid & vibrant and their dynamic with each other is definitely unparalleled. I loved how this book talked about mental illness and its sincere depiction. This was one of my anticipated reads of 2016 and it did not disappoint. Yet again, Emery Lord has managed to wonderfully pull off an unconventional story with excellent storytelling. This may not be the book for everyone, but it is sure to make you fall in love with it – even a small teeny bit.

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Rating: 4 fish

4 fish

Book Review: Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan

s amd v Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan

Published by HarperTeen on January 19, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Format Read: ARC

Pages: 384 – hardcover & ebook

Source: HarperCollins International

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Blurb:

Raisa was just a child when she was sold to work as a slave in the kingdom of Qilara. Despite her young age, her father was teaching her to read and write, grooming her to take his place as a Learned One. In Qilara, the Arnathim, like Raisa, are the lowest class, and literacy is a capital offense. What’s more, only the king, prince, tutor, and tutor-in-training are allowed to learn the very highest order language, the language of the gods. So when the tutor-in-training is executed for teaching slaves this sacred language, and Raisa is selected to replace her, Raisa knows any slipup on her part could mean death.

Keeping her secret is hard enough, but the romance that’s been growing between her and Prince Mati isn’t helping matters. Then Raisa is approached by the Resistance—an underground army of slave rebels—to help liberate Arnath slaves. She wants to free her people, but that would mean aiding a war against Mati. As Raisa struggles with what to do, she discovers a secret that the Qilarites have been hiding for centuries—one that, if uncovered, could bring the kingdom to its knees.


Review:

*Many thanks to HC International for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected the opinions stated below.*

I was honestly so excited to jump into this book. I’ve heard every one of my blogging friends talk about Sword and Verse at least once, so when I got an uncorrected proof from HarperCollins, I was over the roof! The premise really excited me and the pretty eye-catching cover did help, too!

ALMOST everything about this book was exactly what I wanted to read about. I felt like the main character, Raisa, was really genuine and she really resonated with me in comparison to other fantasy heroines. I absolutely adored ALL the characters in this book – well –  not all exactly… but… Jera! Kiti! Mati! Don’t even try to get me started on Mati. I loved him from the first page. He was so well-written and I found myself craving scenes that included him.

Speaking of Mati, this leads me to my next point – the romance. Frankly, it was probably the only part of the book that let me down. Yes, it was instalove. Deep sighs, people. I admit it was cute, but I didn’t really feel all that invested in the relationship, which sucks because half the book’s plot hinges on Mati and Raisa’s hidden romance or whatever. I also get pretty sick of the fantasy trope in which the main character is either the long-lost queen/princess of a mighty kingdom or in love with said mighty kingdom’s king. Thankfully, the former hasn’t come in to play yet, but the latter is definitely a repeated utterance in this book.

My absolute favorite thing about this book is the world building. The reason fantasy is one of my favorite genres is because it never ceases to amaze me how an author could create a world out of nothing then flesh it all out in the reader’s mind. Sword and Verse is the embodiment of an extremely fleshed out world. Everything was just so – I hate to say this – on point! The language, the descriptions, the names… I could almost believe they were real! I rarely ever actually get into fantasy books the way I did with Sword and Verse. Bravo!

One more thing. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m also pretty sure this book had a hidden message. Only the middle and upper classes of society receive proper education. Poorer people aren’t provided with an education and thus aren’t able to read. It’s actually sad how the Qilarite and Arnathian social hierarchy is closer and more similar to real life than fantasy…

All this just makes me love the book even more! I can totally understand the hype about it! The romance is what made it lose points so the actual rating of this is 3.5 fish, but there’s no such thing as half a fish! (Hilarious, I know.)

Overall, the story’s mind blowing world-building, dimensional characters, and engaging plot make for a heck of a roller coaster with this book!

Rating: 4 fish

4 fish

Book Review: The Girlfriend Request by Jodie Andrefski

the girlfriend requestThe Girlfriend Request by Jodie Andrefski

Published by Entangled Teen: Crush on January 11, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 244 – paperback

Format Read: eARC

Source: Entangled Teen Crush

BUY LINKS

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Blurb:

Updating best friend to girlfriend is more than a change of status…

Emma has been best friends with Eli since she moved to his neighborhood ten years ago. Tired of being cast in the role of the girl next door, Emma creates a fake Facebook profile in the hopes of starting an online friendship with Eli, which would hopefully lead to more. Like…way more. From friend request to In a Relationship–it all seemed so completely logical when she’d planned it.

Eli can’t figure out what Emma is up to. He’s pretty sure she’s the one behind the Facebook profile, but then again, why would she do something so drastic instead of just admitting she wants to be more than friends? And who the heck is this new guy he saw her with? Eli starts to think that just maybe…he missed his chance with the girl next door.

Two best friends, one outlandish ruse. Their status is about to become way more than It’s Complicated…

This Entangled Teen Crush book contains one fake Facebook profile, two best friends who secretly crave each other, and a dreaded sex talk with parents…boy crush in the room included. Pushing a relationship beyond the friend zone has never been so crazy…


 

Review:

*Thanks to Entangled Teen Crush for providing me with an early e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

I had extremely high hopes for this book. I requested this because I thought it’d be this cute, fluffy, well-written story, but unfortunately that did not happen. Instead, it turned to be a mishmash of outdated, cliché YA tropes. Don’t get me wrong, I usually love the ‘best-friends-turned-lovers’ trope, but this one just didn’t do it for me. There were so many frustrating bouts of miscommunication, stupid decisions, and annoying lines. It was all just so painful.

First of all, can we just talk about the main character Emma? Her actions are soo dense! She makes the stupidest decisions and says the stupidest things, i.e. “I quickly reminded myself that I wasn’t some creepo stalker; I just wanted to get a guy to fall in love with me.” Mhm, that’s what all creeps say. She created a fake FB profile to make her best friend Eli fall in love with her and then later on freaks out when he says he wants to ask the “fake girl” out EVEN THOUGH SHE KNOWS THE GIRL ISN’T REAL ANYWAY. IT’S PRACTICALLY HER. Plus, wasn’t that your plan from the beginning….? Honestly, so dense.

Typically, there’s at least some semblance of character development in a book that helps it redeem itself. Unfortunately, that did not seem to be the case here. Emma continues to make brash decisions and overcomplicates simple matters ’till the very end. She created a lot of unnecessary drama between her and Eli, which really put me off. It was just too much for me.

I never even formed a connection with any of the characters, except maybe Jake – I liked him. I felt detachment toward the other characters, and by the time I was halfway through the book, I didn’t really care what happened to them anymore.

Also, half the time, I wanted to punch myself in the face due to the oh-so-conveniently placed mishaps. They were all so cliché and convenient that I could’ve practically guessed what was going to happen throughout the whole book with my eyes closed.

I’d also like to add that this could’ve been a really good story that included deception, but there were too many missed opportunities. Instead of using them, the author chose to select trivial, unnecessary matters to focus on. I felt like this just caused the story to drag on and resulted in an unstable plot.

The one redeemable aspect of this book was the writing. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t this masterpiece of meaningful, flowery words, but it’s actually what kept me reading. It’s what made me keep swiping to next page. It was articulate and easy to read, coherent and fluent, and generally… nice. Normally, I wouldn’t even look twice at it, but in a book where half the things were poorly done, this average writing stood out.

Overall, I’d like to say that this book was definitely not up to par with what I was expecting. The characters fell flat, and the plot was unstable. It got painful. I’ve seen a few people around who’ve enjoyed this and called it a “cute, fluffy” read, so you could give this a try based on their opinion. This isn’t for me, though.

Rating: 2 fish

2 fish