Book Review: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating

Title: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating

Author: Christina Lauren

Genre/s: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Comedy

My rating: 4.5/5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.

Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.

Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them…right?

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I have been rereading Harry Potter ever since the 1st of January (I’ve been tweeting my journey here), but a few days ago, I decided to a break before I started on Order of the Phoenix. And so, I got my hands on a Kindle edition of Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating!

I loved Christina Lauren’s Autoboyography, and it’s no surprise that I loved this book as well. It was hilarious, it was wholesome, it was cheesy, it was romantic, it was steamy, it was everything! This is exactly what I needed.

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Book Review: Crazy Rich Asians

Title: Crazy Rich Asians

Author: Kevin Kwan

Genre/s: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

My rating: 3.5/5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.

When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn’t know is that Nick’s family home happens to look like a palace, that she’ll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back. Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick’s formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should–and should not–marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider’s look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.

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August last year, we saw the movie adaptation of this book hit the cinemas, take the world by storm, and make history. Since then, I vowed to read the book first before I watch the movie. And last Christmas, one of my closest friends gifted me a movie tie-in copy of it, and I read it right away.

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Book Review: Eliza and Her Monsters

Title: Eliza and Her Monsters

Author: Francesca Zappia

Genre/s: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Mental Health

My rating: 5/5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.

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.

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When I first heard about this book, I was already very interested. However, that did NOT prepare me for all the emotions that I went through when I finally read it.

Eliza and Her Monsters was an amazing read, (one that I finished in a record time of four hours) and I definitely enjoyed reading it more than I thought I would. It’s now one of my favorite reads this 2018.

The writing

The writing was so, so good! It was fun, it was easy, and it was so damn relatable. The writing in this book is actually my favorite thing because it was truly relatable, entertaining, and creative.

I found it creative because it was as if there were two stories in the book—Eliza’s life and Eliza’s comic book story. I loved it because the author blended these two stories together in such a manner that leads the reader on to this amazing journey.

I also found it truly relatable because for me, the author captured the emotions and thoughts of an introvert so well. I related to Eliza so damn much with every thought, every feeling, every fear, every doubt. Every emotion just punches me in the heart.

The characters

I loved the characters, of course.

As I mentioned, I related to Eliza so well in the whole story. She was an introvert, and Monstrous Sea, it was her escape—it was a part of her that she wanted to share with the world without actually being the center of people’s attention. I also loved how Eliza’s flaws were also shown, especially when it comes to her family, and she admitted these herself. I would have loved to see a full character development regarding these flaws, but it was still good nonetheless.

I liked Wallace as well. He was gentle and sweet, and such a geek just like Eliza. I was just a bit disappointed and annoyed at him near the end of the book, but of course I’m not telling why.

I also loved the interaction between Eliza and her online friends, and I adored how their friendship wasn’t devalued just because a screen separates them.

The plot

I loved the plot because as simple as it sounded, it actually was very complex as I read through the story. Apart from Eliza’s growing friendship with Wallace, there were also subplots about connecting and understanding your family, friendships both online and not, dealing with mental health, the struggle of artists and writers and their creations, everything. It’s actually kind of amazing for me how the author managed to tackle all of these in just about 400 pages.

I also loved the climax (no matter how heartbreaking it was), because I saw Eliza overcome a terrifying conflict (I really don’t want to go into detail about this because I might spoil you!). It was so good that I spent like the last 20% of the book crying while reading.

Quotes from the book

You found me in a constellation.

“…and how there are monsters out in the world, but usually, the worst monsters live inside of us.”

I learned years ago that it’s okay to do this. To seek out small spaces for myself, to stop and imagine myself alone. People are too much sometimes.

Blank pages are supposed to be an invitation. A challenge, even. Here is your canvas—how creative can you be? What limits can you stretch to bring to life that creature in your head? A blank piece of paper is infinite possibilities.

“Creating art is a lonely task, which is why we introverts revel in it…”

I wanted a story like it, and I couldn’t find one, so I created it myself.

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Guys, that was such an amazing read! Read it for only four hours, then proceeded to cry AAAAAHHH Have you read this book already? If not, go add it to your 2019 TBR now!

Book Review: Bring Me Their Hearts

Title: Bring Me Their Hearts

Author: Sara Wolf

Genre/s: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic

My rating: 5/5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

Zera is a Heartless – the immortal, unageing soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family, Zera longs for freedom from the woods they hide in. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger’s control, she serves the witch unquestioningly.

Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a Prince’s heart in exchange for her own, with one addendum; if she’s discovered infiltrating the court, Nightsinger will destroy her heart rather than see her tortured by the witch-hating nobles.

Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him – every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his darkly handsome side. No one can challenge him – until the arrival of Lady Zera. She’s inelegant, smart-mouthed, carefree, and out for his blood. The Prince’s honor has him quickly aiming for her throat.

So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all.

Winner takes the loser’s heart.

Literally.

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I first discovered this book back in June and I craved for it immediately. Witches, magic, royalty, fantasy, a beautiful cover, and an intriguing synopsis—it has everything that catches my eye in a book. Now that I’ve finally read it, I can now conclude that it’s one of my favorite reads this year!

The writing

I love the writing style of the author. There were moments that were easy to follow, and light and funny; but there were also parts where it was gripping and emotional and dark. It was a page-turner, not only because the story line was really interesting, but because the characters themselves were intriguing as well. I truly applaud the author for this.

The characters

I adore the main character of this book, Zera. She was fierce, witty, and sassy. I loved every sassy remark and witty comeback she said. She makes sure that no one steps on her or her friends. Despite this, I can also see that she was also lonely and scared—haunted by the blood on her hands, her longing for a normal human life, and the uncontrollable hunger within her.

I loved Prince Lucien as well. He’s your typical cold and brooding prince, but he has a heart of gold and a mind different from his father’s. His love for his sister is truly a great influence on his personality.

Malachite and Fione were really good as well. Malachite is a loyal soldier and friend, not to mention really funny. While Fione is a strong complex character driven by two things—her love for Varia and her disdain towards her uncle.

Above all, I loved the chemistry between these characters. I loved Zera and Lucien, Lucien and Malachite, Zera and Malachite, Zera and Fione. They work really well together, and I would love to see more of them in the future.

The plot

The plot was also very interesting. The idea of a Heartless was so interesting for me. How they were made, how they function, and of course, them dealing with the hunger inside. At first, I thought the hunger was just this figurative term. But the more I read the book, the more I advance through the story, the more I realize that the hunger seems like a whole new different and malevolent person living inside a Heartless. And I truly found this bit fascinating.

There were moments though when the plot was a bit predictable, but I still loved it nonetheless. I believe the story line progressed smoothly, and that cliffhanger at the end is just too good. I can’t wait for book two!

The world-building

Oh my God. The world-building! It is amazing! I absolutely loved the world that the author created for this story. It was complex, it was dark, it has this rich and haunting history, and I want every bit of it. I loved the bits and pieces in the story and in the dialogue, where they talk about their world and mention details about it. It absolutely helped me, as a reader, to visualize and get a feel of the world the characters are in.

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(Got the awesome Zera bookmark from Idle Stuff! Check out their website for more bookish goodies like magnetic bookmarks, soy candles, and art prints!)PicsArt_05-02-02.12.14

My 51st book of the year and it was awesome! Loved this book so much!

By the way, Merry Christmas y’all! I hope you receive all the books on your wish list haha!

Book Review: What If It’s Us

Title: What If It’s Us

Author: Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

Genre/s: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

My rating: 3/5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.

Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?

What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?

What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is?

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Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera! Two of my favorite authors! It’s safe to say that when I heard about this book, I was over the moon. Instantly, I called it as one of my most anticipated reads of 2018! And two months after its release, I finally read it! (And it just so happens that it is the fiftieth book I read this year!)

Okay, so. Here’s the thing. I didn’t hate it, but it didn’t blow my mind either (which is really surprising because I was so hyped about this book, everyone was so hyped about this book!). My parabatai has already read this a month ago and he warned me of certain things, and I guess, I see them now.

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