[ARC] The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

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4stars

Title: The Henna Wars
Author: Adiba Jaigirdar
Release date: May 12th 2020
Number of pages: 400 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It’s diverse and own voices.
Bad things about this book: The main character wasn’t always likable.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 3.75/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

*ARC from NetGalley*

This is a diverse queer contemporary story about a Bengali girl living in Dublin, coming out, having a crush, navigating school while bullied by bigoted homophobes and racists. There’s a lot about family, her sister is very important to her and to the story. Nishat, the mc, doesn’t make the wisest decisions most times, and doesn’t speak her mind much since “it wouldn’t change anything”. The frustration was real. So, while I was angry at her for the miscommunication, I kind of understood why she chose not to say anything, but how can you know if something can make a difference if you don’t do anything?

The writing style was easy to get into, and all the info about the Bengali culture and food really made me see everything that makes it beautiful and fascinating. I must be honest, I don’t think I really know where is Bangladesh, but now I feel like a know a bit more about the culture. I love learning something new while enjoying a nice book. Mixing both things is perfect!

The love story might sound like the dreaded trope of instalove. It’s more of an instacrush and then we have a really slowburn kind of love story. It was a bit frustrating because it’s the first crush, all encompassing, and Nishat didn’t manage it very well. I admit to have been quite angry at her for most of the book, but the last chapters made up for all the anger and shakes of head. It was pretty cute in the end. The sum of all the parts of the book make it good! It was like a journey inside Nishat’s head with all the doubts, the sadness, the anger, the hopelessness.

This is a book I would certainly recommend to everyone.

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Take Nothing With You by Patrick Gale

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5stars

Title: Take Nothing With You
Author: Patrick Gale
Number of pages: 320 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: This was such a sweet story, so well written.
Bad things about this book: Nothing! I loved everything.
Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s worth it.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

This book was a journey, an immense journey. It’s not about first loves, it’s not about that romance that blinds you. This is a book, a sort of quiet and calm book, about a man going into treatment for cancer, having to be isolated for two days, and reminiscing about his life. The first time he realized he was interested in boys, his love for music and the cello, his friend and school, his family, his life after college, his first big love who left him too soon, his heart healing, second chances, disappointments, anger, hope, living his life. I loved how the author decided to end the book. It was just so fitting the rest of the story’s pace. I loved it.

It’s the journal of Eustace. And it was incredibly touching and personal, just like a journal usually is. It infused me with all the feelings in a sort of zen garden way. I don’t know how to explain it. I guess you should just read it and see for yourself.

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Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins

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4stars

Title: Her Royal Highness
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Series: Royals #2
Number of pages: 274 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: Scotland, private school, royals, tartan!!
Bad things about this book: I wanted at least one more chapter, just one more!
Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s really cute.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

This was a really cute book, without much drama. A quiet and sweet book set in Scotland with royals, friendships, romance, and rocks! Millie likes rocks and I love that she likes rocks because rocks…rock! I’m not sorry for that.

The not really enemies to lovers trope was perfectly adorable! I loved Flora’s character!! I thought she was going to be the mean girl, bully, but she wasn’t and I was pleasantly surprised!

It was really nice that there weren’t really bad girls in the school, and that Millie found real friends within the first minutes she got there. Going to a whole different country to finish school must be hard, but it also sounds like a very amazing adventure!

There wasn’t enough kilt talk for my taste since this was a book set in Scotland but I pictured them in my head so it’s okay! Everyone was wearing a kilt, and that’s my headcanon for the book!

I would never want to be a royal, though. It sounds like a pain in the royal buttocks!

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How to Be Remy Cameron by Julian Winters

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5stars

“We have no control over what labels others give us, but we can define who we are by the ones we choose to give ourselves.”

Title: How to Be Remy Cameron
Author: Julian Winters
Number of pages: 340 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: The characters are really sweet and the book deals with important issues.
Bad things about this book: It was nice just the way it was.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

So cute and adorable, it explores important topics while staying fluffy and unputdownable.

Remy is drowning in labels and in feelings, and he’s in high school. How much harder can it get? He wants to feel comfortable in his skin, to accept and to be accepted. He is surrounded by a tight group of supporting friends and his family is just adorable and loving.

Remy has to write an essay about who he is and this is messing with his head. Badly. Because who is he really? How can he write something so deep when he doesn’t know the answer? It’s so hard putting into words things like that, like when someone asks you for your favorite book or movie, and there’s just a blank canvas inside your head.

Remy has a lot going on; an ex that broke his heart is one of those, and feelings for another boy when he has decided dating was off the table for a while. And college! I really can’t relate to all the stressing for college in the US. It puts so much stress on teenagers when everything is already pretty stressing.

I loved the friendships and I really loved all the scenes involving his family; how they told him he was adopted (the whole story when they got to meet him was so sweet), how opened they were when Remy came out to them, how they are just great with both him and his little sister.

This might be a very short book but it wasn’t rushed, everything happened slowly but steady, and it felt refreshing and just plain nice. I recommend it!

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[ARC] When Life Gives You Lemons by Fiona Gibson

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3stars

Title: When Life Gives You Lemons
Author: Fiona Gibson
Release date: March 17th 2020
Number of pages: 384 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It is hopeful.
Bad things about this book: It was a little slow and maybe a bit too long.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 3/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Cute. Maybe a bit slow the first half, but it was pretty sweet after that. I liked Viv, and her friends, her daughter and her cooking show, the evil kid neighbour. A nice story about getting yourself up again, stronger.

I don’t usually read books with mc a lot older than me. It’s about not relating a lot to them, maybe it’s just because I really hadn’t given these books a chance. I know I’m not going through menopause and I don’t have kids, but it was nice seeing this strong woman being fragile but at the same time doing something to be her best self, for her and her daughter.

Marriages can end, but you are still you, you have to move on and change your life as you knew it. It must be super hard, and Viv, even with the down moments, the menopausal symptoms, started living her life for the first time in first person: not as someone’s wife in charge of accommodating a fragile male ego, and being extra patient with a husband that was really awful to her.

People change, and I liked how this journey was portrayed here. The hope, the positivity, it was great.

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[ARC] Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed

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4stars

Title: Yes No Maybe So
Author: Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed
Release date: February 4th 2020
Number of pages: 448 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: A lot of diversity.
Bad things about this book: Too much politics for my personal taste.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC given by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

With everything going on in the world, this feels important. It’s just about a tiny part of the whole world, super tiny, but it tells you so much about what’s happening and the frustration, the anger. Both the mcs were plenty likeable and adorable. There was a bit too much politics but they got me involved in the narrative and dynamics. I didn’t understand much, though.

I’m a not jewish nor muslim, and I’m ashamed to say I don’t much about either, but I love how tv shows and books educate me and show me more and more. It puts you in their shoes for a bit, showing you the good and the bad parts.

People are so infuriating. They hate for the sake of it, being ignorant and just plain blind about why they’re hating. They just do. And it’s terrifying because they feel entitled to hate, like it’s their right to be physically and mentally violent towards someone. That’s not what this is about. It’s so frustrating it’s making me furious!!

As much as the political theme played a very wide and important part in this book, it’s the friendship between Maya and Jamie that wins it all. Love it.

Important, diverse, with queer rep, friendship, family matters. It has a bit of it all. I really enjoyed it.

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[ARC] Counter Culture by J.L. Merrow

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4stars

Title: Counter Culture
Author: J.L. Merrow
Release date: November 4th 2019
Number of pages: 344 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It was really sweet and the characters were great.
Bad things about this book: The drama! Why? But I must say it didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I do.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC given by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

This was so cute! The steampunk! The really nice Robin (full name Robin Christopher btw!), the adorable Archie (real name Mars!!). Archie’s mum was such a fresh character and, while I thought I was going to hate Bridge (the ex and mum of Archie’s baby), I came to like her a lot!

It was something like a slowburn romance with tons of little cute moments mixed with bits of serious stuff, like the homeless situation in the UK. I loved that Archie was unapologetically bisexual and nobody had anything to say about that. And how Robin was really opened about being gay even if his parents were really infuriating. They are cancelled!

This book flew in my hands. One moment I started it, then it was over! Some scenes had me giggling nonstop!! I just really enjoy Merrow’s writing and storytelling. I’ve read three times her The Plumber’s Mate Mysteries series! All of it!

Do I want to attend a Steampunk event? Of course I do. Can you imagine how cool that’d be?? Yes, please!

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Heartstopper Vol. 1 & 2 by Alice Oseman ☆

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5starsplus

Title: Heartstopper (Vol.1 & 2)
Author: Alice Oseman
Number of pages: 278 & 315 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: This is one of the sweetest coming of age stories I’ve ever read.
Bad things about this book: Nothing. Alice spoils us with new content very often.
Do I recommend it? Yes, always.
Rate: 5+++/5 (this is a fav series)

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I haven’t posted a review in MONTHS! I’ve read tons of books but I’ve also been through a few reading slumps. These months have been weird. If you follow me on instagram, my bookstagram account is very active and I update it daily.

So I got the second volume of Heartstopper yesterday and, even if I’m up to date with the webcomic, being a patron and all that, I decided to read it immediately. I just love these kids so much. They are relatable, have real problems, aren’t romanticized in any way, they just are teenagers having issues you may or may not have had when you were in your teens.

In the first volume we saw how Charlie and Nick started being friends, best friends, and how Nick started feeling a deeper connection. In volume 2 we see how this deeper thing is explored and how this revelation will affect both Charlie and Nick. Knowing what is going to happen, I’m calm about everything, but I still worry about them. They are adorable and should be protected. The bullies can just go away and never come back. Why do bullies exist, btw? I don’t get it!

At the end of volume 2 there was the special chapter of how two other very sweet characters met: Darcy and Tara. It was so cute! I want more.

Please follow Alice Oseman’s instagram, support her, support her work, and read her books. They are worth it! Tomorrow there’s going to be the title and cover reveal of he 4th book! I’m excited!!!!

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[ARC] Play It Again by Aidan Wayne

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4stars

Title: Play It Again
Author: Aidan Wayne
Release date: April 22nd 2019
Number of pages: 288 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It was simple and enjoyable.
Bad things about this book: Too many “how to get famous” chat.
Do I recommend it? Yes, it was fun.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC kindly provided by NetGalley

This was such a pleasant book with no drama, quite cheesy, and just plain nice. Exactly what to read when you want things to start and end well, with no unnecessary obstacles!

Dovid’s name was distracting a bit because I still don’t know if I’m pronouncing it well in my head. I can relate a bit because my name is mispronounced and miswritten a lot!

I liked the calm and quiet of the romance. Just like it’d happen in real life. Getting to really know each other, understanding that you care way more than just a friend, exploring what this means, accepting the risks, being just happy to have each other, no matter the distance.

There were a little too many “how to be famous on the internet” chat: they were constantly talking about what to do to be rich and famous. At some point I was rolling my eyes because we didn’t get much info about the characters but now I know exactly what to do to earn money making youtube videos.

I’d recommend it.

All in all, this was a pretty book. Simple, the way I like it. Sometimes you just want to enjoy a book with nice characters, having a drama free life, and smile a little at the happy ending.

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Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

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5stars

“If someone asks you how you are, you are meant to say FINE. You are not meant to say that you cried yourself to sleep last night because you hadn’t spoken to another person for two consecutive days. FINE is what you say.”

Title: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
Author: Gail Honeyman
Number of pages: 386 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: Great story, great characters, great book.
Bad things about this book: Nothing, I enjoyed all of it.
Do I recommend it? Always.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

“Although it’s good to try new things and to keep an open mind, it’s also extremely important to stay true to who you really are.”

Truly captivating. Once I started reading it was hard to stop because I wanted to know more about Eleanor. I wanted her to have the best life. She deserved it. I loved Raymond and Sammy even if he wasn’t on page much.

I loved how the book ended. At first I didn’t know how I wanted it to end, I wasn’t sure. The more I went on with the book, the more unsure I was. But the book surprised me with a great ending. It left me smiling. Happy. Satisfied. Hopeful.

This review is very short because I’ve been struggling with writing them. I’m not inspired. This book made me feel and think so much and I don’t know how to put my thoughts into words. I guess you just have to read it, right? Wink wink!

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