[ARC] The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

thehennawars

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.

firmablog

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

IMG_20181009_231305_990

5stars

“I barely know him. I guess that is every relationship. You start with nothing and maybe end with everything.”

Title: What If It’s Us
Author: Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera
Number of pages: 448 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: The sweetest love story I’ve read in a long time, so true and relatable!
Bad things about this book: I wanted a second epilogue, I wanted more!
Do I recommend it? Yes, two of my fav authors collaborating will always be a YES from me.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Lately it’s becoming hard for me to write reviews. I don’t know why but I struggle a lot to come up with words that describe perfectly, or in very simple words, how I felt about the book I’ve just read. It’s infuriating. I can’t seem to write anymore, and my reviews skills are getting worse. Still I persist because I quit too many times and that’s something I’m trying to do for myself: finish what I start.
I decided, though, not to write much because this book needs to be lived. Whatever I write might spoil the experience, and you know how much I love that!

PLOT —
The plot is pretty simple: boy meets boy, boy loses boy, boy finds boy again, boys fall in love, but boys don’t live in the same city, are boys are destined to be heartbroken? All of that with a lot of musical references, videogames, coffee breaks, and very sweet characters in a beautiful city.

“An actual date with a boy. This is possibly, definitely the number one best thing that’s ever happened to me. And I have no chill about it. None whatsoever.”

CHARACTERS —
Arthur is really adorable: musical geek who talks a lot, believes in fate, and goes the extra mile to find a boy he thinks the universe wants him to be together with. Ben is sweet and confused, but he decides to believe in second chances and a little bit in fate so, even with his heart still healing from a bad breakup, he decides to trust his gut and try things out with this chatty boy he barely knows. The side characters are just as great, and yes, I kind of hated the ex-boyfriend, but it was just because I wanted so much the boys to be happy. So yeah, I liked them all.

It’s highly possible that this is the best I’ve ever looked. Either that or the douchiest. It could go either way.

THOUGHTS —
This book made me want to go see Hamilton again. I saw it in London last June and loved every second of it. I’ve already listened repeatedly to the soundtrack and knew it by heart, but it was like seeing it for the first time. Seeing as Arthur loves Hamilton and I love it too, I trusted his taste and listened to the whole soundtrack of Dear Evan Hansen and now I know what musical I want to see next. I’ve had Only Us stuck in my head all day! I love that song! Thanks, Arthur!!!

“Maybe this won’t work out and I won’t care about it ending. But I can’t get from A to B without us being A and B first. Live in the moment.”

CONCLUSION —
I’m not a 100% satisfied with the ending but that’s just me being picky. This book was just the right amount of fluffiness typical of Becky with a bit of “if life gives you lemons they’re probably rotten” typical of dear Adam. I keep thinking about the book, how I’ll love it when the movie comes out, how I want to wait at least a month before listening to the audiobook if it’s available, and how I picture these two boys living their best lives. I don’t usually go there, but I think I might need fanfiction. Yes, that’s how much I love it, I don’t want it to end.

firmablog

Noah Could Never by Simon James Green

20180608_234434

5stars

“There is no one better, Noah. No one will ever be like you. There is only different. And in the future, everything is different. So you can choose to live in the anxious misery of what might be, or you can choose the glorious comfort of the here and now. I would pick the now. Tomorrow could be anything.”

Title: Noah Could Never
Author: Simon James Green
Series: Noah Can’t Even #2

Number of pages: 403 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: It’s hilarious and you can’t help to keep loving Noah.
Bad things about this book: The only bad thing is that I can’t seem to have enough of Noah so that’s my only complain, I wanted a bible-long book about him.
Do I recommend it? OMG OF COURSE YES DO IT!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Was this as good as it was going to get? After sixteen, was it basically a steady decline towards arthritis, mobility scooters and the grave? Sodding hell.

I love Noah to pieces and I love how twisted and random his little brain is. What I don’t love is how mess somehow mixes in his everyday life; my boy can’t catch a break. Between freaking out about taking his relationship with Harry to the next level, the French exchange students, a drag queen on the run, a car following his every move, and his half-brother being shady as hell, Noah really doesn’t know how not to lose his mind. And he barely succeeds in not doing so.

This book is the usual hilarious rollercoaster, one hell of an adventure. It messed up with my feelings. I felt so much for Noah and how his overthinking was going to ruin everything good he had going on in his life. The feelings were really strong. I was happy, then mad, then worried (so much worried), then I cried a bit, worried a little more, then I finished the book and exhaled a long sigh of relief.

“I meant what I said. Let’s not be interested in the rest of the world when we’re each other’s worlds.”

Noah and Harry have been boyfriends for two months; they’ve been kissing like crazy, but Noah is scared to take things to a sexier level. He thinks there is something wrong with him because he is a teenager, so he should be thinking about sex at all times, and he isn’t. He is just too worried about what this means, about what that can changed the perception Harry has of himself. He doesn’t think he is enough for Harry; he is not manly enough, he hasn’t got abs, he worries about the most random things, and his life has so much going on that it’s a miracle Harry found Noah interesting in the first place.

Sometimes, having something really nice in your life was worse than not having it, because it made you worries you were going to lose it. And losing something is worse when you know just how wonderful that thing is.

I knew that Noah’s insecurities were going to bring problems to his relationship. I worried so much about their happiness you’ll think they were my best friends. Noah overthinks and by overthinking he makes one mistake after the other. I was on edge all the time; I was on edge even as I was laughing my butt off at the hilarity of the situations Noah finds himself involved.

This might be London, and it might all be very hip, but they’d forgotten about the one thing that was always en vogue: good grammar.

I love Noah so much: his quirks and love for things done the right way! He always tries his best even when life seems to be doing everything to throw things in his way. He might think he is very unlucky in a lot of things, but he doesn’t see just how lucky he actually is, how many people are on his side and love him just the way he is.

“When you next see me I will have thwarted a criminal endeavour and been to London. I will be a changed person. Take a long hard look at the boy, for he will return a man.”

I can’t write how many things are going on at the same time because, trust me, there are a lot of things going on in this book. I guess you just need to read it and find out!

firmablog

Hoarfrost by Jordan L. Hawk

20180520_152343

5stars

“I’d watch the world burn if it meant keeping you safe!”

Title: Hoarfrost
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Whyborne & Griffin #6

Number of pages: 232 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I loved how cute were the couples: Whyborne and Griffin, Christine and Iskander.
Bad things about this book: It bothers me a little that Whyborne isn’t studying more spells. He doesn’t know how to do much!
Do I recommend it? Yes! Of course!!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I couldn’t wait much longer so I started another one of Whyborne & Griffin’s book! I read there are going to be 11 and now only 9 are out. I read this one that is the 6th so I still have a few to read slowly. I’m going to miss them so much when it’ll all be over. I don’t want anything bad to happen to them.

Whyborne and Griffin are now happily married and are enjoying some time of peace, until a letter informing Griffin of his father’s death put him in a whirlwind of emotions and nightmares. He never reconnected with his father after he found out about his love for Whyborne and he doesn’t want his mother to leave this Earth without seeing her again. Then one day, his biological brother who works in Alaska, sends him a letter asking for help identifying a weird relic and our crew leaves Widdershins for a long and cold journey north.

This book introduces, for the first time, chapters from Griffin’s point of view. I liked reading his thoughts, his feelings, his love for Whyborne. I also loved how we now know what torments the poor man, why he continues having nightmares about that fire in Chicago and the creatures in Egypt. Griffin hasn’t got an easy life but his love and life with Whyborne has given him a new reason to live and to fight for what he has, no matter the consequences.

There are a lot of surprises in this book; new interesting characters, the obvious bad guys that you can see from miles away but it still surprise you a little when they’re revealed, and more whiny but adorable Whyborne. I just want to know why Whyborne doesn’t know more spells since he’s had that damned book for years. He should be the most powerful sorcerer of the world but he doesn’t study!! Pick up the book and do your homework, Whyborne!! I’m not sure I like what happened at the end of the book but I’m curious as to how that will change the following books.

I will read the next book next month. I don’t want get to a point where I don’t have more Whyborne and Griffin to read. I can’t have that!

firmablog

Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall

20180514_003503

4stars

I have a crush on my best friend. I have become a teen rom-com cliché. There is no hope for me.

Title: Been Here All Along
Author: Sandy Hall
Number of pages: 214 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: It was really sweet and easy to get into the story.
Bad things about this book: Not enough romance for a romance book.
Do I recommend it? Yes, of course.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Really cute. Almost drama free but since it was obvious from the beginning what the drama was going to be about, I knew it was going to be okay in the end.

This was obviously a happily ever after kind if book, I trusted it to be so. Cute characters that grew as people in such a short time, not forced, very real life and all that, they surprised me. But this is so obviously a utopic book because the little drama didn’t counterbalance how easily they seem to overcome their obstacles. It’s okay, though, I don’t need a constant reminder of how life isn’t easy or fair; sometimes we just need to read about simpler lives.

Many povs that at first I thought were going to confuse me but in the end they gave me the intel I needed to understand the main characters better. You need to see the characters from others povs to really SEE them; if that makes any sense at all. I liked that.

The book promised me to be about Gideon and Kyle’s feelings for each other and how these feelings were going to change their friendship and their lives. There were many scenes with exact that but I felt that there was too much about other things. Too much for a book this short. If the book was a hundred pages longer, all the info would’ve been a very important integration to the narrative, but with a book this short, the info took too much space off the romance I really wanted to see since that was what this book was going to be about.

Nevertheless, this book contained the perfect story needed for a quiet weekday night. A book you could start and finish in a few hours. You wouldn’t have gone to bed desperately wanting to know how it was going to end. You could go to bed at a reasonable time with a smile on your face because this book gave you a cute little story about two nerd guys, with very strong opinions about The Lord of the Rings movies, loving each other. And that was enough to convince me to read it.

firmablog

Relief Valve by J.L. Merrow

20180428_175432

5stars

His lips were soft and warm and tasted of flour and bacon. I kissed him back, feeling a weird fluttering in my chest. Too much greasy food, probably. It can give you indigestion.

Title: Relief Valve
Author: J.L. Merrow
Series: The Plumber’s Mate Mysteries #2
Number of pages: 341 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Tom is a marvelous human being!
Bad things about this book: Phil is still broody but he doesn’t ruin the story because of it.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I’m loving this series.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I have to admit that now that I’m starting book 5, I’m having problems separating the events of all the books. I should have written everything down. I remember the different cases, I remember what happened; the problem is that I don’t remember what happens with Tom and Phil in the different books. Everything is kind of overlapping in my head so I may say something that probably hasn’t happen yet. I’ll try not to.

I remember Tom being the usual cinnamon roll that I love and want to cuddle all the time, and I remember Phil being his usual pain in the bum but more bearable than in the first book. Phil is growing a bit, I’d say he is growing slowly, but he’s still not sharing anything with Tom and getting mad at nothing. I had my fair share of “wanting to slap Phil” moments during this book. Those never go out of style. That broody man needs to get a grip and start sharing. After he shares everything, then he will no longer be unnecessarily mad at Tom for asking questions because he is curious about his boyfriend’s life.

But what is this book about? What is the big mystery? Does someone die in this one? This book is about poisoning. The mystery is who the hell is poisoning people. Luckily nobody dies because the almost victim is no other than Tom’s big sister, Cherry. I liked her from the start, reaching Tom because an old neighbour died and left him something he has to find for himself with his talent. I wanted his sister to be a recurring character and I got that. Cherry and her fiancé Greg are present in all the books and it’s great.

Tom and Phil do everything in their power to solve the mystery and maybe by doing so Tom, as usual, finds himself in some trouble. He attracts problems so easily you’d think that’s his superpower. But, being this the second book of now five, you know things are going to get better for Tom and for his moody manchild. But are they going to get better, though? Wouldn’t count on that. It seems Tom and his trouble magnet abilities are here to stay. At least let’s hope that broody man grows up a little bit more and start treating my beloved like the King of Fluff he is.

Does it show that I love Tom? Is it clear enough? No? I love Tom and you should read these books and love Tom and also hate a little on Phil but at the same time cheering on them because power couple! Like is hard for the “We Love Tom” brigade.

firmablog

Fence #5 by C.S. Pacat, Johanna the Mad & Joana Lafuente

20180418_165204

4stars

“Don’t think about winning. Winning is a distraction.”

Title: Fence
Author: C.S. Pacat (Author), Johanna the Mad (Illustrator), Joana Lafuente (Illustrator)
Series: Fence #5

Number of pages: 27 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: We got a little insight of the past.
Bad things about this book: There are too many mysteries and I NEED TO KNOW!!!
Do I recommend it? Of course!!
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I had to wait so long for this issue and I felt it was too short. Why is this happening again? We got Seiji and Aiden’s match and a little bit of backstory from the fencers. I thought we were going to get a little more insight from Seiji’s past but it was all whispered to him by Aiden and we didn’t hear a thing. I’m so curious I’m kind of losing my patience. And I’m a very patient woman. Very patient, but I can’t wait to get to the juicy parts: the secrets unveiled, the first stares with romantic vibes, the friendships blooming.

Screenshot_20180418-173054_Amazon KindlePoor Nicholas, he’s having a hard time!

But for now I want to know what happened to Seiji? What did Aiden say to him to make him lose his composure? Is it something about a relationship not gone well? I wonder if that’s why Seiji couldn’t go to Exton. Maybe he and Jesse were a thing or Seiji had a crush that he thought reciprocated but then was humiliated?? So many questions!!!!

I WANT TO KNOW WHO THE HELL HURT SEIJI??? GIVE THAT BOY SOME LOVE. HE NEEDS IT!!!

Screenshot_20180418-173123_Amazon KindleHow cute are Aiden’s cheerleaders? They’re adorable!

The next issue is going to be a great one, I’m sure of that! I really can’t wait!

firmablog