Book Review: Small Town Hearts

Author: Lillie Vale

Genre: Contemporary

Age Range: 13+

Published: By Swoon Reads on March 19th, 2019

Content Warning: Drugs & alcohol consumption and manipulative friendship

Format I Read: E-book

Grade: Exceeds expectations

Note: I received a free digital ARC of the book via the blog tour organised by Lili @ Utopia State of Mind and Swoon Reads in exchange for an honest review

Book Review: Small Town Hearts by Lillie Vale | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (post graphic image)

Book Synopsis (section header)

Fresh out of high school, Babe Vogel should be thrilled to have the whole summer at her fingertips. She loves living in her lighthouse home in the sleepy Maine beach town of Oar’s Rest and being a barista at the Busy Bean, but she’s totally freaking out about how her life will change when her two best friends go to college in the fall. And when a reckless kiss causes all three of them to break up, she may lose them a lot sooner. On top of that, her ex-girlfriend is back in town, bringing with her a slew of memories, both good and bad.

And then there’s Levi Keller, the cute artist who’s spending all his free time at the coffee shop where she works. Levi’s from out of town, and even though Babe knows better than to fall for a tourist who will leave when summer ends, she can’t stop herself from wanting to know him. Can Babe keep her distance, or will she break the one rule she’s always had – to never fall for a summer boy?

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Book Review: Love, Hate and Other Filters

Author: Samira Ahmed

Genre: Contemporary

Age Range: 13+

Published: By Hot Key Books on January 16th, 2018

Content Warning: Racism, bigotry and hate crimes

Format I Read: Kindle e-book

Grade: Exceeds expectations

Book Review: Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (post graphic image)

Book Synopsis (section header)

Maya Aziz is torn between futures: the one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter (i.e.; staying nearby in Chicago and being matched with a “suitable” Muslim boy), and the one where she goes to film school in New York City–and maybe, just maybe, kisses a guy she’s only known from afar. There’s the also the fun stuff, like laughing with her best friend Violet, making on-the-spot documentaries, sneaking away for private swimming lessons at a secret pond in the woods. But her world is shattered when a suicide bomber strikes in the American heartland; by chance, he shares Maya’s last name. What happens to the one Muslim family in town when their community is suddenly consumed with hatred and fear?

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Author Chat with Sandhya Menon

I’m back with another interview of another author I truly admire, the one and only Sandhya Menon! When Dimple Met Rishi took the YA rom-com scene by storm when it came out and so has her next two books. Her first book was what got me into reading YA contemporary at all since I was more of a hardcore fantasy fan back in 2018. I love that desi characters are getting their own happy ending thanks to Sandhya and that desi models are so boldly featured on her beautiful covers. With that fangirl-y introduction aside, let’s jump into the Q&A part!

Author Chat with YA romance queen Sandhya Menon | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (post graphic image)

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10 Books to Read on a Hot Summer Day (2019)

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. How it works is that each Tuesday the host assigns a topic and then posts their top ten list that fits the topic. Every blogger can create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well and link to the host’s. The topic for April 16th, 2019 is: Rainy Day Reads. Since it is peak summer here, I decided to share my summer recommendations for 2019 instead.

10 Books to Read on a Hot Summer Day (2019) | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (post graphic image)
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5 YA Books That Need a Companion Cookbook

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. How it works is that each Tuesday the host assigns a topic and then posts their top ten list that fits the topic. Every blogger can create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well and link to the host’s. The topic for March 12th, 2019 is: Standalone Books That Need a Sequel. I wanted to change it up a little today and the topic I chose is: Books That Need a Companion Cookbook.

5 YA Books That Need a Companion Cookbook | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (post graphic image)
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Book Review: From Twinkle, With Love

Author: Sandhya Menon

Genre: Contemporary

Age Range: 13+

Published: By Simon Pulse on May 22nd, 2018

Content Warning: Racism, parental neglect, ableist language

Format I Read: Hardcover

Grade: Outstanding

Book Review: From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (post graphic image)

Book Synopsis (section header)

Aspiring filmmaker and wallflower Twinkle Mehra has stories she wants to tell and universes she wants to explore, if only the world would listen. So when fellow film geek Sahil Roy approaches her to direct a movie for the upcoming Summer Festival, Twinkle is all over it. The chance to publicly showcase her voice as a director? Dream come true. The fact that it gets her closer to her longtime crush, Neil Roy – a.k.a. Sahil’s twin brother? Dream come true x 2.

When mystery man N begins emailing her, Twinkle is sure it’s Neil, finally ready to begin their happily-ever-after. The only slightly inconvenient problem is that, in the course of movie-making, she’s fallen madly in love with the irresistibly adorkable Sahil. Twinkle soon realizes that resistance is futile: The romance she’s got is not the one she’s scripted. But will it be enough?

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Book Review: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Author: Becky Albertalli

Genre: Contemporary

Age Range: 13+

Published: By Balzer + Bray on April 7th, 2015

Content Warning: Homophobia, bullying and underage drinking

Format I Read: Audiobook

Grade: Exceeds expectations

Book Review: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (post graphic image)

Book Synopsis (section header)

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

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Book Review – When Dimple Met Rishi

Title: When Dimple Met Rishi

Author: Sandhya Menon

Genre: Young Adult (Contemporary) [Bonus: #OwnVoices novel]

Published: By Simon Pulse on May 30th, 2017

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

When Dimple Met Rishi (Book Cover)

 

Summary

(adapted from Goodreads)

A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

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.

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.

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.

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Book Review – Dream Me

Title: Dream Me

Author: Kathryn Berla

Genre: Young adult (contemporary + sci-fi)

Published: By Amberjack Publishing on July 11th, 2017

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Summary

(adapted from Goodreads)

Zat is a dreamer from the distant future—a time when humans no longer dream and Earth is a desolate wasteland. He dreams of the beautiful Earth of the past, and a fiery-haired beauty named Babe. Against the wisdom of his peers, Zat decides to risk everything to travel back in time and live in Babe’s dreams.

Babe is the perpetual new girl in town. Her father’s job frequently moves the family around the country, and Babe just longs for a place to call home. As she settles into the sleepy town of Sugar Dunes, Florida, Babe begins to have strange dreams of a green-eyed boy named Zat. But the dreams come at the cost of nearly crippling migraines every morning. The more time Babe and Zat spend together in her dreams, the more Babe’s pain increases, and Zat begins to question the reality of his existence. Can a dream become a reality?

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Book Review – Geekerella

Title:  Geekerella

Author: Ashley Poston

Genre: Young adult, fairy  tale retelling

Published: By Quirk Books on April 4th, 2017

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

image

Summary

(adapted from Goodreads)

Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.

Thoughts

Note: I received a free e-copy of the book via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review

This book moved me to tears so many times and sometimes they were even happy – this coming from someone who rarely cries while reading and never admits to it in public. To be honest, Cinderella isn’t my favourite fairy tale because I always thought she was kind of a coward for not standing up to her stepmother or sisters. It was refreshing to read this retelling because I finally understand how hopeless her situation was and at least our MC in this one, Danielle, is more rebellious than the character she is based on. The characters were the best part of the book for me. Things happened at a steady pace that kept me hooked and I finished the book in one sitting. The love story was not a case of insta-love and it had a modern spin to it. The “geek culture” portrayed in this is accurate and relevant. I enjoyed every little reference thrown in there for the benefit of all the fans – especially The Lord of the Rings ones. There are some minor flaws but because I rarely read books that override the fierce control I have of my emotions, I’m going to give it top rating.

Read the detailed review here.

Recommendations

This book is written for every geeky/nerdy kid/teen/adult out there. I would also recommend it to fans of fairy tale retellings. Some peanut butter sandwiches would go well with this book (you’ll have to read it to see why). As for the music, a mashup of sci-fi themes from Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, etc. would be perfect.

Links

Book: Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Author: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr