Mini Reviews: From Twinkle, With Love & Stay Sweet

Today I’ve got a double dose of adorable YA contemporary romance mini reviews coming your way. And of course I couldn’t help but fall for them.

FromTwinkleWithLoveFrom Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon

Published by Simon Pulse on May 22, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 336 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

4/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

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?

Told through the letters Twinkle writes to her favorite female filmmakers, From Twinkle, with Love navigates big truths about friendship, family, and the unexpected places love can find you.

Continue reading


Book Review: Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova

BrujaBornBruja Born by Zoraida Córdova

Published by Sourcebooks Fire on June 5, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy

Pages: 336 Format: Hardcover Source: Trade

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Three sisters. One spell. Countless dead.

Lula Mortiz feels like an outsider. Her sister’s newfound Encantrix powers have wounded her in ways that Lula’s bruja healing powers can’t fix, and she longs for the comfort her family once brought her. Thank the Deos for Maks, her sweet, steady boyfriend who sees the beauty within her and brings light to her life.

Then a bus crash turns Lula’s world upside down. Her classmates are all dead, including Maks. But Lula was born to heal, to fix. She can bring Maks back, even if it means seeking help from her sisters and defying Death herself. But magic that defies the laws of the deos is dangerous. Unpredictable. And when the dust settles, Maks isn’t the only one who’s been brought back…

Continue reading

Mini Reviews: Save the Date & The Art of French Kissing

June was heavy contemporary month for me so I’m wrapping my reviews up with brief thoughts on Morgan Matson’s Save the Date and Brianna R. Shrum’s The Art of French Kissing.

SavetheDateSave the Date by Morgan Matson

Published by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers on June 5, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary

Pages: 432 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.

The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.

There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.

There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo.

Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractingly…cute.

Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.

Morgan Matson’s books have become synonymous with summer for me and Save the Date is her latest fun/feelings filled story. Set over the course of a wedding weekend, this book has everything from humor to upheaval with a healthy dose compelling characters to make this narrative work. Honestly the highlight of this book has to be the focus on family. Charlie, Mike, J.J., Linnie, and Danny (with Rodney as an honorary member) are easily the most dynamic sibling unit since the Weasleys and I couldn’t get enough of them. I always love that Matson’s books are never all sunshine and rainbows and this one is no exception. There’s disaster after disaster as well as discussion on nostalgia and how everything isn’t always as perfect as it seems. I totally recommend picking this up!

TheArtofFrenchKissingThe Art of French Kissing by Brianna R. Shrum

Published by Sky Pony Press on June 5, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 256 Format: Paperback Source: Library

3.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Carter Lane has wanted to be a chef since she was old enough to ignore her mom’s warnings to stay away from the hot stove. And now she has the chance of a lifetime: a prestigious scholarship competition in Savannah, where students compete all summer in Chopped style challenges for a full-ride to one of the best culinary schools in the country. The only impossible challenge ingredient in her basket: Reid Yamada.

After Reid, her cute but unbearably cocky opponent, goes out of his way to screw her over on day one, Carter vows revenge, and soon they’re involved in a full-fledged culinary war. Just as the tension between them reaches its boiling point, Carter and Reid are forced to work together if they want to win, and Carter begins to wonder if Reid’s constant presence in her brain is about more than rivalry. And if maybe her desire to smack his mouth doesn’t necessarily cancel out her desire to kiss it.

Brianna R. Shrum reeled me in with kissing and cooking competitions and I couldn’t help but totally enjoy The Art of French Kissing. It’s a fast paced contemporary romance filled with plenty of tension and heat. Plus it’s got some incredibly delicious food descriptions that had my mouth watering. Carter is this talented chef in the making so her shot to score a scholarship is high stakes. Add a ton of anxiety to the mix and a fellow competitor that pushes all her buttons and sparks fly all over the place. In more ways than one. If you’re in need of a quick contemporary romance, I highly suggest giving this one a shot.

Have you read either of these titles? Do you read more contemporary in the summer?

Let me know in the comments below!


ARC Review: The Brink of Darkness by Jeff Giles

TheBrinkofDarknessThe Brink of Darkness by Jeff Giles

Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on July 10, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Romance

Pages: 400 Format: eARC Source: NG

4/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

I acquired this ARC from the publisher through NetGalley. This does not impact my thoughts and opinions in any way.

Things have changed for seventeen-year-old Zoe ever since the otherworldly events that brought her together with the mysterious bounty hunter she calls X. In order to save Zoe and her family, X has done the unthinkable – he’s given up his freedom and returned to captivity in the Lowlands.

X is determined to break the lords’ hold on him once and for all, but being stripped of his power pushes him toward a darkness he’s never experienced and a past he’s never known. The secrets that surface could be the key to reuniting X and Zoe… or they could mean the destruction of everything they have been fighting for.

Continue reading

Mini Reviews: Recent Reads

Near the end of the month I always seem to have a back up of reviews waiting to be written. Hence another recap of my thoughts on these three titles.

LabyrinthLostLabyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

Published by Sourcebooks Fire on August 1, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy

Pages: 324 Format: Paperback Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

Why did I wait this long to read Labyrinth Lost? I’ve no idea, but since the second book just came out I knew it was time. And oh I was so right. The magic was incredible with Córdova weaving a myriad of culture and history into its belief system. Nothing was easy and it all came with a cost. Honestly it hit all my faves especially with the characters. Alex questioned everything; her power, her choices, her family. It was pretty refreshing. Plus Nova pulled on all of my heartstrings. If you’re into magic and witches definitely pick this one up.

TheKissQuotientThe Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Published by Berkley on June 5, 2018

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 336 Format: Paperback Source: Purchased

5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases–a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice–with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan–from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but crave all of the other things he’s making her feel. Their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

I’d like to thank the book community for hyping The Kiss Quotient so hard I bought it before reading it since this book is now one of my all time faves. Seriously Helen Hoang’s writing is brilliant and she’s crafted such a compelling story of falling in love. Stella and Michael are such endearing people, sweet and honest to a fault. The dynamic between them is to die for and the development of their relationship is so well done. Plus the supporting cast is just as excellent and the narrative incredibly real. Honestly I’d recommend this book to everyone but especially romance readers.

TheWayYouMakeMeFeelThe Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

Published by Farrar Straus Giroux Books on May 8, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 336 Format: Hardcover Source: Library

4/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn’t so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad’s business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind? 

With Maurene Goo’s signature warmth and humor, The Way You Make Me Feel is a relatable story of falling in love and finding yourself in the places you’d never thought to look.

If you’re in need of a fun, flirty summer read The Way You Make Me Feel should definitely be on your TBR. There’s epic food truck moments, hilarious hijinks, soul searching, and parental relationships. Clara is funny, witty, and passionate which makes her dynamic with Rose who is anxious and driven so brilliant. I also adored the father/daughter scenes that featured so prominently.  Plus this book takes on the moments that define people’s live and how one instance can change everything. In both the good and bad ways, of course. Overall I’d definitely recommend this to those looking for a cute, quick read!

Have you read any of these books yet?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

ARC Review: Hullmetal Girls by Emily Skrutskie

HullmetalGirlsHullmetal Girls by Emily Skrutskie

Published by Delacorte on July 17, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Science Fiction

Pages: 320 Format: eARC Source: NG

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

I acquired this ARC from the publisher through NetGalley. This does not impact my thoughts and opinions in any way.

Aisha Un-Haad would do anything for her family. When her brother contracts a plague, she knows her janitor’s salary isn’t enough to fund his treatment. So she volunteers to become a Scela, a mechanically enhanced soldier sworn to protect and serve the governing body of the Fleet, the collective of starships they call home. If Aisha can survive the harrowing modifications and earn an elite place in the Scela ranks, she may be able to save her brother.

Key Tanaka awakens in a Scela body with only hazy memories of her life before. She knows she’s from the privileged end of the Fleet, but she has no recollection of why she chose to give up a life of luxury to become a hulking cyborg soldier. If she can make it through the training, she might have a shot at recovering her missing past.

In a unit of new recruits vying for top placement, Aisha’s and Key’s paths collide, and the two must learn to work together–a tall order for girls from opposite ends of the Fleet. But a rebellion is stirring, pitting those who yearn for independence from the Fleet against a government struggling to maintain unity.

With violence brewing and dark secrets surfacing, Aisha and Key find themselves questioning their loyalties. They will have to put aside their differences, though, if they want to keep humanity from tearing itself apart. 

Continue reading

Book Review: Legendary by Stephanie Garber

LegendaryLegendary by Stephanie Garber

Published by Flatiron Books on May 29, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Romance

Pages: 451 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…the games have only just begun.

Continue reading