The Bride Test Review

39338454Khai has no interest in dating or marriage so when his mum goes over to the Vietnam and brings a potential wife back to live with him for the summer he is outraged. Forced to cohabitate Khai starts to get used to the idea of Esme living with him and she is starting to see that he does have feelings after all.

I absolutely loved this story! It was a very fast paced, quick read for me that I finished in one sitting and I came out of it with just warm fuzzy feelings. I think the book really explored the cultural differences between the generations.  Like how Khai’s mum is perfectly comfortable interviewing for potential wives for Khai and trying to push him to get married ASAP and how uncomfortable and resistant Khai and Quan are about the whole situation. Also Esme’s mum telling her to seduce Khai just to marry him quickly because he lives in America and is handsome.

I love how unique and interesting Khai’s character is. I thought his autism was represented very well throughout the course of the plot and his reactions to certain situations was consistent and felt real. The way he struggled to understand other people’s emotions when he processes things in a very different way was interesting to read. He felt like a truly well rounded character and his naivety and inexperience really endeared him to me. The whole conversation he had with Quan and Michael after his first time was super cute!

I had some mixed feelings about Esme throughout the course of the book. I was a little skeptical about her reasoning’s for accepting the deal in the first place and I can’t help but feel that she was intentionally trying to just seduce Khai at first without even attempting to get to know him. But as the story progressed I definitely warmed up to her as she started to dig into her own background and better herself whilst she was there; trying to find her father and going to back to school and getting her GED.

The whole concept for the story I found super entertaining and I just can’t help but think that this kind of situation really happens in real life; mothers pushing their sons to get married because everyone else in their families is getting married. I don’t know if they would go as far as to return to their home countries to pluck a random girl from a bathroom but that’s the beauty of fiction. I was highly entertained and engaged throughout the book and I can’t wait to see what Helen Hoang comes out with next!

⭐️5/5 stars Loved it!

Birthday Review

39863399Perfection!

Birthday is a story about two kids Morgan and Eric who are born on the same day and have made a pact with each other to spend every birthday together.

Eric and Morgan are both such complex characters. They are both very different from each other and have their own unique voice and it seems at times they might drift apart yet they work so hard to maintain their friendship in spite of the many obstacles that they have had to overcome.

Morgan’s journey throughout the storyline was everything! All of the anguish and denial and self-hatred and depression she had to deal with over the years culminating in an explosive scene that broke me only to claw her way out and finally express who she truly is to the two people who matter most in her life was beautiful. I loved everything about Morgan. There were times when I wanted to give her a hug and then there were times I was like what are you doing. Though I can’t fault any of those moments because it was her journey that she had to undertake and I definitely would not be able to relate so how would I know how I would react in the same situation you know…

I thought Eric was the perfect contrast to Morgan. His arc over the course of the book was a joy to read as well. We see him really struggle with the pressures that are put on him constantly, be it by his father or just the expectations of his peers, being the football star yet still being friends with Morgan. We see him kind of bow to these expectations a lot in the beginning of the story, wanting to just fit in and seem normal, giving up his guitar playing and blowing Morgan off to hang with the jocks and staying with his girlfriend even though he thinks she only likes him because of his pursuits on the field. Then in the latter years he really starts to see the error of this ways, especially when he sees how much Morgan is struggling.

I loved the unique format of the book; it really drew me in straight away. Just showcasing this one day a year allowed the story to really go into the minute details of Morgan and Eric’s life that I feel would be written out if it was a traditional novel. Going through their days and then when it ends knowing that there will be a whole year in the interim where so much can happen was keeping me highly invested and engaged in the story.

There are sooooooo many touching scenes in this book. So many profound moments that brought a tear to my eye, I absolutely loved this book! It was relatively short and was a pretty quick read, but I know it’s going to last with me for a very long time!

⭐️5/5 READ THIS BOOK!

Little Fires Everywhere Review

*MAJOR SPOILERS*

34273236Little Fires Everywhere is about the Richardson family and how from the surface they look like the quintessential family but when you delve a little deeper it seems that looks aren’t everything.

I really, really enjoyed this book. I honestly found it a little bit tedious at the start, sure the fire was a compelling introduction to the story but the plot took a little while to get established for me. But let me just say that the way that Celeste Ng wove the story together left me in awe!

I love that each family member really got a time to shine and develop within the book. Except for maybe Mr. Richardson who isn’t that big of an influence to the overall plot, though he still does have his moments. I would have to say that Izzy is probably my favourite of the Richardson’s. We don’t see a lot of her for like three quarters of the book; she is just painted by her family members as the weird, crazy one without an explanation as to why. But, when we finally did get to explore her background and the reasoning’s behind the way that she acts I was impressed. Even though she is only 15 she has a clear sense of right and wrong and isn’t afraid to call her family out on their skewed point of view. She understands how privileged she is but doesn’t accept that her privilege makes her better than anyone else.

Mia was definitely the most intriguing character for me though. Again we don’t get a lot of prior information about her and why she chose to move around so much with Pearl and why they decided to settle down in Shaker Heights. I like how compassionate and empathetic she is, especially after Lexie’s abortion and helping Bebe with her case. I loved finding out about her history with her family and Pauline Hawthorne and the Ryan’s.

Bebe’s case and how it eventuated was a plot line that I honestly didn’t see coming but it fit perfectly in the scope of the book. It was a way to show exactly the type of people that these characters are and the ethical and moral conversation that it starts was enlightening.

This book was a journey from start to finish. There wasn’t really one main focus to the story, it was all of the characters revolving around each other and seeing how they intersect and how based on one decision or action everything can completely change. The way that everything unfolded first with the fire and then backtracking and explaining the family dynamics and weaving all the differing storylines together was beautiful!

⭐️4.5/5 A slow burner!

Always and Forever Lara Jean Review

9781534406674Ok Kavinsky has finally won me over.

I’m not going to go too in depth with this review as it is the concluding novel to a series, but I did have some feels after completing this book.

Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky have been dating now for nearly a year and their lives have settled into this cute little bubble of happiness. However, the future looms over them with some difficult choices that they are eventually going to have to make.

I thought Jenny Han perfectly captured the mood. The real life realities and decisions that Lara Jean and Peter have to make could definitely relate to a lot of people. You could feel the emotion and the hesitation and doubt start to creep into their lives and it didn’t feel contrived in any way.

I was very proud of Peter in this book. I started to see a more three-dimensional side to him and I like that he showed different, more genuine feelings. I think in the first two books he felt a little too good to be true and I couldn’t really imagine their kind of relationship in real life. But the miscommunication and the misconceptions was heartfelt and true and it was really endearing. He didn’t give up on Lara Jean and the fact that he wants to fight for their relationship solidified his position in my eyes.

I love that Lara Jean distracts herself with baking and scrapbooking, she is such a unique female protagonist and I like that she isn’t cookie cutter (lol). She maintains her identity throughout her relationship with Peter and she is doesn’t try to conform in any way.

Everything came together so wonderfully. I was honestly soo entertained; I didn’t know what was going to happen next. There were some very real familial issues being dealt with throughout the story in both Peter and Lara Jean’s lives that added a layer of complexity to the plot. I really enjoyed this series, Lara Jean especially grew a lot and became a lot less naïve and a lot more forthright, which I loved.

⭐️4/5 stars I really liked it!

P.S. I Still Love You Review

220px-P_S__I_Still_Love_You_coverA step up for Lara Jean in this book!

The second instalment in this series picks up almost immediately after To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before ends off. It’s the start of the New Year and Lara Jean is feeling hopeful that she gets back together with Peter and they have a proper relationship. However, a video of their time in the hot tub makes the rounds on social media and Lara Jean is struggling to cope in the limelight.

I think this book has a pretty up to date social commentary on the world at present. I can definitely picture something like this happening in real life and I feel like Jenny Han captured the situation pretty well.

I feel like Lara Jean has evolved well in this book. It’s very subtle but I appreciate how much stronger and outspoken she has become. She really handed the situation of her ‘tape’ well and did not bow to the ridicule she was facing at school. I like how forthright she was in her relationship with Peter, even though he was keeping secrets I feel like she expressed herself well and tried to maintain communication.

Peter I am still a bit in two minds about. I like how well he treats Lara Jean and how special he makes her feel, however, I did kind of think he was a little naïve in terms of Genevieve and how much time he spent with her. He was a little too thoughtless and blasé about their friendship and he came off as a little tactless.

I liked the introduction of John Ambrose; I thought he added a much-needed spark to the storyline. I did think even though they had a history together his feelings for Lara Jean was a little insta-lovey for me. I found myself shrugging that off though because I thought he was a good rival for Peter and kept him on his toes. Especially since they used to be best friends.

This book was highly entertaining; it was a really fast paced, quick, easy read. Heartwarming is really the word that comes to mind. I enjoyed the storyline and I think it built up to what will hopefully be an eventful conclusion in the next book!

⭐️4/5 stars Cute, cringey and heartfelt!