Love from A to Z is a dual perspective story following Zayneb and Adam. Zayneb has just been suspended from school after confronting a inslamaphobe teacher at her school and is sent on an early spring break to Doha. Adam is dealing with just finding out he has been diagonsed with multiple sclerosis the diseases that killed his mum when he was nine.
What I loved about this book was that even though it is a contemporary love story at it’s core, it doesn’t stop each character from having their own personal drama’s that they are having to overcome. The narrative isn’t focused solely on them and dramatised in a way to keep them apart, it’s realistic and thought provoking and genuine.
Zayneb I found to be a little too focused on justice which at times clouded her vision and forced her to make brash decisions. When she is upset her anger overwhelms her and she can’t see any other side besides her own. I love that we explore so much of her culture and the decisions that she has made to commit to her way of life and be unapologetic about it. She definitely evolved and developed over the course of the storyline and the fact that she was able to recognise some of her faults but mould them into positives was indicative of her growth.
Adam is the sweetest, calmest, most frustrating character! I just wanted him to confide in his father from the beginning about his diagnosis but I can understand why he chose to keep it a secret. Having this condition that killed his mother and reliving some of his memories of her was heartbreaking and again we really see him come to accept the things he is not in control of and embrace the good things, the marvels in life.
Every single character in this book serves a purpose, from Adam’s group of friends to Aunty Nandy and especially Zahid. I have to say Zahid was definitely my favourite of all the characters in this book. The length that he went to in order to help this young man he didn’t even know really captured my heart and brought a tear to my eye.
I loved the format of the story told from the perspectives of their journal and having such stark contrasts between our two main characters. It was a quick, emotional, touching book that I feel I will be rereading many times in the future!
⭐️5/5 stars Another MUST read!!!
Desi is a senior in high school who has achieved everything she has set her mind to, she is valedictorian of her class, she has many extracurricular activities and has her mind set on Stanford but she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a known disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation magnet.
I think this was supposed to be a fun, light, fluffy contemporary romance but I just found it to be a little silly and cringey to be honest. Desi, even though she is portrayed as being quite smart and switched on is woefully naïve and immature at times. Choosing to keep her interview a secret from Luca and continuing with her list and her plans even after they are together was almost frustrating to read.
I think the plot was too predictable as well. Like we knew Luca was going to end up finding the list and would break up with her and still she never really dwelled on her actions and accepted how wrong she was keeping this whole scheme a secret. Even going that step further and trying to manipulate him into getting back with her at the prom really demonstrated how little she had grown over the course of the story line.
I really liked Desi’s friends, I think they really shone in this book. They are both supportive of Desi and call her out when they know she is going too far. We are given a little background into their friendships and how they came to be so close and I appreciated the dynamics between them, it felt realistic.
The overall premise of the book was quite unique and entertaining. I liked that we are given some cultural diversity with the Korean culture. I am quite the fan of K Dramas myself so it was quite fun to get the references to the different shows thrown in there as well! You are kind of on the edge of your seat throughout the book just waiting for that other shoe to drop, and when it does the drama definitely ensues.
⭐️3/5 A tad too immature for me!
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime.
Ari, bless him is just trying his best to get through the summer and high school and has to deal with a lot. His family keeps a lot of secrets and doesn’t communicate with each other very well. He is a little awkward and puts himself down a lot. He definitely undergoes quite the evolution over the course of the storyline and it was really gratifying to see him come into himself and accept his flaws and acknowledge what he needs to work on.
Dante was a very interesting character; he contrasts starkly with Ari but their dynamic just works so well together. He is very talkative, spouts random knowledge all the time and is almost overly emotional. I like that when he is away from Ari in Chicago he makes friends and goes and experiments, really reinforcing with himself who he is. The letters that he shared with Ari were incredibly personal and I like that he is open and honest enough to want to discuss these things with a friend instead of internalising everything like Ari tends to do.
I loved that we got to delve into the characters backstories and we learn a lot about their families. It makes the book as a whole a lot more relatable and engaging. There were stages at the start where the pacing was a little on the slower side. All we really had was angsty Ari overthinking everything and I kind of had to push myself to continue.
This was really a lovely, touching, sometimes hard hitting story about two boys coming of age and discovering their own identities. I couldn’t predict what was going to happen next and I was extremely satisfied by the end!
⭐️4/5 stars just a truly lovely story
Permanent Record follows the story of Pablo who has dropped out of NYU and accrued a lot of debt over the course of the year he was there. He is currently working at his local 24hr health food store contemplating his life when in walks Leanna Smart the most famous pop star in the world.
Pablo got on my nerves for the majority of the book; he blows off all of his responsibilities and chases after Leanna. He just ignores all of his bills and pushes away his parents, friends and his brother to be with Leanna who is living a completely parallel life. I think the reason he is so taken with her at first is because of her fame. We see it constantly throughout the course of the book where he is disappointed he can’t post about her on his Instagram or when she buries the paparazzi photos of them. I liked that Leanna called him out on that.
Leanna on the other hand I think is quite selfish… she just expects Pab to just drop everything and follow her around the world and just sit around and wait for her. I wouldn’t even be able to imagine the pressure and weight of expectations she has on her shoulders but like Pab says she’s living in a completely alternate world to him and she has the power to change things if she truly wishes.
Everything happened a little too fast in terms of the timeline for their relationship. Literally the second time Leanne saw Pab she’s inviting him to LA with her. She just met this guy and talked to him for a couple of hours in a Deli… it just seemed a little unrealistic. There is a whole lot of miscommunication going on throughout the story as well. I just wanted Pab and Leanna to sit down and actually hash everything out and explain themselves and what they actually want out of the relationship.
Overall I was a little frustrated by this book. I didn’t particularly like Pab or Leanna as out main characters. Pab neglected everyone around him and Leanne wasn’t relatable at all.
⭐️2/5 stars just wasn’t my cup of tea…
Yes No Maybe So is a dual perspective book following Jamie and Maya who are both volunteering during a political campaign for a local candidate. They are paired together to go door-to-door and hand out flyers and secure votes.
I really liked the dual perspectives, it really gave me a chance to get to know both characters very well and I definitely was able to develop a connection to both of them.
Jamie I thought was a super endearing character. He put himself down a lot and didn’t really believe in himself. However, I thought his family was very supportive and provided some very sound advice when he needed it. His relationship with his sister was very special and I loved their interactions throughout the plot. At times she acted a little older than what she is but I think it was balanced well. They had some truly touching moments together and I liked that we got more of an in depth look into their lives outside of the main plot.
Maya I thought was a really relatable character. Her arc started off with a bang with the separation of her parents right in the middle of Ramadan. We really got to see how it affected her through the way she isolated herself from her friends as a coping mechanism. The hope she kept inside her that they might get back together and the innocuous way that it is shattered when she realizes that it might not happen. I thought at times she was a little selfish but she does evolve and realize that she actually needs to communicate her thoughts and emotions.
I actually like how their forced friendship turned into an actual friendship before their relationship kindled, I just wished it happened over a longer period of time. I think the timeline for the entire book was only a couple of weeks so it felt a little rushed.
The whole political side of the story didn’t really interest me and I kind of knew that going into the book so it didn’t really have any effect on my experience. There was a nice balance though and there wasn’t really any time that I wasn’t engaged which is a bonus.
⭐️3/5 stars Cute, relatable, diverse, entertaining!