A sweet and sexy romance you need to read this Summer | Review: The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

A sweet and sexy romance you need to read this Summer | Review: The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

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A sweet and sexy romance you need to read this Summer | Review: The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
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SYNOPSIS

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.

Should You read The Bride Test by Helen Hoang?

He was ignoring everyone, including her, at this expensive wedding. So he could read a novel about alien demon things.

A sweet and sexy romance you need to read this Summer | Review: The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

The Bride Test is Helen Hoang’s second novel after her very popular and successful debut The Kiss Quotient. The Bride Test is, in a nutshell, a heartwarming and sexy romance novel with a neurodiverse rep and an outlook into immigration in the US. Let me tell you a bit about the story.

The protagonists are Khai Diep and Esme Tran who meet under the most unusual of circumstances but ultimately fall in love. Khai is vietnamese, autistic and if you’ve read The Kiss Quotient, is unlike Stella. Khai is also Michael’s(from the Kiss Quotient) cousin and works as a tax consultant. We learn of Khai’s autism from the prologue when he tries to bring himself to cry at his friend’s funeral but he can’t. One of his relatives even accuses him of not crying. This is also where Khai mentions that nobody in his family understands what “autism” really is and this is so true.

Then, we meet Esme Tran who’s a single mother and working as a hotel maid. It is in this hotel she’s made a proposition that could change her family’s life. The proposition is made by none other than Khai’s mother who worries for her son and is trying to look for a Vietnamese daughter-in-law. After many failures, it seems that she has finally found her ideal daughter-in-law in Esme. Khai’s mother promises her a summer in California, where Esme can see if she can make Khai fall in love with her and marry her, but if not, she will return back to her family.

Sounds Crazy? Mail order bride anyone? I thought that too but read on...

Esme thought it was crazy too! Who’s this crazy woman who’s offering her to seduce and marry her son and in exchange she will get financial security for her family? Will Khai even go through with it even after he finds out Esme is a mother? However, all of her doubts go away when she stares at her daughter’s face and she agrees to seduce and if possible, marry Khai.

I loved how diverse the book was. You can see how different Khai’s character is from Stella. Helen shows us how wide the autism spectrum can be. Not everyone with autism behaves the same way. Then, there’s the Viet rep and it’s also mentioned in the author’s note that Esme’s character is loosely based on Helen’s mother..Through Esme, we not only get a glimpse at how difficult immigration can be. Esme’s a single mother and I think the reason she didn’t tell Khai about her daughter because she was afraid of the consequences. She left her job back in Vietnam for the promise of a more fulfilling life for her family in the United States. Sure, the US is not a dreamboat of a place to live now but to Esme it was a place she could start anew..learn English properly, finish her high school education and perhaps even go to college.

A sweet and sexy romance you need to read this Summer | Review: The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
Instagram: @book_rambler

Please, don’t let me make you cry,” he whispered in her ear. “If something is wrong, tell me so I can fix it. Please.

Also, consent plays such a major role in Hoang’s novels along with all the other representation. This is why the sex scenes are so steamy that you’ll feel like you’re reading/ watching soft porn..which is totally okay(more than okay :-D). There’s a scene when Khai is unsure of what he did after having sex and his brother and cousin(Michael) explain aftercare to him..and I just loved it so much. I don’t know if guys/girls actually explain foreplay and after care to anyone in need but it is so very important!

My heart works in a different way, but it’s yours.

excuse my rambling

Speaking of brother, *holy wow* I need Quan’s book like right now!!!!!!

Overall, I highly recommend this book if you loved The Kiss Quotient, love reading diverse books, love reading stories about loving ourselves and taking the time to do it..gah..It was such a beautiful novel and I am utterly in love with it.. if it wasn’t already clear.

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

VERDICT: 


Author: Connect with Author Helen Hoang here.

  • Publisher: Corvus
  • Publication Date(UK): 6th June , 2019
  • Paperback: 296 Pages
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

What do you think? Will you read the Bride Test? If you have read it already, then let me know if you liked it or not. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Books with South Asian protagonists feat. recs by some South Asian bloggers

Hi everyone! In today’s post, I bring you some book recommendations featuring some amazing brown protagonists. I have always been frustrated at seeing the minimal representation of South Asians in books or even movies. Nowadays, there’re lots of books featuring us brown girls as the heroine of the story. Our stories are not ones of suffering- not always- but are of celebration. We are in Pride and Prejudice retellings, contemporary romances where sometimes the parents’ are playing matchmakers, we are in stories about heists “National Treasure” style. If you’re looking for books with South Asians at the helm, then what are you waiting for? Check out the list of recommendations compiled with the help of some of my Crazy Amazing Indian blogger friends.

Books with South Asian protagonists feat. recs by some South Asian bloggers



Sahitya@My World of Books recommends these three books:

Unmarriageable by Sonia Kamal

Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal

“It’s a retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in Pakistan and I felt the original story translates beautifully into a desi story with a lot of cultural elements from the subcontinent.

Aru Shah and the End of Time

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

“It’s a wonderful and super fun exploration of identity of an Indian American kid, who is scared to embrace their culture and just wants to fit in.”

The Takeover effect

The Takeover Effect by Nisha Sharma

“A tropey ‘Mills and Boon’ style fun adult romance novel with desi protagonists, it has an intense love story, a great group of characters and also some mysterious corporate espionage.”




Charvi@Not Just Fiction recommends four books:

Amal Unbound by Aisha Said

Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed

“A beautiful book about a small girl who learns to fight for her freedom, education and a better world for herself and her community while being exposed to the bitter realities of life.”

Internment by Samira Ahmed

Internment by Samira Ahmed

“It is a fiery and eye-opening read that discusses Islamophobia and really makes the reader think.”

Chanakya's Chant by Ashwin Singh

Chanakya’s Chant by Ashwin Singh

“A richly crafted book that dives into various timelines while exploring the story of Chanakya in the past and a rising politician who undertakes Chanakya niti to bring a change in the system.”

From Twinkle with Love by Sandhya Menon

From Twinkle With Love by Sandhya Menon

“A really cute and fluffy book about friendships and passion as well as discovering your true self. We get to follow the determined Twinkle as she goes down on her journey to becoming a film director and maneuvering relationships with family and friends.”




Abantika@hjbookblog highly recommends this book:

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani

The Night Diary is a tragic yet beautiful book that tells you the story of the Partition through the eyes of a 12 year old.

Above all, the book explores the search for home and identity of an young girl in a world that has been divided into fragments by narrow domestic walls.”




Simant@FlippingThroughthePages highly recommends this wonderful book:


The Beauty of the Moment by Tanaz Bhathena

The Beauty of The Moment by Tanaz Bhathena

“Wonderful story with wonderful and diverse characters. It shows you what it is like to find to find your own identity in a new place among new people, what it takes to pursue your own dreams rather than what your parents have decided for you.”




Pragati@The Inked In Book Blog highly recommends this wonderful book:

Sandhya Menon

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

“It’s a very amazing rom-com with lots of Bollywood feels.”

The Gilded Wolves

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

“National Treasure, but better, as the author herself puts it. What more reason do you need?”

A Spark of White Fire

A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna

“The Mahabharata retelling of everyone’s dream. You really need to read it!”





If you’re still short of recommendations, I’ve got some books in mind for you:

Books with South Asian protagonists feat. recs by some South Asian bloggers

I loved reading Tiger at Midnight, which is a beautifully written Indian fantasy. We follow the story of a spy, Esha, who is determined to avenge her family after a royal coup. Meanwhile, she’s also being tracked by Kunal, a dutiful soldier who believes Esha killed his general. I haven’t yet read either Symptoms of a Heartbreak or A Match Made in Mehendi but I’m so very excited to read them.

Books with South Asian protagonists feat. recs by some South Asian bloggers

Do you love bookish lists? I hope you liked this book recommendation list featuring South Asian works. Have you read any of the books I’ve listed? Or..do you have any among these 15 books in your TBR? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Looking for a swoon-worthy summer romance? | ARC Review: Fake It Till You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen

Looking for a swoon-worthy summer romance? | ARC Review: Fake It Till You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen

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Looking for a swoon-worthy summer romance? | ARC Review: Fake It Till You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen
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SYNOPSIS

Mia and Jake have known each other their whole lives. They’ve endured summer vacations, Sunday brunches, even dentist visits together. Their mothers, who are best friends, are convinced that Mia and Jake would be the perfect couple, even though they can’t stand to be in the same room together.

After Mia’s mom turns away yet another cute boy, Mia and Jake decide they’ve have had enough. Together, they hatch a plan to get their moms off their backs. Permanently. All they have to do is pretend to date and then stage the worst breakup of all time—and then they’ll be free.

The only problem is, maybe Jake and Mia don’t hate each other as much as they once thought…

Should You read Fake It Till You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen ?

 Fake It Till You Break it is a perfect light-hearted book to enjoy during the summer or any time when you’re in the mood to smile. It’s about Mia and Jake who are frustrated by their adamant matchmaker moms and decide to best them by fake dating each other. Fake Dating is one of my favourite tropes to read and even it was predictable, the author wrote it in a way that was very enjoyable.

Mia and Jake are childhood friends but somewhere along they became frenemies but their moms are always trying to get them together..because they think Mia and Jake have superb chemistry and they’re fools to not see it. So, their moms do everything they can to see “JAKIA” together ..yes, they ship Mia and Jake so much that they gave them a ship name. Everytime Mia tries to date a guy, it doesn’t go any further tha a week because they’re run away by her mom. So, in a wedding event, Mia asks if Jake would like to fake-date her because she-they- are frustrated by their meddling moms and deserve to choose their own partners. Now, fake dating is no joke when you have fierce moms, new crushes and high school to deal with.

The question is, can Mia and Jake just pull off the fake dating thing or will it turn into something more?

While reading this, I couldn’t keep the smile off of my face. It was so fulfilling, entertaining and swoon-worthy. I’ve been wanting to read a rom-com for a while now and Fake It Till You Break It was like a tall glass of orange juice that you crave during humid summer months. I loved the dialogues, the pace, the mother- daughter and mother-son relationships, and the friendships.

Overall, I highly recommend this book if  you love reading light-hearted, swoonworthy, quick, and often sarcastic yet hilarious dialogue.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

VERDICT: 

Author: Connect with Author Jennifer P. Nguyen here.

  • Publisher: Swoon Reads
  • Publication Date: 28th May , 2019
  • Hardcover: 304 Pages
Fake It Till You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen

Will you read Fake It Till You Break It ? If you have read it, then let me know if you liked it or not. Do you like reading rom-coms ? If yes, then I’d love some recommendations. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

A story about a face-changing thief and risk-taking prince | ARC Review: Nocturna by Maya Motayne


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Looking for a thriller recommendation? | ARC Review: The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
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SYNOPSIS

To Finn Voy, magic is two things: a knife to hold under the chin of anyone who crosses her…and a disguise she shrugs on as easily as others pull on cloaks.

As a talented faceshifter, it’s been years since Finn has seen her own face, and that’s exactly how she likes it. But when Finn gets caught by a powerful mobster, she’s forced into an impossible mission: steal a legendary treasure from Castallan’s royal palace or be stripped of her magic forever.

After the murder of his older brother, Prince Alfehr is first in line for the Castallan throne. But Alfie can’t help but feel that he will never live up to his brother’s legacy. Riddled with grief, Alfie is obsessed with finding a way to bring his brother back, even if it means dabbling in forbidden magic.

But when Finn and Alfie’s fates collide, they accidentally unlock a terrible, ancient power—which, if not contained, will devour the world. And with Castallan’s fate in their hands, Alfie and Finn must race to vanquish what they have unleashed, even if it means facing the deepest darkness in their pasts.

Should You read Nocturna by Maya Motayne ?

The magic poured life into the images, showing his people swathed in bright colors, prospering and using magic freely.

This is the first Latinx fantasy I’ve ever read and to put it mildly, I was blown away by Nocturna. This is a story about a prince and a thief who become allies to save a kingdom that brought both of them nothing but misery. This is the story of a kingdom too; a kingdom that-with the help of its people- rescued itself from the clutches of colonialism and rose stronger than ever. 

Set in a place called San Cristobal, the story starts with Prince Alfehr as he returns to his homeland reluctantly. We follow the Prince or Alfie as he meets his family and is lamenting the death of his older brother. Then, we come to view the face-changing thief known as Finn Voy, who has escaped a hell of her own and is trying to survive on the streets of San Cristobal.

When Finn and Alfie first meet at a clandestine meeting it’s for completely different purposes. They never would’ve thought they would work together in the upcoming days to fight a dangerous magic that could drown the world in darkness. 

The story is not entirely character driven and I liked that. Since that meeting where Finn and Alfie meet, there’s no stopping of action as Finn is kidnapped by a deadly “gang” who want something in exchange for Finn’s freedom. To collect that item, Finn has to go to the palace where she meets Alfie for the second time and this is also the place where a dangerous magic is released from its confines.

I loved Maya Motayne’s writing and the way she brought magic alive in the pages of Nocturna. The author also wrote in a “To the Reader” letter that she meant this book for a young girl who thought magic didn’t belong to people who looked like her. I’ll say she wrote this book for every young girl or boy because I identified with the history of colonialism, and I identified with the story when I saw that the people still followed some customs of their colonizers.

Apart from that, I loved the worldbuilding, and the description of the magical system was sublime. There is affection between Alfie and Finn and for many of us who don’t like romance being central to the story, will want to shout and scream at their slow-burn romance. 

Overall, I recommend this book if  you love fantasy and looking for diversity. Although the ending didn’t feel like a cliffhanger to me, I saw that Maya Motayne a trilogy planned for Nocturna. I will definitely be interested to read more of Alfie and Finn’s adventures.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

VERDICT:

Author: Connect with Author Maya Motayne here.

  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
  • Publication Date: 2nd May , 2019
  • Paperback(ARC): 300 Pages
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Will you read Nocturna ? Have you heard of this book before? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

An epic fantasy that you will want to read over and over again | ARC Review: We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

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We Hunt the Flame Goodreads image

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SYNOPSIS

WHY SHOULD YOU ABSOLUTELY ADDWE HUNT THE FLAME TO YOUR TBR?

People lived because she killed.

People died because he lived.

-Hafsah faizal, We Hunt the Flame

I wondered, “How do I even write a review of this book?” I thought that because it’s difficult to articulate my thoughts on such a wonderful and unique book.

I read We Hunt the Flame after reading The Priory and I desperately needed to read another epic fantasy book. So, I picked up my copy of We Hunt the Flame,which is also in my list of the most anticipated debut releases of 2019 and it BLEW ME AWAY with its awesomeness. 

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal is the story of a girl who killed to keep the people of her village alive and that of a boy who killed people for a living.

This epic story is about a place called Arawiya where there is no more magic. Our protagonists are Zafira and Nasir, both of them live in separate countries and survive in their own ways. Zafira is a huntress – known as THE HUNTER – in a place where women are not allowed to do any work whatsoever. Zafira has no choice but to disguise herself as a man and hunt to feed the people of her village. Nasir is the complete opposite of Zafira. People die because he lives. He is an assassin who kills people without question on the orders of his father, the Sultan. 

Maybe the tiny lions were merely ornaments, a display of pride for the victory over a man who defied men, only to be slain by women.

– HAFSAH FAIZAL, WE HUNT THE FLAME

Now, Arawiya is in danger for the cursed forest called the Arz is threatening to swallow the land in whole. Soon, Zafira and Nasir have to unite and embark on a journey for a mysterious object that might bring a stop to the Arz and bring magic back to their world. Can they find the object before Arz lays destruction to their world? or, will they perish along with their people?

What’s awesome about it is, of course, the story( did I convince you?), the flawed-but-I still-want-to-cuddle-them characters, the utterly marvelous worldbuilding, enemies-to-lovers romance and the fantabulous(I don’t know if it’s a real word) writing! 

We hunt the flame, the light in the darkness, the good this world deserves.

– HAFSAH FAIZAL, WE HUNT THE FLAME

Phew! This book made me drool and scream in delight. Not everything is doom and gloom because Altair is there and yes, he might seem like a comedic side kick at first but he has some stories to tell as well. Also, this book is frickin’ QUOTE WORTHY! Let me tell you, if I highlighted books then the entire book would be a frickin’ rainbow vomit.

I'm going to stop my rambling here because We Hunt the Flame has apparently made me insane. 

Overall, I highly recommend this book if you read fantasy(YA) or want to read fantasy, want to read a diverse book, want a book about a super eccentric/murderous/totally cool group of misfits, and want a slow burn romance that will make YOU SWEAT and SCREAM . Pre-order the book or add it to your TBR(whatever suits you) now!!

(Huge) Thanks to the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

VERDICT:

Author: Connect with Author Hafsah Faizal here .

  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication Date(US): 14th May 2019
  • ARC: 480 Pages

Will you pick up We Hunt the Flame after reading this review? If you’ve already read the ARC, let me know your thoughts down below!