Review: China Rich Girlfriend- Kevin Kwan

Title: China Rich Girlfriend

Author: Kevin Kwan

Publisher: Anchor

Pages: 496

Rating: 5/5

Kevin Kwan has done another amazing job bringing back our beloved characters back and introducing new ones while he’s at it. This sequel is full of even more drama, more shopping, more labels, and even messier than ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ was. 

In CRG, Nick and Rachel are finally tying the knot after having so many opposing to it, especially Nick’s grandmother and mother. Even though it’s supposed to be the happiest of times for Rachel, she still wishes her birth father was able to walk her down the aisle. That is until a dark script comes out and Rachel is presented to a world full of lavish splendor. In this sequel we meet Carlton, a bad boy who loves fast cars, and luxury. Colette, Miss Glitz and Glamour who enjoys the chase (especially from the cameras) and being on social media, Astrid also makes a comeback and gives us an inside look into her husband’s “road to success”, and we can’t forget the rebel without a cause named Kitty Pong.

I won’t give out details about what happens in the book, but I will say it was a great read. Full of twists and turns, and of course full of Rich People Problems. You have to laugh sometimes at some of the trivial things these people worry about, but I guess that’s what happens when you have crazy amounts of money and don’t what to do with it.

Harlequin Blog Tours ARC Review: Mayhem- Estelle Laure

Title: Mayhem

Author: Estelle Laure

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Pages: 304

Rating: 3/5

I wanted to love this book, but there was something missing for me. I don’t hate it. I liked what the author was trying to do however. I’ve seen the comparison to certain movies such as ‘The craft’ and “The Lost Boys’. I haven’t seen The Craft but, I’ve seen snippets of The lost Boys and the similarities are there…ALOT…so I guess that turned me off because I felt it wasn’t authentic enough. Roxy and her mother decide to escape Santa Monica, California and the abusive ways of Roxy’s dad… Lyle. However, Roxy’s mom did a 360 and started relying on alcohol and drugs to escape the bad memories. Big mistake. Lyle’s abusive ways have gone unhinged even further.

Mayhem has the opportunity to learn more about the family she never knew about. At the same time she’s learning about her family’s history. There’s another thing brewing in their quiet little town. A serial killer is on the loose and hurting young women. It’s freaking everyone out, especially Mayhem and her mother. Leaving them wondering if all it is really worth it, especially going after the killer. Thanks to Wednesday Books, Netgalley, and Harlequin Blog Tours for an opportunity to obtain a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

PopCulture Readathon Book #3: Clap When You Land- Elizabeth Acevedo

Title: Clap When You Land

Author: Elizabeth Acevedo

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 417

Rating: 5/5

TW/CW: Sexual Assault, Death of a parent , Grieving, Harassment, and Stalking

Elizabeth Acevedo has done it again with her beautiful writing in verse form, but she also brings awareness to something that’s almost always swept under the rug. Tragedies not fueled by politics. Acevedo’s “Clap When You Land” is centered around a real life tragedy. On November 12, 2001 American Airlines flight 587 en route to the Dominican Republic crashed into a neighborhood in Queens, NY. At first terrorism was said to come into play, as this was around the time September 11th happened. 265 people died on board and 5 people died on ground. It was a national tragedy. However, when it was discovered it wasn’t a terrorist attack, the media coverage ended. The Dominican community was devastated and left without answers and broken hearts.

‘Clap When You Land’ follows the lives of Camino and Yahaira. One lives in Santo Domingo and the other lives in NYC. They’re both oblivious to each other’s existence until they lose their father in a airplane crash. The flight was en route to DR. Their father was living a double life, and through this whole tragedy they were able to connect with each other despite the differences in living conditions. Both girls are fighting their own issues, but Camino feels unprotected without her father the most. Especially against the town pimp”El Cero”. El Cero is a creep and consistently stalks her everywhere she goes. She’s tired of this life. She just wants to go to Columbia and study premed, but she’s torn between that and the love for her land. Once they finally connect they both realize their father wasn’t who they thought, even though he was perfect in their eyes he definitely had some major flaws. 
I absolutely loved this beautifully written story. It shows how a tragedy can bring you close and help you grow. Both of these young ladies helped each other in ways they thought they couldn’t. Acevedo has done it once again with this heart wrenching novel. It will definitely have you in your feels.

PopCulture Readathon Book #1 Review: Turtle Under Ice- Juleah del Rosario

Hey Guys!

So if you’re on book twitter, you might’ve seen this graphic within the bookish community. My absolutely amazing friend Whitney @ books whit me created the PopCulture Readathon centered around the 90’s. My other amazing friend Lorryn @ Reading Parental is the co-host as well. If you want more info on this readathon you can find it at their twitter here. It’s not too late to join. July has just begun, and it runs until the end of the month.I chose to do the adult bingo board and read my first book this morning in a hour.

Title: Turtle Under Ice

Author: Juleah del Rosario

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Pages: 272

Rating: 5/5

CW/TW: Death, dealing with grief, loss of a baby, thoughts of not being enough, dealing with the death of a parent

“Because, like snowstorms and earthquakes and death, your future will happen regardless of whether you planned for it” p. 15

“my grief makes people uncomfortable, I am not a walking disease because my mother died, I am not abnormal. I am not contagious” p. 65

“There was no right time for my mother to die, because when someone we love dies, it will always be untimely” p. 143

I have so much to say about this book. All good things of course. Row and Arianna lost their mother a few years ago and they’ve both went their separate ways and trying to figure out how to deal with themselves and life without their mother. One night Ariana picks up and leaves in the middle of the night during a snowstorm without telling anyone where she was headed to. Meanwhile, Row is left home alone, alone trying to figure out her feelings, her life, and her relationship with her sister. All while trying to piece together clues of her sister’s whereabouts with the help of her friend Kennedy.

My thoughts:
This book simply put is…amazing! Written in verse and from two different POV’S, it takes you on both of these sister’s journeys. Allow me to break it down:

Row: A soccer player, but also a worrier, she was there when her mother passed away. Always thought that no-one wanted to be around her because she was grieving her mother’s death. She worries about her sister Ariana and what would’ve been her baby sister.

Ariana: In pain from losing her mother, she also loses herself. She’s doing bad in school and is on the verge of not graduating, until her teacher gives her a second chance to redeem herself…

Overall, this book really hit home. I lost my grandmother who was like my mother, and ever since then I lost myself as well. Many people have decided to distance themselves from me because they believe I need to “get over it” and “move on”. Turtle Under Ice really opened my eyes and I’m glad the author wrote it.

Review: The Revolutionaries: Book One Power Divided- S.Behr

Title: Power Divided

Author: S. Behr

Publisher: S. Behr

Pages: 376

Rating: 5/5

When I received this book from S.Behr I was absolutely ecstatic about it. I was immediately sucked into the story. The book can be considered two genres, well at least to me. It was sci-fi, but definitely has some YA fantasy elements to it. It also has futuristic elements to it, especially when it has a character that is an AI named Hailey. The book started off very fast paced and full of action. The book shows you the beginnings of Violet’s self discovery, especially about some very special and unique powers even she didn’t know about.

I absolutely loved Hailey. She was quirky, sarcastic, as well as a amazing friend. She made sure to take care of Violet and her furry friend Jane when they were most vulnerable. Don’t get me started on the cuteness that is Jane. I’m just so glad nothing bad happened to her. Otherwise, I would’ve probably thrown the book against the wall. lol. I really enjoyed the Sci-Fi elements in the book because it’s a genre I normally don’t read at all. The book teaches you about love, acceptance, and forgiveness. One thing I would’ve probably changed is the ending a bit, just because it focus too much on the princess and courtship you usually find in YA books. I really wanted my continual Sci-Fi fix along with Hailey. Hopefully she makes another appearance. I’m also intrigued what the second book has in store for Violet. S. Behr did an amazing job writing the book. Her words were so beautifully intertwined with the story, and she really described everything so well. She definitely didn’t make you feel bored with it. The description of landscapes, and the realms and overall all of Amera was well done. Thank you again to S.Behr for a copy of this amazing book in exchange for an honest review.

ARC Review: As Much As I Ever Could- Brandy Woods Snow

Title: As Much as I Ever Could

Author: Brandy Woods Snow

Publisher: Files Vertes Publishing

Pages: 300

Rating: 5/5

This is my first Brandy Woods Snow novel and I have to admit she’s easily become a fave author of mine now. The story was amazing. Snow is a great writer. Her descriptions throughout her writing were simply invigorating. The characters she brought to life left me speechless and I just wanted to learn more about them. This novel had a little bit of everything to satisfy your needs…romance, humor, sadness and so much more. 

We meet CJ whose gone through a traumatic event in her life. After getting into a fatal car accident that took her mother and sister’s lives, CJ has been feeling pretty guilty because she survived and they didn’t. After that accident she became afraid to drive a car ever again.Her dad also felt some type of way towards her because of the accident, and that just made her feel even worse. As a result, CJ decided to go and live at her grandmother’s home in Edisto beach. A tranquil place to get away. All she wants to do is to be able to heal from the tragedy and finally come face to face with the person who was behind the wheel of the car who claimed her mother and sister’s lives. She meets handsome and dreamy Jett Ramsey who turns her life around and makes her face her fears of being behind the wheel again. After all he is a race car driver.

I really just loved this book. I love CJ’s and Jett’s chemistry. They supported each other in such a beautiful way. It’s amazing how tragedy can bring two people close together, especially when both of those people have experienced it. That love for each other also helped bring down those stubborn walls that they both had put up for so long. Join CJ and Jett on their journey of love, healing, and facing your fears. Huge thanks to Files Vertes publishing and Candace Robinson for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I truly enjoyed it.

Harlequin Blog Tours- ARC Review: Truths I Never Told You- Kelly Rimmer

Excerpt:PROLOGUE


Grace
September 14, 1957




I am alone in a crowded family these days, and that’s the worst feeling I’ve ever experienced. Until these past few years, I had no idea that loneliness is worse than sadness. I’ve come to realize that’s because loneliness, by its very definition, cannot be shared.

Tonight there are four other souls in this house, but I am unreachably far from any of them, even as I’m far too close to guarantee their safety. Patrick said he’d be home by nine tonight, and I clung on to that promise all day.


He’ll be home at nine, I tell myself. You won’t do anything crazy if Patrick is here, so just hold on until nine.


I should have known better than to rely on that man by now. It’s 11:55 p.m., and I have no idea where he is.


Beth will be wanting a feed soon and I’m just so tired, I’m already bracing myself—as if the sound of her cry will be the thing that undoes me, instead of something I should be used to after four children. I feel the fear of that cry in my very bones—a kind of whole-body tension I can’t quite make sense of. When was the last time I had more than a few hours’ sleep? Twenty-four hours a day I am fixated on the terror that I will snap and hurt someone: Tim, Ruth, Jeremy, Beth…or myself. I am a threat to my children’s safety, but at the same time, their only protection from that very same threat.


I have learned a hard lesson these past few years; the more difficult life is, the louder your feelings become. On an ordinary day, I trust facts more than feelings, but when the world feels like it’s ending, it’s hard to distinguish where my thoughts are even coming from. Is this fear grounded in reality, or is my mind playing tricks on me again? There’s no way for me to be sure. Even the line between imagination and reality has worn down and it’s now too thin to delineate.


Sometimes I think I will walk away before something bad happens, as if removing myself from the equation would keep them all safe. But then Tim will skin his knee and come running to me, as if a simple hug could take all the world’s pain away. Or Jeremy will plant one of those sloppy kisses on my cheek, and I am reminded that for better or worse, I am his world. Ruth will slip my handbag over her shoulder as she follows me around the house, trying to walk in my footsteps, because to her, I seem like someone worth imitating. Or Beth will look up at me with that gummy grin when I try to feed her, and my heart contracts with a love that really does know no bounds.


Those moments remind me that everything changes, and that this cloud has come and gone twice now, so if I just hang on, it will pass again. I don’t feel hope yet, but I should know hope, because I’ve walked this path before and even when the mountains and valleys seemed insurmountable, I survived them.


I’m constantly trying to talk myself around to calm, and sometimes, for brief and beautiful moments, I do. But the hard, cold truth is that every time the night comes, it seems blacker than it did before.


Tonight I’m teetering on the edge of something horrific.


Tonight the sound of my baby’s cry might just be the thing that breaks me altogether.


I’m scared of so many things these days, but most of all now, I fear myself.






Excerpted from Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer, Copyright © 2020 by Lantana Management Pty Ltd. Published by Graydon House Books.


Title: Truths I Never Told You

Author: Kelly Rimmer

Publisher: Graydon House

Pages: 352

Rating: 5/5

“‘Everything changes’ was his consolation when things were rough. It was his reminder to stay humble when things were good”.
-Beth, Things I Never Told You 

TW/CW: Post-Partum Depression, Infertility
Beth is the youngest of three. She has two older brothers named Tim and Jeremy, and a older sister named Ruth. They lost their mother Grace when they were just kids. Despite everything and the clashing amongst themselves, they were a tight knit family and loved their father, Patrick. Unfortunately, their father’s health is declining because of heart disease and dementia. Beth along with her siblings decide to put Patrick into a nursing home. Beth has taken the grueling task of cleaning her father’s home and trying to sell the house. She’s on maternity leave from giving birth to her son Noah. What perfect time to do it then now. Beth however hasn’t been herself lately. Ever since she had Noah she doesn’t have the patience to deal with him, she doesn’t get good sleep, and she’s constantly giving Noah to her mother in law to babysit to try and get away from him. She’s constantly questioning her motherly skills. Even her family notices this change with her. They always ask her if she’s ok. She says she’s fine but, they all know it’s not true. As a psychologist she knows she isn’t well, but she refuses to get professional help for herself because she doesn’t want her professional career to go down the crapper.

As she cleans her father’s attic she comes across a locked door. She wonders why her father has this locked door and where the key for the lock is at. When she finally get’s a hold of the key she realizes all the things her father has been hoarding including some papers that her mother wrote. Papers that reveal some deep dark secrets about her father and their marriage. Beth can’t believe it. The hardworking and amazing father she knew was different then the young husband her mother married. As a young husband, he stayed out late, didn’t help out with his four kids, was always drunk, and provided no type of income because he spent all his money. There was a whole family that Beth and her siblings knew nothing about, including a aunt that knows the actual truth about Grace’s marriage and death. The book flips in between the 1950’s and the 1990’s. It wasn’t hard to keep up with the story like some other books. 

It was great seeing how both mother and daughter dealt with Post-partum Depression. Grace had a little more of a hard time with it in the 50’s because they just expected you to deal with it. I will say though, Beth was not my favorite. She was a selfish and entitled person and that really turned me off from her as main character. The Truths I Never Told You was a amazing book that tackled serious issues such as PPD, infertility, and motherhood. I would definitely recommend this book. Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin Graydon House for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

ARC Review: What Kind of Girl- Alyssa B. Sheinmel

Title: What Kind of Girl

Author: Alyssa Sheinmel

Publisher: Sourcebooks

Pages: 384

Rating: 5/5

TW/CW: Self-harm, bulimia, homophobia, drug use, abuse
What kind of girl is one of those books that hits you hard and leaves you thinking about it long after you’ve read it. There were many times I needed to take a break and put the book down to gather my thoughts. The content was heavy and it really got the wheels turning in your head.

The book begins with a young lady going into the principal’s office at her school. She has a black eye. Who did it? her “golden boy” boyfriend Mike. Mike “the perfect boyfriend”, Mike “the one that would never do that”. Well..he did do it. It wasn’t the first time this has happened either. You read about everyone’s reaction towards the situation, their opinions, the finger pointing, the victim blaming, and more. It was really disgusting at times seeing people come up with justifications about why mike hit her.
Along the way you’ll meet more characters that are essential to tie the story up together. But I will not give out too many details because like I said the characters all tie up together. But there’s titles for the characters outlined in the book. The popular girl, the bulimic, the burnout, the activist. The book did an amazing job making you feel all these emotions while reading it and rightfully so. That’s what a good author and a good story does. By any way do not think this story is a fairytale, this novel, although fictional is the life of many people around the world. It’s an eye opening experience. Fantastic job by the author. Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for a copy of this book in exchange fir an honest review.

ARC Review: Color Me In- Natasha Diaz

Title: Color Me In

Author: Natasha Diaz

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Pages: 373

Rating: 5/5

Naveah Levitz is trapped in two different worlds. Her parents recently split up and she has to travel and stay in between two places. Her grandfather’s home in Harlem and her childhood home in White Plains with her dad. For a while Naveah has felt she didn’t belong anywhere. As a bi-racial kid it’s hard to feel any level of acceptance anywhere…including within her own family. Naveah has only been exposed to her white side (she’s half black and half white). Her cousins and her aunt are trying to connect her with her black heritage, while her bone head father tries to to show her her Jewish roots. Evening going as far as preparing her for Hebrew school and throw a bat Mitzvah (3 years too late). His purpose for it….so she doesn’t lose her head and act too “black”. It’s even worse because her cousin Jordan is consistently reminding her she isn’t welcomed into the black community. Especially since Naveah is too blinded about what’s going on within the black community. Things start to get even more tense between her and Jordan when Jesus, Jordan’s long time crush starts to fall for Naveah. With all this plus all the problems at her white preppy school, Naveah finds comfort in her poetry and her mother’s diary that she happens to find in her grandfather’s attic.

I want to thank the author for sharing her experiences a multi-racial individual through this book. She even explains it at the end of the book. It was really though provoking and insightful. There were numerous characters mentioned in the book. But it was easy to keep up with them and I didn’t feel feel overwhelmed by them.

*Stevie- Naveah’s best friend whose also bi-racial (White and Chinese). A talented dancer and performer. He’s an amazing friend overall.
*Abby- I hated this girl with everything in my soul. The things that she would say were disgusting and I often wanted to jump through my phone and wanting to punch her in the throat. I’ve dealt with a Abby at my previous job and let me tell you…I’m really starting to hate the name Abby.
*Jesus- Towards the beginning of the book I wasn’t really feeling Jesus. I thought he was going to be one of those guys and honestly I was anticipating him turning into a dog. I think I started to partially warm up to him towards the end of the book.
*Rabbi Sarah: At first she was annoying to me, but I warmed up to her once I saw that she was down to earth.

There were other characters in the novel. I think the two characters that I hated the most were Navaho’s dad and his new stupid girlfriend Ashleigh. Holy crap what a bunch of turds. I will warn you some of the content in the book will anger you. So be on the lookout for racism, name calling, and sexual assault. It was frustrating enough reading about, I can’t imagine someone going through it. The a book makes you feel all the feelings I did while reading it…you know you have a banger.

Overall the book was fantastic and I really enjoyed it. I devoured it in two days. A story that deals with the true meaning of friendship, love, and dealing with with a difficult family….and of course learning how to accept the true you. 5/5 for me. Thank you to NetGalley and Delacorte Press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

ARC Review: Dear Haiti, Love Alaine- Maika and Maritza Moulite

Title: Dear Haiti, Love Alaine

Author: Maika and Maritza Moulite

Publisher: Inkyard Press

Pages: 432

Rating: 5/5

When an incident at her school gets Alaine almost suspended, she is told to go back to her country and complete a internship at her aunt’s non-profit organization. Its called PATRONAL, which is an app created to help fund children in need in Haiti. While in Haiti she’s able to learn more about her country, and of course develop a cute crush on one of the interns. The book is full of lots of Haitian history and culture(I would’ve liked if this also talked about beautiful areas in Haiti). She learned quite a bit of her family history as well….especially when there’s a curse involved.

Follow Alaine as she takes you through her island, and some rather heart wrenching moments, especially those involved with her mom. I think it’s so important to see how she dealt with her moms dementia. That was honestly one of my fave parts of the story (not in a messed up way). Another great thing about this novel is that it’s written by two sisters. Kudos to Maika and Maritza Mountie. You created a beautiful story full of representation. Thank You to NetGalley and Inkyard Press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I definitely need a copy of it on my shelf.