Review: Sari, Not Sari

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free as part of a read along.

This was such a simple and sweet story! 

I loved the premise of the story. I love stories about women reconnecting with their heritage and roots, so naturally I liked this. I enjoyed learning more about Indian culture, especially their wedding customs. I also liked that the book explored being “white-washed” and how it can make people feel disconnected towards their culture. 

The book is a very light and easy read. The prose flows nicely and the chapters are short which makes reading a breeze. The beginning of each chapter includes an email from a client that added a consistent touch of humor throughout the book. 

However, the book is very heavy on instalove. The characters fell in love after only knowing each other for a week which did not feel realistic. Also, Manny’s company, Breakup, did not seem like a viable company (it was an interesting concept but I don’t think that many people want to breakup via email). But this book is a romantic comedy so some suspension of disbelief is needed. 

Overall, despite a few flaws, I still enjoyed this debut novel and am looking forward to seeing what else the author publishes in the future. If you’re looking for an entertaining romance with some Indian culture woven throughout, consider picking this one up! 


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Review: A Girl Like You

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

I was very excited to read this book because 1) the main character has my name and 2) I  have ventured also into the crazy world of dating apps. All in all, it was a very fun read.

Even though I am only 26 and the main character is in her 50’s, I related a lot to Jessica and her adult children when it came to online dating. I’ve been on my fair share of dating apps so I know how wild and frustrating it can be. The book really highlighted the range of people and experiences you can run into on dating apps. 

I also found it refreshing to read about a woman in 50’s dating and having (hot) sex. You don’t see that in very many novels. When it comes to books about women dating, the main characters are usually in their 20’s or 30’s. 

I enjoyed how short the chapters were. It kept the book moving at a fast pace. 

However, the ending could have been fleshed out more. It ended a little abruptly. The story was going and then something major happened (I won’t give any spoilers about what happened, but I will say it was something super relatable and sad) and then the book ended quickly after that. 

Overall, this was an amusing read. If you’re looking for something light and sometimes steamy (it does get explicit at times), consider reading this book! 


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Review: Nothing Personal

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Rating: ★★★½

I received copy of this book for free from the publisher (Hachette Books) in exchange for an honest review. 

I was looking forward to reading this book because I’ve been using dating apps off and on for almost 2 years now. I was curious to see how my experience compared to the author’s. 

The book started off rocky. It felt a little discombobulated in the beginning because it would jump around from different points in her life. It was hard to follow what was going on.

The book could have been organized better. It was divided up into 4 sections, but there wasn’t any reason for how it was divided. There weren’t any section names or anything. The book would have benefitted from being told in chapters and thus would have been easier to navigate. 

What I did like about the book was the critical analysis of dating apps. It was incredibly well researched. The author included a ton of statistics like that 44% of Tinder users said they used the app for “confidence-boosting procrastination” and that over 70% said that they’d never met up with one of their matches in real life” (pg. 167). Yup. I have definitely encountered those people. I also agreed with a dating historian she mentioned who said that on Bumble, “the man doesn’t even have to lift a finger to even type you out a three-word message because now he’s not allowed to. So once again, women are shouldering so much more of the burdens of dating” (pg. 159). Amen to that! I’ve always hated the “women message first” aspect of Bumble. It does not empower me. 

The book started getting better around the second half. That is when it became more focused, so it was a lot easier to follow and I was able to enjoy her personal story more. 

Overall, this book wasn’t perfect but I appreciated the author’s candor and research. If you’re curious about dating apps, but don’t want to venture into the world yourself, consider reading this book. 


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Life update: Where has the time gone?

Hi beauties! It’s been well over a year since I last gave you any sort of update on my life so it’s about time I give you one. As you already know, 2020 has been a roller coaster of a year so I guess I should start with the beginning of the year. Enjoy my Cliff Notes version of my life this year:

January: So hopeful and full of promise for the year. Dated a paramedic for 2 and half weeks. Was sad when things ended (so much potential!). Read 1 book the whole month.

February: Started off so promising until my 49ers lost the Super Bowl (I still love you Jimmy G!). Went on a few dates. Ended up catching a cold during the last week (pretty sure I caught while on a date at Dave and Busters).

March: Started off so normal. Had a fabulous Spring Break and went on some wonderful dates with a guy. Buddy read The Kiss Quotient with the guy. Came back from Spring Break only to go back to school for one week. World went insane in that week. Packed up and headed back home. Started Zoom University School of Law —I mean online classes. Downloaded TikTok. Why does this month feel so long?

April: Me and Spring Break guy sadly fizzled out mainly due to COVID and quarantine. Started dating another guy. Developed an interest in astrology. Online school was uneventful. At some point my school eventually decided to go credit/no credit.

May: Took 5 finals. Strangely liked taking them at home (no pressure or anxiety from seeing other test takers). Tried to buddy read a book with the new guy I was dating. Had an uneventful and boring birthday (cheers to 25!). Broke up with said guy towards the end of the month for a multitude of reasons.

June: Hardly remember this month to be honest. Went on some Zoom dates. Learned that grad students from Stanford are not my type (Zoomed 3 of them and felt 0 connection each time). Met 2 air signs (a Libra and an Aquarius) who lived up to the flightly nature of their element (they coincidentally were both super cute guys from Oakland with plans to move to NYC). Went on a promising Zoom date at the end of the month.

July: Started dating a new guy (the one from the end of June). Went on an RV trip to Oregon and had a fun time at the WIldlife Safari (best animal experience ever).

August: School started. Once again online. Was not eager to start school again. Got annoyed with half my professors. Guy I was dating told me he’s moving back to Texas in 4-8 months. Relationship turned casual.

September: Took a nice day trip to SF with said guy. Slogged through school. Had both a midterm and a final due.

October: Only time will tell…

So that has been my life in a nutshell. I still cannot believe it is already October. Where has the time gone? March took forever but then the months just flew by after that.

What have you been up to? I would love to hear how you’ve been coping with all the curveballs of 2020. Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,


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Review: The Right Swipe (Modern Love #1)

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received this book for free free as part of an Instagram tour (TLC Book Tours specifically) I did to promote the book.

I was really impressed with this book. This is the first book in Alisha Rai’s new Modern Love series which is an appropriate name for it since it reflects exactly that. It tackles a lot of timely issues, like dating apps, the #MeToo movement, and CTE in the NFL. It was so refreshing seeing a romance that was very on point with what is going on in today’s world. On top of that, this is a diverse book which is always nice to encounter, especially in the romance genre. 

I loved the cast of characters. I really liked the female lead, Rhiannon. She was a total boss. The male lead, Samson, was a great love interest. I loved how he was able to get through to Rhiannon since she is so guarded due to her past. Additionally, I loved Samson’s Aunt Annabelle, who was a supporting character. She was so quirky and eccentric but very endearing. Rhiannon’s friend, Katrina, was another supporting character I loved as well. 

This book does fall prey to the typical miscommunication at the end of the book (a common trope in the romance genre) but it does get resolved fairly quickly. 

Overall, I loved this very modern (and diverse) take on romance and will be looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series. 


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Review: 29 Dates

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Rating: ★★★★½

I received this book for free from the publisher (Inkyard Press) in exchange for an honest review. 

This book doesn’t get the greatest reviews but I tend to rate books based on what they are. This was a YA romantic comedy and I thought it was a super cute one!

In the beginning it slightly reminded me of Melissa de la Cruz’s middle grade series, The Ashleys (which I read way back in middle school), because it had a slightly materialistic vibe and was set in San Francisco.

The romance itself was basic but still cute. I loved the little snippets from her 29 dates that were at the beginning of the chapters. 

I really liked that the book touched upon the casual racism that Asians in America face daily such as people thinking Asians all look the same, people being surprised at how well an Asian person speaks English, and the notion that Asians are quiet. 

Since I am Filipino, I also loved the inclusion of some Filipino representation. One of the love interests was Filipino and I loved seeing that. I enjoyed the chapter that explored his life because we got to see a little bit of Filipino culture such as Filipino food and karaoke. 

I noticed at least one use of the word “hella” (pg. 353) which I was super happy to see because that is one of the most popular Bay Area slang words.  

Lastly, I have to address the controversy that surrounds this book. Many people have issues with this book because a non-Korean (Melissa de la Cruz is Filipino) is writing about Korean culture. I think that is a fair and valid critique and I can’t really say much about the Korean aspects since I am not Korean. The one thing I will say however, and this may be controversial, but I do think some of the criticisms I’ve read are overly harsh. Going into this book, I knew this wasn’t going to be a deep book because Melissa de la Cruz’s books are never deep. Even the one book she wrote about a Filipino American immigrant experience still had that classic Melissa de la Cruz fluff. In my personal opinion (which you do not have to agree with), I think Melissa de la Cruz just wanted to write a fun cute story and she tried the best she could with the Korean aspects (which she addresses in her author’s note at the end). She wasn’t trying to make some grand statement about the Korean experience. 

Overall, I really liked this book. Is it mind blowing? No. Is it fun? Yes. So if you’re looking for something fun and not super serious, then consider reading this book.

Review: Would You Rather?

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received this book for free through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers.

It wasn’t until I actually read the blurb on the back that I realized that this was written by the girl who wrote Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date. I had really wanted to read that book and even marked it as such on Goodreads, but I never did get around to reading it. I’m glad that I was able to read this book because it does touch upon some of the themes that Never Had I Ever covered.

So basically, I loved this book. I loved it because I related so much to it. I’m not a lesbian, so I couldn’t relate to her coming out but I did relate to a bunch of other stuff. I related to the fact that she was single until her late twenties (I’m currently 23 and still  perpetually single). I related to her anxiety, especially when it came to googling medical symptoms and convincing yourself that you have some grave condition (I’ve done that many times). I related to her obsessive bed making. Pretty much I felt like I was a lot like Katie. I saw a lot of myself in her.

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What really made the book so fantastic, was the writing. It was so conversational. It felt like she was talking to you. Every essay was clear, to the point, and a lot of fun. 

I also really liked the balance between the fun and the serious. There were a lot of quirky anecdotes, but also a lot of introspection.

Overall, this was a very touching and relatable memoir. 

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