When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon ARC Review

when-dimple-met-rishi-cover-revealWhen Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Release Date: May 30, 2017

Pages: 380

Summary: Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

My Thoughts: When Dimple Met Rishi is funny and heartfelt. While capturing the magic and spirit of first love, Menon also weaves in themes of family, familial expectations, independence, and finding yourself!

There was so much buzz surrounding this book! I’m happy to say, When Dimple Met Rishi did not let me down!

There’s a sense of magic that comes with this bright and deeply moving rom-com. Through Menon’s writing, 3rd person delivers a huge scope on her characters and allows the reader to fully understand them by the end of this novel!

The characters will come to life from page 1!

Dimple is a determined and ambitious main character. Her dedication and passion for coding was so inspiring.

As a college student, reading this novel was just so relatable and brought me back to my experience with applying for college. Above all this novel reminded me why I’m doing what I’m doing and why its important to be passionate and driven in what I’m studying

Dimple is eager to go to Insomnia Con, the place to be for up and coming web developers. However, her parents (mainly her mother) are set on her focusing on other things like finding the “I.I.H” (Ideal Indian Husband).

Dimple feels she is weighed down by her mother’s expectations, while  also feeling like she can’t be the daughter she wants her to be.

Dimple discovers she’s being set up in an arranged marriage and feels betrayed by her parents and upset. She is driven to forge her own path and marriage is least on her mind.

So Dimple wants nothing to do with Rishi and becomes a “hate turned love” kind of scenario, which is a trope I usually really don’t like, but Menon’s development, humor and banter in the beginning of their relationship really built it over the course of the story and above all just made  their relationship so well developed and I loved it!

~My favorite, funniest scene was definitely the Iced-Coffee scene! 😂😂

It did have some slow pacing for me personally, but aside from that I adored this book so much.

The story perfectly balances humor and funny/comedic moments with the serious moments and difficult decisions one must make for themselves before college.

The overall tone and atmosphere of this novel was magical. While reading, you will be captivated by the energy and passion that comes with first love.

When Dimple Met Rishi is sweet, character-driven, and above all a deeply moving YA Contemporary that will capture your heart with humor and swoon-worthy moments to keep you hooked till the very end as you follow Dimple, Rishi, and their both expected and unexpected connection! ❤

Flying Witch Volume 1 by Chihiro Ishizuka {Manga Review}

Flying Witch Volume 1 by Chihiro IshizukaFlying Witch Vol. 1 by  Chihiro Ishizuka {Flying Witch #1}

Publisher: Vertical Comics

Release Date: March 8, 2017

Pages: 160

Summary: Prepare to be Bewitched!
Makoto Kowata, a novice witch, packs up her belongings (including her black cat familiar) and moves in with her distant cousins in rural Aomori Prefecture, in the far north reaches of Japan, to complete her training and become a full-fledged witch.

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

My Thoughts: Flying Witch explores magic in the quiet, but normal everyday while also being comedic and heartwarming as Makoto continues her training to become a witch!✨

This manga was the cutest!! ❤ (´▽`ʃƪ)
From page 1 I could really sense the magic. Its a “quiet” type of magic that I enjoy reading about and overall made this story a real treasure.

I adored the characters and loved how, while it has magical elements stuck to a more “slice of life” approach.

It had a slow pace to it, but it really worked with the tone of story. It gives you the time to understand these characters, the magic that is infused throughout the story, and really take in the plot.

The characters were all fantastic! I adored Makato, Nao, Chinatsu, Kei, basically everyone ❤

Makato finds herself moving in with her cousins as she continues her training to become a witch. Throughout the manga, there’s tidbits of info that get revealed about the history and traditions of witches (the age they are recognized as adults, which regions of Japan they reside in, etc.) and I loved how it introduced more background of the witches and above all really helped to build the magic of the story.

I adored the friendship that develops between Makato and Nao!~ I loved their dynamic, but I do wish Nao was in the story a little bit more.

The story heavily focuses on family and self-growth and I adored that. While its clear Makato may still have a lot to learn, it was great seeing her have family and friends along the way to join her on her journey.

The artwork is simplistic, but really delivers the “quiet” and magical atmosphere of the story.

The plot itself goes in places I didn’t really expect, but I loved that! It kept me intrigued in the story, world, characters, etc. Additionally there are some hints and surprises that have me so excited to read Volume 2!

My only minor issue was that I did want more plot-wise.

Regardless…

Flying Witch Volume 1 is a story that proves magic is everywhere around you. The characters, plot, and world are wonderfully developed and truly deliver a sense of wonder and enchantment from the very first page.

I Believe In A Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo ARC Review

Teenage model in hear shaped glasses laughingI Believe In A Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

Publisher: Farrar Straus & Giroux (BYR)

Release Date:May 30, 2017

Pages: 336

Summary: Desi Lee knows how carburetors work. She learned CPR at the age of five. As a high school senior, she has never missed a day of school and has never had a B in her entire life. She’s for sure going to Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation-magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds her answer in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Rules for True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and fake car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.

*Got an ARC from a festival*

My Rating: ★★★★★

My Thoughts: Delightful, heartfelt, and funny, I Believe In A Thing Called Love had me hooked from page 1! With the magic of first love, themes of family, friendship and independence weaved throughout, Goo’s novel will capture your heart!

I adored this novel so much and refuse to believe its a standalone!!

We follow Desi Lee as she navigates her senior year of high school! She’s always got a plan, but when it comes to love, “Flailure’s” are never far behind.

Told from Desi’s first person POV, following her inner dialogue was relatable and had me laughing too! She is so ambitious, independent, and driven and I loved following her in her journey through senior year!

Her inner thoughts about talking to guys is so me! XD I could relate to the nervousness she was feeling and just being unsure of how to approach them! 

When she falls for a new student in her class, Luca Drakos, she devises a formula using plots from Korean dramas to see if she can plan out her first love, but of course she has help along the way!

Friendship and family were a big part of this novel! Even in her plan to find love, Desi tried to keep her friends Fiona and Wes in the loop no matter what and they stuck by her, even when her plans went a little overboard at times :’)

While I’m pretty new to K-Dramas myself, I was still able to understand the tropes that are mentioned and above all just loved how Desi referenced different K-Dramas + tropes through out the story!

With her mother having passed at a young age, she worries for her single, mechanic father and throughout the novel, its clear they have such a strong relationship! I adored the family dynamic!! Throughout this story, its clear family is such a huge part and while YA tends to put family off to the side, I Believe In A Thing Called Love kept this theme as such an integral part!

Goo’s writing delivers such well-developed and in-depth characters, that through Desi’s POV, they feel so real! Desi’s father, Luca, Wes, Fiona, even side characters like Cassidy and Violet really came to life on the page.

While this novel does have its sweet and fun moments, there are also a lot of important themes and messages (being true to yourself, following your dreams, independence) inclusion/diversity! There was so much depth to IBIATCL!

There was Korean, Mexican (Desi’s BFF Fiona) and lesbian representation! Above all, loved the diverse representation throughout this novel!! ❤

While there was a little bit of slow pacing for me personally, it worked really well with this novel! Through it, you really get time to understand Desi and her world. 

Through Goo’s writing the setting of Orange County, Desi and friends, themes/messages, and above all just the atmosphere of first love comes to life all through out the novel and I loved that so much!

I Believe In A Thing Called Love is filled with fantastic characters, romance, humor, K-Drama scenario’s, themes of family and friendship! A delightful journey from beginning to end! Highly recommend this novel!

Shadow Run by Adrianne Strickland + Michael Miller Review

Shadow Run  Cover RevealShadow Run by AdriAnne Strickland + Michael Miller (Kaitan Chronicles #1)

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Release Date: March 21, 2017

Pages: 400

Summary: Nev has just joined the crew of the starship Kaitan Heritage as the cargo loader. His captain, Qole, is the youngest-ever person to command her own ship, but she brooks no argument from her crew of orphans, fugitives, and con men. Nev can’t resist her, even if her ship is an antique.

As for Nev, he’s a prince, in hiding on the ship. He believes Qole holds the key to changing galactic civilization, and when her cooperation proves difficult to obtain, Nev resolves to get her to his home planet by any means necessary.

But before they know it, a rival royal family is after Qole too, and they’re more interested in stealing her abilities than in keeping her alive.

Nev’s mission to manipulate Qole becomes one to save her, and to survive, she’ll have to trust her would-be kidnapper. He may be royalty, but Qole is discovering a deep reservoir of power–and stars have mercy on whoever tries to hurt her ship or her crew.

My Rating:★★★★☆

My Thoughts: Shadow Run is a fun, action-packed space adventure, with a diverse cast of characters + twists and turns!

The characters were all phenomenal! They are not who you expect when you’re first introduced to them and there are secrets and unexpected surprises uncovered about them along the way. While told through Nev and Qole’s 1st person POV, you really get attached to these characters and really feel the bonds they have with each other and how they are strengthened as the story progresses!

As always I’m always on the look out for diverse books and loved reading the gender-fluid representation + POC characters!

The inclusion and discussion of Shadow (a dark energy of sorts) that travels freely across space was such a fascinating concept of this novel and it really brought a unique element to the story that I don’t really read much about in science fiction! It was definitely reminiscent to me of fantasy/Sci-Fi video Games!! ❤ ❤

Nev Dracorte (a prince) finds himself on Qole’s ship, the Kaitan as he tries to convince Qole to return to his home planet so they can better study Shadow (which Qole harbor’s within her).

I was not expecting Qole to have a shadow ability and felt it added a great twist to the story!

The banter and interactions between the characters was amazing! I could really feel the connections and bonds they had with each other!

I don’t want to go too much into the plot, b/c there’s so many twists and turns, that I feel its just best for you to read it for yourself!

The writing (1st person POV) really helped me to connect so much to Qole and Nev! Understanding them fully through their POV also helped me to better understand their own worlds and the internal struggles they face!

While there were so many wonderful aspects to Shadow Run,  the pacing did make it difficult to stay in the story every now and again and I wish there was more description for the atmosphere + background of the different planets that are discovered along the way, it would have helped to connect me more to the world!

Regardless, I’m definitely eager to read the 2nd book in the Kaitan Chronicles to see where the story is headed! ❤

Shadow Run is a character-driven story that puts its characters first, delivers a unique world and premise, while also adding tons of twists and turns to keep the reader turning the page!

Highly recommend if your looking to get into more Young Adult Sci-Fi!

The Becoming Of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin Cover Reveal

MaraMichelle Hodkin’s Mara Dyer Trilogy, centered around Mara Dyer who “survives the traumatizing accident at the old asylum, it makes sense that she has issues. She lost her best friend, her boyfriend, and her boyfriend’s sister, and as if that weren’t enough to cope with, her family moves to a new state in order to give her a fresh start. But that fresh start is quickly filled with hallucinations—or are they premonitions?—and then corpses, and the boundary between reality and nightmare is wavering. At school, there’s Noah, a devastatingly handsome charmer who seems determined to help Mara piece together what’s real, what’s imagined—and what’s very, very dangerous.

Ever since the trilogy’s finale with The Retribution Of Mara Dyer and the announcement of a Mara Dyer spin-off trilogy (announced back in 2015), The Becoming Of Noah Shaw finally had its cover reveal!

As of May 8, EW revealed not only the cover, but also a sneak peek which you can read Here!

Now for the cover of The Becoming Of Noah Shaw

The Becoming Of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin

I fell in love with the immersive, dark and thrilling story of Mara Dyer back in 2014 and I cannot wait to return to the world of Mara Dyer with this new story!

This cover is fantastic! I love how it goes with the originals, but still has its own unique style! ❤ ❤

It definitely has a darker + more mysterious tone than the original covers, but is still incredible all the same!

The Becoming Of Noah Shaw is set to be released November 7, 2017!

Riveted Lit also made a cover reveal post, which you can check out Here!

What Are Your Thoughts On This Cover? 🙂

If you’ve read Mara Dyer, are you eagerly anticipating this new series?

Literary Listens: Publishers And Podcasts

literary-listens-24hryabookblog-feature-bannerLiterary Listens is my newest blog series/feature where I discuss podcasts & books!

My most recent post was “YA Books That Need Podcast Adaptations,” which you can check out Here!

This weeks post is all about publishers and podcasts!

As of May 1, Tor Books announced it would be launching ” ‘Tor Labs,’ a new serialized fiction podcast imprint.

Their first project is set to be “Steal The Stars” written by Mac Rogers, the award-winning writer of podcast thrillers The Message and LifeAfter, which will have weekly episodes starting August 2-November 1. This “Noir Science Fiction Thriller” plot is set to center around the “story of Dakota Prentiss and Matt Salem, two government employees guarding the biggest secret in the world: a crashed UFO.

According to Senior Editor Marco Palmieri, from The Verge “no US book publisher, as far as we knew, was doing audio dramas — plays written to be performed by voice actors.

With podcasts gaining such popularity right now, this got me wondering, “Would YA/Young Adult and Teen publishers consider getting into podcasts?

If they did, how could it work?

After some thought here are some ideas I considered that could link a print book with audio:

~Author interviews

~First chapters/excerpts or bonus content converted to an audio drama format

~Behind The Scenes

~Similar to Tor Labs, perhaps teaming up with established audio drama podcast creators to deliver an original serialized podcast

Considering podcasts are free to find/download through iTunes, it could also be just a fun way for readers to hear more from their favorite authors or books!

Aside from the traditional book this is an interesting venture to deliver/experience stories!

Storytelling can come in a number forms whether its books, podcasts, etc. and considering the dynamic, groundbreaking, and immersive power of podcasts and audio dramas, I can definitely see this as a new way for publishers to connect with readers in a different way!

What are your thoughts on this?

Do you think more publishers will/should consider podcasts as a way to deliver stories?

Let’s discuss in the comments below! 🙂

Another Castle: Grimoire by Andrew Wheeler and Paulina Ganucheau Review

Another Castle GrimoireAnother Castle Grimoire by Andrew Wheeler and Paulina Ganucheau (Illustrator)

Publisher: Oni Press

Release Date: February 28, 2017

Pages: 152

Summary:We are thrilled to invite you on a journey of courage, friendship, and rebellion—Another Castle: Grimoire! This volume gathers all the issues from the hit comic book series centered on the adventures of Princess Misty of Beldora, whose courageous spirit leads to her capture, and ultimately, to a heroic adventure that spans two kingdoms.

Our tale begins when Princess Misty of Beldora, who longs for a more exciting life, gets more than she bargained for when she is captured by Lord Badlug, the ruler of the neighboring kingdom of Grimoire. He intends to marry her and conquer Beldora, leading the land into ruin and chaos. The people of Grimoire already suffer under his rule and desperately need a hero… luckily, Badlug has just kidnapped one! Together with the citizens of Grimoire and a certain bumbling prince, Misty must fight to protect her kingdom and free both realms from Badlug’s tyrannical rule. Misty is determined not to be another damsel in distress; and with her new friends to protect, she’ll discover just what it takes to be the hero of the story.

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

My Thoughts: Another Castle Grimoire is packed with action, fantastic art, and spins classic fairy tale+ fantasy tropes! 

The story centers around Princess Artemisia (Misty) of Beldora as her father prepares her for a marriage to prince Pete, however when she senses danger is lurking within her kingdom, she automatically begins conjuring up a plan. Taking her kingdom’s sword, The Leveler, she sets out for Grimoire with the only sword capable of destroying Badlug, ruler of Grimoire.

I loved Misty from page 1! She takes charge of her kingdom on her own and uses all her training to ensure her kingdom’s safety. While her father may not approve, its clear he only wants to keep her protected.

She questions and takes initiative to figure out answers on her own.

She soon discovers she is forced to be a prisoner of Badlug’s and must marry him, or her kingdom will perish. Prince Pete goes on a mission to rescue her, while encountering monsters along they way.

No matter what, she finds a way to ensure her kingdoms safety. Along the way she comes to know her attendants Fogmoth & Gorga (a gargoyle-human hybrid + a woman with Medusa-type abilites)

They forge a strong/beautiful friendship with Misty, though she doesn’t warm up to them right away. They come to trust Misty as she vows to escape Castle Grimoire and meet up with Prince Pete to get The Leveler and destroy Badlug.

I loved the twists/turns on tropes or classic hero story elements! The monsters the prince encounters, you expect to be ferocious, are friendly and kind. Everything from the characters to world, had me immersed into the story right away!

There’s a big emphasis on friendship and independence and I loved that so much. Throughout this story, there’s also an important/powerful message of acceptance and finding yourself.

The plot unfolds easily and you get a lot more backstory on Grimoire, Badlug, Misty’s mother and it all comes together in a way where it pieces together the story once you’ve reached the end.

However my only minor issue was the slow pacing around the middle and nearing the end.

Aside from Misty, Prince Pete, Gorga & Fogmoth were definitely my favorite characters! However, overall I loved each character (even Badlug!). They were all enjoyable to read about and while you don’t figure out everything about them, you learn enough to understand and sympathize.

Ever since reading Zodiac Starforce, I’ve really loved Paulina Ganucheau’s artwork! It’s colorful and bright! I love it!

I love that through the artowork, you see POC in power and characters with different body-types and there’s even GLBT-Rep.!

Another Castle Grimoire is a graphic novel with so much depth from its worlds to characters. The plot unfolds in ways you don’t expect, non-stop action, empowering female characters, and emphasis on friendship. There are so many fantastic elements!

Once I reached the end, I needed more! Hopefully there will be a Volume 2, because I adored everything about this story and I’m not ready to leave it just yet!