Double Review: Eliza and Her Monsters + When Dimple Met Rishi

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Hey guys! I hope you are all having a lovely day, and maybe I can make it better by sharing two of my newest favorite books! I read these two (Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia and When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon) back to back, and I fell in love almost instantly. I haven’t always been into the contemporary/romance stuff, but recently I have found them to be light and fun and really enjoyable! So, even if you are unsure of the genre, I would encourage you to give these a try!

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

31931690Publisher: HarperCollins

Release Date: May 30, 2017

Genre: YA Contemporary

Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.

But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.


Okay, I had heard sooo many good things about this book and it had a pretty good blurb, so I knew I had to try it. And I am so glad that I did! This is probably one of the best books I have read in a long time, and it has easily become one of my favorites.

Eliza and Wallace are such geeks/nerds (whatever your preference) and I can totally relate to them! Eliza spends most of her time locked in her room writing her webcomic, Monstrous Sea. And it’s worked out pretty well for her, too, since she’s practically internet famous. She made me wish I was that good at writing or art, so I could be that popular. Even though she has anxiety, Eliza is generally happy and can find happiness through her comic. I’m glad that this was shown through a more positive/happy light, and it added depth and a realistic sense to her personality.

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Eliza spent a lot of her time online, and never really connected with people at school. I can totally relate, as I’m sure many, many people can! I would much rather be by myself than with a huge group of obnoxious teenagers that don’t seem to have any common sense. Eliza knows the value of a friendship, even if it is online. That does not make it any less meaningful than having a friend you see face to face. Unfortunately, Eliza’s parents don’t really get that. They want her to go out and be like a “normal” teenager, even though she has her own way of doing that from the comfort and safety of her bedroom. So, her parent’s weren’t my favorite, but they grow on you…

ANNNDDDDD enters Wallace! Wallace is the new kid, and he doesn’t talk much. Or at all when lots of people are around. He prefers to pass notes or text, even to Eliza or his friends. And let me just say Eliza and Wallace’s note passing is ADORABLE. XD Plus, Wallace is the number one fan of Eliza’s comic, Monstrous Sea. But get this: he doesn’t know who she is. Nor does anyone because Eliza’s anonymous online, and prefers to remain that way.

Anyways, Wallace is kind of mysterious and unreadable. He’s got a secret, complicated backstory that makes you want to keep reading and reading until every last question is answered. That’s something I really liked about this book. It’s not terribly predictable, so there’s some element of surprise mixed in, which is rather fun.

In the end, go read this book NOW if you love comic writing, note passing, wonderful and relatable characters. (There’s also some sketches and snippets from the comic that are interesting, too!) Zappia did an amazing job representing the introverted, anxiety stricken community in a way that made you understand their thoughts and feelings, even if you are unfamiliar with it. It was refreshing and lovable, something I long to find in every book I read.

Quotes

“You found me in a constellation.”

“I made Monstrous Sea because it’s the story I wanted. I wanted a story like it, and I couldn’t find one, so I created it myself.”

Disappearing is an art form, and I am its queen.”

“It’s not that I don’t like the outdoors. It’s that I don’t see the point of the outdoors when there’s so much I could be doing indoors.”

“Blank pages are supposed to be an invitation. A challenge, even. Here is your canvas–how creative can you be? What limits can you stretch to bring to life that creature in your head? A blank piece of paper is infinite possibilities.”


When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

28458598Publisher: Simon Pulse

Release Date: May 30, 2017

Genre: YA Contemporary & Romance

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. 


I had heard some mixed reviews on this one, but I LOVED IT!! It’s so adorable! Dimple is very individual and does not want to follow her parent’s unreasonable expectations, while Rishi is determined to follow Indian traditions flawlessly. They literally could not be more opposite. But it works!

Dimple and Rishi meet at a summer coding camp called Insomnia Con, and get off to a rough start. But, they learn to like each other (wow, what a surprise) and it just kind of goes from there. Personally, I would have liked to see more tidbits about their actual coding project, instead of just their love life. It did take place at a summer camp for making apps, so including coding and app making would seem like the logical choice.

That said, it was cute romance. Both Dimple and Rishi had lots of unique characteristics that made it relatable. There was also some good friend relationships, which seem hard to come by these days. Celia, Dimple’s roommate, is a good friend for her, even they don’t see eye to eye at first. Plus, both Dimple and Rishi have nice, loving families that are incorporated nicely into the story. Hooray for good families!!

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The book was written in third person (not my favorite), but I actually didn’t mind! Sometimes the writing is monotone and impersonal when in third person, but I was totally connected with the characters the whole time, and Dimple and Rishi had very different voices. It alternates between their points of view frequently, but I was not confused at all. In fact, I really liked the style, and am eager for Menon’s next book!!

I would highly recommend this one to anyone in need of a good YA contemporary/romance. It’s super cute and easy to read. You will fall in love with the characters and their quirks, and find yourself smiling by the end! 🙂

Chat with me! Have you read either of these books, or any good contemporary/romance lately? What POV do you like best?

Spring Bullet Reviews

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Hello everyone, and happy spring! I have been meaning to do this post for a really long time now, and I am finally getting around to it. It is a compilation of mini reviews (aka bullet reviews, because BULLET POINTS) of several books that I have read in the past few months. Hopefully you can find even more books to add to your TBR or discover a new opinion on something you have already read.

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Replica by Lauren Oliver

  • First, I loved the uniqueness of the two-in-one thing. It really made for a fun reading experience! (I did get tired of flipping it over after a while though)
  • I chose to read it in alternating chapters from Gemma and Lyra’s points of view, though I have heard the stories can be read in any order or combination of alternating views.
  • I really enjoyed the characters! They were all individual and contributed something unique to the story.
  • Things were constantly happening! I was never bored at any point in the book. There was always something going on that kept the story moving forward.
  • Also, Lauren Oliver’s writing is generally just really great, and it makes the stories even better!
  • There were tons of plot twists and unexpected surprises. (That’s one reason I would suggest reading it in alternating chapters, because they go at the same pace, and reading one may spoil the other perspective for you.)
  • The whole concept was great, with the mysterious Haven Institute and its ties to each character.
  • Overall, a really great, captivating read! Here is the excerpt if you are interested!

 

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Nemesis by Brendan Reichs

  • I am a really big fan of Brendan and Kathy Reichs’ Virals series, so I was eager to read this one.
  • I maybe had my expectations a little too high, but I still enjoyed the book.
  • It had a lot of twists and turns that I did NOT see coming. There was one especially big one (in my opinion), but I will not say any more than that…
  • I did not really seem to connect with the characters all that much. Min just seemed very distant and unrelatable, Tack was more like the underappreciated childhood friend, and Noah would change his views constantly.
  • THAT SAID, I still liked all of them, I just was not as connected as I would like to be. However, Ethan and Sarah just got on my nerves. I know they are supposed to be like the “bad guys,” but I just didn’t enjoy their presence at all.
  • I sometimes would get confused about whose point of view I was reading (Min or Noah), and I would have liked to see more of a difference in their styles.
  • As I mentioned earlier, there are a ton of different things going on and many, many twists and turns. It had an interesting plot that kept me waiting to see what was coming next.
  • I mentioned a lot of negative aspects, but I really did like the story! It was not similar to anything I have read, and it was enjoyable!
  • Check out the description!

 

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The Selection by Kiera Cass

  • This has been on my TBR forever, and I finally decided to pick it up.
  • I’m super glad that I did, because this book is really light, fun, and creative.
  • First, I was surprised by the element of dystopian. I did not know that their world was based upon a caste system and interesting history, fully equipped with rebels and battle scenes.
  • The romance was blended nicely with the dystopian, and it made for a unique combination.
  • I really liked all of the characters! They were all really fun and enjoyable. Especially May, America’s younger sister. She always made me happy!
  • America starts out with this really great, loving, kind boyfriend named Aspen. WELL let’s just say The Selection happens and Aspen is not quite so great anymore.
  • Enter the wonderful Prince Maxon!
  • He is so adorable! Like, he’s very intelligent and prince-like, but he’s also funny and provides a fresh perspective for America.
  • I enjoyed their relationship and America’s relationship with the other girls in the Selection.
  • Overall, I’m glad that I started this series, and I hope the rest is just as amazing! It’s such a fun, likable read!
  • Here’s the blurb!
  • I have also finished The Elite and The One as of right now, and I have the next two ready to go!

 

Have you read any of these books? If so, did you enjoy them? Do you ever have the need for a book that is just a simple, fun read?

Review: The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

The Sun is Also a StarThe Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Release Date: November 1, 2016

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

I was a huge fan of Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything (which is being made into a movie, by the way) and I was super excited to read this one. I’ll admit, I had pretty high expectations, but the book did not disappoint! It is full of cute romance and random facts and tidbits. I also love the cover. The colors are super pretty together, and it’s got a string art type feel, which my artsy side adores.

Characters

Natasha and Daniel are both lovable, genuine characters. Natasha’s family is from Jamaica, and she moved to America when she was young. Daniel’s family is Korean, but he was born in the United States. Natasha and her family are being deported, and her efforts to reverse this deportation have more of an effect on her life than she could have imagined. Daniel is on his way to an interview that could determine his whole college education. And BOOM! Paths cross. Lives change.

I enjoyed watching Natasha and Daniel fall for each other despite the fact that it was basically impossible. Natasha was leaving and Daniel had his whole life planned out. Not only that, but they met and fell in love in less than 24 hours (which is kind of crazy and impossible within itself). HOWEVER, if we look past that minor detail, the story is adorable! They are so darn cute together, and I spent the whole book begging for them to end up happily ever after.

Aside from the wonderful romance, both Natasha and Daniel are so very real. They show what it is like to be an immigrant in America and that where you come from does not define you. Daniel’s parents want him to follow a specific path, but he longs to follow his own dreams. Natasha has taken it upon herself to right her father’s wrongs in order to continue living in America. Both of them want to forge ahead and make their own paths, which I believe makes them so relatable.

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Writing Style

I love the small chapters in both of Yoon’s books. It makes them seem easier to read. (Sometimes books with long chapters seem to go on and on and on, even if they are really good.)  It also allows for the inclusion of several other, random points of view. At first, I was not a fan of the many “background” characters, but they grew on me. They all contribute a little something to the story, and it adds a unique aspect.

There were tons of facts and tidbits thrown in throughout the story. From things about Jamaican culture to science facts, you can gain knowledge while reading this book! Being the nerd that I am, I loved these little random bits of information. They all connected in some way to whatever was currently happening, too. The book just generally had a fun, cute vibe to it, and I really enjoyed it!

Theme

Oh, how I love great themes! And The Sun is Also a Star had a really fabulous one. To me, it focused on how people should chase their dreams no matter what and how one small thing can affect a person’s entire life. Both Daniel and Natasha are out to chase their dreams and make their lives better. I adore their passion and drive to be successful, no matter what is thrown at them.

It also stressed the power of every little thing that you do and the effect that your actions can have on others. Something that seems teeny-tiny and insignificant to you could mean the world to someone else. Natasha and Daniel’s lives come in contact with many others and they impact each and every one of those people. In their world, a single day can be powerful. I really liked watching them change and grow throughout the course of this one day.

“We are capable of big lives. A big history. Why settle? Why choose the practical thing, the mundane thing? We are born to dream and make the things we dream about.”

 Overview

I had pretty high expectations for this one, but I was not disappointed! I fell in love with the characters just as much as they fell in love with each other. Their personalities were realistic and unique. We catch a glimpse of a day in the lives of Natasha and Daniel, a day that changes their lives forever. It’s a book that keeps you wishing there were more days to read about, more cuteness to obsess over. I would highly recommend The Sun is Also a Star to anyone in need of a quick, unforgettable romance.

What did you think of the book? Do you like books that have unique themes? Are you looking forward to the Everything, Everything movie?