Refreshingly Cute // REVIEW: The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

Title: The Names They Gave Us
Author: Emery Lord
Publication Date: June 1st 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: Bloomsbury India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Amazon US || Amazon UK || Barnes and Noble || The Book Depository || Wordery || Infibeam || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Kobo || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books
Blurb Description: From acclaimed author Emery Lord comes a vibrant, compelling story of love, loss, faith, and friendship.
Lucy Hansson was ready for a perfect summer with her boyfriend, working at her childhood Bible camp on the lake. But when her mom’s cancer reappears, Lucy falters—in faith, in love, and in her ability to cope. When her boyfriend “pauses” their relationship and her summer job switches to a different camp—one for troubled kids—Lucy isn’t sure how much more she can handle. Attempting to accept a new normal, Lucy slowly regains footing among her vibrant, diverse coworkers, Sundays with her mom, and a crush on a fellow counselor. But when long-hidden family secrets emerge, can Lucy set aside her problems and discover what grace really means?
Emotionally-charged and unforgettable, Emery Lord’s storytelling shines with the promise of new love and true friendship, even in the face of life’s biggest challenges.
Thoughts/ Opinions before Reading:

   1)      This is only my second Emery Lord book – the first being When We Collided that was NICE, but not all I expected it to be
   2)      I’m a little wary to be reading a book about faith and Christianity (I’m agnostic, and books that incorporate a lot of religion aren’t necessarily my favourite)
3)      THIS COVER IS SO SO BEAUTIFUL THAT I HAVE TO OWN IT.

Thoughts after reading the book:

Short and Sweet: The Names They Gave Us surprised me in the best way – it had all the goodness of a summer romance, had just the right amount of family and faith, it handled all the issues it took on perfectly and was so real I couldn’t help but fall in love.

·         Lucy Esther had one of the best character growths I’ve seen in a while. She started off as your standard good girl, a little na├»ve, a little set in her ways (cue terms like *hippie camp* and *heathens*) but by the end of it, she’d definitely grown as a person and I loved witnessing it.

·         I LOVED LUCY’S FAMILY. I’m ALWAYS, ALWAYS complaining about how families just aren’t portrayed enough in YA contemporaries and how that makes them so unbelievable because HELLO – minors and high school? Lucy’s family was just the right amount of present, they were constantly in her thoughts and well, THEY MATTERED IN THIS BOOK. Thank you, Emery for bringing the perfect amount of family life to a YA Book.

·         SUMMER CAMP! I’ve never been at a month long camp, and I haven’t really thought about what it would be like, but I really truly loved the atmosphere of this camp. It had a bunch of kids with difficult lives trying to be kids and I loved everything about it! I loved the counselors and the banter they had among themselves, and the fact that these humans were real friends

·         FAITH. Or, more specifically, the way faith was handled. Like I said in my ‘before’ thoughts, I’m agnostic (not an atheist, not religious) and so books with their content as religion aren’t my favourite. For the first time, I not only didn’t mind it, I felt like it really tied the whole book together, making Lucy a character that was so much more life-like.


A cute, refreshing, swoon-worthy, family filled summer read from one of the masters of contemporary young adult literature! 5 stars!
Emery LordHi! I'm Emery. I'm the author of four novels about teenage girls: OPEN ROAD SUMMER, THE START OF ME & YOU, WHEN WE COLLIDED, and THE NAMES THEY GAVE US. 
I was born near a harbor on the East coast and raised near a beach, an ocean, a great lake, and the Ohio River. I'm a longtime Cincinnatian, where we love good beer, good music, and our public library. 
I'm married to a scientist who shuts down every wedding dance floor, and we are owned by two rescue dogs. I believe in the magic of storytelling, Ferris wheels, and you.  
Have you read any of Emery Lord's other books? What did you think of them? 
What are some of your favourite contemporary novels? 
Who are some of your favourite teen protagonists? I can't wait to hear from you!

WHAT EVEN // REVIEW: The Go - Between by Veronica Chambers

Title: The Go - Between
Author: Veronica Chambers
Publication Date: May 9th 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: The publisher via NetGalley (THANK YOU!)
Blurb Description: Fans of Jane the Virgin will find much to love about this coming-of-age novel from bestselling author Veronica Chambers, who with humor and humanity explores issues of identity and belonging in a world that is ever-changing. 
She is the envy of every teenage girl in Mexico City. Her mother is a glamorous telenovela actress. Her father is the go-to voice-over talent for blockbuster films. Hers is a world of private planes, chauffeurs, paparazzi and gossip columnists. Meet Camilla del Valle Cammi to those who know her best. 
When Cammi s mom gets cast in an American television show and the family moves to LA, things change, and quickly. Her mom s first role is playing a not-so-glamorous maid in a sitcom. Her dad tries to find work but dreams about returning to Mexico. And at the posh, private Polestar Academy, Cammi s new friends assume she s a scholarship kid, the daughter of a domestic.
At first Cammi thinks playing along with the stereotypes will be her way of teaching her new friends a lesson. But the more she lies, the more she wonders: Is she only fooling herself? 
To be quite honest, my mind is in its own new kind of turmoil. I’ve deleted the rambling of this review a few times now, so this is my third (okay, fifth) to do this well:

REASONS I WANTED TO READ THIS BOOK:

1.       It was pitched as a book PERFECT for fans of Jane The Virgin
2.       It sounded like something I NEEDED to get my hands on!

WHAT I GOT FROM THIS BOOK:

1.       It was sort of a third person encounter of EVERYTHING and I felt like it was sort of a narration, not a personal experience.
2.       Other than being rich, having security and staff for everything, there was REALLY NOTHING about her mom in the book.
3.       A LIAR AND A FOOL OF A MAIN CHARACTER who I spent about 60% of the book wanting to shake.
4.       An entire discussion on racism playing out on my head.

WHAT I WANT TO YELL ABOUT:

Camilla Del Valle is a Mexican Girl who claims to be above the whole “Rich Kids of Mexico” thing but is really just one. All she wants is one friend who won’t sell her secrets out to the press or fangirl over her mom, a very famous telenovela star.

Until, that is, her mom makes the family move from Mexico City to LA and her life changes.

NOW, BY CHANGES DRASTICALLY I MEAN:

1.       She is living in Beverly Hills (!)
2.       She goes to a fancy prep school (!)
3.       SHE LIES ABOUT WHO SHE IS, PRETENDING TO BE FROM A LOWER INCOME EARNING FAMILY BECAUSE IT’S LIKE SHE’S PLAYING A PART AND AAAAHHHH. (!!!)
I am SO FREAKING mad about this. LIKE HOW COULD YOU. How DARE you insult people that are actually facing hard financial lives and DON’T HAVE CHAUFFERS, NUTRITIONISTS AND SECURITY GUARDS? How DARE you accept charity from your friends like $100 here and there and DESIGNER JACKETS? WHO ARE YOU?

WHAT WAS THAT BOOK?                 

Apparently, it was OH SO TOTALLY justified because her friends were racist (AGAIN, WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT BLATANT RACISM?) and AAAH.

ACTUAL THINGS SAID/ ASSUMED/ LET TO ASSUME BY MC INCLUDE:

-          Mother is a maid (TV Superstar) and father is a gardener (Voices Spanish Version of Iron Man)
-          FATHER EARNS LESS THAN $25 PER HOUR because he’s a MEXICAN Gardener.
-          Daughter works in the kitchen because she’s MEXICAN
-          She can’t afford anything.
I’m so ANGRY at everyone in this book. ANGRY.

SERIOUSLY. Everyone in this book below the age of 20 (except Milly) deserved a GOOD SHAKE AND A DAMN REALITY CHECK.

2 stars and I don’t even know how I got through this book. NOT RECOMMENDED.
Veronica ChambersVeronica Chambers is a prolific author, best known for her critically acclaimed memoir, Mama’s Girl, which has been course adopted by hundreds of high schools and colleges throughout the country. The New Yorker called Mama’s Girl “a troubling testament to grit and mother love… one of the finest and most evenhanded in the genre in recent years.” Born in Panama and raised in Brooklyn, Ms. Chambers' work often reflects her Afro-Latina heritage.
Veronica has contributed to several anthologies, including the best-selling Bitch in the House, edited by Cathi Hanuaer, and Mommy Wars, edited by Leslie Morgan Steiner.

A graduate of Simon’s Rock College at Bard, she and her husband have endowed three scholarships at the college in the fields of music and literature.

Have you read anything from Veronica Chambers? Have you read this book? What did you think of it?
Have you seen the BRILLIANT Jane the Virgin? It's one of my favourite shows and I could not recommend it enough!

Enchantingly Written // REVIEW: The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares

Title: The Whole Thing Together
Author: Ann Brashares
Publication Date: April 25th 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: The Publisher via NetGally (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Amazon US || Amazon UK || Barnes and Noble || The Book Depository || Wordery || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Kobo || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books
Blurb Description: We live in the same place, but never together.
Summer for Sasha and Ray means the sprawling old house on Long Island. Since they were children, they’ve shared almost everything—reading the same books, running down the same sandy footpaths to the beach, eating peaches from the same market, laughing around the same sun-soaked dining table. Even sleeping in the same bed, on the very same worn cotton sheets. But they’ve never met.
Sasha’s dad was once married to Ray’s mom, and together they had three daughters: Emma, the perfectionist; Mattie, the beauty; and Quinn, the favorite. But the marriage crumbled and the bitterness lingered. Now there are two new families—and neither one will give up the beach house that holds the memories, happy and sad, of summers past.
The choices we make come back to haunt us; the effect on our destinies ripples out of our control…or does it? This summer, the lives of Sasha, Ray, and their siblings intersect in ways none of them ever dreamed, in a novel about family relationships, keeping secrets, and most of all, love. 
While I’ve watched and been inspired by Ann Brashares’ first series, Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, I’d never actually picked up the books to read them, and hence I’ve never experienced Ann’s writing style.

Which is why that is the first thing I’m going to talk about.

The writing was so… ethereal. It was subtle yet delivered its point all the way, it narrated but didn’t bore and HOLY CRAP I could spend years just reading the way Ann wrote this book, because of regardless of my problems with it, it was GORGEOUS WRITING.  

What is this about?                   

Lila and Robert used to be married. They had three lovely daughters – Emma, Quinn and Mattie and then after an undisclosed falling out, they separated and go re-married to have children born one month apart – Ray and Sasha.

Their parents would do anything to avoid staying in the same room as each other – anything.
And so despite sharing three sisters, a house and a bedroom, Ray and Sasha have never met. They have a relationship that never existed; they’re deeply considered strangers.

Over the span of one summer, the lives of all five siblings will change. One will move on to another place, one will get married, two will fall in love and one will question who she is in a house they alternate, always split, never together.
“What if she’s unknowingly traded her greatest dread for her oldest wish?”
The things I LOVED about this book include the WRITING. Holy crap it was beautiful and enchanting and I wanted to wrap myself in it and never leave.

Another thing I LOVED was the simple complicatedness of everything. There was nothing far-fetched or unbelievable about this, and yet the web of everything was so intricately knotted that I JUST HAD TO KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT IT. I loved the basic premise of the story (even though it took me a while to get used to the names) and the characters.

Like I said, I did have a few problems.

The first was Sasha and Ray. I didn’t have an issue with the potential half incestuous thing, but what DID BOTHER ME was that THEY WERE SO IN LOVE WITH THE IDEA OF EACH OTHER and the whole FORBIDDEN FRUIT thing that they didn’t stop to see that THEY DIDN’T KNOW EACH OTHER. In the whole book, they would have had TEN DIRECT EXCHANGES, if even that. I don’t know WHAT that conclusion of theirs was, but UGH. DID. NOT. GET. IT.

I also hated what happened at the ending. As is switch viewpoints, everyone asked Quinn, “Did you plan it like this?” BECAUSE NO. NO, SHE DIDN’T PLAN IT. WHAT SENSE DOES THAT MAKE.

All in all, I was definitely captured by the magic of Ann Brashares. A poignant, beautifully written tale on what it means to be a family. 4 stars.
Ann BrasharesAnn Brashares grew up in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with three brothers and attended a Quaker school in the D.C. area called Sidwell Friends. She studied Philosophy at Barnard College, part of Columbia University in New York City. Expecting to continue studying philosophy in graduate school, Ann took a year off after college to work as an editor, hoping to save money for school. Loving her job, she never went to graduate school, and instead, remained in New York City and worked as an editor for many years. Ann made the transition from editor to full-time writer with her first novel, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Ann and her husband live with their three children in New York.
Have you seen/ read The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants? What did you think of it? 
Which 'sister' would you say you're the most similar to? 
Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

The Book You NEED // ARC Review: Noteworthy by Riley Redgate

Title: Noteworthy
Author: Riley Redgate
Publication Date: May 2nd 2017
Publisher: Amulet Books For Young Readers
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: The Publisher via NetGalley (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Amazon US || Amazon UK || Barnes and Noble || The Book Depository || Wordery || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Kobo || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books
Blurb Description: A cappella just got a makeover.
Jordan Sun is embarking on her junior year at the Kensington-Blaine Boarding School for the Performing Arts, hopeful that this will be her time: the year she finally gets cast in the school musical. But when her low Alto 2 voice gets her shut out for the third straight year—threatening her future at Kensington-Blaine and jeopardizing her college applications—she’s forced to consider nontraditional options.
In Jordan’s case, really nontraditional. A spot has opened up in the Sharpshooters, Kensington’s elite a cappella octet. Worshipped…revered…all male. Desperate to prove herself, Jordan auditions in her most convincing drag, and it turns out that Jordan Sun, Tenor 1, is exactly what the Sharps are looking for.
Jordan finds herself enmeshed in a precarious juggling act: making friends, alienating friends, crushing on a guy, crushing on a girl, and navigating decades-old rivalries. With her secret growing heavier every day, Jordan pushes beyond gender norms to confront what it means to be a girl (and a guy) in a male-dominated society, and—most importantly—what it means to be herself.
 
If you want to avoid my long rambling review below this book, I’ll just give you this: 

NOTEWORTHY IS ABSOLUTELY AWESOME-SAUCE* AND YOU NEED TO HAVE BEEN READING IT YESTERDAY.

However, if you’re unconvinced by someone who uses the word *Awesome-Sauce, let me tell you what I LOVED about this book to call that:

1.       JORDAN SUN IS AMAZING. I connected with her INSTANTLY because well, of this line: I spent half my life whipping up apologies on behalf of my mouth which I considered to be kind of a separate person from me as a person. I, Jordan Sun, valued levelheadedness… Jordan Sun’s Mouth did not care about these things. She was all sass, in a deadpanning, intellectual way, she did not hesitate to go after what she wanted, and she was struggling so much with who she was, her family and her place that I FELL IN LOVE.

2.       The Sharpshooters (the a-capella group) was SO MUCH FUN. While it was a little confusing to remember who everyone was at the beginning, I truly began to love this all boy (and one girl) group of singers! Issac, Nihal and Trav were my favourites!

3.       THE DIVERSITY! Jordan Sun is Asian and Bisexual. One of the Sharpshooters is Indian. This book tackles gender roles SO WELL, handles being a Sikh (an Indian Religion. See also: Sikhism) EVEN BETTER (I was SO HAPPY that religion was touched upon slightly, and also DONE WELL, because religions are a huge part of life in India and IT WAS AMAZING SEEING IT PROPERLY REPRESENTED!)

Image result for noteworthy riley redgate quotes
Graphic by Dream Team Reads
4.       THE FACT THAT THIS WAS A BOOK ABOUT A CAPELLA: I don’t think I’ve EVER read one before (how strange is that) and while I love the Pitch Perfect movies, I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT! Side Note: A lot of this music is AVAILABLE to listen on Riley Redgate’s website, and you should DEFINITELY check it out!

5.       THE HAZING AND THE PRANKS: While this wasn't a very important part of the book, it definitely made it feel more fun and also more real! The rivalry between the Sharps and the Minuets (their rival a capella group) was such fun to read about!


An amazing diverse read, filled with just the right amounts of light heartedness in the midst of tackling important issues – you guys NEED to be reading Noteworthy. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you think and most importantly… it will make you want to sing! 5 stars.
Riley RedgateRiley Redgate speaks exclusively in third person, so this works nicely. She loves horror films, apocalyptic thunderstorms, and the Atonement soundtrack. When writing author bios, she feels as if she is crafting some weirdly formal Tinder profile. She plans someday to start a melodramatically epic rock band named Millennial Filth. Until then, she writes acoustic singer-songwriter stuff, also novels.
Who are some of your favourite a capella groups? 
Have you seen the Pitch Perfect movies? What did you think of them? 
Are there some really good a capella YA books out there? I'd love to read all your recommendations!

Stacking The Shelves #29 - The One Where I'm Going on Vacation

I have a flight out of the country in LESS THAN SIX HOURS and I'm frantically scheduling Blog Posts so that my blog is at least half way active! I promise I'll return and reply to all of your comments and I hope you love all the reviews coming up!

I also just finished interning at my first company, The Pixelate as a copy-writing intern and it was SUCH A JOY getting to learn and also to meet new people and expand my writing skills. We laughed, drank a lot of coffee, wrote and basically, it was the best first job experience anyone could have asked for.

Here's my Stacking The Shelves. I honestly can't remember when I last did one, so here goes:

The Crown's Fate (The Crown's Game, #2)FOR REVIEW:
From Harper Collins India:

1. The Crown's Fate by Evenly Skye: 
THIS IS A HARDCOVER! India usually releases only paperbacks, and my copy of book one, The Crown's Game is in paperback but I love hardcover SO MUCH MORE! I'm so excited to see what will happen with Vika, Nikolai and Pasha and I can't wait to dive in!

Made You Up2. Made You Up by Francesca Zappia: 
I've heard nothing but BRILLIANT things about the book with the girl who can't tell reality from her own delusions. The cover looks so perfect, and I am so excited that the lovely people at Harper Collins finally published this in India and were awesome enough to send me a copy. Fingers crossed that I love it!


Baaz3. Baaz by Anuja Chauhan: 
One of the only Indian Authors on my auto buy list despite the fact that I love here, I AM SO EXCITED for Anuja's latest book. Set in 1973, with the main character being a Pilot in the Indian Air Force and I can't wait to dive into another book from mt favourite author.

From Macmillan Intl: 
A Crown of Wishes (The Star-Touched Queen, #2)1. A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi:
I read Roshani's debut novel, The Star Touched Queen, last year. While it wasn't my favourite book, I knew I NEEDED to read her next book, A Crown of Wishes, which the lovely folks at Macmillan sent me. Roshani's writing was utter and complete perfection and I could not recommend diving into this series more. Read my review here.

Queens of Geek2, Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde:
Conventions? Two romances? THAT PICK HAIRED COVER? Sign me up, and sign me up YESTERDAY! I have it in my hand luggage for my flight tonight and I'm so excited to dive into the fandom filled world.

From Penguin Random House International: 
A Million Junes1. A Million Junes by Emily Henry: 
I heard nothing but great things about Emily Henry's debut novel, The Love That Split The World, last year but I never got the chance to get my hands on it. I was beyond excited when an ARC of A Million Junes landed on my doorstep this Monday because NOW I GET TO TAKE IT ON VACATION WITH ME! So excited to start this book.

Before I Let GoFrom NetGalley: 
Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp: 
I've actually refrained from hitting the Request button on anything and everything on NetGalley but when I saw Marieke's 2018 release, I COULD NOT RESIST! Marieke is SUCH an amazing author and the cover is gorgeous and I can't wait to dive in, even if it releases oh about seven months away.

BOUGHT: 
King's Cage (Red Queen, #3)1. King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard
I almost cried when I got my hands on this book and I have packed it in my "I just want to read" tote and it's in my suitcase and I'm planning on reading it over my ten day trip! The ending is apparently very cliffhanger-y and will ruin your soul and I CANNOT WAIT.
A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)
2. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas: 
I HAVE FINISHED THIS. I haven't collected my thoughts in a review yet, but hopefully I will be able to. I finished it a little less than two days ago but this book was NOTHING like ACOMAF, even if it was a good book.
What did you stack onto your shelves this week?
I can't wait to check out your stacks this week, so please do leave me your links!

A Unique Writing Style // REVIEW: The Circus by Olivia Levez

Title: The Circus
Author: Olivia Levez
Publication Date: May 4th 2017
Publisher: Rock The Boat UK
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: ARC from Rock The Boat UK
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Amazon UK || Barnes and Noble || The Book Depository || Wordery ||  || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Kobo || Books A Million 
Blurb Description: Why would a girl who has everything want to run away and never be found?
Willow has staged runaways ever since she was a little girl. She has everything a young person should want: a rich daddy, clothes, money, a pony and a place at a prestigious boarding school. In reality, she has everything except the thing she really wants: a father who cares enough to find her.
Aged sixteen, on the eve of her father’s wedding, she ruins the bride’s dress and escapes through a window, determined never to return. Her missing mother was a circus performer, and Willow wants to follow in her footsteps. But the performers she meets don’t want her. When her last bit of money is stolen by Suze, another runaway girl she thought she could trust, Willow becomes really homeless. Then Suze comes tumbling back into her life and a desperate Willow has to decide whether to trust her all over again . . .
So begins their frightening, exhilarating odyssey though hunger, performance, desperation and dreams. Will they both survive and will Willow make it to the circus of her imagining?
Olivia Levez takes you into the very heart of a girl who wants so hard to be lost, but saves herself through a powerful friendship and the awakening of a need for home.
I try not to read reviews of a book before I begin them, especially for review copies, because having a pre-formed opinion isn’t something that helps me go into a book unbiased. Which is basically me saying I don’t read reviews before I read a book because I like the experience to be all mine.

I had a friend borrow this book before I read it, and once she was done, she very loudly projected her opinions onto me.

So, despite trying not to, I went into this book with some semblance of the story already in my head, along with thoughts about it.

I was SO SO excited when a LOVELY publicist at Rock the Boat UK contacted me asking whether I’d be interested in reading this book because YES! I ADORED Olivia Levez’s debut, The Island, as it kept me company on a fourteen hour train journey and I even had the AMAZING Olivia Levez on my blog last year. Basically, I’m a fan.

While The Circus was a GOOD BOOK, it wasn’t as good as The Island.

My thoughts:

1.       I was slightly disappointed that the actual part of Willow BEING in the Circus was so little. Rather The Circus. I hoped that I’d be surrounded with unique characters with even better circus acts, but that was not the case.
than it being about a girl that found her place among a merry band of outcasts, this was about her life after she ran away, and while that by itself was a good story, it really took away that the TITLE of this book was

2.       I liked Willow but NOT ONCE did I condone her running away from home or feel sympathetic for her. I understood that she was neglected a bit, but she lived this life of COMPLETE AND UTTER COMFORT that she really didn’t care for and threw away without a second thought. There are so many kids in the world who would be so grateful to have a fraction of what she does, but there was no appreciation for any of what she had.

3.       One of the things I REALLY LOVED was Olivia’s writing style. It’s a very free spirited style of writing, like her main character. It captured the essence of a life without a home, life in a circus and the mind of a very live in the moment teenage girl REALLY REALLY WELL.

4.       I don’t entirely know if I loved or hated Suze. I certainly understood her more than Willow, and I loved her ability to make costumes like they were magic, but there was nothing in particular that made me connect with her. I guess that she and I aren’t similar at all, and I couldn’t relate.

Do I recommend this book?

I CERTAINLY 1000% recommend getting lost in Olivia Levez’s writing style because she has a TRUE TALENT but if it came down to it, I would certainly pick The Island over The Circus. Still, this author is DEFINITELY one worth reading! 3.5 stars.  
Olivia Levez lives in Worcestershire, where she is an English teacher in a large high school. When she is not teaching, she binge writes in her caravan in West Wales.
Olivia likes hula-hooping, yoga and real ale, but not at the same time. She lives with her husband, two sons and a Jack Russell named Basil.

YA book The Island is published by Rock the Boat, Oneworld.


What are some of your favourite Circus filled books? Have you read Caraval or The Night Circus? What did you think of them?
Have you read any of Olivia Levez's books before?

Complete Perfection // REVIEW: A Crown Of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

Title: A Crown of Wishes (The Star Touched Queen #2)
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Publication Date: March 28th 2017
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin (Macmillan)
Part of a Series?: Yes, Book 2/2 of the StarTouched Queen Series
I Got A Copy Through: Macmillan International (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Amazon US || Amazon UK || Barnes and Noble || The Book Depository || Wordery || Kobo || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books
Blurb Description: An ancient mystery. An unlikely union. For one young princess in a state of peril, a dangerous wish could be the only answer…
She is the princess of Bharata—captured by her kingdom’s enemies, a prisoner of war. Now that she faces a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. But should she trust Vikram, the notoriously cunning prince of a neighboring land? He promises her freedom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together they can team up and win the Tournament of Wishes, a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor. It seems like a foolproof plan—until Gauri and Vikram arrive at the tournament and find that danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans, mischievous story birds, a feast of fears, and twisted fairy revels. New trials will test their devotion, strength, and wits. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.
“He’d built his life on wanting the impossible – true power, recognition, a future – and now magic had found him when he’d stopped looking.”
I bought myself a copy of Roshani Chokshi’s The Star Touched Queen last year, and immediately dove in. While the book started off absolutely brilliantly, in the middle, the writing and the magic fused to become a very vague thing which had me not loving it as much as I hoped I would.

I wasn’t sure if I would read A Crown of Wishes but Roshani with her One Line Wednesdays, all the bloggers saying it was amazing and also, THE COVER THAT IS TOO GORGEOUS FOR WORDS convinced me to put it on my Wish list, and then the LOVELY folks at Macmillan sent me a review copy! *sends happy hugs*

Truth be told, I’M SO SO SAD that this book is over because I LOVED EVERY SINGLE MINUTE OF IT, and now I’m going to miss Gauri and Vikram SO much.

This book was BRILLIANT. I loved everything in it and everything it offered me. Let me break it down for you:
Image result for a crown of wishes
Image by Brittany's Book Rambles
1.       ROSHANI’S WRITING: If NOTHING else will make you believe in Magic, Roshani Chokshi’s writing style will. The way she crafts her words together, her descriptions about things both ordinary and extraordinary and just her general ability to bring everything alive on a page is unparalleled. I had at least four moments where I just sat back after a particularly well done scene and just MARVELLED AT THIS LADY’S SHEER TALENT.

2.       GAURI AND VIKRAM: I loved these two characters together, but even more than that, I LOVED THEM INDIVUDIALLY TOO. The fact that this story was told from both their points of view, and showed us how they thought, their dreams, hopes and desires separately and then slowly, how they wanted the other was EVERYTHING I was looking for.

I loved that there was no real distinction between general male and female roles. At no point was Gauri the weaker one or vice versa, and that the two of them needed each other equally. Their power, their wit and their courage was equally matched, which is just what all fantasies, contemporaries and real relationships need to be.
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Image by Brittany's Book Rambles

3.      
THE BANTER: Honestly, BEST. BANTER. EVER. I LOVED it. They were these two firecrackers being set off by and it was hilarious and filled with chemistry and made their relationship so much better. My heart exploded into feels in the last chapter of the book in the Ujjain gardens because AWWWWW. Seriously, best relationship development I’ve seen in a while.

4.       THE PLOT: The plot is only second-best to the magical writing and perfect characters in this book, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t GREAT anyway. I can’t describe it without spoiling the magical journey that Roshani’s journey will take you on, but suffice it to say that IT IS A VERY WELL CONSTRUCTED BOOK.

Undeniably magical and witty, A Crown of Wishes is a book shaped masterpiece. 
Roshani ChokshiRoshani Chokshi is the New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen and the upcoming A CROWN OF WISHES, releasing March 28, 2017. Her work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Shimmer, and Book Smugglers. Her short story, "The Star Maiden," was longlisted for the British Fantasy Science Award.    Pinterested in A CROWN OF WISHES? Check it out here!  Pinterest

Have you gotten the chance to dive into Roshani Chokshi's books yet? What did you think of them? 
What are some of your favourite fantasy/ mythology filled books? 
HOW GORGEOUS ARE THESE COVERS ANYWAY? 
I can't wait to hear from you!