Three Mini Reviews of Some Good (No Great!) Books I’ve Been Reading

Happy weekend! I am having a huge good book streak. I’m really hoping it doesn’t end anytime soon – obviously. I might be losing sleep, but it’s one hundred percent worth it. Here are some favorite YA books that I’ve read in the last few weeks!

Eliza and her MonstersEliza and her Monsters, by Francesca Zappia, blew me away and kept me up late at night. In some ways it felt like Fangirl on steroids. In others, it had its own special and unique magic. In the story, teenage Eliza is the creator of one of the most popular webcomics on the internet. She doesn’t do friends, at least not IRL, and her identity on the internet is a closely guarded secret. Then Wallace, her comic’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school and they develop a relationship through their shared interest. But he thinks that she’s just another fan and doesn’t know how to tell him. Ugh. This writing is beautiful. Like makes you want to cry and throw up at the same time beautiful. And the story is … I said on twitter that it made me feel like a mix between having a crush and the night before a new Harry Potter book comes out. And I stand by that strong endorsement. More people should be reading this book. Aside from being oh so swoony, it also has some of the best descriptions of anxiety I’ve ever read.

When Dimple Met Rishi

When Dimple Met Rishi, by Sandhya Menon, is one of the best YA romantic comedies I’ve ever read. The premise is just too good. Dimple and Rishi are two Indian American teens who have exactly opposite reactions to their parents wanted them to *someday* be in an arranged marriage. Dimple cares way more about going to school and building a career as a web developer than who she’ll marry. That’s why she’s pumped to be spending the summer before she goes to college at a STEM summer program. Rishi cares more about art than computers, but he’s a born romantic and lover of tradition. So when his parents suggest he go to a summer program just to see if he is compatible with a one-day, some-day potential bride he agrees. This book was so sweet, and I loved that both characters had such different and complex reactions to being Indian American.

I Believe in a Thing Called Love

I Believe in a Thing Called Love, by Maureen Goo, also delivered on the romantic comedy front – although I think this one had a little more of the comedy than the romance. Since her mother’s death, Desi Lee has been a high achiever by making intricate plans and sticking to them. That’s how she’s become head of many clubs, a varsity soccer player, and student body president, and that’s how she’ll get into Stanford. But she’s never had a boyfriend, just a series of flailures (flirting-failures). After a particularly bad flail (pants may or may not end up around her ankles), Desi studies the K dramas her Dad loves to make a plan to reclaim her romantic destiny. This book didn’t just have me laughing out loud, it had me crying – because of how hard I was laughing. Don’t get me wrong the romance is there. But I think more of this book is about Desi figuring out who she wants to be and coming to terms with grief that she’s been pushing away for far too long.

What are you all reading these days? Anything good?

 

Top Ten Recommendations for People Who Want Diverse Summer Reads

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Books open us up to new worlds. They help us empathize and identify with people that are different from us. When characters are the same, even in small ways, they make us feel understood and less alone. They are powerful. There are only a few weeks left in summer. Here are ten diverse summer reads. Reading any of them would be a fantastic use of your time.

Thanks to The Broke and the Bookish for hosting this weekly book meme!

Some Recent BookRiot Articles

Hi friends! I feel like I’ve been neglecting this blog a bit. I have a blessed life, but juggling writing, revisions, teaching, blogging for BookRiot, planning my syllabus for the fall…this is boring. You get the point. I’m in over my head, and I’m so so so grateful for your patience and for everyone that’s still reading. While I queue up some good post for next week, here are some of my favorite, recent BookRiot articles. Hope you all are having beautiful ends to your summers – where does the time go?

More soon … I promise. xoxo

 

Author Interview: Betsy Cornwell

VenturessBetsy and I met in college, but even though I had a big friend crush on her I was way too shy to talk to her much. Then I reached out about how much I loved her first book Tides and an online friendship sparked into being. In another life, we are roommates conquering the NYC publishing world together and drinking beers on the weekend at The Way Station. But since she lives with her dreamy family in Ireland, I have to settle for some of the kindest, most supportive emails a friend/aspiring writer could ever ask for. Betsy’s third book Venturess is out today. It is the sequel to the badass, feminist Cinderella retelling Mechanica and my very favorite thing that Betsy’s written so far.  Expect a (glowing!) review soon. But for now, Betsy was kind enough to answer some questions for me…  Continue reading