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?

 

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