The Duke of Bannerman Prep by Katie A. Nelson Book Review

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Goodreads Summary:

Words are weapons. Facts can be manipulated. And nothing is absolute—especially right and wrong.

Tanner McKay is at Bannerman Prep for only one reason: the elite school recruited him after he brought his public school’s debate team to victory last year. Bannerman wants a championship win. Debate is Tanner’s life—his ticket out of his poor-as-dirt life and family drama, straight to a scholarship to Stanford and the start of a new, better future.

But when he’s paired with the Duke, his plans for an easy ride seem as if they’ve hit the rails. The Duke is the quintessential playboy, beloved by everyone for his laissez-faire attitude, crazy parties, and seemingly effortless favors.

And a total no-show when it comes to putting in the work to win.

But as Tanner gets sucked into the Duke’s flashy world, the thrill of the high life and the adrenaline of existing on the edge becomes addictive. A small favor here and there seems like nothing in exchange for getting everything he ever dreamed of.

But the Duke’s castle is built on shady, shaky secrets, and the walls are about to topple down.

A contemporary retelling of The Great Gatsby, Katie Nelson’s taut debut is perfect for fans of John Green’s Looking for Alaska, Kate Brian’s Private series, and anyone who’s encountered the cut-throat world of competitive high school

My Rating:4/5 stars

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Plot:

I’ve never read The Great Gatsby, but this book has made me a little curious. Supposedly this is supposed to be a Gatsby retelling but I have no idea if that’s an accurate description. Retellings aside, this was a highly enjoyable book that I couldn’t put down. Any book involving rich kids and how fucked up they are is bound to have me intrigued. Plus  it’s set at a boarding school so it was a sure win and I wasn’t disappointed. This book managed to be entirely clichéd while also having it own little quirks.

I loved how they incorporated debate in the whole story and it’s something I’ve never really seen in a book or movie before. I can’t say that I learnt a lot because I’m still really confused and I never realized how complicated debating was but a little light was shed on the subject which was cool.

I absolutely loved reading about the mystery surrounding Duke and it was really interesting to see our main character’s,Tanner,downward spiral as he became emanoured by the duke’s life of glamour. Also the ending…. I wanted to know so much more than what we got but I understand why that was the way the author decided to go.Honestly this would be a great movie-like a indie teen film or something like that-

Characters

For the most part I wasn’t the hugest fan of any of the characters. At first I liked Tanner but then he did some pretty unforgivable things and I understand why he did them, I just felt a little uncomfortable about reading them. He was also a huge ass when it came to his brother’s autism and said things like “sometimes I wished he was normal.” and  while he didn’t really mean it it was still kind of dickish.

Speaking of his brother’s autism. I’m not sure how to feel about the rep and since I don’t know much about autism I can’t really vouch for the accuracy but there were parts that made me feel a little uncomfortable.Other than that I loved the brother and there was this scene that absolutely broke my heart and had me close to tears.

I honestly wasn’t a huge fan of Tanner’s love interest and while she was very nice and I liked their romance, there was just something that rubbed me the wrong way. It might have been because  the”you’re not like other girls.” trope was used which just needs to die.

Honestly despite the fact that the Duke was a major asshole, he intrigued me so much and I would love to know more about him. He’s such a complex character and honestly if I had to pick a fave character, I’d choose him.

Also just on a sidenote;I really hated how there were like two PoC in the whole novel and both of them had like no dialogue and were “weird.”

 

 

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When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon Book Review

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Goodreads 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:5/5 stars

Plot:

If you’re looking for a an amazing summer contemporary, look no further. Go out on May 30th and purchase this wonderfully awesome book and fall in love with Dimple and Rishi’s love.

The minute I heard about this book and saw this cover I knew that I would  love it and I wasn’t  disappointed. When Dimple Met Rishi follows two Indian American teenagers who go to the same summer program right before they are to enter college. Unbeknownst to Dimple, they are arranged to be married later on and their parents decide to get things between them starting.

I honestly wasn’t sure how the story would play out but I really enjoyed the way it did. I loved the exploration of Indian culture, the insanely cute moments between Dimple and Rishi,and all the scenes about web developing. I loved that that was Dimple’s interest as it’s something I’ve never seen in a book before and it made the story a 100x times more enjoyable. I also really loved how the whole arranged marriage was never seen as horrible and  “forced” as a lot of books do but how the author just took this concept and made the cutest spin on it possible.

Characters

As with most contemporaries, this is a very character driven story with really fleshed out characters. While of course Dimple and Rishi were my favorite since they were the ones whose perspective we saw, I loved all the other characters that we got to see, and I loved how fleshed out they were. I loved Rishi’s brother,and Dimple’s brother and just everyone in the book. Obviously there were some shitty people but everything else was great.

I really loved seeing Rishi struggling between what he wanted and what his father wanted and while it’s a plot point that you see a lot in the media, I found it to be more pertinent  coming from an Indian perspective. I also really loved seeing the way Dimple and Rishi reacted to their culture and the way they felt amongst their people.

I really loved the humor that both Dimple and Rishi had which made the book so much more fun. There were a bunch of times where I genuinely laughed out loud and I think it really created  a great chemistry between them.

I know I already mentioned this but I absolutely loved the cute moments between them and some of them just made me squeal from happiness and I just loved everything about them. I especially loved the bookstore bar scene, and I loved how A Wrinkle In Time was incorporated. When Dimple Met Rishi would be the cutest movie and I really hope it get turns it one.

April Wrap-Up

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Note:All diverse books are marked with an asteriks

  1. The Reader by Traci Chee*Asian Mc and author

Goodreads

Review

My Rating:4/5 stars

What I liked: The amazing world building

What I disliked: It was a little slow at times which is more of a personal thing but it made it a little less enjoyable.

2.History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera* Gay and Bi characters, and Character with OCD

Goodreads

Review

My Rating:5/5 stars

What I liked: The rawness of it and the character development.

What I disliked: I wasn’t a huge fan of some of the characters but it didn’t really render my enjoyability

3. The Beast is An Animal by Peternelle Van Asdale

Goodreads

Review

My Rating:4/5 stars

What I liked: The unique premise and mood.

What I disliked:It was rather slow and kind of anti-climatic

4.All The Forever Things by Joelle Perry

Goodreads

Review

My Rating:4/5 stars

What I liked: The tragic ending

What I disliked: The juvenility of the writing style which reminded me of a middle grade book.

5.The Siren by Keira Cass

Goodreads

My Rating:4/5 stars

What I liked:  How intriguing it was and the unique concept and spin on sirens.

What I disliked:The writing style wasn’t the best but other than that it was really enjoyable.

6.The Ever After of Ashwin Rao by Padma Viswanthan*Indian Character and Author

Goodreads

My Rating:3/5 stars

What I liked: Learning about an event in Canada that I had never heard of before.

What I disliked: It was kind of weird and had lots of random side plots and there didn’t really to be a point to any of the book.

7.Just Fly Away by Andrew Mccarthry

Goodreads

Review

My Rating:3/5 stars

What I Liked: The  premise and the relationship between the Mc and her grandfather.

What I disliked: The awkward writing style and melodramaticness of the the Mc

8.Promises To Keep by Genevieve Graham

Goodreads

Review

My Rating:4/5 stars

What I liked: The fact that it was set in Canada and the amount I learnt about Canadian history

What I disliked:The romance could’ve been developed a lot more

9.The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J Church

Goodreads

Review

My Rating:4.5/5 stars

What I liked: The unique spin the author took on Los Alamos and the characters

What I disliked: The affair wasn’t the greatest thing though I understand that it was important.

10. Shadow Sister by Lucinda Riley

Goodreads

Review

My Rating:5/5 stars

What I liked:The pettiness,the drama, the plot-twists, the characters, I loved everything

What I disliked:Nothing!

11.The Thousandth Floor By Katherine Mcgee

Goodreads

My rating:4/5 stars

What I liked:The premise,the intrigue and how fucked up the characters were.

What I liked: The incest, and the rushed ending.

 

What did you read this month?

 

 

 

 

The Shadow Sister by Lucinda Riley Book Review

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Goodreads Summary:Star D’Aplièse is at a crossroads in her life after the sudden death of her beloved father—the elusive billionaire, affectionately called Pa Salt by his six daughters, all adopted from across the four corners of the world. He has left each of them a clue to her true heritage, and Star nervously decides to follow hers, which leads her to an antiquarian bookshop in London, and the start of a whole new world.

A hundred years earlier, headstrong and independent Flora MacNichol vows she will never marry. She is happy and secure in her home in England’s picturesque Lake District—just a stone’s throw away from the residence of her childhood idol, Beatrix Potter—when machinations lead her to London, and the home of one of Edwardian society’s most notorious society hostesses, Alice Keppel. Flora is torn between passionate love and her duty to her family, but finds herself a pawn in a larger game. That is, until a meeting with a mysterious gentleman unveils the answers that Flora has been searching for her whole life…

As Star learns more of Flora’s incredible journey, she too goes on a voyage of discovery, finally stepping out of the shadow of her sister and opening herself up to the possibility of love.

My Rating:5/5 stars

Disclaimer:I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Plot:

Despite the fact that I have only read three of Riley’s books she is still becoming one of my favorite authors.While her plots are oftentimes formulaic and cliche, there’s just something about them that makes me want to read a thousand of them.While it’s not the most unique books, they’re still pretty darn good.

This is the third book in a series following six sisters who’s adopted father,Pa Salt, has just died. None of these sisters are related by blood and have been all adopted from different part of the worlds. When he dies, he gives each of them a letter which will help them figure out where they came from.  The third one follows Star who discovers the life of a woman named Flora living in the early 1900s While this is a series, you’re able to read the books on their own as standalones though you will miss out on the overall plot of the stories. This is first one in the series that I have read but I do eventually plan on reading the rest.

Honestly the drama in the book was so petty but I live for pettiness. I love historical fictions featuring English drama,at this point I don’t know why I haven’t watched Downtown Abbey yet.Despite the fact that there was a lot of pettiness, it was really interesting and I learnt some interesting facts about English history.

Stories like these aren’t complete without some great plot-twists and I wasn’t disappointed.They weren’t the best but they were still pretty darn good.

Characters

I think my favorite part of  this book were the characters because I really related to them. Star is so similar to me and it was really nice to read a character with a similiar mindset,Flora was also very relatable and it’s always more enjoyable to read a book featuring relatable characters.I also loved all the side characters from the owner to the bookstore that Star works at to  all the historical figures that popped up in Flora’s life. I loved seeing both Star’s and Flora’s journey and really loved seeing Star’s evolution. In the beginning she is very attached to one of her sisters but then gradually she began to realize that the dependance that she had on her sister was unhealthy and began to distance herself a little more which was really nice to see.

Also this is random but I liked the way they casually mentioned sexuality and they even used the word asexual and I’ve like never seen anything like that in an adult book so that was cool. It could’ve been more prominent but it was nonetheless nice.

The Atomic Weight of Love By Elizabeth J Church

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Goodreads Summary:In her sweeping debut novel, Elizabeth J. Church takes us from the World War II years in Chicago to the vast sun-parched canyons of New Mexico in the 1970s as we follow the journey of a driven, spirited young woman, Meridian Wallace, whose scientific ambitions are subverted by the expectations of her era.

In 1941, at seventeen years old, Meridian begins her ornithology studies at the University of Chicago. She is soon drawn to Alden Whetstone, a brilliant, complicated physics professor who opens her eyes to the fundamentals and poetry of his field, the beauty of motion, space and time, the delicate balance of force and energy that allows a bird to fly.

Entranced and in love, Meridian defers her own career path and follows Alden west to Los Alamos, where he is engaged in a secret government project (later known to be the atomic bomb). In married life, though, she feels lost and left behind. She channels her academic ambitions into studying a particular family of crows, whose free life and companionship are the very things that seem beyond her reach. There in her canyons, years later at the dawn of the 1970s, with counterculture youth filling the streets and protests against the war rupturing college campuses across the country, Meridian meets Clay, a young geologist and veteran of the Vietnam War, and together they seek ways to mend what the world has broken.

My Rating:4.5/5 stars

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Plot:

The Manhattan Project has always something that has fascinated, so when I found it that this book portrayed an young ornithologist who follows her husband to Los Alamos I knew that I had to read it.I’m really glad I did because I absolutely loved it! I had no idea that they continued doing research after world war 2 and that they still have a research facility today.This book really focuses more on Meridan and not  anything that her husband does as his research is confidential, but it was nonetheless a really interesting read. I never really thought of  all the wives that followed their husband to Los Alamos, and how a lot of them had to give up their entire career and forgo the years of education and knowledge that they had. They could’ve been just as successful as their husbands and it’s amazing what women in those times sacrificed.

Characters:

I absolutely loved Meridan’s character,loved seeing how she evolved as she got older, loved seeing her struggle. I loved how always upkept her passion for birds, and never let anyone take that away from her.I especially loved seeing all the things she managed to do in her long life.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the whole affair thing, but I did understand its importance and did appreciate the value of it more towards the end of the book.It’s just that I’m never a fan of cheating storylines,regardless of the situation.

I really didn’t like the husband and there were so many moments where I just wanted to scream at him because I hated him so fucking much

I also really loved Meridan’s friendship with her friend May, and it was really tragic to see the way that whole thing ended.