ARC Review: There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon

book review

There’s something sweet(ie) about this book!

There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon follows two athletic Indian-There's Something About SweetieAmerican teenagers who develop a romantic relationship despite cultural and societal expectations. Ashish Patel finds himself heartbroken after his first love cheats on him. Despite his reservations, he asks his parents to set him up with an Indian-American girl. Enter Sweetie Nair, a top-notch track star whose mom opposes the match since she believes her daughter weighs too much. As a result, Sweetie becomes determined to prove her mother wrong.

Sandhya Menon’s books have been hit-or-miss for me. While I enjoyed When Dimple Met Rishi, it lacked the spark to make it one of my favorite contemporaries. On the other hand, I did not enjoy From Twinkle, With Love at all due to unlikable characters and an overdramatic plot. Going into There’s Something About Sweetie, I was not sure what to expect. I’m happy to say this book exceeded my expectations and ranks as my favorite among this author’s books.

I loved both Sweetie and Ashish because their personalities greatly differed from the characters in Menon’s other stories. While I enjoyed Dimple’s headstrong personality and Rishi’s gentlemanly attitude, I found Twinkle and Sahil to be watered down versions of those two characters and less likable. Sweetie possesses the same strong beliefs as Dimple, but comes across a lot more reserved and intuitive to others’ feelings. Rishi completely differs from Rishi or Sahil as he is portrayed as more “popular” and “cool.” I dislike when I read books by the same author and all of the main characters and love interests across the stories read the same. I appreciated that Sweetie and Ashish were vastly different than Menon’s other characters to set them apart.

If you have read Menon’s other two books, they follow a fairly similar formula. Each character has their passion, which is mentioned, but never as integral to the story as it may seem. I would say this is only half true for this book. Based on the synopsis, Sweetie’s track and “Sassy Sweetie Project” is mentioned, but there is a large focus on the dates that she goes on with Ashish as well. I would say the book holds true to the synopsis in this case. While the largest focus is placed on the arranged dates for Sweetie and Ashish, there is a large focus on Sweetie and how her weight is viewed through Indian culture as well. I think this will satisfy readers who were put off by the inaccurate synopses for some of Menon’s other books.

There were several other aspects of this book that I really appreciated. In the author’s note at the beginning of the story, Menon mentioned how her weight has fluctuated through the years and she has had vastly different experiences based on her weight at the time. She also mentioned that Sweetie describes herself as “fat” in the book because it is only a negative word because of societal connotations. However, she also acknowledges that some people, especially those bullied using this specific word, may feel uncomfortable when they see this word in the story and they are entitled to that feeling. I always appreciate reading about an author’s connection to a story and I thought Menon’s note before the story was incredibly thoughtful to those who may be triggered by the discrimination that Sweetie faces, especially since it often comes from close family members within this story. Just a warning: While this book does have a prevailing message of loving your body that although authentically portrays Sweetie’s experience, it may be extremely uncomfortable for some readers who struggle with body image. Since there is a large amount of negative commentary regarding Sweetie’s weight, you may want to skip this book if this triggers you.

Another aspect of this book that I really enjoyed was learning more about Indian culture. Sweetie and Ashish go on arranged dates by Ashish’s parents that are described as “typically Indian.” It was interesting to learn more about Indian culture and its influence in Indian-Americans’ lives. I think the two main characters also provided other perspectives that we have not seen yet in Menon’s books. Prior to this story, Ashish only dated white girls. Sweetie does not fit the stereotypical mold of the “perfect” Indian girl. It was interesting to read the conversations surrounding these topics in the story.

Overall, I really enjoyed There’s Something About Sweetie. I really liked the main characters and learning about a culture different than my own. I give this book four out of five stars.

 

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

 

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Sadie by Courtney Summers Review

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Sadie by Courtney Summers follows Sadie who embarks on a journey to find the murderer of her dead sister, who she raised due to her mother’s lack of involvement. Fascinated by the story, a radio host follows Sadie’s tracks in hopes to find Sadie who has been missing for a long time.

While I am not a huge thriller/mystery fan, I decided to pick up Sadie due to hearing many positive reviews. I was also interested in the format, which combines Sadie’s story as well as a podcast that chronicles her journey. Although I find Sadie an interesting and enjoyable story, it did not live up to the hype for me.

Overall, Sadie is an interesting and complex character. After surviving some traumatic experiences in her childhood and raising her younger sister, Sadie presents herself as tough and serious. However, readers also get to see a more vulnerable side of Sadie through several of her interactions with other people she meets throughout her journey. However, my favorite aspect of Sadie’s character is how realistic and relatable she is as a person. There are so many Sadies out there in the world that I think would resonate with her story.

As for the format of the book, it was a bit hit-or-miss for me. I really liked the concept of following the story through Sadie’s eyes and a podcast, but for me, it did not always enhance my reading experiences. Since the podcast’s hosts follow Sadie’s footsteps, some information is repeated throughout the story. While readers sometimes see the consequences of Sadie’s actions in the book, I felt like some of the podcast did not add anything to the story after you read it from Sadie’s perspective. Working towards the climax of the story, I sometimes wanted to push through the podcast aspect and get back to Sadie’s perspective. While I understand why the podcast was necessary for some aspects of the story, I think it could have been incorporated more successfully into the story.

I also think some readers may find the story predictable and the ending as flat. While I do not read this genre often, I was still able to figure out the mystery fairly early on in the story. While I continued the book due to my investment in Sadie as a character, other readers who frequently read this genre in favor of a less predictable storyline. Additionally, some readers may find the ending of this book as unfulfilling. I understand the author’s purpose behind the ending in the story, however, some readers may feel disappointed by the somewhat open ending.

Overall, Sadie is an interesting and overall enjoyable read. While I found the story somewhat predictable, this story still stuck with me after reading. I could not help but think of all the people with a similar story to Sadie in the world. I would recommend this book to people looking for more of an impactful mystery than a true mystery or thriller. I give this book three out of five stars.

 

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99 Percent Mine Review

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I’m 99% sure this book won’t end up on my favorites list this year.

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne follows Darcy Barrett, a tough bartender who enjoys photography and traveling the world. After inheriting a cottage from her 99 Percent Minegrandmother, however, she finds herself back in her hometown. When Darcy’s brother insists on renovating the cottage to sell, he recruits his longtime best friend Tom and Darcy’s longtime crush, Tom to complete the project.

I read The Hating Game by Sally Thorne last year after countless recommendations online and ended up really enjoying it. In fact, it motivated me to pick up other new adult and adult books last year that I really enjoyed. As a result, I automatically put 99 Percent Mine on my to-buy list for 2019. Unfortunately for me, I did not enjoy this story nearly as much as The Hating Game. That being said, there are some good aspects of this book that will motivate me to pick up more books from this author in the future.

Let’s start off with the main character, Darcy. If you read The Hating Game, Darcy is the complete opposite of Lucy. Darcy is a no-nonsense girl who can put the rowdiest patrons of a biker bar in their place. Darcy is a girl who knows exactly what, and who, she wants. She never backs down from a challenge or anyone who tries to put her down. While I relate more to Lucy in The Hating Game, I still appreciate Darcy as a character. I think all of her actions in the book aligned well with her motivations. I also enjoy that Sally Thorne created a main character drastically different from her first novel because it shows she can write a wide variety of characters.

On to the romance! This aspect of the book fell flat for me. For some reason, I found it hard to connect with the relationship between Darcy and Tom. While the two had some chemistry, it never really popped off the page like with Lucy and Josh from The Hating Game. For me, the banter was not as entertaining. Additionally, since this book takes place over a shorter time span, you do not see as much of their relationship develop on the page. I also did not enjoy the whole “Tom might be still engaged” plotline that spanned the first half of the book.

Overall, 99 Percent Mine failed to create the same spark that The Hating Game did for me. I think I set my expectations too high going into this book, which may have impacted my reading experience. While 99 Percent Mine is a quick and easy read, it is not particularly memorable or a book that’s on the top of my re-read list. I give this book three out of five stars.

 

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Cold Day in the Sun Review

book review

This book may be called Cold Day in the Sun, but it will warm up your heart.

Cold Day in the Sun by Sara Biren follows Holland “Dutch” Delviss, a female Cold Day in the Sunhockey player whose team may be chosen for a widely televised hockey event. However, her team’s chance rests on her ability play up her status as the only female on the team. While some people in town show their disdain for Holland’s involvement in the team, she finds support from one of the team’s captain, Wes.

I’m a huge hockey fan, so I was instantly excited when I saw this book on NetGalley. I quickly requested it and was thrilled to read it once approved. From this book, I expected a cute romance as well as some conversations surrounding the discrimination women face when they enter a male-dominated sport. While I enjoyed this quick and fun read, there were some aspects that needed some improvement to make this book a stand-out for me.

I think my favorite aspect of this book was the relationship between Holland and Wes. While I do think their banter was sometimes over the top and their relationship changed to quickly from “hate” to “love”, I generally liked them both as characters and saw the chemistry between them. Their relationship also added to the conversation this book brought up about the discrimination women face in male-dominated sports due to some of the barriers they faced in their relationship, which I appreciated.

I also enjoyed the main character, Holland. She is willing to call out anyone who makes a sexist comment towards her or other people. While she sometimes doubts herself and her abilities, this makes her extremely relatable to other young female readers who face the same discrimination as Holland.

That being said, there were a few other aspects of the novel that fell flat for me, namely the big game constantly emphasized throughout the novel. The actual game comprises very little of the book and the ending left me very unsatisfied. The hockey games often took a large back seat to the romance, journalism, or music aspects of the novel. While I appreciated seeing some of Holland’s other interests, I think it caused some of the other aspects of the story that I was really excited about not be well developed. The game had a lot of build-up, but not a lot of reward.

I also have mixed feelings towards how the feminist aspects played out in this novel. I appreciated how even though Holland played on the boy’s team instead of the girl’s team, she didn’t put down the talent and drive of the girl’s teams. However, I wished more aspects of this part of the story were fleshed out. There were people who made comments on the ice or members of the town that I wished were wrapped up in a more satisfying way. I appreciated that whenever a sexist comment was made, it was immediately shut down. Still, I wanted some big moment at the end to wrap up all the commentary provided in this novel, but I felt like I never got that.

Overall, Cold Day in the Sun is a great sports romance read that is perfect for fans of Miranda Kenneally’s Hundred Oak series. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys hockey or young adult books that heavily focus on the romance. I give this book three out of four stars.

 

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February Reading-Wrap Up

monthly wrap up.png

This month, my reading was pretty average. Out of the five books I read, I rated four of the books as three-star reads. However, I did have one five-star read. Overall, I did enjoy all the books that I read this month, even though several weren’t exactly memorable. Here’s what I read and my thoughts on them:

  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

This book actually started out fairly slow for me. I hear a lot of hype going into this book and midway through I had a feeling this would only be an average read for me. However, the ending completely changed my mind. The ending of this book was extremely emotional, raw, and real. The end definitely redeemed the book for me and it ended up being a five-star read for me.

  • The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (★ ★ ★)

The Kiss Quotient

The Kiss Quotient is a quick, fun read. However, it lacked the emotional depth for me to invest in the characters and their relationship. While this was an enjoyable read, it definitely wasn’t the most memorable for me.

  • 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne (★ ★ ★)

99 Percent Mine

I was so excited for 99 Percent Mine since I loved The Hating Game. I was slightly disappointed with this book because I did not love it as nearly as much as The Hating Game. Like with The Kiss Quotient, I never connected with the characters and as a result, their relationship fell flat for me. While a fun and quick read, it did not live up to my expectations.

  • Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss by Kasie West (★ ★ ★)

Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss

Kasie West is an auto-buy contemporary author for me and I was excited to read about Lacey, who appeared in my favorite book by this author, Love, Life, and the List. However, I’m not a big fan of books involving celebrity and movie sets. Sadly, this book was no exception. Sometimes, Kasie West’s books can be a little all over the place in terms of plot. Unfortunately, this book followed that format. While cute, the relationship also isn’t my favorite out of her books.

  • Sadie by Courtney Summers (★ ★ ★)

Sadie

I’m not a big mystery/thriller type of person, but I heard nothing but positive reviews about this book. I think the hype of this book took away from some of my enjoyment. I understand the message this book wanted to convey, but I found the ending unsatisfying. Plus, sometimes the podcast aspect which was really relevant and unique, bored me because it was like playing catch up on already known information.

 

What was the best book that you read in February?

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Places in Books that I Would Love to Visit

top ten

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is places in books that you would love to visit. Here are my choices:

  • Colby Beach from multiple Sarah Dessen novels

Along for the Ride

Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite young adult authors and Colby Beach is a staple location in many of her books. I would love to shop at Clementine’s, pick up some snacks, or eat the legendary onion rings and pie.

  • Meade Creamery from Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian

Stay Sweet

Meade Creamery not only has amazing ice cream, but boasts a long history of a female-run business. I would love to show my support for Meade’s Creamy by purchasing some delicious ice cream!

  • Velaris from A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)

Who wouldn’t want to visit the City of Starlight? I would love to visit this city to see some of my favorite characters.

  • The Rampion from Cress by Marissa Meyer

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)

Thorne is one of my favorite characters from The Lunar Chronicles, so I would love to chance to travel on his ship.

  • Court of Faerie from The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)

I would not want to necessarily visit the Court of Faerie. However, I would love to be a fly on the wall to learn all the secrets about the people inside.

  • France from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)

After reading this book, I wanted nothing more than to go to a boarding school in France. Perkins included a lot of descriptions about places and food that I couldn’t help but wish to travel there!

  • Ireland from Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch

Love & Luck

Jenna Evans Welch does an amazing job describing scenery and this book was no exception. I felt like I was in Ireland while reading this book. However, I’ve never actually been to Ireland, so this book makes me want to travel there and experience it for myself.

  • Greece from Sophomore Year is Greek to Me by Meredith Zeitlin

Sophomore Year Is Greek to Me

I loved how much this book focused on the setting, culture, and family. Like with Love & Luck, I felt like I was actually there! Now, I need to actually travel there and experience it for myself.

  • Italy from Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Love & Gelato

Like with Love & Luck, Jenna Evans Welch did an amazing job describing the location and culture of Italy in this book. Her books always make me want to travel somewhere new!

  • Genovia from The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries, #1)

I absolutely loved The Princess Diaries when I was younger. I always wanted to visit Genovia!

 

What are some places in books that you would love to visit?

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The Sunshine Blogger Award

Book Tag

Thanks for nominating me Books, Life, and Other Oddities!

The Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules.

The Questions:

  • What is your current read?

Right now, I am reading Sadie by Courtney Summers. I’m not typically interested in mysteries/thrillers, but I have heard nothing but good reviews about this book, so I decided to pick it up! I’m not very far in, but I think the podcast concept is interesting and very relevant.

  • How many books have you read this year so far?

I have read seven books so far: Snow in Love by various YA authors, Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills, The Wicked King by Holly Black, Eleanor Oliphant in Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang, 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne, and Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss by Kasie West.

  • What’s your favorite read of 2018?

It’s so hard to pick just one! The top five books in my annual Brittany Awards were Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West, The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord, Save the Date by Morgan Matson, Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian, and How to Say I Love You Out Loud by Karole Cozzo.

  • What’s your most anticipated read of 2019?

My most anticipated read of 2019 if The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen. Her books were a staple during my middle school/high school years and she’s the author of my favorite young adult novel, Just Listen. This book sounds like classic Sarah Dessen compared to her more recent releases, so I’m very excited to pick this one up!

  • Do you read with music or read silently?

I cannot read with music! It’s too difficult for me to follow along and concentrate on the book I’m reading.

  • Long books or short books?

I like books in the middle! A lot of times, I’ve found that long books have a lot of unnecessary parts. Meanwhile, books that are short often leave me feeling unsatisfied. However, there are always exceptions!

  • What’s your favorite spot to read?

I like to read on the couch or in my bed!

  • What’s your favorite type of cake?

Everyone makes fun of me for this, but I really, really love carrot cake! However, I mostly get cookie cakes for my birthday (does that really count as cake?) because I have a twin sister. Since we share a birthday, we share a cake and cookie cake is something we can both agree on.

  • Do you pronounce scones as ‘skuns’ or ‘scowns’?

It rhymes with tone the way that I say it!

  • Favourite mythical creature?

My favorite mythical creature is a unicorn! This is widely known by friends and family who always put my presents in unicorn bags, get me unicorn presents, or make group chats that make me the unicorn emoji in the title.

  • What would be your dream job?

Currently, I am working in my dream job! I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was in elementary school. Now, I am an elementary special education teacher.

My Questions:

  • What is your favorite genre to read?
  • What is your favorite television show or Netflix show?
  • What was your most recent five star read?
  • What was the most recent movie you watched?
  • What genre do you hope to read more from in 2019?
  • What kind of music do you like?
  • How many books do you want to read in 2019?
  • Where is one place you would like to visit?
  • What is your favorite type of blog post to write?
  • What is your favorite animal?
  • What was your favorite subject in school?

I tag…

 

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Book Review: The Wicked King by Holly Black

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Second book slump? The Wicked King’s never heard of her. 💁

The Wicked King by Holly Black picks up after the events of The Cruel PriThe Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)nce, the first book in The Folk of the Air series. Jude and Cardan navigate the politics of the faerie world, but Jude worries that someone may betray her. Jude investigates to discover the person before it is too late.

I read The Cruel Prince after it was released last year (see my review here). After finishing A Court of Thorns and Roses, I was eager to read more fantasy books set in a faerie world. While I was impressed with Holly Black’s writing style, I was disappointed that the book did not feature as much politics as I expected. Additionally, the characters, which is a major hook for me into a story, did not manage to stand out amongst other YA fantasy books. However, the cliff hanger ending convinced me to carry on with the series.

I am glad that I continued on with this series because, in my opinion, The Wicked King was much more enjoyable and interesting than The Cruel Prince. While I do stand by some of my claims (which I will get into later) from the first book, I found the areas that were lacking in the first book for me were much improved in the second installment. Overall, this was one of my favorite books of the year thus far and I am eagerly anticipating the third book in this series. Now, onto the review!

As for the main characters, Jude and Cardan, I found them much more complex and fun to read about than in the first book. With Jude, I found there was a lot more telling than showing with her intellect regarding politics in the first book. However, this was the complete opposite in The Wicked King. As for Cardan, I found that we saw a lot of his awful actions in the first book, but did not see as much of his true manipulation abilities. Since Jude is closer to Cardan in this book, readers see that Cardan’s cruelty extends far more than his actions, which leads to an incredible cliff hanger at the end of the story.

Regarding the “relationship” between Jude and Cardan, it’s a little complicated. For me, Jude and Cardan are by no means “couple goals” due to the way they manipulate each other which one of my biggest gripes with The Cruel Prince because I felt like that wasn’t clear. However, I think this book makes it more clear that Jude and Cardan are very manipulative people who are not going to change by simply being in a relationship as their personalities are much more developed in this book than The Cruel Prince. While Jude and Cardan are not an OTP for me, how they act in this “relationship” is true to character. That being said, if you do not like seeing unhealthy relationships in this book, it may be one to skip.

Looking at the pacing and writing style, I could not put this book down. Holly Black has a writing style that is clear and concise with her word choice. So many times, I found myself using the dictionary feature of my Kindle because I loved the word choices she used. Her pacing was also spot-on. There were so many twist and turns, sub-plots, and surprises that kept me turning the pages. You see so much for of the faerie world and customs in this story, but it is woven so well together that nothing feels like an info dump. Plus, THAT CLIFFHANGER! How can I wait one more year to find out what happens next?

Overall, I really enjoyed my reading experience with The Wicked King. The characterization, world-building, and pacing were all that I was looking for when I picked this book up. I give The Wicked King five out of five stars.

 

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Books I Read in 2018

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Whew! After reading a ton of books during Christmas time, I finished reading almost 70 books this year. I set my goal at 50 books, which I wasn’t sure I would complete due to my hectic schedule. However, I completed my goal I believe sometime in the fall and managed to squeeze in some more books as well. Here’s to some more great reading in the new year!

Below I’ve listed all the books that I read in 2018, in the order in which I read them. Any book with a review currently posted will have a link on the book’s title. Titles marked with a * appeared on one of my favorite lists (The Brittany Awards) in 2018 or, if it is a re-read, appeared in a favorites list of a previous year. Any title marked with a ^ means it was featured as one of my least favorite books of the year.

Top Ten Tuesday: Winter 2018 TBR

blogmas

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is your Winter 2018 TBR. During the winter, I usually ask for some books or Amazon gift cards for Christmas. As a result, I gain a lot of new books to my TBR! Plus, there are so many winter releases that I need to read as soon as they are released. Here are ten books that I plan to read during the winter:

  • Archenemies by Marissa Meyer

Archenemies (Renegades, #2)

This is one book that I know I will be getting for Christmas. Marissa Meyer is one of my favorite authors and I am excited to continue her newest series. The first book in this series garnered mixed reviews, however, I really enjoyed it. I’m excited to learn more about the characters and see what direction the plot takes. I haven’t read any reviews for this book in the series, so I’m not exactly sure what to expect.

  • Wild Card by Marie Lu

Wildcard (Warcross, #2)

I read War Cross last year and I did enjoy it, even if it’s not one of my favorites of all time. This is the first Marie Lu series that I’ve read. I really enjoy her writing style and I’m interested to see what direction this story goes. I saw a lot of hype surrounding people initially getting ARCs, but I haven’t read any reviews following that so I’m not sure what to expect with this book.

  • Snow in Love by Melissa De La Cruz, Nic Stone, Aimee Friendman, and Kasie West

Snow in Love

I wanted this book the moment I saw it on Goodreads. This book I want to read before Christmas since many of the stories take place around different winter holidays. Kasie West is one of my favorite contemporary authors, so I’m most excited for her story. I haven’t had the best reading experiences with Melissa De La Cruz’s books, so I’m excited to read something new by her to see if I enjoy this one. I haven’t read anything by Aimee Friendman or Nic Stone, so it will be cool to check out two new to me authors as well.

  • The Wicked King by Holly Black

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)

I saw a post on Twitter about how it seems like everyone has already read an ARC of this book. I am not one of those lucky people, so I will be excited to pick this up when it’s released in January. While I had mixed feelings towards the first book, the ending really drew me in which makes me want to see what happens next.

  • Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys 

Salt to the Sea

I’ve had this book on my TBR since it was released in 2016. I tend to read heavier topic books in winter months, so I definitely want to finish this before the spring and summer otherwise I will probably put it of again. I have loved every book that I’ve read by Ruta Sepetys and I have heard amazing things about this one, so I just need to finally sit down and read it.

  • 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne

99 Percent Mine

I read The Hating Game this past year and really enjoyed it. It was one of my first treads into the new adult genre and it made me want to pick up more by the author. While the plot of this book doesn’t necessarily interest me as much as The Hating Game, I’m hoping it will have the same fun and fast-paced style which will want to keep me reading.

  • China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan

China Rich Girlfriend (Crazy Rich Asians, #2)

I read Crazy Rich Asians this past year. While I enjoyed it, it was difficult for me to initially get into the writing style. However, after watching the movie, it reinforced that I really do enjoy the characters in this series and I want to see what happens to them. I’ve heard Astrid is a major character in this book. She was my favorite character in Crazy Rich Asians, so I definitely want to pick up this book in the near future to see how her story continues.

  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

A Curse So Dark and Lonely

I’ve read two contemporary books by Brigid Kemmerer, Letters to the Lost and More Than We Can Tell, and absolutely loved both of them. She does a great job of making deep and complex main characters as well as an impactful story. When I saw A Curse so Dark and Lonely on Goodreads, it was a no brainer to add it to my TBR. I’m excited to see this author’s work in fantasy. If her world-building is as superb as her characterization, I know I won’t be disappointed. I love fairytale retellings, so I definitely will be reading this soon after its release.

  • Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss by Kasie West

Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss

Like I mentioned earlier, Kasie West is one of my favorite contemporary authors. There are very few authors who I automatically buy their books after they are released. I trust Kasie West to provide a fun book that I can read in one sitting and this one seems like no exception. Although I’m generally unimpressed with books involving acting or people trying to be famous, I’m hoping this Kasie West book can help change my mind.

  • A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sarah Bernard

A Quiet Kind of Thunder

I actually received a copy of A Quiet Kind of Thunder from my sister for my birthday back in September. However, I haven’t had the chance to read it yet. This book sounds right up my alley. One of the main characters is selectively mute and the other main character is deaf and they develop a romantic relationship. As a special education teacher, I love reading books that feature characters with disabilities and represent them accurately. I’ve head nothing but positive reviews for this book, so it’s close to the top of my TBR even if it is the final book on this list.

What books are on your winter TBR?