Contemporary · Romance

Perfect Ten by L. Philips

I wanted to read this because (1) the cover is cute, and (2) it looks like a fluffy romcom, which I prefer in movies but sometimes still read in books. It didn’t QUITE live up to my expectations, though – there’s a slight magical element to it which I’m okay with but was surprised by at first, and Sam Raines, the protagonist, isn’t really someone I was rooting for all that much. I sympathised with his dilemma – having broken up with the only other (eligible) gay guy at school, he had no one else to date – but his list of ten traits (that he wants in a boyfriend) was just too shallow for me.

Of course, I was expecting him to learn that there are more important things than looks or money or talent, since this was a romcom. I was ready to overlook his list. The way he treated his best friends and potential boyfriends, though, almost had me DNF-ing this one. I’m glad that I persisted, as by the end Perfect Ten revealed itself as more than a fluffy romcom, and Sam Raines learned more than the fact that there’s no such thing as a “perfect ten” – he also learned that there was more to love than the romance, and that a healthy relationship requires work. Now that, I truly appreciate.

Note: I received a review copy from Times Distribution Malaysia through work; thank you, Jacky!

Romance · Science Fiction

The Last Beginning by Lauren James

I was very eager to start on The Last Beginning, which is a companion novel to, rather than a sequel of The Next Together. While the first book was a reincarnation/romance SF story, this one focuses on time travel, which I am more into. The main character is Clove Sutcliffe, someone from a future where The Next Together‘s “present-time” Katherine and Matthew had long ago vanished without a trace.

A relation of theirs, Clove was determined to find Katherine and Matthew, especially when she discovered that they had been reincarnated at key moments in history. As her scientist parents’ experiments in building a working time machine was pending for approval for human trials, Clove decided to sneak away to become the first time traveler, and find out what really happened to Katherine and Matthew. Continue reading “The Last Beginning by Lauren James”

Romance · Science Fiction

The Next Together by Lauren James

“I don’t think there are any true heroes. Just people who ignore their survival instincts long enough to do something incredibly foolhardy.” – The Next Together, Lauren James

This is a book that my friend Rainbow, who happens to be one of the sales reps I work with, asked me to read. I read the synopsis and didn’t feel like reading more – I did have a phase in which I enjoyed stories about reincarnation, but I just wasn’t sold on the whole “reincarnating lovers who are meant to be together in every lifetime” thing. The words on the cover put me off – “how many times can you lose the one you love?” and “a powerful and epic debut about the timelessness of first love.” I wrote this off as a romance and didn’t think much about it until I finally picked it up to read. Oh, how wrong I was.

It was powerful, all right. And epic. And very romantic. But it’s not really about that, or just that.  Continue reading “The Next Together by Lauren James”

Fantasy · Romance

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

While I’ve been somewhat interested in this book from the get-go, it took me so long to read because of a few negative reviews. I wasn’t thinking that I would never read it, but at the same time I never put this title – and later, this trilogy – higher up my priority list. There are so many books to read, after all. But then I started reading other series I’ve been putting off, like the Lunar Chronicles and the Raven Cycle, and I loved both so much, that I began to think I should start on the Grisha trilogy. Then Six of Crows was published and I got hooked on that particular duology, because I love heist stories and I love tricksters and I love good ensemble casts (and I love Jesper/Wylan!)

It was only when I heard that The Language of Thorns was to be published that I finally decided to get Shadow and Bone in audiobook, and try it that way. Continue reading “Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo”

Contemporary · Romance

I Believe In A Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

Korean American teen Desi Lee is student body president and a varsity soccer star, and she’s planning to get into Stanford – because she believes that as long as she has a plan for it, she can achieve anything she wants. Unfortunately, she doesn’t seem to have a plan when it comes to flirting and romance.

Every single one of her attempts end up in disaster, until the day she sits through an episode of K-Drama with her drama-obsessed dad. Noticing the romantic tropes that bring the characters together, Desi creates her own foolproof plan for Continue reading “I Believe In A Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo”

Contemporary · Romance

Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown

After True Letters From A Fictional Life, which I had to admit I did not expect to like as much as I did, I was lucky enough to read Georgia Peaches, which also surprised me by having a lot more depth than I expected.

The main character, Jo Gordon, is almost the stereotypical lesbian – indie af and hangs out with a very alternative crowd, with a best friend who is probably also a bad influence on her. But that isn’t all that she is – she is also a Good Christian, capital letters and all, and her single father is a successful radio pastor who accepts her as she is… until he meets a woman and falls in love, moving his work (and daughter) to Rome, Georgia. And because Rome is a very conservative small town, and he wants to please his new in-laws, he asks Jo to walk back into her closet. Continue reading “Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown”

Fantasy · Romance

Books About Tricksters: Crooked Kingdom, Thick As Thieves, Empire of Storms

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Awesome heist story, with a trickster god (not literally) of an anti-hero? Check. Kickass female characters who really deserve their own books? Check. Romantic subplots that gives you ALL THE FEELS without being annoying or taking over the story? Check. Diverse characters? Check, check and check. A character that might have annoyed me some in the first book but I feel oh so protective about in this sequel? CHECK. Continue reading “Books About Tricksters: Crooked Kingdom, Thick As Thieves, Empire of Storms”