Review: Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

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Under Rose-Tainted Skies (Standalone)
Written by Louise Gornall
Published January, 2017 by Clarion Books
330 pages
Genre: Mental Health, Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis:

At seventeen, Norah has accepted that the four walls of her house delineate her life. She knows that fearing everything from inland tsunamis to odd numbers is irrational, but her mind insists the world outside is too big, too dangerous. So she stays safe inside, watching others’ lives through her windows and social media feed.

But when Luke arrives on her doorstep, he doesn’t see a girl defined by medical terms and mental health. Instead, he sees a girl who is funny, smart, and brave. And Norah likes what he sees.

Their friendship turns deeper, but Norah knows Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can walk beneath the open sky. One who is unafraid of kissing. One who isn’t so screwed up. Can she let him go for his own good—or can Norah learn to see herself through Luke’s eyes?

Review:

Under Rose-Tainted Skies is one of my favorite books of 2017 so far. This book just explains mental illness so beautifully. I’m always incredibly worried that mental health would be treated inappropriately and really be more harmful than helpful. I was honestly shocked about how good this book was. It’s real. It’s raw. And most of all, it’s important. It deals with serious topics such as agoraphobia, anxiety, OCD and self harm. I personally have a very limited understanding of agoraphobia and reading a book about it by an author who suffers from it is incredibly refreshing. I hate when mental health is done incorrectly and this book just gives me so much hope for future books about mental health.

Norah is a great protagonist; she is easy to relate to and care for. If you have anxiety or OCD or know someone who does I think you will definitely see the accuracy of the illnesses depicted. It is not hard to sympathize with Norah’s struggle and feel for her.

I had a lot of feelings for Norah. She’s got so much personality, she feels trapped by her mental health, she mourns the life she used to have, she has dreams for the future, she wants to be with Luke but has no idea how to go about it or if her anxiety and OCD will let her.

One of my favourite part was that, even though there was a love interest and a romantic plot, love did not cure all. Luke is an incredible love interest and is so supportive but he doesn’t attempt to cure her. I can’t even tell you how sick I am of books that deal with mental health being easily solved by love. Love does not cure mental illnesses. Sure, they can definitely help but they do not cure it.

Mental health should never be used as a fun plot point that can be easily solved. Norah is sick when we meet her and by the end, she is still sick but slowly recovering. This is what it’s really like.

I hope this book finds an audience because of its vivid and powerful descriptions of what living with mental illness can be like.

Review: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

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When Dimple Met Rishi (Standalone)
Written by Sandhya Menon
Published May, 2017 by Simon Pulse
380 pages
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis:

A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

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.

Review:

I can’t believe we’ve been blessed with a book that is equally cute as it is culturally diverse. I couldn’t stop smiling while flying through this. This book is probably one of the most diverse and adorable contemporaries I’ve read this year. It’s packed full of Indian references and subtle little quips and it’s just so fucking good!

Dimple Shah has just graduated high school and is about to go to Uni to become a web developer and has no time for romance, tradition or her mother’s dedication to get Dimple married. Dimple Shah is determined, opinionated, and fiercely independent.

Rishi Patel on the other hand is quite the opposite of Dimple, he was traditional, romantic and intensely filial and he’s 100% on board with his parent’s arranged date between himself and dimple. Their first meeting is something straight out of a romcom – filled with miscommunications, twisted fate, and hilarity.

I also really liked how it was a positive story about arranged marriage for Indian cultures! Generally I see it portrayed as very negative, so it’s nice to get this perspective. Plus both sets of parents were lovely, kind, and wanted the best for their children. It’s always refreshing to see parents in YA books not casted as the villains.

This is a very fantastic rom-com. The jokes are actually funny and the romance was just adorable. It just works, you know? Dimple and Rishi are perfect together. I’m also glad it split up to tell both perspectives, because they really both were precious cinnamon rolls and I loved every chapter. The writing had me hooked on every chapter and I truly cared for the characters. I would highly recommend if you’re a fan of heartfelt romantic comedy.

Top 10 “Milk and Honey” Poems

“Milk and Honey” by Rupi Kaur has become one of my favorite books. So I wanted to compiled my favorites.

1.

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2.

I didn’t leave because
I stop loving you
I left because the longer
I stayed the less
I loved myself

3.

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4.

It must hurt to know
I am your most
Beautiful
Regret

5.

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6.

How you love yourself is
How you teach others
To love you

7.

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8.

Losing you
Was the becoming of myself

9.

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10.

The world
Gives you
So much pain
And here you are making gold out of it

-There is nothing purer than that

Review: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

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Ugly Love (Standalone)
Written by Colleen Hoover
Published August, 2014 by Atria Books
337 Pages
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis:

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

Review:

WOOOOOOOOW! This is such an amazing story

It was absolute stunning perfection in every way. My heart is just overflowing with emotions.

I read this book in one sitting, because I couldn’t stop reading it. It was very addictive. I immediately fell for this book on page one. Yeah I know that first page is still a little too early to proclaim the undying love for a book but I instantly felt connected- it was like I’d just stepped right into the story.

If I could ever describe this book in one word it would realistic.

This book was just so realistic. Real life isn’t just all rainbows and flowers and this book shows that. There are harsh things in reality that change us and mold us to become who we are today. Even the littlest thing can change a massive part of us, in Miles’ case, makes us completely block thing and people off.

Tate obviously didn’t have such terrible time in her life like Miles did but I’m sure she had her own problems, and yet she became a massive to him. She did let him use her for sex but she knew was she was doing. You can see how much she deeply cares for miles and it must be awful to see someone so important to you fall apart. I’m proud off her. She was strong, sweet and a great character to experience the story with.

Ugly Love delivers a reading experience rife with heart and hurt. Quiet in agony and loud with emotions. Expect to feel everything.  I couldn’t have loved this story more and I highly recommend.

Review: Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Heartless (Standalone)
Written by Marissa Meyer18584855
Published November, 2016 by Pan Macmillan
464 Pages
Genre: Fantasy, Re-tellings
Rating: ★★★

Synopsis:

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

Review:

This is my first ever Marissa Meyer and I have yet to read the Lunar Chronicles. But this book literally won me over, although there are times where I felt that I was dragging myself to finish this book. I still was a fun read.

There are a few things this book didn’t sit well for me. First, was Wonderland itself (specifically hearts). I just don’t get why Cath’s mother would fat-shame her own daughter, and force her to marriage that she clearly does not want. Like C’mon, it’s wonderland. I just found it too historical, which I wasn’t that keen on. And also, it just felt so unmagical and so rigid.

Second, was the pacing of the story. The pacing was very slow and it can be a bit tedious at times. I actually heard that this was also most people’s complaint with this book. You see the plot was mostly about Catherine not wanting to marry the King of Hearts which does get really repetitive and boring.

Now, Heartless wasn’t all complaints and disappointment. I actually really did enjoyed reading it, despite my reservations. The ending completely won me over, it was intense. I didn’t know what was going to happen next or who was going to die. I loved seeing what happened to Catherine that turned her into the beheading crazy Queen of Hearts that we all know.

While I did have a few problems with this book, overall I still found it to be quite an enjoyable read. I am still pretty upset that this isn’t going to be a series, I would really love to see more of Cath’s adventure but given the way it ended, I understand why it’s a standalone.

Nevertheless, I would still recommend reading “Heartless” if you are willing to look pass the slow pacing but if you aren’t a fan of slow book and quickly loses patience then maybe give this one a skip.