Like You Love Me – Adriana Locke
Holden is in need of a wife to look like he is starting a family for a job position he wants. Sophie needs 5k to save her Bed and Breakfast. When the two cross paths, he proposes an idea. Both of them get married for convenience for each other. He can pay the taxes for the B&B and she can be his wife. She agrees to the terms as long as he agrees to her terms as well. They immediately get married and the interviewer comes into town. He offers Holden a higher-up spot in the company. However, the mere thought of that breaks his heart because that would mean leaving Sophie. He has to make a decision to go with what his heart wants or what is right for him to do.
This was utterly adorable and so cute to read. I was hooked from the first to the last page. I loved the writing and the whole plot. The way that events unfolded was perfectly paced and there were a lot of raw emotions that I felt as I was reading this. I rooted for Holden and Sophie because they were perfect together. I hated that they were like not seeing the bigger picture and had to learn the hard way. I found myself smiling throughout reading this novel. Love happens in the most unusual and unexpected ways. I highly recommend this novel. Like go and find this book and read it.
A Pho Love Story – Loan Le
Romance, comedy, rival pho restaurants, Vietnamese-Americans, young adult, fiction.
Linh and Bao’s families are rival pho restaurants. They are always competing against each other to the point where sometimes nasty words are said. Sometimes rumors are spread that are lies. Linh and Bao try to have a relationship and navigate the rough waters of their families’ rivalry. Both vowing to make it work for both of them and their families.
I was curious about this book as I was looking at the new YA section and wanted to read something different so I picked this book and some others. I liked this. I felt that this is a great and better replacement of Romeo and Juliet with a happier ending with more diverse characters. We need more diverse books in the public school curriculum that aren’t just old racist dudes. I’m sure that this is much more enriching than a tale of two people deciding to end it all if they can’t be together. These two people, Linh and Bao, work it out between their families. I can see this happening in real life and love that there is food involved. I never really tried pho but now I want to try it. Besides, I love both characters and feel for them. Go get this book and read it.
Love is a Revolution – Renee Watson
Love, dating, self-acceptance, social action, Jamacian Americans, Harlem, New York, Young Adult, POC representation, fiction.
Nala goes to an open mic night with her cousin for her birthday. When one of the poet activists, Tye, goes on stage her attention is drawn to him. She makes herself more relatable to him by omitting lies and she struggles to keep them straight as she is falling more and more for Tye. Her relationship with her cousin isn’t easy either and Nala learns to stop and reflect. She needs to love herself first and in turn love Tye.
My heart vibed with what the author wanted to express through this narrative. Love can really change and inspire a person to love themselves better. I loved the place and this felt so real that I was there. I was witnessing everything happening with Nala and her interactions. Everyone needs to go pick up this book and read this novel. I can’t express how much I love this book. I did borrow this from the library and I am definitely going to buy the book. Then most likely read it again because it was so good. I finished this book in one day and it’s that type of book that can be read in one sitting because the pacing is perfect. I do not see enough hype but this book deserves so much more hype.
Shatter Me – Tahereh Mafi
Science fiction, abilities, love, dictatorship, soldiers, young adult, fiction.
Juliette has a condition where she touches someone or someone touches her, they experience immense pain and suffering. Her parents decided to surrender her to a mental health institute where she is left to rot. She counts the days until she is given a roommate who doesn’t understand why she’s so distant. She remembers him, he was Adam, a fellow teen who also had family troubles. A few days later, she is taken out and into a new facility and meets Warner who wants her to use her power to hurt the world just as the world had hurt her. She refuses until Warner gives her a trial she must complete. Adam tells her that he knew of her all along and wanted to rescue her. She faces a decision and knows the clear path of what she must do.
I had read this as I recall in middle school. I decided to buy the book to reread it since my old copy was not salvageable. This book really blew my mind in ways I can’t comprehend. There were dystopian elements and a lot of mental health awareness. We follow the character into a positive development. She refuses to become a weapon for evil because she knows her powers are too dangerous. Even though the world had hurt her and she was given an option to pay back with revenge she refused. I loved the main character and the potential love interest Adam. Just Warner creeped me out a lot. I love the author. She writes beautifully and has a unique style of storytelling that is unlike any other. I do recommend this novel. This is a one sitting type of reading and there is a series that I might continue to read in the foreseeable future.
The Love Square – Laura Jane Williams
Romance, comedy, LGBTQ+, fiction.
After a string of bad luck with guys, Penny finally finds one guy that isn’t horrible. Later she falls for another guy. Also, another guy she falls in love with her. So far, her count is three incredible guys. All three want to date her. Her heart is torn between the three and she has to decide only one guy to get within the end.
I tried to remain vague when doing this review because there was a lot going on in this book. So much romance and the protagonist trying to fit herself with only one love interest. She felt realistic and so did the love interests. I wanted to date her myself. Lol. The writing is excellently done, and I found that the plot moved at a perfect pace. I didn’t want to finish this book but now after reading this, I want to read more romance novels. I always thought they were smut (there are some that are very smutty) and no plot. Some do have plots like this one. I can’t wait to find any more of this author. I do recommend this book because this is LGBTQ+ friendly and that this was simply perfect.
Whisper Me a Love Song – Eku Takeshima
Manga, romance, LGBTQ+, fiction.
Himari is a high school freshman attending the school’s band performance when she listens to the lead singer sing. In that moment, she falls in love with the lead singer and goes to tell the lead singer about her feelings. Yuri, the lead singer of the band, can’t believe she wasn’t the only one. Both fell in love at first sight.
This manga shares how it is like to fall in love at first sight. Realistically speaking there are so many types of love and this manga gives insight of that. This was sweet, and I certainly loved the characters. The artwork is beautiful and unbelievably detailed. I would want to find more of the series because I am deeply invested.
Love and Lockdown – Alyce Caswell
Romance, lockdowns, fiction.
Angela is struggling to make ends meet and with her relationships. Collins is trying to make the best of the lockdown as well as trying to come up with a solution for his DJ show. Angela tries to convince her boyfriend to let her stay, but she doesn’t want to tell him the true reason. When Collins sees Angela in distress, he offers her a room rent free at his loft. She takes the offer, and he is delighted to have the woman he was crushing on for a while to be living with him. Collins introduces a new aspect of his life to his audience they demand more. Just as when life doesn’t get anymore complicated, Angela confesses that she and Collins might have the virus because her ex-boyfriend and they must be quarantined together. A lot of can happen in close quarters.
I really enjoyed this novel. It had felt very comedic rather than romance. This made fun of the roommate romance trope and used it. Like it was breaking the fourth wall. I loved that honestly. I couldn’t put the book down or rather in the format I was reading this was an eBook on my tablet. I’m glad that this book touched upon a lot of topics that occur during a pandemic and when we all are on a lockdown. It is essential to like to think of the positives rather than the negatives. To always be cautious of our health of ourselves and those around us. This wasn’t solely negative, but rather brings light in a rather dark situation. I enjoyed reading this and hope to find more of this type of book on shelves.
So This is Love – Elizabeth Lim
Cinderella, twisted tales, young adult, fiction.
Cinderella had to flee before midnight because her dress and all the magic is what was able to allow her to be incognito for the most part and attend the ball. The prince, Charles, has a glass slipper and made it a royal decree that all eligible women should try on the glass slipper. When the grand duke is at Cinderella’s house, she is unable to get downstairs fast enough due to her stepmother locking her up because she found out the truth. After the visit from the grand duke, Lady Tremaine attempts to sell Cinderella off seas but Cinderella manages to escape. She meets with Louisa who works at the palace and her aunt is able to give Cinderella a job attending to the king’s sister who is just visiting a while. The King’s sister Genevieve closely bonds with Cinderella and the grand duke sees this and manipulates Cinderella into being a spy but Cinderella doesn’t want that. Genevieve talks her brother into holding another ball and Cinderella has another shot at her happy ending. There becomes a roadblock between her and the prince, it is the conspiracy that is going on inside the castle and Cinderella is in the middle of it.
I was interested in the synopsis and bought the novel on impulse. I don’t regret it. I love this novel and I really liked the little suspense of the novel. I prefer this version over the Disney movie because it made more sense and the plot was more intriguing. The writing was excellent, and I loved how the author kept true with some of the characters personalities such as Lady Tremaine and the stepsisters. However the grand duke being a bad guy was a twist I didn’t expect. I do recommend this novel for sure if one is a fan of Cinderella. She wasn’t my top favorite, but I liked her over some of the classic princesses. She wasn’t as annoying in other words.
The Wife Between Us – Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
Interpersonal relationships, love triangles, suspense, marriage, psychological, fiction.
Emma is getting married to Richard, someone she fell deeply in love with and he fell for her too. She is taking all the necessary steps to become his wife. Vanessa is recovering from a divorce and trying to get over Richard. Vanessa finds out that Richard has a new wife on the way, and this makes her curious about the new bride of his. Emma gets ready to leave to get married but before doing so she is confronted by Vanessa who tries to warn her about Richard. Emma dismisses until she decides to investigate the incident that Vanessa refers to. After some digging, Emma has an epiphany that his ex-wife isn’t as crazy as she seems. Both meetup to discuss plans of how to confront Richard, but some truths are scarier than a psychotic fiancée, their connection to each other.
I was intrigued by the synopsis and the title of the novel, so I had to buy this book. The plot was very interesting, and the character’s connection is quite fascinating. I wasn’t expecting the novel’s plot to have a darker side in which this does. The character’s intertwined fate and interactions make the novel very thrilling and suspenseful. The chapters are sometimes alternating between perspectives, but the reader has to put the pieces together of whose perspective it is, was it either Emma’s or Vanessa’s perspective. There were enough breadcrumbs to follow along and to see how the story would play out. Overall, I did find this novel very enjoyable.
A Totally Awkward Love Story – Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison
Love, dating, romance, comedy, young adult, fiction.
Sam and Hannah are done with school and want to, before summer ends, have their virgin card taken away by someone worthy of taking it. Sam and Hannah meet each other at a party inside a toilet and awkwardly discuss hot grape juice and other things. They didn’t introduce each other so they don’t know each other’s name. Hannah leaves Sam in the bathroom. Hannah is close to losing her v-card except the guy pukes so she’s forever in the virgin category. Sam wants to find her, and Hannah wants to find him. Over the course of summer, they randomly cross paths and realize they are meant for each other.
This book was all right. Did not hate it though. There was more comedy than romance in which made me laugh so hard at times. I needed something that was light and fun to read. This novel was perfect. I am sad that this was such a small book though. I do recommend if one wants to read a fun romance that is full of comedy. The character interactions were fun and delightful too. Character designs also drove the plot further.