Review: “When Dimple Met Rishi” by Sandhya Menon

28458598~o~Rating~o~
4.5 stars

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.

Release Date: May 30th, 2017

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Nobles

~o~Review~o~

I picked this up at ALA Midwinter 2017 which was held in Atlanta this year. A huge thank you to Simon & Schuster for handing these out!

Ahh, this was so freakin’ ADORABLE! This is a Bollywood romance turned into a YA novel. By Bollywood romance, yes I mean the cliches and the overused tropes and the songs and the drama, it was perfect! Now, if you don’t already know this, I. Am. An. ABSOLUTE. Sucker. When it comes to Bollywood romantic comedies. And don’t even get me started if the movie is starring Shah Rukh Khan.

giphy

Not the best gif I could’ve chosen…

giphy-1

Hehe, that’s not any better.

giphy-2

Awwww, LOOK

Shounima, you’re not even talking about the book anymore, get a hold of yourself!

Okay, okay, I apologize. On to the story.

Dimple Shah is the only child to her traditional Indian parents; parents whose biggest goal in life is to marry her to a suitable boy now that she has graduated high school. Dimple though has no desire whatsoever to get married. Dimple is a coder and her biggest goal in the book is to win a programming competition and meet Jenny Lindth, her programming role model. She is intelligent, determined, and is always struggling to find the perfect balance between her family’s tradition and western society. I saw a lot of myself in her; I have never been so well represented in a book character before (she’s literally me but much cooler). That’s probably another reason I liked this book so much, I connected with the characters on a much deeper level than I usually do.

Rishi on the other hand is more traditional, he wants to do whatever will make his parents happy and he’s completely on board with an arranged marriage. He is an artist at heart but is pursuing more “practical” goals like going to MIT to become an engineer. I understood where he was coming from, there’s usually a huge pressure in South Asian culture to pursue careers in science and the arts are usually dismissed as silly hobbies that you are supposed to do on the side but not make a career out of.

The book itself can be best described as a romantic comedy and there were lots of funny scenes thrown in there with the romantic ones. I was giggling all through the book because of the sheer cuteness.

The author does add some Hindi dialogues when Dimple and Rishi are talking to their parents which may throw off some non-Hindi speakers. Though you do get the gist of what they’re saying because of the context.

All in all, When Dimple Met Rishi was just plain adorable and I recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a fluffy read.

Spring Bookish Bingo!

I participated in Winter Bookish Bingo last season and loved doing it so here I am again! And I love the Spring board even more ! Bookish Bingo is hosted by Bekka @ Pretty Deadly Reviews.

THE DETAILS (TAKEN FROM BEKKA’S BLOG):

  • Every new season has a new bingo card. This one is for books read in the months of March, April and May.
  • The object is to get as many BINGOs as possible (five across, up and down, or diagonal)
  • One square per book
  • You do not have to review these books, or even have a blog, this is simply for books read during the allotted months
  • At the end of May there will be an international giveaway for all participants. The more BINGOs you get, the more entries you get in the giveaway!
  • To participate, simply leave a comment at Bekka’s blogpost!

Board with transparent background

Categories with books I’m thinking about reading for it:

(Though just like last time, I’m probably not going to be sticking to the list)

  • Muslim Main Character: Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan
  • Green Cover: Secrets Under the Olive Tree by Nevien Shaabneh
  • Para-normal: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare
  • Just Words on Cover: The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • Sisters: Caraval by Stephanie Garber
  • Magic: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • Dragons: The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
  • Spring Release: Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosayn Eves
  • Non Fiction: Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson
  • Series Finale: The Midnight Star (The Young Elites #3) by Marie Lu
  • Thriller: RedDevil 4 by Eric C. Leuthardt
  • Politics or Gov’t: Any suggestions?
  • Free
  • Purple Cover: Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken
  • Over 500 Pages: Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
  • PoC On Cover: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Multi POV: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
  • LGBT+ Main Character: History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
  • Adapted to TV/Movie: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthud Golden
  • Witches: Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
  • 2017 Debut: The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
  • Historical: The Miniatuarist by Jessie Burton
  • Retelling: Peter Darling by Austin Chant
  • Scary: I am a scaredy cat so none
  • Blue Cover: Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Are you participating this season? Does anyone have a suggestion of a scary book that’s not too scary?

DNF Review: “The Bone Witch” by Rin Chupeco

30095464~o~Rating~o~
2 stars

“The beast raged; it punctured the air with its spite. But the girl was fiercer.”

Tea is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracized in the kingdom. For theirs is a powerful, elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living—and of the human.

Great power comes at a price, forcing Tea to leave her homeland to train under the guidance of an older, wiser bone witch. There, Tea puts all of her energy into becoming an asha, learning to control her elemental magic and those beasts who will submit by no other force. And Tea must be strong—stronger than she even believes possible. Because war is brewing in the eight kingdoms, war that will threaten the sovereignty of her homeland…and threaten the very survival of those she loves.

~o~My Review~o~

First off, thank you so much to the publisher (Sourcebooks Fire) and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I wanted to like this SO BAD!! I don’t usually review books that I haven’t finished but I felt like I needed to explain why I couldn’t finish it. If I were to describe Bone Witch with one word, it would be boring. It’s uneventful, and I honestly could not tell you what the plot is. The book started off well too, we find out that Tea is a Bone Witch when she accidentally resurrects her brother. And then… nothing happens. It got so bad, I started reading this book when I couldn’t fall asleep at night. I only got through about 35% before quitting and calling it a day.

It’s clear Rin Chupeco put a lot of thought into building this world and some of the concepts are original with a lot of potential which is why I read as much as I did. But rather than easing readers into this world, there are massive information dumps to where I couldn’t keep up with the Fantasy elements. One of the concepts I really liked about the world though was the heartglass. The characters literally wore their hearts around their necks and heartglasses can give you a glimpse into a person’s personality and powers.

The book’s slowness also has a lot to do with the two different point of views: Tea is basically telling her story to someone else so half the chapters are from his point of view while the other chapters are her POV telling the story. That’s a good idea and props to the author for trying but it wasn’t doing well for me.

I love character driven stories and this was not one. Tea as a character has no substance and little to no emotion. She’s just plain (sorry for the repetition) boring. I could not connect to her at all.

Bone Witch gets two stars because of the originality of the world. And the writing itself is good even if the execution isn’t. (Also the cover fits in so well with my blog’s color scheme!)

Have you any of you guys read this yet? Is it on your TBR?

Winter Bingo Wrap-Up

final-board

It’s the end of Winter Bingo! Winter Bingo is hosted by Bekka @ Pretty Deadly Reviews. Winter bingo was for the months of December, January and February. I was really hoping for a BINGO but sadly, I didn’t make it.

As I had predicted in my introduction post, most of the books I read wasn’t on my original list.

  1. Alternative Format: “Replica” by Lauren Oliver
  2. Blue Cover: “All the Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven
  3. Super Hyped: “And I Darken” by Kiersten White
  4. Survival: “Valiant” by Leslye Livingston
  5. 2017 Debut: “City of Saints & Thieves” by Natalie C. Anderson
  6. Romance: “When Dimple Met Rishi” by Sandhya Menon
  7. Sequel: “Now I Rise” by Kiersten White
  8. LGBT: “The Upside of Unrequited” by Becky Albertalli
  9. Free: “The Bane Chronicles” by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson

Did you guys participate? How did you do?

Mini Review: “The Magnus Bane Chronicles” by Cassandra Clare

16303287~o~Rating~o~
4 stars

Warning: The following contains spoilers for both The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare.

Fans of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices can get to know warlock Magnus Bane like never before in this collection of New York Times bestselling tales, in print for the first time with an exclusive new story and illustrated material.

This collection of eleven short stories illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality, flamboyant style, and sharp wit populate the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.

Originally released one-by-one as e-only short stories by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, and Sarah Rees Brennan, this compilation presents all ten together in print for the first time and includes a never-before-seen eleventh tale, as well as new illustrated material.

~o~My Review~o~

finally picked up the Magnus Bane chronicles. It had to do a lot with the Shadowhunters show and I wanted to know Magnus’ entire back story. (Side note: season 2 of Shadowhunters is SUCH a great improvement than season 1. So if you gave up on the show after that horrendous first season, I strongly encourage you to try season 2. From the fourth episode and on, there’s a new writing team and they’re a lot better than the previous one).

Anyway, I really liked the compilation of short stories about Magnus. I feel like I understand him more as a character now. All my favorite characters make an appearance. I was most excited to see Will and Tessa and I was practically jumping with joy when they showed up.

There are eleven short stories in total and most of them were great. My favorites were #4 – The Midnight Heir about Tessa and Will’s son. And #6 – Saving Raphael Santiago about, obviously, how Magnus saves Raphael (this one was just so sweet! And I love Raphael now). And also #10 The Course of True Love (and First Dates) in which Magnus and Alec go on their first date and THIS WAS SO CUTE!

There were two stories I didn’t care much about (What Really Happened in Peru and The Rise of the Hotel Dumort). But Magnus’ sass and snark almost make up for it.

The stories themselves are all about fifty pages or so long and they go by really fast. I read this in under five hours which is unusual for me because I’m a slow reader. There’s action, romance, humor and heartbreak.

I recommend this to anyone who has read all the other Cassandra Clare books. These stories are wonderful additions to the Shadowhunters world.

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #12

diversity-spotlight

Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful Aimal @ Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, you come up with one book in each of three different categories: a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR, and one that has not yet been released.

My theme for this week is POC main characters in popular YA Fantasy. (I might do the same theme for next time because I had a very hard time choosing).

~O~o~O~o~O~

A BOOK I HAVE READ

book cover“Six of Crows” by Leigh Bardugo

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

Okay, I had to include this but is there really anyone who hasn’t read this duology yet? How are you still alive?

~O~o~O~o~O~

A BOOK ON MY TBR

22521951“A Darker Shade of Magic” by V.E Schwab

Kell is one of the last travelers–magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city. 

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad King–George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered–and where Kell was raised alongside Rhy Maresh, the roguish heir to a flourishing empire. White London–a place where people fight to control magic and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

The last book of the series just came out and it’s about time I started this series. I’ve been hearing about these books a lot lately and the hype is getting me even more excited to start.

~O~o~O~o~O~

A BOOK RELEASING SOON

22521951“The Bone Witch” by Rin Chupeco

“Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there’s anything I’ve learned from him in the years since, it’s that the dead hide truths as well as the living.”

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha-one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.

Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Name of the Wind in this brilliant new fantasy series by Rin Chupeco!

Release Date: March 7th 2017
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

I’ve actually been approved for this in Netgalley and I was super excited to read this but it started off really slow. And now I’m not so sure. Maybe you guys will have better luck though.

~O~o~O~o~O~

What’s your favorite Fantasy with a POC main character?

100th Post!

100th-post

I know, I know, it’s been a while since I published anything. And it had a lot to do with laziness and a little to do with the fact that this is my HUNDREDTH POST! (Whoa!! I seriously didn’t think I’d make it this far). I wanted to make this post special and I couldn’t figure out what to do and I started overthinking it.

Since I just did the Celebrating the Little Things tag where I thanked everyone who reads and has ever read my little blog, I’ll keep the thank you’s to a minimum. THANK YOU though!

This post is also supposed to be a little update because I’ve been horrible at posting the past two weeks. *sigh* those New Year resolutions clearly aren’t going well. I’m a mood blogger so I post when I feel up to it and I don’t post when I don’t. I seriously need to get better at scheduling posts. What do you guys do when you don’t feel like blogging? 

Life Updates: 

My classes are all packed together this semester and I’m usually so exhausted after coming home, I want to do nothing but watch YouTube videos. I do have a three day weekend though so that helps a lot since I’m not very productive when I have classes.

ALA Midwinter 2017 was in Atlanta this year! It was in January and it’s almost been a month! I ended up coming home with quite a few books and I’ll be posting those reviews soon (once I actually write them except I’m horrendous at writing reviews).

Does anyone else feel like February is zooming by? How is it already the 22nd?

I know this was a filler post but I just needed to write something. How are you guys doing today? 

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #11

diversity-spotlight

Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful Aimal @ Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, you come up with one book in each of three different categories: a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR, and one that has not yet been released.

My theme this week is f/f relationships in YA. (My themes are self-created so I can focus on one particular genre of diverse books).

~O~o~O~o~O~

A BOOK I HAVE READ

22521951“Lies We Tell Ourselves” by Robin Talley

In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever.

Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily.

Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town’s most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept separate but equal.

Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another.

Boldly realistic and emotionally compelling, Lies We Tell Ourselves is a brave and stunning novel about finding truth amid the lies, and finding your voice even when others are determined to silence it.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

Have I talked about this book enough? This is one of my favorite historical fictions of all time. It takes place right after segregation in public schools was banned. It tackles both racism and homosexuality in the 50’s and early 60’s.

~O~o~O~o~O~

A BOOK ON MY TBR

22521951“Everything Leads to You” by Nina LaCour

A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world.
 
Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

This has been on my TBR for the longest time! I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book.

~O~o~O~o~O~

A BOOK RELEASING SOON

22521951“It’s Not Like It’s a Secret” by Misa Sugiura

Sixteen-year-old Sana Kiyohara has too many secrets. Some are small, like how it bothers her when her friends don’t invite her to parties. Some are big, like that fact that her father may be having an affair. And then there’s the one that she can barely even admit to herself—the one about how she might have a crush on her best friend.

When Sana and her family move to California she begins to wonder if it’s finally time for some honesty, especially after she meets Jamie Ramirez. Jamie is beautiful and smart and unlike anyone Sana’s ever known. There are just a few problems: Sana’s new friends don’t trust Jamie’s crowd; Jamie’s friends clearly don’t want her around anyway; and a sweet guy named Caleb seems to have more-than-friendly feelings for her. Meanwhile, her dad’s affair is becoming too obvious to ignore anymore.

Sana always figured that the hardest thing would be to tell people that she wants to date a girl, but as she quickly learns, telling the truth is easy… what comes after it, though, is a whole lot more complicated.

Release Date: May 9th, 2017
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

Yay for LGBT+ books with POCs! Judging by the summary, this book has great potential. I have high hopes for it.

~O~o~O~o~O~

Are any of these on your list? What lgbt+ books are you excited to read?

Celebrating the Little Things Tag

celebrating-little-things

It’s been way too long since I did a tag! A giant shout out to Meghan @ Meghan’s Whimsical Explorations & Reviews for tagging me. Thank you Meghan!

Who was your very first follower (if you can find out)? Tag them and give them a shout out!

My first follower was Olivia-Savannah @ Olivia’s Catastrophe back when I had my blog in Blogger. She was also the first person to ever comment on my blog. She’s probably one of the nicest bloggers I’ve ever interacted with and you guys should definitely go check her blog out!

What was the last milestone you reached?

Combining my WordPress and Bloglovin’ followers, I recently reached a 100 followers. THAT’S CRAZY TO ME. Seriously, I cannot believe it. Blogging isn’t about stats but I’m not going to lie and say it doesn’t feel good when people like/comment/follow. It’s the greatest feeling ever so thank you to anyone who’s reading this and to everyone who has ever visited my site.

What was the very first post you posted on your blog? Share it with us!

Oh, reading my first post is cringe-worthy! It was on Blogger and I called it Introduction . (I had originally called it Greetings Muggles but ended up changing it). It was also back when I was a sophomore in high school, knew nothing about blogging or writing or designing or basically anything you need to know as a blogger.

Who was your most recent follower? Tag them and give them a shout out!

My most recent follower was Cali’s Book Camp. Thank you for the follow!

What was the last post you posted and who was the very first person who took their time to click the like button? Give them a shout out!

The last post I posted was Diversity Spotlight Thursday #10 and the first person to like it was Nicole @ Booksinked. Thanks Nicole!

How many months have you been blogging for?

I have been blogging for about 25 months! Except I’ve only been blogging seriously for 18 months. That’s still longer than I had anticipated when I first made my blog and I’m so glad I stayed!

Do you have any bloggers you’re friends with? Give them a shout out.

A pretty good portion of my real-life friends also have blogs. They don’t all have book blogs but it’s crazy we all decided to blog. We were meant to be.

Stellah @ The Little Book Nerd’s Life is all in all one of the best people I know and you guys should definitely go check out her blog. She writes very thoughtful and thorough book reviews and always has great insight. I convinced [forced] another friend (Briah @ Empire of Starlight) to create a blog except, when you make someone start a blog, they’re bound to stop posting (which she did). Another friend, Cindy @ Stranger Things Have Happened, posts little snippets of her life, her rants, advice and whatnot. She pretty much talks about anything and everything and her posts are almost always hilarious. And if you’re currently in college and looking for college-lifestyle bloggers, check out Making My Way and Fiercely Living. They both give great advice and tips on the do’s and don’ts of college life.

And there are so many bloggers who I’ve met in the blogosphere who are absolutely amazing and I’m so glad I’ve decided to be a blogger just so I can interact with your awesomenesses (yay, run-on sentences!). Of course Meghan @ Meghan’s Whimsical Explorations & Reviews.  A few other people on this long list are: Jasmine @ How Useful It Is, Jackie B. @ Death by Tsundoku, Olivia-Savannah @ Olivia’s Catastrophe, Wendy @ What the Log Had to Say.

Wow, this answer was longer than expected.

Who originally created the last meme or tag you participated in? Give them a shout out!

The last meme I posted was Diversity Spotlight Thursdays and it was created by Aimal @ Bookshelves and Paperbacks. It’s a great meme that highlights diverse books.

Have you any social media related to your blog?

I started using Twitter because of my blog and now I love it! And I have a Pinterest though it’s not exactly blog related because I pretty much pin anything I like. Here are all the places you can find me:

Twitter | Goodreads | Bloglovin’ | Pinterest

Last but not least …. just say thanks to all your followers

Thank you!

Seriously! Thank you for reading and liking and commenting, you guys are the bestest of the bestest!

TAG!

If I mentioned you in this post, YOU ARE TAGGED (unless you’ve already done it or don’t want to do it, no pressure). And if I didn’t mention you but you haven’t done this tag, you’re tagged too!

 

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #10

diversity-spotlight

Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful Aimal @ Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, you come up with one book in each of three different categories: a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR, and one that has not yet been released.

My theme for this one is stories from the Middle East in times of turmoil (my themes are self created just so I can focus on a certain genre of diverse books).

~O~o~O~o~O~

A BOOK I HAVE READ

22521951“A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini

Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them-in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul-they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation. With heart-wrenching power and suspense, Hosseini shows how a woman’s love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end it is love, or even the memory of love, that is often the key to survival. A stunning accomplishment, A Thousand Splendid Suns is a haunting, heartbreaking, compelling story of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love.

Goodreads Link | Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

This is a heart-breaking book. Reading about these three women, who are so different yet so strong in their own ways. It’s a beautifully crafted story of brutality and suffering as well as strength and hope.

~O~o~O~o~O~

A BOOK ON MY TBR

22521951“Guapa” by Saleem Haddad

Set over the course of twenty-four hours, Guapa follows Rasa, a gay man living in an unnamed Arab country, as he tries to carve out a life for himself in the midst of political and social upheaval. Rasa spends his days translating for Western journalists and pining for the nights when he can sneak his lover, Taymour, into his room. One night Rasa’s grandmother—the woman who raised him—catches them in bed together. The following day Rasa is consumed by the search for his best friend Maj, a fiery activist and drag queen star of the underground bar, Guapa, who has been arrested by the police. Ashamed to go home and face his grandmother, and reeling from the potential loss of the three most important people in his life, Rasa roams the city’s slums and prisons, the lavish weddings of the country’s elite, and the bars where outcasts and intellectuals drink to a long-lost revolution. Each new encounter leads him closer to confronting his own identity, as he revisits his childhood and probes the secrets that haunt his family. As Rasa confronts the simultaneous collapse of political hope and his closest personal relationships, he is forced to discover the roots of his alienation and try to re-emerge into a society that may never accept him.

Goodreads Link | Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

This isn’t a very known book, I had never heard of it until recently. It’s hard to find decent LGBT+ books set in the Middle East so I think this could be a hidden gem.

~O~o~O~o~O~

A BOOK RELEASING SOON

22521951“Exit West” by Mohsin Hamid

In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors—doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through. 

Exit West follows these characters as they emerge into an alien and uncertain future, struggling to hold on to each other, to their past, to the very sense of who they are. Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, it tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time.

Release Date: March 7th, 2017
Goodreads Link | Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

I’m so glad so many refugee stories are coming out now – both fiction and non-fiction. I’m really excited for this one. So far, the reviews have all been praising it.

~O~o~O~o~O~

Are any of these on your TBR? Have you read any good books set in the Middle East?