Book Review: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

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Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published Date: May 2017
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Series: N/A
My Source: Library
Links: Goodreads
Review Also On: Goodreads and Amazon

Goodreads Summary:

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.

My Review

I had this book on hold from my library the minute I was able to. This book was a sweet and cute romance that I would be happy to recommend to everyone. Dimple was great. I loved that she was focused on her career, on her future, but was also able to open up to other possibilities and people. Rishi was just a sweetheart. I was rooting for him to win Dimple’s heart from the beginning.

The “side-plots” were really good. I liked that Dimple, while not liking her roommate Celia’s new friends, she was willing to try for her sake. When that didn’t work, Dimple and Celia were able to realize they could still be friends without having the same friends. And, without spoiling too much I hope, when the chaos happened near the end of the book, I’m glad that Dimple was there for her.

The romance between Dimple and Rishi was cute. Knowing they were only there for 6 weeks and already were feeling love for one another, I don’t know if that works for me, but I was willing to look past it. This was definitely a hate-to-love type of story, so if you like those, you’ll like this one.

What I enjoyed the most was that we were able to see a few different views on arranged marriages. We got Dimple who was completely against it for a number of reasons, Rishi who liked tradition and wanted to make his parents proud, Dimple’s female family members who saw it as a great opportunity for Dimple, and even Celia who saw it as super romantic.

When Dimple Met Rishi is a great romance and coming-of-age story. Both main characters have their inner conflicts of wanting independence, love, acceptance from their family, and passion for what they wanted and believed in. You’re not going to want to put this book down once you get started.

Rating: 4 STARS ~ Oh man, this was a great book. Will be recommending.

ARC Book Review: These Ruthless Deeds by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas

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Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Published Date: March 2017
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Series: These Vicious Masks #2
My Source: Netgalley
Links: Goodreads
Review Also On: Goodreads and Amazon

Goodreads Summary:

England, 1883. Still recovering from a devastating loss, Evelyn is determined to use her powers to save other gifted people from those who would harm them. But when her rescue of a young telekinetic girl goes terribly wrong, Evelyn finds herself indebted to a secret society devoted to recruiting and protecting people like Evelyn and her friends.

As she follows the Society’s orders, healing the sick and embarking on perilous recruitment missions, Evelyn sees her problems disappear. Her reputation is repaired, her friends are provided for, and her parents are newly wealthy. She reunites with the dashing Mr. Kent and recovers the reclusive Mr. Braddock (who has much less to brood over now that the Society can help him to control his dangerous power). But Evelyn can’t help fearing the Society is more sinister than it appears…

My Review

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, and now I have and it’s an ARC review after the release date. Better late than never, right? I’m sorry, but I was really in a book slump (life slump) these last couple of months. Hopefully things will get better, but they’ll only get better if I get started on something, right?

Anywho, the sequel to These Vicious Masks. I remember really liking the first book and calling it a “X-Men meets Pride and Prejudice.” If you want to read the full review for the first in this trilogy, follow the link riiiiight here, but as a quick review, the characters were great, the plot was engaging, the powers and how they worked were very nice. It was an overall great read. Here, I will warn that if you haven’t read the first book, I may spoil things for you. I won’t spoil anything for These Ruthless Deeds, but there is the potential of me talking about the twists and surprises from These Vicious Masks, especially one in particular.

These Ruthless Deeds shares some of the aspects of the first book, but not all. With the characters, I’m sad to say that I started to dislike Evelyn almost partway through, and I absolutely loved her before. She became a little annoying when trying to convince the others of her ideas, but without any real proof. She gets a bit repetitive and requires others to “save” her, which was the opposite of how she was in the first book. Mr. Braddock and Mr. Kent…Well, in my opinion we don’t get a lot of development on Mr. Braddock in this book, so I don’t have much to say about him. There was tons on Mr. Kent and I’m happy to say my love for him has grown tenfold. There is a lot of interactions between Mr. Kent and Evelyn, and Mr. Kent and other members of the society. He’s still witty and how he uses his ability is spectacular. He is a favorite of mine.

With the sequel came a lot of new characters, and this is where things go a little downhill for me. I feel like there were too many characters and it became a tad hard to keep track at the beginning. As you continue reading, some of those characters are dropped off and the others are focused on so we have a good core group to work with, but These Ruthless Deeds does work with a lot more characters than its predecessor. Some of the new ones I liked, for example Oliver was a good character. I wished we learned more about him and Emily, but with some many pages you can’t get to everyone.

And now for the plot: The beginning was hard. It seemed to drag and maybe it was because I was being bombarded with new characters with new powers so I was trying to remember everyone. Still, I had a really hard time and that’s one of the reasons it took me so long to get through this book. I enjoyed the plot of the first one a lot more than the one in the sequel. Things were happening but at the same time it felt like nothing was happening, and I don’t know how that…well, happened! The big climax of the story doesn’t happen until you’re 80ish% into the book and then everything explodes before you eyes.

That ending though. I saw a number of reviewers who were happy with how this ends, but I guess I’m in the minority. I felt like it was a fast and easy way to fix any plot holes they may have in the future. I also thought it was shocking how they could do something so drastic. I felt kind of disappointed because it essentially took away a lot of things I had been liking about the series. I’m almost disappointed enough to not read the last book when it releases, but maybe after some time away from These Ruthless Deeds, I’ll understand the need for the ending more.

Giving a rating for this is tough. After going back and forth on this, and knowing how much I liked the first one, I’ll say this:

2.5 STARS ~ More okay moments than struggle moments. However, I’d still recommend to those who really really like the first book.

Book Review: Dust (The Resurgam Trilogy #1) by Joan Frances Turner

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Publisher: Ace
Published Date: September 2010
Genre: Science Fiction, Horror
Series: The Resurgam Trilogy #1
My Source: ebook
Links: Goodreads
Review Also On: Goodreads and Amazon

Goodreads Summary:

Nine years ago, Jessie was in a car crash and died. After she was buried, she awoke and tore through the earth to arise, reborn, as a zombie. And there were others-gangs of undead roaming the Indiana woods, fighting, hunting, hidden. But when a mysterious illness threatens the existence of both zombies and humans, Jessie must decide whether to stay and fight or flee to survive…

My Review

First, I want to point out that horror is not a typical genre that I read. My coworker and I were talking about book clubs and how she had tried to read this a few years back, but it didn’t work for it then. We decided we would read it together and talk about it.

While horror is not my thing, zombies have been pretty prevalent in my life these last couple of weeks. This is due to rewatching In the Flesh and watching my boyfriend play zombie video games. So I thought I’d give another zombie book a try (I say another because I have tried reading Dearly Departed and that did not go well).

Dust has an interesting premise. It’s told through the perspective of a zombie, Jessie, and she’s been a zombie for a while. She’s current in a gang of zombies that generally stick to themselves. They’ll hunt for animals and occasionally terrorize some humans, or hoos as they call them. Things start to go a little downhill for everyone when their leader, Therese who no one seems to carry for, starts to behavior strangely. She’s stronger, she’s not eating as much, and she disappears all the time. Then Jessie and a couple members of their gang notice humans acting strangely also, eating whatever they can including garbage and stumbling around. Jessie and some of the gang try to figure out what’s going on and whether it’s good or bad for zombies.

Sadly, I found the plot pretty predictable. While there were two things I didn’t see coming, I knew how the overall story was going to go. One of those two things was pretty major near the end and I’m assuming will be a continuous part of the trilogy. If it’s not, I think that would be really weird. It was weird in book one, and I didn’t really like it. It made me wonder what was going on with Jessie. Was she dreaming? Was she hallucinating? Were the people she was talking to who she thought they were or were they just one person? I’m not sure how it all connects. Maybe it would by the end of the series, but you may have already realized I wasn’t feeling this book much and probably won’t be finishing it.

With the characters, I really only liked Linc, a member of Jessie’s gang. Jessie was a little annoying in how much she hated humans. I understand she’s been a zombie for nine years, but her absolute hatred of them wasn’t sitting well. She had lost almost all compassion and empathy for anyone, including her fellow zombies. It was very much a every man for himself kind of book, at least on Jessie’s end. Linc seemed to actually care for Jessie, whether it was platonic or romantic, I’m not sure. Florian was an okay character, but I didn’t get to learn much about him. Renee, Joe, Therese, and all the other zombies annoyed me because they were all for themselves or didn’t know how to do anything themselves.

Another part of this book that didn’t work for me was how focused it was on the decaying process of the zombies. It makes sense for the plot because when Therese starts to act weird, her body stops decaying and looks like it’s healing. So yes, it makes sense that they’ll explain how their bodies are bloating, the maggots are all over their bodies, they droll and spit out embalming fluid all the time, but it just seemed over done. Or maybe it’s again, not my type of genre and it just seemed more gross than informative.

What I am happy about is, whether anyone had real romantic feelings for anyone in this book, there was no romance between the zombies. I know I mentioned In the Flesh earlier, and if you’ve seen that show you know there is romance between zombies and even between zombies and humans, but it worked in the show because I wasn’t reminded of their decaying, bug infested, rotting corpses. In this book I am reminded every other page, and if I had to read about a zombie sticking their undead tongue down a throat covered in embalming fluid, I probably would had gagged and gave up on this (sort of similar to Dearly Departed).

Overall, still not my cup of tea.

1 STAR ~ While I finished this, it was a real struggle.