Monday, May 27, 2019

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

e-Audio, 10:00:34
Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller 
Release Date:  May 7, 2019
Published by: Dreamscape Media, LLC
Read from: May 22-, 2019
Source: Library (Overdrive/ Libby)  
For fans of: Romance, Neurodiverse, Contemporary, Adult, POC MC, Companion, Own Voices, Realistic Fiction, 

     Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.
     As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.
     With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.


*This book is part of the new adult contemporary romance genre! It is more mature than YA. I have featured it in Between the Covers as a way to feature the few Adult and New Adult titles I am beginning to read!"


     Just like everyone else, I wasn't sure how this one would go. It would either be just as good as the first, or it would fall victim to the sophomore slump. Lucky for me, it was just as good as the first one for me. The characters, the romance, everything made it a story that I loved!
      Khai thinks he's defective because he has no emotions, but in reality its his autism that makes him feel the way he does. And because of that, he has strayed from relationships as long as he could. But then his mom takes it into her own hands and takes it upon herself to choose a bride for him. In comes Esme. She takes the opportunity to come to America to see what other opportunities there are. But trying to make him fall in love with her is harder than she thinks. But falling for him is surprisingly easy....
     The main thing I liked about this was the characters. I loved the growing that all of them did and it was so great to see all the things they learned along the way. But the best thing was they did it all by themselves. They both had very different lessons to learn and it made them even stronger, individual characters. And when they finally did get together, it was a wonderful romance and they were both able to bring something to the relationship.
     Another thing I liked about this was the representation. Although everyone's experience with autism isn't the same, this one is #ownvoices. I liked the way it was shown that Khai had to work to feel comfortable with Esme and he wasn't automatically ready to be with her. And I liked that Hoang chose to focus on a different part of the autism spectrum for Khai's character. I thought that was important to show that not everyone's the same.
     I found the audio of this was just ok for me. All the characters (except for Quan and Mike randomly) sounded the same and that bothered me. (Esme had a bit of a sharper accent, but that was all the difference.)  I wish there was more than one person on the production. Just to make them a bit different. Other than that, Emily Woo Zeller did a really spectacular performance.
     Even though this one was not about Quan like I wanted it to be, it was still an amazing read. (Also because I get Quan's book next lmao) I have grown to really love Hoang's writing style and now I'm excited for what else she will do next.
Overall, I give this

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Stacking the Shelves #322 & the Weekly Wrap-Up!

This bookish meme tells the blogosphere what all we borrowed, bought, and received for review. It's hosted over at Tynga's Reviews.

From the library:
Cover image for A Prince on PaperCover image for Stepsister

Let Me Hear a Rhyme

For Review:

I liked the first one, so when I saw this one I was excited! I hadn't seen many people who had even read it, so I'm glad this is going to be a thing! 

Gravemaidens (Gravemaidens, #1)

The Weekly Wrap-Up:

Monday 05/20/19: No Post. 
Tuesday 05/21/19:  Top 10 Tuesday: Books I Refuse to Let Anyone Touch!
Wednesday 05/22/19: Waiting on Wednesday: American Royals by Katharine McGee
Friday 05/24/19: Book Blogger Hop: To DNF or Push Through?
Saturday 05/25/19: Fumbled by Alexa Martin

Me on Instagram:

This weekend at my mom's house was so much fun! I spent some time with nephew and we had so much fun! He likes the water, but only in small doses lol 

I loved this really cool picture book that we got in at work! It was really cute! 

What about you?
Did you get any of these?
Did we get any of the same ones?
Let me know in the comments! 

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Fumbled by Alexa Martin

e-Audio, 09:53:25
Narrated by: N'Jameh Camara
Release Date:  April 23, 2019
Published by: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Read from: May 17-20, 2019
Source: Library (Overdrive/ Libby)  
For fans of: Romance, Sports, Contemporary, POC MC, Own Voices, Rom Com, Adult

     A second chance doesn't guarantee a touchdown in this new contemporary romance from the author of Intercepted.
     Single-mother Poppy Patterson moved across the country when she was sixteen and pregnant to find a new normal. After years of hard work, she's built a life she loves. It may include a job at a nightclub, weekend soccer games, and more stretch marks than she anticipated, but it's all hers, and nobody can take that away. Well, except for one person.
     TK Moore, the starting wide receiver for the Denver Mustangs, dreamt his entire life about being in the NFL. His world is football, parties, and women. Maybe at one point he thought his future would play out with his high school sweetheart by his side, but Poppy is long gone and he's moved on.
     When Poppy and TK cross paths in the most unlikely of places, emotions they've suppressed for years come rushing back. But with all the secrets they never told each other lying between them, they'll need more than a dating playbook to help them navigate their relationship.


*This book is part of the new adult contemporary romance genre! It is more mature than YA. I have featured it in Between the Covers as a way to feature the few Adult and New Adult titles I am beginning to read!"


     Listen when I heard TK had a book coming out I was ecstatic! He was my favorite character in Intercepted and I was so excited to get a book from him. Although it didn't turn out the way I thought it would, it was still really enjoyable.
     Poppy is a single mom doing whatever she can to make ends meet after she moved across the country to get away from an old relationship. But love has a way of turning up when you least expect it. TK, a wide receiver for a professional football team ends up at the club where Poppy is working. Old emotions rush back and alongside some old secrets....
     The best thing about this book was hands down the characters. I really loved them all, but my favorite was hands down Ace. He was such a joy to read and he was so funny. Also, the stink and not wanting to shower was a very accurate description of little boys lmao My nephew is the same way! I also liked Poppy and how independent she was. And of course, like I said, TK was one of my favorites from the last book. Also, I need to have a Sadie book, even if it's just a novella.
     But this was also the reason I didn't give it 5 stars. This book was mostly showing TK as a bad person when he was so good in Intercepted. I get that it was the situation, but it just didn't sit well with me. I went away from this book with a different look at TK and I didn't like that.
     The plot was ok, but it was a really regular romance. It followed the troupes to a T! And because of that, by the time it got to the end I was terrified that they would have a super dramatic ending like Gavin and Marlee. I'm so glad it wasn't as dramatic because I was so worried that the main person hurt was going to be Ace. I'm glad she went a different route instead.
     I actually enjoyed this book more than the first one. And now with the ending from this one, I think it's safe to say I might like that one more than this one because Brynn is awesome. This series is turning out to be one of my favorites.
Overall, I give this

Friday, May 24, 2019

Book Blogger Hop: To DNF or Push Through???

Do you continue with a book even though you aren't liking it?     

NO. I'm convinced I'll end up dying with a HUGE TBR still. And so, I DNF whenever I'm not enjoying something. I normally wait till I get to at least page 60 before I call it though. Or about 25% when I'm reading an e-book or e-audio. I have a full list of books I've DNF'ed on my Goodreads account.  

What about you? 
Do you do DNF? 
Do you push through?

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson

e-ARC, 384 pages           
Release Date: May 21, 2019
Published by: Katherine Tegen
Read from: May 16-22, 2019
Source: Edelweiss (I received a copy of this book from Edelweiss and the Publisher in exchange for a just and honest review. This did nothing to influence my review.) 
TW: Death
For fans of: Contemporary, Sparkly Covers, POC on the cover, POC MC, Own Voices, Tear-Jerker, Stand-alones

     In this standalone novel, Tiffany D. Jackson tells the story of three Brooklyn teens who plot to turn their murdered friend into a major rap star by pretending he is still alive.
     Biggie Smalls was right. Things done changed. But that doesn’t mean that Quadir and Jarrell are okay letting their best friend Steph’s tracks lie forgotten in his bedroom after he’s killed—not when his beats could turn any Bed-Stuy corner into a celebration, not after years of having each other’s backs.
     Enlisting the help of Steph’s younger sister, Jasmine, Quadir and Jarrell come up with a plan to promote Steph’s music under a new rap name: The Architect. Soon, everyone in Brooklyn is dancing to Steph’s voice. But then his mixtape catches the attention of a hotheaded music rep and—with just hours on the clock—the trio must race to prove Steph’s talent from beyond the grave.
     Now, as the pressure—and danger—of keeping their secret grows, Quadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine are forced to confront the truth about what happened to Steph. Only each has something to hide. And with everything riding on Steph’s fame, together they need to decide what they stand for before they lose everything they’ve worked so hard to hold on to—including each other.


     When I saw Jackson had another book coming out I added it without a second thought. I was expecting another mystery with a huge plot twist like her others, but this was a nice change from her normal. It definitely shows her writing talent. 
"...Lost a brother, but gained an angel. [...] I don't want an angel. I want my brother back. I rush out the room, in search of air that's not mixed with perfume, pity, and fried chicken."
     Talent was taken too soon. Steph has the best rhymes in Brooklyn, but no one will ever know it. Or will they? Rell, Quadir, and Jasmine want to make sure Steph gets what he's owed: a record deal. So they start putting out buzz to the streets with his mixtape. And then things spiral before any of them can catch up. 
"Why can't I rep for Bad Boy but fuck with an artist on Death Row? Good music is good music. Point, blank, period."
     Of course the number one thing about this one that I loved was the music aspect. I've been walking around singing "Juicy" since I started this book. I't something simple, but it shows me how connected I was to this. I usually do like music books, but for it to include hip-hop was an added bonus. And the fact that this was set when hip-hop was legendary (I mean Big and Pac's time) made it even better in my eyes. I made a playlist while I was reading this and I plan to share it soon. This took me back to my childhood and the music I loved while growing up. (I was 10 in 98!)
"A blue Toyota Camry rolls by, his chrome rimas gleaming in the sun blasting Tupac's 'How Do You Want It?' All the girls love that song. Funny how over a year ago no one would be caught dead rocking to Tupac like that. During the East Coast vs West Coast beef, we rep hard for Biggie and the whole Bad Boy family heavy. But in the end, it ain't make no sense. Tupac's gone. Biggie's gone. Now Steph's gone."
     I also loved the 90's setting. This was my time growing up and even though there are so many name drops (of clothing and rappers) they were all things I could recognize. It was interesting to see that portrayed in the book. (Also, does this count as historical fiction? Because if so, this is one of the first that I actually like.) And I can only imagine being in Brooklyn when Biggie was alive. This book took me to NY in the 90's and I thought that was amazing.   
"Pain... It can either make you or break you. And we trying to get made out here."
      The only thing about this I didn't care for was the plot. I felt like the "game" they were playing dragged on too long and the "mystery" they were supposed to be solving wasn't even a part of the story. And then when the plot twist finally came, it felt way too rushed. It wasn't what I was expecting based on Jackson's previous books.
"Cats be famous in the hood but not mainstream."
     This book is nothing like her others, but I think that's why I liked it so much. It definitely showed her writing ability and her ability to do cross-overs. Pairing this with her love of Big and hip hop, this certified banger definitely won my heart. I hope this book will bring those who don't know about this music and those that don't like reading in and keep them reading. I would have loved to give this book to some of my friends at this age. It might have kept them out of trouble.  
"There's a difference between being rich and being wealthy. The rich get paid, but the wealthy.... They own the fucking bank."
     This was so different than I thought it would be and it worked so well. Tiffany Jackson is definitely an author to watch and I hope to find she's written more books in this style in the future.
Overall, I give this