I Visited Bloomsbury India (And it was EVERYTHING!) + A Book Unboxing


I have been BOMBARDING my blog with Reviews recently because I've honestly had no time to do anything else. Even thinking about doing Top Ten Tuesdays and Stacking The Shelves leave me exhausted - they take a lot of time and I just don't seem to have much of that on my hands these days (DAMN YOU, COLLEGE.)

Not to mention the fact that my TBR (especially the part of it with review copies) is EXPLODING in my face and I can't seem to keep up with it AT ALL.

So, to escape the mundane schedule and ALSO to go for my littlest sister's fourth birthday party, I ran away to New Delhi, the capital of India and home of all the big publishing offices in India.

A few days before I left, I emailed one of my FAVOURITE Publicists, Sneha Khaund from Bloomsbury India and we worked out a day when I could actually go and visit their offices and I was over the MOON that I could actually visit a place where the magic of creating books happened. (This sentence structure should totally show you all the excitement I felt as a rambling fangirl)

Located about twenty minutes away from where I was staying, the first thing I saw when I entered the Bloomsbury offices was all the POSTERS OF ALL THEIR LATEST RELEASES (along with the signboards that pointed me to their office) I had a few mild (okay, very many) freak out moments as I walked through the doors and up the two flights of stairs that it took me to stand outside the door.

I just stood there like the awkward potato of a human that I am for a good few moments before I walked in the door and smiled at the receptionist. The first thing I noticed, unsurprisingly, was a signed postcard of the cover of the Illustrated Edition of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and I smiled, knowing that I was in a place filled with books and that nothing could go wrong here.

After a few minutes of awkward fumbling (again) I finally saw Sneha from across the room and we ran across and hugged each other. 

Sneha introduced me to everyone on the AMAZING Publicity Team, including their head, Meenakshi Singh. As soon as I'd said hi to everyone, my attention was captured by the shelves and shelves of overflowing books (also known as my life)

I loved this office so much, not only because of the lovely bookish people but also because there were books EVERYWHERE, and it felt like home. I spoke to the publicity team for a little while, while Sneha showed me a few of their newer releases that were sitting on their shelves and ready to go out into the world. It was a surreal sort of feeling, sitting there and talking to the people I communicate with via email face to face.

Sneha then took me on a tour of the office. The Bloomsbury Offices are moderately sized but the important part is that they have books absolutlely everywhere and that makes it Heaven on Earth.

We walked past the accounting and business team and then past the professional book editors (for study guides etc) and then we entered my favourite part of the office - an arch made of book surrounding the area where Bloomsbury does their Facebook live sessions and where one of their editors sits.

Sneha and I sat with one of Bloomsbury's editors, Himanjali Sankar, and we spoke about books, Sarah J Maas, the role of bloggers in marketing, the young adult market in India and about a couple of books she edited and the one she wrote herself! I'm usually the MOST awkward (and shy) person in any room and being able to talk to someone so easily was kind of BRILLIANT. 

As we were done, we walked back to the marketing department's section of the office and the LOVELY Meenakshi gave me her own copy of a hot of the presses book, That Thing We Call A Heart that I still have to read and I am SO excited for.

And that's it. As I was about to leave, Sneha handed me the most GORGEOUS package ever - a Harry Potter Tote Bag, 20th Edition Anniversary Stickers and also a collection of some amazing books that are just down below!

This visit was my first tie ever to a publishing office and I WAS SO GLAD that I made the trip because the lovely people at Bloomsbury made every second worth it. I honestly cannot wait to be back in Delhi and meet all of them again.

And NOW, what you've all been waiting for: THE UNBOXING! I got the following lovely books all packed inside a Harry Potter Tote Bag and I am SO SO EXCITED to dive into them.

1. That Thing We Call A Heart by Sheba Karim

2. S.T.A.G.S by M.A. Bennett

3. The Planet Factory by Elizabeth Tasker

4. Arthur and Sherlock by Michael Sims

5. All The Dirty Parts by Daniel Hanndler

6. College by Saikat Majumdar

7. The Song Of Achilles by Madeline Miller

There was also a GORGEOUS Sticker sheet with all the Hogwarts Houses which are also the covers for the 20th Anniversary Edition of Harry Potter and the Philosipher's Stone!

I absolutely love each and every one of these gifts, just like I ABSOLUTELY loved my visit to Bloomsbury!

Thank you so much for having me, Sneha, Meenakshi, Himanjali and the rest of the team!

A Sparkling Tale on Life and Friendship // REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: A Few Good Friends by Swati Kaushal

Title: A Few Good Friends
Author: Swati Kaushal
Publication Date: December 20th 2017
Publisher: Hachette India
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: Hachette India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Wordery || Flipkart || Snapdeal || Infibeam || Kobo || Google Books
Blurb Description: Those were the best days of our lives . . .
For Aadi, Srini, Ambi, TD, Miru and Kajo, the twentieth anniversary reunion of their batch from IIM Calcutta provides the perfect opportunity to set aside their everyday anxieties and relive the heady days of their youth. But things beginto go awry when ex-lovers reunite, old grudges resurface and long-held secrets come tumbling out.
As they navigate an eventful weekend in Goa packed with expected nostalgia and unexpected drama, what becomes increasingly clear is that while friends are fallible, friendships are forever . . .
Sparkling with wit, warmth and the easy craft that has marked Swati Kaushal’s bestselling novels, A Few Good Friends is a refreshing, nuanced take on friendship, love and this crazy thing called life.
From the bestselling author of Piece of Cake, A Girl Like Me, Drop Dead and Lethal Spice
I haven’t spoken about it before (mostly because it scares me a little) but my tastes have started moving towards more adult books during the last year. I AM in the last year of my teens and perhaps it’s time, but that doesn’t mean I’m still not a little scared about what all the adult books in the world might hold for me.

Which brings me to the time when a lovely publicist at Hachette India pitched me this gorgeous looking and sounding INDIAN adult contemporary novel set in a place I JUST VISITED with my college friends and I was SOLD.

I dove into Swati Kaushal’s book about a week ago, and it took me a while to get into it. I’m currently at a place in my life that is twenty or so years away from where this book is, and that very fact made it a little difficult to connect with the characters.


Image result for a few good friends swati kaushal
1.       The first thing that hit me was the sheer number of characters in this book, which, needless to say, was a LOT. Told from six – or so – points of view, with the cast of characters having names and pet names, I STUMBLED OVER MYSELF trying to remember all of them. I DON’T HAVE THIS MUCH BRAIN POWER, OKAY?

2.        After I did get to know all the characters a little, I was a little more able to sit back and enjoy the story without wondering ‘WHO IS THIS PERSON?’ and ‘WHAT HAPPENED WITH THEM IN THE LAST CHAPTER?’ but it was a disconcerting experience as a whole.

3.       I did end up liking all of the characters in this book, but especially TD and Miru. Swati Kaushal’s writing really brought out the friendship and the love and the loss between them as everyone in this book went through a personal journey during their reunion.

4.       I will admit that this book also scared me a little, looking at a future and what kind of lives are in store for all of us. I’m at a point where I’m not sure what’s coming next for me and this book was a reality check as well as a slight shock.

5.       As I sit here thinking about the book, I can’t help but wish that there had been MORE to it. It was a very slow paced book with one major plotline for each character and I WANTED MORE. I wanted more memories, more flashbacks, more fun and more love and I wish that A Few Good Friends had given it to me.

All in all, it was definitely a different book from what I’ve been reading, and that was definitely a good thing. A Few Good Friends was a sparkling tale on life and friendship, love and growing up that I enjoyed but I also wish was better paced. 3 stars. 

Swati Kaushal
Swati Kaushal is the bestselling author of Lethal Spice, Drop Dead, A Girl Like Me and Piece of Cake. 

She was born in New Delhi, India, in a time before computers, cell phones, or social media. Despite these devastating privations, she has only happy memories of her childhood; of playing with her friends, of ice cream carts and orange bars, and of reading, reading, reading, to her heart’s content.

Swati grew up in Delhi reading mysteries and romances tucked inside her physics and chemistry textbooks, thereby shattering forever her chances of winning the Nobel prize in Physics or Chemistry. 
What are some of your favourite fictional friendships?
What are some of your favourtite desi books of 2017?
I'd love to hear from you and also, DON'T FORGET TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

Pure Adrenaline Filled Perfection // REVIEW: Warcross by Marie Lu

Title: Warcross (Warcross #1)
Author: Marie Lu
Publication Date: September 14th 2017  
Publisher: Penguin Books UK
Part of a Series?: Yes, Book 1 on 2 of the Warcross Duology
I Got A Copy Through: Penguin India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Amazon US || The Book Depository || Wordery || Flipkart || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Kobo || Books A Million || Google Books
Blurb Description: From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu - when a game called Warcross takes the world by storm, one girl hacks her way into its dangerous depths.
For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn't just a game - it's a way of life. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships - only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.
Convinced she's going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when she gets a call from the game's creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year's tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. Emika's whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she's only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.
In this sci-fi thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu conjures an immersive, exhilarating world where choosing who to trust may be the biggest gamble of all.
I put this book down about half an hour ago and HOLY CRAP. I honestly do not know what to do with myself anymore because while I thought Warcross would be good, I didn’t KNOW THAT IT WOULD BE THIS GOOD?

Also, that ending took the WIND out of me and I ACTUALLY let out a scream (nobody was around to hear me, so I’ll just post it on the internet for everyone to publicly judge me) and I cannot EXPLAIN how much I need the  sequel right now.

I read Marie Lu’s The Young Elites trilogy only a month (or so) ago and while it had its ups and downs, Warcross was PURE 100% PERFECTION AND ADRENALINE FILLED AND MIND TWISTINGLY GOOD AND I CANNOT CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT RIGHT NOW. (Does this sentence even make any sense?)

I simply have to get my thoughts out on this review, regardless if they make sense or not, so prepare for a lot of capital letters and fangirling down below.


1.       I always go into hyped books a little jaded. I mean *what if* after I believe that it will be the best book EVER, it isn’t and then I HAVE TO TEND TO MY POOR BRUISED BOOKWORM HEART AND SOUL? Yeah, I can’t. SO, I went into Warcross a little jaded but within NO TIME AT ALL I JOINED THE FANDOM and I SUPPORT ALL THE HYPE because this book is CRIMINALLY INSANE (in the best way possible.)
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Quote Graphic by the LOVELY Icey Designs

2.       THE WORLD BUILDING (especially the Virtual Reality World Building) is INSANE. HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH WORLDS LIKE THIS, MARIE LU? The technology, the arenas, the power-ups, the dark world inside the world – ALL OF IT WAS shockingly good and kept my brain spinning in marvel.

3.        I LOVED Emika Chen. I loved her independent streak, her fighter attitude, her genius brain and her inability to back down. She was one of the best characters I’ve met this year and I AM SO EXCITED TO DO IT AGAIN in book two!

4.       I loved Hideo Tanaka as well. He was quiet, withdrawn, OBVIOUSLY a genius and I LOVED HIM AND EMIKA TOGETHER. Also, the story of his past broke my heart into tiny little pieces.

5.       The pace of this book was (also) INSANE. There was always something happening with never a dull moment and with SO MANY characters and insane technology, the plot twists JUST KEPT COMING and I loved it. I read it in two days with college around AND an exam in between because it was SO HARD to tear myself away from it.\
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6.       Can I also talk about how stunning Warcross (the actual game) was? More, specifically, I LOVED the championships and everything to do with them. From the dome fights, the insane worlds that teams had to battle it out in and even the structure of each team – Captain, Architect, Fighter, Thief and Shield. Which brings me to HOW MUCH I LOVED The Phoenix Riders and the way they trained and their camaraderie! I only wish we had MORE of them and of the actual game!

7.       I think the ONLY THING I didn’t like (much) about the book was that I pretty much predicted one of the MAJOR plot twists and made it not so shocking – but I was SO WRONG about the rest of it, AND IT AMAZED ME.

All in all, this book is so SO worthy of every amount of praise that’s been thrown at it. Warcross is spectacular, adrenaline filled, mind twisting and I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT. 5 stars

Marie Lu
I write young adult novels, and have a special love for dystopian books. Ironically, I was born in 1984. Before becoming a full-time writer, I was an Art Director at a video game company. Now I shuffle around at home and talk to myself a lot. :)

I graduated from the University of Southern California in '06 and currently live in LA, where I spend my time stuck on the freeways.

Have you had the pleasure of reading Warcross? What did you think of it?
Are you a gamer? What do you play and on what console?
Have you read Marie Lu's other books? Which series is your favourite and ~ ARE YOU EXCITED for Batman: Nightwalker?

Jane Austen's Stories in Contemporary Pakistan // ARC REVIEW: Austenistan by Laaleen Sukhera

Title: Austenistan
Author: Laleen Sukhera
Publication Date: December 6th 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury India
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone!
I Got A Copy Through: Bloomsbury India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Flipkart || Snapdeal || Infibeam || Kobo || Google Books
Blurb Description: Heiress Kamila Mughal is humiliated when her brother's best friend snubs her to marry a social climbing nobody from Islamabad. Roya discovers her fiancĂ© has been cheating on her and ends up on a blind date on her wedding day. Beautiful young widow Begum Saira Qadir has mourned her husband, but is she finally ready to start following her own desires? 
Inspired by Jane Austen and set in contemporary Pakistan, Austenistan is a collection of seven stories; romantic, uplifting, witty, and heartbreaking by turn, which pay homage to the queen of romance who lives on among us
Like almost every girl who has the book, I fell in love with Mr. Darcy, from the widely acclaimed Pride and Prejudice novels at the age of fifteen. Even when it was well past midnight, my friends and I would watch and re-watch the movie, the TV show and the web series. In short, we were – I am – obsessed with anything Jane Austen, predictably Pride and Prejudice.

When I got the email from my favourite Bloomsbury Publicist saying that an advance copy of this BEAUTIFUL book was coming my way, I jumped with joy.

If you haven’t heard of Austenistan just yet, it’s a collection of short stories inspired by Jane Austen’s stories from 200 years ago set in modern day Pakistan and it is all kinds of Desi and BRILLIANT.
Let’s divide this story wise:

The Fabulous Banker Boys

This gorgeous book is a Pride and Prejudice retelling and I am SO GLAD that it came first. Though it is initially told from Jane’s (Jahan’s) mother’s point of view, it quickly changes to Jane’s and it is EVERYTHING. This story only encompasses the scene when Mr. Darcy and Jane’s Pakistani alter egos meet but I STILL LOVED IT.

Image result for austenistanBegum Saira Returns

I honestly don’t know how much I liked this story. I loved the feminist element that this story contained with a 40 year old widow trying to live her life without her husband as she re-enters the social scene. And yet, the ending left me feeling odd and I wish that it had been a little longer

Emaan Ever After

A BEST FRIEND ROMANCE! YAY! I absolutely loved this book, with Emaan and Haroon being such different, fun characters and the whole story in general. It really brought out career satisfactions and have I mentioned that BEST FRIEND ROMANCE IS MY ACHILLES HEEL OF ALL TROPES? Gaah I loved it.

The Mughal Empire

THIS WAS MY FAVOURITE STORY IN THE ENTIRE COLLECTION, HANDS DOWN. It was all about a scorned woman who had spent her whole life knowing that there was one man she wanted and then he ran away and married someone else while her brother married that girl’s sister. It was a powerful story about career, love and your expectations of people and I loved every minute of reading it. This particular story is already one I know I’ll re-read.

The Autumn Ball

I don’t really know how I felt about this story, being nineteen and not in the middle of a marriage where my husband doesn’t seem to care anymore, but I loved the intense writing anyway.

Image result for austenistanOnly The Deepest Love

This story fell somewhere in the middle for me as well. It was a good enough tale and yet, I failed to connect with any of the characters. I did love the fact that there was gay representation, or rather, how gay people are forced to live in Pakistan because not many books talk about it out here.

On The Verge

The premise of this story definitely excited me, but I was left a little put off by the main character at the end of it. How DO you fall in love with someone you’ve never met or looked at, and then claim you’ve given up on love after he (OBVIOUSLY) didn’t meet your expectations? It showed promise but at the end of the day, it fell flat.

Honestly, I REALLY loved reading this entire collection of Jane Austen stories. I could tell the love each writer had for the original Jane Austen Characters as well as the Pakistani versions that they created. Austenistan a lovely collection of stories that lived up to its promises and brought to life Jane Austen’s works in contemporary Pakistan. 4.5 Stars!
Laaleen SukheraLaaleen Sukhera is a British Pakistani writer and media professional and the founder of the Jane Austen Society of Pakistan. She is the Editor and one of seven contributors of Austenistan, an anthology inspired by Jane Austen and set in contemporary Pakistan, published by Bloomsbury India in December 2017 and forthcoming from Bloomsbury UK and Bloomsbury USA in 2018.
Based in Pakistan, Laaleen works as a magazine editor and a communications consultant for international development, heritage, and branding. She was recently profiled in The Times (UK), Vanity Fair Italia, and  1843 magazine, and is currently being interviewed by the British Council, the BBC, and NPR. On the occasion of Ms Austen’s bicentennial death anniversary, Laaleen was quoted in The Atlantic and The Economist as an authority on the subject. She has appeared as a literary panelist and speaker on women’s issues at events in South Asia and the United States. Her upcoming literary appearances for Austenistan include the Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2018 and the Times Lit Fest Bangalore, 2018.
Are you a Jane Austen fan? Are you JUST AS Obsessed with Pride and Prejudice as I am? 
Who is your favourite character from her books!
If it's Mr. Darcy please do let me know and I'd LOVE to fangirl with you in the comments!

An Exploratory Novel with Intense Writing // REVIEW: All The Dirty Parts by Daniel Handler

Title: All The Dirty Parts
Author: Daniel Handler
Publication Date: August 29th 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: Bloomsbury India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Barnes and Noble || The Book Depository || Wordery || Flipkart || Infibeam || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Kobo || Chapters Indigo || Google Books
Blurb Description: Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) delivers the eagerly anticipated companion piece to his award-winning bestseller Why We Broke Up--a gutsy, exciting novel that looks honestly at the erotic lives and impulses of an all-too-typical young man.
Cole is a boy in high school. He runs cross country, he sketches in a sketchbook, he jokes around with friends. But none of this quite matters, next to the allure of sex. "Let me put it this way,†? he says, "Draw a number line, with zero is, you never think about sex, and ten is, it's all you think about, and while you are drawing the line, I am thinking about sex.†?
Cole fantasizes about whomever he's looking at. He consumes and shares pornography. And he sleeps with a lot of girls--girls who seem to enjoy it at the time and seem to feel bad about it afterwards. Cole is getting a reputation around school--a not quite savory one--which leaves him adrift and hanging out with his best friend. Which is when something startling begins to happen between them--another kind of adventure, unexpected and hot, that might be what he's been after all this time. And then he meets Grisaille.
A companion piece to Handler's Why We Broke Up, the bestselling Michael J. Printz Honor novel, All The Dirty Parts is an unblinking take on the varied and ribald world of teenage desire in a culture of unrelenting explicitness and shunted communication, where queer can be as fluid as consent, where sex feels like love, but no one knows what love feels like. Structured in short chapters recalling Jenny Offill's Dept. of Speculation or Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, the novel gives us a tender, brutal, funny, and always intoxicating portrait of an age in which the whole world is tilted through the lens of sex. "There are love stories galore,†? Cole tells us, "and we all know them. This isn't that. The story I'm typing is all the dirty parts.†?
The minute I read the synopsis of this book, I was intrigued, to say the very least. I’ve always thought that the more knowledge adolescents have about sex, the more informed decisions they can make about any matter relating to it.

Which is to say, I went into this expecting it to be something GOOD. I finished the entire book in little more than an hour and, at this point, I’M HONESTLY NOT SURE HOW TO REVIEW THIS BOOK AT ALL.

It wasn’t like anything I’ve ever read before and like the description promises, it was purely about sex, from the mind of a ‘horny’ teenager talking only about ‘All The Dirty Parts’ in a cut prose.


1.       Despite the fact that the description of this book PROMISES that this isn’t a love story of any sort, and that it only contains all the dirty parts, I couldn’t help but shake the feeling that I wanted something MORE from the main character in terms of character and development.

2.       I guess I didn’t want a love story, per se, but I wanted a little more of a STORY instead of just descriptions of sex.

3.       I really liked Daniel Handler’s writing style. I’ve seen Lemony Snicket on TV with family, but I haven’t actually read any of his books. It was definitely an interesting style of writing with broken, cut away prose that reads SOMEWHAT like verse, but isn’t. The writing DEFINITELY suited the plot of the book, and that made my reading experience that much better.

Image result for all the dirty parts daniel handler

4.       The descriptions in this book were all kinds of crazy. At first, I was a little shocked at how graphic everything about this book was but I got over that. There was also a lot of diversity in terms of same sex relationships and a lot of experimentation which I really liked.

5.       Despite the fact that there WAS a same sex relationship, I absolutely HATED the way Cole treated his best friend. He honestly acted like a Grade A Dirtbag and I felt horrible for him.


I HAVE to give this book points for Originality and while it stayed true to its title and description I can’t help but with that there was a little more to Cole as a character. 3 stars. 
Daniel HandlerDaniel Handler is the author of the novels The Basic Eight, Watch Your Mouth, Adverbs and, most recently, the Michael J. Printz Honor-winning Why We Broke Up, a collaboration with noted illustrator Maira Kalman. He also worked with Kalman on the book Girls Standing on Lawns and Hurry Up and Wait (May 2015). Under the name Lemony Snicket he has written the best-selling books series All The Wrong Questions as well as A Series of Unfortunate Events, which has sold more than 60 million copies and was the basis of a feature film. Snicket is also the creator of several picture books, including the Charlotte Zolotow Award-winning The Dark, illustrated by Jon Klassen. His newest picture book is 29 Myths on the Swinster Pharmacy illustrated by Lisa Brown.

Born and raised in San Francisco, Handler attended Wesleyan University and returned to his hometown after graduating. He co-founded the magazine American Chickens! with illustrator Lisa Brown (with whom he soon became smitten), and they moved to New York City, where Handler eventually sold his first novel after working as a book and film critic for several newspapers. He continued to write, and he and his wife returned to San Francisco, where they now live with their son.
Have you read any of Daniel Handler's books? What did you think of them? 
Which one is your favourite?
Have you by any chance read All The Dirty Parts? What do you think of it?

A Stigma Breaker // REVIEW: You Don't Know Me But I Know You by Rebecca Barrow

Title: You Don't Know Me But I Know You
Author: Rebecca Barrow
Publication Date: August 19th 2017
Publisher: Harper Teen
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: Harper Collins India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Amazon US || Barnes and Noble || The Book Depository || Wordery || Kobo || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books || Flipkart || Snapdeal || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || 
Blurb Description: Rebecca Barrow’s bright, honest debut novel about chance, choice, and unconditional love is a heartfelt testament to creating the future you truly want, one puzzle piece at a time.
There’s a box in the back of Audrey’s closet that she rarely thinks about.
Inside is a letter, seventeen years old, from a mother she’s never met, handed to her by the woman she’s called Mom her whole life. Being adopted, though, is just one piece in the puzzle of Audrey’s life—the picture painstakingly put together by Audrey herself, full of all the people and pursuits that make her who she is.
But when Audrey realizes that she’s pregnant, she feels something—a tightly sealed box in the closet corners of her heart—crack open, spilling her dormant fears and unanswered questions all over the life she loves.
Almost two decades ago, a girl in Audrey’s situation made a choice, one that started Audrey’s entire story. Now Audrey is paralyzed by her own what-ifs and terrified by the distance she feels growing between her and her best friend Rose. Down every possible path is a different unfamiliar version of her life, and as she weighs the options in her mind, she starts to wonder—what does it even mean to be Audrey Spencer?
I did something really surprising: I actually read reviews BEFORE I started reading this review copy, which is something I almost never do. This is because doing so might leave me with expectations or biases, and the point of reviewing a book is to go in without preconceived notions.*

*Yes, I do feel smart having used the term preconceived notions.

I should PROBABLY come to my point, which is: I expected You Don’t Know Me But I Know You to be something slow paced and heart breaking from the reviews I read, and I was pacing myself for a really slow paced book but Rebecca Barrow’s debut novel wasn’t like that AT ALL.

In fact, it took quite a quick pace and it wasn’t the tragic book I was expecting, but something else altogether.

You Don’t Know Me But I Know You broke down so many tropes when it came to teenagers around friendship, sex, pregnancy and first loves and yet at the same time, had a lot of unnecessary drama popping up, and filled with rant-y monologues and resulted in me being SO CONFUSED ABOUT WHAT I FELT ABOUT THIS BOOK.

Let’s break this down:

1.       I loved how this book deconstructed tropes. It shows teenagers that UNLIKE most conceptions, their parents could support them in having safe sex, won’t kick them out of the house if they get pregnant and also that teen pregnancies don’t always end in the father bailing and the mother being saddled with ever decision. It is SO IMPORTANT to read books where teenagers are treated like adults, because it’s what we crave and EQUALLY IMPORTANT to see supportive parents and boyfriends in fiction just like Rebecca Barrow’s debut showed us.

2.       I also really liked the relationship dynamic between Audrey and her boyfriend, Julian. They had such this open, honest way of communicating to one another about their dreams and worries and most importantly, about the baby.

3.       This book was so adoption positive and I LOVED that about it. I feel like we don’t see enough books that show up adoption when the child knows all along instead of adoption being a huge plot twist, and this was a welcome chance.

4.       Like I said at the beginning of this review, I couldn’t help but shake the feeling that all the problems in this book were just plot twists that were filled with UNNECESSARY DRAMA and I just didn’t understand it. Audrey’s relationship with her best friend, Rose was horrible portrayed and all their miscommunication made me cringe. I DIDN’T EVEN REALLY GET WHAT THEY WERE FIGHTING ABOUT and I wanted to shake some SERIOUS sense into them.

5.       I also initially liked the female friendships in the book but they became filler VERY FAST. I hated the way Audrey treated Maria, Jen, Rose and Olivia. She put herself first, made everything about her and there was NO ROOM for anything else and that isn’t friendship in my book.

This book could have been so much better. It had some really promising elements and broke a lot of tropes but there was SO MUCH UNNEEDED DRAMA. 3 stars. 
Rebecca BarrowRebecca Barrow writes stories about girls and all the wonders they can be. A lipstick obsessive with the ability to quote the entirety of Mean Girls, she lives in England, where it rains a considerable amount more than in the fictional worlds of her characters. She collects tattoos, cats, and more books than she could ever possibly read. YOU DON'T KNOW ME BUT I KNOW YOU is her first novel.

Who are some of your top romantic couples in YA?
Have you read Rebecca's debut novel? What did you think of it?
I can't wait to see who all of you pick!