Real and ABSOLUTELY Hilarious // REVIEW: Koi Good News by Zarreen Khan

Title: Koi Good News?
Author: Zarreen Khan
Publication Date: May 21st 2018
Publisher: HarperCollins India
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: HarperCollins India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Infibeam || WHSmith || Google Books
Blurb Description: The hilarious private journal of a highly public pregnancy.
When Mona Mathur of Dehradun married her college sweetheart, Ramit Deol of Amritsar, there were two things she wasn’t prepared for:
1. The size of the Deol family – it put any Sooraj Barjatya movie to shame.
2. The fertility of the Deol family – they reproduced faster than any other species known to mankind.
It’s been four years since their wedding, and Mona and Ramit have done the unthinkable – they’ve remained childless. Of course, that also means that they’ve battled that one question day in and day out: ‘Koi Good News?’
It doesn’t matter that they have been happy to be child-free – they are married; they are expected to make babies. After all, there are grandparents, great-grandparents, uncles, aunts and even colony aunties in waiting.
Now, the truth is, Ramit and Mona had been trying to conceive for the past one year. But having a baby isn’t as easy as it’s made out to be.
Finally, aided by the wine at their highly glamorous neighbours’ party, Mona gets pregnant. And so begins a crazy journey – complete with interfering relatives, nosy neighbours, disapproving doctors, and absolutely no privacy!
Honest, relevant and thoroughly irreverent, Koi Good News? is the funniest book you’ll read this year
There comes this book, once in a while, that has you reading and reading, laughing and falling in love and reading some more, until you’ve somehow reached the last page and there’s no more to read on.

There comes this book, once in a while, that makes you fall for the characters because they’re seem so real, and as if the entire story unfurled before your very eyes.

Koi Good News? Was one of those books for me – hilarious, real, addicting and just a big, book shaped piece of fun.

THINGS I LOVED ABOUT THIS BOOK:

1.       The Alternating Viewpoints: Koi Good News is told, quite funnily, in both a husband (Ramit) and a wife’s (Mona’s) perspective before and during their first pregnancy. Their quick dialogues, sarcasm and the general way they described their everyday lives was the essence of one of my new favourite books.

2.       The Mother and the Mother-In-Law: I absolutely loved both Ramit and Mona’s mothers, who played SUCH a huge roll in the story. They were the perfect, slightly-overbearing, over-concerned and always there when you need them Indian mothers and the representation was WONDERFUL!

3.       The Huge Deol Family: As the blurb promises, Ramit’s family is HUGE, boisterous, perfectly
Indian, extremely nosey and the scenes with them made me laugh, partly because of how accurate it was and partly because I FEEL the exasperation that Mona feels when I’m around my extended family/ bheed.

4.       All the Laughs: Koi Good News? Is a light hearted, well-written book that will leave a smile on your face, even after you’ve put it down. I honestly loved it so much, I handed it to my mother to read (since, you know, she’s actually been pregnant) as well as recommended it to her sisters because IT’S JUST A BOOK WORTH READING, OKAY?

Would I recommend this book? Well, I mean, I read the whole thing within four hours and in one sitting, so YES, IT WAS A GOOD BOOK AND PLEASE CONSIDER THIS AS ME THROWING IT IN YOUR FACE.

An un-putdownable, real and hilarious account of a highly public pregnancy complete with the perfect over-bearing Indian family and superstition and all the laughs!

Zarreen Khan
After working for Pepsi, Hindustan Times and ACNielsen for ten years, Zarreen Khan decided to take a break and raise two children, who are sometimes kind enough to let her role-play as a marketing consultant. She lives in Delhi with her husband. Koi Good News? is her second book.

What are some of the funniest books you've EVER read?
What are some of your favourite books with Desi Characters?
I'd love to hear from you!
 

Well Developed Characters, But A Lacking Plot // REVIEW: The Fates' Divide by Veronica Roth

Title: The Fates' Divide
Author: Veronica Roth
Publication Date: April 10th 2018
Publisher: HarperCollins India
Part of a Series?: Yes, Book 2/2 of the Carve the Mark Duology
I Got A Copy Through: HarperCollins India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Barnes and Noble || Wordery || Infibeam || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books
Blurb Description: In the second book of the Carve the Mark duology, globally bestselling Divergent author Veronica Roth reveals how Cyra and Akos fulfil their fates.
The Fates Divide is a richly imagined tale of hope and resilience told in four stunning perspectives.
The lives of Cyra Noavek and Akos Kereseth are ruled by their fates, spoken by the oracles at their births. The fates, once determined, are inescapable.
Akos is in love with Cyra, in spite of his fate: he will die in service to Cyra’s family. And when Cyra’s father, Lazmet Noavek – a soulless tyrant, thought to be dead – reclaims the Shotet throne, Akos believes his end is closer than ever.
As Lazmet ignites a barbaric war, Cyra and Akos are desperate to stop him at any cost. For Cyra, that could mean taking the life of the man who may – or may not – be her father.
For Akos, it could mean giving his own. In a stunning twist, the two will discover how fate defines their lives in ways most unexpected.

It took me a week to read this book, which, for me, is quite a long time.

In all honestly, it’s not that I didn’t enjoy it. It was dark and delved deeper into war, fate, love, family and blood that I ever imagined it would, and definitely better ‘Carve the Mark’ in many aspects. It was a good book, basically, but for the three problems I had with it:

1)      THERE WAS SO MUCH FILLER. Travelling to new planets and getting SO caught up in the life there, that their mission, whatever it was, seemed forgotten. Basically, filler, and a lot of places I didn’t care about.

2)      I JUST WASN’T INVESTED? I cared about Cisi, Akos, Cyra, Isae and the rest, but I didn’t care ENOUGH to sit at the edge of my seat and wonder if they would survive.

3)      WHERE WAS THE PLOT, REALLY? I struggled with this concept so much, because there was SO MUCH description about medicine making and Ogran lifeforms (a planet in the galaxy) but the actual WAR SCENES and the CONCLUSION were so rushed that I was left… stranded? Wondering WHAT HAPPENED because The Fates’ Divide totally glossed over the most important parts of all. *SIGHS EXASPERATEDLY*

There were a lot of things I LIKED about the book as well, including:

1)      THE DIFFERENTIATING VIEWPOINTS: I absolutely loved that this book was told from five different viewpoints – Cyra and Akos, from book one and also Isae Benesit, Cisi and Eijeh Kereseth. It really showed you what was happening from different corners of the galaxy and I loved, especially, the three new POVs.

2)      EIJEH KERESETH: I LOVED HOW Veronica Roth wrote this boy (no spoilers, don’t worry), especially after everything he endured at the hands of the Noavek family in book one, and I really looked forward to his viewpoints.

3)      ISAE BENESIT: We knew (or I remember) almost nothing of Isae Benesit from Carve the Mark, but I loved her story, as we saw her navigating political alliances and the Assembly of the nine planets. I loved learning about her through both her and Cisi’s points of view.

And that’s it, I guess. I thought The Fates’ Divide was better than Carve the Mark, but I’m not the BIGGEST fan of the series as a whole. (Even though I rated the book higher - I'm just a tougher critic from a year and a half ago)

I definitely felt it could’ve been better in terms of plot, especially at the important parts and that there was LESS FILLER.


3 stars. *waves goodbye* 
Veronica RothVeronica Roth is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Carve the Mark and the Divergent Series (Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant, and Four: A Divergent Collection). Her short stories and essays have appeared in Summer Days and Summer Nights, Shards and Ashes, and the upcoming Three Sides of a Heart. The Divergent Series was developed into three major motion pictures.

Veronica grew up outside of Chicago and graduated from Northwestern University. She now lives in Chicago proper with her husband and dog and writes full-time.

Sign up for Veronica's newsletter to hear news, writing thoughts, book recommendations, etc.
Have you read either of Veronica Roth's series'? Which one do you like better?
Have you read the Carve the Mark duology? What do you think of it?
I'd absolutely love to hear from you!
 

A Short Sojourn Back to the Night Court // REVIEW: A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas

Title: A Court of Frost and Starlight
Author: Sarah J Maas
Publication Date: May 8th 2018
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Part of a Series?: Yes, Book 3.1 of the A Court of Thorns and Roses Series
I Got A Copy Through: Bloomsbury India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Barnes and Noble || Wordery || Infibeam || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books
Blurb Description: The Winter Solstice. In a week. I was still new enough to being High Lady that I had no idea what my formal role was to be. If we'd have a High Priestess do some odious ceremony, as lanthe had done the year before A year. Gods, nearly a year since Rhys had called in his bargain, desperate to get me away from the poison of the Spring Court to save me from my despair. Had he been only a minute later, the Mother knew what would have happened. Where I'd now be. Snow swirled and eddied in the garden, catching in the brown fibers of the burlap covering the shrubs My mate who had worked so hard and so selflessly, all without hope that I would ever be with him We had both fought for that love, bled for it. Rhys had died for it.
Honestly, I went into this book with no expectations. I heard a lot of NOT SO GREAT things from some VERY trusted people, not to mention my own disappointment at A Court of Wings and Ruin and, well, I didn’t expect much but simply HAD to read it anyway because of my IMMENSE love for book two, A Court of Mist and Fury. (Which was really one of the BEST books ever and I am still not over it)

A Court of Frost and Starlight started off rather… strangely. I’m quite used to this story having been told from Feyre’s point of view and it threw me when we ALSO got Rhysand, Mor, Nesta and Cassian narrating Sarah J Maas’ SMALLEST book to date. What I’m basically trying to say is, I had a little bit of an adjusting period.

Let’s break it down:

1.       If you know me, I’m not a huge fan of novellas or short stories. Whenever I read them, I always feel like the second I get invested, the story is over. POOF. HEART=BROKEN. And so use the word ‘novella,’ and I’m already a little suspicious about the book’s intentions for my heart.
2.       EVEN THEN, Novella or full length novel, an essential element for books (for me) is PLOT. BOOKS HAVE TO HAVE A PLOT, OKAY? A Court of Frost and Starlight was a bridge book between the old series and the spin-off series, it didn’t really have a SOLID PLOT, or any real reason that the events of this book couldn’t have been clubbed into the next one VERY EASILY.

3.       Really, this book was mostly (rather graphic) sex scenes, the “sizable” coffers of the Night Court, a lot of gift exchanging and some ominous foreshadowing for the next book.

4.       MIND YOU, I’M NOT SAYING I DIDN’T LIKE IT, (There was a LOT I LIKED, and I’ll get to that below) BUT I WISH A Court of Frost and Starlight had been MORE by itself, or had just been combined into the NEXT BIG NOVEL.

5.       There were a lot of things I really liked, including:

-          Feyre and Cassian’s drunk decorating (And Azriel trying to clean up their mess)
-          Cassian’s Point of View (WHO KNEW THIS DARK SMOL ILLYRIAN WAS SO PRECIOUS?)
-          The Inner Circle just hanging out and being themselves
-          The ‘everyday’ tasks post war – I actually really appreciated that his book dealt with the day to day tasks of ruling and rebuilding to some extent, because I feel like it’s almost always glossed over in fantasy novels
-          I… like Nesta better? I didn’t think it was possible, but I suddenly do. I’m quite excited to see where the next book takes me.

I guess, all in all, I’d recommend this only to someone who is ALREADY a HUGE fan of the series. It didn’t really have a plot, and was a filler novella, but if you enjoy the antics of the Night Court/ Inner Circle and just want to check in on your favourite characters, this could be this book for you.

I’ll just leave you with: ‘To the stars that wish, and the dreams that are answered.’

Sarah J. Maas
Sarah J. Maas is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series as well as the A Court of Thorns and Roses series (out 5/5/15).

Sarah lives in Bucks County, PA, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much tea, and watches an ungodly amount of TV. When she's not busy writing, she can be found exploring the historic and beautiful Pennsylvania countryside with her husband and canine companion.
Have you read any Sarah J Maas books? What do you think of them, and WHO is your favourite character?
Have you read ACOFAS? What did you think of it?
 

A Diverse, Feel Good Book // ARC Review: The Way You Make Me Feel by Maureen Goo

Title: The Way You Make Me Feel
Author: Maureen Goo
Publication Date: May 8th 2018
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, Giroux (Macmillan)
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: Macmillan Intl (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon US || Barnes and Noble || Wordery || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books
Blurb Description: From the author of I Believe in a Thing Called Love, a laugh-out-loud story of love, new friendships, and one unique food truck.
Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn't so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad’s business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind? 
With Maurene Goo's signature warmth and humor, The Way You Make Me Feel is a relatable story of falling in love and finding yourself in the places you’d never thought to look.
THIS BOOK MADE ME LAUGH.

Which is rare. I IMMENSELY enjoy and get HIGHLY invested in a few books too many than is healthy, but I very rarely laugh because of a book.
 
The Way You Make Me Feel, in a nutshell, was an adorable read, filled with GREAT FOOD, diversity and anxiety rep that also made for a wonderful, light summer read and the perfect way to close out my last summer as a student (hello, senior year and my twenties *bursts into tears*)
There were a lot of things I really liked about this book, so let’s break it down:

1.       KOREAN – BRAZILIAN FUSION FOOD: If you read the synopsis, (directs you upwards) you’ll know that our main character spends her summer working in her dad’s Korean-Brazilian fusion food truck and OH MY GOD THE DESCRIPTIONS OF FOOD AND THE DIVERSITY IN THE FOOD WERE ESSENTIALLY THE BEST THING IN THE FOOD.  

2.       ALL THE DIVERSITY: Our main character, Clara Shin is Korean and Brazilian. Her co-worker on the food truck is African American and it all just felt right. It was so well done, and I loved how Maureen Goo portrayed her characters, especially how their skin color and roots were a part of who they were, and they were also so much more.

 
3.       THIS WAS KIND OF HILARIOUS?: I read a sampler before requesting this book, and this book made me laugh in the VERY first scene which contained feminism, prom queens and tampons and I kept laughing after.

4.       IT JUST MADE ME FEEL GOOD: Reading this story made me feel happy. I don’t know if it was Hamlet, the ADORABLE love interest, the fact that it was a summery read and also a love letter to LA and delicious food OR Clara’s personal growth, but I loved it regardless.

The One Thing I Thought Could Have Been Better:

1.       The Lack of Connect/ The Extreme fast pace of everything: When I read The Way You Make Me Feel, I felt disconnected from the story and all the brilliant elements playing out on the paper. I quickly realised it was because I felt like the dialogue was… insubstantial and very fast and there was SO MUCH TELLING AND NOT SHOWING, that I simply didn’t enjoy it as much.

Would I recommend this book? YES. The Way You Make Me Feel was a hilarious, feel-good, summer read with some great character growth, diversity, romance and family. 

Maurene Goo
Maurene Goo grew up in a Los Angeles suburb surrounded by floral wallpaper and piles of books. She studied communication at UC San Diego and then later received a Masters in publishing, writing, and literature at Emerson College. Before publishing her first book, Since You Asked, she worked in both textbook and art book publishing. She also has very strong feelings about tacos and houseplants and lives in Los Angeles.
What are some of your favourite diverse reads of the year?
Have you read any of Maureen Goo's books?
What did you think of them?
 

Stacking The Shelves #38 - The One I've Been Procrastinating Because There Are SO many Books!

I've been procrastinating this haul for weeks now, purely because of the SHEER AMOUNT of bookmail I've received over the last few weeks. I left town for a month and a half, and I came home to a mountain of bookmail, plus I received a lot of packages after as well.

If you do want to keep seeing (in real time, because I usually take months between these posts - the last one was in February), do follow me on Instagram, where you can see it all on my stories!

But, without further ado, let's begin!

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted at Tyga's reviews and is all about the book you stacked on your shelves over a week (or three months or so)

FOR REVIEW: 

FROM PENGUIN INDIA:

The people at Penguin Random House India are some of the BEST book fairies in the world, and keep showering me with books! I got all of this in one haul, even though I only asked for the first two, and I'm slowly making my way through the list!

1. The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green

2. Eve of Man by Giovanna and Tom Fletcher

3. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

4. Small Spaces by Sarah Epstien

5. Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Katherine Webber

6. The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton

7. The Legend of Virinara by Usha Alexander

8. Twelve Nights by Andrew Zurcher



FROM BLOOMSBURY INDIA:

Sneha at Bloomsbury always knows the BEST books to send my way. I've already finished A Court of Frost and Starlight, and my review will be on the Blog tomorrow. (hopefully!)

I'm also very excited for The Pisces and The Weight of A Thousand Feathers!

1.  A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas

2.  The Pisces by Melissa Broder

3. The Weight of a Thousand Feathers by Brian Conaghan

4.  Pretty Vile Girl by Rickie Khosla


FROM PAN MACMILLAN INDIA:


I was so honoured to be one of the bloggers who receives this huge package of SURPRISE bookmail  I Am Thunder, which I will start reading as soon as I'm done with my current read, Veronica Roth's The Fates' Divide as well as to read more than the one Sidney Sheldon I already have.
from Pan Macmillan India. I'm especially excited for

1.  I Am Thunder by Muhamad Khan

2.  My Father Drank My Lover and Other Stories by Ashok Banker

 The Cast by Danielle Steele

 Accidental Heroes by Danielle Steele



FROM MACMILLAN INTERNATIONAL:

Receiving parcels from Macmillan International is what I imagine opening presents on Christmas morning is like (we don't celebrate Christmas here in India, so) but they always contain the best kind of treasure - BOOKS!

I just finished reading The Way You Make Me Feel and I've PLANNED to have a review up my Tuesday, so let's see how that goes;)

1. The Way You Make Me Feel by Maureen Goo

2. Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Perez

3. As She Fades by Abbi Glines


FROM USBOURNE PUBLISHING:

THESE TWO AUTHORS AND MY ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE YA Contemporary writers (along with maybe Sarah Dessen) and having these two books on my shelf together just makes me want to drop everything else and dive in. Which I just might. WHO KNOWS IN THIS CRAZY, BOOK FILLED WORLD?

Seriously, you guys, check out Holly Bourne's Spinster Girl series and Maggie Harcourt's Unconventional and you will FALL IN LOVE.

1. Theatrical by Maggie Harcourt

2. Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes by Holly Bourne


FROM ABRAMS AND CHRONICLE INTERNATIONAL:

Abrams and Chronicle publishes by ALL TIME FAVOURITE CONTEMPORARY WITH A

TWIST/ PURPOSE writer, Riley Regdate, whose novels are these complex creatures that will leave you in awe and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND ALL (THREE) OF THEM!

I've already finished Final Draft, but I will be reading #3 very soon and I can't wait to meet a high school, fictional Mr. Darcy!

1. The Accidental Bad Girl by Maxine Kaplan


2, Final Draft by Riley Redgate

3. Bookish Boyfriends by Tiffany Schmidt


FROM HMH TEEN:

1. Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd: This book LOOKS STUNNING, and sounds it as well. A fantasy novel, set in Paris with all sorts of magical creatures. I am VERY excited to dive into it. Hopefully by the end of this coming week.

What books have you stacked onto your shelves over the last week
Have you read any of my new books/ are you excited for any of them?
I'd ABSOLUTELY love to hear from you!

Left Me With A Sense of Potential Unfulfilled // ARC Review: Eve of Man by Giovanna and Tom Fletcher

Title: Eve Of Man (Eve of Man Trilogy #1)
Authors: Giovanna and Tom Fletcher
Publication Date: May 31st 2018
Publisher: Penguin Books UK
Part of a Series?: Yes, Book 1 on 3 of the Eve of Man Trilogy
I Got A Copy Through: Penguin India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Wordery || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Google Books
Blurb Description: AGAINST ALL ODDS, SHE SURVIVED.THE FIRST GIRL BORN IN FIFTY YEARS.THEY CALLED HER EVE . . .
All her life Eve has been kept away from the opposite sex. Kept from the truth of her past.
But at sixteen it's time for Eve to face her destiny. Three potential males have been selected for her. The future of humanity is in her hands. She's always accepted her fate.
Until she meets Bram.
Eve wants control over her life. She wants freedom.
But how do you choose between love and the future of the human race?
EVE OF MAN is the first in an explosive new trilogy by bestselling authors Giovanna & Tom Fletcher. 
EVE OF MAN, in a nutshell, has:

1)      An interesting Plot (AND I MEAN VERY INTERESTING) *gestures at you to read synopsis above*
2)      Easy to read writing (no superfluous nonsense, YAY)
3)      A lot of filler?

EVE OF MAN left me with:

1)      A sense of something missing, or potential unfulfilled, if you know what I mean

Look, I LOVE dystopian novels. I’ve read so many in the last year alone – This Mortal Coil, in particular, to name my favourite one. I love that everything has changed in the not too distant future, that is very real and scary and Eve of Man seemed like it had the PERFECT plot, but somehow, didn’t live up to it’s potential.

MY THOUGHTS:

1.       Surprisingly, the beginning of this book RAISED my expectations. It was this brilliant start, switching between the highly sheltered, only girl in the world born in fifty years and a boy on the outside, an integral part of the illusion created to keep her safe.

2.       I basically loved that this book was told between both Eve and Bram’s viewpoints as the figured out everything happening behind the curtain with the EPO

3.       While I loved the plot and the WAY the story was told, I feel like there were some unfinished elements and some elements that felt VERY forced:

*SPOILERS*

A)     After Bram left the tower and went with the Freevers, the way they trusted him and ALSO, how he was suddenly their leader was WAY TOO ABRUPT. Absolutely no rebellion EVER would trust someone who used to be on the enemy side just one day ago and it seemed like a little too much to take in.
B)      I felt like a lot of the parts with Eve were filler. Maybe I just didn’t like her enough, but I didn’t really enjoy reading through her na├»ve world view (not her fault) or her tantrums… I just didn’t. I hope she grows in the next two books as a person, and I hope I’ll like her more.
C)      I feel like the conspiracy with the ‘big bad organisation’ was underplayed. The romance between Eve and Bram took the story over, while the actual consequences to repopulating, the science and the ‘evil’ organisation just went away like POOF

*SPOILERS OVER*

4.       At the same time, I will definitely be picking up the next book. While there was a lot I thought COULD have been done so much better, considering the stakes, I do HOPE it will all be better in the second book.


I fast paced, interesting story with a GREAT PLOT, but with execution that could have been improved. I will definitely be reading more in the series. 3.5 Stars. 
Tom  FletcherGiovanna FletcherGiovanna grew up in Essex with her Italian dad Mario, mum Kim, big sister Giorgina and little brother Mario, and spent most of her childhood talking to herself (it seems no one wanted to listen) or reading books.

At thirteen she left Essex behind to attend the full-time Sylvia Young Theatre School, where she met her husband Tom Fletcher. Following SYTS she completed an acting BA (hons) at Rose Bruford – since then she's been acting, chaperoning mini actors and dabbling in a spot of freelance journalism.

Giovanna is a firm believer in the power of magpies and positive energy. To see what makes Giovanna smile, view her blog at www.giovannasworld.com, or her Twitter page @mrsgifletcher

Tom Fletcher is an English singer-songwriter, guitarist, and children's author.
What are some of your favourite dystopian novels?
Do you prefer fantasy or dystopian?
Have you read Eve of Man? What did you think of it?