Sunday, November 29, 2020

Love at First Fight - Sandhya Menon


Title: Love at First Fight 
Author: Sandhya Menon
Format: Ebook
Rating: 3.5 Stars


Ashish Patel has never considered himself a hopeless romantic. But now that he’s found his other half, Sweetie Nair, there’s nothing he wants more than to celebrate love in all its forms. So when Valentine’s Day rolls around and he hears about a romance-themed escape room, he knows it’s the perfect opportunity to bring together Sweetie along with his newly engaged brother and sister-in-law-to-be, Rishi Patel and Dimple Shah.

On their way to the escape room, the group runs into Pinky Kumar and Samir Jha—both friends to Ashish but nemeses to each other. Despite Pinky’s kneejerk reaction to the cheesy theme (which gets her a high-five from Dimple), the two of them agree to join the group.

The escape room is as insufferably saccharine as Pinky feared, but even she is surprised when she and Samir actually…work well together. Samir embodies everything Pinky despises—following rules, having no fun, consuming single-use plastics. Getting along with someone like him—a shiny Volvo when she’s so used to junkers—sends Pinky into a tailspin.

Sparks are definitely flying, but it’s unclear if that’s a good thing. Could this be love at first fight?


Love At First Fight is a smooshy novella by the author of When Dimple Met Rishi - Sandhya Menon.  Her cute romantic comedy books have easily become some of my favorite YA romance books. 

This book was definitely a cute, smooshy read just like the other books in the Dimpleverse.  It was a very quick read (it took me a bout an hour to get through) and was honestly the perfect thing to read on a lazy afternoon.

This book takes place in an escape room that two couples and their friends go to as a date night.  Samir and Pinky object to it being called a date, of course, because in this book they are still not dating EVEN THOUGH THEY SHOULD BE!  

Love At First Fight is full of Menon's trademark witty humor and sweet moments. The characters play off each other well, and the story flows nicely from beginning to end.  

Because this was a book that took place over the span of like two hours, there really wasn't the chance for character development or inflection.  However, you could tell that the two established couples, Dimple and Rishi and Ashish and Sweetie, really played well off each other.  Reading the book was a reminder of what great couples they both are and how good they are for each other. We also got a chance to see that Pinky and Samir are definitely attracted to each other, and watching them try to hide it is just hilarious.

If you want a lighthearted, quick, funny read, you need to get your hands on this delightful ebook. 

If you've already read this book, drop a comment below and let me know what you thought of it!

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Vicious - VE Schwab

 Title: Vicious
Author: V.E. Schwab 
Format: Paperback
Rating: 5 Stars


Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn't automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.


Chances are most readers have heard of or read anything by VE Schwab.  I regret to inform you, reader friends, that this is MY FIRST VE SCHWAB BOOK!  Yes, despite having known who she is for years, and knowing I would love her books, this is the first book of hers that I have actually read.  And - I loved every single violent, twisted second of it.

Let's just get right into it, shall we? 

It took me a minute to get used to the dual storylines, but the author did a great job of jumping back and forth from their college days to the present. That style works very well for this book. I think the author did a great job of telling Victor and Eli's stories, and working their past into who they are in the present. 

I loved and hated all the characters in this book.  I loved that they were so well developed, and so distinct and unique. They had well developed personalities that stood out from the characters around them and made them each their own wonderful, twisted, evil persons.  I really shouldn't say I hated all the characters in the book - I actually liked Sydney, and I truly did love the way each characters personality grew throughout the story. But man did I detest Victor and Eli.  The way they used people, the way they justified what they did to meet their own needs and their own end was just so messed up.  It all worked in the context of this story and where the author took it, but what they did to each other, to other people, it was so fucked up.

Vicious started with an experiment that developed into something that was so well written and so well developed that I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. This book was truly well plotted, well developed, and well worth the read.  I felt like everything worked in this book, no matter how dark and twisted it was.  The events of the novel flowed well together to move towards the end.  It was interesting to see everything come together as it did - like Eli meeting Stell, and the manipulation from Serena that ensued (because, hi Eli hasn't aged AT ALL!) 

I loved the exploration of the idea about their being ExtraOrdinaries with these abilities, and I think the look at Eli, and why he hated other EO's was so important to this book. I like that the author explored that and showed that these EO abilities aren't always what they've cracked up to be, and that they can impact each character differently. 

I loved watching the relationship between Victor, Sydney, and Mitch develop as well. They had this great friendship, odd yet great, and watching them work and grow together was great.  Although I didn't really love Eli and Serena, I liked watching what happened in their relationship also, mostly because I was fascinated by Serena's power. 

Overall, this is a book everyone should read (adult Fantasy, though!)  If you've already read it, let me know what you though in the comments. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

It's an Unboxing!

 Hey reader friends! I had a little bit of a hiatus there, because I needed a break, and because I GOT A NEW KITTY - and I'll admit when not working, I've been spending time with that little bugger.

Isn't he the cutest little nugget? His name is Felix.  So, now for the other best part of this post: My monthly Magical Reads Crate Unboxing! 

There are so many AWESOME THINGS in this box! They include this adorable hat: 

Also, it comes with other super cute stuffs!

This tea smells so amazing, like I'm just going to drink it all in one day, I swear! There are chunks of real fruit in it.

Of course, there is an Ashley Poston Signature card and a super fun poisoned apple pin that says "Just One Bite."

This bookmark is MY FAVORITE THING in the entire box.  Look at how pretty it is! 

And the requisite photo of everything that is in the box.  Pretty standard. 

This chapstick is delightful, and I love that on the bottom it says "Do your lips feel chapped and chapter?"  SO FUN! 

AND FINALLY: The Book. I read the description and I AM SO EXCITED to read it.

Now, reader friends, I'd like to hear from you. Does anyone else get the Magical Reads Crate? What did you think of this box? Have any of you read the book yet? Don't post spoilers, but do drop a "Read it and liked it" or even a "Read it and hated it" in the comments.