Recent Reads and Mini Reviews #3

Hey there!! I hope you are all doing well today! Welcome to another recent reads and mini reviews. It feels like such a long time ago that I read these three books that I’ll be talking about today. For today, I’ll be talking about Love and Other Words, Next Year In Havana, and The Bride Test.

All my thoughts are spoiler free


img_0011Title: Love and Other Words
Author: Christina Lauren
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Gallery Books
Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis:
Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new pediatrics resident, plan her wedding to an older, financially secure man, keep her head down and heart tucked away.

But when she runs into Elliot Petropoulos—the first and only love of her life—the careful bubble she’s constructed begins to dissolve. Once upon a time, Elliot was Macy’s entire world—growing from her gangly bookish friend into the man who coaxed her heart open again after the loss of her mother…only to break it on the very night he declared his love for her.

Told in alternating timelines between Then and Now, teenage Elliot and Macy grow from friends to much more—spending weekends and lazy summers together in a house outside of San Francisco devouring books, sharing favorite words, and talking through their growing pains and triumphs. As adults, they have become strangers to one another until their chance reunion. Although their memories are obscured by the agony of what happened that night so many years ago, Elliot will come to understand the truth behind Macy’s decade-long silence, and will have to overcome the past and himself to revive her faith in the possibility of an all-consuming love.

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I really wanted to love this book. I thought it had a lot of potential. This book was so different from other Christina Lauren books I’ve read. However, Love and Other Words just wasn’t for me. The reason behind them not talking/seeing each other for many years was not shocking to me. I felt like there was a lot of build up for a mediocre plot. Also, the teenage sex scenes made me super uncomfortable. I skimmed over those parts because I do not want to read about teenagers humping. The writing was well done and the chapters from past to present were also well done. I found it odd how one particular character acted towards the situation that the MC was going through. I expected more turmoil. Overall, it was a cute book. It just didn’t impact me as much as I thought it would. The writing in this book is definitely a lot better than Christina Lauren’s previous books.

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34374628Title: Next year In Havana
Author: Chanel Cleeton
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Penguin/Berkley
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis:
After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity–and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution…

Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba’s high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country’s growing political unrest–until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary…

Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa’s last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth.

Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba’s tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she’ll need the lessons of her grandmother’s past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.

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CAN WE JUST TALK ABOUT THIS BOOK FOR A MOMENT?!?!?!? ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS. I DID NOT SEE THIS ONE COMING!! I seriously thought it was just going to be another read but this book right here?!?!? This one is everything. I will talk about it forever. The writing, the politics, the romance, the family relationships, the plot, EVERYTHING WAS PERFECT! The Cuban representation was perfectly executed and I honestly feel like that has to do with the fact that the author is Cuban herself. This shows how important own voices really is. This book was a masterpiece. We got rich detail of Cuba, Cubans, their culture, their food, their history. I found myself crying, happy, sad, and transported to this world. It’s politically heavy, however that’s what I loved even more about it. The two perspectives from both Grandmother in 1958 and Granddaughter present day was well done. I enjoyed both parts equally. Even if I had to stop mid chapter, once I opened the book, I knew which chapter I was in. I would like to add that this book is very quotable. I highly recommend Next Year in Havana with all my heart.

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39338454Title: The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient #2)
Author: Helen Hoang
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Berkley Books
Rating: 2.5 stars

Synopsis:
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.

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The Bride Test was my May Book of The Month pick. I heard that you do not have to read The Kiss Quotient in order to read this one which is exactly what I did. I was excited to read this book after hearing so much praise for The Kiss Quotient. I was excited to read a cute contemporary romance with Asian Representation. However, I disliked this book a whole lot. I had a lot of problems with it. The Asian and Autistic representation was spot on, my problems lied with the plot/storyline. I felt uncomfortable with all the forced interactions, all the awkward mentions of his dick, and lastly my biggest problem; the secret that Esme was hiding from him. The secret she was hiding from him was something that really made my time reading this book unenjoyable because of personal reasons. It was hard to read this book objectively when my anxiety was yelling in frustration lol. In the end, I felt this book was very rushed. The Bride Test is only 296 pages. However, it could’ve lasted a little longer when throughout the book problem after problem was reoccurring and all of a sudden we get a ta-da moment. Overall, writing was good and so were the characters, the plot/storyline were my biggest problems.

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Have you read any of these books? What were your thoughts on them? Let’s chat in the comments!

Instagram: @chicnerdreads
Twitter: @chicnerdreads

My First Book of the Month Subscription Box!

SnapseedHey everyone! Hope you’re doing well and if not, then I send you loads of love and peace! Today’s post is all about my first ever subscription box to Book of the Month. I know I’m probably super late to the game here but I AM SO EXCITED!! Since I don’t read YA pretty much anymore and I want to get into more Adult books, I thought this would be the perfect way to get into it. And shout out to my Twin, Lilly over at Lair of Books, for pushing me to do this! I feel like this was a really good decision and I also get to treat myself every month one way or the other with a book. Plus, if I don’t like the books they are offering for the month, I can skip it! Love the variety of this box and the books they have to offer. Wow this sounds sponsored af lol!

 

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There were different books to chose from and they all sound great. However I decided to choose a debut mystery thriller novel, Miracle Creek by Angie Kim. The synopsis can be found below! This box came with a book mark and a welcome booklet. The book comes wrapped so no worries about it getting destroyed!

 


Synopsis:

A literary courtroom drama about a Korean immigrant family and a young, single mother accused of murdering her eight-year-old autistic son

My husband asked me to lie. Not a big lie. He probably didn’t even consider it a lie, and neither did I, at first . . .

In the small town of Miracle Creek, Virginia, Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine—a pressurized oxygen chamber that patients enter for therapeutic “dives” with the hopes of curing issues like autism or infertility. But when the Miracle Submarine mysteriously explodes, killing two people, a dramatic murder trial upends the Yoos’ small community.

Who or what caused the explosion? Was it the mother of one of the patients, who claimed to be sick that day but was smoking down by the creek? Or was it Young and Pak themselves, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? The ensuing trial uncovers unimaginable secrets from that night—trysts in the woods, mysterious notes, child-abuse charges—as well as tense rivalries and alliances among a group of people driven to extraordinary degrees of desperation and sacrifice.

Angie Kim’s Miracle Creek is a thoroughly contemporary take on the courtroom drama, drawing on the author’s own life as a Korean immigrant, former trial lawyer, and mother of a real-life “submarine” patient. An addictive debut novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Celeste Ng, Miracle Creek is both a twisty page-turner and a deeply moving story about the way inconsequential lies and secrets can add up—with tragic consequences.

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There’s currently a giveaway going on for this book on Goodreads! What subscription boxes are you into? How does this book sound? Let’s chat in the comments!


Instagram: @chicnerdreads
Twitter: @chicnerdreads

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Looking Forward To For The First Half of 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature with new topics every Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. If you would like to participate, the link provided will lead you to the feature and upcoming topics for the rest of the month and first half of January.

Today’s topic is: Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward To For The First Half Of 2017

The books will be ordered by release date!


27883214Caraval by Stephanie Garber is an author debut!
Release Date: January 31st

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.


24763621Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
Release Date: February 7th

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.


30320008The Valiant by Lesley Livingston
Release Date: February 14th

Synopsis from Goodreads:
The youngest daughter of a proud Celtic king, Fallon has always lived in the shadow of her older sister Sorcha’s legendary reputation as a warrior. But when Fallon was a young child, the armies of Julius Caesar invaded the island of Britain and her beloved older sister was killed in battle.

On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is excited to follow in her sister’s footsteps and earn her rightful place in her father’s royal war band. But she never gets the chance. Instead, Fallon is captured by a band of ruthless brigands who sell her to an exclusive training school for female gladiators—and its most influential patron is none other than Julius Caesar himself. In a cruel twist of fate, Fallon’s worst enemy, the man who destroyed her family, might be her only hope of survival.

Now, Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries, chilling threats and the dangerous attention of Caesar himself to survive the deadly fights that take place both in and out of the arena—and claim her place in history among the Valiant.


26594801The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera
Release Date: February 21st

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Pretty in Pink comes to the South Bronx in this bold and romantic coming-of-age novel about dysfunctional families, good and bad choices, and finding the courage to question everything you ever thought you wanted—from debut author Lilliam Rivera.

THINGS/PEOPLE MARGOT HATES:

Mami, for destroying my social life
Papi, for allowing Junior to become a Neanderthal
Junior, for becoming a Neanderthal
This supermarket
Everyone else

After “borrowing” her father’s credit card to finance a more stylish wardrobe, Margot 
Sanchez suddenly finds herself grounded. And by grounded, she means working as an indentured servant in her family’s struggling grocery store to pay off her debts. 

With each order of deli meat she slices, Margot can feel her carefully cultivated prep school reputation slipping through her fingers, and she’s willing to do anything to get out of this punishment. Lie, cheat, and maybe even steal…

Margot’s invitation to the ultimate beach party is within reach and she has no intention of letting her family’s drama or Moises—the admittedly good looking but outspoken boy from the neighborhood—keep her from her goal.


28116719Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
Release Date: February 28th

Synopsis from Goodreads:
A 17-year-old pirate captain intentionally allows herself to get captured by enemy pirates in this thrilling YA adventure.

If you want something done right . . .

When the ruthless pirate king learns of a legendary treasure map hidden on an enemy ship, his daughter, Alosa, knows there’s only one pirate for the job—herself. Leaving behind her beloved ship and crew, Alosa deliberately facilitates her own kidnapping to ensure her passage on the ship, confident in her ability to overcome any obstacle. After all, who’s going to suspect a seventeen-year-old girl locked in a cell? Then she meets the (surprisingly perceptive and unfairly attractive) first mate, Riden, who is charged with finding out all her secrets. Now it’s down to a battle of wits and will . . . . Can Alosa find the map and escape before Riden figures out her plan?

Debut author Tricia Levenseller blends action, adventure, romance, and a little bit of magic into a thrilling YA pirate tale.


29522966The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale
Release Date: March 7th

Synopsis from Goodreads:
A girl with a secret talent must save her village from the encroaching darkness in this haunting and deeply satisfying tale.

Alys was seven when the soul eaters came to her village.

These soul eaters, twin sisters who were abandoned by their father and slowly morphed into something not quite human, devour human souls. Alys, and all the other children, were spared—and they were sent to live in a neighboring village. There the devout people created a strict world where good and evil are as fundamental as the nursery rhymes children sing. Fear of the soul eaters—and of the Beast they believe guides them—rule village life. But the Beast is not what they think it is. And neither is Alys.

Inside, Alys feels connected to the soul eaters, and maybe even to the Beast itself. As she grows from a child to a teenager, she longs for the freedom of the forest. And she has a gift she can tell no one, for fear they will call her a witch. When disaster strikes, Alys finds herself on a journey to heal herself and her world. A journey that will take her through the darkest parts of the forest, where danger threatens her from the outside—and from within her own heart and soul.


28145767Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Release Date: March 28th

Synopsis from Goodreads:
The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? and if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

In this sweeping and breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Timesbestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep.


30312860Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before #3) by Jenny Han
Release Date: April 4th

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Lara Jean’s letter-writing days aren’t over in this surprise follow-up to the New York Times bestselling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?


30163661Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer
Release Date: April 11th

Synopsis from Goodreads:
It all started with the burning of the spindles.
No.
It all started with a curse…

Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.

And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood–and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.

As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.

Isabelle crosses land and sea; unearthly, thorny vines rise up the palace walls; and whispers of revolt travel in the ashes on the wind. The kingdom falls to ruin under layers of snow. Meanwhile, Aurora wakes up in a strange and enchanted world, where a mysterious hunter may be the secret to her escape . . . or the reason for her to stay.

Spindle Fire is the first book in a lush fantasy duology set in the dwindling, deliciously corrupt world of the fae and featuring two truly unforgettable heroines.


23766634A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: May 2nd

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places. 

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.


Are any of these books in your TBR for 2017? Any recommendations? Let’s talk in the comments! Have a lovely day friends =)


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My “Rest of The Year” TBR

Hello everyone!! So this post is about all the books I will be reading before the year is over. They are in no particular order since I am a mood reader and some haven’t released yet. There are a total of 17 books.

Let me know if you are reading any of these!

  • I most definitely want to finish The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare. I need to read book 4, 5, and 6 to finish it and then I can continue with the others like Shadowhunter Academy and Lady Midnight.

  • Earlier this year I started The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer with Cinder and Scarlet. However, Scarlet left me with a bad taste in my mouth (a lot of people told me it was actually the least fave of the series). The bad taste did leave so I will be finishing the series before the year is over (I hope).

     

  • Unknown (Unknown #1) by Wendy Higgins
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  • Replica (Replica #1) by Lauren Oliver
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  • This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab
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  • How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather
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  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (which I got 70 pages into and loved it but I’m sorta in a slump so I will be picking it up another time because this book requires attention)
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  • Traffick (Tricks #2) by Ellen Hopkins
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  • Midnight Hour (Shadow Falls: After Dark #4) by C.C. Hunter (I will be doing a Waiting on Wednesday and explaining my obsession with this series and the characters)
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  • The rest of these books I have done Waiting on Wednesday’s so I’ll group them together:
    Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) by Sarah J. Maas
    Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo
    A Beautiful Funeral (Beautiful #3) by Jamie McGuire
    Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Aime Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
    Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff