The poems themselves rarely made me feel emotion, but it was reading why the 100 men in the collection were moved to tears by these poems that got toThe poems themselves rarely made me feel emotion, but it was reading why the 100 men in the collection were moved to tears by these poems that got to me....more
I was really looking forward to reading Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse. About a girl who has just one more week of living in Tokyo before movingI was really looking forward to reading Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse. About a girl who has just one more week of living in Tokyo before moving back the US for good. In that time she falls out with her friends, works out some family issues, falls in love and says good bye to a city she adores.
I'm a huge fan of Japan and I was always going to be excited to read a book which felt like it might be a love letter to Tokyo ... and Seven Days of You definitely did feel like that at times. I loved reading about Sophia and her friends traipsing around Tokyo, hanging out, seeing the sights, visiting their favourite places one last time. I kind of loved them travelling around on public transit and stopping in convenience stores to pick up their favourite Japanese snacks and stuff. It was all so mundane but those details were what I loved the most.
I found it slightly weird that none of them seemed to speak Japanese and none of the characters were Japanese at all? Minor quibble though, I suppose but it just felt like ...is this realistic, or nah?
I particularly liked the family strife. With the dad in Paris and having another family and the back and forth about whether or not Sophia would live with him. Also, Sophia's sister is definitely a highlight for me. But I think the main emotional thrust to the story revolves around the romantic dramas. With Sophia's unrequited crush on David and this thing that resurfaces once former friend and crush, Jamie comes back to Japan.
I really did enjoy this book ... but for whatever reason, the way it was written? my own personal preference? I didn't feel myself being as emotionally affected to the highs and lows of this story. I wanted to be fully on board with everything that happened and riding that emotional wave along with Sophia ... I just wasn't. Still, solid read....more
Never was there a more adorable book than When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. I heard it would be cute ...but until I read it I didSeriously cute.
Never was there a more adorable book than When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. I heard it would be cute ...but until I read it I didn't quite believe it could be as cute as it was. Believe the hype on this one, it really is hugely adorable.
I think the thing that really hooked me into reading this book is ... how on earth are they going to sell an arranged marriage in this day and age as something relevant? I usually think of arranged marriages as something kind of outdated, something our parents might have done (and N's parents did have an arranged marriage!) So I thought Sandya Menon really had her work cut out for her trying to make Dimple and Rishi and the idea of an arranged marriage between two teenagers in the 21st century fit into this fun contemporary YA story believable. And I'm absolutely sure that it was managed! I just ...fell utterly and entirely in love with this story and I'm so glad that I've read it.
So this story is about Dimple, an Indian American girl in the summer before university who is about to head off to a summer programme for coders. Her parents don't really get her and she's so shocked and surprised that they're so accepting of this summer programme but Dimple is just so grateful and relieved to be going to it that she just takes her parents' approval all kind of at face-value. ...Until she meets Rishi. And it all falls into place. Because Rishi is the epitome of a Good Indian Husband that Dimple's mom keeps hinting at. And when Rishi proposes there and then, Dimple reckons this summer couldn't get any worse...
I love, love, love this story. I'm not sure that I can convey that enough. Because I love Dimple. She's so driven and ambitious and she's working so hard to go against what she thinks is her parents' outdated concepts of being a woman and wearing make-up and needing a man in her life. She's gone to this summer programme with the intention of winning and meeting her idol and getting a head start on what she really wants out of life: independence and a career she's passionate about. But ...being partnered with Rishi on a project means spending more time with him and realising that there's more to him than just being her mother's idea of Good Husband Material.
And I think Rishi is the highlight of the book for me. He's definitely a bit of an enigma at first. He's really into the idea of an arranged marriage, and has traditional ideas of what he wants out of life. But he's also kind and funny and says the most amazingly sarcastic things to people in such a friendly manner that it can be a bit misleading. You can tell he wants to please his parents and his family and I love that with Dimple's influence Rishi is able to see that there are things he wants for himself too rather than remaining down the practical routes his parents have laid out for him.
This book was ridiculously cute. It was funny, it was sweet and romantic. I loved the build-up in this relationship between Dimple and Rishi. I love that it's very much a romance story but also has a great stance on gender and culture and privilege. All my love for this book!...more
I downloaded One Italian Summer by Keris Stainton off Netgalley awhile back and after mentioning it on Twitter, I got a message from the author. She vI downloaded One Italian Summer by Keris Stainton off Netgalley awhile back and after mentioning it on Twitter, I got a message from the author. She very kindly informed me that One Italian Summer is very much a book about grief and she knew of the losses I've faced this year. But when I finally sat down to tackle some of my Netgalley reading this year ... this is the book that I gravitated towards anyway. I think I wanted to read a book about loss and grief, if only to see if these characters felt at all like how I felt. It felt like there could be comfort in that as well as heartbreak.
And you know what? I really loved this book. It is a book about loss and grief. It's a book about struggling to move on from it. It's also a book about sisters and kissing and it's set in Italy and is about figuring out important life stuff. I liked how it was about all of that. Plus, it just felt like a comfort. The main character in One Italian Summer is Millie. She's got two sisters, Leonie and Elyse and their dad died the previous year. They're all headed off to Italy where they have so many memories and family history involving their dad and the entire family are dealing with his death in their own ways.
I loved Millie and her sisters. They felt so real to me. The way they bicker with each other, the way Leonie is pretty gross. The closeness, the teasing, the secrets. I think I'll always love books involving sisters, which is sort of weird as I don't have sisters of my own. But I feel like if I did, they'd be like these three girls. My only sort of complaint about the book though is that I couldn't actually tell until much later in the book how old each of the girls were until it specifically mentions it halfway to three quarters of the way through. Sometimes it felt like Leonie and Elyse were maybe twins? Sometimes it felt like Leonie was way younger than the other two and I had to keep readjusting my mental image of them all when I came across new scraps of information regarding age.
In terms of the grief aspects of the book, I kind of loved that this book is set a year after their dad dies. So often stories like this are told sooner when the loss is more sudden, the grief more raw. But I liked that the sisters' feelings are a year old. And still painful, still able to cause heartache. It's a year on and Millie's mum is still kind of vacant and using work to hide from facing up to her feelings. There were things said about their dad that made me hurt. The silly little stories they remembered, the made-up words, the special moments shared between them all. The not wanting to let go. They end up talking to people that their dad knew before and one of the girls gets all excited about a story that isn't very exciting ... but it's something new that they didn't know before. And I completely relate to that feeling. I know what that excitement is like.
I also, of course loved Millie's complicated relationship with Luke. Someone she had history with from the previous summer and now they're both thrown together in the same place and don't know what to do about each other. I loved that delicious awkwardness at first, that underlying embarrassment together with yearning anyway. And Italy! How have I not mentioned Italy as yet?! Italy has to be one of my favourite places ever and reading about Rome and Positano made me want to visit all over again.
I'm sorry for the scattiness of this review. I'm out of practice. But if you couldn't tell, I did love this book. And I very much recommend it....more
Really loved this inclusive collection of essays on being a woman in the 21st century covering all sorts of different topics. My favourites personallyReally loved this inclusive collection of essays on being a woman in the 21st century covering all sorts of different topics. My favourites personally included those on race, mental health and sexuality. ...more