book recs, book reviews

Recent Contemporaries I’ve Enjoyed!

Since I unintentionally took a hiatus from blogging, I have a whole lot of thoughts on a good bunch of books! So here are some contemporaries I’ve really enjoyed!

Just Like Magic by Sarah Hogle

Sarah Hogle just has the best flawed characters because as much as you want to dislike the characters, you also just can’t help but fall in love with them! Bettie is named after her famous grandmother and just like her grandmother, Bettie wants to be famous. And she is… for a while. Bettie loses her fame and is extremely bitter and petty and one day, she accidentally summons the Holiday Spirit that can grant her wishes. Iconic, I must say. Does she use her new wishes to spread holiday cheer? Not exactly. Mostly to get revenge on everyone who has ever said anything bad about her. And I love her for it. How is literally the most adorable human ever. Since he’s the embodiment of holiday cheer and magic, it just made my heart warm seeing him deal with Bettie’s antics while also enjoying the human world. Also??? The fake dating/marriage trope? LIVING MY BEST LIFE OUT HERE WITH THIS. Bettie’s family relationship was so interesting and I really loved how unique Bettie’s relationship was with each family member! I don’t even know how to talk about this book properly without talking about each scene in excruciating detail about how absolutely adorable it was so I’ll stop here! Overall, this was such a cute lighthearted holiday romance! It served all the tropes, a little bit of revenge, and a whole lot of holiday magic!

Beauty and the Besharam by Lillie Vale

This title is honestly top tier I’m just going to lead with that because it made me laugh and I just love the play on words! I loved Kavya so much because she was outspoken and loud and funny and passionate! She was relatable and I loved hearing her thoughts especially when it came to talking about some of the more “scandalous” topics that desi communities tend to find Besharam😆 Also??? Shoutout to Lillie Vale for making Kavya a bookstagrammer and having a whole plot line related to summer reading! And the Percy Jackson love??? My HEART. This was such a fun, cute summer romance with the academic rivals to lovers vibes I always love to see! Not only do we get forced proximity because of a ‘friendly’ competition, we get some Party Princess (totally not inspired by Disney at all) fun, scrabble competitions that end up having a bit of flirtation wordplay, reading competitions, and a whole lot of cuteness! My only complaint is that the ‘second act break up’ felt so weird and didn’t really have the impact it should have had? While I liked seeing Kavya face her flaws and seeing her grow, the second act breakup just didn’t hit the way I wished. I truly enjoyed Kavya and Ian Jun’s relationship and the ex friends to academic rivals to sort of friends to lovers vibes!

Tokyo Dreaming by Emiko Jean (Tokyo Ever After #2)

At first, I was a little sad about some events in the beginning BUT THEN Emiko Jean threw in some of my favorite tropes and I was instantly hooked! I can’t even talk about the tropes because it’ll ruin the fun of the beginning of the book so you’ll just have to trust me! I will say though that I didn’t know how this book would keep up the cuteness from the first book, but I was definitely pleased with how this book as executed and the topics that it explored without becoming repetitive with the drama of the first book! This definitely made an impression on its own and I really enjoyed the ride! NOW WHEN YOU READ THE BOOK YOU’LL UNDERSTAND BUT I WAS ANGRY ABOUT THE ENDING. While I UNDERSTAND it and it was perfectly fine, I was just sad for MYSELF. (Again, I can’t say anything because it will spoil it all but if you have read it I wanna know how you feel!) Overall, I liked that this one explored a different way of finding yourself and being happy with your choices and taking care of yourself. I definitely related to Izumi’s need to please others! What I liked about this (which is the same as what I loved about book 1) was the family and friendship dynamics! It was lovely to see Noora and Izumi’s friendship change and grow as they changed as well! Overall, I really enjoyed this one and if there are more stories to tell in Izumi’s life I’m definitely on board for it!

See You Yesterday by Rachel Lynn Solomon

There’s just something about time travel books that always hit and this was no different! I LOVED the time loop situation and the chemistry between the two main characters was honestly amazing! I loved the banter and the way they played off each other so well! It was an interesting mix of finding yourself and also finding your soulmate and also just living life like there’s no tomorrow! I was laughing and also so stressed near the end and overall, my heart is full and giving me all the fuzzy feelings that I wanted in this story! It was incredibly relatable at times when the characters talked about being scared of change or confronted their worries about life. Of course, my favorite part was the inevitable romance. The dynamic was unmatched and I loved each of their humors. I especially loved seeing Barrett see Miles’ face light up when he was being passionate. The little things like his different smiles or the way she tried to make him laugh just made my heart warm! I would highly recommend this and I’ll be running on this happy high all day!

Something in the Heir by Suzanne Enoch

The very beginning of this book had me laughing so much because this is the same kind of unhinged chaotic behavior of NaomiNicholas from You Deserve Each Other and that honestly had me sold. I loved the marriage of convenience combined with friends to partners to lovers! I didn’t expect the book to so heavily feature the children they adopt for their nefarious plans. I really thought going into this that the POV would solely remain on Will and Emmie and so it definitely took a moment to adjust to the fact that this book felt more focused on the children. That’s all well and good, it just wasn’t what I had originally expected. While I did enjoy the kids’ POVs and seeing that “found family” trope done, it made the friends to lovers story fall a little flatter in my opinion. I wish we had focused more on the romance between Will and Emmie, but it felt like it had been pushed aside to focus on the kids growing to love their “fake” mama and papa. I did love the story in general even though it wasn’t what I originally expected! One thing about this book that took me out of the experience was the fact that the POVs kept switching to even minor/side characters. It felt like the author was using a tv show format where tiny bits were interconnected, but in this story it made it feel a little jumbled. Overall, I did like the family relationships and the overall growth of the kids and how Emmie and Will grew together.


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