Hi there! So I think that the title of this post speaks for itself but nevertheless, life has been doing what it does in wild ways since basically this year started. Last week, I just felt really out of it, hence no post rather than trying to force myself to write something lackluster that wouldn’t have been fair to you as a reader or the books that would get mentioned. All I could do the past few weeks is nap and read when I wasn’t working (it has been A LOT in my professional life and we aren’t hear to talk about that). Thankfully, there was a break so I was able to decompress, sleep in most days, clean a little and build a desk along with read.
So since life has been life-ing and all I could do with non-napping & work time is read, I figured that I would share some of the reads that I really got wrapped up in for various reasons. They may have common threads…I guess we will see as I write and you subsequently read. Some will be adult and others will be YA, which I will be sure to indicate next to the title.
Isha, Unscripted by Sajni Patel (Adult): From beginning to end, I think there were tears in my eyes from how hard I was laughing. I had read most of Sajni’s other books and I really enjoyed them but this one has to be my favorite. When I say shenanigans happened in this book, I feel like that is an understatement. Isha had the best ride-or-run-from-threats-at-any-moment in her cousin and potential love interest in Thirst Trap. I was so sad when I finished this book because I wasn’t ready for it to end. If this book doesn’t become a movie, the world would be done a serious disservice because the level of comedy is just *Chef’s Kiss*, which made it the perfect escape read. Though there is so much I want to say, I’m not saying anymore because I don’t want to spoil anything but know, you should read this book (if you are over 18…if you aren’t, wait until you are please and thank you!).
Imposter Syndrome And Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim by Patricia Park (YA): This was another book that kept me laughing but also one that I deeply understood. As someone who hails from two different cultures, I often times battle how much I may feel of either one on any given day. Alejandra deals with this a Korean Argentine (the book touched on the history of this, which reminded me of Haiti’s history being a sanctuary/refuge country) and how she not only battles the identity crisis she faces but how others impact this internal struggle. Since this book took place in New York (*shouts NEWWWWWW YORRRRRK*, sorry, had to), I felt like I was right in the middle of the story. There were emotional highs and lows but even with the lows, I didn’t feel pulled under because of the way Patricia wrote it. She did a bit of a “cut to” with the epilogue but I wasn’t mad at it because we often don’t get to see where YA characters are too much into their futures. This was definitely a worthwhile read!
When You Wish Upon A Lantern by Gloria Chao (YA): First, I have to say that Gloria Chao is one of the authors that helped me get through the passing of my grandfather. Not that she herself was an emotional support but her books were…I literally was reading Rent-A-Boyfriend during the funeral to keep myself grounded (everyone knew to give me a wide berth with a book in my hand & an angry air about me). With that said, I was REALLY excited when this book was announced because, emotional turmoil aside, I enjoyed her books and this one was no different. There was great banter, rekindling of friendship, baking and some sneaky wish granting antics. While there was death of a grandparent (wow, full circle, huh?), it made me think back fondly of my own rather than get wrapped up in grief (it’s a never-ending battle folx). There were so many great moments in this book and I ate it up in less than 48 hours since I was having such a good time with these characters. Icing on the cake (or filling in the mooncake for a better analogy), this book was a dual perspective (and y’all know how much I love those).
Not The Plan by Gia De Cadenet (Adult): This was a book I was excited about since I read Gia’s first book and found out there was a companion. While I’m not one for politics (both characters work in this field), it really didn’t distract from the story at hand, which had quite a few layers to it. There is a bit of an emotional roller coaster ride in terms of what the main characters go through in this story (this, too, is a book with dual perspectives) both separately and together but it also allowed the reader to see their growth. The daunting moments don’t last long nor took away from the love story that was brewing. We did get some spicy moments in this book, which y’all know I love but will tell the 18 & under folx to stay away from until they join the 18 & over crowd. I’m hoping we get another companion so we can see more of these characters & have already asked Gia about this (to which, she said she can’t say anything *insert side-eye emoji here*).
Chaos Theory by Nic Stone (YA; out 2/28/23): It’s not a secret that I’m a Nic Stone stan and how much I love her work (and her, as a person). When I finished this book (which was in a few hours, with stops for bathroom breaks), I immediately DMed her some thoughts. I absolutely loved this story and am still deciding if it knocks Jackpot from my favorite Nic Stone book spot or not. There was so much funny banter and nerd sh*t that it set my Blerdly heart aflutter. I loved how Shelbi & Andy (or should I say Walter?) navigated their circumstances together in this story. There’s grief, addiction, mental health discussions and some other potentially triggering subjects but there is also joy, friendship and great family members (wait till you meet Becky…she deserves her own book and Bibi)! I have already told Nic that I would like a New Adult crossover and I am putting it into the universe that we get one. I also wouldn’t be mad at any sort of on-screen adaptation (where are the Obamas to make this happen?).
The Neighbor Favor by Kristina Forest (Adult; out 2/28/2023): Kristina Forest is another author whom I’ve read other works by and really enjoyed so I was very excited to hear she was going to write an adult romance. I was not disappointed and was heavily invested in this story (I actually bumped it up in my TBR because I didn’t want to wait anymore to read it, lol). I loved that it was 1) dual perspective, 2) had different parts that added layers to the story and 3) took place in New York. There was also tons of funny moments and I thought the banter between Lily & her sisters was hysterical. And for those who look bookish talk, there is SO MUCH of it in this story so you know I was the happiest panda while reading. I’m so happy that the E-ARC gave us a preview of Kristina’s next book and that it we will get to live in another character we have met’s world for a bit (I was ready to DM Kristina about what/who was next so that saved me a trip to IG, lol). We also got some spice in this story which delighted me being the grown person that I am.
So, I guess category is repeat author (for 5 of them) and funny banter (all of them) for this post? Any other way, each of these books brought me joy and gave me the right story to fully immerse myself in, which was/is exactly what I need these days. Have you read any of these books? Are you the type to escape into books when life is life-ing? Let me know in the comments here or on social media on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (mostly on Tuesdays and Fridays) to chat with me. Also subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I’ve escaped into a really good book! And to those who have subscribed, thank you so much! This blog as recently reached 650 subscribers! So THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOUUUUUUUUU! Sending y’all bookish love and wishing you happy reading!