Sunday, 21 February 2016

'In Real Life' by Jessica Love: A Book Review

Hannah Cho and Nick Cooper have been best friends since 8th grade. They talk for hours on the phone, regularly shower each other with presents, and know everything there is to know about one another.
There's just one problem: Hannah and Nick have never actually met.
Hannah has spent her entire life doing what she's supposed to, but when her senior year spring break plans get ruined by a rule-breaker, she decides to break a rule or two herself. She impulsively decides to road trip to Vegas, her older sister and BFF in tow, to surprise Nick and finally declare her more-than-friend feelings for him.
Hannah's romantic gesture backfires when she gets to Vegas and meets Nick's girlfriend, whom he failed to mention. And it turns out his relationship status isn't the only thing he's been lying to her about. Hannah knows the real Nick can't be that different from the online Nick she knows and loves, but now she only has one night in Sin City to figure out what her feelings for Nick really are, all while discovering how life can change when you break the rules every now and then.  

Thursday, 18 February 2016

'Famous in Love (Famous in Love #1)' by Rebecca Serle: A Book Review

She fell in love with him in the books - now she has the chance to star opposite him in the film...
Paige doesn't think she's particularly special, but after getting the starring role in a massive film adaptation of the bestselling Locked trilogy, the rest of the world would disagree. Now she's thrown into the spotlight, and into a world of gossip, rumour and deceit. The only people who know what she's going through are her two male co-stars, and they can't stand the sight of each other. Paige knows it's a mistake to fall in love on the set of a movie, but days of on-screen romance and intensity start to change her mind. The question is, can she keep what happens behind the scenes a secret when the world is watching her every move?

Okay. This book. Wow.

Ordinarily, I wouldn't be this affected by a clichéd young adult romance about the glitz and the glamour of Hollywood actors' lives. Ordinarily, I wouldn't be consumed by this need to read the book end-to-end and turn the pages (figuratively, I read on a Kindle) with so much fervour.

But I suppose this is no ordinary book.

Famous in Love is a literal title. Paige Townsen, a small-town girl, gets picked to star in the movie adaptation of a bestselling novel. That's when she meets her perfect Hollywood hero, Rainer Devon, a blonde, blue-eyed star who can turn you into a puddle of goo with just one smile. And things seem to be going great. She's into him, he's fallen for her, and her acting skills, while on edge, aren't abysmal. 

And then enters the real hero of the story. Ladies and gentlemen, your characteristic bad boy filmstar, Jordan Wilder, comes into the picture to steal her heart and all her senses and make her the best actress she's even been. 
When we touch, I feel it again. Like the final puzzle piece snapped down into place. But it doesn't matter now. It's like an umbrella in the middle of a rainstorm after you're already wet. It's exactly what you need, what you want, but it's come too late. 

Love triangles are a guilty pleasure of mine. Insta-love is not. But even though Paige's relationship with both boys - but especially Jordan - borders on insta-love, I found myself desperately in love with the way romance is written in this novel. Rebecca has some talent. This book is both age-appropriate and sexy at the same time, something I haven't seen in a lot of good young adult romance. 

Of course, I'm Team Jordan, if anyone's asking, and I'm already sure he's the one she picks (the girl always picks the second guy. Always. Um, except in Twilight.), because Jordan Wilder is bruised, damaged, guarded and utterly swoonworthy. What more does a girl want?

I didn't care much for Paige's friends back home - they just seemed like background noise, to be very honest - although I did enjoy reading about her family and the trinkets store she works at. I'm also guilty of loving Bollywood and Hollywood gossip in the past, and of wondering about the lifestyle famous people might lead (and yes, fantasising about being famous myself one day, though being in the spotlight terrifies me, which may be why I have a blog and not a YouTube channel), so this book was definitely of interest to me. 

Rebecca Serle seems to use a lot of metaphors, but she picked just the right amount to avoid falling into John Green territory. I loved the clever wordplay, the way she sparked chemistry between Jordan and Paige (I don't care about Rainer. Yawn.), and just the way she wrote the thoughts running through the protagonist's head.

People always say that there are a million ways to solve a problem, that no question has a black-and-white answer. It's not true. There are, at any moment, only two courses of action. The one that leads you toward something - stardom, love, disaster - or the one that leads you away from it. And at any moment, in any instant, you have to do your best to know which is which.

There wasn't a lot of plot, so to speak, since the story only follows the timeline of the first movie's shooting, but there wasn't a moment where I felt bored. I was sucked into the word of Famous in Love (I even dreamt about it last night, and that very rarely happens to me with books) and I didn't want to come out. 

I'm going to go with 4 stars out of 5 for this one. 
Famous in Love is clichéd and occasionally cringe-y, yes, but it is also power-packed with mighty chemistry, surprising plot twists and the kind of gossip you can only find in tabloids. A must-read for anyone who loves the odd combination of romance and celebrity magazines. 

I'm off to search for the next book in the series, Geeks! I doubt I'll have time to read it this week, since I'm busy with some beta reading and ARC reviewing, but a girl can hope, right? 
If you've read Famous in Love, tell me in the comments below what you thought of it. Which guy do you think she'll settle for in the end? And are you excited about the TV show that's apparently starring Bella Thorne? 

See you soon. Bye! :)

Monday, 15 February 2016

'My Dream Man' by Aditi Bose: A Book Review

Ajopa Ganguly is a girl in her twenties who lives with her parents in Delhi. Her life is fine except for one tiny problem. All publishers have rejected the manuscript that she has very painstakingly written. She believes it's more because she is not a known celebrity rather than because the plot is not appealing enough. She is so disturbed by this that she has been baking cupcakes and embroidering handkerchiefs instead these days. This is when Aniket Verma re-enters her life. He is a professor of economics who is well known in his circle. He's twelve years older to Ajopa. They had been good friends till a misunderstanding happened five years back.
What happens when they meet again is what the story is all about. 

Note: I received a copy of this book from b00k r3vi3w Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

You Are Enough.

Ambition is a dangerous thing. I've been taught my whole life by my teachers, my peers, my family, even society, that the only thing worse than moving backwards is staying still. Stillness is the enemy. We must always keep marching on. We must always work harder. Think smarter. Live better. Do anything and everything in our power to be more than who we are.

Well, that's just bullshit.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

'She: Ekla Cholo Re' by Santosh Avvannavar: A Book Review

Set in the backdrop of 1990 Calcutta, She is a story about finding one’s own identity in spite of all odds. The story spins around the life of Kusum, a brave heart whose identity is often untitled and blurred; it does not belong anywhere, definitely not under the ‘he’ or ‘she’ bracket, thanks to our social conditioning. Will she be successful in her mission? Find out in She, an utterly absorbing read that derives inspiration from Tagore’s “Ekla Cholo Re” song, which urges everyone to move on despite the fear of abandonment from others. 

Note: I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thanks, Santosh!

Thursday, 4 February 2016

What's On My Playlist (January 2016)

It's been a while since I've done one of these, huh? Probably because October and November were months of great discovery, and I carry the songs I found in those months to my daily playlist even today.
But I have discovered even more brilliant symphonies in the last few days of January, so here I am with my top ten playlist. This time, it features Sia, Cristin Milioti, 2AM Club and Coldplay!