The King of Bourbon Street by Thea de Salle

Arianna Barrington needs to get away from her mother after a sex tape leaks of her, so she flies with her brother to New Orleans where she meets Sol DuMont, hotel mogul. Sol is still getting over the loss of his dad, the breakdown of his marriage and his complete lack of interest in life. The pair instantly click and begin a wild affair.

As a chubby girl this book meant so much to me. The MC is fat and I’ve read a fair few romance books in my life but this was such a breath of fresh air and it didn’t make me feel like an absolute mess who could never get a man because I’m not thin enough. And to add to that the love interest is a bi male, and it’s not just like a stated fact either, he references his past relationships with men and flirts with other guys a lot. You don’t read a lot of bi men in books. I think the biggest thing that I loved was just how casual everything was, from Arianna’s weight to Sol’s sexuality. Arianna is fat and it’s not made out to be a bad thing, it’s not made out that she’s beautiful despite being fat. She’s beautiful and she’s fat, it felt quite empowering for me to read.

Now there was insta-love in this, however when you’re reading it you kind of forget about the concept of time and just fall so into the story and Rain and Sol’s relationship. There was a couple of times where I did roll my eyes at how fast they seemed to be moving but the characters themselves were aware of how fast their lives were moving and weren’t acting like what they had was normal.

Any book is better if it includes dogs and this was extra good because it has a corgi and corgis are some of the cutest funniest dogs out there. Corgis are high up on my list of dogs I want to own so reading this made me so happy whenever there was a scene with the dog.

There is an age gap in this book, and if that makes you uncomfortable don’t read it. However consent is very important, and Sol is very aware how much more experience he has compared to Rain and tries very hard to make sure that he isn’t don’t anything to lead her into something she might not be into.

Follow me:

Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Our MC is on the verge of divorce from her husband after he gets to the end of his tether with her putting her job before family and so he goes to visit his family for Christmas leaving her there. She finds a phone that magically allows her to speak to her husband in the past before they were married with kids and this helps her think about where she wants her life to go.

I felt like I couldn’t really relate to the characters because I’ve never been married and they were much older than me. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing but at times it felt like I didn’t really get their motives because I’ve never been in any situations like it.

I absolutely adored the idea of this one phone being a gateway into your past. And that whilst in the past it was him who had made a mess and was thinking about what he wanted from the relationship, in the present she was trying to work through her own feelings and how she’d made every thing fall apart. It was like a really nice magical way of having someone think about why they got together with their significant other in the first place.

I did have a few problems with the discourse in this book because at times it did feel like the husband was mad at her for wanting to excel in her job. I completely understand that he wanted her to be around more for the kids because that’s important but it did feel like he was giving her an ultimatum. Like you either need to stop being so involved in work or I leave you. Like why couldn’t he just tell her she really needs to balance everything better. I would’ve liked to get to know present husband more than we did because to me he came off as a bit of a chauvinist compared to the past version of himself who read like an absolute sweetheart. There was a bit of a disjoint.

As with all previous Rowell books I’ve read the writing style was really easy to follow and I read this pretty quickly. Though at times I did find it a little on the slow side.

Overall I feel like the idea was really interesting and the execution was ok for the most part but it could’ve done with a bit more fleshing out in some areas and less in others.

Book Depository

Follow me:

Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram

The Romantics by Leah Konen

Thank you to netgalley and Amulet Books for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

In The Romantics we follow Love who has messed up by letting a marriage end in divorce because he thought they would be fine and wouldn’t drift apart. So to try and make things right she wants to help the couple’s son fall in love with the right person.

This book is told from the perspective of Love which I found to be a really interesting premise. Her voice was quite funny and she was her own character that I got to know and love. I liked that even though she is a godly/spiritual entity she had her own wants, wishes and regrets.

All the characters were pretty likeable; Gael was an absolute sweetheart and my heart went out to him so much through all the mess his parents had left. And his parents just didn’t really seem to care about how upset their divorce had left him. His little sister was adorable. The only person I wasn’t a huge fan of was Cara, Gael’s love interest for a lot of the novel, something about her was just off to me, she felt a bit fickle.

This was a really easy book for me to read, the pacing was just right and it read really easily. So if you want a funny YA romance novel that you can read in a short space of time and get quite wrapped up in then I would say that this one is right up your street.

One thing that I have to point out is that there were a lot of current references, which I enjoyed whilst reading as I love stuff like that because it feels more lifelike because I relate in a way, but this could date the book quite a lot. Like whilst I wouldn’t say it’s going to be a YA classic just because it’s not got the hype, but that could hold it back from being read a few years from now because people don’t understand the references, especially teens who constantly have new fads and language.

Book Depository

Follow me:

Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephenie Perkins

Like a lot of people this was my favourite of the Anna and the French Kiss series. There wasn’t a weird cheating undertone, and it just felt nice and natural, with some conflict that didn’t seem to come out of nowhere.

Isla has had a crush on Josh for 3 years but life has never worked right for them but then they bump into each other before going back to Paris for school and everything falls into place.

Isla has a best friend who has autism and she’s so incredibly protective of him and does not take any shit from anyone. The portrayal felt really positive and I liked that it was part of the story. It’s not ownvoices I don’t think so I’m not sure how true to autism it was but when I was reading it it felt good. It didn’t feel ableist or ignorant but if I’m wrong feel free to correct me please. 

I felt like the contrast between their lives in New York and their lives in Paris worked really well. We get to see different sides to the characters and got to know their families. It felt like the coming together of Anna and Lola’s stories in a way because Anna’s was set in Paris with little familial interaction and Lola’s was all about family. 

Again like with Lola this could totally be read as a standalone, and even though there are cameos from other characters in the series you can totally enjoy the book regardless. I would actually say if you were going to read just one book from the series because you aren’t a huge contemporary lover and just wanted to try one or whatever reason then I would recommend Isla.

Book Depository

Follow me:

Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin Random House Children’s UK for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. I’ve honestly been dreading writing this review because I loved this book so much and I don’t honestly know how to even talk about it.

Molly has a lot of crushes and all of them are unrequited, or she thinks they are because she never gets the confidence to tell them. When Molly’s sister Cassie gets a girlfriend Molly starts to feel even more sad about her unrequited love. But Cassie has a cute friend who Molly thinks maybe she could love, at the same time she starts to feel things for her coworker Reid.

This book is in contention for my favourite book of the year. I absolutely adored Simon Vs and I think I liked this even more. It has a chubby Jewish MC, a chubby romantic interest, lesbian mums, a pansexual, Korean character. It was just so wonderfully real. As someone who is pansexual it was especially important for me that there was a pansexual character.

This has a sort of love triangle but it’s not really a love triangle because one of the love interests is more of a forced flirtation caused by Cassie. But I liked how Albertalli dealt with the situation, it felt so real and not like how uncomfortable and silly some love triangles are.

I just want to take a second to talk about how much I loved the representation in this book. As someone who is both chubby and pansexual it meant a lot to me to read a YA book with characters who were the same. I think this is the first book I’ve ever read where there was a pansexual character and I’m just so happy about it. I hope that more books include pan characters. I also loved reading a chubby MC and about a chubby love interest. It’s not often that a love interest doesn’t have the “perfect” body. And on top of all that Molly has anxiety and she takes medication for it and that’s just part of her every day life and it was so good to read someone who has anxiety just living with it and seeing the ups and downs even with meds.

This book just made me feel so warm and fuzzy inside. There’s something about the way Albertalli writes that I just really adore. She doesn’t add unnecessary drama and she just has characters living their lives. I also love how Simon Vs. had Oreos and this has Mini Eggs, I adore Mini Eggs but you can only get them at Easter time which makes me sad.

The wedding may date this book as it surrounds gay marriage being made legal in the states but I loved reading something that was relevant to where we are now.

I already want to reread this book because I just loved it so much and has solidified Becky Albertalli as an auto-buy author for me.

Book Depository

Follow me:

Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram

The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

Thank you to netgalley and Corgi Childrens for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. And thank you Corgi for also sending me a physical copy of this book from winning a goodreads giveaway.

Natasha is about to be deported. She’s trying everything she can to get her family to be able to stay in the US but she’s booked on a flight that night. While she’s running about NYC speakng to different lawyers and people who could maybe help she bumps into Daniel who is having a bit of a crisis over what he wants to do with his life. Daniel is immediately smitten but Natasha tries to hold herself back knowing that she

This is an example of when insta-love just really works. People have a big hatred for insta-love, and personally I’m not really for or against it. If it’s really bad then I hate it but with YA you’re reading about teenagers, I don’t know about you but when I was a teen I definitely suffered from insta-love.

I really enjoyed how this book played with fate. I loved learning the stories of the random people that the MCs bumped into, getting to see how their lives were changed from that run in. Seeing how people’s lives were so intertwined that they kept bumping into each other without even trying.

This was everything I wanted from a book about illegal immigrants that I didn’t get from Something in Between by Melissa De La Cruz, which whilst a completely different story and background definitely felt really cliche at times. This book felt so real, it felt so lifelike, I loved getting to read about both Natasha and Daniel and their lives, but also their families lives. Everyone had their own story of how they got to where they were in life.

I loved how the book played off stereotypes, like Daniel being a super smart Korean kid and his parents wanting him to be a doctor, but he didn’t want to do that and wasn’t really sure what he was going to do with his life, and his brother wanting to completely immerse himself in American culture and forget his Korean roots.

This book was just an absolute joy to read to be honest. The writing style flowed so well and I think I read it in 1 sitting. You got just enough of each POV before a change so that you didn’t feel short changed but also didn’t get sick of that characters voice. I just really loved this book.

Book Depository

Follow me:

Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram

How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

Thank you to netgalley and¬†Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This was one of my most hyped up lgbt+ reads of the year because hey, there’s not much f/f romance around. As a warning this book has emotional abuse from a parent who has mental health problems.

Grace spends her life moving between homes of her unbalanced mother’s boyfriends, where we pick up in the book she finds out that her mum is now dating her ex boyfriend’s dad and she now has to live with her ex boyfriend. Then Eva moves to town after losing her mum and Grace and Eva form an unlikely connection.

There was both bisexual and lesbian representation in this book which is always a good thing and the love interest was biracial which made it even better.

My biggest issue was just that I wished that Grace had communicated with Eva better. I wish she had actually told her that Eva having a relationship with her mother made her uncomfortable. In general I wish she had learned to put herself first a lot earlier, I felt very frustrated for a lot of this novel by Grace’s mum and whist obviously Blake wrote her character well for me to feel that way I think a little bit of communication would have alleviated some of that feeling.

The mum was honestly the worst character, she was so incredibly annoying and self obsessed. Now yes she had mental health problems, which is made clearly obvious and the MC is very good at not blaming her for every bad action but man it was so, I can’t even think of the word but it left me feeling like “???” at times. Like of course I know people exist like this and live heir lives like this, but I struggle to understand it because I just don’t know how they can do it. All I can say is that Blake wrote her really well. She was complex, as was every character. Both the MC, love interest and the best friend had some really good character development and it made the book an absolute joy to read.

There was a scene where our MC masturbates in this which I absolutely adored, not in a pervy way, but I’m all about books normalising female masturbation. You barely read about female masturbation in adult books let alone young adult books. I want young girls to know it’s ok to explore their bodies in the same ways that boys do and that it’s normal and there’s nothing wrong or promiscuous about it.

I want to read more from Ashley Herring Blake now, especially if she writes more lgbt+ books.

How To Make A Wish is out on the 2nd of May

Book Depository

Follow me:

Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram