Tag: Romance

Book Review: Paper Towns (John Green).

Paper Towns

-John Green.


I loved reading The Fault in Our Stars and Looking For Alaska. This book has been sitting on my shelf for a couple of years now, and finally, I read it. Paper Towns by John Green is a coming of age story set in the senior year of high school. It follows the story of Quentin, nicknamed Q, as he follows clues to try and find his childhood friend and crush Margo Roth Spiegelman.

The story starts with a bit of flashback in a way. Q and Margo are neighbors. They were close as kids, always off on adventures when one day they come across a dead body while cycling. The story moves to the present day, where Q and Margo are in their senior year of high school. Q is fascinated by Margo, romantically interested in her, but they have drifted apart over the years. One night, Q is awoken by a knock on his window, and it is Margo. The rest of the night is filled with shenanigans and adventures; it’s the most amount of time the two have spent together in years.


The next morning Q wakes up to find Margo gone. She has run away from home. It is not the first time she has done this, and she always leaves behind clues. This time the clues are for Q, and he is determined to find Margo. The rest of the story follows his search for Margo, trying to understand the clues she left for him. The plot then follows Q’s efforts to figure out where Margo went with the help of his friends. Quentin’s two best friends are Ben and Radar. Q tells them about Margo, and they immediately decide to help him. Lacey is Margo’s friend who, Margo thinks betrayed her, but she also joins the guys to find Margo.


Margo is such an enigmatic character. She seems to have everything, be anything she wants to be, but as the story progresses the layers are peeled off. Q realizes that he had an idea in his head about who Margo was, but he didn’t really know her. The friendship between Q, Radar, and Ben is so realistic and funny. Ben and Radar are supportive of Q understanding why the driving forces behind his quest. Ben can be a bit dramatic but it didn’t bother me much. They try to get him to enjoy the present, their last year in high school together instead of always worrying about Margo. This story is Q’s journey. He discovers himself. Like any other John Green works, the metaphors in this book are beautiful.


The story is a combination of comedy, heartfelt moments, and mystery. The way the story is written kept me hooked. I wanted to know the mystery that was Margo. The sense of identity is a constant theme that plays throughout the story. Each character has a different interpretation about who and what Margo is while no one knows her. It feels like Margo is an idea than an actual character. Q is worried about her and at one point is seriously concerned for her well-being. Her clues at times seem vague, and even the gang has trouble figuring them out.

This is a YA novel, but it is cleverly written. Q is such a relatable character. He is a little lost, especially in the beginning and everyone can relate to feeling lost at some point or the other. This story is more about the journey than the destination. We find out what happens to Margo in the end, and I thought it was worth it. Margo and Q have a conversation when he finds her that helps change his perspective; making his journey seem worthwhile. This book is thoughtful, philosophical, emotional, and funny. I loved reading this book.

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Currently Reading (January ’21)

My reading list for this month.

  1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte is a classic novel. This is a passionate love story of Catherine and Heathcliff. I have just started reading this book, and the descriptions are written beautifully. It sets an entirely different landscape and atmosphere from the start adding to its gothic element. The timeline is a little confusing in the beginning, but I hope it’ll get better as the story progresses.

2. Paper Towns by John Green.

I loved reading The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska. I hope I’ll feel the same about Paper Towns. This coming of age story is about Quentin nicknamed Q, and his neighbor and crush for years, Margo Roth Spiegelman. Margo and Q aren’t close friends anymore as they were when they were kids. One night Margo knocks on Q’s window after years. They spend that night doing all sorts of shenanigans, and the next morning Margo disappears. It is going well so far so, fingers crossed.

3. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut.

I wanted to finish this book in December itself. As you can see, that didn’t happen. Hopefully, I will be able to finish it this month. This story is based on Vonnegut’s experience as a POW during World War II in Dresden is an intriguing story. I am a few chapters in, but it can be too heavy at times. I can’t read this book for hours.

4. A Pair of Silk Stockings by Kate Chopin.

I have this short story in my 50 greatest short stories book. I have been meaning to read something written by Kate Chopin for years, and I thought starting with this short story might be a good idea. The story revolves around Mrs. Sommers, who decides to indulge herself for a day by spending money.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

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Books I read in 2020: My Favorites.

I read quite a lot of books this year. There were a few hit and misses, but I read some of the best books. I loved reading these books; here are my favorites-

  1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

I loved reading this book. The characters of Jane and Mr. Rochester have a beautiful love story though it falls in somewhat of a grey area at times. The way the book is written is engaging, and the story moves forward at a good pace. It keeps you hooked.

  1. A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams.

This play was simply amazing. The story and the characters were something different entirely. It has a gritty and dark element to the story which are subtly woven throughout the plot. Once I started reading this play, it was difficult to put it down. The story strikes a nerve with the reader in an unexpected way. It is one of the best plays I have ever read.

  1. Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelley.

Another story set during World War II, follows three women, Caroline, Kasia, and Herta. This novel is based around true events but with the inclusion of a few fictional characters. It was difficult to read the book sometimes because it gets very heavy. In the end, it is worth it. It is a heartbreaking and inspiring story, written beautifully with amazing characters at the helm.

  1. 1984 by George Orwell.

Reading 1984 was kind of like an eye-opening experience for me. The world George Orwell created is messed up and dystopian yet some aspects of it are now a part of our lives. The way the story is narrated keeps you on edge waiting for something to happen. It is a must-read.

  1. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.

One of the best dystopian fiction books I have read. Never Let Me Go for me was surprisingly emotional as well as disturbing. I couldn’t predict what was going to happen and though it gets heavy in its subject it remains engaging. The novel is dystopian has a grounded setting; it resembles the world we know with slight differences. It is a book everyone should read at least once.

  1. We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter.

We Were the Lucky Ones is a historical novel set during World War II. It is a true story of the Kurc family. It is beautifully written with different family members acting as a narrator that gives a complete sense of the harrowing times. It is an emotionally heavy read yet the ending has a hopeful tone to it.

  1. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry.

A Fine Balance is set in India during the 1975 Emergency period. Mistry, through four characters from different backgrounds, shows the effect this period had on people. The bond these people form and the trials they face individually adds intensity to the story. The novel is long but it never gets dull. It focuses on the characters and the effect on their lives instead of getting political.

  1. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult.

I read this book just last month. It is really sad and heartbreaking. I enjoyed the way the story is told by using major characters as narrators. This gave me insight into situations from varied perspectives which are necessary for a story where there is no way of knowing what exactly is right or wrong. It’s a beautiful family story.

  1. Perfect Regret by A. Meredith Walters.

This is one of my favorite love stories I have read in recent times. Garrett and Riley seem to have nothing in common yet they have a level of understanding between each other. The concerns Riley has about Garrett seem justified enough though she can be a bit harsh sometimes. Their bond develops slowly and steadily which I liked. The characters feel real and grounded. It was such an enjoyable read.

  1. Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught.

Almost Heaven is a historical romance. The story follows Ian and Elizabeth’s love story. Their love story is passionate, adventurous, and dramatic. I had fun reading this book. I finished it over one weekend because I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. I felt immersed in Elizabeth and Ian’s love story.

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Book Review: One Night With You (Sophie Jordan).

One Night With You

-Sophie Jordan

One Night With You by Sophie Jordan is a historical romance novel. I found this book pretty randomly on Kindle, and its premise seemed promising. This novel follows the story of Lady Jane Guthrie and Seth Rutledge, Earl of St.Clair. This is the third book of the Derrings Series, but I read this one as a standalone.

Jane is treated as an outsider by her in-laws after her husband’s death. She craves freedom and adventure. This is how she ends up going to a masquerade party with her friends; it is here that she runs into Seth. Jane and Seth have a history together, they were close friends growing up, and Jane was madly in love with him. Seth fell for Jane’s sister, and her parents and her sister break his heart. They are sparks immediately between them, but she doesn’t follow through on it. Later, she goes to find him once again cloaked in the same dress and mask as the first night, and this time, neither of them holds back from their attraction to each other.

Seth has hardened by difficult experiences from his time working in the navy. He was heartbroken by the way Jane’s family treated him, especially her sister. He wants to marry a girl for the sake of security for his sister Julianne, who lost her eye-sight after an accident. Seth is captivated by the girl he meets at the masquerade and later, by Jane too. There is definitely chemistry between Seth and Jane from the beginning, even though he is unaware that the girl from the party and Jane are one person. Jane becomes pregnant after her one night with Seth, and everything changes.

Seth and Jane get married after finding out about the baby. Jane is reluctant to accept him because she knows he is doing this out of duty. She still loves him, so it is hard for her to accept such a practical marriage. Her first husband never treated her right, cheated on her all the time, and pulled her down all the time. Later, this tradition continues with her brother-in-law and his wife. Understandably, Jane has some trust issues, but so does Seth. He is furious about her lies; he doesn’t approve of the fact that she hid her identity when they were together.

The romance in the book is a little bit of a slow burner. The characters are interesting from the beginning, even the minor ones. Julianne, Seth’s sister, and his old navy friend and now valet also have a love story that is the subplot of the novel. I didn’t agree with some decisions or choices the characters make to situations, but that’s bound to happen. I would have liked more insight into the bond Jane and Seth shared when they were younger. The tidbits of their past seemed too less to me. Jane is in love with Seth for a long time, and the way he acts distant after their marriage is heartbreaking for her. 

The ending of the novel felt rushed. The story had set a good pace from the beginning; it never slowed or got dull. Seth’s realization of his love for Jane seemed abrupt in the end. He cares about her, and one can tell he feels something for her, but he is so adamant about staying away almost until the second chapter. Suddenly in the last chapter, he confesses his love for Jane. It seemed abrupt and not completely satisfying as it could have been. 

One Night With You by Sophie Jordon is an interesting romance novel. I liked the characters; the love story of Jane and Seth was pretty cute. I liked reading this book, but I didn’t love it.

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Currently Reading (December ’20)

Currently Reading (December ’20)

My reading list for this month.

1) Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

I wanted to read this book for a long time. I bought it earlier this year and finally started reading it. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut is a story of Billy Pilgrim; the story is set during World War II. I am only a few pages in now; the plot and the writing are really interesting. It is based on the infamous bombings on Dresden during World War II. This book is said to be one of the best anti-war books; it has an intriguing premise for sure. The story draws from Vonnegut’s own experiences during wartime.

2) We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is a re-read for me. It’s been a few years since I read it. I don’t remember all the plot details, just a couple of them. This a story about four privileged teenagers who spend summers together on an island their family owns. It has an air of mystery in it, almost like a psychological thriller. I am excited to read it again.

3) One Night With You by Sophie Jordan

One Night With You by Sophie Jordan is a historical romance novel. I know it is a part of the Derrings Series, but I haven’t read the first two. I will read this as a standalone. The story focuses on Lady Jane Guthrie, who is treated, as an outcast in her own family. Seth is a guy who broke her heart when he fell in love with her sister. This story follows the love story between Jane and Seth. As far as I have read by now, it has kept me hooked.

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Book Review: Easy (Tammara Webber).

Easy 

-Tammara Webber

I haven’t read a book written by this author before. I was intrigued by its plot. It’s been a while since I read a New Adult Fiction novel. Easy (Contours of the Heart #1) by Tammara Webber is the love story of Jacqueline and Lucas, a college romance.

Jacqueline has followed her boyfriend to the state college. After dating each other for three years, he breaks up with her to explore other options. She is left shaken by this. She has fallen behind on her Economics class after her break up and now needs help. Landon Maxfield is the tutor recommended by her professor to help get her grades back up. Jacqueline has become self-reflective after her break up with Kennedy. She realizes that she did a lot of things to make him happy, putting him first and even declining her dream music college.

Jacqueline meets Lucas in a very tricky situation when he helps her. He takes self-defense classes on the campus which she decides to join due to her friend Erin’s insistence. She starts emailing Landon Maxfield about her Eco class, and they hit it off. Meanwhile, she feels curious and attracted to Lucas, who is a mystery. It starts with attraction, but they do get along well. Lucas intrigues her, and slowly, the layers he hides beneath start peeling off but not completely. 

As Jacqueline interacts more and more with Landon and Lucas, she starts being herself again. She slowly starts getting back the confidence in herself and her identity other than being Kennedy’s girlfriend. The characters in the books are realistically portrayed. They act maturely and sensibly when faced with tough situations but still are trying to figure out their place in the world. The college setting has a positive environment; Erin, Jacqueline’s friend, is so supportive of her and vice versa.

The relationship between Jacqueline and Lucas is an example of a healthy relationship. They deal with problems sensibly and, realistically; there is minimum drama. Lucas is a little cautious Jacqueline but then you realize that it is for the right reasons. I liked the character of Lucas so much more than I thought I would. In the beginning, I thought he might be a little typical; he is anything but typical. He is caring and respectful of Jacqueline and her decisions. They have a very cute and realistic relationship. There is no toxic behavior from either side. 

Reading Young Adult or New Adult novels can be predictable at times for me because I have read a lot of them. Easy was like a breath of fresh air. The characters, the writing, and the setting is so grounded; it keeps you hooked. Once I started reading it, I had to force myself to keep the book down. It is engaging, cute, and positive. I enjoyed reading it.

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Book Review: My Last Duchess (Daisy Goodwin).

My Last Duchess

-Daisy Goodwin.


I bought My Last Duchess by Daisy Goodwin randomly at a book sale last year. The book is a historical fiction/romance which intrigued me. The book is the story of an American heiress Cora Cash who travels to Europe to find a suitable titled match.

Cora Cash is the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Cash. There are the wealthiest family in America and live in Newport. Cora is romantically interested in a guy named Teddy who is not as rich as her but, Cora doesn’t care. Mrs. Cash is very controlling about Cora’s life which often leads to her questioning all of Cora’s decisions including Teddy. Cora is rejected by him the day before she is supposed to set for Europe. It is actually
Mrs. Cash who wants her daughter to marry someone with a title, hence, she is taking Cora to Europe.

In England, Cora has an accident where she falls from her horse. This is when she meets Ivo; he takes her to his home Lulworth. Ivo is a Duke that fascinates Mrs. Cash and she sees this as an opportunity. A few days later Ivo proposes to Cora soon they get married. After the honeymoon period is over things start going sideways for Cora.

In the beginning, I couldn’t find anything relatable or sympathetic about Cora. She is vain and spoiled, she thinks very highly of herself. The way Ivo and Cora’s love story starts is a little underwhelming. Maybe it was on purpose for the story to progress but when Cora starts questioning whether she knows her husband or not; it is not surprising. Cora has trouble adjusting at Lulworth even after marriage but she tries to take it in stride.

Ivo Maltevers is the Duke of Lulworth. He is often aloof and moody. There is not a lot you find out about him when he is introduced. Ivo inherited Lulworth after his brother’s death and refuses to talk about his past, even if Cora questions him. There is no doubt that he is secretive and feels burdened with the duties that come with the title of Duke of Wareham. Cora’s money is definitely something that he needed which he accepts but his affection for her seems genuine.

The story is a slow burner for the first half of the book but the pace picks up for the second half. This is where my interest peaked and I was interested to know what’s going to happen next. Cora’s character goes through a transformation and she becomes much more likable and real. Ivo leaves for Africa leaving Cora when she is pregnant. She is forced to take control and stand for herself among people who are cold towards her. Ivo has his reasons for his secretive behavior and later, he feels guilty about treating Cora the way he did. The explanation about his past especially about his brother was something I didn’t anticipate.

Daisy Goodwin gives beautiful descriptions of details regarding the decadency of the dresses and houses of the century. I felt that the details, at times, sort of broke the flow of the story. Overall, Cora and Ivo are round characters. Both of them change as the story progresses. The narration of the book is mostly from Cora’s point of view which helped understand her journey properly. The minor characters are colorful and play a part in the overall story.

The start was a little slow but once I got into the story I enjoyed it. The difference between the New World (America) and the Old World is portrayed in a unique and sometimes, funny way. It is an enjoyable and fun read.

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Book Review: The Marriage Bargain (Jennifer Probst).

The Marriage Bargain

– Jennifer Probst.

I read a book last month which had a reference to this book and since, I liked that novel I thought might check this one out. The Marriage Bargain is a marriage of convenience type love story written by Jennifer Probst. This romance novel was the perfect kind of escapist fiction I wanted to read for the weekend.

Alexa Maria McKenzie is a 27-year-old bookshop owner. Her shop is doing well enough but her family is in financial trouble and she wants to help them but doesn’t know why. The story starts with her making a list of all qualities she would like in a man and casts a love spell. Maggie is Alexa’s best friend and they have known each other for years. Nicholas Ryan is a billionaire and Maggie’s older brother. Alex had a major crush on him when he was younger but it didn’t end well for her.

Nicholas needs to marry to inherit his father’s business but he doesn’t believe in marriage or love and wants a marriage of convenience. Nicholas (Nick) learns about Alexa’s financial trouble and he has known her for a long time decides to make a proposal to her which she accepts. This is the way Alexa and Nick end up getting married. Alexa and Nick quite opposite when it comes to their beliefs especially about relationships and family. Nick doesn’t want or even believe in marriage or love, but Alexa has always wanted the fairytale.

This is an odd situation for them to act like a happy couple in front of their families and friends but they try to make the best of it. Once they are married they become friends first and start getting along really well which leads to them becoming lovers. It seems like a natural transition because they don’t exactly know each other all that much, Maggie is the only common thread between them. The way their relationship evolves and becomes stronger, the build-up to it is interesting and fun to read.

Nick can be a bit much at times especially in the beginning but slowly there is a change in him and he becomes more likable as a character. Alexa is independent and strong, she comes from a tight-knit family and she sticks to her moral compass throughout even when it is not favorable for her. The element of magic with the love spell thing in the story is a nice surprise; it is underlying and doesn’t take anything away from the actual love story. I like how Alexa and Nick bring out the best in each other which neither of them expected and grow stronger together.

The conflict towards the end was a little rushed but it still keeps you hooked. The Marriage Bargain mostly has a predictable story but there are some unexpected events in it as well. Being a contemporary romance novel the plot does seem predictable but with a fresh perspective on it that made this story enjoyable for me. It is a feel-good, fun, and interesting romance novel. I liked reading this book and once I started reading it took me a day to finish it.

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Currently Reading (July ’20).

My reading list for this month.

  1. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling.

I don’t usually read non-fiction books but this book was a gift. It is been sitting on my shelf for years. I recently watched The Mindy Project television series and I liked it so I decided that now I will read this book. It is kind of like a collection of humorous essays written by Mindy Kaling. I am only a couple of chapters in but it is a fun read. It is relatable, insightful, and witty.

2. Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly.

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly is inspired by a true story during World War II. Three women Caroline Ferriday, Kasia Kuzmerick, and Herta Oberheuser come from different worlds until World War II begins with the invasion of Poland and their paths cross with each other. I haven’t read beyond the first chapter but historical novels always intrigue me and this one was no different. I look forward to reading this book.

3. The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst.

The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst is a love story between Alexa and Nicholas. Alexa and Nicholas have known each other for years because Maggie is Alexa’s best friend and Nicholas’s sister. Alexa is in a tough financial situation so when Nicholas makes his proposal to her. They get married only in name for Nicholas to be able to inherit his father’s corporation. The story can be predictable in a way but the element of fantasy and unique characters is enough to hook you on the book.

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Book Review: Worth the Risk (Jamie Beck).

Worth the Risk

–  Jamie Beck.

Worth the Risk by Jamie Beck is the third novel of the St. James series. A few months ago, I had read the second novel of the series but I have never read the first one. Not reading the first book didn’t throw me off the plot of this book but I missed some background. This is a story about Jackson and Gabby who fall for each other against all odds.

Jackson decides to take a break from his life and spend six weeks healing in Vermont. Jackson lost his mom a while ago and then his brother moved away; he feels abandoned by his family. He has secrets of his own and adding to that the secrets he knows his brother is hiding from him which starts taking a toll on him. He uses alcohol as a way to escape and somewhere along the line it becomes a habit. Jackson rents a room at a home in Vermont where he is going to spend time recovering. Gabby is his landlord.

Gabby has had it rough. She is a young single mother, her mother left her when she was young and her dad is overprotective. Gabby is down to earth and sweet, she is mature for her age. I liked the way the rapport between Jackson and Gabby developed; it happened organically. Gabby’s mother leaves them because she was addicted to drugs which started with painkillers after an injury. In a way, she carries the guilt and baggage of her mother’s actions.

Jackson is a nice guy who has made bad choices over the last couple of years and he is introspective. He knows that he is an issue with alcohol use and is trying hard to overcome his addiction. Gabby and Jackson are immediately attracted to each other but keep things friendly between them as long as they can. Jackson is honest about his issues with Gabby but her father worries that she is making the same decisions that he made in regards to Gabby’s mother; Gabby is conscious about it too. Gabby’s ex, her son’s father Noah who did the bare minimum to support her over the years suddenly starts taking an interest her.

The main conflict in the story I felt was the struggle of Gabby to try and not compare Jackson with her mom and for Jackson, it is not to let his past overwhelm him. Growing up with a mother with a drug issue, you can sympathize with Gabby when it comes to her reservations but still, she takes a leap of faith. Both characters are flawed, one more than the other. The good part is that they are not oblivious to each other’s problems and how it could affect their relationship. Jackson and Gabby don’t have it easy which is realistic and keeps the story grounded. In the end, both are trying to overcome their obstacles and make it work with each other.

I liked Jackson and Gabby’s characters and their love story was cute and complicated. The writing and pace of the story are engaging, I could barely put it down and finished it in a day. Worth the Risk is an engaging and enjoyable book to read, I loved it.

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