Don’t Fuck With Only You: My So Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma

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Winnie Mehta was never really convinced that Raj was her soulmate, but their love was written in the stars. Literally, a pandit predicted Winnie would find the love of her life before her 18th birthday, and Raj meets all of the qualifications. Which is why Winnie is shocked to return from her summer at film camp to find her boyfriend of three years hooking up with Jenny Dickens. Worse, Raj is crowned chair of the student film festival, a spot Winnie was counting on for her film school applications. As a self-proclaimed Bollywood expert, Winnie knows this is not how her perfect ending is scripted.

Then there’s Dev, a fellow film geek, and one of the few people Winnie can count on to help her reclaim control of her story. Dev is smart charming, and challenges Winnie to look beyond her horoscope to find someone she’d pick for herself. But does falling for Dev mean giving up on her prophecy, and her chance to live happily ever after? To get her Bollywood-like life on track, Winnie will need a little bit of help from fate, family, and of course, a Bollywood movie star.

Like an expertly choreographed Bollywood dance scene, Nisha Sharma’s off-beat love story dazzles in the lime light.

Source: GoodReads

Well, this weekend sucked when it came to terms of reading.  After reading my last read, I was in the mood for no bull shit which unfortunately meant for My So Called Bollywood  Life it got thrown halfway across the room after fifty pages.

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Side note, that’s  actually a pretty far distance from me.  I took the photo on my couch and threw the thing as far as I could, which I know is sort of pathetic but the fact it was thrown this far shows how angry I was.

Going into this, I knew I’d probably would be dealing with a TSTL heroine.  I mean, it’s sort of stated in the blurb of the book that she’s going to be stupid beyond belief.  But I was also under the impression this book was sort of going to be like that early 90’s movie Only Youwhich for those unaware is when Iron Man and Aunt May were dating IRL and decided to do a movie together so that they could pretty much go on a free vacation to Italy.  Anyway, Aunt May is sort of TSTL in the movie and thinks that based on a random fortune teller and a Ouija  board that she’s going to get hitched to some dude named Damon Bradley.  Of course, hijinks result of that and there’s lots of kissing.  Lots and lots of kissing.

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My So Called Bollywood Life tries to do that same sort of plot.  However, rather than coming off oddly charming like Tony Stark  and Aunt May did it just comes up as unbelievably dumb.  Also, it lacked the kissing.

Also, the MC has a bit of a Carrie Underwood moment at the beginning of the book that is beyond idiotic.  In fact, in the fifty pages I read she seems to be in Carrie Underwood mode the entire time even though it’s stated that her douche of a boyfriend and her were on break because he cheated on her.

And honestly, it’s pretty explicit by page fifty she doesn’t care for this douche she just wants to fulfill the prophecy like she’s freaking Voldemort or some one.

Just don’t bother with this one.  I feel like this review is fairly short, but there’s not much to say about this one but a waste.  I honestly picked it up because Only You (the Iron Man and Aunt Mae movie) is one of my favorite rom coms and I liked the Bollywood angle that this one supposedly had.  But other than the chapters being headed by a nondescript comment about a film, there’s really nothing about Bollywood about this one.

Also, don’t fuck with Only You.

Such a disappointment.

Overall Rating: DNF

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Her Name Should’ve Been Tinkle: From Twinkle With Love by Sandhya Menon

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Aspiring filmmaker and wallflower Twinkle Mehra has stories she wants to tell and universes she wants to explore, if only the world would listen. So when fellow film geek Sahil Roy approaches her to direct a movie for the upcoming Summer Festival, Twinkle is all over it. The chance to publicly showcase her voice as a director? Dream come true. The fact that it gets her closer to her longtime crush, Neil Roy—a.k.a. Sahil’s twin brother? Dream come true x 2.

When mystery man “N” begins emailing her, Twinkle is sure it’s Neil, finally ready to begin their happily-ever-after. The only slightly inconvenient problem is that, in the course of movie-making, she’s fallen madly in love with the irresistibly adorkable Sahil.

Twinkle soon realizes that resistance is futile: The romance she’s got is not the one she’s scripted. But will it be enough?

Told through the letters Twinkle writes to her favorite female filmmakers, From Twinkle, with Love navigates big truths about friendship, family, and the unexpected places love can find you.

Source: GoodReads

I loved Menon’s debut but man her sophomore effort, I really, really, hated it.  There’s no other way of putting it.

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One of the things that bothered me the most about From Twinkle With Love was that I was never really able to find myself attached to either its characters or plot.  It just felt flat.  Also, Twinkle….gah, she annoyed me.

The book itself sort of has a little bit of Princess Diaries meets Boy Meets Girl feel to it.  I just realize I’m referencing two Meg Cabot books, surely that most be a good thing since I love Meg Cabot books, right?

Um, no.  At least not in this case.   Twinkle annoyed me.  Sahil annoyed me.  Twinkle’s idiotic parents and grandmother annoyed me.  Her best friend annoyed me.

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Everybody annoyed me.

Most of the story is told through Twinkle’s POV in letters to famous female directors.  A cute idea, but honestly after awhile I thought why not just have it be a regular diary.  There’s not really any connection to any of these directors except that Twinkle wants to be a famous director like them.  Even in Beverly Clearly’s Dear Mr. Henshaw, after awhile the main character drops addressing the letters to Mr. Henshaw.  It just seemed redundant after awhile.

Funnily enough, the lack of evolution with the salutation is also sort of synonymous with the lack of character development when it comes to Twinkle.  And God, I want to call her Tinkle throughout this review.

You know what, fuck it.  We’re going to call Twinkle Tinkle because I keep calling the idiot Tinkle in my head throughout the entire duration of reading this shit.  Did I mention that I hate this bitch?

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Based on that sentence alone, you can tell I’m not in a good mood.  Honestly, I felt frustrated throughout the entire reading process.  This was just not an enjoyable experience to read.

Usually, I am a fan of first person more than third person, but this is one case where first person did not work.  In fact, I actually preferred Menon’s first book which was in third person-that is a rarity for me.

Tinkle and I just did not get along.  I couldn’t connect with her.  At first I thought maybe it was because the narration sounded really young.  I know I’ve addressed this issue in the past in my blog, if it’s really a fault in the novel or not.  And in this case, I think it is.  I just had a hard time believing that a character with this maturity level was capable of being in a relationship and for that matter completing a movie.  She sounded at most she should’ve been twelve.  Actually, come to think of it, I know twelve year-old’s with better social skills than Tinkle.  Again did I mention I hated Tinkle….

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On paper, what Tinkle discusses throughout the book are good things.  I like books that discuss gender issues and diversity, but the gender issues was really more or less just randomly dropped a couple of times and that was it.  More of less, it was just used to give Tinkle’s movie original and give it credence and it annoyed me.  Especially since there was so much sexist behavior going on with the love interest, who even though he says he’s a feminist is just really an “Actually” guy.

God, I hate those fuckers.

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Sahil gets pissed because Tinkle because she thought her secret admirer was his brother not this random dude who obviously has a crush on her.  And it’s like her fault for thinking this and as a result we get the thirty page boo hoo scene of how it’s all Tinkle’s fault her life is shit.

Well, it might be in part but Sahil and Maddie are fucking idiots too.

I’ll get to the Maddie mess in a minute, after I eat some more of this watermelon sorbet infused with saki I made.  I need something to get this vile shit fest out of my head.

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I needed a lot of sorbet after this book.

Okay, so yeah Sahil is a dick who has an inferiority complex because of his identical twin brother and Tinkle is somehow the bad guy.  And look, I don’t even want to defend Tinkle throughout all of this because she annoyed the shit out me…but portraying her as wrong in all of this GMAFB.

Anyway, now we’re on to Maddie.  If I was actually drinking while writing this review or eating watermelon sorbet I’d be rip roaring drunk right now because the book annoyed me THAT much.  That being said, Maddie is a terrible friend, terrible person.  Not really much else to say about her than terrible.

Not really much to say about these characters but terrible.

Terrible is the theme of the book, and it doesn’t only apply to characters but plot as well.

This book pretty much is about nothing.  However, unlike Seinfeld it fails at perfecting the art full of nothing .  I was so, so, freaking bored.  This book was a lot of tell and not a lot of show.   Really, nothing happened.  I was just told that Tinkle was making a movie, and somehow her movie was a success even though the production of it sounded more amateurish than when my AP US History class had to do a video presentation over the 20th century.  And that’s saying something.

I just wasn’t impressed…at all.  Which is sad, because again I really liked this author’s debut.  I just can’t recommend this one without grimacing.

Overall Rating: A C- and THAT’S being generous.

 

The Corgis Disapprove (Well, Mine Do): Royals by Rachel Hawkins

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Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her to join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond.

While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself.

Source: GoodReads

It’s Royal Wedding weekend which meant that during my Benadryl induced insomnia last night, I caught part of Harry and Meghan’s wedding that I later watched via DVR.  I have to say Meghan was so on point with that dress.  Unfortunately, I was less on point when  I decided that Royals would be perfect reading material this weekend.

Instead it was rage inducing, me to using the below gif.

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This book, people…skip it, please.  If you want to read something with royalty read The Princess Diaries series again, The Royal We, A Prince in Disguise, I can go on but I  won’t.  Hell, you can even watch on of the various Hallmark movies that have been made and they’re better than this shit.

Okay…so what has pissed me off.  Pretty much that there love interest in this book is a misogynist asshole   who blames the MC for getting assaulted by his drunk ass best friend.  Seriously, it’s her fault that she was kissed against her will  and that said best friend passed out drunk on his ass in her room.

Do you see why I don’t like this book?

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And what really bothers me is that at the end when said scumbag best friend is put in his place, it’s not for coming on to the MC or other girls randomly.  It’s for declaring his love to the MC’s sister and her fiancee accidentally overhearing it.

Did I mention that said best friend is a minor while his attacker has at least graduated from college?

Yeah…

Oh, and said attacker is a prince.

Yeah….

And that all of this is pretty much brushed under the rug within twenty pages.  Just like the non-existant romance and anything else involving this storyline was resolved pretty much within twenty pages.

But there’s a sequel, but without this character as the lead I’m suspecting.  And which I really care about because this book was so poorly crafted I’m not checking out the follow up.

Obviously.

Especially if the would  be rapist gets his own book.

Because seriously, going into a stranger’s room forcing them to kiss them and probably forcing them to do more if you didn’t pass out drunk isn’t exactly attractive.  Neither is a douche who defend’s said best friend’s behavior but apparently Hawkins felt it  deserved a pass.

No it did not.

Overall Rating: Total failure.  This book just gives me a headache.

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Like An Embarrassingly Bad But Good Fan Fic: Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas

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The Winter Solstice. In a week. I was still new enough to being High Lady that I had no idea what my formal role was to be. If we’d have a High Priestess do some odious ceremony, as lanthe had done the year before. A year. Gods, nearly a year since Rhys had called in his bargain, desperate to get me away from the poison of the Spring Court to save me from my despair. Had he been only a minute later, the Mother knew what would have happened. Where I’d now be. Snow swirled and eddied in the garden, catching in the brown fibers of the burlap covering the shrubs My mate who had worked so hard and so selflessly, all without hope that I would ever be with him We had both fought for that love, bled for it. Rhys had died for it.

Source: GoodReads

I bet Sarah J Maas wrote fan fic at one point.  Fan fic where cannon characters are flipped on their head as being evil, and cannon baddies are fannon heroes.   You know like where Draco Malfoy is revealed to have been a good guy all along while Ron is a Death Eater bastard(there are a ton of Dramione fan fictions out there that follow that trope, it’s sad I know that and I really hate Ron so I don’t mind them). While this was made exceedingly apparent in the second book in this series-which I annoyingly enjoyed way more than I should’ve, becuase hello character assassination galore- I feel like it’s exemplified here because this installment is an unnecessary epilogue that is purposely written so that it can sell the next series in this mega series.  However, unlike a certain other author who was actually a fan fiction author that I’ll try not to reference too much so her fan bots won’t attack me, I sort of like this series and this book so I’m only mildly annoyed.

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However, I have my eye on you Sarah J Maas.  You have one trick pony tendencies and this book shows it…

And so do all those Throne of Glass books-side note, I have told you guys I’ll try to read that series but I swear someone is just going to have tie me and hold me hostage before I actually do.  I just haven’t been able to work myself up to doing that especially since I found the first book annoying…

And I’m digressing again.

I’ve been doing that a lot lately.

I think that’s because there really isn’t a lot of new for me to say about this series.  I enjoyed the first two books, sort of had meh feelings about the third, and sort of have meh feelings about the novella.  I know the series is problematic, and from the reviews that I read that have pointed out the criticisms regarding these books-I get ya’ll.  I’m honestly surprise I enjoy it as much as I do, since I just cannot get into TOG-one of these days I swear I’m going to read another book and give it a try, I mean they are on my shelves…

The point is this is a guilty pleasure series for me.  I will probably continue on only because I am interested in seeing the spinoff series, but I could easily see this thing going into full Cassandra Clare territory (yes, I said the name)  in obnoxiousness-it’s already halfway there.

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Fans of Feyre and Rhys’s eyeball worthy floor play, will likely enjoy this one.  For me it was just meh at best.  I know that their will banter with Rhys saying something suggestive, Feyre calling him  prick, and them having sex on some sort of unsanitary surface that should have you cringing but Maas thinks is romantic.

Yeah, I know I’m a  Debby Downer who’s a little germ obsessed.

Shrugs.  I really don’t care.

At the end of the day though, I found this to be rather inoffensive if expected.  I mean, I could tell his book was pretty much setting up the next arc of the story.  I had a suspicion where Rhys and Feyre were going to go with their relationship, as well as a suspicion whose story is going to be told next.

So there really wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.

While I do find the romance at times to be cringe worthy, I was okay with it.  I probably could’ve done less with the Tamlin bashing though.  God, I get dude is a douche but he is really old news now unless he’s going to be redeemed and get his own series of books (which I honestly feel meh about since he was a huge douche especially in the second book).

Regardless, if your a fan of this series you’ll probably want to read this one.  Sure, you can skip it, but if you really like the series you’ll probably want to have picked it up at some point in time.

Overall Rating: A B- like I said it was pretty much  a tacked on epilogue of smut, but uber fans are going to like it.

What Was the Point of This?: Love, Pizza, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams

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Can a spot on a teen reality show really lead to a scholarship at an elite cooking school AND a summer romance?

Sixteen-year-old Sophie Nicolaides was practically raised in the kitchen of her family’s Italian-Greek restaurant, Taverna Ristorante. When her best friend, Alex, tries to convince her to audition for a new reality show, Teen Test Kitchen, Sophie is reluctant. But the prize includes a full scholarship to one of America’s finest culinary schools and a summer in Napa, California, not to mention fame.

Once on-set, Sophie immediately finds herself in the thick of the drama—including a secret burn book, cutthroat celebrity judges, and a very cute French chef. Sophie must figure out a way to survive all the heat and still stay true to herself. A terrific YA offering–fresh, fun, and sprinkled with romance.

Source: GoodReads

Well, I finished this book.

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So that’s a plus.

But God, what a waste of time. I literally felt that nothing.  Oh, stuff did happen.  There was a reality TV contest with characters that were flatter than the creepy bow twins on the latest incarnation of Master Chef Junior (and yes, I know the bow twins are just kids but  their stylist really needs to be canned for making them look like they should belong on the set of The Shining), a couple of cute boys who’s main characteristics was that they were cute and either culinary institute student or the MC’s B.F.F. who makes her enter the contest.  Oh, and yes the MC was Italian and Greek and that was her big thing besides her butt which she called “the tank” but other that…

Nope nothing happened here.

I feel like I need to back up on things Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous came out a few years back and was sort of on my radar but ended up in the pits of TBR pile.  I’ll admit it, I like cooking shows.  When I was in undergradthe Food Network was pretty much on 24/7 when I was in my dorm room just because it was entertaining enough  to block out noise but not too entertaining for me to get distracted when I wrote essays about why Oprah should run for president (yeah, I actually did that-we were suppose to pick a person who we thought would likely get elected back in 2008,  this was pre-Obama’s running announcement ) and the various Shakespeare plays I was forced to read because I was delusional enough to be an English major.  I still watch cooking shows today-which mostly consist of Gordon Ramsay yelling at people because for some odd reason it is cathartic for me to listen him to yell at incompetent jackasses (probably because I can’t do that myself, even though I purposely became a lawyer to  yell at people-’cause I’m not a nice person, ya’ll).   So, seeing it in book form totally going to go for it.  And a few years back a couple of books we’re introduced this being one of them and Taste Test being another.

I wasn’t a huge fan of Taste Test either, but unlike this book there was a semblance of a plot and it didn’t feel like 250 pages had been a complete waste of time.  This book though, that’s the feeling I got.  As you probably saw from the introductory paragraphs of this review.  The book had 1D characteristics at best which is a shame.  Yes, I get the MC has Greek and Italian heritage that she lost her mother and is torn in a love triangle between the boy next door and the hot cooking whiz she shares two lines of dialogue with-but Williams never made me care about them.  Or for that matter, she never resolved that plot.

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She never resolved anything.  Okay we’re heading to major spoiler territory now.  So if you’re one of those weirdos who actually cares about things like that you probably don’t want to read the next paragraph because it’s going to be a very spoiler filled rant…

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The book just ends exactly how it starts.  The MC doesn’t win.   There’s really no explanation for her loss.   She’s just back to working at her dad’s restaurant except she’s okay with being called Sophia now (okay, I didn’t get the whole not liking Sophia thing to begin with anyway).   And she’s sort of involved with both boys at the end of it, but sort of not (just like the entire book!).  She doesn’t really learn anything about herself, he new friends problems are never explained.  And I never did find out if Phillip was related to the producers or not (I assume he was because that’s the only way someone who can’t cook a fucking egg could’ve won a cooking contest).  Not that that was ever discussed.  The book just mentioned that this random minor character named Phillip seemed to win all the time and cooked horribly and no explanation was ever made for it, so I’m saying he’s related to the producers.

Phillip’s non-existing storyline seemed to be one of many that filled this book.  From the quasi romances going on.  To the long lost aunt.  To the burn book that the producer’s started.  To the contestant with the maybe eating disorder.  To the contestant with the romance with Phillip.  To the fragmented sentences of this paragraph.  There were that many plot holes.

The book just really seems to be going nowhere and it’s a fucking shame.  There was a lot of potential with Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous, but at the end of the day the book was more than a little bit of a let down.

Overall Rating: A C.  I have read worse and at least with this one it was painless short-I read it in the span of two hours.