TOUR / REVIEW: Dating Makes Perfect by Pintip Dunn

**I received an ARC for this blog tour. These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.**

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Book: Dating Makes Perfect by Pintip Dunn

Release Date: August 18, 2020

My Rating: 3.25 stars

Rep: ownvoices Thai-American protagonist, love interest, and side characters; bisexual Thai-American side character, Indian-American side character

Summary: The Tech sisters don’t date in high school. Not because they’re not asked. Not because they’re not interested. Not even because no one can pronounce their long, Thai last name—hence the shortened, awkward moniker. But simply because they’re not allowed.
Until now.

In a move that other Asian American girls know all too well, six months after the older Tech twins got to college, their parents asked, “Why aren’t you engaged yet?” The sisters retaliated by vowing that they won’t marry for ten (maybe even twenty!) years, not until they’ve had lots of dating practice.

In a shocking war on the status quo, her parents now insist that their youngest daughter, Orrawin (aka “Winnie”), must date in high school. Under their watchful eyes, of course — and on dates they organize based on their favorite rom-coms.

The first candidate? The son of their longtime friends, Mat Songsomboon—arrogant, dreamy, and infuriating. Winnie’s known him since they were toddlers throwing sticky rice balls at each other. Her parents love him, so naturally he’s the perfect person for her to pretend date.

If only he weren’t her sworn enemy.

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REVIEW: The Insomniacs by Marit Weisenberg

**I received an ARC through a trade. These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.**

the insomniacs cover

Book: The Insomniacs by Marit Weisenberg

Release Date: September 1, 2020

My Rating: 3.5 stars

Rep: biracial (Japanese, white) love interest, Indian-American side character

CW: recreational drug use, concussion, emeto (from the concussion), alcohol poisoning, mentions of death of a parent, predatory relationship between a coach and a student (off-page)

Summary: A sharp and romantic novel about two suburban teens who can’t sleep uncovering the secrets of their neighborhood by night. Think The Summer I Turned Pretty with flashes of Rear Window!

When seventeen-year-old competitive diver Ingrid freezes up and sustains a head injury at a routine meet, her orderly life is turned upside down. Now housebound and sedentary on doctor’s orders, Ingrid can’t sleep and is haunted by the question of what triggered her uncharacteristic stage fright.

The only thing she remembers about the moment before the dive is seeing Van, her neighbor, former best friend, and forever crush, on the sidelines. Then one sleepless night, she sees Van outside her window…looking right back at her. They tentatively begin “not sleeping” together every night but still living separate lives by day.

Ingrid tells herself this is just temporary, but soon, she and Van are up every night together, increasingly intertwined in helping each other put pieces of memory together. As Van works through his own reasons for not being able to sleep, both of them are pulled into a mystery that threatens to turn their quiet neighborhood into a darker place than they realized.

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REVIEW: Loathe at First Sight by Suzanne Park

**I received an ARC from Netgalley. These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.**

loathe at first sight cover

Book: Loathe at First Sight by Suzanne Park

Release Date: August 18, 2020

My Rating: 3.5 stars

CW: stalking, doxing, mentions of rape, sexism, misogyny, racism, use of racial slurs

Summary: Melody Joo is thrilled to land her dream job as a video game producer, but her new position comes with its share of challenges. Namely, an insufferable CEO and a team that consists of mostly male co-workers who make the term “misogyny” pale in comparison to their obnoxious comments. Then there’s the infuriating—yet distractingly handsome—MBA intern Nolan MacKenzie, a.k.a. “the guy who got hired because his uncle is the boss”. 

Just when Melody thinks she’s made the worst career move of her life, her luck changes on a dime. While joking with a friend, she creates a mobile game that has male strippers fighting for survival in a post-apocalyptic world. Suddenly, Melody’s “joke” is her studio’s most high-profile project—and Melody’s running the show. 

When Nolan is appointed a key member of her team, Melody’s sure he’ll be useless. But as they grow closer, she sees he’s smart and sexy, which makes Melody want to forget he’s her intern. As their attraction deepens, she knows it’s time to pump the brakes even with her Korean parents breathing down her neck to hurry up and find a man. But she’s here to work—and nothing more. All she has to do is resist the wild thoughts coursing through her mind whenever Nolan is near. Easy . . . or so she thinks.

With her pet project about to launch, Melody suddenly faces a slew of complications, including a social media trolling scandal that could end her career. She suspects one of her co-workers is behind the sabotage and is determined to find out who betrayed her. Could the man she’s falling hard for help her play the game to win—in work and love?

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REVIEW: Court of Lions by Somaiya Daud

**I received an ARC from Netgalley. These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.**

court of lions cover

Book: Court of Lions (Mirage #2) by Somaiya Daud

Release Date: August 4, 2020

My Rating: 4 stars

Rep: ownvoices Moroccan-inspired world and characters; lesbian main character and love interest

Summary: Two identical girls, one a princess, the other a rebel. Who will rule the empire?

After being swept up into the brutal Vathek court, Amani, the ordinary girl forced to serve as the half-Vathek princess’s body double, has been forced into complete isolation. The cruel but complex princess, Maram, with whom Amani had cultivated a tenuous friendship, discovered Amani’s connection to the rebellion and has forced her into silence, and if Amani crosses Maram once more, her identity – and her betrayal – will be revealed to everyone in the court.

Amani is desperate to continue helping the rebellion, to fight for her people’s freedom. But she must make a devastating decision: will she step aside, and watch her people suffer, or continue to aid them, and put herself and her family in mortal danger? And whatever she chooses, can she bear to remain separated, forever, from Maram’s fiancé, Idris?

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July passed by far too quickly; I’ve actually always hated getting halfway through July because it always reminds me how I haven’t done much in the summer and that the school year is starting soon. BUT! I got through my reading slump and somehow read 7 books in 7 days. In total, I managed to read 17 books this past month.

July was also #thegildedwolvesreadathon! It was honestly so much fun; thanks to everyone who joined us!

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DISCUSSION: the gilded wolves art

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Today’s the second-to-last day of #thegildedwolvesreadathon, and the goal for today is to share anything creative that you made for The Gilded Wolves! I’m sharing a scrapbook that I made for the book, as well as pointing out all the random details I put in. This is a long post, sorry!

This scrapbook includes my hand-lettered quotes, as well as random maps I picked up from when I visited Paris a couple of years ago. You can also see more edits/graphics I made for The Gilded Wolves last year in my review!

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LIST: hate to love

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I’m a huge fan of the hate-to-love trope because I feel like it adds a tension to the book that is unparalleled. Also, amicable bickering can be so fun. Anyways, I know that a lot of other people love this trope as well, so here’s a list of books that have the hate-to-love trope!

The enemies-to-lovers trope is often thrown around like it’s synonymous with rivals-to-lovers or just hate-to-love, but they’re really different dynamics so I wanted to differentiate between them. Thus, this list is split into four different categories:


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REVIEW: You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria

**I received an ARC from Edelweiss. These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.**

you had me at hola cover

Book: You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria

Release Date: August 4, 2020

My Rating: 3.75 stars

Rep: Puerto Rican-Filipina-American protagonist, ownvoices Puerto Rican protagonist and side characters

Summary: RITA® Award Winning author Alexis Daria brings readers an unforgettable, hilarious rom-com set in the drama-filled world of telenovelas—perfect for fans of Jane the Virgin and The Kiss Quotient.

Leading Ladies do not end up on tabloid covers.

After a messy public breakup, soap opera darling Jasmine Lin Rodriguez finds her face splashed across the tabloids. When she returns to her hometown of New York City to film the starring role in a bilingual romantic comedy for the number one streaming service in the country, Jasmine figures her new “Leading Lady Plan” should be easy enough to follow—until a casting shake-up pairs her with telenovela hunk Ashton Suárez. 

Leading Ladies don’t need a man to be happy

After his last telenovela character was killed off, Ashton is worried his career is dead as well. Joining this new cast as a last-minute addition will give him the chance to show off his acting chops to American audiences and ping the radar of Hollywood casting agents. To make it work, he’ll need to generate smoking-hot on-screen chemistry with Jasmine. Easier said than done, especially when a disastrous first impression smothers the embers of whatever sexual heat they might have had. 

Leading Ladies do not rebound with their new costars.

With their careers on the line, Jasmine and Ashton agree to rehearse in private. But rehearsal leads to kissing, and kissing leads to a behind-the-scenes romance worthy of a soap opera. While their on-screen performance improves, the media spotlight on Jasmine soon threatens to destroy her new image and expose Ashton’s most closely guarded secret.

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