Mini Reviews VII

Ciao!!

It’s time for the mini reviews again! Thank god. I mean, I read ten books in June, I was working full time and loads new changes than I was prepared for so this was kinda given. But I am just glad that I managed to finally finish up writing this post. I really enjoyed all three of the books for different reasons and I hope you might wanna read them after reading the blurbs and reviews.

So, let’s just dive into them!

You Asked for Perfect

by Laura Silverman

Senior Ariel Stone is the perfect college applicant: first chair violin, dedicated community volunteer, and expected valedictorian. He works hard – really hard – to make his life look effortless. A failed Calculus quiz is not part of that plan. Not when he’s number one. Not when his peers can smell weakness like a freshman’s body spray.

Figuring a few all-nighters will preserve his class rank, Ariel throws himself into studying. His friends will understand if he skips a few plans, and he can sleep when he graduates. Except Ariel’s grade continues to slide. Reluctantly, he gets a tutor. Amir and Ariel have never gotten along, but Amir excels in Calculus, and Ariel is out of options.

Ariel may not like Calc, but he might like Amir. Except adding a new relationship to his long list of commitments may just push him past his limit.

+++++

“I have this bad habit of ignoring messages when I’m stressed.”

You know sometimes you find the absolute best thing at the exact right time and you think it’s pretty awesome? I think something like that happened to me with this one. I had started working full time and there was a lot of anxiety built around that boogeyman and I read this one during that period and I am just…so freaking relieved to have read that. While I might not have faced the same amount of pressure that Ariel felt during this book for the same reason but there was a lot of anxiety representation that felt so eerily similar in some ways.

The overall plot might not seem a literary genius but it’s the characters and their experiences that made this book if you ask me. There’s such a diverse cast of characters who are dealing with their own thing and they all felt so individual to me that it felt fantastic to read. It does seem a bit of that slice-of-life (which is a term I totally borrowed from Elise of The Bookish Actress) and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It made me feel so good to see that there were parents involved in Ariel and Amir’s life, that their siblings also played a good part in it. Often I see in YA this disturbing trend (and it might be a realistic for all I know, what do I know about the Western ways?) that there’s never any parental figure around. So it was nice to see that families were there.

Apart from the general anxiety representation and what pressure is doing to children even younger than high-schoolers, there’s one of the cutest romance to lure you in. I swear, Amir and Ariel have such a cute thing going for them, they are the softest and yet it’s not without its ups and downs, of course. Overall, it’s just a fairly relatable book with characters that really make the book worth a read. I gave it a 4.25 stars.

+++++

The Music of What Happens

by Bill Konigsberg

Max: Chill. Sports. Video games. Gay and not a big deal, not to him, not to his mom, not to his buddies. And a secret: An encounter with an older kid that makes it hard to breathe, one that he doesn’t want to think about, ever.

Jordan: The opposite of chill. Poetry. His “wives” and the Chandler Mall. Never been kissed and searching for Mr. Right, who probably won’t like him anyway. And a secret: A spiraling out of control mother, and the knowledge that he’s the only one who can keep the family from falling apart.

Throw in a rickety, 1980s-era food truck called Coq Au Vinny. Add in prickly pears, cloud eggs, and a murky idea of what’s considered locally sourced and organic. Place it all in Mesa, Arizona, in June, where the temp regularly hits 114. And top it off with a touch of undeniable chemistry between utter opposites.

Over the course of one summer, two boys will have to face their biggest fears and decide what they’re willing to risk — to get the thing they want the most.

+++++

When a book is even remotely described something near to the awesomeness of Aristotle and Dante, you know you have to pick it up. Just to see what it’s all about. So, with Pride month being a thing and me actually wanting to read the books I planned on reading. I ended up giving this one a chance and I am so freaking glad I did.

There’s something raw and real about this book that almost mirrors what Aristotle and Dante did. So I can see where the comparison came from. Max is an athlete with an easy going attitude that hides little hurts that he’s shoved aside over the years, Jordan is a high strung poet who has had a lot on his plate lately and how their life collides one fine day. I admit to not really connecting with Jordan initially but you know what? As the chapters passed, I could understand where he was coming from and I did become fond of him.

It all starts with a food truck and Jordan’s hope to make it work because him and his mum are kinda desperate for it to work in order to pay off their debts and Max’s genuine love for cooking. It’s not an easy journey for either of them, they are vastly different as people and as they spend more and more time together, they realise that they might be more suited to be friends (and maybe more) than they realised. But frankly, it’s more than romance, it’s the family dynamics and the bond they shared with their friends and with each other that really made the book. The characters felt real and their flaws shone through and I really loved that about this one. Overall, a worth read!

Milk Teeth

by Amrita Mahale

Childhood allies Ira Kamat and Kartik Kini meet on the terrace of their building in Matunga, Mumbai. A meeting is in progress to decide the fate of the establishment and its residents. And the zeitgeist of the 1990s appears to have touched everyone and everything around them.

Ira is now a journalist on the civic beat, unearthing stories of corruption and indolence, and trying to push back memories of a lost love. Kartik works a corporate job with an MNC, and leads a secret, agonising, exhilarating second life. Between and around them throbs the living, beating heart of Mumbai, city of heaving inequities and limitless dreams.

Milk Teeth is subtle, incisive, unputdownable.

+++++

Ah. This one was a nostalgia ride for me. Living in Mumbai and its suburbs all my life, this one reminded me all of the good days of the childhood because the way this author described the childhoods of the main characters, I felt like I had lived that. Even though I wasn’t in the same part of the city. It didn’t matter, it just brought on that sepia toned memories in the front of my mind while I read this, okay?

Ira is an interesting character because she’s made of her parents and all the neighbours in her building. I could see parts of the neighbours and the memories that shaped her into the woman she was in the present. I really enjoyed reading about her childhood because I could relate to most of the things and that really helped me enjoy the book. Then there’s Kartik who’s the best friend of Ira but he’d gone away for further education but now has returned an almost different person.

While Ira is solving that mystery, there’s the matter of their old building and how they are trying to save their homes. The writing in this one is really good and I wish that some of the characters were given more time and fleshed out more. Overall, I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it to someone who wants to bask in the nostalgia. Read it to know what the middle class in the 90s Mumbai were like because she depicts really well.

These reviews were actually supposed to go up in June but due to time constraints I couldn’t post them but now that they are here finally, I am just glad that I managed to post them in July at least. Yeah, that’s how low my expectations are at this point if I am being honest. *shrugs* However they were still pretty fun to do and I am hoping to post another one of those in July again  because this lot was for supposedly for June. Oh well. Let’s see how it works out.

3 thoughts on “Mini Reviews VII

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