Wednesday, April 24, 2019

[Review] The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Rating: 4 stars

Published: August 9th 2016

Goodreads Synopsis:
Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.2) A person’s undoing3) Joshua Templeman
Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual.
Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking.
If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date? After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth-shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong.
Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

This was so good! I'd been eyeing it at my local thrift bookstore for so long, and I'm glad that I got it. The Hating Game is about two executive assistants who downright hate each other, Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman. They're made out to be opposites of each other (initially) - Lucy is sweet and colorful, while Josh is cutthroat and exacting. But over the course of the novel, their relationship paves way to sexual tension when a chance at a promotion is announced, and the two of them turn it into a competition. Whoever gets the job must leave the office!

Friday, April 19, 2019

[Review] To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Rating: 4 stars

Published: March 6th 2018

Goodreads Synopsis:
Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.
The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

I buddy read this with Yiling!

I really enjoyed this darker Little Mermaid retelling To Kill a Kingdom started off strong, with brutal deaths and cruelty surrounding the sirens. Princess Lira is our main siren here, who kills princess once every year, using their hearts to mark her birthday. However, she messes up and kills before her birthday, and her mother, the Sea Queen, turns her into a human as punishment. To win back her favor/potentially claim the crown as her own, she joins Prince Elian in his hunt for Keto's Eye, which apparently is the source of siren strength. Elian, who spends his princely time hunting sirens, does not realize his newest ally abroad his ship is his greatest enemy in disguise.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

[Review] Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Rating: 3.5 

Published: September 5th 2017

Goodreads Synopsis:
Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale.
At sixteen, Mina's mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone has never beat at all, in fact, but shed always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the kings heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that shell have to become a stepmother.
Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queens image, at her fathers order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do and who to be to win back the only mother shes ever known or else defeat her once and for all.
Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.

I've been reading so many fairytale retellings and it's hard to keep track of them. But this Frozen/Snow White one was so pure and sweet.

Mina is the stepmother of Lynet, who wants only to love, as she has a heart made of glass. Lynet, who was crafted in the image of her dead mother, is made from snow. The two are pitted against each other, as only one can be Queen of Whitespring.

Monday, April 15, 2019

[Review] When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Rating: 4 stars

Published: May 30th 2017

Goodreads Synopsis:
Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?
Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.
The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?
Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

I start off 2018 strong with my contemporaries! When Dimple Met Rishi is my first contemporary read for the year, and it definitely struck a chord with me, as a child of immigrant Asian parents.

Friday, April 12, 2019

[Review] Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Rating: 4 stars

Published: February 7th 2017

Goodreads Synopsis:
Neil Gaiman, long inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction, presents a bravura rendition of the Norse gods and their world from their origin though their upheaval in Ragnarok. 
In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki—son of a giant—blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.
Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose, these gods emerge with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.

I watched Thor: Ragnarok before I read this book, and every time I read about Loki I died a little more inside. Because I absolutely adore Tom Hiddleston as the Norse trickster god.

Anyhow, Norse Mythology is a collection of short stories that people may or may not be familiar with on Norse gods. There's a Gaiman twist to these stories, and the gods come to life as he weaves their tales. The tales of Asgard were all wonderful to read, and I wish the Marvel universe somehow incorporated all the other gods.