Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon


Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa @ Wishful Endings where bloggers share which upcoming releases they’re most looking forward to. Join us every Wednesday and watch your TBR list multiply.

I am so happy to see more fairy tale retellings by authors of color being published. I have an urge to buy them all. I am very excited to read Sandhya Menon’s Of Curses and Kisses which is based on Beauty and the Beast. I’ve enjoyed all of her previous novels and have high expectations for this one. Cover is linked to Goodreads.

Title: Of Curses and Kisses
Author:
Sandhya Menon
Series: St. Rosetta’s Academy, #1
Pages: 384
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: February 18, 2020

      “From the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi comes the first novel in a brand-new series set at an elite international boarding school, that’s a contemporary spin on Beauty and the Beast.
      Will the princess save the beast?
      For Princess Jaya Rao, nothing is more important than family. When the loathsome Emerson clan steps up their centuries-old feud to target Jaya’s little sister, nothing will keep Jaya from exacting her revenge. Then Jaya finds out she’ll be attending the same elite boarding school as Grey Emerson, and it feels like the opportunity of a lifetime. She knows what she must do: Make Grey fall in love with her and break his heart. But much to Jaya’s annoyance, Grey’s brooding demeanor and lupine blue eyes have drawn her in. There’s simply no way she and her sworn enemy could find their fairy-tale ending…right?
      His Lordship Grey Emerson is a misanthrope. Thanks to an ancient curse by a Rao matriarch, Grey knows he’s doomed once he turns eighteen. Sequestered away in the mountains at St. Rosetta’s International Academy, he’s lived an isolated existence—until Jaya Rao bursts into his life, but he can’t shake the feeling that she’s hiding something. Something that might just have to do with the rose-shaped ruby pendant around her neck…
      As the stars conspire to keep them apart, Jaya and Grey grapple with questions of love, loyalty, and whether it’s possible to write your own happy ending.”

Are you participating in Can’t-Wait Wednesday or Waiting on Wednesday? Is this book on your TBR? Be sure to leave a link to your post in the comments and I’ll visit!

Top Ten Tuesday: Last Ten Recent Additions to My TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is “The Ten Most Recent Additions to My Bookshelf.” I feel like I will end up being kind of repetitive if I do this week’s topic because I just did a blog post of my book haul for the end of 2019, which you can check out here. So for this week’s topic, I am going to list the last ten books I added to my TBR (minus the ones I’ve had to re-add on Goodreads because whenever I am adding TBR books to my other shelves, Goodreads likes to mark them as “read”. Anyone else have this issue?). This is super out of order and probably not completely accurate because I have added books since starting this post. Covers/titles are linked to Goodreads.

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1. Shatter the Sky by Rebecca Kim Wells – Why I Added It: This book came up while I was discussing SFF books that addressed colonialism with Jocelyn @ yogi with a book. It’s one of those books that I’ve tangentially known about, but I had to add it because of Jocelyn’s recommendation.

2. Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody – Why I Added It: Another book I added to my TBR based on the recommendation of another blogger, Caro @ Santana Reads. They have been raving about this one for a while and I had to get my hands on it.

3. Chlorine Sky by Mahogany L. Browne – Why I Added It: I came across the publishing deal for this one on Twitter and immediately had to add it. It’s another novel in verse I am eager to check out.

4. Perfectly Parvin by Olivia Abtahi – Why I Added It: As you know, I like to support Latinx writers, but publishing isn’t so great about recognizing how diverse the community is. Olivia Abtahi is Argentinian and Iranian and her rom-com sounds like an absolute delight.

5. Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson – Why I Added It: Even though I am behind on Tiffany D. Jackson novels (I will read Let Me Hear a Rhyme this year), I quickly added her next book as soon as I heard about it. I don’t even know what it’s about, but I want it.

6. We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez – Why I Added it: I actually didn’t realize I hadn’t added this one to my TBR. I haven’t picked up a Jenny Torres Sanchez novel since Death, Dickinson, and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia, but am really looking forward to seeing what she does with this one.

7. You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson  – Why I Added it: Have you seen the cover for this one? It looks like a delight. The synopsis sealed the deal for me, about a girl running for prom queen to help her get into college, but who ends up falling for her competition.

8. I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee – What I Added It: Again, I am a sucker for a cover with girls of color looking happy and doesn’t she just look so happy? I am already rooting for Skye.

9. Prime Deception by Valerie Valdes – Why I Added It: I loved Chilling Effect, so of course I had to add the sequel once I realized it existed.

10. The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri – Look, Tasha Suri is going to bless us with another novel in 2021!!!! This one is an Indian-based fantasy with f/f romance and the start of a trilogy from one of my favorite writers!

Do you have these on your TBR as well? What’s the last book you added to yours? Any of these going on your TBR after seeing them here? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave me a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit.

Con Sabor Reading Challenge 2020: Sign-up, Goals, and TBR

Dani @ metamorphoreader, Astrid @ Book Love Book Reviews, Natalia @ Books.Build.Life, and Nox @ Nox the Reader have created the Con Sabor Reading Challenge that runs all year long and challenges readers to pick up more books by Latinx authors. I am so excited for this challenge and have been looking forward to it ever since Dani mentioned wanting to created a year-long challenge focused on Latinx books. Obviously this is my kind of challenge. In addition to challenging readers to pick up as many books as possible, the hosts have also created prompts that you can participate in each month if you so wish. You can earn badges by either reading a certain number of books or by participating in these prompts. Check out the hosts’ posts (which I linked to above) for complete info, including where to sign up!

My Goals:

1. Become a Latinx Historian – The hosts have included badges every time you reach a certain number of reads. I am going to shoot for the highest number (30), so I can become a Latinx Historian.

2. Become a Latinx Explorer – I’m less confident with this one but I still want to try. You can also earn a special badge by completing 5 prompt reads which I will also be aiming to do.

The TBR:

I don’t want to make a really specific TBR for this challenge because I want the freedom to choose what I read throughout the year. I do want to highlight a few backlist books that I would like to get to however. So here are a few books that I will be picking up in 2020 for this challenge (I hope). Covers are linked to Goodreads.

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1. Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez
2. The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary  by NoNieqa Ramos
3. They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
4. The Library of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey
5. Citizen Illegal by José Olivarez

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6. The Book of Lost Saints by Daniel José Older
7. Barely Missing Everything by Matt Mendez
8. In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado
9. By Any Means Necessary by Candice Montgomery
10. Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina

I have also already earned my first badge for this challenge by reading my first book by a Latinx author this year. I read Diamond City by Francesca Flores. Look at how adorable this badge is. I will probably be making a progress post every month here on the blog to track my reading and show off all the badges I’ve earned.

Are you joining the Con Sabor Reading Challenge? Which books by Latinx authors are you hoping to pick up this year? Let’s talk in the comment!

ARC Review: Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

Title: Tweet Cute
Author: Emma Lord
Series: N/A
Pages: 368
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: January 21st 2020
**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through NetGalley which does not influence my review**

      “A fresh, irresistible rom-com from debut author Emma Lord about the chances we take, the paths life can lead us on, and how love can be found in the opposite place you expected.
      Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming ― mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.
    Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.
      All’s fair in love and cheese ― that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life ― on an anonymous chat app Jack built.
      As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate ― people on the internet are shipping them?? ― their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.”

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Emma Lord’s Tweet Cute is just as delightful as its title implies. Pepper Evans is drowning under the weight of school work, her swim captain responsibilities, and pressure from her mother to help with Big League Burger’s Twitter account, their once-small family business. Pepper’s only solace has been her correspondence with “Wolf” a classmate she’s been messaging on an anonymous app for students at her prep school. Unbeknownst to anyone, Jack is the creator of said app and is Pepper’s mysterious penpal, a fact that he himself doesn’t even know. When Big League Burger tweets about a new sandwich that’s way too similar to one that’s been on Jack’s family’s deli menu for years, a Twitter war starts between the two company accounts. When Pepper and Jack end up striking up an unlikely friendship in real life, it’s only a matter of time before truth about their online personas comes out.

Pepper is the very definition of an overachiever. She’s spent the last few years of her life trying to fit into this new world her mother brought her to after the company’s franchise expansion. Her father is still back in Nashville, running the first Big League Burger. Her home life hasn’t been the best; though her parents had an amicable divorce, her older sister, who is off at college, has a rocky relationship with their mom. Pepper has always played peacemaker between the two and as a result hasn’t been able to stand up to her mother herself because she is afraid of ruining their relationship. She’s never developed any lasting relationships in this new place because she’s always felt out of place and fitting in in a superficial kind of way felt easier than finding out where she actually belonged.

Jack has always been the guy who goofs around too much, the guy who doesn’t have a lot of ambition. The truth is he’s been living in his twin’s shadow for so long, it’s always seemed easier to embrace the narrative than counteract it. Even his parents seem to believe that Ethan is meant for bigger and better things. On the other hand, Jack is already stuck behind the family’s deli counter, making him the perfect person to stay behind and take over when the time comes. Jack’s been keeping his passion for app development a secret because why reveal this side of himself when everyone has already made up their minds about who he is? One of the bright spots in his life is his relationship with his grandma, who started Girl Cheesing. She is one of the only people he can really open up to and one that sees him for who he is and not just a less impressive version of his twin.

I love how organic Jack and Pepper’s friendship developed in this one. They are very different people and at first glance, you can’t see how the two would work but they do. Jack breaks through that very small bubble Pepper has made for herself and Pepper is one of the few people that not only sees Jack for who he is, but sees through all the things he’s pretending to be. The storyline, while familiar, never felt like it was too predictable. I expected to get to know both characters more through their online interactions, but was happy to see that the novel focused more on how their relationship developed in real life. I love when contemporaries give us multiple POVs and even more when it’s well done. Tweet Cute‘s dual POV is well-done. The author does a wonderful job of dividing chapters and giving both characters their own worlds and hang ups that it didn’t feel like it was more Pepper or Jack’s story. They each had their own journeys that just happened to converge. Both perspectives and characters were equally engaging and I loved that both had their own lessons to learn apart from each other.

Emma Lord’s Tweet Cute is an adorable, sweet, satisfying contemporary with characters with undeniable likeability and chemistry.

★ ★ ★ ★
(4/5)