Recommendation Friday

RecommendationFriday

 

This week I’ll recommending one of the best books I’ve ever read. I rarely read books that I would say are must reads, that everyone should read at least once. But this book is definitely one of a kind and should be on everyone’s TBR.

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

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If you read one book in 2017, read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

The Hate U Give is ground breaking, unique, heartbreaking, and honest. It gives a much needed voice to people who haven’t been heard.
The characters are well written and complex. Starr has shown me a perspective I haven’t seen before and I will always appreciate new perspectives.
I also love how much this book focuses on family. I felt like that was such an important aspect of this book and I don’t often see YA books that show such strong family dynamics.
I went into this book thinking it was going to be super intense, super dark 100% of time. And it is dark and tense but it shows other aspects of Starr’s life as well. It shows her friendships and her family. There’s actually some witticism and I felt like it added to the realism of the story.

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday #7

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday a weekly meme created and hosted by Aimal at Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, the goal is to come up with one book in each of three different categories: a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR, and one that has not yet been released. 

Book I have read

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Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh 

The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.

So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.

The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.

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Flame in the Mist is one of the best books I’ve read this year. It was so original, well written, and I really liked the main character. My favorite things about Flame in the Mist was the plot and setting. The plot was so engaging and captivating. I really liked the Mulan-like elements. I don’t know if this was meant to be a retelling but it definitely felt like one.
The setting was absolutely amazing. The Japanese culture paired with the writing style was a match made in heaven. I loved how much detail there was on Japanese culture from the food to the traditions. Renee’s descriptions of things painted a beautiful picture and I loved it so much.
I haven’t read Renee’s other books so I can’t compared Flame in the Mist to The Wrath and the Dawn but I’ll definitely be picking up TWATD very soon.

Book on my TBR

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The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

For twenty years, the Palomas and the Corbeaus have been rivals and enemies, locked in an escalating feud for over a generation. Both families make their living as traveling performers in competing shows—the Palomas swimming in mermaid exhibitions, the Corbeaus, former tightrope walkers, performing in the tallest trees they can find.

Lace Paloma may be new to her family’s show, but she knows as well as anyone that the Corbeaus are pure magia negra, black magic from the devil himself. Simply touching one could mean death, and she’s been taught from birth to keep away. But when disaster strikes the small town where both families are performing, it’s a Corbeau boy, Cluck, who saves Lace’s life. And his touch immerses her in the world of the Corbeaus, where falling for him could turn his own family against him, and one misstep can be just as dangerous on the ground as it is in the trees.

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I bought a copy of The Weight of Feathers last year and I’ve yet to pick it up. I heard nothing but great things about it and I’m determined to start it in the very near future.

Book releasing soon

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Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

Love grows such strange things.

For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.

The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.

Expected publication: October 3rd 2017

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I don’t think October counts as being published soon but I’m just so excited about this book. It’s #OwnVoices, has a Latina main character, LBGTQ rep, and an awesome sounding synopsis. Plus, the cover is so pretty.

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Review: Wonder Woman: Earth One, Vol. 1 by Grant Morrison

25241697Wonder Woman: Earth One, Vol. 1 (Wonder Woman: Earth One #1)
by Grant Morrison (Writer), Yanick Paquette (Artist), Nathan Fairbairn (Colourist), Todd Klein (Letterer)

Published April 6th 2016 by DC Comics

Following the New York Times #1 bestselling original graphic novels Batman: Earth One, Volume One and Superman: Earth One Volumes One and Two comes Wonder Woman: Earth One, Volume One!

Critically acclaimed, best-selling writer Grant Morrison (All-Star Superman, Batman, Inc.) once again pushes the boundaries of the graphic novel page in his mind-bending new take on the most powerful woman in the DC Universe. With stunning art by Yanick Paquette (Swamp Thing), Wonder Woman: Earth One, Volume One is an easily accessible jumping on point for new readers.

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I was so pumped to read this but it ended up being a hot mess. Not only was the story line confusing, I couldn’t figure out what was a flashback and what was present day, but the body shaming and the sexism was very disappointing. Wonder Woman, in my mind, is supposed to be empowering. Not make people feel bad about themselves. One character said women of “Man’s world” are “deformed, shrunken, bloated, domesticated cattle” and what just wasn’t okay.
This comic was just all kinds of problematic. There was scene where Diana collared Steve Trevor (who is black) and that felt really wrong.
To be totally honest, I could tell this comic only had men involved in its creation. It felt like it was written for men by men.
Unfortunately, I spent money on this comic and if I could return it, I would. There’s a lot of well written reviews that show examples of the problematic nature in this comic so if you’re curious about knowing more, I’d recommend reading this review and this review.

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The Last Star by Rick Yancey Paperback Release Day Blitz + Giveaway

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Today is the release day for the paperback of The Last Star by Rick Yancey and we’re so excited to celebrate with a giveaway!

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The Last Star (The 5th Wave #3) by Rick Yancey

The enemy is Other. The enemy is us.

They’re down here, they’re up there, they’re nowhere. They want the Earth, they want us to have it. They came to wipe us out, they came to save us.

But beneath these riddles lies one truth: Cassie has been betrayed. So has Ringer. Zombie. Nugget. And all 7.5 billion people who used to live on our planet. Betrayed first by the Others, and now by ourselves.

In these last days, Earth’s remaining survivors will need to decide what’s more important: saving themselves…or saving what makes us human.

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Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for a chance to be one (1) grand prize winner and receive a set of The 5th Wave Collection in paperback, including The 5th Wave, The Infinite Sea, and The Last Star (ARV: $32.97), or to be one (1) of five (5) second place winners to receive The 5th Wave in paperback (ARV: $10.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on May 23, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 30, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 2, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

The 5th Wave

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After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

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The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave, #2)

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How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.

Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.

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About the author

Rick Yancey (www.rickyancey.com) is the author of the New York Times bestseller The 5th Wave, The Infinite Sea, The Last Star, several adult novels, and the memoir Confessions of a Tax Collector. His first young-adult novel, The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp, was a finalist for the Carnegie Medal. In 2010, his novel, The Monstrumologist, received a Michael L. Printz Honor, and the sequel, The Curse of the Wendigo, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. When he isn’t writing or thinking about writing or traveling the country talking about writing, Rick is hanging out with his family.
 

Review: Becoming Bonnie by Jenni L. Walsh

29743029Becoming Bonnie by Jenni L. Walsh

Published May 9th 2017

From debut historical novelist Jenni L. Walsh, Becoming Bonnie is the untold story of how wholesome Bonnelyn Parker became half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo!

The summer of 1927 might be the height of the Roaring Twenties, but Bonnelyn Parker is more likely to belt out a church hymn than sling drinks at an illicit juice joint. She’s a sharp girl with plans to overcome her family’s poverty, provide for herself, and maybe someday marry her boyfriend, Roy Thornton. But when Roy springs a proposal on her and financial woes jeopardize her ambitions, Bonnelyn finds salvation in an unlikely place: Dallas’s newest speakeasy, Doc’s.

Living the life of a moll at night, Bonnie remains a wholesome girl by day, engaged to Roy, attending school and working toward a steady future. When Roy discovers her secret life, and embraces it—perhaps too much, especially when it comes to booze and gambling—Bonnie tries to make the pieces fit. Maybe she can have it all: the American Dream, the husband, and the intoxicating allure of jazz music. What she doesn’t know is that her life—like her country—is headed for a crash.

She’s about to meet Clyde Barrow.

Few details are known about Bonnie’s life prior to meeting her infamous partner. In Becoming Bonnie, Jenni L. Walsh shows a young woman promised the American dream and given the Great Depression, and offers a compelling account of why she fell so hard for a convicted felon—and turned to crime herself.

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I was sent a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

When I started this book, I was deep in a reading slump and I was having a really hard time finishing books and even finding the incentive to read. Becoming Bonnie got me out of my slump and I never wanted to put it down.
I’ve always liked the story of Bonnie and Clyde so this book was right up my alley. I had pretty high hopes when I started this book and I was pleasantly surprised how Becoming Bonnie not only lived up to my hopes but surpassed them as well. I loved this book so much more than I was expecting.
Bonnie’s character development was awesome. The author did a great job of showing how Bonnie went from someone who would never step foot in a speakeasy to a girl who helped break her boyfriend out of jail.
I thought Jenni did a great job of merging history with fiction and creating such a fun, engaging book.
Overall, I loved this book and I can see myself rereading it in the future. I really enjoyed everything about this book and I cannot wait for the next book.

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Review: Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

23308087Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

Published May 16th 2017

The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.

So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.

The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.

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I was sent an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Flame in the Mist is one of the best books I’ve read this year. It was so original, well written, and I really liked the main character.
It was a little slow at times and I was kind of confused at first but once I got into the plot and understood what was going on, I really liked it. It was very difficult for me to keep track of the characters. A lot of the characters had nicknames and titles and it was all thrown around at the same time. I feel like I would have to read this book a second time to really understand who was who. However, I haven’t really seen anyone else have this issue so maybe it was just me.
The main character, Mariko, was such a badass and I felt like she could totally have her own action movie. She did come across as spoiled at times, which was kind of annoying, but it was definitely because of her upbringing and it made sense.
My favorite things about Flame in the Mist was the plot and setting. The plot was so engaging and captivating. I really liked the Mulan-like elements. I don’t know if this was meant to be a retelling but it definitely felt like one.
The setting was absolutely amazing. The Japanese culture paired with the writing style was a match made in heaven. I loved how much detail there was on Japanese culture from the food to the traditions. Renee’s descriptions of things painted a beautiful picture and I loved it so much.
I haven’t read Renee’s other books so I can’t compared Flame in the Mist to The Wrath and the Dawn but I’ll definitely be picking up TWATD very soon.

Overall, Flame in the Mist is one of my favorite books of 2017 and I definitely recommend it. The writing style, setting, and diversity was amazing and I can’t wait for the next book in Mariko’s story.

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Review: The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace

30076808The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace

Published April 23rd 2016

“ah, life—
the thing
that happens
to us
while we’re off
somewhere else
blowing on
dandelions
& wishing
ourselves into
the pages of
our favorite
fairy tales.”

A poetry collection divided into four different parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, & you. the princess, the damsel, & the queen piece together the life of the author in three stages, while you serves as a note to the reader & all of humankind. Explores life & all of its love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, & inspirations.

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I don’t read poetry often (okay this is only the forth poetry book I’ve read) so I can’t really judge this book compared to other poetry books but I did really loved it.
The Princess Saves Herself in this One is kind of a memoir-ish collection of poems and I really appreciate how Amanda was so open with her poems. A few poems resonated very deeply with me in a way I wasn’t expecting when I started this book.
I think a lot of the poems in The Princess Saves Herself in this One will be relatable to many readers and gives a voice to some issues that aren’t always represented in literature and other platforms of media.
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Review: Put Your Warrior Boots On by Lisa Whittle

34237126Put Your Warrior Boots On: Walking Jesus Strong, Once and for All by Lisa Whittle

Published April 1st 2017

You Can Be a Spiritual Warrior.

Does it feel like the world has gone crazy and you’re just along for the ride? From bombings to bullying, the world has us on pins and needles–afraid for our children, fearful for ourselves, worried that we won’t have enough strength to stand our ground. But you don’t have to start brave to stay strong. Inspirational author and speaker Lisa Whittle wants you to experience the joy and release of trusting in your Savior to help you live a God-ignited life. Find the tools you need to… confirm Truth and keep anti-biblical messages from misleading you develop passion for defending your beliefs without letting personal pride interfere outfit your days to support your faith so your dedication doesn’t fizzle

There’s no better time than this moment to put on your warrior boots and discover the fearless life you’ve been called to live.

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I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this book but I actually really liked it.
I found it to be super helpful and I loved how it’s geared towards women with busy lives.
The author talks a lot about how when it comes down to it, praying is what will help more than anything else and I definitely needed that reminder.
I loved the questions at the end of each chapter and I think Put Your Warrior Boots On would make a great book for a women’s Bible study or just discussion with friends.

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Cover Reveal + Giveaway: Adrift by Sarah Darlington

 Adrift by Sarah Darlington

Release Date: May 30, 2017
Series: Kill Devil Hills #4

 

What happens when the world thought you were dead and suddenly, now you are alive?



Ben Turner is back! Not quite as dead as everyone thought, fresh out of a nine-month stay in prison, and back home in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. Having been dishonorably discharged after charges of desertion from the military, this once well-loved local has fallen from the top. With no plans for college or the future, and hated by the town that once loved him, Ben feels like he’s drowning all over again.



Juniper is pregnant, alone, and running from her crazy fiancé. With only enough money for a one-way bus ticket, she heads to Kill Devil Hills, NC, a town she vacationed in as a little girl, a town she knows, come February, will have plenty of beach rentals to lie low in for the next couple months. Except she didn’t plan on getting caught on day one by the man living next door. Ben. He’s a man who has even more problems than she does, but maybe it’ll take a man like Ben to save her life.

**New Adult Romance. This novel is the fourth book in the Kill Devil Hills series, however it can be read as a standalone. Recommended for 18+

Preorder: 

 

Read Kill Devil Hills for free on Instafreebie 
 

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Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #6

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday a weekly meme created and hosted by Aimal at Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, the goal is to come up with one book in each of three different categories: a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR, and one that has not yet been released. 

Book I have read

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The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

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I really loved how cute this book was. It was a great mix of fun, cute contemporary and dealing with serious issues. The main character, Molly, has anxiety and I really appreciated the representation. I personally felt like it was an accurate representation and it helped me relate to the main character a lot.
I loved the writing style. I think the writing is my favorite part about this book. There was just something about how Becky described everything that blew me away. It was so wonderfully written.
This is book is also really diverse (anxiety disorder, lots of PoC, LBGTQ) so that was pretty great.

Book on my TBR

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We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

You go through life thinking there’s so much you need…

Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

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I’ve seen We Are Okay around a bit but I haven’t seen any reviews for it. I grabbed a copy when I was in Barnes and Noble last week just because one of my friends, Fiderly, has mentioned she really liked it. It’s a fairly small book, 234 pages, so I’m hoping to read it this weekend.

Book releasing soon

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When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

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.

Expected publication: May 30th 2017

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I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this book in a previous Diversity Spotlight Thursday but the release day is just a few weeks away so I’ll mention it again. I haven’t read When Dimple Met Rishi yet but I’ve heard nothing but great things about it and I’ll definitely be picking it up this weekend.

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