The Kiss Quotient, by Helen Hoang || Swooning, laughing, huge alarm bells ringing (& a giveaway!)


Title: The Kiss Quotient
Author: Helen Hoang
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Copy: Paperback
Rating:

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Synopsis:

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases–a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice–with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan–from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic.

Review:

I went into The Kiss Quotient with only the faint knowledge that it’s an incredibly hyped romance novel written by an Asian woman. I did not bother learning anything else about it or reading its synopsis before diving in. With that said, I was very much pleasantly surprised that this book follows the love story between a career-driven, autistic woman working in STEM and an artistic Vietnamese-Swedish love interest working as a male escort. It is also very much worth noting that The Kiss Quotient is #OwnVoices for its Asperger’s Syndrome, biracial, and Vietnamese representation.

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500 Words or Less, by Juleah del Rosario || A verse novel with heart-wrenching dysphoria & untapped potential (& a giveaway)


Title: 500 Words or Less
Author: Juleah del Rosario
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Poetry
Copy: Digital ARC
Rating:

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Review:

To put it quite bluntly, I have a lot of mixed feelings about 500 Words or Less, especially when in relation to the expectations that I had before diving in. After learning that Juleah del Rosario is a Filipino author, I was incredibly excited to read her debut novel told in verse (being a Filipino myself and all that). I’ve only read one verse novel before — The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, which I ended up thoroughly enjoying. However, for me, 500 Words or Less seemed to pale in comparison.

500 Words or Less follows a Chinese-American girl who cheated on her now-ex-boyfriend with his best friend and, in doing so, lost her relationship and severely tainted her reputation in school. In an attempt to save face among her peers, Nic capitalizes on her writing skills and begins offering her fellow senior students to write their college admissions essays for them.

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Are We All Lemmings & Snowflakes, by Holly Bourne || Mental health, important messages, & mixed feelings + GIVEAWAY


Title: Are We All Lemmings & Snowflakes
Author: Holly Bourne
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Copy: ARC
Rating:

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Synopsis:

Welcome to Camp Reset, a summer camp with a difference. A place offering a shot at “normality” for Olive, a girl on the edge, and for the new friends she never expected to make – who each have their own reasons for being there. Luckily Olive has a plan to solve all their problems. But how do you fix the world when you can’t fix yourself?

Review:

I have only read two of Holly Bourne’s novels so far (the first one being It Only Happens in the Movies), and I love how she seamlessly incorporates her advocacies for social change into her works in a manner that doesn’t sideline them; rather, these ideas and messages are carefully placed front, center, and with just the right amount of in-your-face. Are We Lemmings & Snowflakes is not any different in that regard; at its heart, this contemporary novel thoughtfully and sensitively explores mental health.

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Not the Girls You’re Looking For, by Aminah Mae Safi || Unapologetically messy. Beautifully diverse.


Title: Not the Girls You’re Looking For
Author: Aminah Mae Safi
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Copy: Digital ARC
Rating:

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Synopsis:

Lulu Saad doesn’t need your advice, thank you very much. She’s got her three best friends and nothing can stop her from conquering the known world. Sure, for half a minute she thought she’d nearly drowned a cute guy at a party, but he was totally faking it. And fine, yes, she caused a scene during Ramadan. It’s all under control. Ish.

Except maybe this time she’s done a little more damage than she realizes. And if Lulu can’t find her way out of this mess soon, she’ll have to do more than repair friendships, family alliances, and wet clothing. She’ll have to go looking for herself.

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Your Destination Is on the Left, by Lauren Spieller || Art & traveling: what makes a spellbinding contemporary


Title: Your Destination Is on the Left
Author: Lauren Spieller
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Copy: Digital ARC
Rating:

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Synopsis:

Dessa Rhodes is a modern-day nomad. Her family travels in an RV, their lives defined by state lines, exit signs, and the small communal caravan they call home. Among them is Cyrus, her best friend and long-time crush, whom she knows she can never be with. When your families are perpetually linked, it’s too dangerous to take a risk on romance.

Instead, Dessa looks to the future. She wants to be a real artist and going to art school is her ticket to success and a new life. There’s just one problem: she hasn’t been accepted…anywhere. Suddenly her future is wide open, and it looks like she’s going to be stuck traveling forever.

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Review || Second Wave Summer, by multiple #romanceclass authors


Title: Second Wave Summer
Author: Six de los Reyes, Tara Frejas, and Jay E. Tria
Genre: Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Copy: Digital
Rating:

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* For Philippine residents, purchase a paperback edition by filling out this form (Jay) or this form (Tara).

Synopsis:

All roads lead to beachside music festival Summer Crush for another weekend of high waves, rock & roll, and the promise of summer romance.

On any given day, Michael Brian doesn’t need to do much to hit the right notes with a girl, but there’s something about this day—and there’ something about this girl—that’s got him out of tune. (A Taste of Summer, Six de los Reyes)

Indie filmmaker Datu puts on his dusty event videographer hat for Summer Crush. But memories of a love he let slip away resurface from every corner of this surf town. Now what he thought would be an easy job just isn’t so easy anymore. (Rushes, Tara Frejas)

Corporate-highflyer-on-vacation Ringo has a question to which cookie bar boss woman Kris has the answer, if only they’d stop getting in each other’s way. (Ask Me Nicely, Jay E. Tria)

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Review (and giveaway!) || The Way You Make Me Feel, by Maurene Goo


Title: The Way You Make Me Feel
Author: Maurene Goo
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Copy: Digital
Rating:

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Synopsis:

Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn’t so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad’s business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind?

With Maurene Goo’s signature warmth and humor, The Way You Make Me Feel is a relatable story of falling in love and finding yourself in the places you’d never thought to look.

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