How to Not Die Alone: The Surprising Science That Will Help You Find Love

Review by Shruthi

How to Not Die Alone: The Surprising Science That Will Help You Find Love by Logan Ury

Genre: self-help, nonfiction, psychology

Summary: From starting to date to getting engaged, How To Not Die Alone covers it all.

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Please Come Off-Book

Review by Shruthi

Please Come Off-Book by Kevin Kantor

I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review in any way.

Genre: Poetry

Summary: A collection of queer poetry drawing on theatre motifs.

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Top Ten Tuesdays: Books I’d Gladly Throw Into the Ocean

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday features books that I’m not too fond of. I stuck to books that have achieved mainstream popularity that I feel less guilty about critiquing. If you disagree with my picks, feel free to let me know in the comments below but please remember it’s all in good fun, everyone is entitled to an opinion!

If you are interested in participating in future Top Ten Tuesdays, check out That Artsy Reader Girl’s blog for future topics.

Shruthi’s Top Ten

  1. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

This might be the most controversial choice to make this list but I cannot stand the writing style. Very reminiscent of John Green but somehow even worse. I’ve never read a book that was trying so hard to win awards.

2. A Simple Favour by Darcey Bell

Oh dear, I watched the mess that was the movie adaptation but was still wholly unprepared. It’s a trainwreck even before we factor in the incest plotline.

3. The entire House of Night series by P.C and Kristin Cast

I read this so young and wow should I not have. It is horribly cliched, very reminiscent of like reaaally bad Harry Potter fanfiction that you’d expect to be written by a pre-teen and yet it’s written by grown women. The sex scenes are poorly written but wow the level of second-hand discomfort I gained knowing they were written by a mother-daughter duo is unparalled. I’m pretty sure it’s ten different flavours of racist, homophobic, sexist and has some very questionable messaging. I really hope the teens of today are not reading this.

4. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Don’t @ me SJM fans. Queen of Shadows butchered Chaol’s character and I am not over it. (Although I’m incredibly over SJM as an author in general. Too tired of seeing her reuse the same tropes and refuse to include actual meaningful diversity.)

5. What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

This is another hot take but I hated this with a passion which was depressing because I absolutely love Simon Vs. The Homosapiens Agenda and every book Adam Silvera has written. Way too many Hamilton references and this is coming from someone who loves Hamilton! Also both the characters sounded the same despite them being written by different people which is baffling.

6. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne

No explanation needed. But if you want one anyway, check out our review!

7. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

Perhaps another controversial choice, but I’ve been reflecting on it a bunch recently and boy is it hugely flawed. There are three separate incest plotlines which is actually almost impressive. Racism, biphobia and sexism galore makes me wish I could un-read this series (except that I still really liked the Infernal Devices series which requires some knowledge of The Mortal Instruments…).

8. Paper Towns by John Green

Margo Roth Spiegelman and Quentin Jacobsen are so quintessentially John Green so it’s no surprise it made it on this list. Paper Towns is incredibly formulaic and follows a similar script to Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines and even The Fault in Our Stars but does every single aspect worse.

9. Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman

The peach scene is genuinely hilarious but not worth suffering the purple prose.

10. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

I know YA fantasy-romance thrives on predatory, unhealthy relationships that are romanticized for teenagers who do not know any better but I’m not sure any book exemplifies that more than Hush, Hush. It’s also not compellingly written or interesting.

Let me know what books you’d like to throw in the ocean in the comments below!

Circle of Doubt

Review by Shruthi

Circle of Doubt by Tracy Buchanan

I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review in any way.

Genre: Contemperary, mystery, thriller

Summary: Circle of Doubt is a mystery thriller surrounding Emma, a white working mom who has a biracial adopted daughter. When glamorous Tatjiana, moves next door and has more than a passing resemblance to her daughter, Emma will have to determine if this is a product of her insecurities or if there’s something more sinister at play.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Places in Books I’d Love to Live

If you are interested in participating in future Top Ten Tuesdays, check out That Artsy Reader Girl’s blog for future topics!

Shruthi’s Top 10

1. Ravenclaw Tower, Hogwarts, Harry Potter

Ravenclaw Tower – Harry Potter Lexicon

Yes, I would like to answer a riddle before being able to enter my dorm every night. Still feel cheated that I never got an letter to hogwarts…

2. Boarding school in Paris, Anna and the French Kiss

Does this even need an explanation? Honestly if only my parents shipped my off to Paris for my senior year. Don’t know what Anna was complaining about at all.

3. Pemberly, Pride and Prejudice

Honestly, this is in part motivated by wanting to live with Mr. Darcy but hey I’d settle for his absurdly large estate too.

4. Colby, Along for the Ride

I Went To Colby, North Carolina | Forever Young Adult

As any true fan of Sarah Dessen knows, the fictional town of Colby is the place to be in the summer. Not going to lie, I thought it was a real town for far too long since it featured in so many of her novels.

5. West Egg, The Great Gatsby

I know The Great Gatsby is a super meaningful critique on the American Dream but really what I got out of it is that Gatsby had perhaps the coolest house.

6. New York, The Catcher in the Rye

It seems like every other book I read is set in New York and I still never get bored of it.

7. Italy, Love & Gelato

I know the whole country of Italy is a little broad but that’s because I would be content living anywhere in Italy.

8. Island of the coast of Ireland, The Guest List

I just love how they described the nature in this book. Even with the murders, it sounded beautiful. I can totally see why the island was the perfect spot for a wedding.

9. L.A., Everything Leads to You

The weather, the atmosphere, the proximity to Disney Land. What’s not to love about L.A.

10. Monmouth, The Raven Cycle

Tell me you wouldn’t want to live in an abandoned factory with Gansey, Ronan and Noah.

What literary location would you like to live in? Let me know in the comments below!