Review: The Marriage Clock

The Marriage Clock by Zara Raheem

Publication Date: 7/23/19

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (HarperCollins Publisher)

Rating: 3/5

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced digital copy of this book from HarperCollins in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.

Review: The Marriage Clock is Zara Raheem’s debut novel. This contemporary romance follows, Lelia, a young Muslim-American woman, who is given 3 months to find the perfect husband otherwise her conservative Indian parents will find someone for her and arrange her marriage. I found this book to be charming, witty, and could connect to the book on a personal level. Zara’s writing style keeps your attention throughout the full book. I also found it refreshing to read the view point from an Indian Muslim perspective as I am Indian Hindu and it was interesting to see what the similarities and differences were. With all of that said, there were some parts of the book that I found difficult to connect with fully which resulted in a lower star rating. First, I found Lelia’s personality to be a bit jarring, more immature, and delusional than I anticipated. At the same time, it didn’t surprise me as she was still living at home with her parents, but I expected a bit more openness and understanding from her. The ending made sense to me, but it felt me wanting something a bit more. Overall, I thought it was a great start for a debut. I’d recommend picking this up if you like contemporary novels.

Review: Fix Her Up

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey

Publishing Date: 6/11/19

Publisher: Avon Books

Rating: 2/5

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced digital copy of this book from Avon Books in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review or rating.

Review: Fix Her Up is the first book I’ve read from Tessa Bailey. This romcom follows Georgie, a young woman who wants to be taken seriously despite her age and profession, lands herself fake dating Travis, her childhood crush / her brother’s best friend / former baseball star. Initially the cute illustrative cover and premise intrigued me to read this novel. It wasn’t at all what I expected. The novel was definitely steamier than I anticipated it to be which I didn’t mind. The story started off pretty strong, however as I kept reading further, most of the scenes ended up being cringeworthy and too cheesy for me which I couldn’t overlook. I also wasn’t a big fan of the typical virgin female and player male main characters which I feel is overused and pretty dull to me. Unfortunately, this wasn’t my type of romance, but if you like the whole dating your best friend’s brother and fake dating sort of romance then this is for you.

Review: The Friend Zone

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

Publication Date: 6/11/19
Publisher: Forever Romance (Grand Central Publishing)
Rating: 3/5

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced digital copy of this book from Forever Romance in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.

Review: The Friend Zone is Abby Jimenez’s debut novel and will be part of a series. Kristen is busy planning her best friend’s wedding along side the best man, Joshua. Kristen and Joshua are drawn to each other, but Kristen is a long distance relationship with her military boyfriend of two years. Kristen also finds out that Josh wants kids, but she won’t be able to as she’ll be facing a life-changing medical procedure that will leave her to become infertile which then leads the question of whether things can go further with Josh or not. Given all the hype of this book on Instagram, I was really looking forward to reading this, but it didn’t quite fit my romance read standards. This romance read is unique in a sense where it discusses about battling infertility. I liked the way the author incorporated this, however, the main characters and the story killed it for me. I found both main characters to be unlikable and annoying. The story doesn’t really pick up until a third of the way into it and it took me a while to warm up to it. I also didn’t like the ending at all which I will leave it at that without any spoilers. With all of that said, this is a decent romance novel. I would recommend to you check it out yourself as it might be more of your cup of tea than mine.

Review: The Flatshare

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Publication Date: 5/28/19

Publisher: FlatIron Books

Rating: 4/5

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced digital copy of this book from FlatIron Books in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review or rating.

Review: The Flatshare is Beth O’Leary’s debut novel. This contemporary romance follows two people, Tiff and Leon, in London who are in a financial bind and agree upon a peculiar roommate agreement. I loved this book! It was lighthearted and fun, but also dove into serious issues such as emotional abuse in relationships and finding justice. The story is unique and maintains the reader’s interest from start to finish. All the characters are quite lovable and realistic. The alternating perspectives were refreshing, however, Leon’s perspective took a bit to get used to as the writing was a bit choppy. I definitely recommend picking this up if you love lighthearted and fluffy romance novels.

Review: Red, White & Royal Blue

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Publishing Date: 5/14/19
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Rating: 2/5

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced digital copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review or rating.

Review: Red, White & Royal Blue is Casey McQuiston’s debut novel. This romcom follows the First Son of the United States, Alex, falling in love with the Prince of Wales, Henry, in an enemies-turned-lovers whirlwind. I was initially super excited to read this book for various reasons:

  • The author is going to have a book event at a local bookstore near me in June.
  • Her book is turning into a movie.
  • There were great reviews on GoodReads.

After I finished the book, I had mixed feelings about it. First, let me start off with the positives:

  • The premise of the book intrigued me and I can totally tell why this was being picked up for a movie.
  • The diverse set of characters was definitely refreshing.
  • The strong overall message and representation in this book is wonderful to see and I’m glad to see that this is becoming more mainstreamed and discussed about.

Now with all the points I mentioned above, you would think that I would give this book a 4 or 5 star review, however, there were so many little things that made this book not so great which outweighed the pros and made it a 2 star review instead. There were a couple of times where I really wanted to DNF the book, but I decided to go through to finish it hoping it would get better and to also provide a fair and unbiased full review. Here is the list of issues I had with the book:

  • Political Ideas: Now I understand that because we are talking about the First Family that there will be some political ideas shared in here, but the author basically shoves all her political ideas into this book and calls it “romance.” I typically avoid books that are over political and thought this would only have light politics, but there are so many political digs thrown to the reader that it’s poorly executed no matter what political party you affiliate with.
  • Characters: All the characters, especially the main characters, are so unlikable and so rude. The characters are a bit immature – more to come on that later.
  • Dialogue: The things the characters say are either too much slang, profanity or just downright corny.
  • Plot:The plot is a bit all over the place and it seems like some of the things in here were just out of place.
  • Writing style: The story reads like “fan fiction” that you would find on the internet, but not in an actual novel. Also I was a bit surprised on how this read more of a YA than an adult romcom instead. I assumed since the characters were in their early 20s, it would be a bit more mature, but the writing ended up being a bit more cheesy instead.

Overall, the book just wasn’t for me. With that said, I wouldn’t say to disregard this book completely, but it wouldn’t the best book you’ve read in romance though.

Review: The Unhoneymooners

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Publication Date: 5/14/19
Publisher: Gallery Books
Rating: 5/5

Disclaimer: I received a free ARC from Gallery Books in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.

Review: I was so excited to hear that Christina & Lauren were coming out with a new romcom, The Unhoneymooners. This delightful contemporary romance follows Olive and Ethan. Olive, the maid of honor, and Ethan, the best man and Olive’s nemesis, end up going her sister and his brother’s honeymoon after the rest of the wedding party gets food poisoning. Now they’re stuck together for 10 nights in beautiful Hawaii. Will it be fun in paradise or hell on the island? I’m always a sucker for a great enemies-turned-lovers and this did not disappoint! I loved how refreshing both the main characters were. They both strong and mature for the most part. They may be a bit stubborn, but I loved their character development and how they were aware of other people around them. I also loved Olive and Ethan’s chemistry as well. The writing style kept me intrigued. While I was reading, I could imagine this romcom being played out as a movie. There were some parts of the story where I literally laughed out loud. As I was getting to the end of the story, I was getting a bit sentimental and didn’t want it to end. I highly recommend reading this novel whether it’s your first Christina Lauren novel or your sixth!

Christina Lauren Novels

This past year I discovered Christina Lauren and they have now become one of my favorite authors. They are a best friend duo who write contemporary romance novels. I’ve finally caught up with all of their stand alone novels and made a quick infographic if you’re trying to decide which one of their books would fit your romantic tastes 🙂

I can’t wait for their new novel to come out in October 2019!