THE BEAUTY OF THE MOMENT 🖤 BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY

Okay, reader friends. I’m so excited to share this post—another book’s blog tour! 😆

I was sent The Beauty of the Moment by Tanaz Bhathena in exchange for an honest review in collaboration with the Fantastic Flying Book Club, and let me just say: I honestly loved this book.

I feel so lucky that I’m a part of this tour because I don’t know if I would otherwise have picked up this book. Now I can’t wait to tell everyone to pick it up! 🖤

Plus, my partner Kelvin also chose this book for me to read this spring in a recent video on my BookTube channel, MY LOVE CHOOSES MY SPRING TBR. One book down, four more to go.👍🏻

Also, don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this post!

The Beauty of the Moment by Tanaz Bhathena

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: February 26, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis

Susan is the new girl—she’s sharp and driven, and strives to meet her parents’ expectations of excellence. Malcolm is the bad boy—he started raising hell at age fifteen, after his mom died of cancer, and has had a reputation ever since.

Susan’s parents are on the verge of divorce. Malcolm’s dad is a known adulterer.

Susan hasn’t told anyone, but she wants to be an artist. Malcolm doesn’t know what he wants—until he meets her.

Love is messy and families are messier, but in spite of their burdens, Susan and Malcolm fall for each other. The ways they drift apart and come back together are testaments to family, culture, and being true to who you are.

About the Author

Tanaz Bhathena was born in India and raised in Saudi Arabia and Canada. Her critically acclaimed novel A Girl Like That was nominated for the 2019 OLA White Pine Award and named a Best Book of 2018 by The Globe and Mail, CBC, Quill & Quire, Seventeen, PopSugar, and The Times of India among others. Her second novel The Beauty of the Moment releases on Feb 26 2019. Her short stories have appeared in various journals including Blackbird, Witness and Room.

A wanderer at heart, Tanaz can often be found travelling to different countries, learning bits and pieces of a foreign language, and taking way too many photographs. She loves slapstick comedies and any kind of music that makes her dance. She lives in the Toronto area with her family.

Check out Tanaz over on her website and on Goodreads and Instagram!

Review

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

So I read this book in a day. I fell for our main characters Susan and Malcolm, their struggles, their messy and complicated relationships with their family and friends, their hopes. Ugh. It all felt real and brought me back to my own high school experiences.

Still, though I may have been nervous to drive and fought with my parents and not had many friends and fell in love in high school, Susan Thomas’ life experience is so different from my own.

Susan immigrates from Saudi Arabia to Canada, and I still live in the same small town I grew up in. I never changed schools growing up let alone changed the country on my address.

But I was with Susan as she started her new school. I was with her when she talked to her first crush. I was with her when her friend Alisha back home began to grow distant in their calls. I was with her when her parents didn’t understand or support her dream of going to art school. Her heartbreak, her disappointments, her successes, her breakthroughs—I was with Susan every page of this book. I empathized for her, worried for her, cheered for her. Susan was such a likeable, endearing main character. 🖤

Through the course of the novel, Susan works through adjusting to a new culture while confronting stereotypes, ignorance, and her own loneliness. I especially appreciated the following passages:

  • “He talks about becoming Canadian like it’s a destination: a utopia of privilege that comes with a first world citizenship, a house instead of an apartment, two cars, and a dog in the backyard.”
  • “We didn’t go to school on camels, if that’s what you’re wondering…I always get that look from people when I tell them I lived there. Like I was living in some primitive magic-carpet land and not a cosmopolitan city with beaches and highways and malls a population of nearly three million.
  • “It does not matter that Malcolm and I share skin tones. Everything about him screams Canadian, from the way he speaks to the way he dresses to the self-assurance with which he walks. Malcolm belongs here as much as I don’t and probably never will.”
  • “I have been called too Saudi for India even though I don’t have a passport from the Kingdom, and too Indian for Saudi Arabia even though in my birth country I am treated like a foreigner. For the longest time, I thought I didn’t fit in anywhere. Even at Qala Academy, among other kids straddling lines between two different cultures, there were times I felt like an alien. But here, in this moment, I wonder if fitting in is important after all.”

Like Susan, I rooted for our other main character and love interest Malcolm. Both he and Susan have difficult home lives for different reasons. Malcom is still working through the death of his mother and the abuse of his father, and he is trying to change his reputation after turning to drugs and alcohol his junior year.

He and Susan were such different characters, and both highlighted the other—the other’s best qualities and their worst. They challenged each other. And I loved it.

I could go on and on about Susan and Malcolm. And don’t get me started about the side characters. Basically, the character development in this novel was phenomenal.

And. The. THEMES. FEMINISM. RELIGION. IMMIGRATION. THE REPRESENTATION. The attention to the Syrian refugee crisis. 🖤🖤🖤

I wouldn’t change a thing about this book.

More people need to know about this book. More people need to read this book. Please enter the giveaway at the end of this post, but regardless if you win, read this book. Spread the word. 🖤

FAVORITE QUOTES

🖤 “Wounds only fester if you let them, I remind myself. If you let yourself like someone way more than they’ll ever like you.”

🖤 “The line between love and hate can be as thin as a paper’s edge.”

🖤 “I want to say something. Put words to the horror I’m feeling right now. But everything tastes inadequate. Sour like bile at the back of my tongue.”

🖤 “No one gets to pick what is right or wrong for anyone else. It’s always going to be your decision, Susan. Nothing that’s truly meant for you can be taken away.”

🖤 “But love isn’t easy…You just need to decide if it’s worth the trouble.”

🖤 “Nothing that’s worth having comes easy.”

🖤 “People always find ways to embarrass you if they can…You can’t control that, but you can control your reaction.”

🖤 “I’m a mess…”
“So am I.”

Playlist

I created a Spotify playlist inspired by The Beauty of the Moment! It even includes songs from artists mentioned in the book. 👌🏻

The playlist also includes Susan’s (“Here” by Alessia Cara) and Malcolm’s (“Something Just Like This” by Coldplay and The Chainsmokers) theme songs, which the author Tanaz Bhathena shared on the first stop of this book tour with The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club.

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository |Kobo | iBooks

GIVEAWAY

Enter the giveaway to win a finished copy of The Beauty of the Moment by Tanaz Bhathena!

  • US Only
  • Start Date: February 19, 2019
  • End Date: March 5, 2019

BOOK TOUR

Check out the rest of the stops along this blog tour!

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MY YEAR IN BOOKS 🖤 best and worst books of 2018

I can’t believe I haven’t shared this post yet, but I want to recap my 2018 year in books.

I can’t thank you enough, reader friends, for supporting me here on this bookish blog and on my BookTube channel. 2018 was my best bookish year yet, thanks to all of you. 🖤

Here’s my bookish year in review, along with the best and worst books I read in 2018.

I have a feeling 2019 is going to be even better. ✨

How was your 2018 reading year? What was some your best and worst books? Let me know in the comments!

A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES 🖤 book review + reading vlog

So I was super skeptical going into A Court of Thorns and Roses, but now I’m OBSESSED.

Here’s my review and vlog of the first book in what I hope to be a new favorite series! 🖤

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury
ReleaseDate: May 5, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Review

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

First things first. Why did no one scream at me to read this sooner?

This is my first time reading a book by Sarah J. Maas. I’ve heard mixed things about this series in particular on book blogs and BookTube. But I’m so glad I picked up this book. 🖤

There were many things I didn’t like—Tamlin’s character development (I never felt like I knew who he was), language used to describe the sex scenes (e.g. “predatory”), and other issues I mention in my vlog—but the plot. Feyre. Her trials. The fae world. The DRAMA OF IT ALL.

I have a feeling we’re going great places in the next book, even if I’m nervous about how it will all go down. Now I can’t wait to finish this series and read the Throne of Glass series next!

Vlog

My review vlog for A Court of Mist and Fury to come! 🖤

Have you read this series, reader friends? Let me know what you think in the comments!

MY FIRST BULLET JOURNAL 🖤 2019 Bullet Journal Setup

New year, new bullet journal, same me.

2019 is my year for predicting my own future. I have so many goals I want to accomplish this year—like reading 70 books, publishing SLEEPING AROUND, graduating from grad school—and this bullet journal (and hopefully you!) will journey with me through this year.

Happy New Year, reader friends! ✨

Our Year of Maybe: Blog Tour and Giveaway

A new year, a new book tour!

I was sent an ARC of Our Year of Maybe by Rachel Lynn Solomon for review (plus a playlist and dreamcast) as a part of the Fantastic Flying Book Club.

Also, don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this post!

Our Year of Maybe
by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: January 15, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Synopsis

Aspiring choreographer Sophie Orenstein would do anything for Peter Rosenthal-Porter, who’s been on the kidney transplant list as long as she’s known him. Peter, a gifted pianist, is everything to Sophie: best friend, musical collaborator, secret crush. When she learns she’s a match, donating a kidney is an easy, obvious choice. She can’t help wondering if after the transplant, he’ll love her back the way she’s always wanted.

But Peter’s life post-transplant isn’t what either of them expected. Though he once had feelings for Sophie too, he’s now drawn to Chase, the guitarist in a band that happens to be looking for a keyboardist. And while neglected parts of Sophie’s world are calling to her—dance opportunities, new friends, a sister and niece she barely knows—she longs for a now-distant Peter more than ever, growing increasingly bitter he doesn’t seem to feel the same connection.

Peter fears he’ll forever be indebted to her. Sophie isn’t sure who she is without him. Then one blurry, heartbreaking night twists their relationship into something neither of them recognizes, leading them to question their past, their future, and whether their friendship is even worth fighting for.

Review

The main characters of this book Sophie and Peter were talented, flawed, annoying, selfish, kind—and human. Sophie is a dancer with a life-long crush in the making on her best friend Peter. Peter is a musician who is exploring his bisexuality and a healthier life with a new donor kidney—Sophie’s kidney. Sometimes I hated both these main characters, but other times I loved them.

I gave this book three stars because of its raw, bittersweet tone that encapsulates real life. I appreciated this book. But I didn’t love it.

I plan to go more in-depth on my BookTube channel about why I had a hard time with the climax and denouement of this book (which is full of spoilers, so I don’t want to include it in this review). Again, while it did feel “real,” it ruined my appreciation for both Sophie and Peter. And I wanted to appreciate them, especially Peter.

Anyway, I would totally recommend this book for fans of John Green, Robyn Schneider, and Rainbow Rowell. So, if that’s you, don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this post!

Playlist

Dream Cast

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Sophie: Dutch actress Luca Hollestelle
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Peter: American actor Timothée Chalamet

I made the mistake of looking at the author’s dream cast before creating my own—now I can’t unsee Luca Hollestelle as Sophie and Timothée Chlamet as Peter. Can you blame me though?

About the Author

Rachel Lynn Solomon lives, writes, and tap dances in Seattle, Washington. Once she helped set a Guinness World Record for the most natural redheads in one place. She’s the author of You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone (out now from Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse), Our Year of Maybe (1/15/19), and Today Tonight Tomorrow (2020). A short story of hers will appear in the anthology It’s a Whole Spiel (Penguin Random House/Knopf, fall 2019).

Book Links

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | B&N | iTunes

GIVEAWAY

Prize: A signed copy of OUR YEAR OF MAYBE (US Only)

Starting Date: January 9, 2019

Ending Date: January 20, 2019

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

Book Tour

Check out the rest of the stops along this book tour!

5 Books I Wish I Read as a Kid 😞

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I’m sad (to say the least) that I didn’t read these 5 books as a kid. 😞

What books do you wish you read when you were younger?

MY FIRST TAROT DECK + READING ✶ The Raven’s Prophecy Tarot Look Through

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I’ve wanted The Raven’s Prophecy Tarot Deck ever since I first fell in love with The Raven Boys. 🖤

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Here’s a look through and review of my first tarot deck, plus my first tarot reading!

Let me know if you plan to pick up this deck or if you have any tarot tips and tricks for me in the comments!

The Raven Cycle Series Box Unboxing | Maggie Stiefvater’s Custom Art Box

BOOKTUBE + TAROT FAVES