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!

HOW HAD I NOT READ THIS BOOK? 🖤 To Kill a Mockingbird Readalong Vlog

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First off, many thanks to Tom over at T.J. Reads the Stars for hosting this readalong of To Kill a Mockingbird! 💖

One of my reading goals for 2018 was to read this book—and reading it with new reader friends made the experience even better. 👍🏻

Meet Tom in his readalong announcement video:

Now check out my reading vlog of the readalong! 🖤

Image result for barnes and noble to kill a mockingbirdSYNOPSIS

Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep South—and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred.

One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than forty million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country. A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father—a crusading local lawyer—risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.

REVIEW

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads.

To sum up why I loved this book, it comes down to how the characters and plot developed and thickened over the course of the novel. Plus, the book tackles heavy, important themes—racial inequality, gender inequality, poverty—through a young girl’s interactions and understandings of her small, Southern town.

Regarding characters, Scout was such an endearing firecracker. She grew immensely as a human, and by the end of the book, she finally understands her dad Atticus’ instruction and advice about empathizing with other people. Growing up in such a small, problematic, racist, sexist town causes her to confront a lot of upsetting and even dangerous situations, and there were a couple of instances where her reactions to these moments had me in tears. She brought hope. Hope that people can learn, people can empathize, people can use words instead of fists.

The second reason why I loved this book was the plot progression. Though I had an idea of how the book was going to go, I had no idea how all of the plot lines and people were going to wrap up and be significant. But they did. Everything mattered, every character mattered.

I’m so happy and proud of myself for FINALLY reading this classic novel!

FAVORITE QUOTES

🖤 “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”

🖤 “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”

🖤 “People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”

🖤 “People in their right minds never take pride in their talents.”

🖤 “It’s never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn’t hurt you.”

🖤 “It’s not time to worry yet.”

Have you read To Kill a Mockingbird? Did you read it in school? What did you like or not like about it? Let me know in the comments!

These Rebel Waves Book Tag

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These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch is a young adult fantasy that has pirates, magic, politics, and slooow-burn romance (which my heart is still craving more of). 🏴‍☠️🌊

And I’m a part of its blog tour! 🖤

Enjoy this ORIGINAL book tag inspired by the book—and now I tag YOU!

QUESTIONS

  1. Lu: a female character who’s a soldier.
  2. Vex: a character who’s a cinnamon roll but hides under a tough exterior.
  3. Ben: a character with a different outlook than their parents.
  4. Botanical magic: a book that understands the power of nature.
  5. These Rebel Waves: a book that features political intrigue and rebel forces.

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THESE REBEL WAVES BY SARA RAASCH

(Stream Raiders #1)

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Release Date: August 7, 2018

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

SYNOPSIS

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Adeluna is a soldier. Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Argrid, a country ruled by religion. But adjusting to postwar life has not been easy. When an Argridian delegate vanishes during peace talks with Grace Loray’s new Council, Argrid demands brutal justice—but Lu suspects something more dangerous is at work.

Devereux is a pirate. As one of the outlaws called stream raiders who run rampant on Grace Loray, he pirates the island’s magic plants and sells them on the black market. But after Argrid accuses raiders of the diplomat’s abduction, Vex becomes a target. An expert navigator, he agrees to help Lu find the Argridian—but the truth they uncover could be deadlier than any war.

Benat is a heretic. The crown prince of Argrid, he harbors a secret obsession with Grace Loray’s forbidden magic. When Ben’s father, the king, gives him the shocking task of reversing Argrid’s fear of magic, Ben has to decide if one prince can change a devout country—or if he’s building his own pyre.

As conspiracies arise, Lu, Vex, and Ben will have to decide who they really are . . . and what they are willing to become for peace.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Sara Raasch has known she was destined for bookish things since the age of five, when her friends had a lemonade stand and she tagged along to sell her hand-drawn picture books too. Not much has changed since then — her friends still cock concerned eyebrows when she attempts to draw things and her enthusiasm for the written word still drives her to extreme measures. Her debut YA fantasy, SNOW LIKE ASHES, the first in a trilogy, came out October 14, 2014 from Balzer + Bray. It does not feature her hand-drawn pictures.

REVIEW

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. The novel followed three protagonists—Lu, Vex, and Ben—and though jumping to each made the story a bit trickier to read in the beginning, I was desperate to read more from each character by the end. The story took its time with each character’s development (and each character’s romantic subplot), but this made it all the more believable. I wasn’t expecting to be so invested in these characters. Now I’m desperate for more.

Also, this book combined a lot of different elements—politics, pirates, magic. At the start, the politics had me dizzy, but again, I had found my footing and was cheering for our main characters by the end. The combination of these elements were so well tied together and thought out, and it made for a very unique story.

Last, though I won’t give anything away, I LOVED the multiple plot twists at the end of this book. Everything connected, all the plot lines came together, and I kept speed-reading in awe.

I would definitely recommend this book if you’re into fantasy with political intrigue! 👍🏼

FAVORITE QUOTES

🖤 “Better to wound your ego with compromise than feed your own pride with blood.”

🖤 “‘You’re sad. People do lots of things when they’re sad.'”

🖤 “But he hadn’t expected his mark to hit him. He’d thought she’d scream or struggle over her bag, enough to rile soldiers into arresting him—but he had not expected the girl to be so goddamn accurate with her fist.”

BOOK LINKS

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository

BOOK TOUR

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