Happy Messy Scary Love 🖤 Review + Giveaway

Thanks to the Fantastic Flying Book Club, I’m a part of another book’s blog tour! 🖤

This young adult contemporary romance was a quick, enjoyable read—and I’m looking forward to checking out other books by this author. 🖤🖤🖤

Don’t miss my playlist inspired by the book + the giveaway at the end of this post!

Happy Messy Scary Love by Leah Konen

Publisher: Amulet Books
Release Date: May 14, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis

coverAs everyone at her Brooklyn high school announces their summer adventures, Olivia harbors a dirty secret: Her plan is to binge-watch horror movies and chat with her online friend, Elm. Olivia and Elm have never shared personal details, apart from their ages and the fact that Elm’s aunt is a low-budget horror filmmaker. Then Elm pushes Olivia to share her identity and sends her a selfie of his own. Olivia is shocked by how cute he is! In a moment of panic, assuming she and Elm will never meet in real life, she sends a photo of her gorgeous friend Katie. But things are about to get even more complicated when Olivia’s parents send her to the Catskills, and she runs into the one person she never thought she would see. This sweet and funny summertime romance is perfect for fans of Love and Gelato and The Unexpected Everything.

About the Author

authorLeah Konen is a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied journalism and creative writing. She’s the author of the forthcoming Happy Messy Scary Love, Love and Other Train Wrecks, The Romantics, The Last Time We Were Us, and The After Girls. She lives in Brooklyn and Saugerties, NY with her husband and their dog, Farley.

Check out Sasha on her website or over on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!

Review

Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book gave me what I came for: sweet first love, horror film enthusiasts, romantic tension, and a hint of adventure. 

However, I never suspended my sense of disbelief about the plot. I found the chance meet up too unrealistic, which the writing and build up could have amended. Though I enjoyed the book overall, I didn’t enjoy the characters. For those reasons, I gave the book 3 stars.

I would definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for a quick summer read! ☀️

Enter the giveaway below!

Playlist

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |iTunes | Book Depository | KoboGoogle Books

GIVEAWAY

Enter the giveaway to win a copy of Happy Messy Scary Love!

  • US only
  • Start Date: May 8, 2019
  • End Date: May 22, 2019

BLOG TOUR

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

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!

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!

TBR and Book Shopping for #WitchAThon 🖤

morganvega blog post headers.png

So I had all intentions of doing #WitchAThon. I even posted a TBR video and book shopping vlog for this readathon on my BookTube channel.

But I failed. 😭

Still, I wanted to shoutout the readathon host Rhiannon over at Crescent Moon Reads and share my videos with you.

Fingers crossed I can still get to these books before December. 🤞🏻

Readathon Announcement

My #WitchAThon TBR

🖤Challenges

  1. This time of year is all about preparing for the dark and gathering enough harvest for winter. Read a book that is bound to make you warm and happy.
  2. Light a candle for your ancestors and read by candlelight. This is a time for honoring our kin.
  3. Samhain is more widely known as Halloween. Read a spooky horror/thriller novel.
  4. The veil between worlds is thinnest. Read a book that has paranormal elements.
  5. In honor of your ancestors, read a book that features your ethnic heritage.
  6. Every witch needs their coven. Buddy read a book!
  7. Read the group book The Girl Who Drank The Moon!

Book Shopping for #WitchAThon

I needed the #WitchAThon group book, so I went to my favorite place with my favorite person. It was a happy day for a book haul ✨

Also, don’t miss the very end for highlights of my handsome boys! 🖤

Did you participate in #WitchAThon? Let me know how you did in the comments!

Top 6 Retellings on My TBR 🌹

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I’m obsessed with fairytales and all things princesses, kingdoms, curses, and true love kisses. ✨

I’ve got Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Snow White, and other beloved and reimagined classics on this retelling TBR. 👸🏻

Let me know if any of these are on yours! 💖

Books I’m Reading This Fall 🎃🕸️

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I’ve got the spooky, the creepy, the ghostly all on my TBR for the fall. 🍂

Let me know in the comments what you’re reading this season! 🖤

BookTube Newbie Tag 2.0 ✨

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It’s the BookTube Newbie Tag 2.0! ✨

I’ve been on BookTube now for about 4 months, and making bookish videos honestly brings me so much joy.

Books, new reader friends, what more could I ask for. 🖤

QUESTIONS

  1. What genres would you like to see talked about more on BookTube?
  2. What do you feel is the best way to make friends on BookTube?
  3. What will/ do you enjoy the most about making BookTube videos?
  4. What do you least look forward to when making BookTube videos?
  5. What videos other than tags, TBR’s, wrap-ups, reviews and recommendations would you want to see more of?
  6. What are some themes you want to see more of or less of in books?
  7. What advice would you give to a BookTuber that has just created their channel?
  8. What are some qualities or traits that you look for when it comes to watching other BookTubers?
  9. What’s a hobby besides reading and writing that people on BookTube might not know you have?

CHECK OUT THESE OTHER BOOKTUBERS DOING THIS TAG!