so powerful, really resonated

Love is a Revolution – Renee Watson

Love, dating, self-acceptance, social action, Jamacian Americans, Harlem, New York, Young Adult, POC representation, fiction. 

Rating 10/10

Nala goes to an open mic night with her cousin for her birthday. When one of the poet activists, Tye, goes on stage her attention is drawn to him. She makes herself more relatable to him by omitting lies and she struggles to keep them straight as she is falling more and more for Tye. Her relationship with her cousin isn’t easy either and Nala learns to stop and reflect. She needs to love herself first and in turn love Tye. 

My heart vibed with what the author wanted to express through this narrative. Love can really change and inspire a person to love themselves better. I loved the place and this felt so real that I was there. I was witnessing everything happening with Nala and her interactions. Everyone needs to go pick up this book and read this novel. I can’t express how much I love this book. I did borrow this from the library and I am definitely going to buy the book. Then most likely read it again because it was so good. I finished this book in one day and it’s that type of book that can be read in one sitting because the pacing is perfect. I do not see enough hype but this book deserves so much more hype.

yummy romance

My Favorite Half Night Stand – Christina Lauren

Romance, comedy, social media, dating apps, fiction. 

Rating 9/10

Millie and Reid get incredibly drunk and have a one night stand. After that night, they talk to each other about remaining friends and only friends. Millie doesn’t want to remain friends and neither does Reid. Millie helps set him and their mutual friends up with dating profiles. She makes her own and a fake one. The fake one matched with Reid so she accepted the match. Reid doesn’t know that this Cathrine was really Millie. This goes on for a while until Reid finds out the truth. Millie attempts to fix their friendship that leads to both of them confessing their feelings to each other. 

I loved this book. The characters are incredibly lovable and the plot is purely amazing. I was thrilled and intrigued at the idea that Millie was being herself through Catharine and yet Reid was totally oblivious. I binged this book a little fast because I was wanting to know if and when Reid would realize. I have to say that he was sort of a bad friend for not knowing Millie that well as he should have. Either way, I loved this book and I do recommend this novel.

… really weird?

A Totally Awkward Love Story – Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

Love, dating, romance, comedy, young adult, fiction.

Rating 8/10

Sam and Hannah are done with school and want to, before summer ends, have their virgin card taken away by someone worthy of taking it. Sam and Hannah meet each other at a party inside a toilet and awkwardly discuss hot grape juice and other things. They didn’t introduce each other so they don’t know each other’s name. Hannah leaves Sam in the bathroom. Hannah is close to losing her v-card except the guy pukes so she’s forever in the virgin category. Sam wants to find her, and Hannah wants to find him. Over the course of summer, they randomly cross paths and realize they are meant for each other.

This book was all right. Did not hate it though. There was more comedy than romance in which made me laugh so hard at times. I needed something that was light and fun to read. This novel was perfect. I am sad that this was such a small book though. I do recommend if one wants to read a fun romance that is full of comedy. The character interactions were fun and delightful too. Character designs also drove the plot further.

Totally Not Dating!

Josh + Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating – Christina Lauren

Romance, drama, comedy, fiction.

Josh and Hazel defined each other as undatable ever since their brief interactions in college. Years later their paths cross and still think that they are undatable to each other. After Josh breaks things off with his ever-cheating girlfriend, Hazel fills the emptiness and cheers him up with horribly planned random hangouts as well as other fun activities. They plan each other’s dates, each going hilariously wrong that leads to them hanging out more. Hazel feels like she’s falling for Josh and vice versa. Each of them knew what was going to happen next. It’s the matter of time.

I extremely loved this novel, and this was a joy to reread. I laughed even harder after reading this again. I was rooting for them to immediately admit their feelings during their college years. Also, I feel like I am the main character, Hazel because we both get along with animals rather than humans as well as being weird. I have been told multiple times by my best friend that I am weird and was told to never be normal. This novel just screams that individuality is valued and should be valued. If one can’t be themselves then why bother hanging out with people who want one to tone down themselves? The author really knows how to make the main character relatable as well as the love interests. I’m holding out for a sequel of this novel.

An Incredible Survival Tale

A Sucky Love Story: Overcoming Unhappily Ever After – Brittani Louise Taylor

Survival, dating apps, human trafficking victim and survivor, memoir, nonfiction.

Rating 10/10

YouTube personality, Brittani Louise Taylor, shares how her innocent Tinder date that led to her and her baby son, Rex, to be involved in some sort of human trafficking scheme in a romance gone wrong. Taylor met Milos on Tinder and they both were mutually interested in each other. As time progressed, they became closer and she allowed him to move in with her. Even though she did not want anything to do with him, but nonetheless he persisted and pursued her. Her and Milos had ups and downs like any other relationship. Things immediately took a dark turn when Taylor found out she was pregnant with Milos’s child. The mother of Milos was being utterly creepy and terrifying, Taylor had to put her foot down and told Milos he and his mother had to leave the house. When Milos came back, he said he had some form of cancer, pulling the ultimate scam to make Taylor feel utterly sorry for him until she saw a flaw in his very lame lie. She had to break up with him and take Rex with her. The police had to get involved after an incident and Milos landed in jail. She found out the hard way that she and her son were about to be human trafficking victims but survived without going through the horrors.

I am a fan of the YouTuber Brittani Louise Taylor and had always loved her unique style and form of entertainment she produced on that platform. I had always wondered about how mysterious her videos became to be and this was the answer in the form of a memoir. I had seen also Shane Dawson’s conspiracy video he included her in, and I had cried. I feel so bad that such an amazing human being went through this. I am glad that she, her mom, and Rex are safe and sound. No one should ever go through that. Be careful whenever one is looking for a date on these dating apps. It can go south easily.

Morbid Comedy and Romantic

Josh + Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating = Christina Lauren

Romance, dating, comedy, fiction

Rating 15/10

As the title gives away much of the idea of the book, however there is more to the story of Hazel Bradford and Josh Im. Hazel and Josh have history together of awkward encounters and ran into each other during a barbeque. Here is the situation, Hazel is undatable due to her chaotic personality and Josh has a serious personality, one would think that the differences in personalities, romance wouldn’t be in the equation. Especially after Josh finds out his girlfriend had been cheating on him with the help of Hazel’s interrogation of nonsense. Plot twist! They come to love each other but deny their chemistry. Josh and Hazel go far as setting each other up with blind double dates that their dates end up together rather with them. As seeing Josh and Hazel think this is just lust, they sleep together, and go on with their lives but the realization of the truth hits them. They are simply meant to be together.

While at the library, in search of a new book to read, this book caught my attention. I promised myself to read this through to see if it’s a guidebook to not dating someone because the title’s name sounds like advice. This book made me laugh so hard at some of the scenes and made me cringe as well. I love Hazel because of her weirdness, she reminds me of myself. How most of my friends and close friends say I am weird but lovable in that way. I had to reread this book because of its hilarious moments and cringe moments. Totally would recommend to those who are not wanting to read just romance but want to read a rom-com.

Lauren, Christina. Josh Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating . Simon & Schuster, 2018.