a new Romeo and Juliet ?

A Pho Love Story – Loan Le 

Romance, comedy, rival pho restaurants, Vietnamese-Americans, young adult, fiction. 

Rating 8/10

Linh and Bao’s families are rival pho restaurants. They are always competing against each other to the point where sometimes nasty words are said. Sometimes rumors are spread that are lies. Linh and Bao try to have a relationship and navigate the rough waters of their families’ rivalry. Both vowing to make it work for both of them and their families. 

I was curious about this book as I was looking at the new YA section and wanted to read something different so I picked this book and some others. I liked this. I felt that this is a great and better replacement of Romeo and Juliet with a happier ending with more diverse characters. We need more diverse books in the public school curriculum that aren’t just old racist dudes. I’m sure that this is much more enriching than a tale of two people deciding to end it all if they can’t be together. These two people, Linh and Bao, work it out between their families. I can see this happening in real life and love that there is food involved. I never really tried pho but now I want to try it. Besides, I love both characters and feel for them. Go get this book and read it.

… 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.

Weird Stalker Obsession

The Hypnotist Love Story – Liane Moriarty

Hypnotists, romance, stalkers, drama, fiction.

Ellen hasn’t dated in a while and decided to get back into the dating world, but she wants something long term rather than short term. Patrick fell out of love with this woman named Saskia. Saskia is feeling jaded about the breakup and decided to continuously stalk him. Patrick tells this to Ellen and Ellen is very curious about this woman. In a sick twist of fate, Ellen has already met Saskia and doesn’t know it yet. When Ellen finally meets Saskia, all hell breaks loose.

I love this novel so much I decided to purchase this from the bookstore and proceeded to read it again. I love how there was a little thrill and romance. I can’t say much more than I absolutely love how this book was written. Moriarty deciding to alternate the point of views between Ellen in third person and Saskia in first person made the book better. I wouldn’t want to only read something of this genre of one side. Hearing the other side gave more information that coincides with the plot line. This novel kept me on my toes a lot. Overall, excellent novel from Liane Moriarty.

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.

A Darker Side of the Lost Boys

Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook – Christina Henry

Peter Pan, Never Ever Land, fantasy, horror, fiction, retelling

Rating 15/10

In this novel, it is a retelling of a classic childhood favorite but through the eyes of Captain Hook and his origins. Jamie was originally a lost boy that Peter Pan had rescued from the Other World. Peter Pan rescues these boys and whenever the boys start to age, they were cast off the island. Sometimes they survived to become pirates, some don’t survive at all. Whenever a boy would fall to illness and death, they were simply replaced. Peter Pan never ages, that is a fact here. Jamie slowly got tired of Peter Pan’s behaviors and decided to rebel against Peter after an incident that changed Jamie forever. He slowly started to grow up and Peter did not like that at all. So Peter cursed Jamie to be forever an adult and to remain on the island. Jamie was never meant to be the villain; it was Peter whom made Jamie the villain. Made Jamie into Captain Hook by cutting off his left hand as well as the whole curse.

I really enjoyed this novel so much. I had loved the idea of the other side of the fairy tale, no matter how dark it would be. This was just the right amount of horror I wanted as well. It is interesting to hear how the famous villain, Captain Hook, was originally was a lost boy. Made me sympathize with Jamie because Peter Pan kept bringing more and more boys onto the island and not really caring for these boys. Let them die of sickness or being killed and the sad part was that Jamie buried these boys that came and went. I would’ve done the same thing as Jamie did. Just give it all up, just grow up, and attempt to leave. I will for sure plan to reread this book in the future.