Saturday, September 19, 2020

The Hating Game

 



Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual.

Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking.

If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date? After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth-shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong.

Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.  - excerpt from Goodreads.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne is a romcom that catches you by surprise. It's funny, heartwarming and super duper cutesy. We follow our lead female character's perspective that revolves around her job and her colleague who sits across her. It is only the two of them, fighting/competing in an office war that only seems to be just between themselves. Reading her perspectives and her thoughts, you can tell her personalities shines through, as well as her flaws. Throughout the book, you'll often find yourself shaking your head because of her silliness and delusional behaviour. Although it can be toxic, but it's also those thoughts that drives her actions and making it all way too cute.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

American Panda



At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents' master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can't bring herself to tell them the truth--that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.

But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels? - excerpt from Goodreads.

American Panda from Gloria Chao is about growing up too fast and trying to stand up for your dreams. Centered around an American born Asian girl whose parents immigrated from Taiwan, this story is definitely one of its kind in the YA world. I was really happy when I finished this because the author is able to convey a different perspective for other readers who are of different race and backgrounds. Although I'm not an American, I still manage to relate to the character, perhaps it has to do with being Asian. Of course there are many different circumstances when it comes to our rights and situations but the some of the values of a Chinese are always the same, no matter where you are at.

Mei and her family is quite the typical Asian family and whatever stereotypes of Chinese that you can think of, straight A student, must achieve to study and graduate in the medical field, and not believing in the creative arts (because it won't make you money). Through the interactions of Mei with her family, there are often mandarin words or idioms used to describe a situation and I love this part of the book so much, because I know that some expressions are so much easier to express in your own mother tongue. These words also project the expectations and personalities of Mei and her family. 

Whenever an Asian habit such as relating to money, I could not help but laugh because it's true for myself as well. Even the typical family stories that is surrounding them is facts, the nosy aunty, the judgmental grandma, the hopes and dreams on the son of the family and many more.  Mei herself is a timid person and I love how being thrown into situations that you cannot imagine have made her grow and blossom. The parents were realistic characters because of their circumstances, it made them who they are today and how they educate their children. As for other characters that are involves, I would say they bring out a different side of Mei, the side where her parents are not around. I absolutely love it when Mei is interacting with her love interest because of the different backgrounds, it's often sweet and cute.

Each chapter has a different title, which shows how much thought the author puts into giving a direction for the readers. Plots are driven by situations happening to Mei in university as well as family problems. The strict cultures and superstitions are also mentioned in the plots and it definitely gives an accurate representations of a Chinese family. I love how you can smoothly just read and accept the things and changes that is happening to Mei, instead of predicting and wondering what happens next.

In summary this book is more than Mei growing up and finding herself, it's also about family growing and learning to accept changes at the same time. I love every part of the book especially the struggles and sacrifices of parents when migrating to a new country. So much history and background is often brought over but it's a foreign land now and you eventually would have to adapt. It's also about first generation Asians being in America and the struggles they have with society and with family values that might not be suitable anymore in this new era. I highly recommend this as you get to read and learn about a different perspective and understand that the grass is not always greener on the other side.





Saturday, September 5, 2020

Prince Charming



Meet Daisy Winters. She's an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair, a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who's nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond.


While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince's roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown--and the intriguing Miles--might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself. - excerpt from Goodreads

Prince Charming by Rachel Hawkins which was previously titled Royals is a fun summer adventure that happened unexpectedly to a sixteen year old. This was definitely a sweet and fun read as the book is only 296 pages long. I love the characters because you'll get to learn their struggles and experience their growth. How Daisy feels is justifiable as the younger sister and it was such an eye opener for me as the eldest in the family. As for the male character, although the point of view is not his own but you can analyse his behaviour and understand where he comes from. They are not your typical teenagers given the circumstances of their lives, especially for Daisy who is suddenly thrown into the limelight albeit wanting to be unnoticed because of her sister's status. As for the supporting characters, all of them are unique and always bringing out a different side of the heroine and the love interest. I certainly enjoyed Daisy's reaction to those characters.

The plot is simple but unpredictable because who really knows how royal lives are suppose to be, hence making it exciting to read about Daisy's adventure in Scotland. There is nothing overly dramatic about their day to day activities but the author manages to hold on to your attention with tiny surprises here and there. Rachel Hawkins excels in writing stories that are quick page turners that are delightful. Although you might feel that some timeline happened too quickly and you wished there was more to it but spending time writing on side characters might be too draggy and the attention of readers will be gone. By reviewing more I fear that it will be spoilers, so get ready to laugh, swoon a bit and dream a little to the charms of a royal life. I recommend this as a quick summer read, you can definitely finish it in one sitting.
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