#BookReview: Are You There Krishna? by Rachel Khona

are you there krishnaSummary:

Rachel knew even as a young child that she wasn’t like the rest of her Indian family. While her parents were plotting how she could make it into med school with her mediocre grades in chemistry and biology, she had other things on her mind, including such gems as:

· Why can’t she go to the temple on her period?
· Why don’t her Indian cousins like her?
· Why was it OK to be sexualized at a beauty pageant but not for herself?
· How can she straddle two cultures while retaining her sense of self?
· Why are women considered sluts and men considered studs?
· Why do people keep asking her if she was born in India?
· Should she wax down there?
· Why does she have crazy eyes?

After leaving home, Rachel got high in Amsterdam, met her pop singer idol in a bathroom, argued with a ghost, and got lost in the Pyrenees. But that didn’t stop her from questioning while men still tell her to smile. ‘Are You There Krishna? It’s Me, Reshma. Or Rachel. Or Whatever.’ weaves stories of Rachel’s life with observations on race, class, sex, feminism, and culture with humor and candor.

Review:

I have been gravitating more toward these types of books lately – a bit memoir, fun, adventurous, and just a good all-around story. And that is what I got! Not only did I get plenty of laughs, felt like I made a new friend in Rachel Khona, and re-told a few stories to friends, but I took a lot away too. There was great insight, moments that made me ask myself questions, and this a very well-rounded read. I thought the writing style was great and easy to get immersed in. Highly recommend!

4 stars

rachel khonaAuthor Bio

Once upon a time in an exotic land called New Jersey, Rachel used to dream of one day playing tambourine in an all-girl rock band. That never happened.

Instead she became a writer. She has written for The New York TimesThe Washington PostPlayboy, Penthouse, Maxim, and Cosmopolitan among others.

When she’s not writing or designing, she is busy drinking wine and singing off key, bike riding, pretending she’s friends with Mindy Kaling and Amy Poehler, eating absurd amounts of cheese, or listening to rock music at an appallingly loud volume. Sometimes all at once.

Check out her book at bit.ly/areyoutherekrishnabook 

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#BookReview: Royally Roma by Teri Wilson

royally romaSummary:

In this enchanting retelling of the classic Audrey Hepburn film Roman Holiday, a royal prince tries to escape his hectic and rigid life and ends up leading a young graduate student on a chase through the Eternal City.

Julia Costa is too busy trying to complete her PhD while also holding down a full-time job as a private tour guide in Rome to keep up with celebrity gossip. So when she crosses paths with a real, actual prince, she mistakes him for a client and takes him on a daylong tour of the city.

Intrigued by the idea of spending time with someone who obviously has no idea who he is, and delighted at the prospect of a day free of royal obligations, Niccolo La Torre, Crown Prince of Lazaretto, acts on impulse and assumes the role of Julia’s client. He swears to himself that he’ll return to his royal duties after only half a day…but he’s having the time of his life.

Until Julia presents him with the bill. Since he snuck out of the hotel without so much as a dime, he tries to escape, only to discover that she won’t let him out of her sight until he can pay her back. She’s determined to get her money…and perhaps more from the handsome stranger she’s fallen for.

Review:

As a huge travel fan, I could not pass up to read a book set in Rome with our main character as a tour guide. Of course, there is much more to this story than just learning about the Eternal City and its history, but a wonderful romance is told as well. I’m also a big fan of the royals, so to read about a prince that decides to go off the grid for a day and ends up falling for his tour guide – yes, this book reeled me in! The romance is definitely scorching and had its blush-worthy moments, and there was a great theme of love throughout. Sometimes the romance lingo was a bit much for me, but overall this was a fantastic read and one that left me with a smile on my face.

4 stars

#BookReview: Gone Without a Trace by Mary Torjussen

gone without a traceSummary:

A jaw-dropping novel of psychological suspense that asks, If the love of your life disappeared without a trace, how far would you go to find out why?  
 
Hannah Monroe’s boyfriend, Matt, is gone. His belongings have disappeared from their house. Every call she ever made to him, every text she ever sent, every photo of him and any sign of him on social media have vanished. It’s as though their last four years together never happened.

As Hannah struggles to get through the next few days, with humiliation and recriminations whirring through her head, she knows that she’ll do whatever it takes to find him again and get answers. But as soon as her search starts, she realizes she is being led into a maze of madness and obsession. Step by suspenseful step, Hannah discovers her only way out is to come face to face with the shocking truth…

Review:

Hmm. This one was …interesting. Intense at moments, definitely jaw-dropping at times. At first I thought I would totally love this book. Twisty, suspenseful, filled with manipulation and betrayal…but once the actual twist came, I actually was a little let down. I’ll try to write this without giving it away, but I felt kind of duped as a reader. I started to catch the little clues here and there, but it was over halfway through the book and pretty close to the twist being revealed that I felt that they were there, so I felt…just a bit duped. It was still really interesting, very good writing, but the character development I think was lacking a bit and maybe because of such a big plot twist and the many details surrounding that. I enjoy psychological thrillers and that feeling of seeing everything out there and connecting the dots, but with this one I felt a little let down at the end.

3 stars