Review: Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

Brief synopsis

The Nomeolvides women (grandmothers, mothers, and daughters) are able to grow flowers from their fingertips and make the men they love disappear. All of this changes when a boy appears from the ground, and a member of the Briar family arrives with no warning. The story is full of magic and women and mystery and is a book I want to live in. 

Characters

The characters are amazing. The grandmothers (Flor, Magnolia, Liria, Lila, and Mimosa), the aunts (Hortensia, Iris, Jacinta, and Azucena) and daughters (Estrella, Gloria, Dalia, Calla, and Azalea) are strong women who have kept the Nomeolvides family strong and I am just glad to see a matriarchal family in a book as it is something rare to see. The family may be a family, but McLemore has made each and every character individual which gives me future hope for female characters. I especially like how they all produce different flowers depending on their names and it just adds even more mystery to La Pradera. 

Bay. My little queer bean. This book oozes queer representation. Both lesbian, gay, bisexual and pansexual and I am ready for more books like this. To me, Bay is an androgynous (maybe trans?) female who looks badass in a dress and in a suit. I adore her so much and I need a friend like Bay in my life. Bay handles everything so well, especially when she nearly lost it all due to the mystery family member. I just want a book entirely of Bay. 

Fel. I have so many feelings about Fel that I don’t really know how to write about them coherently. Fel is deep and brave and strong and just everything I look for in a male character. But he isn’t one of the major characters (at least to me) and I thought it was quite special, as a queer female, to see the characters who represent me being the main characters. 

Representation

Oh god, what doesn’t this book represent? It screams Mexican/Spanish representation. And black representation (highlighting racial issues regarding white people treating black people like s**t but I’d like to know what people of colour think?). And class issues and the differences in how rich and poor people view clothes and food. And I want to scream from the trees about the LGBTQIIAP+ rep. Lesbian kisses. Young lesbians. Old lesbians. A gay brother. Old and young bisexuals and pansexuals. Androgynous females. This book has everything queer. (Well almost but it’s a good step in the right direction)!!!
There is just so much more I want to say but can’t write it coherently and in a good way, so this review is probably shocking so I apologise in advance. 

This book is out October 2017 and I recommend it to everyone. I received this book from netgalley in return for an honest review (which I’m sorry about the state of it).

When Dimple met Rishi – Sandhya Menon

I received this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

The date this book will be published is May 30th 2017

A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

Goodreads rating: ✮✮✮✮ (4.32 stars)

My rating: ✮✮✮✮ (4.5 stars)

 

I loved this book so much, and is the most diverse book I have read this year so far. Dimple and Rishi are the cutest pair, and I have been wanting to review this book even before I had finished.

Dimple is going to study coding at Stanford, and wants to take part in the SFSU coding programme over the summer before she starts University. She is such a fierce character, and has to deal with her parents’ expectations as well as societal expectations for a young Indian girl. Dimple doesn’t let anything get in her way, and she decides to do whatever it takes to get her into her dream career. Dimple believes that she doesn’t belong living in India or America.

Rishi is the complete opposite to Dimple. Rishi wants to do everything he can do to make his parents proud. He wants to be the ideal Indian son, even if it means sacrificing his dreams to please his parents. Rishi does whatever he can to please Dimple and win her heart, and he acts like a true gentleman when it comes to them taking their relationship further. Rishi realises though, that he can accomplish his dream and please his parents, like Dimple when she decides she can have her dream career and a relationship that her parents would approve of.

Celia is BISEXUAL. There was Bollywood dancing. There was Southern Indian language, without translations at times. Jenny Lindt acknowledges her privelege and wants to do whatever she can to make sure everything becomes more diverse.

I just loved this book so much. It was incredibly diverse and has made me much more aware of other cultures. Plus I would love to go to San Francisco and go to that book and bar place.

THIS IS A MUST READ. EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ THIS BOOK

You can find this book on goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28458598-when-dimple-met-rishi?ac=1&from_search=true

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