review! two short and sweet reads
I should know better than to promise an extra something when I know that a weekly thing is more than enough! It's been an emotionally heavy and charged week (globally, and personally to people in my life), so I think all I have to share are a couple short and sweet thoughts on some of my latest completed reads. I'm hoping you can take at least one minute to find happiness or peace in one thing this week.
Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron
What happens when there's a power outage in the Toronto area, and you're conserving all the battery life you can? Apparently, I dig through my TBR list. When I finally picked up Accidentally Engaged (which has been patiently waiting from my romance book subscription pile), I was pleasantly delighted to see that it's set in the Toronto, too. With both leads being Muslim Indian-Tanzanian with a deep love for food, and complicated relationship with their families, I felt some connection as a child of immigrants myself. Reema is in a finance career that she felt obligated to pursue, and loves baking bread and even cooks better than her mom (well, mostly). She desperately avoids the dating/potential marriage setups her parents thrust upon her, as seems mostly happy being single. Until her hot new neighbour, Nadim flirts with her in the hallway, and heyooo, turns out he 1. works for her father, and 2. has been sorta-promised her hand in marriage. There's something so relatable about Reema, as she tries to navigate a time in life where she feels stagnant, and unsure of how to go after her passion, and if it's even worth it. I feel we've all been at that point in our lives in some way or another: I felt it approaching my 30s, and again now I navigate this decade's challenges. Following Reema as she enters a cooking competition, and learns to ask for help, and starts to rely on Nadim, and her friends, and rebuild ties with her family, Accidentally Engaged is sweet and honestly, I love to see growth. The chemistry between Reema and Nadim is there, but if you're looking for something super steamy ... this just fades to black. Recommend for a light and sweet read, that has its funny and delightful moments.
🌶🫑 (Spiciness) ... It's mostly green pepper level, but there's one scene that adds a little something.
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
Okay, I mostly see the hype. Mostly. The one cringey part is something that I can't get over: professor/student dynamic. Yes, sure! She's a PhD student, and an adult! Yes, sure! He's not her advisor! But, I don't know—they're in the same department, and there's just something icky about it. That said, Ali Hazelwood is a fun writer. I thoroughly enjoyed Olive Smith's near manic pixie dream girl sunshine vibes that I usually dislike! She's endearing, and loves her friends and somehow got herself into this mess of finding someone to fake date because she loves her friends so much. And that someone accidentally becomes Dr. Adam Carlsen, the grumpiest of grumps, who is surprisingly down to keep up the illusion. Hazelwood definitely plays some of the typical romance tropes, tongue-in-cheek, and I don't blame her for it—THE ONE BED TROPE! But, really, the whole novel had me laughing out loud, and having those heart squish moments. Though, I will say that sometimes I wonder how much of the Grumpy archetype could do with some actual therapy or self-work to figure out how to communicate and ... just express themselves better. Seems like something something art imitating life blah blah. Oh, and this one is very steamy. Like, Oh my word, pull out the fan and ice cubes will melt. It's a read full of snappy dialogue, and some stressful STEM academia misogyny, but it is fully heartfelt and you want to cheer for them both.
🌶🌶🌶🌶 ½ (Spiciness)
I feel like I'm phoning it in today, but maybe it's just indicative of this past week being so heartbreaking. I had so many people reach out about last week's feelings about friendship. Definitely not alone in my feelings, and it's sorta reassuring. I feel like we can continue to do more to be there for the people around us, and also be there for yourself, too. Be kind to yourself.
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Disney+)
Derry Girls (Netflix)
Articles & more
How To Rebuild Your Real Life Community Post-Quarantine, Theresa Gonzalez (Brit+Co)
‘Leisure Sickness’ Could Be Why You’re Feeling Tired or Sick on Your Days Off, Natalie Arroyo Camacho (Well+Good)
20 Authors I Don’t Have to Read Because I’ve Dated Men for 16 Years, Helena Fitzgerald (Electric Lit)
The Mundane Thrill of ‘Romanticizing Your Life’, Christina Caron (NY Times) psst, I always share a gift article link to NYT