Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
Sharanya

Sharanya

Joined February 2016

Teacher, reader, writer, feminist. Fierce lover of all things #romance and #YALit. She/hers.
blurb
Sharanya
New Year's Eve | J G Murray
post image

Happy New Year‘s Eve Litsy!!

I didn‘t meet a lot of my reading goals this year, but I did read over 100 books, which is a big one for me!

How did your reading go this year?

GondorGirl Ugh- I'm so jealous of how pretty your writing is! My bookish bullet journal looks like it was made by a toddler. 😂 3w
16 likes1 comment
review
Sharanya
post image
Pickpick

Oooh this hit ALL the right romcom notes. Cute banter? Check. Heartwarming hero/heroine? Check. Just as heartwarming side characters? Check. Spice? 🌶🌶🌶🌶 check!! The ONLY thing my enemies-to-lovers loving heart needed was a little bit more opposites-attract banter before we settled into the i-want-you phase, but damn, once we settled in there I was one happy camper. A delightful, adorable, heartwarming romcom about finding yourself ♥️. ★★★★☆.

8 likes1 stack add
review
Sharanya
A Winter's Promise | Christelle Dabos
post image
Mehso-so

The “next Harry Potter” this is not, but that doesn‘t stop it from being a delightful read on its own!

✨ R E A L L Y cool premise
✨ intriguing philosophical world-building

— okay characters
— plot is interesting but takes its time (can be good, can be bad)
— the romance is like, the least interesting part

Overall: A fantastical dystopia with political machinations & a decent, if tepid, romance that keeps you interested. ★★★☆☆.

BennettBookworm Whenever something is advertised as the “next HP,” I always wish they hadn‘t set such high expectations 🤦🏻‍♀️lol 1mo
Sharanya @BennettBookworm right?? Like, why would you set yourself up to be disappointing like that?? 1mo
BennettBookworm Totally! Lol 1mo
9 likes3 comments
review
Sharanya
Counting Down with You | Tashie Bhuiyan
post image
Panpan

I appreciate what this author was trying to do: shed light on brown girls who struggle with mental health & unhealthy cultural dynamics. But man, this was not it for me. The friendships were basically the only part that I liked — they were chock full of depth & joy & seriousness & witty AF banter. Everything else was cringey, stale, or both. The romance was too perfect, & the plot/pacing was soooo slow. Important premise, meh execution. ★★☆☆☆.

review
Sharanya
The Roommate | Rosie Danan
post image
Pickpick

Ok so the summary had me expecting a roommates/FWB trope but this is actually much more straightforward roommates-to-lovers than that, to my disappointment. THAT SAID, once I got over myself I thoroughly enjoyed this! The plot was smart & really cute. Clara was a relatable af heroine & Josh was super sweet. A hot, adorable book about the joys of love & sex positivity. ★★★½

review
Sharanya
The Cheat Sheet | Sarah Adams
post image
Mehso-so

✨ super adorable characters

✨ bubbly & funny narration that doesn‘t stray into immature/annoying territory.

- there is literally .02% conflict. Almost all of which can be, & is, solved by a single 2m (ok, maybe 5m) conversation

- BFF-to-lovers is not really my thing & this doesn‘t have me convinced tbh

Overall: if you‘re looking for straight-up brain candy this is for you, but if you want more meat in your plot then carry on. ★★★☆☆.

review
Sharanya
post image
Mehso-so

I LOVED the writing in this, but everything else…. A poor, white, French girl sells her soul in order to see the world…& in 300 years she only goes to 4 white/European countries. She only learns “classical” European languages & only reads books by white authors & consumes art by white artists. She spends most of the book mourning what she has given up, or becoming an ~inspiration~ for white, mostly male, artists. I had high hopes, but nope. ★★★☆☆.

review
Sharanya
The Love Hypothesis | Ali Hazelwood
post image
Pickpick

Y‘all, this book was so adorably sweet I think my emotions got cavities ??♥️♥️♥️. A++++ LOL nerdy humor, sly, satiric writing about academia which was ????, an absolutely ADORABLE grump/sunshine pairing with a well-plotted, gorgeous slow-burn chemistry that was ???. Basically, the hype is 1000% deserved in this case!! ★★★★ ½.

review
Sharanya
post image
Mehso-so

✨ Pippa was still an engaging sleuth, & I liked how we got to see her struggles

✨ RAVI ?♥️?♥️?♥️♥️♥️

✨ loved how we turned the plot on its head halfway through!!

— the first half felt really slow

— the whodunnit part was r e a l l y predictable. Again, glad we turned it on its head later!

— still a teeny bit of white feminist blech.

Overall: ★★★½

review
Sharanya
Good Girl, Bad Blood | Holly Jackson
post image
Pickpick

✨ really excellent plot again — I was surprised by the twists & turns even though I accidentally spoiled myself (sigh)

✨ the romance continues to be sweet & adorable

✨ really loved how this one deconstructed the myth of “the good girl”

— representation was again nonexistent, but at least I was prepared for it this time. It helps that the mystery didn‘t center a Brown kid I guess.

— there was a bit of white feminist bs in places.

★★★★☆.

9 likes1 stack add
review
Sharanya
post image
Pickpick

✨ really addictive small-town mystery plot
✨ excellent characters & dynamics — Pippa was an engaging sleuth & Ravi was a total sweetheart

— I liked Pippa, but the “she loves homework” bit was unnecessary. It made me doubt that somebody like her would EVER leave their college essay to the last minute, even to solve a murder.

— the South Asian representation was Not Great…so themes around not crucifying BIPOC folks felt flat.

Overall: ★★★★☆

review
Sharanya
In Deeper Waters | F.T. Lukens
post image
Mehso-so

Well, that was pretty mediocre. The concept & fairytale aspects were intriguing. Tal was a cute protagonist. I did really like how the author discussed themes of grappling with atrocious legacies left by your ancestors. But the characters & romance were SO bland. Everybody is good & kind & considerate ALL the time. I was yawning my way through the dialogue & definitely skimmed towards the end bc I just wasn‘t invested in the outcome. ★★★☆☆.

review
Sharanya
The Heart Principle | Helen Hoang
post image
Pickpick

Romance-wise, I still love Khai/Esme the most. But story-wise…god, this was one of the most brilliant, lovely romance books I‘ve ever read. Honestly, where do I even start? Anna was a poignant, compassionate, achingly relatable protagonist whose revelations made my eyes sting. Quan was a sweet, sexy partner in her journey to discovering her best self. In conclusion: READ THIS BOOK. A stunning story about the importance of loving yourself. ★★★★★.

review
Sharanya
Firekeeper's Daughter | Angeline Boulley
post image
Pickpick

**TW: drug abuse, racism, murder, misogyny, & sexual assault**

Wow. This was an expertly paced, dark & yet loving coming of age story about a biracial Ojibwe girl set against the backdrop of a thrilling tale of murder & drug trafficking. I loved how fiercely intelligent but equally loving and compassionate Daunis was as a character, & the romance with Jamie had depth & vulnerability, which won me over. A heart wrenching ode to Native women. ★★★★☆

Texreader What an awesome review 5mo
Sharanya @Texreader thank you!! 🥰 5mo
12 likes2 comments
review
Sharanya
What Happens in Scotland | Jennifer McQuiston
post image
Mehso-so

The beginning showed a lot of promise, with humorous writing & intriguing characters. But the story & pacing was not for me. The entire plot takes place in the course of a single day. 389 pages, & we literally move forward 12 hours. The entire first half of book is just the MCs wandering around town kinda/sorta trying to find each other. That, coupled with the insta-love trope this kind of plot requires, made this a meh read for me. ★★★☆☆.

review
Sharanya
post image
Panpan

I was expecting some kind of cool, twisty romantic dystopian/sci-fi book. Instead, it‘s a slightly less corny version of If I Stay by Gayle Forman, which I hated. Good: vaguely interesting set up…until it wasn‘t. Romance had some heartfelt moments. Bad: 1) instalove ? — the book takes place over 1½ days & by the end they‘re ready to move together to LA?! 2) the plot was as awful as If I Stay, but also with literally no other characters 79%. ★★☆☆☆

review
Sharanya
The Sea Is Salt and So Am I | Cassandra Hartt
post image
Panpan

What the heck did I just read?! The author uses an experimental narrative structure to tell the story. When done right, this can be poignant & poetic (see: Toni Morrison). But here, I had to work overtime to make inferences about everything from characters‘ motivations to basic plot points. It‘s like I was watching the story unfold underwater. I could see shapes & movements, but grasped nothing concrete. My brain hurts, & not in a good way. ★★☆☆☆.

review
Sharanya
Dial a for Aunties | Jesse Q. Sutanto
post image
Pickpick

A side-splitting comedy/thriller about how immigrant women Get Shit Done. The romance was…whatever. Second-chance romance is not my thing, & this was rushed, flat, & a little too perfect. Also, the queer rep was a teensy bit yikes. But there‘s excellent comedic characterization, a lighthearted but genuine depiction of family relationships between women, & super hilarious dialogue. A hearty story about appreciating the women in your family. ★★★★☆

LiteraryinLawrence Great review! It was all about the relationships between the women for me too. And just really funny and outrageous! 6mo
Sharanya @LiteraryinLawrence thank yoooouu!! Yes it was super hilarious & fun! 6mo
marleed I really enjoyed the double-immigrant perspective too. I loved these sisters and I‘ll be surprised if this is not adapted to screen. 6mo
Sharanya @marleed agreed!! I could totally see this being a Netflix limited series or movie ✨ 6mo
13 likes4 comments
review
Sharanya
post image
Pickpick

This book was was kind of like Feminism 101 wrapped up in a cute enemies-to-fake-dating-to-lovers romcom. The crux of this book is actually about the joys & heartbreaks & messy realities of girl friendships, & every female character is complex, which I liked. The romance was a sweet, light slow-burn. The story is messy fun, but also v. predictable. I knew exactly what the secret twist would be by chapter 4. Cute & somewhat interesting. ★★★½.

review
Sharanya
post image
Pickpick

**please see TWs in the comments!**

This book is DARK. It has a bit of a sluggish start, but once it starts…whew. The writing was great, with really lovely (if horrifying) pockets of imagery that sucked me in. The collision course set between Jake & the villain is raw & terrifying. You really feel for Jake as he struggles with his calling. Over all, this was a lush, dark, horror story about accepting yourself & facing your darkness. ★★★★☆.

Sharanya TWs: racism, homophobia, suicide ideation, animal (well, bug) torture, domestic abuse, sexual assault of a minor, mass gun violence, murder, gore 6mo
8 likes1 comment
review
Sharanya
post image
Pickpick

That. Was. So. LOVELY!!! This is a love song to second-gen immigrant-born folks. It‘s a heartfelt exploration of “belonging,” with witty narration, hilarious dialogue, & stunning depictions of Japan, which is a character in and of itself. That, plus the utterly gorgeous, swoony romances that sweep you off your feet & the ride-or-die girl gang that warm the cockles of your heart make this a pitch-perfect novel you don‘t want to miss. ★★★★★.

review
Sharanya
The Cruelest Mercy | Natalie Mae
post image
Pickpick

Well this was bloody fun. Emphasis on the bloody, since it centers on bloodthirsty politics & folks vying for a throne (my favorite kind of plot!). With themes of dark vs. light & redemption. I‘m glad I stuck with this series, even though the first book had me cringing at the romance subplot. I suspected book 2 would have more nuance, & I was right. If you like The Cruel Prince or Shadow & Bone, this series is definitely for you! ★★★★☆.

GondorGirl I just picked up the first book. Your review makes me excited to read it! 6mo
Sharanya @GondorGirl yay! I hope you like it! 6mo
11 likes2 comments
quote
Sharanya
The Kinder Poison | Natalie Mae
post image

“All good stories start with bad decisions.”

😍 ok so this might be one of my favoritest opening lines ever 😍

@ShyBookOwl #firstlinefridays

review
Sharanya
Polaris Rising: A Novel | Jessie Mihalik
post image
Mehso-so

This book was 3/5ths romance & 2/5ths space stuff — not that I was complaining, since I was here for the romance anyway. The dance between the MC & her love interest were pretty predictable, but their chemistry was enjoyable. The main plot itself was also intriguing, with a lot of political twists especially towards the end. but it flagged in the middle, & the writing over all was bogged down by lots of technical writing. ★★★½.

review
Sharanya
A Love Hate Thing | Whitney D. Grandison
post image
Panpan

Man, I really wanted to like this. The premise was so interesting, & the initial chapters had so much potential! I really liked Tyson as a character — intelligent & kind. But I just could NOT figure Nandy out. Her judgement is terrible, & she swings back & forth between treating Ty like garbage on the side of the road for no real reason & being in love with him. Also, the writing felt stale & bizarrely mature, given the characters‘ actions. ★★☆☆☆.

review
Sharanya
post image
Mehso-so

Good parts: sweet, adorable characters + great plotting. But…I walked away from this book feeling lonely & sad. Yes, the MCs have each other & that‘s great. But one MC who doesn‘t have any friends ends up also having a strained relationship with her family. The other, while having a good relationship with her family, ends up losing all her friends. All for very justified reasons! But I ended up feeling like Brown girls just can‘t win. 😕. ★★★☆☆.

review
Sharanya
post image
Mehso-so

I absolutely adored the characterization in this book — both MCs felt like 100% in-your-face, authentic teenage messes who sometimes can‘t look past their noses bc of their own feelings. That‘s not going to be everyone‘s cup of tea (don‘t read YA then?), but I thought it was beautifully done, with believable growth arcs. The plot itself was way less humorous & way more angsty than I was expecting, which slowed the pace. The ending dragged. ★★★☆☆.

review
Sharanya
Perfect on Paper | Sophie Gonzales
post image
Mehso-so

This was pretty cute! I really liked Darcy, who was an observant, funny narrator. Her friendships were complex, & they grew in depth as the story progressed. The relationship development between her & the love interest was sweet & well paced. Plot-wise, the last third of the book kind of fizzled out for me. Predictable, but still a cute romcom with great bi rep. ★★★½.

review
Sharanya
Honey Girl | Morgan Rogers
post image
Pickpick

I honestly don‘t know if I read this book or if this book read me. If someone asked me for an example of how writers can write novels poetically, I would point to this. Every sentence literally *sings*. If the gorgeous writing wasn‘t enough, the romance was sweet, the characters dynamic. & then there‘s the way the author lovingly handled themes of millennial burnout & depression. I cried. A stellar book, through & through. ★★★★★.

review
Sharanya
Ace of Spades | Faridah Abike-Iyimide
post image
Pickpick

Whew, y‘all, that was D A R K. The plot was fantastic — really fast-paced, pretty surprising & occasionally twisty. It had me second-guessing my theories, even if some of the turned out to be true. The relationships were interesting, if not always hella swoony, & added depth to the main story. Chiamaka & Devon were FANTASTIC. Raw, relatable, with compelling, dynamic background & depth. They really drove this story home. ★★★★☆.

Sharanya **TW: racism, homophobia, psychological torture, suicide ideation 7mo
13 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
Sharanya
Fat Chance, Charlie Vega | Crystal Maldonado
post image
Mehso-so

The biggest strength of this story was the deeply frustrating, painfully realistic, occasionally poignant mother/daughter relationship. I really loved how gracefully the author included Black, Asian, & QPOC into her world. Couple of personal pet peeves: 1) I have a thing about writers writing protagonists who want to be writers. 2) There were several times where I felt like the 16yo MC sounded more like a millennial than a teen. ★★★☆☆.

review
Sharanya
The Cost of Knowing | Brittney Morris
post image
Bailedbailed

DNF @ 47%. Y‘all, I really tried my damnedest with this book, but it just wasn‘t for me. The subject matter is crucial & the relationship between the two MCs is poignant, but the pacing was REALLY bogged down by the rules of magic. Also, the narrator suffers from extreme anxiety, & as someone who struggles with anxiety myself, it was too much. I loved the author‘s previous book, Slay, & would def recommend that over this.

blurb
Sharanya
Arabella | Georgette Heyer
post image

Super ready for “nose-in-a-book girl” summer ☀️📚

3 likes1 stack add
review
Sharanya
Kingdom of Ruses | Kate Stradling
post image
Mehso-so

This was cute, but not as good as the first book I read by this author. Still a very light fantasy/romance that was at times sweet & other times a little too predictable. The set up was intriguing, but this time the characters didn‘t grab me as much. And there was a whole section of the middle that was unnecessary. So, cute, but not a keeper. ★★★☆☆.

review
Sharanya
Meet Cute Diary | Emery Lee
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image
Mehso-so

This book is marketed solely as a fake-dating romance, when it‘s actually a total subversion of the trope. I did end up liking the romance once I understood what was actually happening, but that initial 1/3 had me confused & unhappy. I liked the narrative voice a lot, & Devin was utterly precious & had a particularly compelling journey. Unexpected, but still a cute story about learning sometimes life can be better than fairytales. ★★★☆☆.

review
Sharanya
Ink in the Blood | Kim Smejkal
post image
Mehso-so

This is like The Night Circus but with a creepy horror plot. Pros: really excellent world-building. Extra bonus points for the fact that gender & sexuality was visible through your aura, & everyone existed on a spectrum of colors. So nobody was othered, everybody just was. Cons: the plot ran away from me...a lot. I was intrigued by what was going on, but also very very confused more than half the time. ★★★☆☆.

review
Sharanya
Love in English | Maria E. Andreu
post image
Mehso-so

This was clearly written by someone who‘s as nerdy about language as I am. I enjoy books that are about how ridiculous English is (bc lol). But then, all languages are weird, funny, painful, creative, & beautiful bc, well, they‘re made by people. & the author captures those feelings beautifully through excellent prose. But the plot was predictable & boring, & the characters were weak — besides the MC, everyone felt like cardboard cutouts. ★★★☆☆.

review
Sharanya
Smash It! (Smash It! #1) | Francina Simone
post image
Mehso-so

I wish there was an “it‘s complicated” option! On one hand, I LOVED the characters & their journey in this story. It‘s an ode to Black girls, female sexuality, & just how absolutely messy AF teenaged romance can be. It‘s funny, painful, beautiful, ridiculous, & realistic. On the other...there are some issues with how race & ethnicity are handled that shouldn‘t be ignored. Honestly, this would have been a five-star book, if it weren‘t for that.

review
Sharanya
post image
Pickpick

A Bea Hyde-Clare mystery at its best!! A well-crafted dinner party mystery that had elements of Clue in it, hilariously ripping social commentary, plus Bea & Kesgrave as swoony & witty as ever. What I liked most about this one is that Serious Mistakes were made, which in turn allowed for some great reflection & character growth. As always, I‘m so ready for the next one, which will apparently delve into Kesgrave‘s background (finally!)! ★★★★☆.

review
Sharanya
The Heir and the Spare | Kate Stradling
post image
Pickpick

A surprisingly sweet fantasy romance! Though the fantasy part was very light, like the characters were drawn & painted in full color against a backdrop of rough charcoal strokes. I‘m totally good with that, as I was here for great characters & swoony feelings, which this story definitely delivered! The villainess felt slightly too unbelievable, but otherwise this was a well-written, engaging read about overcoming the past & surviving trauma. ★★★★☆

Sharanya **TW for some mentions of physical/emotional abuse** 8mo
8 likes1 comment
review
Sharanya
Wake of Vultures | Lila Bowen
post image
Mehso-so

A Black Native bisexual gender-fluid horse-wrangling demon hunter in a fantastical Wild West? Damn, that‘s a lot to chew on...& I honestly don‘t know if the author managed to pull it off. The characters & setting were AWESOME. But the plot moved slowly, & the narrative style got tiring. Also, it felt like the MC questioning their gender identity was rooted in internalized misogyny. Well crafted, but there‘s still a lot that left me wanting. ★★★☆☆.

Sharanya **TW for sexual assault** 8mo
12 likes1 comment
review
Sharanya
The Duke Heist | Erica Ridley
post image
Pickpick

That was really cute!! I love a good found-family story, & this one was funny, warm & sweet. The characters were sympathetic & witty, & the plot kept me invested without feeling contrived. The writing felt kind of anachronistic from time to time, & certainly some plot points were predictable (as expected). I‘m not going to remember this one forever, but still it was a light, adorable romance. ★★★½.

review
Sharanya
The Goblin Emperor | Katherine Addison
post image
Mehso-so

This was unexpected for a fantasy. The entire 450 page plot is about the nitty-gritty of governance. The titular character spends all their time...going to meetings. Hearing proposals. Making compromises. Reading petitions. As a lover of political stories, I was intrigued & invested, especially when it was paired with really lovely, intricate world-building. But I sometimes wished there was a more active plot, & a little bit more romance. ★★★☆☆.

review
Sharanya
post image
Panpan

Good setting, decent characters, poor execution. First of all, I prefer my spinster/wallflower romances to have a much more strongly developed slow-burn than this. Second, the writing was quite cheesy, & not in an enjoyable way. That, coupled with the completely contrived farce that was the last quarter of this book made me actually cringe several times by the last page. There are DEFINITELY better spinster/wallflower romances out there. ★★☆☆☆.

annahenke Sounds disappointing! 8mo
4 likes1 comment
review
Sharanya
The Duke Undone | Joanna Lowell
post image
Pickpick

This was a refreshingly political historical romance. The author is unabashedly frank about topics of feminism & class through layered characters & just damn good prose. There are even a few discussions of anti-colonization, which is a rare — & welcome! — thing to see in Victorian-era romances. I wish more would do that. So while the plot was a wee bit too predictable at times, the writing & themes definitely carry it off well. ★★★★☆.

9 likes1 stack add
review
Sharanya
This Earl of Mine | Kate Bateman
post image
Panpan

I had high hopes for this book. The first chapter sizzled with promise. The characters were funny & smart, the set up intriguing. But the rest of the story was rather like a balloon slowly losing its air. The chemistry grew tepid, bogged down by very prosy writing, which often smacked of both anachronism & exoticism, too. The author also consistently used colonization as a metaphor for desire (🤢). Good characters, very mediocre writing. ★★☆☆☆.

review
Sharanya
Just Breathe | Cammie McGovern
post image
Mehso-so

This was a much better written version of the infamous “If I Stay” (which I absolutely DETESTED when I read it, many, many moons ago). The conversation around depression was especially empathetic. The characters were interesting, their conversations lively. I‘m not going to shout about this one from the rooftops, but it was a sweet, poignant read. ★★★☆☆.

review
Sharanya
post image
Pickpick

Whew, that was a RIDE. I‘m not well-versed in thriller as a genre, so I can‘t speak much to whether or not this stood up in terms of plot & pacing. What I CAN say is that this book made me *feel* the effects of gentrification in a way that research & hot-take-articles could not. The love, horror & loss that Sydney feels is palpable & beautifully written. Imperfect, maybe, but still a heart-wrenching social thriller about community & home. ★★★★☆.

review
Sharanya
Ties That Tether | Jane Igharo
post image
Bailedbailed

DNF @ 20%. The idea of finishing this was...painful. The writing was so incredibly wooden & awkward — like the writer was consciously trying too hard to adopt a tone “expected” for romcoms, but didn‘t know how. Consequently, the plot felt very forced & contrived. The MC was awkward & so immature, & her love interest was barely a caricature. I had such high hopes for this one but...it‘s a definite no for me.

review
Sharanya
post image
Pickpick

THAT! WAS! SO! GOOD!!!

Oh, I KNEW Eve would be my fave of the Brown Sisters! Especially starring in an awesome enemies-to-lovers romp!! The two leads were bloody adorable from start to finish — funny, sweet, extremely relatable. The dialogue had me literally choking with laughter, & the chemistry was 🔥🔥🔥. Definitely my new favorite romcom of 2021!! ★★★★★.

MallenNC This was my favorite in the series too. Loved Eve! 9mo
14 likes1 stack add1 comment