Unless you have given up Book Twitter completely (or were never involved in the first place), it probably hasn’t escaped (you’ll get the pun later) your attention that many books recently debuted on April 7th. It seemed like books were raining down on me during a time where I could actually sit down and enjoy them. Except, of course, I got too excited and simultaneously checked out 27 books from the library and requested an equally obscene number of e-ARCs that were then granted to me.
However, as often it does happen during non-stressful times, I got distracted with various TV shows, non-ARCs, and working from home, and only just recently finished the last of the ARCs that debuted on April 7th. So happy late debut day to all of these authors and/or books - in an effort to review everything that I have read, I am going to be trying out a 3-in-1 review. I sincerely enjoyed reading them and recommend that you do too!
The Perfect Escape, by Suzanne Park ⭐⭐⭐⭐ During this time of sickness and stress, we could all use an escape from our lives. Luckily, Suzanne Park provides a “perfect escape” through her novel The Perfect Escape - see what I did there? Eh? Meh, someone will get it.
Anyways, this was the first novel by Park that I had read, and I am glad that I started with this one. It was a welcome distraction and a good fluffy read that I devoured in a day or so. The Perfect Escape follows the relationship between Nate and Kate, who both work at a zombie-themed escape room and decide to team up for a survival weekend challenge in the countryside. Nate does so to hang out with Kate and to win the prize money; Kate primarily joins for the prize money, but stays for Nate. I particularly enjoyed the relationship between Nate and Kate - you can really see their friendship develop, which lends more credibility to the eventual romantic relationship. I also loved the fact that Kate’s story doesn’t end in the stereotypical “Oh, I just misunderstood my parental figure all along and I am being ungrateful" way - Park takes into account the fact that teenagers are autonomous and can make their decisions concerning their wellbeing. I would heavily recommend The Perfect Escape to anyone looking for a light rom-com read who is currently trapped with their families and would love to tackle a zombie-infested countryside at this point in time. Chosen One, by Veronica Roth ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ TWs: intense language, suicide/suicidal ideation, murder, sexual themes, mental illness
Want to escape from this world to a magical one devoid of COVID-19? Heroine Sloane Andrews would gladly trade places with you in an instant if she could. A Chosen One - slang for golden hero/protagonist - of Earth, it has been ten years since she and her fellow Chosen Ones defeated the Dark One. However, not all is what it seems when they are transported to Genetrix, a parallel universe where magic reigns. It is a New Adult novel, and deals with such themes as suggested (sex, suicide, depression, etc). It is a magical read that grips you in its thrall until you finish it.
One of the things I heartily enjoyed was the portrayal of Sloane. She is most definitely an ‘unlikeable’ character - she isn’t ladylike, sweet, or particularly friendly. If you saw her on the street, you’d probably avoid her gaze. However, Roth writes her so the reader still roots for her and desires the same things that Sloane does - like going back home and being left the heck alone. Sloane is very relatable and very human the entire story, and doesn’t change her personality to win the battle. Definitely read Chosen Ones if you are ready to cheer on a female protagonist who doesn’t give two shits about whether she is liked, even as you fall for her.
What I Like About You, by Marissa Kanter ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
In this homage to YA books, book blogging, and cupcakes, Halle is secretly a popular book blogger/cupcake maestro who moves to Connecticut for her senior year. While at the library, she meets Nash, who she recognizes as one of her Twitter mutuals. As they grow closer in real life, Halle agonizes over whether she should tell them that they already know each other online, and how to overcome her anxiety about other obstacles in life. Will her relationships both online and offline all rise like the perfect cupcake - or cave in the middle into a gooey mess?
One thing that I have been more prolific in since I began self-isolating is baking. I have made pretzels, apple tarts, pancakes, and many more goodies, in addition to cooking more actual food. Somehow, Marisa Kanter knew that we would all be feeling this type of way and wrote What I Like About You. After reading her book, I feel the need to bake fancy cupcakes, despite the fact that it is only me and my boyfriend here, and he has already had enough sugar from my baking to cause diabetes. Sorry babe - I gotta run to the grocery store so I can make some matcha cupcakes! Blame Marisa Kanter if you must. Want to read more reviews about debuts that came out on April 7th? Read one of my posts below:
And please don’t forget to order these books from your local bookstores! A particular favorite one of mine is Charm City Books, an independent family-owned bookstore in Baltimore. They are still open currently and shipping out orders. Check them out at https://charmcitybooks.com/?q=h.