ARC Review – Happily and Madly by Alexis Bass


Hello lovelies! Hope you had a wonderful weekend. Today, I have my review for Happily and Madly by Alexis Bass.





Expected Publication: May 21st 2019

Publisher: Tor Teen

Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary

Pages: Hardcover 352




Maris Brown has been told two things about her destiny:

1. She will fall happily and madly in love.
2. She could be dead before she turns eighteen.

The summer before that fateful birthday, Maris is in the wealthy beach town of Cross Cove with her estranged father and his new family–and the infamous Duvals. Since the youngest member of the Duval family, Edison, is back from college and back in the arms of Maris’s new stepsister, her summer looks to be a long string of lazy days on the Duval’s lush beach.

But Edison is hiding something. And the more Maris learns about him, the more she’s given signs that she should stay as far away from him as possible. As wrong as it is, Maris is drawn to him. Around Edison, she feels truly alive and she’s not willing to give that up. Even if it means a collision course with destiny.




Not quite happily or madly satisfied, but it’s an interesting story


Happily and Madly by Alexis Bass didn’t make me madly in love with the story or happily satisfied with everything. I’m actually quite conflicted with this book. I was intrigued in the beginning and there are things I liked, but in the end it just wasn’t the book for me.

Maris Brown is not a character I would say I loved and could relate to, but she’s also not someone I dislike. In many ways, my heart broke for her and everything she’s been through and is still going through. On the other hand, I sometimes didn’t care about the consequences of her actions. I felt that she doesn’t try to avoid putting herself in situations that inevitable hurts her. I don’t want to go into her character development too much, but I was really frustrated with Maris that sometimes it took precedence over me feeling bad for her. I mean, I understood why she acted the way she did and I could feel her pain… I just wanted her to make different choices… better choices.

The other characters didn’t really impress me either. Although I thought Edison (Finn) was intriguing, I just didn’t like him that much. He’s mysterious and had this charm about him, but it just didn’t personally work for me. I liked Chelsea more than I thought I would, but I still felt uneasy about her. I liked that she tried to include Maris and it seemed like Chelsea really wanted to be close/friends with her step-sister. I just couldn’t quite understand her fascination with Edison, his family, and this picture perfect version of her happily ever after.

I didn’t like the romance aspect at all. It was flat, infuriating, and I felt no emotions. That’s most likely because I couldn’t connect with Maris or Edison and at the end, I just didn’t care about their relationship. If anything, I was quite annoyed.

Having said all that, I did enjoy the mystery, suspense and twists which kept me intrigued until the end. I thought the writing style was easy to read, the pacing was okay, and the plotline was engaging enough. And, even though it seemed a bit rushed, I did like the ending.

Overall, Happily and Madly was an interesting read. While some parts felt slow, the mystery part had me thinking and wanting to know what would happen next. It’s just a bit disappointing that I personally couldn’t connect with the story or characters. It may not have been a book for me, but I’m sure this would appeal to plenty of readers.

I received an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.



(Bio and photo taken from the author’s website/goodreads)

alexisbassAlexis Bass grew up in Washington, went to college in Arizona, and spent her early twenties in Seattle. She currently lives in Northern California with her husband and a gorgeous and rambunctious golden retriever, Dylan McKay. She loves good fashion and good TV as much as a good book, and is a huge advocate of long beach vacations.


Her novels, LOVE & OTHER THEORIES and WHAT’S BROKEN BETWEEN US (HarperTeen), are available wherever books are sold.


She is repped by Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc.




Thanks for stopping by loves!  Have you read this book? What did you think?



ARC Review – There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandya Menon


Hello lovelies! There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon is one of my favorite reads this year and you should totally grab a copy! Sweetie and Ashish are just the cutest and will make you smile, swoon, laugh, cry, and just feel so many wonderful emotions!




Published: May 14, 2019

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Pages: Kindle 384




Ashish Patel didn’t know love could be so…sucky. After he’s dumped by his ex-girlfriend, his mojo goes AWOL. Even worse, his parents are annoyingly, smugly confident they could find him a better match. So, in a moment of weakness, Ash challenges them to set him up.

The Patels insist that Ashish date an Indian-American girl—under contract. Per subclause 1(a), he’ll be taking his date on “fun” excursions like visiting the Hindu temple and his eccentric Gita Auntie. Kill him now. How is this ever going to work?

Sweetie Nair is many things: a formidable track athlete who can outrun most people in California, a loyal friend, a shower-singing champion. Oh, and she’s also fat. To Sweetie’s traditional parents, this last detail is the kiss of death.

Sweetie loves her parents, but she’s so tired of being told she’s lacking because she’s fat. She decides it’s time to kick off the Sassy Sweetie Project, where she’ll show the world (and herself) what she’s really made of.

Ashish and Sweetie both have something to prove. But with each date they realize there’s an unexpected magic growing between them. Can they find their true selves without losing each other?




A delightful and uplifting story that made my heart sing


OHMYHEART!!! I am so undeniably smitten with this book and Sweetie and Ashish! I still have this dorky smile on my face just thinking about them and their story.

When Dimple Met Rishi is one of my favorite YA contemporary books. I adore Dimple and Rishi and was absolutely charmed by their story. Going into this book, I just knew I would feel the same and there would be plenty of swoons and some of the best FEELS. And, I was not wrong… not even a little bit. If I’m being honest, I actually like There’s Something About Sweetie a little bit more than WDMR. Not by much, but there really is something so dazzling about Sweetie and I can’t wait for your to meet her.

Sweetie is an awesome heroine. She has my heart and I absolutely adored her. She’s confident, driven, funny, kind, and caring. She’s an amazing daughter, talented and smart, a good friend, and just a beautiful person inside and out. She does have insecurities, but Sweetie doesn’t feel sorry for herself or want others to pity her. She’s proud and loves who she is. She shows everyone that she is happy with herself and no one else can make her feel otherwise. Getting to know Sweetie and seeing her grow into her own was truly inspiring.

I don’t quite remember how I felt about Ashish in When Dimple Met Rishi, but I definitely fell hard for him in this book. He may seem overly confident and so full of himself and it is partly true, but Ashish also has a tender and vulnerable side to him that not too many people get to see… at least not until Sweetie. He is charming, swoony, surprising and downright lovable. He respects his parents, he cares about his friends, and he loves with all his heart. He grew so much throughout the story and I think he is just so sweet and I loved that Sweetie brings out the best in him.

The romance is fun and I loved the chemistry between Ashish and Sweetie. Obviously, I think they are adorable and perfect for each other. I can’t give it all away, but they have the cutest first meeting that made my heart race, super adorable dates that made me laugh and swoon, and the sweetest kisses (and there are PLENTY of those) that gave me never-ending butterflies. I shipped them with all my heart and enjoyed seeing them fall for each other.

There are so many things I loved about this book. The writing is absolutely gorgeous and affecting, the plot is perfectly engaging, and the characters are irresistible and charming. I loved every moment I spent with Ashish and Sweetie. Their interactions made my heart melt and I could not get enough. I also really liked that they both have friends who are caring and incredibly supportive. Ashish’s parents are super awesome and I enjoyed their quirks and seeing how much they love their son was heartwarming. Sweetie’s mother did not make it easy for me to like her, but in the end I could see that she really just wants what’s best for her daughter. I thought Sweetie’s relationship with her father was endearing and I wanted to see more of them bonding. I also really enjoyed the humor, the diversity, and getting a taste of Indian culture. This book is simply wonderful and I hope you get to read it and fall in love with Sweetie and Ashish just as much as I did.

SWOONS to the max and all the FEELS, this delightful and uplifting story made my heart sing. Sandhya Menon is truly an amazing writer – incredibly gifted in creating meaningful stories that are not so easily forgotten. She writes with so much heart and her stories feel like a lovely warm embrace. There’s Something About Sweetie is adorable, sweet, funny and romantic. Obviously! But, it’s also an EMPOWERING story about ACCEPTANCE and SELF-WORTH. Because regardless of our color, size, shape, religion, and whatever other category we fall in, we are all BEAUTIFUL and we are ENOUGH.

There’s Something About Sweetie is without a doubt one of my favorite reads this year. I obviously and wholeheartedly recommend it to EVERYONE.

I received an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher, Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing via Netgalley (BIGGEST HUGS AND THANKS BTW) in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, feelings, and swoons are my own.



(Quotes taken from the ARC. Final publication may be different. Please don’t read if you don’t want spoilers)

I don’t want to change just to keep other people quiet. I don’t think I can change and just suddenly look like you, but thatn’s not even the point. The point is I don’t want to. I like who I am. I just wish you could see that.

She was power. She was grace. She was beauty. She was totally kicking his ass.

“I think you’re beautiful. And I don’t mean on the inside, though I’m sure that’s true too. When you run… I see power and passion. I see focus and dedication. I see someone who isn’t afraid to break people’s expectations. And to me, that’s way more attractive than the number on your weighing scale.” He paused and then continued in a rush. “Okay, and also I think you’re really just straight-up pretty. I want to lay it all out there in the open, and it’s all one hundred percent true.”

But there was something about Ashish Patel. Something completely and utterly compelling. It wasn’t just his physique, though it had been hard to keep her eyes off those ridiculous biceps and broad shoulders. It was something about him… Behind the cocky smile and the easy laugh, there was something vulnerable and almost sad. […] Whatever had happened, it had made him softer and sweeter, someone she wanted to get to know better.

Somehow, in spite of everything, she managed to round out his rough edges to fit with her soft ones. Somehow, it felt right.

I see the real you. I see you and you’re sweet an dfunny and stubborn and vulnerable. You love with everything you have, and when you get hurt, you curl around yourself to protect the softest parts of you. But you don’t have to do that with me. I won’t hurt you. And I… I think you know that. I think you’re falling for me too.

Gently, gently, in her Sweetie way, she’d changed the core of him. She’d shaken his world and reshaped it into something bright and light and colorful.

She taught me what it means to be kind and gentle while also pursuing what you know is right in your heart.

I already have everything you want for me. I have it all, and I have it as a fat girl. I’m not afraid to live my life as I am right  now. I don’t need to change.



(Bio and photo taken from the author’s website)


Sandhya Menon is the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met RishiFrom Twinkle, With Love, and There’s Something About Sweetie. A full-time dog servant and part-time writer, she makes her home in the foggy mountains of Colorado.




Thanks for stopping by loves! Don’t forget to grab a copy of this book. I promise you, you won’t regret it.

Have you read this book? What did you think? What are some of your favorite YA contemporary books?