[Waiting on Wednesday] A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey

Waiting on Wednesday


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event created by Breaking the Spine in which an anticipated title is highlighted. You can find their website here.

I read Laura’s debut, The Library of Lost Things, earlier this year and was impressed with her characters and her writing. When her new book was announced, I knew I’d be reading it.

Then the COVER! The COMP to Don’t Date Rosa Santos! I mean! How much more do y’all need for me to want to read this! 😭🥰

A tea lover to the core, I can’t wait to see what sort of related knowledge we see in the book because if I know anything about Laura from her previous book, it’s that she’ll do her topic justice. Combined with MC Lila’s baking and there is no way I’ll be walking away from this book without snacking at least a couple of times. 😂



about the book - Copy



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Published: 6 October 2020

Publisher: Atheneum

Genre(s): Contemporary/Young Adult/Romance

Love & Gelato meets Don’t Date Rosa Santos in this charming, heartfelt story following a Miami girl who unexpectedly finds love—and herself—in a small English town.

For Lila Reyes, a summer in England was never part of the plan. The plan was 1) take over her abuela’s role as head baker at their panadería, 2) move in with her best friend after graduation, and 3) live happily ever after with her boyfriend. But then the Trifecta happened, and everything—including Lila herself—fell apart.

Worried about Lila’s mental health, her parents make a new plan for her: Spend three months with family friends in Winchester, England, to relax and reset. But with the lack of sun, a grumpy inn cook, and a small town lacking Miami flavor (both in food and otherwise), what would be a dream trip for some feels more like a nightmare to Lila…until she meets Orion Maxwell.

A teashop clerk with troubles of his own, Orion is determined to help Lila out of her funk, and appoints himself as her personal tour guide. From Winchester’s drama-filled music scene to the sweeping English countryside, it isn’t long before Lila is not only charmed by Orion, but England itself. Soon a new future is beginning to form in Lila’s mind—one that would mean leaving everything she ever planned behind.










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[Waiting on Wednesday] Cinderella is Dead by Kaylnn Bayron

Waiting on Wednesday


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event created by Breaking the Spine in which an anticipated title is highlighted. You can find their website here.


Growing up I’ll admit that I saw Cinderella a ton and thought that it was fairly basic: she wanted to go to the ball, dance with the prince, and that was about it. Holy crap is there so much more to the story though? Disney does a number on you. 😅

Cinderella is Dead is a futuristic fairy tale retelling that sounds like a) a 👀 wow queer story (thank you) b) a kind of dystopian twist on the classic story? I’m curious how the original story, in this world at least, goes from something that is theoretically romantic to a place where girls are ostensibly being slaughtered if they’re not chosen by the man at the ball.

Does not chosen mean slaughtered? It says their lives are forfeit so that’s a little unclear at the moment, but it’s pretty ominous whatever it means.

Let’s talk for a minute about the COVER. The one I chose to feature in this post is the UK cover because it screams CINDERELLA just a bit more to me than the US cover. Both are 100% gorgeous, don’t get me wrong. I think the blue background and hair accents really tip it over the edge into 😍 territory.



about the book - Copy



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Published: 7 July (US)/6 August (UK) 2020

Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

Genre(s): Fantasy/Young Adult/LGBTQ+/Retellings

It’s 200 years since Cinderella found her prince, but the fairytale is over.

Sophia knows the story though, off by heart. Because every girl has to recite it daily, from when she’s tiny until the night she’s sent to the royal ball for choosing. And every girl knows that she has only one chance. For the lives of those not chosen by a man at the ball … are forfeited.

But Sophia doesn’t want to be chosen – she’s in love with her best friend, Erin, and hates the idea of being traded like cattle. And when Sophia’s night at the ball goes horribly wrong, she must run for her life. Alone and terrified, she finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s tomb. And there she meets someone who will show her that she has the power to remake her world …

An electrifying twist on the classic fairytale that will inspire girls to break out of limiting stereotypes and follow their dreams!










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[Review] That Can Be Arranged: A Muslim Love Story by Huda Fahmy

Huda’s search for love combined with her absolutely adorable illustrations made for one of my favorite reads thus far in 2020.


about the book - Copy



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Published: 10 March 2020

Publisher:Andrews McMeel Publishing

Genre(s): Graphic Novel/Humor/Memoir

Chaperones, suitors, and arranged marriages aren’t only reserved for the heroines of a Jane Austen novel. They’re just another walk in the park for this leading lady, who is on a mission to find her leading lad. From the brilliant comics Yes, I’m Hot in This, Huda Fahmy tells the hilarious story of how she met and married her husband. Navigating mismatched suitors, gossiping aunties, and societal expectations for Muslim women, That Can Be Arranged deftly and hilariously reveals to readers what it can be like to find a husband as an observant Muslim woman in the twenty-first century.

So relevant in today’s evolving cultural climate, Fahmy’s story offers a perceptive and personal glimpse into the sometimes sticky but ultimately rewarding balance of independent choice and tradition.


5 star



Representation: Muslim & hijabi characters throughout



what i enjoyed


Huda’s humor was infused in nearly every moment of this story, from when an auntie makes a snide remark about her age & marrying at that point (there was reference to a cat hotel 😬😲) to when she first sees/meet her future husband Gehad at a conference (🥰😍).

The callbacks to earlier times, earlier loves/crushes, etc., also had these asides that I’d call tea time episodes because Huda would come to us with commentary from her favorite seat with a warm cup of tea, dispensing the wisdom thindsightight had granted her.

Readers will also get insight into Huda’s experience as a Muslim woman growing up, learning the Rules as she puts them, that govern her life and interactions with regards to dating & marriage. Her confusion about finding The One may be familiar to readers who experience similar feelings and even if not, her journey is peppered with, as aforementioned, Huda’s brilliant handling of any and all material with signature humor.



to sum it up - Copy



From Huda to Gehad to her parents, whether assorted side characters or Huda’s own asides, there is no shortage of content for laughs. Something for everyone to laugh with as you read alongside Huda’s journey, as I did, in That Can Be Arranged. 😊






I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Quotes included are from an advanced reader copy and may not reflect the finalized copy.

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[Blog Tour] Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin – Review


Retellings are a particular favorite form of storytelling. Among the ones I’ve read are typically fairy tales, such as Beauty & the Beast (Brigid Kemmerer’s A Curse So Dark & Lonely) or Snow White (the Evil Queen’s story in Julia C. Dao’s Forest of a Thousand Lanterns).

Hannah Capin’s Foul is Fair, however, delves into a darker, more delicious corner of retelling by taking up the mantle of a Shakespearean tale: Macbeth. One of the darkest of the Bard’s stories, the haunted threads of the Scottish play wind through time to a modern take that is Elizabeth Jade Khanjara and her Coven.

After a sweet sixteen when Jade is targeted by the boys of St. Andrews Prep, Foul is Fair becomes a book full of much darkness, deliciously full of vengeance, and depths the reader plunges to with Jade and the other girls in her Coven as they follow their wicked path.

Thank you to the Wednesday Books team for including me in the blog tour for Hannah Capin’s new book.

about the book - Copy


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Published: 18 February 2020

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Genre(s): Young Adult/Contemporary/Retellings

Elle and her friends Mads, Jenny, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable, they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. Every party is theirs and the world is at their feet. Until the night of Elle’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Elle as their next target.

They picked the wrong girl.

Sworn to vengeance, Elle transfers to St. Andrew’s. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy. And she and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly.

Foul is Fair is a bloody, thrilling revenge fantasy for the girls who have had enough. Golden boys beware: something wicked this way comes.

5 star


Representation: Indian-American MC, trans SC, MGA SC, Korean-American SC


content warnings - Copy


sexual assault (including drugging someone’s drink), rape, rape culture, gender-based violence, abusive relationship, physical violence, gore, murder, bullying and transphobia, suicide, substance abuse, vigilantism and revenge.


From the author’s website: the primary thematic material of FOUL IS FAIR centers on sexual assault (not depicted), rape culture, and violence. additionally, the book includes an abusive relationship, a suicide attempt, and a brief scene with transphobic bullying. for a more detailed description of sensitive content, continue reading. these notes will contain spoilers for FOUL IS FAIR. <– follow the link for further details


what i enjoyed


Foul is Fair is interesting because Jade and her Coven are, by their own admission, not likeable girls. Before all the machinations, before all the deceptions, before the book even opens, they were what would probably be termed Mean Girls. There are still likeable things within their makeup, though. The tight knit makeup of their group, the way they are ride or die for one another. Mads, especially, embodies this quality as Jade espouses more than once. Since the four girls met one another as children, there are multiple examples.

As the Lady Macbeth character in this retelling, Jade isn’t really here to be likeable, though. It’s refreshing to have a book that has this dynamic of two unlikeable sides, but one that you can side with because no matter how unlikeable someone is, they don’t deserve what happened in the opener of Foul is Fair.

The vengeance path that Jade sets upon with the aide of her coven drew me in. I had to know more not only because I wanted to know that these criminals would get what they deserved, but because Jade and the Coven’s determination and game board style of planning was fascinating.

Aesthetically, Hannah Capin captures moments when her characters are enacting their machinations so thematically that it is easy to visualize each moment in your mind. From the descriptions of St. Andrews Prep, straight out of Scotland and settled into the landscape of Los Angeles, to the late afternoon sunlight the flashes across Jade’s eyes like a scene out of The Addams Family featuring Morticia, these all layout a beautiful scene.


to sum it up - Copy


Fair is Foul is a thrilling retelling of Macbeth and something entirely its own. Hannah Capin’s sophomore novel is a story of friendship, vengeance, terror, and more that will entice the reader to stay up long into the night to see what wicked thing comes next.


about the author - Copy



Hannah Capin is the author of Foul is Fair and The Dead Queens Club, a feminist retelling of the wives of Henry VIII. When she isn’t writing, she can be found singing, sailing, or pulling marathon gossip sessions with her girl squad. She lives in Tidewater, Virginia.

Twitter | Website










I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review as part of a blog tour. Quotes included are from an advanced reader copy and may not reflect the finalized copy.

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[Review] My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma

Welcome to Winnie Mehta’s world of Bollywood films, NYU applications, and a prophecy that may or may not be giving her more problems that she knows what to do with.

What do you do when the prophecy you believed in for so long seems to be breaking? Or, worse, maybe not be true at all? It’s a hard question to tackle with, especially considering how much it means to Winnie and her family.

With a catalog of films to call up for “advice”, Winnie is about to face a lot of questions that she’ll have to answer to live her life as best she can.


about the book - Copy



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Published: 15 May 2018

Publisher: Crown BFYR

Genre(s): Young Adult/Romance/Contemporary

Winnie Mehta was never really convinced that Raj was her soulmate, but their love was written in the stars. Literally, a pundit predicted Winnie would find the love of her life before her 18th birthday, and Raj meets all of the qualifications. Which is why Winnie is shocked to return from her summer at film camp to find her boyfriend of three years hooking up with Jenny Dickens. Worse, Raj is crowned chair of the student film festival, a spot Winnie was counting on for her film school applications. As a self-proclaimed Bollywood expert, Winnie knows this is not how her perfect ending is scripted.

Then there’s Dev, a fellow film geek, and one of the few people Winnie can count on to help her reclaim control of her story. Dev is smart, charming, and challenges Winnie to look beyond her horoscope to find someone she’d pick for herself. But does falling for Dev mean giving up on her prophecy, and her chance to live happily ever after? To get her Bollywood-like life on track, Winnie will need a little bit of help from fate, family, and of course, a Bollywood movie star.


To start, there were elements of Winnie’s story that I loved, that were warm and flash and that made the story better or enhanced, etc. The variety of films that she’d seen, whether dramas or comedies or more, gave her a support system to look back on. They were something that she and her father shared: a love of Bollywood films. Their playful arguments about modern vs. classic films was interesting and has encouraged me to look into finding some of Winnie’s films to view myself.  She, her mother, and her grandmother shopping for fancy clothing was insight into a beautiful aspect of lehengas and jewelry and what it meant to adorn themselves.

With regards to other characters:

It was hard to outright dislike Raj, Winnie’s ex, even though that was the setup when the book opened. As the antagonist (possible a strong word), the reader is given a picture that Winnie’s angry over the end of their relationship & how that relates to the prophecy she was given about her future. Claiming that he cheated was, I felt, a bit of an exaggeration. By her own admission and request they were on a break. She had expected it would take longer to move on, but that’s her “preference”, not Raj’s. So, while she was upset, it was difficult to hate him as much as I think I was “supposed” to going into the narrative.

The author changed my perspective when Raj’s inability to let go, despite his seeming to have moved on with a new girlfriend, became something of an issue that grated on my nerves continually. He couldn’t stand having lost once Winnie started figuring out how to move forward herself.

Clues to future developments were fun to stumble across, guesses that I could make as to plot points that I appreciated. Nisha Sharma didn’t quite smack you across the head with them, though they weren’t exactly in-depth either.

I was pretty upset that most of the boys in Winnie’s life expected her to drop her priorities, her life, to attend to them, to support them. Raj I already pointed out and, oy, he was just the worst (though not without some kind of redemptive arc). However!

With everything she’s had to do to secure her position in life (school, etc.), why should she have to dump these commitments for someone she’s been involved with for such a short period of time? That seemed so absurd to me that I wanted to shake several characters. NYU, the school Winnie has been working toward THE ENTIRE STORY and for YEARS, was so much bigger than certain people. Even though she’s known Dev (Love Interest #2) for a long time, it seems screwed up to throw away the festival, something that could get her into NYU (DREAM SCHOOL), when the connection is so tenuous as a couple of weeks. Sure a boyfriend is nice, but worth all that?



to sum it up - Copy


There was a lot to see and experience that was lovely in My So-Called Bollywood Life, but I found some of the narrative decisions questionable and that let the overall experience down for me.






I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Quotes included are from an advanced reader copy and may not reflect the finalized copy.

All media belongs to the respective owners and is used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.