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Book Review : Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

This is a poignant comedy about a crime that never took place, a would-be bank robber who disappears into thin air, and eight extremely anxious strangers who find they have more in common than they ever imagined.

Viewing an apartment normally doesn’t turn into a life-or-death situation, but this particular open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes everyone in the apartment hostage. As the pressure mounts, the eight strangers slowly begin opening up to one another and reveal long-hidden truths.

As police surround the premises and television channels broadcast the hostage situation live, the tension mounts and even deeper secrets are slowly revealed. Before long, the robber must decide which is the more terrifying prospect: going out to face the police, or staying in the apartment with this group of impossible people.

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Book Review : Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

Nothing is more important than loyalty.

But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?

Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood. That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But The Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: Kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself?

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Book Review – The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

From bookstersisters on instagram

What does it mean for a family to lose a child they never really knew?

One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens—and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom.

Propulsively readable, teeming with unforgettable characters, The Death of Vivek Oji is a novel of family and friendship that challenges expectations—a dramatic story of loss and transcendence that will move every reader.

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Book Review- Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters by Balli Kaur Jaswal

The author of the Reese Witherspoon Book Club selection Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows follows her acclaimed America debut with this life-affirming, witty family drama—an Indian This Is Where I Leave You—about three Punjabi sisters embarking on a pilgrimage to their homeland to lay their mother to rest.

The British-born Punjabi Shergill sisters—Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirina—were never close and barely got along growing up, and now as adults, have grown even further apart. Rajni, a school principal is a stickler for order. Jezmeen, a thirty-year-old struggling actress, fears her big break may never come. Shirina, the peacemaking “good” sister married into wealth and enjoys a picture-perfect life.

On her deathbed, their mother voices one last wish: that her daughters will make a pilgrimage together to the Golden Temple in Amritsar to carry out her final rites. After a trip to India with her mother long ago, Rajni vowed never to return. But she’s always been a dutiful daughter, and cannot, even now, refuse her mother’s request. Jezmeen has just been publicly fired from her television job, so the trip to India is a welcome break to help her pick up the pieces of her broken career. Shirina’s in-laws are pushing her to make a pivotal decision about her married life; time away will help her decide whether to meekly obey, or to bravely stand up for herself for the first time.

Arriving in India, these sisters will make unexpected discoveries about themselves, their mother, and their lives—and learn the real story behind the trip Rajni took with their Mother long ago—a momentous journey that resulted in Mum never being able to return to India again.

The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters is a female take on the Indian travel narrative. “I was curious about how different the trip would be if it were undertaken by women, who are vulnerable to different dangers in a male-dominated society,” Balli Kaur Jaswal writes. “I also wanted to explore the tensions between tradition and modernity in immigrant communities, and particularly how those tensions play out among women like these sisters, who are the first generation to be raised outside of India.”

Powerful, emotionally evocative, and wonderfully atmospheric, The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters is a charming and thoughtful story that illuminates the bonds of family, sisterhood, and heritage that tether us despite our differences. Funny and heartbreaking, it is a reminder of the truly important things we must treasure in our lives.


I thoroughly enjoyed Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows and was eagerly anticipating this one especially after reading @thebooksatchel ’s review. I am happy to say I was not disappointed at all. 
The three Shergill sisters who were never really close to begin with are forced into each other’s company for a week long trip to India as their mother’s last wish. The three are as different to each other as any three people could be with Rajni, the rule follower, Jezmeen, the rule breaker and Shirina, the peace maker. The hilarious adventures these three get into on their journey and how it changes the way they see themselves and each other forms the rest of the story. 
This book made me laugh out so loud that I had people looking at me strangely, as if I had a couple of screws loose 😂 The whole book has been narrated in this really wry, slightly mocking tone that you couldn’t help but laugh. Interspersed with the humour are thought provoking, heartwarming, nostalgia inducing scenes of family, traditions and gender inequality. 
I have seen some reviews criticising the book for its portrayal of India but to me it felt very realistic. If you have lived your entire life outside India, then actually visiting India is still a huge cultural shock, even if you have been brought up the typical Indian way. It was uncomfortable for sure, reading about my country in that way, but I didn’t feel like it was completely wrong either.
The one thing that could be said as a negative would be the slight mystery element in the book which was entirely too predictable and the ending was a little too bollywood-ish to sound real. 
Other than that, this book was a complete entertainer. If you are looking for a light hilarious read that will also offer you some food for thought and some Bollywood drama, then look no further. 
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Thank you @harpercollinsin for sending us this book.
P.S. the audiobook is amazing too! 


About the Author

Balli Kaur Jaswal’s latest novel is The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters (Harper Collins/William Morrow). Her previous novels include Inheritance, which won the Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Young Australian Novelist Award, and Sugarbread, a finalist for the Epigram Books Fiction Prize and the Singapore Literature Prize. Her third novel Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows was translated into 15 languages and chosen by Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine book club.

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Release day Blitz – Fall by Kristen Callihan

The first time I met Jax Blackwood things went a little sideways.

In my defense, I didn’t know he was Jax Blackwood—who expects a legendary rock star to be shopping for groceries? More importantly, a blizzard was coming and he was about to grab the last carton of mint-chocolate chip.

Still, I might have walked away, but then he smugly dared me to try and take the coveted ice cream. So I kissed him. And distracted that mint-chip right out of his hands.

Okay, it was a dirty move, but desperate times and all that. Besides, I never expected he’d be my new neighbor.

An annoying neighbor who takes great pleasure in reminding me that I owe him ice cream but would happily accept more kisses as payment. An irresistible neighbor who keeps me up while playing guitar naked–spectacularly naked–in his living room.

Clearly, avoidance is key. Except nothing about Jax is easy to ignore—not the way he makes me laugh, or that his particular brand of darkness matches mine, or how one look from him melts me faster than butter under a hot sun.

Neither of us believes in love or forever. Yet we’re quickly becoming each other’s addiction. But we could be more. We could be everything.

All we have to do is trust enough to fall.

AMAZON | APPLE BOOKS | B&N

I devoured Idol and Managed in one sitting when they were released and I have waited so long for Fall and for Jax’s story that I was beyond excited when I heard about Fall releasing and immediately begged and pleaded and promised riches to whoever could send me an arc. The PR gods heard my prayer and send me a copy of this book and I was on cloud nine.

I had a lot of expectations going into this book, which is not a good thing because it almost always leads to disappointment, right? But did I care ? No. And Kristen Callihan did not disappoint at all! Jax’s story exceeded all my expectations and is my favourite VIP book so far.

Fall is the story of Stella who is a professional friend to people but has no friends of her own and Jax who you already know if you have read the other books in VIP series.( If you don’t know, he is a famous rockstar who suffers depression) The story kicks off with these two meeting in the grocery store and serendipity leads them to become eventual neighbours.

There was so much depth to this story that it becomes not just a romance between two flawed humans but also a deeply insightful book about the day to day struggles of someone suffering from depression. This book made me laugh at the amazing banter, sweat at the amazing chemistry 😂 and cry because it just sucker punches you with all the feels.

I say all the long wait was worth it to get to read this amazing novel. I would totally recommend this to all fans of romance. You must read this book!!!! Now!!!!!

For the uninitiated, this can be read as a standalone. Thank you InkslingerPR and Danielle for sending me a copy in exchange for a honest review.

Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

AMAZON | APPLE BOOKS | B&N

You can also read an excerpt from the book if you scroll down to the end 😁

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a three-time RITA nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal, best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

EXCERPT

EXCERPT

I clear my throat. “While I was eating my ice cream—”

He snorts, but remains tense. 

“I thought about how you looked familiar to me.” 

“It was the guilt haunting you.” 

“Or … And I’m just throwing this out there. You’re Jax Blackwood.” 

He actually flinches. “Fuck. You recognized me.” 

“It was bound to happen. John? Really?” 

His chin tips in a pugnacious angle. “It’s my name. John is … me. Jax is who I am onstage.” 

I picture him performing, all electric energy and raw passion and sheer talent. It’s a sight to behold. Hell, a couple of really hot fantasies have been induced by that sight. 

While I’m lost in a teen fantasy, his eyes dart around like he’s expecting someone to pop out from behind a snow mound and take his picture. Then his gaze snags on me. My expression must be slightly punch drunk, because his entire body leans away from mine. Not exactly flattering to realize he’s afraid I’ll try to lick his face or something.  

I snap my gaping mouth closed. “Oh, calm down. It’s not like I’m going to start squealing and try to grab your junk.” 

His expression lightens a little. “I think if you grabbed my junk, I’d be the one squealing.” 

“True. I have surprisingly strong hands.” When he stares at me in horror, I hold them up and wiggle my fingers. “Yoga. It’s highly effective.” 

“My balls just flinched in terror.”

“Consider yourself warned.” 

He snorts but then glances at our building. “You really live here?” 

“Do you really think I hunted you down?” 

John—because I can’t seem to think of him as Jax—runs his hand through his damp hair, which makes his biceps bunch and twitch. “Yeah … that does sound crazy.” 

Crazy. This whole situation is. One day, I’m offered a four-month home in a dream condo, the next I’m standing on my stoop talking to a rock star. The biggest legend of my generation. I honestly don’t know how I’m not stammering right now. 

“I can’t believe we’re neighbors,” I say without thinking. 

His green eyes glint in the afternoon light, but he pauses and looks at me more closely. “You know, not to sound conceited here, but you’re kind of leering at me right now.” 

My chin snaps up like I’ve been hit, even as my body flushes with embarrassment. Shit. I totally had been leering. No, not leering. But I had been staring at him in awe. Ugh. “Well, you do sound conceited. I was simply making polite eye contact.” 

Liar McLiar-Face.