Wednesday, August 16, 2017

What's Next, Wednesday (68)

  •  To play along share a book you've been looking forward to reading, whether it's new or has been on your reading list for a while.


I'm looking forward to...

Molten Dusk by Karissa Laurel! This is the third book in the Norse Chronicles series and I've been waiting so so patiently for this installment. I cannot wait to see what happens between Solina, the reincarnation of the sun goddess, Thorin, and the wolf trying to kill them. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Unexpected Daughter

34119199Three people’s lives intersect in a tumultuous yet redeeming way that none of them could have ever predicted. Jenny is a young professional from the South with an upbringing she wants to forget. She meets Roshan, an Indian immigrant who has moved to the United States with his mother, Esha, to escape family ghosts. With strong cultural tradition, Esha has devoted her entire life to her only child, both for his own good and for her personal protection from a painful past. Roshan understands his role as his mother’s refuge, and from an early age, he commits himself to caring for her. But when Jenny and Roshan embark on a forbidden, intercultural relationship, all three get tangled into an inseparable web—betrayal, violence, and shame—leaving them forced to make choices about love and family they never wanted to make while finding peace where they never expected to look.

*Contain Spoilers*

Cultures clash in this story of love, trust, pain, and loss. Sheryl  Parbhoo writes a realistic portrayal of an American girl and an Indian boy falling in love and dealing with adultery, cultural expectations, and alcoholism in her novel The Unexpected Daughter

It's my belief that it takes a powerful writer to introduce a character that's easy to hate and then slowly change the mind of the reader throughout the story. Parbhoo does just that in this book as the characters introduced are fundamentally flawed and then given the chance to change for the better. Jenny, Roshan, and Esha are the three main character and the chapters shift between their points of view as the story unfolds. 

Jenny is a young woman who came from a very poor family, with an alcoholic father and a drug addicted mother. She struggles to trust anyone and believes that she is the only one she can depend on. Her goal of becoming a dentist solidifies her identity as a woman who can take care of herself. Yet, her feelings for Roshan are constant. 

Roshan is an Indian man who dreamed of being an artist. Yet, with a dead father who was an abusive alcoholic, his dreams were forced to change, in order to fit in with what his culture expected of him. Therefore, he also became a dentist and had an arranged marriage, even though he was in love with Jenny. Roshan's character was the one that I did not like for most of the book. And by 'most of the book' I mean up until the last couple pages. It wasn't his rebellious attitude that I didn't like, but his treatment of Jenny, the wishy-washy treatment of his mother, the fact that he knew he had a problem with alcohol but ignored it (even kept it a secret), and how he blamed everything on his culture. 

Though Parbhoo does an excellent job in relaying what Indian men are expected to do with their lives, it didn't make Roshan any easier to like. The further I got in the book, the more I hated him. I especially disliked how he cheated on his first wife. I understand that he wasn't happy, but then why did he marry her? It was an arranged marriage, but if it was going to end up badly anyway, then why go through it? I know hindsight is 20/20 and it's easy for me to judge a book character, but I just couldn't get over it. It made it really hard for me to like Roshan as he always created problems for himself but barely worked toward any solutions. However, in the last chapter, it seemed that the rehab facility Roshan attended really did help him. Yet, I felt more connected with Jenny, as she simply agreed to move forward and see what happened instead of condemning Roshan to his past mistakes. 

Esha is Roshan's mother and as mothers play a large role in Indian cultures, she played a big role in Roshan's life. At first, I didn't like her, but I also didn't understand her. Throughout the book, Esha's true self is revealed and she becomes more than just a judgemental woman who forces her opinions onto others. The influence of the culture is really explored through Esha and it's through her character that there is also a lot of growth in the book. She comes to understand that Jenny is a good person who loves her son, has her own demons, and is scared of being a single mom. Through the story, I found Esha and Jenny's relationship to be the most intriguing, as Jenny becomes Esha's unexpected daughter and Jenny learns how to be a mother from her unexpected daughter. 

The storyline is quite complicated, but it basically follows Jenny and Roshan's relationship from college graduation until after the birth of their child. Along the way, a lot of issues and topics are covered including arranged marriage, cultural differences and influence, the importance of family, religion, motherhood, fatherhood, alcoholism, drug addiction, and much much more. Parbhoo packs a lot of detail into her story which really brings it to life. I think readers who enjoy learning about other cultures and giving second chances will like this book, even if the characters are a little harder to connect with. 

Rating: 3/5 Cups

Teaser Tuesday (277)

Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. It is very easy to play along:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.


Marlena (p. 6-7)
    - Julie Buntin

Some of the details are facts, but very few---where she was found, what she wore and carried. She was last seen alive at 5:12pm, according to Jimmy, my older brother.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

This Isn't My Life - Cover Reveal & Giveaway

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for This Isn't My Life by Dominique Laura! 
The book will be available August 29th and pre-order is open for only 0.99$! 

Most nights, when I close my eyes, my dreams are filled with memories from my past life, the one I lived before this. I remember who I was and the people in that life, and I don't want any part of this one. Everly Hope Davis isn't who I want to be, but she's who I am. In the beginning I fought against her and everything in her world, but it's impossible to hate something when you're living it every day, when the people involved make it a life worth living. I'm trying to make the best of it now, but deep down I know this life isn't mine.

Cover designer: Liv's Lovely Designs
Twitter: @DomLauraWrites
Instagram: DominiqueLauraWrites
Amazon Link: