The Trouble With Hating You

The Trouble With Hating You

by Sajni Patel

Published 12 May 2020 from Forever Publishing

5/5 Stars on my Goodreads

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The Trouble With Hating You by Sajni Patel is the romance between Liya Thakkar and Jay Shah set in Houston, Texas. Liya is a successful biochemical engineer who was recently given a promotion within her company, she’s a hard worker and has her own. She goes to her parents house for dinner one night and in walks Jay and his mother. Liya learns that her parents have invited them to dinner as a setup because this is the man they hope she will marry. She hightails it out of there and at work the next day, she runs into Jay again! Her company isn’t doing so good and Jay is the lawyer they have hired to come in and try and help things stay afloat. These two get off to a rough start obviously; Jay and his mother were under the assumption that Liya set up the dinner so Jay thinks the way she ran out of it was disrespectful to his Mom so there is just tons of tension between these two in their now close proximity situation.

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Nostalgia was the past. The present held a different meaning, as was apparent when I parked on the street, providing plenty of room to escape.” The familial aspect to this story hauntingly looms throughout, breaks my heart but put so many pieces to the puzzle that is Liya together and into context. Liya and Jay are both of Indian descent and this story is heavily rooted in the Indian community. The author’s note mentions this, so it isn’t a spoiler but there is a sexual assault storyline in this story and I think Sajni Patel flawlessly depicts a woman who has had a history of assault and due to the strong religious influence in both her family life and community has had to deal with the victim blaming that tends to come from that. I have seen reviews of this book with people saying Liya is ‘rude,’ or ‘unlikeable,’ which I absolutely disagree with.

“I stepped into a position of power with boys, and then men. Things never went further than my realm of control, and most times, they never went far at all. I required full control. At all times. In all things.”

Liya maintains control of her situations at all times which plays into her romance with Jay. Jay comes in, they aren’t the best of friends initially but the more they work with one another she begins to realize he’s a good guy. This is hard for her because it would be so much easier for her if he were a bad guy.

“I hate you.”- “No you don’t.” – “I wish you were a Mike. This would be easier.” – “I will never be a Mike. And what we have between us isn’t going away.” 

Very slowly we see the walls come down bit by bit as Jay gives her no reasons to not give him a chance.  He knows some things, but only so much out of that insecure feeling Liya has of not being believed.

I feel like this review isn’t making any sense but Babes, I freaking loved this book. It is a brutal glimpse into a culture and how victims in society can be treated after a sexual assault ESPECIALLY if the other person is a person of power and add in the religious power this person holds! This situation made Liya the woman she is, she’s tough because she has to be. She’s opinionated because her opinions are her own and she refuses to be silenced anymore or allow people to take them from her. So much of this book lies in Jay, once learning, having to decide how he fits into her life. I like that other than the opening up aspect, and falling for him, Liya, as a person doesn’t change. I liked that, I loved this book.

The cover is beautiful but don’t be fooled. While it is fun and has some funny moments, it deals with some important topics and has some very heavy moments.

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Sunday Coffee

It has been forever since I posted a Sunday Coffee. They were my favorite posts to do once upon a time and I’ve missed them, so here we are.

Sunday Coffee

I finished three books this week; The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jiminez which you can see my thoughts on in my most recent reading vlog, here and I rated a 4/5. Then I read The Trouble With Hating You by Sajni Patel which I rated 5/5 stars and most recently I finished Cowboy Come Home by Carly Bloom which I rated 4/5 stars.

Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to moderate my Second ever author panel which was a total blast! IMG_1688

All three of these beautiful ladies have new releases out so it was fun to chat about their writing processes and their lives as readers. The event was presented by BookPeople which is my all time favorite Indie bookstore, located in Austin, Texas. All three books are absolutely wonderful and The Boyfriend Project is a Book Of the Month pick which makes me happy! I am always geeked to see romance as a pick. You can check out the BookPeople’s website here and support an independent book store. They have copies of these ladies’ books in store.

2020

Last night I put Playing for Keeps by Jill Shalvis and The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan on my nightstand. I have both checked out from my library on audio and need to get to them before they are due back. I also checked out my first ever Mary Kay Andrews novel. I hear she is Queen of Beach Reads and she has a new release that I can’t wait to get my hands on titled Hello, Summer. It sounds amazing. I have been in an unexplainable reading mood but it mostly consists of just going with my gut. I predominantly read women writers but now more than ever, women’s stories are getting me through the $hitShow that is 2020. So I’m just continuing to go with the flow because so far it’s working and the reading has been a lot of fun.

Today I plan to squeeze in some movie watching time, but it is currently Weekend Contemporary-a-thon and I’m low key participating in that so I also would like to read some. I have Hallmark movies recorded that I’ve neglected and would like to get watched. I have also before bed, been watching Frasier on Hulu. I will never get tired of 90s sitcoms and this is my first watch of Frasier. It is hilarious, I love it so much. I’ve also gotten back into my first ever watch through of The Twilight Zone (the original) and it is so damn good. The crafting of the stories is so good and I love the lessons that come with each episode. If I watch anything during the day it is usually one of my paranormal ghost hunting shows (I am addicted to them!) I try to keep at least one or two episodes recorded for when the mood hits me but even if not, there is typically at least one on tv.

Cooking life here in the Hill House has consisted of big pots of spaghetti that we can eat off of for a few days, taco nights (my Hubs makes delicious tacos) and the occasional last minute BBQ. Oh, and wine! Lots of wine. Stella Rose Black Reserve is my new favorite sweet red wine and that is a hill I will absolutely die on with no problems.

I’ve been journaling, doing group therapy every Monday at 11 and trying to stay sane like I think everyone is at the moment. I have some days that are extremely overwhelming because I crave that sense of normalcy so bad but I am determined to find the silver lining, and find the vacation in everyday. That’s why today I am plopping on the couch and treating myself to a movie day. So excited.

Sending you my best. If you need to chat, I’m only a message away.

 

First Line Fridays

first line fridays

Happy Friday Friends! I am here with another First Line Fridays, which is hosted by Hoarding Books. I participated for the first time last week and really enjoyed it.

Today’s first line comes from The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez.

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“Do you want me to meet you at the cemetery, Sloan?”

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HEA

Let me know what you’re reading today! I’d love to know. Have you read The Happy Ever After Playlist? If so, what did you think of it?

 

The Honey Don’t List

Here’s the Plot:

Carey has been the assistant to Melissa and Rusty for ten years. Melissa and Rusty are this big time, famous, HGTV couple who have recently published a bestselling book all about their happy marriage and working together. What only Carey and a few others know is this: Melissa and Rusty can’t stand one another. James is the disgruntled assistant to Rusty. Carey and Rusty are given orders to tag along with Melissa and Rusty on their upcoming book tour to ensure things don’t blow up and the media never learns of their troubled marriage.

 

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First and foremost, if you go, like me, into The Honey Don’t List expecting a good time you will be highly disappointed. No my friends, don’t be fooled by the romcom vibes you get when you look at the cover or read the synopsis! There is nothing comedic about this book. I am holding myself and my reader expectations accountable; it is no one’s fault but my own.. but this book was kind of a downer and low key sucked that I didn’t enjoy it.

This book has one of the best set ups I’ve read in a long time. I read through the set up and thought, Oh this is going to be good! We learn of the trouble between Melissa and Rusty pretty quickly into the story and we are front row centered when Carey and James catch Rusty in a pretty bad situation. We see what happens when doing the right thing backfires. The amazing set up to this book does a disservice to the main premise of the book though; I was way more invested in Melissa and Rusty’s situation than Carey and James’s. Looking back, I don’t think there was ever a moment where I really cared what happened between those two. Melissa and Rusty’ situation, their unhappy marriage was written so strongly right off the bat, that the romance between Carey and James never really stood a chance for me.

Carey is the main character in this book and for ten years she has been the brains hiding in the shadows. I don’t know if the author duo intentionally wrote her In a way that even in the starring role she took a backseat or if that wasn’t their intentions. That’s how she read for me though. The book flip flops between Carey’s POV and James’s and I highkey preferred James’s chapters. Even in the storytelling, Melissa  overshadowed Carey.

Both Carey and James have their motivations for having their current jobs; Carey’s being her need for insurance. I think this aspect was one of the two elements in this story I really clung to. The author due via the relationship between Carey and Melissa were able to explore workplace abuse and manipulation. It’s hard to have a good time when the entire book you’re basically reading from the perspective of someone being manipulated and taken advantage of.  The other element I thought was done well, again, was the dynamic between Melissa and Rusty. We get a glimpse into a famous married couple. Their marriage has become their brand and while one is ready to just relax, the other wants to keep up the hustle because of all their fame has done for them so far.

I’d never tell you not to read a book, but don’t go into this one for the romance. The premise is amazing, so if you’re into troubled marriage stories and more women’s fiction type stories, absolutely pick it up. Sadly though, if it’s a knockout romance you’re looking for, I don’t think this is it.

First Line Fridays

first line fridays

Happy Friday Friends! I thought I’d begin participating in First Line Fridays which is hosted by Hoarding Books.

I will be sharing the First Line from my current read which is Almost Just Friends by Jill Shalvis. She has become such a comfort author for me, and I’m basically binging whatever I can by her at the moment.

Almost Just Friends

by Jill Shalvis

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My First Line:

Piper Manning closed her eyes and plugged her ears against the horror.

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just friends

I’d love to know what the First Line from your current read is. Let me know in the comments section and Thank You to Hoarding Books for hosting.

I Reached My 2020 Reading Goal

My Goodreads reading challenge was to read 115 books this year, and I completed it!

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My reading momentum has been crazy this year, it seriously kicked off with a bang! The new year came and I was full of so much excitement to start over with a clean reading slate and a new challenge. This is my first year where my goal was set higher than 75 books and although I was confident I’d achieve the goal, I didn’t think I’d reach it so soon. Here’s what I’ve been doing this year and How I’ve hit my goal already:

Really, there isn’t anything life changing, but first and foremost; go with your gut. If you’re not feeling the book you picked up, put it down. Sometimes it’s simply not the right time and sometimes the book just isn’t for you. Every book isn’t for you and that’s okay. I typically know within 60ish pages, if a book is for me or not, and if it isn’t, then I move on.

Being a mood reader is both a gift and a curse. I will 100% be in the mood for a book, so I place it on hold with the library, then by the time it is my turn to read it- I’ll no longer be in the mood for it.  If I know my mood has changed, I don’t beat myself up; I return the book early and move on. I mention both of these statements to say; don’t waste your time on books you’re not vibing with. Every minute you spend reading a book you’re not enjoying is a minute you could be reading your next favorite read.

Challenge yourself. Okay, so you’ve set an amount challenge for yourself; you’re striving to read so many books in the year. In March and April I got specific and challenged myself to read a book a day. In March I came close but became a bit burnt out towards the end of the month but in April I read 39 books.

Show yourself some Grace. Yes, my 39 April reads consisted of quite a few novels but it also consisted of quite a few novellas, graphic novels and poetry collections. I’d sat this challenge for myself but there were plenty of days I didn’t have the mental capacity to read a full length novel. Having 40 page novellas came in very handy. I have also been making my way through  a graphic novel series that has been a fun way to switch things up a bit with my reading so I continued my way through that series.

Audiobooks. Audiobooks are very convenient. My favorite way to consume an audiobook is with my headphones on while I’m doing work around the house; I’m up moving about being productive and before I know it, my book is finished.

I keep myself excited about reading. Sometimes this means taking a break and doing other things which usually means catching up on Podcasts or watching movies from my DVR. Doing other things causes me to miss reading so when I do pick up another book, I want to just read, read and read some more.

 

 

What 2020 Has Taught me (so far)

Grab a drink and let’s chat. It’s been a while.

2020

Be prepared, stay ready for anything. Back a few years now, when Atlanta, Georgia had its famous snow storm that shut down the city, I found myself part of that. My husband and I had driven my kids to Chicago to spend a month with my Mom while we packed our home in Georgia in preparation for our move to Texas. As soon as we crossed into Georgia it began to snow and we had no idea what lay ahead of us an hour or so up the road. The storm completely shut the city down. At 3 in the morning it looked like five o’clock traffic. We had three vehicle accidents and slept in our car outside of a gas station. I remember being cold and crying, because I was so afraid. I told myself that night that I’d make emergency kits so that when crap hits the fan we’d be ready. Fast forward to now, 2020, and I still hadn’t done that, though I’m in the process now. The world is crazy and people freak out when they are afraid. 2020 has definitely taught me to always be prepared. It’s okay to have a stock pile, buy a little extra and stash it away for later-you never know when the store will go days without being able to stock up on something again!

Never underestimate Light & Fluffy. I am taking place in ChickLitAthon, which is a month long readathon hosted by Sophie from All Things Equilateral over on Youtube and I’m making it a lifestyle movement all month long. Everyday I’m trying to consume books, podcasts, movies-something entertaining that gives me Chicklit vibes. So far I have been successful and let me tell you! It’s been wonderful and just what I need. I think what constitutes Chicklit is very broad but for me personally, I consider it girl stories and making it a point everyday to consume girl stories has 100% put more sunshine in my days. Never underestimate or apologize needing to consume what makes you feel good.

Take my meds and journal more; both are so good for my depression.

It’s okay to take a bath in the middle of the day just to relax and listen to a podcast. Absolutely okay.

There’s nothing wrong with dinners that consist of leftovers and frozen foods from the freezer. Cut yourself some slack; every night doesn’t have to have this huge meal you slaved over all day.

It’s okay to treat yourself to a night of binging the shows on your DVR. They have to get watched eventually; stop putting everything off for another day. Take advantage of now.

No matter your age, get on the trampoline with the kids! It is still fun and it will make them so happy to see you having fun on something they love. You don’t have to be in adult mode all the time. Treat yourself to fun that takes you back to summer days of your own childhood. For those few moments you can pretend to be a kid again with no worries-sometimes its the escape you need.

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