Romance

The Kiss Quotient

The Kiss Quotient

The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient #1) By: Helen Hoang

Plot:

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan — from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

Review:

While nominating books for Goodreads awards I stumbled across The Kiss Quotient. It sounded sweet, funny, and entertaining so I added it to my queue. While at the library I noticed it on display, recognized the name, so I picked it up. I hoped it was going to be good, but I know nothing about the author and I don’t always enjoy, what I think of, as more literary romances. You know, the books that don’t have gorgeous people on the cover, the ones that have blurbs that talk about semi-serious things, the ones that do a little bit to hide that they’re romances. The Kiss Quotient doesn’t go that way with the blurb, you know what’s going to happen based on that, but the cover kind of throws me off. My issue, not the books.

Anyway, I was ready to go to bed, decided to try the first page just to get a taste of what to expect. Next thing I knew it was four o’clock in the morning and I was finishing the book. I seriously can’t remember the last time that happened. This book was SO GOOD!

I love Stella and I was projecting on her hard. I am not autistic, at least not that I’m aware of, but so many of her little ticks I have done my entire life. She misses so many social queues, that the reader picks up on, and you just want to sit her down and spell everything out so she’ll understand. Ugh, I loved her.

My god, Michael is one of the hottest characters I’ve ever read. Seriously, the man is a dangerous fictional character. The patience and love he has for Stella is the stuff romance novels are made of. He is tortured and talented and loves his family in such a way that you just want to spend the rest of your life with him because you know that you will always be cherished. Dear god this man…

The Kiss Quotient deserved it’s Goodreads Choice Award win and then some. I am EAGERLY awaiting Hoang’s next book in a way I haven’t felt for a new author in years. I highly recommend.

5/5

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Ali’s Wedding (2017)

 

Alis Wedding

Ali’s Wedding (2017)

NETFLIX Movie

Director:

Jeffrey Walker

Starring:

Osamah Sami

Don Hany

Helena Sawires

Plot:

After a “white lie” which spirals out of control, a neurotic, naive and musically gifted Muslim cleric’s eldest son must follow through with an arranged marriage, except he is madly in love with an Australian born-Lebanese girl.

Review:

Ali, Osamah Sami, feels like he’s got a lot to live up to. His brother was killed by a landmine, his father is a cleric, and his other brother is clearly not going to become a doctor. So it’s all on him. Lies are born.

Ali is a sympathetic character, but I’ve never been fond of lies and poor communication as a plot device. His motivation is better than most so it didn’t bother me as much as it normally does. Still, the lies go on for a long time.

A crush he’s had for a while ends up blossoming into love, but of course the lies end up biting him in the butt. Thankfully, there is a very happy ending.

I guess, being able to tell the truth to friends and family, isn’t always a privilege people have.

3.5/5

Sierra Burgess is a Loser (2018)


Sierra Burgess is a Loser (2018)

NETFLIX Movie

Director:

Ian Samuels

Starring:

Shannon Purser

Kristine Froseth

RJ Cyler

Noah Centineo

Plot:

A case of mistaken identity results in unexpected romance when the most popular girl in high school and the biggest loser must come together to win over their crushes.

Review:

I was starting to think my new favorite genre was going to be high school romance. Between Love, Simon and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before I was questioning everything I’d thought before. Sadly, the streak has ended with Sierra Burgess is a Loser.

There was too much going on in this movie. You had Sierra, Shannon Purser, and her con of Noah Centineo. You had her attempts to get into Standford. Her relationship with Veronica, Kristine Froseth. Her poetry assignment. Also, just general teenage girl in high school. It was too much and everything suffered from it.

I had a hard time getting into the romance because I couldn’t read their texts and they weren’t read out loud. Maybe if my TV was closer or I’d been watching on a laptop I could have seen them, but because I couldn’t I missed out on a lot of the romance building. Because of that I found it difficult to believe Noah forgiving Sierra when everything was revealed. It felt rushed and unbelievable.

I hated the wardrobe for Sierra. I loved that she wasn’t super skinny, but I thought her clothes were purposefully very unflattering. Even a high school girl that didn’t care about fashion wouldn’t wear some of the stuff they had her in. They played it up way too much and it pissed me off. She was larger, but that didn’t mean they had to dress her the way they did.

Overall, I thought Sierra Burgess is a Loser was messy and had too much teen angst.

2/5

Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

Director:

Jon M. Chu

Starring:

Constance Wu

Henry Golding

Michelle Yeoh

Gemma Chan

Plot:

This contemporary romantic comedy, based on a global bestseller, follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu to Singapore to meet her boyfriend’s family.

Review:

This should have been called Obscenely Wealthy Asians. I feel like crazy rich doesn’t do it justice.

Rachel, Constance Wu, has been in a relationship with Nick, Henry Golding, for over a year and is pretty much smitten. He’s gorgeous and nice and intelligent and honestly what more could you want? He’s the total package, when he asks her to come to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore she agrees, knowing that she’s going to meet his family.

Nick is absurdly naïve when it comes to the meeting of the family. It is ridiculously obvious that he should have better prepared Rachel for this meeting and because of it she had several setbacks and potential setbacks that could have easily been avoided. Why he was such a dunce, not sure, his excuse was he didn’t care about those things and he didn’t think she would either. It’s a shit excuse and his gorgeous sister, Gemma Chan, kind of calls him on it as well as Rachel.

Rachel rises to the occasion and shows just how intelligent and amazing she is, and Nick eventually proves that he’s probably worth all the hassle. The problems weren’t really resolved so I’ll be interested to see if there’s a sequel, but for now we’ve got a nice little happily ever after bow.

Gemma Chan delivers one of the best burns ever at the end of this movie. The entire theater reacted when I watched. It was awesome.

Crazy Rich Asians was a unique romcom that still hit all the marks that I expect and need.

4/5

 

Love, Simon (2018)


Love, Simon (2018)
Director:
Greg Berlanti
Starring:
Nick Robinson
Jennifer Garner
Josh Duhamel
Katherine Langford
Alexandra Shipp
Jorge Lendeborg Jr.
Keiynan Lonsdale
Plot:
Simon Spier keeps a huge secret from his family, his friends, and all of his classmates: he’s gay. When that secret is threatened, Simon must face everyone and come to terms with his identity.
Review:
This movie…oh my god. This is a new favorite. I was so not expecting the absolute sweetness and all around beauty of this movie. What in the world is happening that I have now found two high school romance movies that I love? The world has gone mad!
Simon, Nick Robinson, is a normal teenage boy. He has a core set of friends he’s very close with, his family loves and supports him and he loves and supports them, and he lives an average upper middle class, probably actually upper class, life. Except he’s got a secret, he’s gay. He’s told no one, even though he doesn’t believe any of the people that matter will care, it’s not something he wants to share. He’s afraid it will change how people think of him and that’s honestly so relatable and heartbreaking.
One of my favorite romance tropes is falling in love with an anonymous person through their letters and Love, Simon does this perfectly. It takes it a step further, though, and raises the stakes. Simon’s emails are discovered by another student who then blackmails him. I wanted to destroy the kid that was doing this and for once I could understand and empathize with the angsty teenage motivation behind awkward encounters.
Love, Simon is an amazing high school romantic comedy that I would highly recommend to anyone that loves romances. It’s sweet, fun, and fills me with all kinds of warm happy emotions.
5/5