Belinda’s Book Nook Book Review: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Now that Dimple Shah has graduated, she’s ready for a break from her family – especially from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the Ideal Indian Husband. Ugh. But Dimple knows that her mother must respect that she isn’t interested in doing that right now – otherwise, she wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers, right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic, so when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him – during which he’ll have to woo her – he’s totally onboard. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself. Although their parents hadn’t planned suggesting the arrangement so soon, when their kids signed up for the same summer program, they figured why not?

My Thoughts:

I kept hearing about this book in the summer and people said it was a great light summer read. I tend to agree that it is a nice light book that could be read in the summer or between really heavy books that require your brain a rest.  That said, I am not suggesting the book is fluff. It is a nice story with cute characters and of course a little romance thrown in. It also touched on commonly believed cultural expectations marriage. Often when I read books that feature characters from a different culture from my own, I seek more insight to the culture and history. That said, this is a young adult book and this may be new to them.

I listened to the audiobook edition of this book even though I have the physical book and found it very enjoyable to listen to. So if you are looking for something sweet and light, this might be a great read for you. For the reasons mentioned above, I give this book 3 butterflies.


Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
Copyright: May 30, 2017
Genre: YA fiction
Format: hardcover book and audiobook Narrated: Sneha Mathan, Vikas Adam Pages: 380

Belinda’s Book Nook Review: Tale of the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki


“A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be.”

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying, but before she ends it all, Nao plans to document the life of her great-grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century. A diary is Nao’s only solace—and will touch lives in a ways she can scarcely imagine.

Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox—possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao’s drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future.

Full of Ozeki’s signature humour and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and reader, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, A Tale for the Time Being is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home.

My thoughts:

Have you ever wanted to read a book, bought it and then sit down to read it and about 10 pages in you stop to do something else and not return to the book? Sometimes I think I have ADD when it comes to books. Some books just suck me in and I can’t get enough. Others I have to put a bit of effort to finish. Then there are some that either fall after an amazing book and to no fault of its own, suffer neglect. So I started and stopped this book really quick a few years ago when I bought it. Then I tried again and got further and still ditched it.  But something in me said that I needed to read this book. I read for many reasons. Sometimes for pure pleasure other times for escape, and other times to grow. I put this book into the latter category. Which is why it might take a bit more effort for me to read.  Going into this, I wanted to explore Japan, the life of a Buddhist nun, the life of a teenage Japanese girl, and a writer. So I knew that sooner or later the right time would present itself and I would read this book. That time came in two ways: I found the audiobook version of the book on Hoopla and I wanted to read something for Japanese June. Japanese is an online book challenge created by a booktuber that wanted to encourage more exposure to Japanese authors and literature.

So I embarked on the audiobook version which was the best option for me for this book because the author read the book and she captured the essence so well with her voice. I saw Ruth Ozeki speak on a television interview and really enjoyed listening to her talk. Ruth is a writer, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest.  So I knew she would bring a wealth of first-hand knowledge to the book.

I first want to warn the reader that there is some graphic sexual content in a few places in the book and some pretty heavy bullying scenes. So if that might be a trigger then this might be a bit more of a challenge to read. I found them challenging but pushed through because I felt what the book had to offer outweighed my discomfort in a few sections.

The book switched back and forth between Nao, a Japanese teenager, and Ruth. The story of Nao was so intriguing. Even though she is Japanese, she grew up in California and when her family was forced to return to Japan, she is not welcome by the Japanese children at school. They call her names and bully her in unimaginable ways.  It was heartbreaking to read at times. The story of Ruth is her relationship with her husband, her thoughts about her life choices and how the discovery of Nao’s diary impacts her life.  I won’t go into it more than that because it will spoil the book.

Overall, I truly enjoyed this audiobook and loved her definition of a time being and how she intertwines both stories. I am glad that I persisted to find a way to read this book. For some, the print might work but for me, I appreciated the book more via audio format.  That said, I recommend if you get an option try reading it first and if you find yourself doing what I did, then check out the audiobook version. I give this book 4 butterflies!

Happy reading!


Title: Tale for the Time Being
Author: Ruth Ozeki
Copyright: March 12, 2013
Genre: fiction
Format: audiobook book Pages: 422

Belinda’s Book Nook Review: And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard


Title: And We Stay
Author: Jenny Hubbard
Copyright: January 28, 2014
Genre: fiction
Format: audiobook

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Senior Paul Wagoner walks into his school with a stolen gun, he threatens his girlfriend, Emily Beam, and then takes his own life. Soon after, angry and guilt-ridden Emily is sent to a boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, where two quirky fellow students and the spirit of Emily Dickinson offer helping hands. But it is up to Emily Beam to heal her own damaged self, to find the good behind the bad, hope inside the despair, and springtime under the snow.

My thoughts:

No matter what book I am reading in print, I always have an audio book to play on my iPhone while I work or cook dinner. So I just looked through quickly and found this book. I never heard of it before by I think it is a young adult book.  I can’t lie, I was drawn to the fact that the main character was going to be going to a school in Amherst, Massachusetts and being a University of Massachusetts alumni, I love hearing about the area. So that helped when it came time to select this book. I also thought it would be a good book for me to check out since young suicides are prominent in the news over the years.

Bullying, rejection of young love, sexuality preferences, depression all these things seem to be top reasons that the youth of today are taking their precious lives. So I wanted to see where this book went with such a heavy topic.  The book slowly releases the reasons why and what led up to the suicide of the young boy, Paul while viewing the story through Emily’s perspective. It shared the aftermath and what happens to Emily. I could see the wholes in the “support” Emily received from her parents although I believe their intentions were well meaning.

I am saddened every time I hear a person particularly a young person taking their life. I wonder what brought them to the decision and always pray that we will find better ways to support each other so that no longer becomes an option. The story was interesting and I liked how, Emily, who was a young aspiring poet loved Emily Dickenson.  The author did a great job of weaving Emily Dickenson’s poetry into the story. I have to admit that I am not well versed on poetry but this book has peaked my interest.  I think this book did a good job exploring the aftermath of suicide and the struggles of the one’s left behind in a light enough manner that it wouldn’t overwhelm a young reader.

Overall, I felt although the topic is very complicated, I thought this was a good book and not the end all but one that might give insight to the guilt of the one’s left behind and how they grieve and process the loss.  I think the inclusion of Ms. Dickenson’s poetry improved my experience with the book. If not for it, I might have a lower rating but again I liked how the author utilized the poetry to help convey more meaning throughout the book.

That said, I would give this book four butterflies.

Happy reading!



Belinda’s Book Nook Review: The Madman’s Daughter (#1) by Megan Shepherd


Title: The Madman’s Daughter (book #1)
Author: Megan Shepherd
Copyright: January 29, 2013
Genre: fiction
Format: audiobook

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father’s gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Inspired by H. G. Wells’s classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman’s Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we’ll do anything to know and the truths we’ll go to any lengths to protect.

My Thoughts:

I found this book on Overdrive and really was excited when I heard the sample. First off they had great intro music which not all audiobooks have. The voice talent was performed by Lucy Rayner. I will have to add her to my list of voice talent I enjoy listening to. Second, the story takes a twist on the old Dr. Moreau tale (which I have to confess I have never read) by coming from the perspective of his daughter.  As of late, I am really enjoying re-tellings of old tales. So I snatched this one up immediately.

I like that the character Juliet was a strong female throughout the book and especially in the time period she was living in.  She was very analytical and compassionate at the same time. Two things that don’t always go hand in hand in character traits.

The story moved at a great pace and I continue to listen to see how the story would end.  What I didn’t realize is that it is part of a series. My first reaction when completing the book was that it was good but that I would not continue on to the next book. But, with more time and space between completing it, I feel like many author’s books improve through series so I just might pick up the audio for the second book.

Having said this, I would give this 3 1/2 butterflies. Please note that I don’t condone the harming of butterflies and this is the first time I am using a half butterfly. But I didn’t like to be constrained when I think it is more that 3 but not quite 4.

I will let you know after I listen to the second book if I feel the series is growing or just alright.

Happy Reading!




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