{Story Diary} Sunburnt Veils by Sara Haghdoosti

Apr 12, 2021

sunburnt veils sara haghdoosti


Sunburnt Veils is a complex, fun and heartfelt YA in college story full of love, friendship, social commentary and so much more with an Iranian Australian Muslim hijabi main character front and center in the heart of Australia. Take a trip to Australia and get to know Tara in her journey at uni, in love and in life. Be prepared to laugh, cry and more, because these characters will steal a space in your heart and have you laughing along with them before you know it. A plus if you're looking for some rom-com with a side of important topics, fighting for what's right and some tugging of heartstrings. Read on to find out why I recommend this book to everyone (no spoilers, I promise).


Sunburnt Veils by Sara Haghdoosti
Young Adult Contemporary Romance
April 1, 2021 from Wakefield Press


Girl meets boy, ghosts his text messages, then convinces him to help her run for the student union. Just your typical love story with a hijabi twist.

Tara wears hijab even though her parents hate it, and in a swipe right world she’s looking for the ‘will go to the ends of the earth for you’ type of love. Or, she would be, if she hadn’t sworn off boys to focus on getting into med. Besides, what’s wrong with just crushing on the assassins, mages and thieves in the fantasy books she reads?

When a bomb threat on her first day of university throws her together with totally annoying party king and oh-so-entitled politician’s son Alex, things get complicated. Tara needs to decide if she’s happy reading about heroes, or if she’s ready to step up and be one herself.

Sunburnt Veils is an own-voices rom-com with a political activist edge and a deliciously savvy pop culture voice.



Setting


Sydney, Australia


[Image Source]



sunburnt veils sara haghdoosti aesthetic
Reasons to Read Sunburnt Veils


✩ YA in college/uni.

Likeable and relatable MC. Tara is shy but fierce, funny, determined, courageous, smart, a reader, full of heart and sees the good in everyone despite the adversities thrown her way. She will make you laugh, cry, empathize, understand her, root for her, cheer her on and have you be so proud of her. 📚

Perfectly balances the lighthearted, comedic and romantic aspects of the story while tackling social commentary (racism, misogyny, prejudice, injustice) without dampening the plots or overall story, or by making it feel like it's solely for teaching through trauma. There's wit, there's camaraderie, there's supportive friendships, there's important conversations to be had, fighting for what's right and a whole lot of heartfelt moments within the pages. 

✩ The friendships between Tara and her friend group. The love and bond between them are palpable, and important to the story as it is in Tara's life. They are the glue and added even more life to this wonderful story. I'm so happy that Tara had a support system like them by her side. More friendship groups like them in YA, please! 👯‍♀️🥺

As Tara runs for student council at the university, she meets a cute, charming and privileged rich boy who may be more than he seems once she gets to know him, which then blossoms into a romance. Tara has honest, relatable feelings when it comes to this romantic partner/possibility that is well-explored. The vulnerability in the character and their relationship felt so organic and relatable. It definitely adds more depth to their romance. Watching (or reading) how their relationship grew and flourish was an absolute joy even if it wasn't all sunshine and roses at the start. 💘

✩ Sheds light on racism and Islamophobia that Muslim women face in Australia (and any Western country tbfh) which needs to be addressed more, as well as how the media misconstrues Muslims and uses their faith to fearmonger, while also breaking stereotypes and barriers of Muslim women. A breakthrough feminist novel that is deep, complex, humorous, uplifting and hopeful. 🧕🏾✊

While the story does tackle important social commentaries, it's a rom-com all the way and I was so here for it. It was cute, fun, uplifting, humorous, organic and heartfelt.

Tropes / Themes


☾ Strong female lead
☾ Cute, rich/more than meets the eye LI
☾ Friendships
☾ Falling in love
☾ Sexuality
☾ Breaking stereotypes
☾ Student politics
☾ Political Activism
☾ Pop culture references

Rep


☀ Iranian Australian Muslim hijabi MC
☀ #ownvoices author
☀ LGBTQ+ side characters

Content / Trigger Warnings


➤ Racism
➤ Islamophobia
➤ Sexism
➤ Homophobia
➤ Bomb threats
➤ Divorce












"I ain't saying it's fair. I'm saying it's your story and you're the only one who can change it."

--Sara Haghdoosti, Sunburnt Veils



I wanted to do something more. I wanted to be worthy of the life blessings I had.

--Sara Haghdoosti, Sunburnt Veils



I surrendered to the power that was so much bigger than me - and remembered that my life was just a moment in eternity, that I was only one soul in billions that God shepherded. My life mattered and there was almost no way for people to remember my name in a thousand years. I couldn't wait until the time was right to do good. I only had the now.

--Sara Haghdoosti, Sunburnt Veils







I was born in Iran, grew up in Sydney and am currently based just outside Chicago. It generally takes me ten minutes to answer the question, “Where are you from?”

I got my start in organizing at the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and then went on to work at GetUp, Change.org, the Mozilla Foundation and founded Berim (‘Let’s go’ in Farsi) - a non-profit that worked to support changemakers in Iran. I’m currently the Deputy Director at Win Without War.

My writing has appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, The Punch, The Drum and I’ve also been a panelist on the ABC’s Q and A.

My upcoming novel was long-listed for the Richell Prize, and will come out in early 2021 with Wakefield Press. I’m represented by Danielle Binks at Jacinta di Mase Management.












Friendly reminder that Black lives still and will always matter -- Continue signing petitions (updated often), donating (if/when you can), protesting safely (more protest tips here and here), emailing/calling your reps/AG/DA, register to vote/vote-by-mail, and educating yourself and family members. More ways to help support Black people and the BLM movement can be found on BLM's official Linktree, blacklivesmatter.carrd.co, and blmsites.carrd.co. More resources can be found on the sidebar as well. ➔  

Philippines was devastated by multiple typhoons within the span of two months, destroying thousands of homes, displacing thousands of Filipinos, and leaving many without running water or electricity. Please consider donating to relief and recovery efforts if/when you're able to. Info and safe places to donate to PH victims + families can be found on RescuePH carrd, RescuePH int'l carrd, BangonPH carrd, Youth Rise PH Linktree, PH Red Cross, Kaya Natin! Movement, book drives, and watch these YouTube ads at no cost to you. Also worth adding: continue to help PH #JunkTerrorLaw + end police brutality with junkterrorlaw.carrd.co and parasapinas.carrd.co

Stop Asian hate in the U.S. and around the world by contacting elected officials, donating, signing petitions, volunteeringattending bystander intervention trainings, supporting Asian businesses/creators, reporting anti-Asian hate crimes near you, and more: Stop AAPI Hate, Stop Asian Hate carrd, Anti-Asian Violence Resources carrd, Asian American Commission, Asian American Advocacy Fund, Asian Mental Health Collective, and this comprehensive list of Asian-led orgs and resources via NYMag. More resources in the sidebar as well. ➔

Resources + educational tools on what's going on around the world right now and ways to help: worldissues.carrd.co | issuesintheworld.carrd.co | getinformed.carrd.co | currentinfo.carrd.co | dotherightthing.carrd.co | allcards.carrd.co



Top 20 Books on My Spring 2021 TBR

Mar 16, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's topic is...

Top Ten Books on My Spring TBR



Of course, I couldn't stick to only 10 so here's 20 books on my Spring TBR (sorry not sorry)! There's so many books releasing this spring that sounds absolutely fantastic. I hope this helps add a few new books onto your tbrs. If any of the titles below interests you enough, support an author by pre-ordering their book or adding it on goodreads, storygraph, or book hype. Enjoy!
 




Renegade Flight by Andrea Tang (March 23, 2021) | Viola Park's life is over. She's gone from planning her future as a pilot-in-training to resigning herself to life on the ground. And it's all because she made one tiny, not-altogether-legal maneuver on the prestigious GAN Academy's entrance exam. It's bad enough that she didn't get into the Academy, but getting caught cheating? It's probably the worst thing Vi could imagine. Set fifteen years after Prudence Wu took flight in Rebelwing, a new generation of scrappy young pilots challenge corruption, competition, and more dangerous mechs than ever, as they redefine what it means to be a revolutionary.


Folklorn by Angela Mi Young Hur (April 27, 2021) | A genre-defying, continents-spanning saga of Korean myth, scientific discovery, and the abiding love that binds even the most broken of families. Elsa Park is a particle physicist at the top of her game, stationed at a neutrino observatory in the Antarctic, confident she's put enough distance between her ambitions and the family ghosts she's run from all her life. But it isn't long before her childhood imaginary friend—an achingly familiar, spectral woman in the snow—comes to claim her at last. 

Years ago, Elsa's now-catatonic mother had warned her that the women of their line were doomed to repeat the narrative lives of their ancestors from Korean myth and legend. But beyond these ghosts, Elsa also faces a more earthly fate: the mental illness and generational trauma that run in her immigrant family, a sickness no less ravenous than the ancestral curse hunting her. From Sparks Fellow, Tin House alumna, and Harvard graduate Angela Mi Young Hur, Folklorn is a wondrous and necessary exploration of the myths we inherit and those we fashion for ourselves.


The Force of Fire by Sayantani DasGupta (May 18, 2021) | Pinki hails from a long line of rakkhosh resistors, demons who have spent years building interspecies relationships, working together to achieve their goal of overthrowing the snakey oppressors and taking back their rights. But she has more important things to worry about, like maintaining her status as fiercest rakkhosh in her class and looking after her little cousins. There is also the teeny tiny detail of not yet being able to control her fire breathing and accidentally burning up school property. 


The Lights of Prague by Nicole Jarvis (May 18, 2021) | In the quiet streets of Prague all manner of otherworldly creatures lurk in the shadows. Unbeknownst to its citizens, their only hope against the tide of predators are the dauntless lamplighters - a secret elite of monster hunters whose light staves off the darkness each night. Domek Myska leads a life teeming with fraught encounters with the worst kind of evil: pijavice, bloodthirsty and soulless vampiric creatures. Despite this, Domek find solace in his moments spent in the company of his friend, the clever and beautiful Lady Ora Fischerová-- a widow with secrets of her own. 


Dead Dead Girls by Nekesa Afia (June 1, 2021) | The start of an exciting new historical mystery series set in 1920s Harlem featuring Louise Lloyd, a young black woman caught up in a series of murders way too close to home... 

Harlem, 1926. Young black girls like Louise Lloyd are ending up dead. 

When a girl turns up dead in front of the café, Louise is forced to confront something she's been trying to ignore--several local black girls have been murdered over the past few weeks. After an altercation with a local police officer gets her arrested, Louise is given an ultimatum: She can either help solve the case or let a judge make an example of her.


Bacchanal by Veronica Henry (May 25, 2021) | Evil lives in a traveling carnival roaming the Depression-era South. But the carnival’s newest act, a peculiar young woman with latent magical powers, may hold the key to defeating it. Her time has come. 

Abandoned by her family, alone on the wrong side of the color line with little to call her own, Eliza Meeks is coming to terms with what she does have. It’s a gift for communicating with animals. To some, she’s a magical tender. To others, a she-devil. To a talent prospector, she’s a crowd-drawing oddity. And the Bacchanal Carnival is Eliza’s ticket out of the swamp trap of Baton Rouge.





Queeroes by Steven Bereznai (April 6, 2021) | What happens when a closeted jock, a scrawny, out and proud nerd, and a pair of bratty cheerleaders develop superpowers in a small-town high school? Can they stop a pair of super-powered classmates hellbent on reshaping the student body in a darker image? Or will teen angst, jealousy, and ill-timed romance doom them all? Fast, fun, and sexy, Queeroes is where unlikely teen heroes must face their darkest fears to become their truest selves.


Grace and Glory by Jennifer L. Armentrout (June 1, 2021) | Trinity Marrow has lost the battle and her beloved Protector. Even with both demons and Wardens on her side, Trin may not win the war against the Harbinger. 

Bringing Lucifer back to the world to fight the Harbinger is probably a really, really bad idea, but they’re out of options—and the world’s ultimate fallen angel is the only being powerful enough to impact the outcome.


Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses by Kristen O'Neal (April 27, 2021) | Priya worked hard to pursue her premed dreams at Stanford, but a diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease during her sophomore year sends her back to her loving but overbearing family in New Jersey—and leaves her wondering if she’ll ever be able to return to the way things were. Thankfully she has her online pen pal, Brigid, and the rest of the members of “oof ouch my bones,” a virtual support group that meets on Discord to crack jokes and vent about their own chronic illnesses. 


Southern Sun, Northern Star by Joanna Hathaway (April 20, 2021) | Reeling from the tragedy that beset her family, Princess Aurelia has joined the resistance in Havenspur, spying on the Northern leaders who were once her allies and determined to stop her uncle's machinations for war. Meanwhile, her beloved pilot Athan leads his squadron into battle as the Safire wage a losing war abroad and combat growing unrest back home. 

The breathtaking finale to a legendary series. Part war drama, part romance, Southern Sun, Northern Star is the epic conclusion to the Glass Alliance series.


Hana Khan Carries On by Umza Jalaluddin (April 6, 2021) | Sales are slow at Three Sisters Biryani Poutine, the only halal restaurant in the close-knit Golden Crescent neighbourhood. Hana waitresses there part time, but what she really wants is to tell stories on the radio. If she can just outshine her fellow intern at the city radio station, she may have a chance at landing a job. In the meantime, Hana pours her thoughts and dreams into a podcast, where she forms a lively relationship with one of her listeners. But soon she’ll need all the support she can get: a new competing restaurant, a more upscale halal place, is about to open in the Golden Crescent, threatening Three Sisters.


Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala (April 4, 2021) | The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes—one that might just be killer.... 

When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She's tasked with saving her Tita Rosie's failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Nora Ephron romp to an Agatha Christie case.





Blackout, edited by Dhonielle Clayton (June 22, 2021) | Six critically acclaimed, bestselling, and award-winning authors bring the glowing warmth and electricity of Black teen love to this interlinked novel of charming, hilarious, and heartwarming stories that shine a bright light through the dark. 

A summer heatwave blankets New York City in darkness. But as the city is thrown into confusion, a different kind of electricity sparks… 

Beloved authors—Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon—celebrate the beauty of six couples and the unforgettable magic that can be found on a sweltering starry night in the city.


Black Water Sister by Zen Cho (May 11, 2021) | A reluctant medium discovers the ties that bind can unleash a dangerous power in this compelling Malaysian-set contemporary fantasy. 

Jessamyn Teoh is closeted, broke and moving back to Malaysia, a country she left when she was a toddler. So when Jess starts hearing voices, she chalks it up to stress. But there's only one voice in her head, and it claims to be the ghost of her estranged grandmother, Ah Ma. In life Ah Ma was a spirit medium, the avatar of a mysterious deity called the Black Water Sister. Now she's determined to settle a score against a gang boss who has offended the god--and she's decided Jess is going to help her do it.


The One's We're Meant to Find by Joan He (May 4, 2021) | One of the most twisty, surprising, engaging page-turner YAs you’ll read this year—We Were Liars meets Black Mirror, with a dash of Studio Ghibli. 

Cee awoke on an abandoned island three years ago. With no idea of how she was marooned, she only has a rickety house, an old android, and a single memory: she has a sister, and Cee needs to find her.


The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri (June 10, 2021) | Author of Empire of Sand and Realm of Ash Tasha Suri's The Jasmine Throne, beginning a new trilogy set in a world inspired by the history and epics of India, in which a captive princess and a maidservant in possession of forbidden magic become unlikely allies on a dark journey to save their empire from the princess's traitor brother. 


A War of Swallowed Stars by Sangu Mandanna (June 1, 2021) | War is destroying the galaxy. Esmae has vanished without a trace. A terrifying, ravenous beast is devouring the stars one by one. Titania is offered a gift that may well be a curse. Alexi, the exiled prince, is asked to pay a heavy price for his mistakes. And far, far away, on a dark, mysterious planet, a sleeping god stirs awake.


Blade of Secrets by Trisha Levenseller (May 4, 2021) | A teenage blacksmith with social anxiety accepts a commission from the wrong person and is forced to go on the run to protect the world from the most powerful magical sword she's ever made. 

Eighteen-year-old Ziva prefers metal to people. She spends her days tucked away in her forge, safe from society and the anxiety it causes her, using her magical gift to craft unique weapons imbued with power.


Hani and Ishu's Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar (May 25, 2021) | Everyone likes Humaira "Hani" Khan—she’s easy going and one of the most popular girls at school. But when she comes out to her friends as bisexual, they invalidate her identity, saying she can’t be bi if she’s only dated guys. Panicked, Hani blurts out that she’s in a relationship…with a girl her friends absolutely hate—Ishita "Ishu" Dey. Ishu is the complete opposite of Hani. She’s an academic overachiever who hopes that becoming head girl will set her on the right track for college. But Ishita agrees to help Hani, if Hani will help her become more popular so that she stands a chance of being elected head girl. 

Despite their mutually beneficial pact, they start developing real feelings for each other. But relationships are complicated, and some people will do anything to stop two Bengali girls from achieving happily ever after.


Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart (April 20, 2021) | Iraya has spent her life in a cell, but every day brings her closer to freedom - and vengeance. 

Jazmyne is the Queen’s daughter, but unlike her sister before her, she has no intention of dying to strengthen her mother’s power. 

Sworn enemies, these two witches enter a precarious alliance to take down a mutual threat. But power is intoxicating, revenge is a bloody pursuit, and nothing is certain - except the lengths they will go to win this game. 

This Jamaican-inspired fantasy debut about two enemy witches who must enter into a deadly alliance to take down a common enemy has the twisted cat-and-mouse of Killing Eve with the richly imagined fantasy world of Furyborn and Ember in the Ashes.



♥ Are y'all excited for any of these titles?
What's on your TBRs this spring (or autumn)?
Let me know and share your links in the comments below! ♥



Friendly reminder that Black lives still and will always matter -- Continue signing petitions (updated often), donating (if/when you can), protesting safely (more protest tips here and here), emailing/calling your reps/AG/DA, register to vote/vote-by-mail, and educating yourself and family members. More ways to help support Black people and the BLM movement can be found on BLM's official Linktree, blacklivesmatter.carrd.co, and blmsites.carrd.co. More resources can be found on the sidebar as well. ➔  

Philippines was devastated by multiple typhoons a few months ago, destroying thousands of homes, displacing thousands of Filipinos, and leaving many without running water or electricity. Please consider donating to relief and recovery efforts if/when you're able to. Info and safe places to donate to PH victims + families can be found on RescuePH carrd, RescuePH int'l carrd, BangonPH carrd, Youth Rise PH Linktree, PH Red Cross, Kaya Natin! Movement, book drives, and watch these YouTube ads at no cost to you. Also worth adding: continue to help PH #JunkTerrorLaw + end police brutality with junkterrorlaw.carrd.co and parasapinas.carrd.co

Resources + educational tools on what's going on around the world right now and ways to help: worldissues.carrd.co | issuesintheworld.carrd.co | getinformed.carrd.co | currentinfo.carrd.co | dotherightthing.carrd.co | allcards.carrd.co


{Story Diary} American Betiya by Anuradha D. Rajurkar | Blog Tour

Mar 8, 2021

american betiya blog tour


Hi, friends and book lovers alike! Welcome to our stop on the American Betiya blog tour here on EK today, organized by Lonely Pages Book Tours! I am so excited to share my story diary feature for American Betiya, which releases tomorrow! This story is heartrending and unforgettable - I enjoyed it and hope you will too! Thanks goes to Lonely Pages Book Tours for having me on the tour and to Knopf for providing an advanced review copy. Be sure to check out all the blogger's posts on the tour for incredible content and ownvoices reviews, and read an excerpt here!



american betiya
American Betiya by Anuradha D. Rajurkar
Young Adult Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
March 9, 2021 from Knopf / Penguin Random House


Fans of Sandhya Menon, Erika Sanchez and Jandy Nelson will identify with this powerful story of a young artist grappling with first love, family boundaries, and the complications of a cross-cultural relationship. 

Rani Kelkar has never lied to her parents, until she meets Oliver. The same qualities that draw her in--his tattoos, his charisma, his passion for art--make him her mother's worst nightmare. 

They begin dating in secret, but when Oliver's troubled home life unravels, he starts to ask more of Rani than she knows how to give, desperately trying to fit into her world, no matter how high the cost. When a twist of fate leads Rani from Evanston, Illinois to Pune, India for a summer, she has a reckoning with herself--and what's really brewing beneath the surface of her first love. 

Winner of the SCBWI Emerging Voices award, Anuradha Rajurkar takes an honest look at the ways cultures can clash in an interracial relationship. Braiding together themes of sexuality, artistic expression, and appropriation, she gives voice to a girl claiming ownership of her identity, one shattered stereotype at a time.


Settings / Places



Evanston, Illinois


[Image Source]


Pune, India


[Image Source]

[Image Source]


Indian Public Figures


[Amrita Sher-Gil | Image Source]


Amrita Sher-gil was a Hungarian-Indian modernist painter, one of her most notable works "Group of Young Girls" won the Bombay Art Society gold medal in 1937. Learn more about Amrita and see her beautiful artworks here.


Indian Culture + Celebrations

(but not exclusive or limited to Indian)

Rani's Indian heritage is a huge and integral part of her life and the story, and some are celebrated throughout the book.


Daily blessing


According to beliefnet.com:

When Hindus wake up in the morning, they pray to God, seeking blessings for the day. 

The front part of the hands (the finger tips) are ascribed to Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth, the middle part (the palm proper) to Goddess Saraswati - the Goddess of learning and the root (the part of of hand near the wrist) to Govinda (God). Therefore, every morning, one should have a respectful look at one's hand which symbolizes honest labor. 

"O! Mother Earth, who has the ocean as clothes and mountains and forests on her body, who is the wife of Lord Vishnu, I bow to you. Please forgive me for touching you with my feet."


Daily Puja


According to rudraksha-ratna.com:

Puja means "worship" or "reverence of the Divine." Most of the Vedic scriptures and epics including the Vedas, Upanishad, Ramayana, Mahabharata, and more emphasize the significance of performing daily puja at home. Pujas such as Rudra Abhishek, Satyanarayan Puja, Diwali Puja, Vastu Puja and other are performed on specific days and events only few times every year. Many devotees often perform a small daily Puja before leaving home for daily blessings of the Divine, Sattvik living and positivity. Devotees mostly offer Deity Pujas either to their favorite Deity Ishta Devta or to a specific Deity for a specific purpose.


According to baps.org:

Nitya Puja, or daily puja, is a prayer ritual performed every morning by Hindu devotees. A devotee can communicate with God during daily puja and convey one’s concerns and feelings directly to God. Puja helps an individual concentrate on the divine murti of God and His gunatit sadhu. It helps to calm the mind and quiet its many thoughts.



Diwali

Diwali is a festival of lights that is observed by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains across South Asia and all over the world, and is celebrated in unique ways to various cultures. The name is derived from Sanskrit dipivali, meaning "row of lights." The festival occurs over the course of five days during the Hindu lunisolar month Kartika (typically between mid-October to mid-November but varies every year), and there are different traditions for each day of Diwali. According to blogger of Maple and Marigold, Puneeta Chhitwal-Varma, says the essence of the festival remains the same no matter where you live and that "Diwali is about celebrating life, all of its goodness, and the triumph of hope and light over darkness and despair."

Some resources about the history, traditions and more about Diwali: learnreligions.com, theculturetrip.com, britannica, National Geographic.

[Disclaimer: Information above were gathered from multiple resources on the internet and should be taken with a grain of salt or otherwise verified by those who personally observe these events themselves, as not everything on the internet is accurate despite being free. If I did share any inaccurate information, please feel free to let me know and I will correct it.]

Tropes / Themes


☾ Family dynamics
☾ Friendships
☾ Female empowerment
☾ Growth
☾ First love
☾ Self-discovery
☾ Cross-cultural
☾ Sex-positivity
☾ Artsy bad boy LI
☾ Forbidden secret relationship

Rep


☀ Indian American MC + SCs
☀ #ownvoices author

Content / Trigger Warnings


➤ Racism
➤ Drug usage/addiction
➤ Cultural fetishization
➤ Microaggression
➤ Abusive/toxic relationship
➤ Death of family member
➤ Grief
➤ Gaslighting
➤ Manipulation


american betiya aesthetic









"Just remember," she goes on, "your life belongs to you and you alone. Not some man's."

--Anuradha D. Rajurkar, American Betiya



"But there will always be angry people, betiya, as long as humans exist in the world. We mustn’t let them poison our minds."

--Anuradha D. Rajurkar, American Betiya



"The best masalas use spices slow-roasted over the flame . . . browned, even a little burned. We are like that, only we burn a little to attain the complex flavor. And that burning, the pain... one must not avoid such pain. It is part of a rich life."

--Anuradha D. Rajurkar, American Betiya

[Disclaimer: quotes are taken from an unedited advanced review copy and is subject to change in final publication.]

Food


There's so much delicious Indian food mentioned and enjoyed in this book, and here's a few of them: 



Do not read this book on an empty stomach - you will ~probably~ get hungry.







anuradha d. rajurkar
Anuradha D. Rajurkar is the national recipient of the SCBWI Emerging Voices Award for her contemporary debut novel, American Betiya. Born and raised in the Chicago area to Indian immigrant parents, Anuradha earned two degrees from Northwestern University, and for many years had the joy of being a public school teacher by day, writer by night.

Nowadays, when she’s not writing or reading, you can find Anuradha exploring the shores of Lake Michigan with her family, obsessing over her garden, watching either happy TV like Queer Eye or old horror flicks with her son, cooking Indian food, or roguishly knitting sweaters without their patterns. She hopes her stories will inspire teens to embrace their unique identities and inner badass despite outside pressures and cultural expectations.














♥ Are y'all excited for American Betiya?
If you've already read it, let me know what you thought in the
comments and drop links to your posts! ♥







Friendly reminder that Black lives still and will always matter -- Continue signing petitions (updated often), donating (if/when you can), protesting safely (more protest tips here and here), emailing/calling your reps/AG/DA, register to vote/vote-by-mail, and educating yourself and family members. More ways to help support Black people and the BLM movement can be found on BLM's official Linktree, blacklivesmatter.carrd.co, and blmsites.carrd.co. More resources can be found on the sidebar as well. ➔  

Philippines has been devastated by multiple typhoons within the span of two months, destroying thousands of homes, displacing thousands of Filipinos, and leaving many without running water or electricity. Please consider donating to relief and recovery efforts if/when you're able to. Info and safe places to donate to PH victims + families can be found on RescuePH carrd, RescuePH int'l carrd, BangonPH carrd, Youth Rise PH Linktree, PH Red Cross, Kaya Natin! Movement, book drives, and watch these YouTube ads at no cost to you. Also worth adding: continue to help PH #JunkTerrorLaw + end police brutality with junkterrorlaw.carrd.co and parasapinas.carrd.co

Resources + educational tools on what's going on around the world right now and ways to help: worldissues.carrd.co | issuesintheworld.carrd.co | getinformed.carrd.co | currentinfo.carrd.co | dotherightthing.carrd.co | allcards.carrd.co

{Story Diary} I Think I Love You by Auriane Desombre | Blog Tour

Mar 3, 2021

i think i love you auriane desombre blog tour


Hi, friends! A great rivals to lovers YA book released yesterday called I Think I Love You by Auriane Desombre, and today I am sharing some fun things about the book (sans spoilers, of course) like a tour to NYC places, favorite quotes, aesthetic + more. I've been sitting on this book (and post) for nearly a year now with the publication being pushed back, so I'm excited to share why you must add this book to your TBR asap. Thanks goes to TBR and Beyond for having me on the tour, and to Underlined for providing an advanced review copy!


i think i love you auriane desombre
I Think I Love You by Auriane Desombre
Young Adult Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ+
March 2, 2021 from Penguin Random House / Underlined


A sweet and funny debut novel about falling for someone when you least expect it . . . and finding out that real life romance is better than anything on screen. 

Emma is a die-hard romantic. She loves a meet-cute Netflix movie, her pet, Lady Catulet, and dreaming up the Gay Rom Com of her heart for the film festival competition she and her friends are entering. If only they’d listen to her ideas. . . 

Sophia is pragmatic. She’s big into boycotts, namely 1) relationships, 2) teen boys and their BO (reason #2347683 she’s a lesbian), and 3) Emma’s nauseating ideas. Forget starry-eyed romance, Sophia knows what will win: an artistic film with a message. 

Cue the drama. The movie is doomed before they even start shooting . . . until a real-life plot twist unfolds behind the camera when Emma and Sophia start seeing each other through a different lens. Suddenly their rivalry is starting to feel like an actual rom-com.



New York, US


New York Public Library


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Bryant Park


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Prospect Park


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Madison Square Park


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Central Park


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Washington Square Park


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Battery Park


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Brooklyn Botanical Garden


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Film References


       


Books Mentioned


    


Shoutout to Kate for calling out how misogynistic these works are! Someone had to and it's about time. It's also meta how I Think I Love You is sort of a loose retelling of Much Ado About Nothing but that it's challenges misogyny, turning Shakespeare's work on its head and we are so here for it.

i think i love you auriane desombre aesthetic
Tropes / Themes


✩ (Sapphic) rivals to lovers
✩ Opposite pairing (hopeless romantic x cynic)
✩ Dual POVs
✩ Friendships/friend groups
✩ Falling for the competition during said competition
✩ Sabotage
✩ Coming out
✩ Rom-com meta references
✩ Matchmaking
✩ omg just kiss already
✩ Family & friend drama
✩ Much Ado About Nothing retelling

Rep


☀ Bisexual MC
☀ Lesbian LI/MC
☀ f/f
☀ Side character with illness (syncope)


[Side note: this is the first time a character in a book I've read that has syncope - one of the illnesses I too suffer from, so it was a surprise to see that little bit of rep hardly seen in media. Learn about syncope here.]

Content / Trigger Warnings


➤ Divorce
➤ Homophobia
➤ Misogyny/sexism
➤ Fainting due to illness + stress
➤ Public humiliation


i think i love you auriane desombre moodboard








This could be my chance to tell the gay rom-com story of my life, the kind I've never seen on-screen before, despite the hours of my life I've spent glued to the Netflix romantic comedy section, falling in love with the idea of love even as I yearned to see myself in the stories about it. Just because the straights in Hollywood don't know how to tell my story doesn't mean it's not out there.

--Auriane Desombre, I Think I Love You


The fact that I'm not out to my parents only makes me love the on-screen romance even more. It's a safe place, a place to escape into a world where love is not only possible but guaranteed, for everyone.

--Auriane Desombre, I Think I Love You


Just because someone doesn't want to be in a relationship, that doesn't make them uncaring. I care about things. I love my friends; I'm excited about this movie. I'm not hardened.

--Auriane Desombre, I Think I Love You


"As the two resident gays of this squad, maybe we should have a dance?"
"Okay, but only for the gay rights."

--Auriane Desombre, I Think I Love You


All I know is that I love the way Emma's hand feels against mine. All I know is that I'm not sure anymore why I've been fighting with Emma all week. Now, in the warm embrace of the night sky and the blanket hiding us from the rest of the world, all I want to be is soft with her.

--Auriane Desombre, I Think I Love You


My bisexuality matters. It always has, and it always will, no matter who I end up with.

--Auriane Desombre, I Think I Love You


"Being bi is a big deal," I say as I cross the living room to stand by them.
"I spent a lot of time acting like because I could still end up with a boy, it's not a big deal. But it is, and it's a part of me no matter who I date. It took me a long time to work up the courage to tell you, and you can't dismiss it."

--Auriane Desombre, I Think I Love You


The best love is matter-of-fact. It doesn’t need those big gestures and those big romance moments. Real love comes in the every day moments, the daily life you share.

--Auriane Desombre, I Think I Love You

[Disclaimer: quotes are from an unedited advanced review copy and are subject to change in final publication]


Fanmix

(by me)


[click image to enlarge]
Welcome to New York // Taylor Swift
I Love My Friends // Steve Aoki x Icona Pop
Headaches // Raveena
Cherry // Rina Sawayama
I Really Like You // Carly Rae Jepsen
Catching Feelings // Inigo Pascual x Moophs
Bad Friend // Rina Sawayama
i'm so tired... // Lauv x Troye Sivan
Only a Girl // Gia
Bad Girl // Daya
i like me better // Lauv
She // Dodie
What I Need // Hayley Kiyoko
fuck, i'm lonely // Lauv x Anne-Marie
Friends // Jesse McCartney
New York City // Owl City
I Think I Like You // sirenXX
Fuck Up the Friendship // Leah Kate
Girls Like Girls // Hayley Kiyoko









Auriane is the author of I Think I Love You, and works as a middle school teacher and freelance editor. She holds an MA in English Literature and an MFA in Creative Writing for Children & Young Adults. She lives in Los Angeles with her dog, Sammy, who is a certified bad boy.
















♥ Are y'all excited for this sapphic rom-com?
Have you read it already? Tell me what you think
or drop your links in the comments below! ♥


Follow the Tour!



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