Weike Wang’s Chemistry

Coming of Age, Fiction


Brief review of a fictional chemist’s introspective ramblings.

This book is utterly frustrating — I get that that’s the point. Here’s this nameless character who’s at a turning point of her life: finishing her PhD program and deciding on a long-term boyfriend’s marriage proposal(s). This is where she begins to question everything and starts to wonder what it is that she wants out of life. That plot makes for most coming of age books, doesn’t it?

Ashley Herring Blake’s Suffer Love

Fiction, Romance, Young Adult


A contemporary teenage love story that’s doomed from the start.

I’ve been on a writing hiatus for the last two months but I’m back and ready to kick things back into gear. I’ve got seven reviews coming up so keep an eye out for those. My game plan is to post every other Sunday. The first of those is below.

Nicola Yoon’s The Sun is Also a Star

Fiction, Romance, Young Adult

A serendipitous encounter of two teens as their lives are about to embark on two very different paths. 

Have you ever come across a resume with all the credentials you’re looking for yet when you meet this prospective candidate in person, it isn’t a good fit? No? How about this: have you ever swiped right on someone who sounded perfect on paper to only meet in person and discover something was amiss? No? Well you’re one lucky person.

For everyone else, that’s how I felt about this book. Logically, it seemed to have the makings of a good read. It provided a love story with relatable themes of dual cultural identity, high parental expectations, serendipitous encounters, and alternative perspectives. On top of that, New York was the backdrop with deportation looming all around (cue current political climate, how more relatable can we get). The book was also sprinkled with Korean phrases (validated by my coworker to be authentic), knowledge on the black hair market (which is dominated by the Koreans – who knew?), and the science behind love (still don’t get it but has a lot to do with hormones). All in all, it looked promising enough to quench my thirst for relatability, new knowledge, and a feel good read.

Trevor Noah’s Born A Crime

Autobiography, Non-Fiction


Stories from Trevor Noah‘s childhood during Apartheid in South Africa

I picked this up with little to no expectations. My siblings and I watch The Daily Show regularly so this was a way to learn more about the dimpled man who followed in Jon Stewart’s foot steps.

It’s hard to imagine Trevor Noah as anything other than the handsome, elegant, and confident man on TV. But there is so much more than meets the eye and this book made me respect the comedian with the childish jokes that sometimes don’t land so much more. Noah grew up wearing many hats: from a rambunctious devil child that no one could control to a teen with severe acne whose first date to a school dance was one he paid for through a deal with a friend. And that’s not even the half of it: Noah was a straight up hustler finding money making opportunities wherever he could from using his athletic build and speed to get lunch for kids at school who couldn’t run to the food trucks fast enough to beat the daily lunch lines to selling pirated CDs at a time where no one owned a CD writer to DJ’ing in the hood.

Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter

Fiction, Sci-Fi, Thriller/Mystery

Undercover philosophical read disguised as a sci-fi thriller 

What did I just read?! At the turn of every page, this was the question I kept asking myself. It’s difficult to concisely summarize this book without giving away parts of it so I’ll try my best to keep this description vague yet enticing. 

I purchased this book a few months ago but only recently read it as it was selected as my book club’s January read. All I have to say is damn — this book will make you think about whether or not you’re happy with life, about failed ambition, about being appreciative, about being grateful, about love, life, and family. The author hooks the reader within the first chapter. It’s hard to put this book down once you start. There are so many twists and turns; this book is a complete MIND FUCK

Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Non-Fiction, Self-Help/Improvement

A book on decluttering and organizing based on the KonMari method

Yes, you read right — even with all of my OCD tendencies – I read a book on organizing. I have to say it has its merits, some are overambitious, but definitely worth a try.

After reading the book, I thought the author was bold in saying decluttering would change your life; definitely didn’t believe it was a game changer. But here I am – two weeks later – finding myself tossing things in my house that don’t give me joy. I’m taking stock of my inventory and asking myself whether I’m ever going to use the item at hand. 9 out of 10 times, the item is being kept because of a flawed thought: it may come in handy down the road. For example, pajamas – I have a ton of pajamas that I don’t wear anymore yet am keeping them around in the event that maybe, just maybe, I’ll need them when I’m painting my house (true story). I can’t remember the last time I painted so why do I need to save something for an event that may or may not happen?

Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air

Autobiography, Non-Fiction

An inspiring autobiography about a neurosurgeon that grapples with a fatal cancer diagnosis

It’s very rare that a non-fiction book moves me and this book did just that. I couldn’t put it down. The book gave me a lot of feels that I hope I can portray in the following summary:

Death is such a foreign concept — we throw phrases around like “live everyday like it’s your last” and “live life to the fullest” but most of us aren’t actually living out those phrases. And it’s for good reason — we have jobs, bills, and countless other responsibilities we’re held accountable for. And that’s life. We hear stories about people quitting their day jobs to go on a crazy life changing adventure but does anyone ever talk about what happens to those afterwards? No? Probably because they’re now trying to make a living somewhere.

Amy Schumer’s The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo

Autobiography, Non-Fiction


Random chaotic ramblings of Amy Schumer

I really didn’t care for Amy Schumer’s crude humor so honestly, I have no idea why I even picked this book up but I think it has a lot to do with the title — it’s hilarious! And, it may have something to do with the fact that no other book appealed to me during that month’s book of the club selection so by order of elimination — I ended up with this book.

Jokes aside, I’m glad I read it — I like her so much better now that I know more about her. She’s real and keeps it real in her book, putting her entire business on the line from her parent’s infidelity to her one-time one-night stand to loving her body. She takes these otherwise serious topics and pokes fun at them.