Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!
Back in May, I had the pleasure of attending the Penguin Teen Social. At the event, we got to meet several different authors and have several different books signed. When I heard that Tanaz Bhathena, the author of THE BEAUTY OF THE MOMENT, was going to be at the event signing her book, I was SO excited to meet her and pick up a copy of it! I had been wanting to read it ever since I received it at PTS, and have finally read and finished it yesterday!
Susan is the new girl—she’s sharp and driven, and strives to meet her parents’ expectations of excellence. Malcolm is the bad boy—he started raising hell at age fifteen, after his mom died of cancer, and has had a reputation ever since.
Susan’s parents are on the verge of divorce. Malcolm’s dad is a known adulterer.
Susan hasn’t told anyone, but she wants to be an artist. Malcolm doesn’t know what he wants—until he meets her.
Love is messy and families are messier, but in spite of their burdens, Susan and Malcolm fall for each other. The ways they drift apart and come back together are testaments to family, culture, and being true to who you are.
This is easily one of the sweetest YA contemporary books I have ever read! It was very cute, but also featured a lot of really important themes.
I loved how the theme of family was a heavily weighted aspect of this book. Almost every other scene was with either Susan or Malcolm’s parents, and I really enjoyed the contrast between them. Both main characters came from rough childhoods, but were both trying constantly thinking about the relationship they had with their parents. Their parents were big influences in their lives, for both good and bad reasons.
Another one of my favourite parts of this book was the cultures that both Susan and Malcolm came from. They both came from similar, but very different places, which meant that some of their traditions and holidays differentiated from one another. I really enjoyed learning about their cultures, as well as the different ways they called their elders!
I also really liked how the book was written. It was written in first-person perspective, and dual-POV, which makes readers really get in the heads of the two main characters. However, I never felt myself fully connect or empathize with Susan and Malcolm. They were very basic YA teen characters, and while they did develop quite a bit throughout this story, I didn’t really care for or about them.
Asside from the characters, I thought that the story dragged on a bit. Some of the scenes seemed a bit receptive, and I found that the characters were doing the exact same five things throughout the entire story.
Overall, I really enjoyed this YA contemporary, and gave it 4/5 stars. Thanks to Penguin Teen Canada for the finished copy, and thanks to Tanaz Bhathena for signing it for me!
Good Night Book Owls!