Title: The Beauty of the Moment
Author: Tanaz Bhathena
Publisher: Penguin Teen
Publication Date: February 26, 2019
Susan dreams of being an artist. Malcolm wants to move him and his sister out of a bad living situation.
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 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.
I didn’t know how much I needed this book until I started reading it! It takes place in Ontario, which is incredible because I could picture things that were mentioned. This book totally felt like home to me and I absolutely loved it. It’s a story about young love, defying expectations, standing up for yourself, family, and fitting in.
Susan Thomas wants to be an artist. Only, her parents have more practical ideas when it comes to her career. They have only ever cared about her excelling in school and becoming an engineer or a doctor. On top of that, her parents are fighting, her dad’s living in another country, and she’s expected to get her driver’s license. From the outside, it might look like she has it all, but inside she’s barely keeping it together.
Malcolm hasn’t had the easiest life. Since his mom died he’s gone through the ringer and back. He’s got a serious reputation for his bad attitude and partying ways. He’s also dealing with ex-girlfriend drama and his sad excuse for a father. The only one keeping him from doing something stupid is his sister.
This is a total classic love story! It’s definitely got some of my favourite tropes going: hate to love, forbidden love, opposites attract, good girl meets bad boy…basically all the good stuff. Susan and Malcolm are just so cute together! Their relationship starts with tons of death stares but totally ends with lots of kissing. This romance is a total wild ride and it’s definitely got a few obstacles.
The Beauty of the Moment really resonated with me because it deals with such pivotal moments in a teenager’s life such as trying to fit in and figuring out what you want to do with your life. I really enjoyed that this book also dealt with serious real life issues as well: racism, peer pressure, bullying, alcohol and drug abuse, and child abuse. It’s always great to see a solid YA story dealing with such important themes that reflect reality. If you’re looking for a great contemporary, I highly recommend this book!
TW: mentions of child abuse
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tanaz Bhathena was born in India and raised in Saudi Arabia and Canada. Her critically acclaimed novel A Girl Like That was nominated for the 2019 OLA White Pine Award and named a Best Book of 2018 by The Globe and Mail, CBC, Quill & Quire, Seventeen, PopSugar, and The Times of India among others. She is also the author of The Beauty of the Moment releasing on Feb 26 2019 and a fantasy duology called Hunted by the Sky, with the first book coming out in spring 2020. Her short stories have appeared in various journals including Blackbird, Witness and Room.
A wanderer at heart, Tanaz can often be found travelling to different countries, learning bits and pieces of a foreign language, and taking way too many photographs. She loves slapstick comedies and any kind of music that makes her dance. She lives in the Toronto area with her family.
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