Posted in 5 Stars, Amazing Heroines, Book Reviews, Young Adult Book Reviews

Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake // Messy, Hard, and Absolutely Heartbreaking

31351689“I need Owen to explain this. Because yes, I do know that Owen would never do that, but I also know Hannah would never lie about something like that.”

Mara and Owen are about as close as twins can get. So when Mara’s friend Hannah accuses Owen of rape, Mara doesn’t know what to think. Can the brother she loves really be guilty of such a violent crime? Torn between the family she loves and her own sense of right and wrong, Mara is feeling lost, and it doesn’t help that things have been strained with her ex-girlfriend and best friend since childhood, Charlie.

As Mara, Hannah, and Charlie navigate this new terrain, Mara must face a trauma from her own past and decide where Charlie fits in her future. With sensitivity and openness, this timely novel confronts the difficult questions surrounding consent, victim blaming, and sexual assault.


My Rating: ★★★★★– 5 stars

“This doesn’t make any sense. This isn’t…” This isn’t my brother, I want to say. He would’ve never hurt Hannah. But that would make Hannah a liar, and that’s not her either.

I’ve read so many reviews of this book, lauding it for how profound it was, but I never could’ve guessed at how truly heartbreaking it is. Girl Made of Stars is like a punch to the gut – it leaves you feeling winded, gasping for breath, and ready to cry all at once. Continue reading “Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake // Messy, Hard, and Absolutely Heartbreaking”

Posted in 4 Stars, Amazing Heroines, Book Reviews, Young Adult Book Reviews

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo (The Epic Crush of Genie Lo #1) by F.C. Yee // I’m In Love *heart eyes*

30116958

Genie Lo is one among droves of Ivy-hopeful overachievers in her sleepy Bay Area suburb. You know, the type who wins. When she’s not crushing it at volleyball or hitting the books, Genie is typically working on how to crack the elusive Harvard entry code.

But when her hometown comes under siege from hellspawn straight out of Chinese folklore, her priorities are dramatically rearranged. Enter Quentin Sun, a mysterious new kid in class who becomes Genie’s self-appointed guide to battling demons. While Genie knows Quentin only as an attractive transfer student with an oddly formal command of the English language, in another reality he is Sun Wukong, the mythological Monkey King incarnate—right down to the furry tale and penchant for peaches.

Suddenly, acing the SATs is the least of Genie’s worries. The fates of her friends, family, and the entire Bay Area all depend on her summoning an inner power that Quentin assures her is strong enough to level the very gates of Heaven. But every second Genie spends tapping into the secret of her true nature is a second in which the lives of her loved ones hang in the balance.


My Rating: ★★★★ – 4 stars

Welp. Nothing like having your personhood denied in the morning to start off the day right.

After attempting to start this review many different ways, and deleting every single one of them, I’m going to start this with the only way I seem to be capable of:

*claps very loudly*

I did not expect to like this book as much as I did. In fact, I expected to be kept vaguely interested throughout the story, but not really get involved in it.

But guess what happened?? My expectations did not become a reality, and I could not be happier! <– The one time I’ll ever say this. Continue reading “The Epic Crush of Genie Lo (The Epic Crush of Genie Lo #1) by F.C. Yee // I’m In Love *heart eyes*”

Posted in Miscellaneous

February 2019 TBR // feat. a List Inspired by F/F February and #SapphicAThon, and YARC2019

Hello! I’m back!

Just so you know, my silence for the last couple of days is because I read King of Scars. And I loved it!!

Liked it?? I originally gave it a 5-star rating, but I’m probably going to be bumping it down to 4 because in retrospect, there were a few problems with pacing and the plot was kind of…not focused. BUT THAT ENDING. WOWOWOW. I need the next book, ASAP.

Anyway, let’s get to the actual topic of the post: my February TBR! This is a tentative TBR – definitely not set in stone – but they’re books I’d like to read this month. And they’re based off a couple challenges taking place!

I’ve already announced that I’m participating in #YARC2019 and set a goal to get the Bengali tiger (read 50+ books by Asian authors), but I found other interesting challenges: F/F February and #SapphicAThon. Continue reading “February 2019 TBR // feat. a List Inspired by F/F February and #SapphicAThon, and YARC2019”

Posted in Miscellaneous

Down the TBR Hole #4

I’m back! With another Down the TBR Hole post. I’m going to try to turn this into a weekly thing, so that I can steadily try to decrease my TBR, but we’ll see. Hopefully I remember and it happens.

ALSO KING OF SCARS BY LEIGH BARDUGO COMES OUT TOMORROW AND I’M SCREAMING WITH JOY AHHHHH.

Well, not tomorrow for me. (I’m being responsible and writing this post on Sunday!) But it comes out in TWO DAYS people.

I’m already planning on clearing my Tuesday evening of all homework so I can stay up late and read everything. And I’m not reading the Grishaverse series. (Sorry, but can’t force myself through that. Nope nope nope.)

Anyway –> Back on track!

Down the TBR Hole was created by Lia @ Lost in a Story to help decrease the size of our TBRs.

HOW IT WORKS:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Continue reading “Down the TBR Hole #4”

Posted in 5 Stars, Adult Fiction, Amazing Heroines, Book Reviews, Reviews

The Poppy War (The Poppy War #1) by R. F. Kuang // Dark, Brutal, and My New Favorite

35068705


Synopsis:

When Rin aced the Keju, the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies, it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard, the most elite military school in Nikan, was even more surprising.

But surprises aren’t always good.

Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.

For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .

Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.


My Rating: ★★★★★ – 5 stars

TWs: violence (a LOT – please don’t take this lightly), classism, racism, rape (not actually described, but extremely graphic descriptions of horrors leading up to it), animal death and cruelty, drug use and addiction, self-harm (by main character), sexism, death (very graphic descriptions of it), maiming

This is a very brutal and very dark book. Please make sure you’re in the right head-space to read this. These are all the trigger warnings I found, but I know this list is incomplete, so I recommend checking both Melanie’s and Fadwa’s reviews to see more complete lists of trigger warnings.

Thanks to The Poppy War, I got an average of three hours of sleep over the course of two days. Because I made a mistake. That mistake was reading the first few pages the day before I had to take two tests, turn in a bunch of homework, and try not to die. And then I added reading this book to the pile because it was so. Amazingly. Addicting. And thus the aforementioned lack of sleep happened.

So. It appears I have a new favorite book.

War doesn’t determine who’s right. War determines who remains.

The Poppy War is a book that’s set in a world based off the Second Sino-Japanese War. And like all wars, many of its realities are frightening. The world is developed so vividly and realistically through the brutalities and injustices mentioned that it’s never too hard to suspend your disbelief and lose yourself in the story.

And. This. Story. Doesn’t. Pull. Its. Punches. Continue reading “The Poppy War (The Poppy War #1) by R. F. Kuang // Dark, Brutal, and My New Favorite”

Posted in Miscellaneous

Year of the Asian Reading Challenge // In Which I Get…Kind of Personal and Set Impossible Goals for Myself

I stumbled across this challenge the other day on May’s blog and my excitement grew the longer I read her post. A challenge that had you reading as many books by Asian authors as you could? That the entire book community could participate in? AND YOU CAN GET BADGES?! Sign me up! Continue reading “Year of the Asian Reading Challenge // In Which I Get…Kind of Personal and Set Impossible Goals for Myself”

Posted in Miscellaneous

The 2019 Releases I Can’t Wait to Read // Books I am Willing to Fight People For

I saw a lot of people making lists like this, so I decided to do one too! And honestly, I need to do one. A list like this will remind me of the releases I’m hoping to read this year, so I actually, you know, read them.

You guys. There are so many new books coming out this year! And a lot of them sound so amazing! I look at them and I start salivating because I’m weird but also because my fingers are itching to grab a hold of them and I NEED THEM NOW PLEASE GIMME.

Me @ time: Hurry up so my books can be here already and I can buy them!

Also me @ myself: Uh, you know you got no money, right?

The perpetual conflict between me, money, and the clock continues. Of course, the books always win in the end, which depresses my wallet, but what can you do?

Right. You can always make a list of more books you want and depress your wallet even further. Which is what I’ll be doing! Continue reading “The 2019 Releases I Can’t Wait to Read // Books I am Willing to Fight People For”