Room of Swords: My All-Time Favorite Webcomic

I think we can all agree that webcomics are amazing.

Every panel artists produce is a labor of love and talent. They tell a story using minimal words, and tell us everything else in how they draw their characters. The sheer care and attention to detail that webcomic creators put in their work is awe-inducing, and leaves me speechless as I scroll through chapters. Because how are people this talented?? Do they have the right to be this talented??

But anyway. Point is, I’m obsessed. And there’s one webcomic in particular that I really love. I stumbled upon it quite by accident – I saw it in a list of webcomics that include LGBTQIAP+ characters – and I started reading it and- Continue reading “Room of Swords: My All-Time Favorite Webcomic”

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Recommendations // 3 LGBTQIAP+ YA Historical Fantasies that Will Keep You Up All Night

Hello everyone! Hope you’re having a wonderful day!

One of the conversations I’ve seen going around the book community for a while now is how historical fiction should be diverse as well. And I agree! This is a thing that should happen, 100%! PoC and LGBTQIAP+ people are often pushed to the margins of history, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t there, and there should be more books that focus on that.

(To be clear, I’m not saying that there aren’t historical fiction books that feature marginalized characters out there, but I do think that there could be more. And I also think that we, as a community, need to work on finding these books and talking about them more! And listening to people who do talk about them and read them!)

So I’ve decided to spotlight three books – they’re YA, since I did an adult recommendation post last – that also fit in the fantasy genre! Because books that fit the historical and fantasy genre and feature LGBTQIAP+ characters front and center are obviously very powerful. 🙏❤️ And these particular books have premises so awesome that you will stay up all night reading them.

Continue reading “Recommendations // 3 LGBTQIAP+ YA Historical Fantasies that Will Keep You Up All Night”

Book Review // Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake

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“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.

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My Rating: ★★★★★– 5 stars

[Edit: I rewrote parts of this review, and changed some of my graphics.]

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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 “Book Review // Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake”

Book Review // Symptoms of a Heartbreak by Sona Charaipotra

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The youngest doctor in America, an Indian-American teen makes her rounds―and falls head over heels―in the contemporary romantic comedy Symptoms of a Heartbreak.

Fresh from med school, sixteen-year-old medical prodigy Saira arrives for her first day at her new job: treating children with cancer. She’s always had to balance family and friendships with her celebrity as the Girl Genius―but she’s never had to prove herself to skeptical adult co-workers while adjusting to real life-and-death stakes. And working in the same hospital as her mother certainly isn’t making things any easier.

But life gets complicated when Saira finds herself falling in love with a patient: a cute teen boy who’s been diagnosed with cancer. And when she risks her brand new career to try to improve his chances, it could cost her everything.

It turns out “heartbreak” is the one thing she still doesn’t know how to treat.

In her solo debut, Sona Charaipotra brings us a compelling #ownvoices protagonist who’s not afraid to chase what she wants. Symptoms of a Heartbreak goes from romantic comedy highs to tearjerker lows and is the ultimate cure-all for young adult readers needing an infusion of something heartfelt.

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My Rating: ★★★★★ – 5 star

TWs: homophobia (mentioned, cast in negative light)

We all make good decisions, and bad ones. Got to learn to live with both.

Symptoms of a Heartbreak (or, as my cousin dubbed it, the “medical book”) is ultimately about life: its fragility, its strength, its persistence in the face of tragedy. And Saira Seghal, sixteen-year-old doctor, may know a lot about life and death, but she’s about to discover she doesn’t know what it means to live.

Before I go any further: I’m an Indian reviewer, so it means the absolute world to me that a book featuring an Indian girl as the protag has been published. I relate to this book on so many levels, especially in the family department. Continue reading “Book Review // Symptoms of a Heartbreak by Sona Charaipotra”

ARC Book Review: The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War #2) by R.F. Kuang

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The searing follow-up to 2018’s most celebrated fantasy debut – THE POPPY WAR.

In the aftermath of the Third Poppy War, shaman and warrior Rin is on the run: haunted by the atrocity she committed to end the war, addicted to opium, and hiding from the murderous commands of her vengeful god, the fiery Phoenix. Her only reason for living is to get revenge on the traitorous Empress who sold out Nikan to their enemies.

With no other options, Rin joins forces with the powerful Dragon Warlord, who has a plan to conquer Nikan, unseat the Empress, and create a new Republic. Rin throws herself into his war. After all, making war is all she knows how to do.

But the Empress is a more powerful foe than she appears, and the Dragon Warlord’s motivations are not as democratic as they seem. The more Rin learns, the more she fears her love for Nikan will drive her away from every ally and lead her to rely more and more on the Phoenix’s deadly power. Because there is nothing she won’t sacrifice for her country and her vengeance.

The sequel to R.F. Kuang’s acclaimed debut THE POPPY WAR, THE DRAGON REPUBLIC combines the history of 20th-century China with a gripping world of gods and monsters, to devastating effect.

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My Rating: ★★★★★ – 5 star

TWs: violence (so much, though not as bad as The Poppy War), classism, racism, rape (discussion of it and attempted rape), drug use and addiction, death, maiming

These are most definitely NOT all of the trigger warnings, though these are ones I’ve recorded. Please look into more complete lists of trigger warnings so you can decide if this book is for you.

“Brace yourself,” Fonda Lee says in her blurb for this book. And she’s right. The Dragon Republic goes all out from page 1, pushing the boundaries of its world further and introducing more major players – along with the return of some familiar ones. Secrets and betrayals abound in this book, making it not only as brutal as The Poppy War, but many times more heartbreaking.

Continue reading “ARC Book Review: The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War #2) by R.F. Kuang”

Book Review // Shatter the Sky (Shatter the Sky #1) by Rebecca Kim Wells

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A determined young woman sets out to rescue her kidnapped girlfriend by stealing a dragon from the corrupt emperor in this stunning fantasy debut that’s perfect for fans of Margaret Rogerson, Rae Carson, and Rachel Hartman.

Raised among the ruins of a conquered mountain nation, Maren dreams only of sharing a quiet life with her girlfriend Kaia—until the day Kaia is abducted by the Aurati, prophetic agents of the emperor, and forced to join their ranks. Desperate to save her, Maren hatches a plan to steal one of the emperor’s coveted dragons and storm the Aurati stronghold.

If Maren is to have any hope of succeeding, she must become an apprentice to the Aromatory—the emperor’s mysterious dragon trainer. But Maren is unprepared for the dangerous secrets she uncovers: rumors of a lost prince, a brewing rebellion, and a prophecy that threatens to shatter the empire itself. Not to mention the strange dreams she’s been having about a beast deep underground…

With time running out, can Maren survive long enough to rescue Kaia from impending death? Or could it be that Maren is destined for something greater than she could have ever imagined?Middle of Post Regal DividerHere’s the pitch: a PoC bisexual protagonist and dragons.

Not convinced? I’ll continue. Continue reading “Book Review // Shatter the Sky (Shatter the Sky #1) by Rebecca Kim Wells”

My Fate According to the Butterfly Blog Tour: Review + Author Interview with Gail D. Villanueva

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Hello, hello, I’m back with my second blog tour for this month. This one is also for a book I rated 5 stars, which I’m really happy about. 🙂 It’s called My Fate According to the Butterfly, and it’s something special.

A huge shout-out to Shealea @ Shut Up, Shealea, Kate @ Your Tita Kate, and Cara @ The Little Miss Bookworm for hosting this tour! Y’all should make cure to check out their blogs, and follow the rest of the tour! And also, a huge shout out to Caryssa Sobrepeña for organizing as well! Continue reading “My Fate According to the Butterfly Blog Tour: Review + Author Interview with Gail D. Villanueva”