The Burning God by R.F. Kuang – Spoiler Free Review

This review of The Burning God by R.F. Kuang is spoiler free, however, I will be sharing how I felt about the book (ex. my emotions). If you consider that a spoiler, please do not continue reading. There will be spoilers for The Poppy War and The Dragon Republic!!! If you have not read those books, do not continue reading. I will be writing a spoilery review in 2021 once I know more people have read it.

The Burning God by R.F. Kuang is one of my top 5 books of 2020. I first read The Poppy War and The Dragon Republic in August and loved them both. Kuang creates a world that is vibrant and draws you in. For being 500+ page books, I found myself easily lost in them.

I honestly didn’t know what to expect from The Burning God. I went in with no expectations, which I think helped because I didn’t want to set myself up for disappoinment. The Dragon Republic had one of the most shocking cliffhangers ever: Nezha stabs Rin in the back and Rin vows to have her revenge by using the southern provinces of the Nikara Empire. To be honest, I forgot the exact details of TDR, but it was pretty easy to connect the dots as I read TBG.

What I found most compelling was the relationship between Rin and Kitay. They’ve been through so much together, and seeing them work together in TBG is one of the best parts of this book. I also loved seeing Venka, and even started to understand Nezha (I still don’t like him). Seeing them grapple with the meaning of humanity and what it means to be a leader really impacted me emotionally because, again, they’ve been through a lot.

Again, the world building is so incredible. I can see characters journey throughout this vast world, a mark of Kuang’s amazing writing. I felt like I was right alongside them as Rin experiences a lot throughout this book. Additionally, the action scenes in this book are so well written: the pacing is pretty much perfect, so it’s possible to get through this book in one sitting.

As for the ending, I loved it while also feeling so many emotions. I’ve re-read it about three times already and Kuang is able to satisfy the readers (or at least, this reader). I cannot wait to see what Kuang writes in the future because I know I will 100% be reading it.

Have you read The Burning God? If so, what did you think? Please keep the comments spoiler free!!

Evermore Book Tag from Star is All Booked Up

Hello everyone!! This is my first ever book tag from @stars.brite https://starisallbookedup.wordpress.com/ . I’ve listened to the entirity of Evermore once and my favorite songs are Tis the Damn Season, Willow, Gold Rush, and Coney Island. Here are the books I think would fulfill these prompts:

Definitely Arjun from The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco. I love how much of a fighter he is while also making sure his travel companions are safe. My favorite line is “Wreck my plans, that’s my man” because that’s exactly what he sort of did when joining Haidee on her quest.

Roma and Juliette from These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong!!! This is one of my #1 books of 2020, and I love how distinctive their personalites are. The line I think would most fit them is “You won’t remember all my / Champagne problems.” Read it and I think you’ll get it.

Right now, it’s definitely We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal. The line I think will best describe this book is “I don’t like anticipatin’ my face in a red flush” because this exactly describes how Zafira and Nasir feel about each other, or at least how they feel because they’re in denial.

Small Town Hearts by Lillie Vale. This is the same answer as Rameela’s because I can’t think of any other books. I guess this means I need to read more small town romance books. If you have a recommendation, please tell me in the comments!

Elias and Laia from the An Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir. Again, the same answer as Rameela’s because I really feel like this fits them perfectly. The lyric I think captures them the best is “Gain the weight of you, then lose it.”

Rin from The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang. If you’ve read it, I don’t think I really need to explain. Although I am still sobbing over everything that happens in this series. It changed my worldview forever.

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir. This book is a rollercoaster of emotions. I have no idea how Tahir is able to outdo herself every single time. I mean, “Haunted by the look in my eyes / That I would’ve loved you for a lifetime?!!!” No need to explain.

Now That I’ve Found You by Kristina Forest. I love this book so much and NYC!!! I miss being able to travel and the memory of when I went to NYC for the first time makes me feel so nostalgic.

Karina and Malik from A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown. Oh gosh this is another book I need to re-read before the end of 2020!!! This is literally my new favorite fantasy series because the world is so vivid and I can’t wait for A Psalm of Storms and Silence. The line “Break my soul in two looking for you” seems like it could match up with these two.

We Unleash the Merciless Storm by Tehlor Kay Mejia. I’d forgotten a lot of the events of We Set the Dark on Fire, so I was happily surprised when I understood and loved this book so much. Carmen and Dani are great characters and I’ll be reading this again next year.

Esha and Kunal from The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala embody this so perfectly!!! They are my favorite enemies to lovers ship of all time, and TTAM is up there with The Bone Witch as one of my favorite trilogies. “Takes one to know one” is the lyric for Esha and Kunal.

Something in Between by Melissa De La Cruz. As a Filipino American teen girl, I can say that this is some of the worst rep I’ve ever read. I mean, putting your homeland into a box and constantly thinking the U.S. is better than the Philippines?!! Yeah, no.

A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey. This book is about loving yourself, your family, and so many forms of love. This book made me feel so calm and at peace. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a sweet coming of age in the summer before college.

Something in Between again.

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn. THIS IS MY NUMBER ONE BOOK OF 2020!! (There are some ties, but if you told me to choose one, this would be it.) The history Bree discovers and becomes a part of literally makes me want to cry and also learning that there is no one way to deal with grief. I love this book so much.

Thank you for reading!! I am linking Rameela’s post: https://starisallbookedup.wordpress.com/2020/12/12/evermore-original-book-tag/. I would also love to see what books you’d choose for these songs!

Your top three off Evermore? Mine are Gold Rush, Tis the Damn Season, and Coney Island.

A Sky Beyond the Storm Review – MAJOR SPOILERS. SPOILERS.

Cover of A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir. Laia is holding a scythe and Elias is holding a wooden armlet.

THERE WILL BE MAJOR SPOILERS THROUGHOUT THIS REVIEW OF A SKY BEYOND THE STORM. I AM TELLING YOU NOW TO NOT LOOK IF YOU HAVE NOT READ A SKY BEYOND THE STORM. DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW UNTIL YOU HAVE READ IT. IF YOU READ MY REVIEW AND GET SPOILED, YOU WILL BE SAD.
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If you are here, I am assuming you’ve read the entirity of A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir. If so, here is another warning: my style of writing reviews is VERY incoherent after I’ve read a really great book that is amazing and makes me want to cry and also just stare at the ceiling for a few hours contemplating my life choices.

Listen, I only checked my laptop and phone twice when reading this book from 8:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. today. I audibly gasped at some moments. I 100% stand by this statement: THIS IS HOW YOU END A SERIES.

I first read An Ember In The Ashes in January 2018. I then read A Torch Against the Night and A Reaper at the Gates in September 2018 in the span of three days (I honestly don’t remember doing this but I am proud and also wonder how I managed to do that). I read A Thief Among the Trees in October of this year and now I’ve finally done it!! I finished a series this year!!!

Sabaa Tahir is an excellent writer. I feel like the series can be divided up into two parts: AEITA and ATATN and then ARATG and ASBTS. The first two books seem more political fantasy focused while the last two books have this element as well as containing a lot of action and magic. This magic system is so unique and I agree with another review I read: THERE IS NO DEUS EX MACHINA. In fact, I love that Laia defeated/gets rid of the Nightbringer with the power of love and stories. I love endings like that.

I never felt bored while reading this. I definitely raced through some parts, but those were the action parts (like when Dex sacrificed himself, or the battle between Helene and the Commandment). I don’t remember the name of the Commandment’s mom, but OMG!! Commandment = lovey. I was not expecting that at all.

I also didn’t mind Helene’s point of view. Yes, she is still my least favorite character for being for colonization and how she treated Laila, and I do like seeing how she grew throughout the story. Her ending made sense. I was very sad when Harper died. I would love to see a novella about Harper’s childhood and maybe of interactions he had with Elias at Blackcliff.

Also, Darin’s journey!!!!!! This death made me the most sad because for a while, he was the only family Laia had left. I would like to see a novella about Laia dealing with the aftermath of the war. I also need to re-read a physical copy of ARATG because I didn’t comprehend why that other country was attacking. I also want to know how the government will work now that Helene is empress?! Like I was almost expecting there to be debates on having a representative government (or maybe I forgot this part).

Let’s talk about Laia. Laia is my favorite character AND YET that moment when she played into the Nightbringer’s hands made sense while also irritating me. However, I feel like this pushed her to see how she fights and I know that Tahir doesn’t favor certain characters/doesn’t allow Laia to be the perfect main character: to quote Rose Tico, “We win by saving what we love, not killing what we hate.” Yes, the Nightbringer went away, but again, Laia defeated him with love. Laia’s love for Elias is so strong, and that scene where Elias repeats Always Victorious almost made me cry, or at least I was sobbing in my mind. Elias went through so much and I truly believe he and Laia deserved the happy ending they got.

See, I absolutely despise it when authors kill off the main characters or make them die and come back. No resurrections allowed!!! They’re the main characters for a reason. This is why A Sky Beyond the Storm has the perfect ending. I love the character arcs of Laia and Elias and to see them rise beyond who they were in An Ember in the Ashes is so beautiful. Tahir is an excellent writer and every page made me want to keep reading.

Basically, I’m happy because Laia finally gets to be free and live on her own terms. In the other books, she was attached to her past and now in ASBTS, she knows how to work past her fears and tap into her powers. The legends/stories in this novel are so beautifully interwoven.

Finally, I cannot wait to see what Tahir writes in the future. This is the most perfect fantasy series I’ve ever read (besides The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco and The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang – no I have not read The Burning God yet oops), and I’m not just saying that because so many of my friends love this series. This is what fantasy should be: a world that expands as you read the series with characters who will live in your minds forever.

Last thoughts: I would love a wedding novella about Laia and Elias!!!! Or them going on dates or something because I want to see them together!!!! Most of this book was Elias acting super grouchy (haha) and being all like, “let me tend to my ghosts,” and yes I know that’s not him but I just want to see more of them!!! Also, I definitely think this series is in the upper YA category because I could definitely analyze some of the darker themes in this book/moments like when Helene crosses that pit of bones. I hope Tahir writes an adult fantasy series, and I’ll be happy with anything she writes. Again, I would love that Harper novella and maybe one about Musa. As well as a textbook of the history of this world.

Anyway, time to re-read the entire series!

What did you think of A Sky Beyond the Storm?

Mini Life Update: December 16, 2020

Celebration post for my two year anniversary on bookstagram!

It has been a while. I’ve been really inactive because of school and other life things, but I am aiming to post at least three more times this month. Here’s what’s been happening in my life:

SCHOOL

I have two days left until winter break. Honestly, I’m struggling with my research paper. Writing a literature review is complicated: you have to talk about your sources while also putting them in conversation with each other. It’s hard to get started. So far, I’ve written it, but I need to make the line of reasoning clearer.

I am proud of the fact that I finished my first dual enrollment course!! I will be taking Introductory Statistics next semester. Right now, I’m excited to have time off since my teachers aren’t assinging much work for this winter break.

BOOKS

Well. I have around 24-25 books to finish by the end of this year. I recently acquired a copy of A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir and am at the beginning of A Reaper at the Gates. Every book in the series just keeps getting better and better.

As for the blog, yes I have not posted in a month. I love bookstagram but I need to start cultivating my site. I know that getting a Twitter would make it easier, but I honestly need to get off Twitter because I waste A LOT of time on there. Right now, I am trying to keep it as a TVD and Wings of Ebony fanpage.

There are so many books I have to review such as Happily Ever Afters, Wings of Ebony, and Clues to the Universe. Also, Make Up Break Up!! I’m really into rom-coms these days as well as heavy fantasy novels in winter. I hope to get to The Burning God and The Ever Cruel Kingdom before the end of 2021.

Overall, I need to get through these next two days and then I can really start working on having a lot of fun posts for the end of this year! I can’t wait to share my top 10 list. I’ve read 199 books this year including re-reads. Not including re-reads: 133-134, I think! My goal was 100. That includes around 20-25 DNFs (which I will get to in 2021).

How are you? Are there any good books you’ve read lately?

Two Year Anniversary Series: How to Get Started on Bookstagram

I’ve been on bookstgram for almost two years now. This is the earliest post I have on it right now; I’ve archived A LOT.

Hi everyone! Over the next month, I’m doing a series of posts about bookstagram because my two year anniversary is coming up! Over two years, I have learned so much and I think I’ve really grown from the first post I posted on bookstagram. The biggest change for me was in my mindset (this will be for another post in this series). I also used to be @lives_in_ya_books and not @solaceinreading_ (another post will be about rebranding yourself/finding your “aesthetic”). I don’t consider myself to be an influencer: I am just a girl who loves books and wants to connect with others who love books as much as I do.

When I first started my bookstagram, I thought I knew what I was doing: I was going to post pretty pictures of books I liked because I like books. I wish I’d known that bookstagram can be SO MUCH MORE!! I’ve connected with authors, people who live in other countries, publishers, etc. My first piece of advice is to: Be willing to try new things.

This was my main location for most of my photos from December 2018 to May 2020. I loved this location because of the natural lighting and how the background complemented any book. Finding the right location is important if you want your feed to have a consistent “look” over time. I didn’t get proper bookshelves until this August, and now that is the main place where I take most of my photos.

It will take a lot of experimentation for you to find out what look you want your feed to have, which leads me to my next piece of advice: find a niche IF YOU WANT. Listen, at first you might find it a bit redundant because there are literally thousands of bookstagrammers and tens of thousands pictures of books. HOWEVER!!!!!!! It’s more important to show your personality and being yourself rather than worry if there are people reading the same books as you. After all, that’s what you want: for people to read books because you do as well.

Anyway, let me get back to the niche part: I used to post about the popular books because that’s all I knew about: examples include Red Queen, Six of Crows, The Lunar Chronicles. Then, I learned that these books are problematic, and also that literally everyone on bookstagram knows about these books or at least has seen these names. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t post about them. I just know for me that I did not want my platform to consist of books that are harmful and do not have good representation. So, I decided to post 99% of the time about books by authors who are people of color because I am a person of color myself. I also expanded my horizons by doing this and was able to read from POVs other than my own (I am Filipino American).

Which leads me to my next point: having a niche will help you find friends!!!! I can 110% verify this: I have made friends who are awesome and are people I know I can talk to because I trust them. Also, having a close friends list is the BEST CHOICE EVER. I am a part of the Asian Bloggers Directory run by Shealea @shutupshealea, and that’s how I’ve received free books from publishers. I really appreciate this because I’ve been able to find more Asian American authors and bloggers and bookstagrammers. This matters to me because I’ve been in quarantine since March (literally I have not hung out with anyone except for one time >six feet apart in my backyard with family friends), and it’s been lonely at times.

This next piece of advice is a little different: Take a lot of photos at the same time. I understand that you may not have time to do this, however, if you do, this is one of most important actions I’ve taken in order to post when I am busy. I will admit that this takes a lot of energy, but the payoff of having a ton of drafted posts will help you when you are feeling burnt out. This leads me to my final piece of advice:

Let ideas come to you naturally. I know for a fact that when I would try to post every day every month in summer, I ended up feeling burnt out and not happy with what I was creating. At the very beginning of my bookstagram, I would usually color coordinate a lot of my posts, or just post my current reads. I still do this, however, I’ve also been able to think beyond what books would look pretty together. One example is the below post: when the Mismatched trailer was revealed, I felt so seen because finally, brown Asians are being represented in a rom-com and not just used as the side characters.

What I’d wear if I was on the cover of a rom-com. : )

So, if you’re looking to start a bookstagram, I hope this advice helps you!! I know so much more than I did two years ago, and I can 100% say that I would not be who I am today without the community I’ve found through bookstagram. While Instagram has made a lot of unecessary updates, I can say that it’s still my favorite social media platform because of my friends and the amazing books I’ve been able to read.

What advice would you add to this list?

YA Rom-Coms to Brighten Up Your Winter

I am in a really good mood right now. I feel focused and like I know what I am doing, so here’s a fun post for today: YA rom-coms to brighten up your winter because my city’s had such great weather the past three days, I feel good about this FRQ I just took, and it’s the start of the second quarter at my school. #NewBeginnings

Anway, here are 7 YA rom-coms I highly recommend. Rom-coms are my new favorite genre (it used to be fantasy but now I want more happiness in my life).

I’LL BE THE ONE by Lyla Lee

I received an ARC of this from Edelweiss, and I absolutely adore I’ll Be the One. Skye Shin is one of my favorite characters in YA contemporary.

KEYWORDS: Korean American mc, bisexual mc, K-pop, competition, cute dates

NOW THAT I’VE FOUND YOU by Kristina Forest

Kristina Forest follows me on bookstagram, everyone!!!!!!! Authors don’t even have to do that, and I really appreciate it when they do. Anyway, I LOVE NOW THAT I’VE FOUND YOU!!!! It’s so good and takes place in NYC in summer.

KEYWORDS: Black mc’s, NYC summer, celebrities, running around and solving a mystery with a friend (or is he more?)

HAPPILY EVER AFTERS by Elise Bryant

Best rom-com of 2021, calling it now!!! Elise Bryant actually reached out and asked me if I wanted an e-ARC and she’s so generous!!!! Also, the preorder campaign is open and I highly recommend preordering HEA because it’s so awesome.

KEYWORDS: Black mc, cute dates at bakeries, LA, high school, best friend is Filipino, family matters!!!, self love

CHARMING AS A VERB by Ben Philippe

Ben Philippe also follows me, which is very nice!!! I loved Charming As A Verb because it takes place in NYC and because I love the dynamic between the mc and his friends.

KEYWORDS: Black mc, Black love interest, NYC school year, senior year of high school omg, college apps, the future is not always what you think it’ll be

the way you make me feel by Maurene Goo

Maurene Goo’s books are some of my favorite YA romances of all time. They are consistently good and all have unique characters with different motivations.

KEYWORDS: Korean American mc, summer love, working at a food truck, enemies to friends, food, travel

I LOVE YOU SO MOCHI by Sarah Kuhn

TBH, I read this a while ago so I do not remember exactly what happens. However, I have this marked as one of my favorite books of 2019. It’s very cute and I loved the atmosphere.

KEYWORDS: cute, travel, love the writing style, yes I need to re-read this

THE BEAUTY OF THE MOMENT by Tanaz Bhathena

Another book I read a while ago!! This came out in 2019 and I really enjoyed how Bhathena subverts the “bad boy” trope. It’s very cute and romantic.

KEYWORDS: subverting tropes, cute, mc has interesting motivations, yes I need to re-read this

Have you read any of these books? Any YA rom-coms by authors of color you recommend?

Author Interview: Chloe Gong (These Violent Delights)

Chloe Gong.

I read These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong from July to August. In fact, the day that I finished it, I finished it in one sitting. TVD is one of the most captivating books of 2020, and I was absolutely elated when Chloe Gong agreed to do an interview with me over e-mail. I am so happy that the first author I am interviewing is one of my favorites of all time ever. TVD will change the YA game forever, and I am so grateful to have been able to “speak” to Chloe because her journey is just getting started.

1. What impact do you hope your book has on Own Voices readers? As a reader, I am so happy to see more Asian representation in YA, and especially representation of Asians who are proud of who they are.

When I wrote These Violent Delights, I was thinking about all my fellow diaspora Asians, and the importance of seeing our faces on shelves—not just to be the center of an identity story, but to be a fully-fleshed protagonist who is allowed to rage and cry and fight monsters. Identity stories are super important, and the book interweaves a lot of Juliette’s musings about her place between the Western world and the East, but I wasn’t content with that being all we’re allowed to see. I needed a balance: delving into what it means to be Asian up against these forces of Western colonialism and imperialism, alongside the sort of plot that white protagonists in YA have been allowed to occupy. At the end of the day, that’s what I hope to do for Own Voices readers, to provide the sort of cool, adventure-filled stories that we’ve been lacking on bookshelves, without watering down the intrinsic part of our cultural identity which colors the way we see the world.

2. What has been your favorite moment (or moments) of becoming an author and why (besides getting your book deal)? How has this moment impacted your life?

I’ve been writing since I started high school, so long before I got my book deal, I had already been putting my stories online and seeing what real readers thought of my work. Some of my favorite moments were undoubtedly when people messaged me their reactions after I put a chapter up—sometimes it would be a paragraph about what they enjoyed, sometimes a whole big spiel to tell me that they’re so nervous about the fate of a character. I’ve chosen to be an author because I love telling stories, and storytelling isn’t storytelling if I’m only yelling into the void: I absolutely need an audience as well. So those little moments—when my readers made themselves known and reacted to my stories—were the best part of being an author. They’ve shaped my desire to continue pursuing this on a larger level, and go the traditional publishing route to put my books on real shelves.

3. Your book takes place in an urban historical fantasy setting. What research advice would you give to aspiring writers in this genre?

While historical facts are important in writing something with a historical setting, it’s also about atmosphere and feeling! The beauty of creating a fantastical or historical world is that you can choose what is relevant to your story, and which parts to emphasize in order to slice out the most compelling narrative. A setting can fall flat if you only throw true facts at a reader; what they want to know is how the air smelled, how the streets sounded, how the falling rain hit the character’s skin with just enough softness that it didn’t feel like rain at all. So my advice is to not get bogged down by research, even though it is important! The most critical part about creating a visceral setting is to close your eyes and use the research you’ve done to then trigger your imagination.

4. (Bonus-ish) Is there anything else you want readers to know before your book is published? 

I want teens to know that this book is for them. That I conceptualized this book at 18 and finished writing it at 19, and though the world keeps trying to look down on young people, we deserve to have stories about us, centered around us, without influence from what grown-ups think we like.

Mini Questions:

1. Top three favorite underrated books of the past five years?

The Accident Season by MoĂŻra Fowley-Doyle, The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi, and Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

2. Dream place you’d go for an author retreat?

Venice, Italy!

3. I read your “YA Heartthrobs as Viral Tweets” article. It was very funny! Would Juliette and Roma be friends with anyone from The Gilded Wolves world?

Oh, absolutely. Juliette and Laila would be the bestest of friends. 

Cover + Synopsis + Author Bio

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong: Cover.

Synopsis: Perfect for fans of The Last Magician and Descendant of the Crane, this heart-stopping debut is an imaginative Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai, with rival gangs and a monster in the depths of the Huangpu River.

The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.

A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.

But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule. 

Author Bio:

Chloe Gong is an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, studying English and International Relations. During her breaks, she’s either at home in New Zealand or visiting her many relatives in Shanghai. Chloe has been known to mysteriously appear by chanting “Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s best plays and doesn’t deserve its slander in pop culture” into a mirror three times. You can find her on Twitter @thechloegong, check out her website at thechloegong.com or email her at chloegongwrites@gmail.com. Her instagram is @thechloegong .

Once again, thank you Chloe Gong for agreeing to do this interview!!! I hope to meet you someday. My review of These Violent Delights will be up November 17 (the day TVD comes out).

Mini Life Update: November 4, 2020

Today has been SO LONG. I remember the day after election day in 2016, I cried because I did not expect the person who won to win.

I honestly mentally prepared myself for the worst today. However, when I woke up, and it wasn’t called, I felt impatient. Like, just tell me who wins!!!

Now? I feel numb. It’s hard to be hopeful seeing that so many people voted for the person who’s president right now again even after seeing four years of this mess.

Yes, whatever happens, there will still be work to be done. As a teen, I know I have so much more to learn. I could not vote this year but I will in 2022, ’24 and all of the elections after that.

I wasn’t planning to post but these are just a few of my thoughts. Here for everyone.

Whimisical Wrap-Ups #3: October 2020

my most liked post of October.

October somehow went really well? Online learning is challenging but I feel like I’m retaining information more than I did last spring and my teachers are SO accomodating. Somehow I posted thirteen times on my bookstagram, which is pretty good considering the fact I had 5 tests last month. My blog has been a bit neglected: I posted five times in October vs. thirteen times in September. As for my mental health, it’s pretty good. (I am trying my best to avoid the Internet tomorrow.) I’ve also surpassed my Goodreads Challenge goal by 13 books so far, which I honestly was not expecting

TOP BOOKS

  1. Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson – This is for sure one of my top books of 2020. I need to convince my school to add this to the curriculum because Grown changed my worldview forever. I highly recommend reading Jackson’s author’s note as well.
  2. Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore – OMG, have you ever seen a more perfect author duo? This book combines magic, social events, and what it’s like to be a teenager so well. That ending almost made me cry happy tears.
  3. Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar – Star Daughter is enchanting, beautiful, and will draw you in. I think this is Thakrar’s debut novel and she does amazing. I can’t wait to see what she writes next.
  4. Any Day With You by Mae Respecio – As an adopted Filipino American teen, a book like this would’ve pushed me to research my homeland earlier. Any Day With You is so important and visibility is so important. I don’t read a lot of realistic fiction middle grade books but I loved this one.
  5. Charming as a Verb by Ben Philippe – Philippe is one of my all time favorite authors. The way he writes teens is so well done, and Henri is awesome. I’d want to be friends with him if he was real. Also, I relate to Corinne so much (almost a little too much).
  6. This Is All Your Fault by Aminah Mae Safi – Hello this book takes place in my favorite city in the world!!! Not many YA books are set in Chicago, and I love this book so much almost for that reason alone. Also the fact that this book is about three girls trying to save their local bookstore in Wicker Park.
  7. A Thief Among the Trees by Sabaa Tahir – Tahir does it again. Elias has been through so much, and it’s so sad and heartbreaking and I just want him to be happy. (Also, Helene is a colonizer/supports colonization. So I don’t mind if she dies in ASBTS.)
  8. Beyond the Ruby Veil by Mara Fitzgerald – I AM NOT OVER THIS BOOK. It is intense, brutal, and will leave you gasping for breath. Emanuela is so amazing.

I read 13 new books, which is pretty good, however, I am in the middle of reading 14 new books and

October Evaluation

Well. I sort of met my September goals: I have not started Rebel Rose or Clues to the Universe yet, but I will soon. I didn’t really do any Halloween themed bookstagram posts, but it’s ok. October was so good and I am kind of nervous that November is going to not be as good because I currently have all A’s in my classes (except AP Psych oof). On the positive side, I have my AP Research problem statement done and I have found 18 sources, and by the end of this month, I should have 30+. Also, my first MUN conference is next month!! I don’t think I’ll win anything but it’s fun. I also won a physical ARC copy of Wings of Ebony and I AM SO HAPPY!!!!

November Goals

  1. Post on bookstagram 9 times and on my blog more than three times. I already posted today and find that taking pictures when I feel motivated is best. I also have a lot of blog ideas, which is good.
  2. Read 5 new books and finish the 20 books I’m in the middle of reading.
  3. Write ARC reviews for Skyhunter, Like Home, Clues to the Universe, and Rebel Rose.

How was your October? Any goals?

The Zumra: Interabang Books – Signed Copies of WHTF and WFTS!!

THE WE HUNT THE FLAME HARDCOVER IS ONE OF MY FAVES.

Very exciting news for Hafsah Faizal’s We Hunt the Flame duology: her local bookstore, INTERABANG BOOKS, will be offering signed and personalized copies of WE FREE THE STARS and WE HUNT THE FLAME. Each purchase includes an exclusive art print, just to say thank you for pre-ordering while supporting a local business.

This is a VIRTUAL SIGNING for personalized copies of the WFTS hardcover, and WHTF in paperback and hardcover. As someone who is making their way into this fandom (#SARASINSUPREMACY), let me just say that I need to convince my parents ASAP to allow me to preorder one of these. You must preorder by January 15th to ensure that you will receive a signed copy.

Here is the link to pre-order:

Get your signed copy here!!