Books by Asian Authors I’m Excited For: 2021 – 2022

There are a variety of books out there by Asian authors. Some of them are inspired by mythology and some take place in history.This post will include spoilers for Where Dreams Descend, These Violent Delights, Girls of Paper and Fire, Girls of Storm and Shadow, and The Bronzed Beasts. Also, I started writing this in 2021, and by now, I’ve read a lot of these, so there will definitely be a part two coming to this post soon.

When Night Breaks by Janella Angeles – oh no I’m stuck in a mirror with a mysterious guy, magicians messing things up, a LI who would go to the ends of the world for their loved ones, my past is covered by a mysterious fog

Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong – a continuation of Juliette and Roma’s tale, I want to control my destiny but I’m afraid my path has already been set out for me, oh no, there’s a spy in our midst, trying to find answers but I’m too distracted by love. . .or hate

XOXO by Axie Oh: falling in love, taking risks and uprooting my life. This book is gorgeous and on the hardcover, the cover is printed right on the book under the dust jacket. I also highly recommend Axie Oh’s The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea!!

How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao – Katie Zhao’s books are a must read if your’re a fan of academia themed novels. Jaime, Nancy’s former friend, is found dead. What follows is a stunning and twisting mystery. (Also, I recently received an ARC of The Lies We Tell from Bloomsbury, and I read it in a day. Only three more months until it comes out!!)

Brown Boy Nowhere by Sheeryl Lim – I started reading this one and never finished it!! Sheeryl Lim is a Filipino American author, and the main character of this book is also Filipino American.

The Jasmine Project by Meredith Ireland – centers Jasmine, who is Korean and adopted, self love is important!, cooking and excellent food, figuring out what you want to do after high school, the inspiration that can come from a Bachelor podcast, close-knit family

The Bronzed Beasts by Roshani Chokshi – If I could choose any series to re-read again, it would be this one. The ending of The Silvered Serpents. . .I am not over it. Also, this is the first fantasy book series I’ve read with a Filipino main character!

Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao – I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get what I want, taking down a misogynistic system, who is in control of my destiny, fully developed side characters, I’d read 10 books about Zetian, what just happened re: that ending!

The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker – I got this one back in February and still have to read it! Ren Scarborough is a British Reaper and Japanese Shinigami. This book hooked me from the very first chapter.

Jade Fire Gold by Julie CL Tan – dual perspectives, these magic powers frighten me and excite me at the same time, a hidden past, we’re meant to be enemies, but I don’t think we are, palace life isn’t what I thought it would be

Girls of Fate and Fury by Natasha Ngan – I can’t believe I haven’t read this one yet! This is the finale to the Girls of Paper and Fire trilogy. At the end of Girls of Storm and Shadow, Lei and Wren were separated – that cliffhanger!

Dauntless by Elisa A. Bonnin – A Filipino inspired fantasy novel? By a Filipino author? Absolutely yes!! I have an e-ARC of this one I still need to get to.

Babel by R.F. Kuang – One of my most anticipated book so fthe year!!

Traduttore, traditore: An act of translation is always an act of betrayal.

1828. Robin Swift, orphaned by cholera in Canton, is brought to London by the mysterious Professor Lovell. There, he trains for years in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Chinese, all in preparation for the day he’ll enroll in Oxford University’s prestigious Royal Institute of Translation — also known as Babel.

Babel is the world’s center of translation and, more importantly, of silver-working: the art of manifesting the meaning lost in translation through enchanted silver bars, to magical effect. Silver-working has made the British Empire unparalleled in power, and Babel’s research in foreign languages serves the Empire’s quest to colonize everything it encounters.

Oxford, the city of dreaming spires, is a fairytale for Robin; a utopia dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. But knowledge serves power, and for Robin, a Chinese boy raised in Britain, serving Babel inevitably means betraying his motherland. As his studies progress Robin finds himself caught between Babel and the shadowy Hermes Society, an organization dedicated to sabotaging the silver-working that supports imperial expansion. When Britain pursues an unjust war with China over silver and opium, Robin must decide: Can powerful institutions be changed from within, or does revolution always require violence? What is he willing to sacrifice to bring Babel down?

Babel — a thematic response to The Secret History and a tonal response to Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell — grapples with student revolutions, colonial resistance, and the use of translation as a tool of empire.

Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen – I am so in love with this cover, and I cannot wait for this fantasy novel with a morally grey protagonist!

Violet is a prophet and a liar, influencing the royal court with her cleverly phrased—and not always true—divinations. Honesty is for suckers, like the oh-so-not charming Prince Cyrus, who plans to strip Violet of her official role once he’s crowned at the end of the summer—unless Violet does something about it.

But when the king asks her to falsely prophesy Cyrus’s love story for an upcoming ball, Violet awakens a dreaded curse, one that will end in either damnation or salvation for the kingdom—all depending on the prince’s choice of future bride. Violet faces her own choice: Seize an opportunity to gain control of her own destiny, no matter the cost, or give in to the ill-fated attraction that’s growing between her and Cyrus.

A Magic Steeped in Poison by Judy I. Lin – I’ve heard a lot of great things about this one:

I used to look at my hands with pride. Now all I can think is, “These are the hands that buried my mother.”

For Ning, the only thing worse than losing her mother is knowing that it’s her own fault. She was the one who unknowingly brewed the poison tea that killed her—the poison tea that now threatens to also take her sister, Shu.

When Ning hears of a competition to find the kingdom’s greatest shennong-shi—masters of the ancient and magical art of tea-making—she travels to the imperial city to compete. The winner will receive a favor from the princess, which may be Ning’s only chance to save her sister’s life.

An Arrow to the Moon by Emily X.R. Pan – I read The Astonishing Color of After around the time it came out, and I remember really enjoying the writing style:

Hunter Yee has perfect aim with a bow and arrow, but all else in his life veers wrong. He’s sick of being haunted by his family’s past mistakes. The only things keeping him from running away are his little brother, a supernatural wind, and the bewitching girl at his new high school.

Luna Chang dreads the future. Graduation looms ahead, and her parents’ expectations are stifling. When she begins to break the rules, she finds her life upended by the strange new boy in her class, the arrival of unearthly fireflies, and an ominous crack spreading across the town of Fairbridge.

As Hunter and Luna navigate their families’ enmity and secrets, everything around them begins to fall apart. All they can depend on is their love… but time is running out, and fate will have its way.

Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan – This is definitely one of my favorite fantasy novels of the year. It felt like stepping into an enchanted forest, only to realize that the world inside wants to steal you forever – and this world will allow you to create your own destiny.

The Ivory Key by Akshaya Raman – four perspectives, racing to find an artifact, will there be betrayal?, who killed my mom?, what does it mean to be a leader?, why aren’t others questioning our leaders?

Once Upon A K-Prom by Kat Cho – I love seeing authors branch out into different genres! This is a contemporary romance novel centering around prom – I definitely want to get to this one soon because my prom is next weekend!

The Love Match by Priyanka Taslim – the cover for this one is coming out next week! This is a contemporary romance novel about Zahra Khan, a Bangladeshi American teenanger.

Zahra Khan is basically Bangladeshi royalty, but being a princess doesn’t pay the bills in Paterson, New Jersey. While Zahra’s plans for financial security this summer involve working long hours at Chai Ho and saving up for college writing courses, Amma is convinced that all Zahra needs is a “good match,” Jane Austen style.

Enter Harun Emon, who’s wealthy, devastatingly handsome, and…aloof. As soon as Zahra meets him, she knows it’s a bad match. It’s nothing like the connection she has with Nayim Aktar, the new dishwasher at the tea shop, who just gets Zahra in a way no one has before. So, when Zahra finds out that Harun is just as uninterested in this match as she is, they decide to slowly sabotage their parents’ plans. And for once in Zahra’s life, she can have her rossomalai and eat it too: “dating” Harun and keeping Amma happy while catching real feelings for Nayim.

But life—and boys—can be more complicated than Zahra realizes. With her feelings all mixed up, Zahra realizes sometimes being a good Bengali kid can be a royal pain.

Drizzle, Dreams, and Lovestruck Things by Maya Prasad – I’ve been following this one for a while. This book is about four sisters and their relationship with each other, as well as their father’s business, The Songbird Inn.

Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li – I’ve seen this one all over social media, so I want to get to it soon. This book is about a group of Chinese Americans who’s goal is to return art stolen by colonizers to the rightful owners.

Sophie Go’s Lonely Hearts Club by Roselle Lim – A new heartfelt novel about the power of loneliness and the strength of love that overcomes it by critically acclaimed author Roselle Lim.

Newly minted professional matchmaker Sophie Go has returned to Toronto, her hometown, after spending three years in Shanghai. Her job is made quite difficult, however, when she is revealed as a fraud—she never actually graduated from matchmaking school. In a competitive market like Toronto, no one wants to take a chance on an inexperienced and unaccredited matchmaker, and soon Sophie becomes an outcast.

In dire search of clients, Sophie stumbles upon a secret club within her condo complex: the Old Ducks, seven septuagenarian Chinese bachelors who never found love. Somehow, she convinces them to hire her, but her matchmaking skills are put to the test as she learns the depths of loneliness, heartbreak, and love by attempting to make the hardest matches of her life.

Only a Monster by Vanessa Len – I flew through this book in one day. I feel like I haven’t read many time travel themed novels in a while, and I greatly enjoyed Joan’s story. This book is unke any novel I’ve read this year.

The Red Palace by June Hur – I read an e-ARC of this one at the end of 2021, and so far, it’s my favorite of June Hur’s novels. Currently, it’s on my TBR to re-read. If you’re looking for a historical novel, I highly recommend June Hur’s – I love her historical notes at the end.

Life Update: 3/15/2022

This is a really short post, but here’s what I’ve been up to in the two months since I’ve last posted:

  1. I’ve read 20 books this year! So far, my favorites have been: The Ikessar Falcon, The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng, Deep in Providence, and Descendent of the Crane. My least favorites have been The Witcher (honestly, I think I need to put together a list of fantasy books I want to see adapted rather than ones that have a lot of popularity already. Although Anya Chalotra is amazing!),
  2. I’e officially been working for almost half a year. I work for a book publishing company focused on academic publishing, and it’s so interesting to see how books and other materials are put together.
  3. This month, I’m hoping to read All My Rage, Ashes of Gold, and One True Loves.

How are you? What else would you like to see from my blog?

Review: Modern Love Series by Alisha Rai

The Right Swipe, Girl Gone Viral, and First Comes Like by Alisha Rai.

Over the past year, I’ve really gotten into romance novels! My favorite romance novels are ones where in addition to a love story, there’s also side plots that are about the careers and interests outside, and sometimes including, each other. While the Modern Love Series by Alisha Rai is an engaging and cute series, I felt kind of disengaged because I wasn’t in the right mood.

Each book is told from dual perspectives. The first book, The Right Swipe, centers Rhiannon Hunter and Samson Lima. Rhiannon Hunter is the CEO of her feminist dating app company, Crush. Samson is man who Rhiannon shared one day with, but then, Samson disappears. When he comes back into her life, Rhiannon is unsure what to do when Samson comes back into her life, and the two end up having to work together. One of the elements I liked was that Rhiannon doesn’t apologize for what she wants and is willing to listen to other perspectives (namely, Samson’s). I also like how this book calls out the sexism that can come with dating apps.

The second book, Girl Gone Viral, tells the story of Katrina King (a partner of Crush) and Jas Singh. I love the bodyguard x love interest trope, and also how Katrina and Jas were both equal players in their relationship. Katrina is kind and loving. After an encounter with a handsome man, Katrina goes viral because of a fabricated, Twitter romance story. Jas invites her to his family’s farm until the media excitement is dampened. I love how Jas is always there for Katrina. Additionally, Katrina’s love of cooking is inspiring – she uses a starter that was passed down from her mother.

Katrina also has a panic disorder and goes to therapy. I like how Rai talks about mental health in this book, and how it’s ok to get help.

The final book, First Comes Like, focuses on Jia Ahmed and Dev Dixit. Jia is a leader of the online beauty community who thinks that she’s been corresponding with Dev Dixit, a famous soap opera actor. However, when they meet at a party, Dev doesn’t recognize Jia, much to Jia’s disappointment. Dev and Jia eventually end up fake dating because they’ve been spotted by the media. I love how Dev is open to hearing why Jia thought she was talking to him, rather than insulting her, and both characters are drawn to each other because they’re both involved in some form of visual media.

I wish the characters had spent more time with each other in the beginning (for example, I personally would’ve liked to see Dev perhaps talk to Jia in the hotel lobby), and I think I wanted to see Dev interact with Samson and Jas. These are just my personal thoughts.

While I wasn’t in the right mood for this romantic series, others may enjoy it more than I did. I was hoping for these books to break me out a reading slump, but I just wasn’t as attached to the plots as I would’ve liked. I honestly struggled with writing this review, but these novels are ones that captured my attention, as I finished them in one day. Rhiannon’s ambition, Katrina’s compassion, and Jia’s confidence make them enjoyable main characters to read about.

What’s a book that broke you out of a reading slump? Or have you ever taken a break from reading?

The Holiday Switch by Tif Marcelo – Review

The Holiday Switch by Tif Marcelo.

I can’t believe Christmas has already passed. In some ways, I like the anticipation before Christmas more than the day itself. It’s exciting seeing all of the different holiday decorations around the city, making chocolate mousse pie, and spending time away from school.

Therefore, The Holiday Switch is an excellent Young Adult romance centered around Christmastime in Holly, New York. It felt refreshing to me because I don’t read many holiday themed romances. In The Holiday Switch, Lila Santos, high school senior, is working at the Bookworm Inn, and trying to figure out how she can earn more money to go to her number one college, Syracuse University. Lila’s winter break plans are changed when she’s assigned to train Teddy Rivera, her boss’ nephew.

Lila Santos is a relatable main character. Like me, she loves reading, has a book blog, and is Filipino American. I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to read more books by Filipino American authors centered around Filipino Americans. Beyond these traits, though, Lila and I both desire for control over our lives where there are so many changes occuring. Applying for college and moving beyond the place we’ve lived all our lives requires help, sometimes from unexpected people.

Enter Teddy. Lila sees Teddy as an unfriendly coworker at first, as he is assigned the hours Lila was hoping for to raise more money for her college fund. This isn’t exactly the enemies to lovers trope because both Lila and Teddy want to see the Bookworm Inn succeed, but they have different ways of trying to draw people to the Bookworm Inn. Lila’s had an organized system for her library section of the Bookworm Inn, for a few years, while Teddy is a newcomer who has a fresh perspective on how Lila’s library should be organized.

This isn’t a spoiler because it’s on the back cover: Lila and Teddy end up accidentally switching phones. Here’s an area where I was a bit skeptical: sometimes when phones get switched, characters lie to each other and try to solve the other’s problems without asking. This is not the case for The Holiday Switch – I love the fact that Lila and Teddy communicate what their problems are. They know that they have different ways of organizing things, but in the end, they both respect and try to understand the other’s opinions.

I also like that the other people in the town are fleshed out. There’s an emphasis on community in The Holiday Switch, which is nice, as the romance and the plot nicely entwine. Ms. Velasco, Teddy’s aunt, runs the Inn, Carmela Ferreira (Lila’s best friend), is an artist who aspires to go to RISD, Pratt, or VCUarts. The town itself is like a character in the book: its fame comes because of the book turned movie “Holiday by the Lake” (which ends up playing a large role later on).

What I love most about holiday romances is that they’re all about love. Yes, The Holiday Switch is a romance novel, but there’s also signficant friend and family relationships. Lila learns more about the relationship with herself, and learns to recognize that moving out of one’s comfort zone may be easier with the support of family and friends. The Holiday Switch asks us to reconsider our first impressions of people, and to think about how love can be unexpected. This is a calming and bright read for Christmas, and I can’t wait to re-read it.

*Note: I thought all of the holiday puns were very amusing!!

Do you like reading books centered around holidays? Do you have any recommendations for holiday-themed books?

Book Reviews ft. A Fairytale Retelling, A YA Romance, and A New Nonfiction Favorite

I’m the lead editor for my school’s student led newspaper this year, and this month, I wrote three book reviews for the newspaper! It’s exciting because my reviews were part of our first issue this school year. I hope you all are inspired to read these books, as they’re some of my favorites I’ve read this year.

Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron – Cinderella is Dead is an adventurous fairy tale with a f/f relationship at the center by Kalynn Bayron, who takes the original elements of Cindrella and turns them into a new world where the story of Cinderella is a part of history. The main character, Sophia, wants to marry her best friend, Erin, but has to attend a ball where she’ll be forced into marriage. This ball is meant to pay homage to the tale of Cindrella, but is instead a lie meant to conceal the true story of Cindrella. While escaping the ball, and her seemingly inevitable unwanted marriage, Sophia meets Constance, Cinderella’s last living descendant. Sophia finds herself embroiled in a mission to upend the patriarchal structure of her world. Overall, I loved this feminist take on the Cinderella story. 

The Jasmine Project by Meredith Ireland – As an adoptee, The Jasmine Project stands out to me because it’s by an Asian adoptee and is about an Asian adoptee living her everyday life. Jasmine, the main character, finds her carefully planned summer upended when she finds out that her boyfriend, Paul, is cheating on her. Jasmine has no idea what she’s going to do for the rest of her summer before she starts college – until she meets three guys. Unbeknownst to Jasmine, her meddlesome family is trying to help her by setting her up with three guys to show Jasmine that she should be with someone who truly appreciates her. Throughout the book, Jasmine’s journey to love proves that love cannot be planned. The Jasmine Project is for fans of YA rom-coms and stories about self love, familial love, and all types of love.

Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists by Mikki Kendall, illustrated by A. D’Amico – Everyone should read this book because the movement for women’s rights impacts everyone. Women’s advocacy has existed for as long as human civilization, so I appreciate the fact that Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists is about the intersectionality of the women’s rights movement. For example, Fatima bint Muhammad Al-Fihriya Al-Qurashiya “a Muslim woman, founded a mosque and library that become the University of Al Quaraouiyine. . .the world’s oldest continually operating educational institution” (Kendall and A. D’Amico 22). Kendall’s motivating writing and D’Amico’s captivating illustrations bring the stories of women to life and illuminate the fact that the women’s rights movement is ongoing.

If you’ve read these books, what did you think of them?

The Lost Dreamer: Promotion with @FierceReads

I am so happy to be helping to promote The Lost Dreamer by Lizz Huerta!

Here is information about the book:

The Lost Dreamer by Lizz Huerta has been dubbed Spring’s buzziest YA debut by Entertainment Weekly and the official book trailer dropped today, 11/5. Visit this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EXl98oubys&feature=youtu.be for your first look! 

The cover of The Lost Dreamer by Lizz Huerta!

Books by Asian Authors I’m Excited For: 2021 – 2022

There are a variety of books out there by Asian authors. Some of them are inspired by mythology and some take place in history.This post will include spoilers for Where Dreams Descend, These Violent Delights, Girls of Paper and Fire, Girls of Storm and Shadow, and The Bronzed Beasts. Also, I started writing this in 2021, and by now, I’ve read a lot of these, so there will definitely be a part two coming to this post soon.

When Night Breaks by Janella Angeles – oh no I’m stuck in a mirror with a mysterious guy, magicians messing things up, a LI who would go to the ends of the world for their loved ones, my past is covered by a mysterious fog

Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong – a continuation of Juliette and Roma’s tale, I want to control my destiny but I’m afraid my path has already been set out for me, oh no, there’s a spy in our midst, trying to find answers but I’m too distracted by love. . .or hate

XOXO by Axie Oh: falling in love, taking risks and uprooting my life. This book is gorgeous and on the hardcover, the cover is printed right on the book under the dust jacket. I also highly recommend Axie Oh’s The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea!!

How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao – Katie Zhao’s books are a must read if your’re a fan of academia themed novels. Jaime, Nancy’s former friend, is found dead. What follows is a stunning and twisting mystery. (Also, I recently received an ARC of The Lies We Tell from Bloomsbury, and I read it in a day. Only three more months until it comes out!!)

Brown Boy Nowhere by Sheeryl Lim – I started reading this one and never finished it!! Sheeryl Lim is a Filipino American author, and the main character of this book is also Filipino American.

The Jasmine Project by Meredith Ireland – centers Jasmine, who is Korean and adopted, self love is important!, cooking and excellent food, figuring out what you want to do after high school, the inspiration that can come from a Bachelor podcast, close-knit family

The Bronzed Beasts by Roshani Chokshi – If I could choose any series to re-read again, it would be this one. The ending of The Silvered Serpents. . .I am not over it. Also, this is the first fantasy book series I’ve read with a Filipino main character!

Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao – I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get what I want, taking down a misogynistic system, who is in control of my destiny, fully developed side characters, I’d read 10 books about Zetian, what just happened re: that ending!

The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker – I got this one back in February and still have to read it! Ren Scarborough is a British Reaper and Japanese Shinigami. This book hooked me from the very first chapter.

Jade Fire Gold by Julie CL Tan – dual perspectives, these magic powers frighten me and excite me at the same time, a hidden past, we’re meant to be enemies, but I don’t think we are, palace life isn’t what I thought it would be

Girls of Fate and Fury by Natasha Ngan – I can’t believe I haven’t read this one yet! This is the finale to the Girls of Paper and Fire trilogy. At the end of Girls of Storm and Shadow, Lei and Wren were separated – that cliffhanger!

Dauntless by Elisa A. Bonnin – A Filipino inspired fantasy novel? By a Filipino author? Absolutely yes!! I have an e-ARC of this one I still need to get to.

Babel by R.F. Kuang – One of my most anticipated book so fthe year!!

Traduttore, traditore: An act of translation is always an act of betrayal.

1828. Robin Swift, orphaned by cholera in Canton, is brought to London by the mysterious Professor Lovell. There, he trains for years in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Chinese, all in preparation for the day he’ll enroll in Oxford University’s prestigious Royal Institute of Translation — also known as Babel.

Babel is the world’s center of translation and, more importantly, of silver-working: the art of manifesting the meaning lost in translation through enchanted silver bars, to magical effect. Silver-working has made the British Empire unparalleled in power, and Babel’s research in foreign languages serves the Empire’s quest to colonize everything it encounters.

Oxford, the city of dreaming spires, is a fairytale for Robin; a utopia dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. But knowledge serves power, and for Robin, a Chinese boy raised in Britain, serving Babel inevitably means betraying his motherland. As his studies progress Robin finds himself caught between Babel and the shadowy Hermes Society, an organization dedicated to sabotaging the silver-working that supports imperial expansion. When Britain pursues an unjust war with China over silver and opium, Robin must decide: Can powerful institutions be changed from within, or does revolution always require violence? What is he willing to sacrifice to bring Babel down?

Babel — a thematic response to The Secret History and a tonal response to Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell — grapples with student revolutions, colonial resistance, and the use of translation as a tool of empire.

Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen – I am so in love with this cover, and I cannot wait for this fantasy novel with a morally grey protagonist!

Violet is a prophet and a liar, influencing the royal court with her cleverly phrased—and not always true—divinations. Honesty is for suckers, like the oh-so-not charming Prince Cyrus, who plans to strip Violet of her official role once he’s crowned at the end of the summer—unless Violet does something about it.

But when the king asks her to falsely prophesy Cyrus’s love story for an upcoming ball, Violet awakens a dreaded curse, one that will end in either damnation or salvation for the kingdom—all depending on the prince’s choice of future bride. Violet faces her own choice: Seize an opportunity to gain control of her own destiny, no matter the cost, or give in to the ill-fated attraction that’s growing between her and Cyrus.

A Magic Steeped in Poison by Judy I. Lin – I’ve heard a lot of great things about this one:

I used to look at my hands with pride. Now all I can think is, “These are the hands that buried my mother.”

For Ning, the only thing worse than losing her mother is knowing that it’s her own fault. She was the one who unknowingly brewed the poison tea that killed her—the poison tea that now threatens to also take her sister, Shu.

When Ning hears of a competition to find the kingdom’s greatest shennong-shi—masters of the ancient and magical art of tea-making—she travels to the imperial city to compete. The winner will receive a favor from the princess, which may be Ning’s only chance to save her sister’s life.

An Arrow to the Moon by Emily X.R. Pan – I read The Astonishing Color of After around the time it came out, and I remember really enjoying the writing style:

Hunter Yee has perfect aim with a bow and arrow, but all else in his life veers wrong. He’s sick of being haunted by his family’s past mistakes. The only things keeping him from running away are his little brother, a supernatural wind, and the bewitching girl at his new high school.

Luna Chang dreads the future. Graduation looms ahead, and her parents’ expectations are stifling. When she begins to break the rules, she finds her life upended by the strange new boy in her class, the arrival of unearthly fireflies, and an ominous crack spreading across the town of Fairbridge.

As Hunter and Luna navigate their families’ enmity and secrets, everything around them begins to fall apart. All they can depend on is their love… but time is running out, and fate will have its way.

Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan – This is definitely one of my favorite fantasy novels of the year. It felt like stepping into an enchanted forest, only to realize that the world inside wants to steal you forever – and this world will allow you to create your own destiny.

The Ivory Key by Akshaya Raman – four perspectives, racing to find an artifact, will there be betrayal?, who killed my mom?, what does it mean to be a leader?, why aren’t others questioning our leaders?

Once Upon A K-Prom by Kat Cho – I love seeing authors branch out into different genres! This is a contemporary romance novel centering around prom – I definitely want to get to this one soon because my prom is next weekend!

The Love Match by Priyanka Taslim – the cover for this one is coming out next week! This is a contemporary romance novel about Zahra Khan, a Bangladeshi American teenanger.

Zahra Khan is basically Bangladeshi royalty, but being a princess doesn’t pay the bills in Paterson, New Jersey. While Zahra’s plans for financial security this summer involve working long hours at Chai Ho and saving up for college writing courses, Amma is convinced that all Zahra needs is a “good match,” Jane Austen style.

Enter Harun Emon, who’s wealthy, devastatingly handsome, and…aloof. As soon as Zahra meets him, she knows it’s a bad match. It’s nothing like the connection she has with Nayim Aktar, the new dishwasher at the tea shop, who just gets Zahra in a way no one has before. So, when Zahra finds out that Harun is just as uninterested in this match as she is, they decide to slowly sabotage their parents’ plans. And for once in Zahra’s life, she can have her rossomalai and eat it too: “dating” Harun and keeping Amma happy while catching real feelings for Nayim.

But life—and boys—can be more complicated than Zahra realizes. With her feelings all mixed up, Zahra realizes sometimes being a good Bengali kid can be a royal pain.

Drizzle, Dreams, and Lovestruck Things by Maya Prasad – I’ve been following this one for a while. This book is about four sisters and their relationship with each other, as well as their father’s business, The Songbird Inn.

Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li – I’ve seen this one all over social media, so I want to get to it soon. This book is about a group of Chinese Americans who’s goal is to return art stolen by colonizers to the rightful owners.

Sophie Go’s Lonely Hearts Club by Roselle Lim – A new heartfelt novel about the power of loneliness and the strength of love that overcomes it by critically acclaimed author Roselle Lim.

Newly minted professional matchmaker Sophie Go has returned to Toronto, her hometown, after spending three years in Shanghai. Her job is made quite difficult, however, when she is revealed as a fraud—she never actually graduated from matchmaking school. In a competitive market like Toronto, no one wants to take a chance on an inexperienced and unaccredited matchmaker, and soon Sophie becomes an outcast.

In dire search of clients, Sophie stumbles upon a secret club within her condo complex: the Old Ducks, seven septuagenarian Chinese bachelors who never found love. Somehow, she convinces them to hire her, but her matchmaking skills are put to the test as she learns the depths of loneliness, heartbreak, and love by attempting to make the hardest matches of her life.

Only a Monster by Vanessa Len – I flew through this book in one day. I feel like I haven’t read many time travel themed novels in a while, and I greatly enjoyed Joan’s story. This book is unke any novel I’ve read this year.

The Red Palace by June Hur – I read an e-ARC of this one at the end of 2021, and so far, it’s my favorite of June Hur’s novels. Currently, it’s on my TBR to re-read. If you’re looking for a historical novel, I highly recommend June Hur’s – I love her historical notes at the end.

Mini Life Update ft. School

September/October Book Mail : )

Honestly, I’m writing this for the sole purpose of warming up my brain before I do my AP Lit homework. It’s a nice rainy day, and I’m kind of just needing somewhere to write before I start analyzing poetry.

Book Related Updates

I’ve been reading at a slower pace this year, which is very beneficial. Also, I feel pretty happy because I’ve found a good way to balance school and blogging and bookstagram, which is to say the place I’m most active is on Twitter because 1. Twitter is basically for me to try to have a These Violent Delights fanpage (it’s not working. I need to remember that Twitter does not equal my personal diary.), and 2. For me personally, Twitter takes the least amount of work. I’ve met some really nice people and authors.

I heard about the sad news that Simon Pulse and Jimmy Patterson Presents are ending (unconfirmed, I can’t really tell what’s going on). Girls of Paper and Fire definitely changed my taste in reading forever, and I hope Natasha Ngan gets the advertising she deserves because GOPAF is one of my favorite series of all time.

Maybe I should actually write about what I’m reading: I have a few e-ARCs that I’m reading: Like Home and Payback (the third book in the Vale Hall series) are my two favorites right now. I also have to start Rebel Rose and Clues to the Universe. As for reviews, I need to write one for These Violent Delights, Skyhunter, and White Fox.

Balancing School and Blogging and Bookstagram

I’ve said this a lot: I’ve thrown a schedule out the window and oh my gosh, I have never felt so motivated. I like school, so it was pretty easy for me to change my mindset to being “I want to work on posting pretty photos of books” to “I need to focus on school because this is a critical year.” I think Twitter has been a bit detrimental because I do not have any drafted bookstagram posts right now, but that’s ok!! I am going to try posting everyday in December like I did last year because I love creating a theme based around the holidays I celebrate (also flatlays. I love flatlays!!).

I mean, if you want advice, here’s some: just do what you want and know that your life is your priority. I exist outside of the Internet and I have other priorities that take precedence over bookstagram and blogging. I have found that I create the best posts when I am motivated to do so for me, and not for others.

Overall, I have a lot going on right now, however, I do find blogging to be very soothing. I need to finish some of my ARCs so I can post some reviews.

What are you reading right now and would you recommend it?

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.

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?