Blog

Featured

September Wrap Up ft. I’ve read 120 books this year?!

I was on the tour for Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao for Caffeine Tours!!

https://www.instagram.com/p/CUCtf-ZrFb4/

I am 6 followers away from 1.4k!!! I really love how nice and inviting the bookstagram community has been, and I am so happy with my schedule of having no posting schedule – doing what I want, when I want to is so freeing. For some reason, WordPress is not allowing me to insert images, so here are links to a few of my September posts I love.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CUPmMrWLENQ/

I also turned 18!! It was a great day and I got to go to a bookstore and have a slice of 17 layer chocolate cake. Chocolate cake is my favorite. Furthermore, I spent the day with both sides of my family (had to wear a mask because 1. COVID, and 2. personal health reasons).

https://www.instagram.com/p/CT7WCuzLHkY/

School is honestly taking up a lot of my energy, but I’ve read nearly 120 books this year!! I’m really excited for these October-December releases: When Night Breaks, Jade Fire Gold, Our Violent Ends, Girls of Fate and Fury, and The Holiday Switch.

What books are you hoping to read before the end of 2021?

Most Anticipated Books: June 2021

Hello everyone! I’m so excited to have more time to blog now. There’s so many amazing books coming out this summer (or this June through August), so I hope you will find something to read from this list. This will be a series of three blog posts because there are A LOT of books you should have on your radar.

Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous by Suzanne Park

I received an ARC from Netgalley, and I’m really enjoying it so far! Suzanne Park is a Korean American author who also wrote The Perfect Escape, which was very enjoyable. As an Asian American teen, it’s nice to see that Asian teens who are all different and are allowed to be messy and make mistakes.

The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo

AHH I’ve been waiting for this book for SO LONG. As an Asian American adoptee, I don’t see a lot of rep of adoptees at all, and there’s not many Asian American adoptees that I’ve seen. This is a magical, coming of age story about Jordan, who is Vietnamese and queer. I love Jordans outfit and the magical-ness of the cover with the leaves around her.

A Chorus Rises by Bethany C. Morrow

I LOVED A Song Below Water last year; it was one of my favorites of 2020. I also read Take the Mic which Morrow was included in, and Morrow is definitely one of my favorite authors. Naema looks amazing (I love all of the pink throughout the cover), and I can’t wait to see her in this book!

Love and Other Natural Disasters by Misa Sugiura

I love Sugiura’s book This Time Will Be Different, so I am very happy to see that she has another book coming out very soon! Nozomi Nagai, who is Japanese American and lesbian, is asked by Willow to fake date, however, she wants to show Willow that she would like to real date. I love the characters on the cover and their outfits. From the reviews I’ve seen, there is also a Filipino American side character, which makes me very happy!

The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri

I have an e-ARC of this that I NEED TO READ!! Ahhh all of my online bookish friends have said they enjoyed this book, so I’m hoping to get to it this weekend so I can have a review written by or the week of release day. I love the cover and the flower in the “O.” This is a trilogy and includes a romance between “a captive princess (Malini) and a maidservant (Priya) in possession of forbidden magic,” and Malini and Priya have to save their empire from Malini’s traitor brother.

Of Princes and Promises by Sandhya Menon

I really think the Rosetta’s Academy series is my favorite of Sandhya Menon’s. Her books are great when you need something that will make you feel better because they’re so cute, fluffy, and low stakes. The covers changed for the series, but I really enjoy them and the old covers as well. This book focuses on Caterina and Rahul.

Broken Web by Lori M. Lee

Forest of Souls was an entrancing start to a new fantasy trilogy in 2020 (I love the character cards and the bookmark!!) so I can’t wait to see where Sirscha and Saengo’s story goes next.

Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury

I’ve been following Liselle Sambury since before the cover for Blood Like Magic was revealed, and it’s almost here!! I think this duology. Voya, who is Black, is a witch who has to complete her Calling, which she has to pass to reach her powers. Voya has to kill her first love, so I’m excited to see how this goes for her!!

Sisters of the Snake by Sarena and Sasha Nanua

I’m on the Snake Squad for this book, and I’m really enjoying seeing everyone’s posts! I am on Team Rani, and Rani is a princess wanting to get out of her palace. One of the comp titles for this book has been The Tiger At Midnight, so I’m sure I will enjoy this novel. I won a copy from a giveaway Sasha and Sarena hosted, so I’m aiming to read it and review it by or the week of release day.

Rising Like A Storm by Tanaz Bhathena

Bhathena is amazing; she’s written contemporary novels and now this fabulous fantasy duology. I won an ARC of Hunted by the Sky along with a handwritten quote from Bhathena, and absolutely LOVED it. I highly recommend this duology. Also, notice Gul’s side profile!! I feel so much less self conscious about the hairs on the side of my face because I see them on Gul’s face, which is really great. If anyone wants to buddy read HBTS with me before this comes out, feel free to contact me @solaceinreading_ on Instagram.

Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon

This novel is about “Black teen love.” All of these authors have books that I’ve rated five stars, so I cannot wait to see what they do together in these interconnected stories about a blackout in New York City. Also, I think that’s the Brooklyn Bridge in the background of the cover, which is super cool.

The Chariot at Dusk by Swati Teerdhala

Swati Teerdhala is one of my favorite authors of all time and her first trilogy is coming to an end! Esha and Kunal have taken me on an amazing journey since 2019 when I first bought TTAM when it came out. I was also a part of the TigerWraith Warriors street team (which included Roseanne A. Brown’s A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, which I also highly recommend), and received character cards because of my participation in the street team. If you’re looking for enemies to lovers, gorgeous worldbuilding, and morally grey heroines, this is the series for you!

Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta

Sci-fi is becoming one of my favorite genres and I’m so excited to see that Gearbreakers focuses on an Asian main character and her love interest, who is also Asian. This is Zoe’s debut novel, so I am planning on purchasing it and I hope you will too. Eris Shindanai takes down Windups and Sona Steelcrest is a Windup pilot, so it’ll be cool to see where their f/f enemies to lovers relationship goes. Also, I LOVE THIS COVER!!! It’s so pretty and emphasizes the power that Eris and Sona have.

What books are you excited for coming out this June?

Most Anticipated Books: July 2021

Hello! Here is the second part of my three part series of my most anticipated books of summer 2021.

Rise to the Sun by Leah Johnson

I loved You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson last year and I’m excited to see that she is writing another book. This book is about “the power of music to heal and connect us all.” Rise to the Sun comes out July 6th.

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim

I think this book takes place in the same universe as Spin the Dawn, which I absolutely LOVED. Shiori has forbidden magic and is the princess of Kiata. Her magic is revealed and her stepmother, Raikama, is interested. However, Raikama curses Shiori’s brothers and tells Shiori she cannot speak or else one of her brothers will die. Shiori has to work with the very boy to prevent a conspiracy that wants to take the throne of Kiata. This premise sounds so cool!

Wings of Shadow by Nicki Pau Preto

This is the final book in the Crown of Feathers series! Preto is really skilled at creating an immersive fantasy world, and the plotline is unlike any fantasy novel I’ve read. I’m definitely going to re-read the first two books before Wings of Shadow.

XOXO by Axie Oh

I’m excited to see that Oh is writing a contemporary novel. This is one of my favorite covers of 2021 because I love how colorful and happy it is. Jenny is a cello prodigy, and she meets Jaewoo, who she doesn’t know is a part of one of the biggest K-pop bands. Jaewoo is not allowed to date. XOXO takes place in South Korea, and I’m excited to read a book that doesn’t take place in the U.S.

Afterlove by Tanya Byrne

Afterlove is a lesbian love story. Ash is about to become a reaper but then dies, but then gets an invitation to become a part of a group with other girl reapers. She accepts because she wants to see her girlfriend, Poppy, again – dead or alive. I love this premise and really have never heard anything like it. Afterlove comes out July 22.

What books are you excited for that come out this July?

Most Anticipated Books: August 2021

Welcome to the finale of my three part series of my most anticipated books of August 2021! I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing what books I’m excited for.

How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao

I’ve technically already read this book but I’m definitely going to be purchasing a physical copy (go Sinclair Students!!). There is a preorder campaign going on right now where you can get character cards (which I love). This academia novel has an all Asian cast and is about mental health and being in a competitive high school environment, and also talks about how rich people are often able to get away with a lot.

Brown Boy Nowhere by Sheeryl Lim

This book has a Filipino American main character! Angelo Rivera has to move and is the only Asian person in his all white school. Angelo has to work at “his parents’ new diner.” I am always looking for Filipino American rep, and I have high hopes for this book.

The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad

I LOVED The Candle and the Flame, so I’m excited to see another book by Azad. The Wild Ones is described as a “thrilling, feminist fantasy about a group of teenage girls endowed with special powers who must band together to save the life of the boy whose magic saved them all.” I love this cover and all of the flowers surrounding the characters.

Like A Love Song by Gabriela Martins

I’ve had this book on my radar for a while now, and I really like Martins’ Twitter. Like A Love Song is about a Latina pop star who has to fake date a soft hearted British boy to help her career. I love the fake dating trope and am excited to see what Martins does with it.

Redemptor by Jordan Ifueko

I recently read Raybearer by Ifueko and I can say that no fantasy YA book has taken my breath away in a way that Raybearer has, ever. At the end of Raybearer, Tarisai claimed the role as an Empress Redemptor. She now needs her own council, but faces assasination attempts in the finale to the Raybearer duology. There’s going to be a “handsome new stranger” in this book, so I’m so ready to see where Tarisai goes next.

A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger

I loved Darcie Little Badger’s Elatsoe, and I’m excited to see more books by Badger. The main character is Nina, who is “a Lipan girl in our world.” According to the synopsis, Badger “draws on traditional Lipan Apache storytelling structure to weave another unforgettable tale of monsters, magic, and family.” I love the cover as well.

Bad Witch Burning by Jessica Lewis

Katrell is Black and is able to talk to the dead. She accidentally raises someone from the dead. This is Lewis’ debut, and I’m very excited to see what happens in this novel, where Katrell is revealed to what may be “an even darker future.”

What books are you excited for coming out this August? What did you think of this three-part series?

A Clash Of Steel by C.B. Lee: with Colored Pages Blog Tours

A Clash of Steel by C.B. Lee.

I am so sorry that this post is late, first of all! The first month of school was very hectic. Let’s get right to my post for A Clash of Steel by C.B. Lee for Colored Pages Blog Tours.

First of all, Lee’s writing style is so engrossing and makes me feel like I’m instantly drawn into the world of the characters of ACOS. The fact that this series remixes classics, in this case, Treasure Island, makes me very happy as a high school reader who did not enjoy books such as Little Women (also read So Many Beginnings by Bethany C. Morrow!!!!).

Second of all, I love the fact that this book is written in first person POV – Xiang is such an interesting character and I love her POV – seeing how she interacts with her mother, Anh, and her mentor. Even from the first page, I knew that this book would be one of my favorites of the year.

Thirdly, I can confidently say that you do not have to read Treasure Island to understand ACOS – they’re called Remixed Classics for a reason, and Lee definitely smashed my expectations. This series is one to read again and again and again, and I hope any teachers reading this will consider adding this series into their curriculum.

Favorite Quotes:

[to be updated – I have to set the table for dinner.]

Book Information:

Title: A Clash of Steel 
Author: C.B Lee
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends 
Publication Date: September 7th, 2021
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction 

Synopsis:

Two intrepid girls hunt for a legendary treasure on the deadly high seas in this YA remix of the classic adventure novel Treasure Island.

1826. The sun is setting on the golden age of piracy, and the legendary Dragon Fleet, the scourge of the South China Sea, is no more. Its ruthless leader, a woman known only as the Head of the Dragon, is now only a story, like the ones Xiang has grown up with all her life. She desperately wants to prove her worth, especially to her mother, a shrewd businesswoman who never seems to have enough time for Xiang. Her father is also only a story, dead at sea before Xiang was born. Her single memento of him is a pendant she always wears, a simple but plain piece of gold jewelry.

But the pendant’s true nature is revealed when a mysterious girl named Anh steals it, only to return it to Xiang in exchange for her help in decoding the tiny map scroll hidden inside. The revelation that Xiang’s father sailed with the Dragon Fleet and tucked away this secret changes everything. Rumor has it that the legendary Head of the Dragon had one last treasure—the plunder of a thousand ports—that for decades has only been a myth, a fool’s journey.

Xiang is convinced this map could lead to the fabled treasure. Captivated with the thrill of adventure, she joins Anh and her motley crew off in pursuit of the island. But the girls soon find that the sea—and especially those who sail it—are far more dangerous than the legends led them to believe.

Purchase Links:

Goodreads
Amazon
Book Depository
Barnes & Noble
IndieBound
Indigo

Author Biography:

C.B. Lee.

CB Lee is a Lambda Literary Award nominated writer of young adult science fiction and fantasy. Her works include the Sidekick Squad series (Duet Books), Ben 10 (Boom!), and All Out Now (HarperTeen). CB loves to write about queer teens, magic, superheroes, and the power of friendship.

Lee’s work has been featured in Teen Vogue, Wired Magazine, and Hypable. Lee’s first novel in the Sidekick Squad series, Not Your Sidekick was a 2017 Lambda Literary Awards Finalist in YA/Children’s Fiction and a 2017 Bisexual Book Awards Finalist in Speculative Fiction. Seven Tears at High Tide was the recipient of a Rainbow Award for Best Bisexual Fantasy Romance and also a finalist for the 2016 Bisexual Book Awards in the YA and Speculative Fiction categories.

Author Links:

Website: https://cb-lee.com/ 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/author_cblee 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cblee_cblee/ 
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/11230592.C_B_Lee 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorcblee 
Tumblr: https://authorcblee.tumblr.com/ 

Tour Schedule:

September 7th

Rampant Reading Reviews – Review Only
Sagarific – Playlist

September 8th

Unraveling Chaos – Favorite Quotes
Emelie’s Books – Recommendations based on the book 
It’s Just A Coffee Addicted Bibliophile – Mood Board

September 9th

Peachnace – Reading vlog 
HoardingBooks.HerdingCats – Favorite Quotes 

September 10th

@daphne.reads – Book Recommendations based on the book 
Solace in Reading – Favorite Quotes
Thisbellereadstoo – Review Only

September 11th

READING (AS)(I)AN (AM)ERICA – Favorite Quotes
An Ode to Fiction – Playlist 
Uponthebooktower – Review Only 

September 12th

The Bookish Fairy Godmother – Mood Board
Discover Elysian – Favorite Quotes

September 13th

Mella’s Musings – Favorite Quotes
Meanderingthebooks – Favorite Quotes

September 14th 

Melancholic Blithe – Mood Board 
Yourlocalbookreader – Favorite Quotes
A Bookworm’s Paradise – Mood Board

September – December 2021: Thoughts, Aspirations

I love fall and winter. My birthday is in September, my family has birthdays, there’s Halloween, fall weather, Christmas. It’s basically a time of food and and fun in my house. . .and also a time of great book releases!! However, I am a senior, so I have college applications. Here’s what my blog and bookstagram will (tentatively) look like this fall.

Blog

There’s a few ARCs I need to review:

  • Our Violent Ends
  • Fools in Love
  • The Bronzed Beasts
  • A Clash of Steel – for Colored Pages Book Tours – look out for my post September 10th!
  • The Red Palace
  • Within These Wicked Walls

Tbh, I DNF-ed OVE, FIL, and WTWW just because I was in a reading slump in August, but I really need to get those reviews done. I highly recommend all of the books btw!

I also want to make more lists of books with certain tropes/genres, maybe an article on why I don’t use online book tracker apps, my third year bookstagram anniversary post. I have a lot of ideas and hopefully can use my free time to work on something other than applying to college.

Bookstagram

Ah, my main platform! Time to pull out the fairy lights and wayyyyyy more props. Another fun activity that calms me during the school year.

The main post I want to have up in October is a cosplay of Kallia from When Night Breaks – I cosplayed a modern version of her in 2020, and it’s one of my favorite posts ever.

And of course, 2022 has many great book releases in store (All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir comes to mind), so I will definitely be promoting those.

Additionally, I think J. Elle may have another street team for Wings of Ebony’s sequel, so I want to sign up for that. The cover for Ashes of Gold is out!!

Shopping

Recently, I’ve gotten into online shopping. I am looking for clothes that I don’t have in colors I don’t have. As a shorter person, I fit in clothes from middle school, but then grow out of others, and I recently got some money, so that’s really fun.

I also am limiting myself to buying five books this fall, however, it depends on if I get anything for my birthday (September 25). I am grateful to have parents who support my book lovingness.

Wishlist

I am really hoping to buy more contemporary, fun books. I own a lot of fantasy series/first books in fantasy series, and I am realizing that I cannot own every single one because I am already having to double stack my books, which is not great. I actually got rid of a lot of books, or not got rid of because they are still where I live, but it feels good because I have friends who love books, so they are going to good homes. I also want to start a book collecting project at my school, but as a senior, I think I’m going to wait for myself to get into a routine before jumping into another project.

As for things other than books, I am looking to add a few new pieces to my fall and winter wardrobes that can work for both seasons AND for every occasion. There’s so many fancy pieces of clothes I have, so I’d like to add some casual clothes as well.

School

I am a high school senior. My first app is due November 1, and then I have an interview really soon.

I am taking two APs, Bio and Stats, and both go together, so I feel good about my AP classes. Stats is involved in Bio, and I love math, so I am excited to use math in bio!! I am also in Graphic Arts where we’ll get to use paper AND iPads. Art used to be something I wanted to do in college, and I want to take it as an elective because while I love talking, debating, and writing, art lets me use my thoughts in a different way!

Life

Honestly, I have such great friends both offline and online, so I am grateful to have support! August wasn’t a good month for me except for Santa Monica and LA which I am glad to say were bright spots. I am doing better now and am so grateful for the support I received in August, not only from my family, but also from my friends and school.

Do I have any goals? One of my CA’s is due Nov 1, I want to be done with my apps by December 17, and I want to find some clothes I do not have – I’m getting into experimenting with my outfits, which is a lot of fun.

Anything you want to do in Sep-Dec? Book recs for me?

Summer Break: Wrap-Up

My end of summer 2021 post.

I cannot believe the end of summer 2021 is here! I hit 100 books and as of today (8/29/2021), I have read 112 books so far this year. I only read four books in August, but that’s because I was in. . .Santa Monica and Los Angeles.

I was cleared to go on the trip (I’d been sick the days before we left), so my experience was not the best because I was still sick when we got back home. Luckily, I am better today. There are so many amazing bookstores in LA:

  • The Ripped Bodice
  • Book Soup
  • Barnes and Noble at the Grove (I do love a good Barnes and Noble.)
  • Skylight Books
  • BookMonster – Santa Monica

I bought:

  • Wings of Ebony – got a signed copy!!
  • Raybearer – paperback and it’s so shiny!
  • How We Fall Apart – my name is in the acknowledgements, or rather, SolaceinReading is!

When I came home, I also found an early finished copy of A Clash of Steel by C.B. Lee waiting for me (for Colored Pages Tours – my post will be up on Friday, September 10) AND an ARC of The Bronzed Beasts by Roshani Chokshi!!! TBB is so good, it made me cry.

I’m mostly looking forward to September – I have been sick for a while and now know what it is, so that is so great.

Fall is my favorite. . .

The leaves! The chill in the air, that sense of a light rain, my birthday, family birthdays, Halloween, school. . .I am going to be a senior but fall just makes me feel so calm. I want to make a most anticipated releases post but don’t have the energy right now.

How was your summer?

Caffiene Tours – Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

Let me start by saying I have not been on a book tour in almost a year. I was too busy. However, I knew I wanted to talk about Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao because you will not find a fantasy book that comes close to the sheer amount that the book made me want to throw it across the room (in a good way). Thanks to Caffiene Tours and Shealea @shutupshealea for hosting this tour. I am so grateful for Shealea and this tour company for being transparent and always being clear in their policies. I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book from the publisher and Caffeine Book Tours as part of my participation in their tour.

My Thoughts

Characters – I could literally scream. I loved every character. Zhao could write whole books about the side characters, which is incredible. (Sorry that my thoughts are so messy, I just cannot recommend this book enough!!!!)

Romance – yes!!! No love triangle!! There is a polyamorous relationship and the characters fit so well together. Their chemistry is amazing!!!!

Worldbuilding – I was too focused on the perfect plot and characters, BUT the worldbuilding pulled me in and did not me go – I finished IW on my phone at Target!!!!

Plot – AMAZING. This book reads like the perfect action movie with romance. I would pay to see IW adapted.

Re-readability – YES 100%!!!!!! The entire book is so action filled and perfectly balanced with all the elements I just told you my thoughts about. You will not read a book like this in 2021. Iron Widow is life-changing, especially for me as an Asian women, and it’s great to see sexism and the patriarchy called out and challenged in a fantasy novel.

Favorite Quotes – names have been redacted

Here are my favorite quotes and some quote graphics for the quotes from Iron Widow. They are from the e-ARC so I will update this review when I read a final copy. Quotes may have changed from the e-ARC to the final version. NO SPOILERS NO SPOILERS NO SPOILERS.

“Blood dribbles from the table and from [redacted’s] fingers. A sheen of sweat glistens where his head wrapping meets his forehead. His chest heaves rapidly. His eyes meet mine.

“When he looks me in the eye again, a small smile cracks across his face. A startling sensation shivers through me, like a hundred butterflies fluttering free in my chest.

“Everyone wants me dead.”

“You’re not something I could ever come across again.”“Oh, shit.” My voice teeters toward an edge, high-pitched and airy.

Then again, I don’t belong to anybody, and I never will.

“No matter what anyone says, I’m proud to call you my co-pilot, [redacted].”

“I think this whole concept of women being docile and obedient is nothing but wishful thinking. Or why would you put so much effort into lying to us? Into crippling our bodies? Into coercing us with made-up morals you claim are sacred? You insecure men, you’re afraid. You can force us into compliance, but, deep down, you know you can’t force us to truly love and respect you.” Read this again then re-read it 1000000000000 times.

Tour Info – support everyone on this amazing tour!

Launch post with schedule: https://caffeinebooktours.wordpress.com/2021/08/22/iron-widow-tour/

Author Information

Xiran Jay Zhao.

Xiran Jay Zhao is a first-gen immigrant from small-town China who was raised by the Internet​. A recent graduate of Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University, they wrote science fiction and fantasy while they probably should have been studying more about biochemical pathways. You can find them on Twitter for memes, Instagram for cosplays and fancy outfits, and YouTube for long videos about Chinese history and culture. Iron Widow is their first novel.

Author links:

Author website — https://xiranjayzhao.com/ 

Goodreads — https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20132644.Xiran_Jay_Zhao 

Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/xiranjayzhao/ 

Twitter — https://twitter.com/XiranJayZhao 

YouTube — https://www.youtube.com/c/xiranjayzhao 

Book Info

Title: Iron Widow

Author: Xiran Jay Zhao

Cover: Ashley Mackenzie 

Publisher: Penguin Teen Canada

Publication date: 21 September 2021

Age group: Young Adult

Genres: Science Fiction, Historical Fiction

Synopsis:

The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn’t matter that the girls often die from the mental strain.

When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it’s to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister’s death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed. She is labeled an Iron Widow, a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead.​

To tame her unnerving yet invaluable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia​. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will miss no opportunity to leverage their combined might and infamy to survive attempt after attempt on her life, until she can figure out exactly why the pilot system works in its misogynist way—and stop more girls from being sacrificed.

On-page Representation

  • POC (East Asian)
  • LGBTQ+ (Bisexuality, polyamory)

Trigger and Content Warnings

  • Violence and abuse, footbinding, suicide ideation, discussion and references to sexual assault (though no on-page depictions), alcohol addiction, and torture

Book links:

Amazon — https://amzn.to/2UBMGrU 

Goodreads — https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/52459864 

Add this to your TBRs!!!

Reaper of Souls by Rena Barron – Book Review

I loved Reaper of Souls by Rena Barron! It’s an excellent sequel to Rena Barron’s first book in this trilogy, Kingdom of Souls. Reaper of Souls picks up right where Kingdom of Souls left off.

SPOILERS FOR KINGDOM OF SOULS:


When we last left Arrah and Rudjek, they defeated Efiya and now their main concern is the Demon King. However, a new player has emerged, and her name is Dimma. Throughout Reaper of Souls (no major spoilers), we find out more about Dimma and the Demon King. What I love about Barron’s writing is that each perspective feels different. Sometimes, authors can struggle with writing from multiple perspectives that are all in first person, but Dimma, Arrah and Rudjek all sound very distinctive.

I also hear a lot that second books are sometimes not as good as the first, but this is not true for Reaper of Souls. Now, Arrah and Rudjek still have to confront the reach of the demons while also healing from the horrific events of KOS. Rudjek now has anti-magic, while Arrah has her magic from all of the tribes to help her try to locate any tribal survivors. Both are separated on different journeys, and Barron is able to make their journeys entwine even when they’re away from each other.

Overall, this sequel is amazing and I will be waiting in anticipation for the final book of this expansive and captivating fantasy trilogy.

Midyear Book Tag ft. 100 books read!!

Hello everyone! I’m hoping to post more over the next month – I’ve been busy with my academic summer program. However, I am proud to say that I’ve read 100 books as of 7/24 – I thought Darling was my 100th book, but it was actually Radha and Jai’s Recipe for Romance. No spoilers except for plot descriptions to sequels! So minor ish spoilers for We Hunt the Flame, The Tiger at Midnight series.

Favorite Book of 2021?

Obviously, I cannot choose just one: here are three RELEASED books that I consider to be new favorites. We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal is about Zafira and Nasir’s journey after WHTF and after magic is restored, the Zumra have to figure out what to do next.

Ace of Spades is one of the best dark academia novels I’ve read. Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé is an author to watch and her debut is definitely a #1 YA must read. AOS talks about anti Blackness and how pervasive it is in schools and how it pervades society and generations. Chiamaka and Devon are great characters and that epilogue!!!

The Chariot at Dusk by Swati Teerdhala is a fantastic ending. I love morally grey characters and will definitely miss Esha and Kunal. I hope to see Teerdhala write more and I hope more people read The Tiger at Midnight series.

Honorable mentions: XOXO by Axie Oh, How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao (it would be up here too but I don’t have a finished copy yet), Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao (simply magnificent, best new fantasy series of 2021)

Favorite Sequel?

Fun fact: I was on the Zumra (Hafsah Faizal’s street team)!!! That didn’t influence how much I loved WFTS – I am also doing a re-read with some others on bookstagram and I love Nasir and Zafira’s dynamic.

Sequel you haven’t Read Yet, But Want to?

Technically, I am reading these ones right now, but Our Violent Ends and When Night Breaks!! Chloe Gong and Janella Angeles are amazing and Gong was the first author I interviewed on my blog. Also, The Bronzed Beasts by Roshani Chokshi – have not read this one yet.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

Literally all of these. I don’t think I need to explain.

5. Biggest disappointment?

Oh gosh. Please don’t come at me, but Counting Down With You – listen, the author seems super nice, but I just didn’t like it? And the brown girl is “saved” by the white guy trope is so old. *note: others have read this book differently and I know it is important, so please don’t take my opinion as saying you shouldn’t read it. Also, A Dark and Hollow Star – I noticed after reading a goodreads review that EVERY mc is white – I think there’s a discussion around having token diversity vs. actively seeking out sensitivity readers when white people write about people of color and being inclusive. I am not educated enough about this topic, but I think it is something to think about. (Obviously token diversity is never good.)

6. Biggest surprise

The Iron King by Juliet Kagawa! It made faeries better for me. I am in love.

7. Favorite new author (debut or new to you)

Katie Zhao is incredible and I am so grateful to be a part of the Sinclair Students. I read HWFA before I joined, so I knew I wanted to talk about this book and get others to buy it. It’s the first YA academia book I’ve read with an all Asian cast. HWFA is a murder mystery yes, and it talks about anti Asian racism and mental health.

*Note: I am not East Asian American or an immigrant so I cannot speak on the representation. I also got a copy early from the publisher and that did not influence my opinions of this book, my opinions are only influenced by me.

8. Newest fictional crush

9. Newest favorite character

10. Book that made you cry

None.

I am lying. Brown Boy Nowhere – as a Filipino American I feel very seen.

11. Book that made you happy

XOXO!! I have no pictures but it is on my wishlist!

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

how i have no images of the entire fairyloot aeita set is wow to me but i bought it last year and got it this year.

13.What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

you already know lol – our violent ends, a psalm of storms and silence, the holiday switch, jade city.

14. Favorite book community member

May @foreverandeverly, Kate @yourtitakate, Shealea @shutupshealea, Humnah @rootedindreams, Sagarika @sagarific, Maya @mnmbooks, Jesse @bowtiesbooks.

Thank you for reading and I hope you all know that you don’t have to read 100+ books a year. I used to read 300 and that was not good because I pressured myself to not DNF a book. On a positive note, I’ve liked a lot of 2021 books!

What has been your favorite books of 2021?