Top 9 Most Anticipated Books: October – December 2020

Hello, everyone! Originally, this post was supposed to be for September to December books that I’m excited for, but it is now October. Here is my list of my top 10 most anticipated books of October to December 2020:

OCTOBER:

1. BLAZEWRATH GAMES by AMPARO ORTIZ: One of my favorite bookstagrammers/bloggers/all around amazing person Kate @yourtitakate loves this book, so I am excited to read this!!! I might get my own copy because I love the cover and the fact that there are magical creatures.

2. THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT by AMINAH MAE SAFI: I’ve had so many positive interactions with Safi and I LOVE NOT THE GIRLS YOU’RE LOOKING FOR!!!! Also, I have a personal connection to an element of this book, which is super cool.

3. CHARMING AS A VERB by BEN PHILIPPE: Definitely want to meet Philippe someday!! One of the first authors who followed me on my bookstagram, which is really kind. I love his writing style and cannot wait to read this.

NOVEMBER:

4. THE EVER CRUEL KINGDOM by RIN CHUPECO: Chupeco is one of my #1 favorite authors of all time. Everything written by them is amazing, and I am definitely a part of their fan group. I am not ready to say goodbye to Odessa, Haidee, Lan, and Arjun.

5. RENT A BOYFRIEND by GLORIA CHAO: Chao is one of my favorite contemporary ya authors!! I have a signed ARC of American Panda, which is one of my favorite books of 2018. I cannot wait to line up all of her books together.

6. REBEL SISTERS by TOCHI ONYEBUCHI: OMG, please read War Girls. This is one of my favorite duologies and I don’t read a lot of books in the sci-fi/future genre, and this is definitely my favorite.

7. THE BURNING GOD by R.F. KUANG: I have no words for how much this series has changed me, and I am sure that I will cry while reading this.

8. SUPER FAKE LOVE SONG by DAVID YOON: I loved Frankly in Love. The cover of Yoon’s next book is so cool, and the synopsis is very intriguing.

DECEMBER:

9. A SKY BEYOND THE STORM by SABAA TAHIR: 528 pages, according to online sites!!!!! I fear that I will not make it through this book without crying because I am soooo excited for this one. I’ve had it preordered since May because the preorder campaign was amazing.

This is an older YA series (well, at least in regards to when I joined the fandom) that I love and will recommend for the rest of my life.

Thank you for reading! I know I do not have a consistent posting schedule, and I am happy people are reading my posts. If you would like to interact with me more, my bookstagram is @solaceinreading_. Mental health and my family and school are my priorities right now.

What are your most anticipated books of last quarter of the year?

Five Tropes I Love

Tropes. I can think of so many unique books that take tropes and make them unique and interesting. Here are five of my favorite tropes, along with two to three book recommendations for each:

5. Mutual Pining

It’s painful to wait for the next book to see if two characters get together. However, I love this realistic point of view because I would never admit my feelings for someone until it would be too late/the night before a major battle if I was a fictional character in a fantasy world. I love seeing this in:

  • THE GILDED WOLVES by Roshani Chokshi: This was one of my top 5 books of 2020. Literally all of the people I want to be together just pine and there’s no acting on it (read: in TGW at least). If I could tell Enrique and Zofia and Hypnos something, it would be to just sit down and talk. You’re literally so young; you don’t have to save the world if you don’t want to.
  • A SONG OF WRAITHS AND RUIN by Roseanne A. Brown: Malik and Karina. Take a break from scheming to kill each other and have a nice chat, please : ) I just want them to be together and they won’t admit it (although they kind of do by scheming to kill each other in a way, so).
  • 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT PINKY by Sandhya Menon: This is my favorite book in the Dimpleverse and all of them are amazing. Pinky and Samir have such a great dynamic even when there are challenges in their relationship. They thought of each other A LOT, and I was just waiting for [redacted] to happen.

4. Powerful girls who know their worth.

I see people saying, “X character could step on me,” and I never really said that until I met Kallia and Juliette:

  • THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS by Chloe Gong: All I’ll say is that Juliette Cai never stopped fighting for what and maybe who she wanted during TVD. All the way until that ending : ) I love her and Gong is a genius. Juliette is a fighter, and I loved that she never let anyone tell her otherwise.
  • WHERE DREAMS DESCEND by Janella Angeles: Kallia. Wow. She has the best style and words, and I love her as well. She shows off and has no regrets about her choices. Kallia could lead me into battle.

3. Enemies to lovers

This might be my favorite romance trope: I love seeing it in fantasy novels.

  • WE HUNT THE FLAME by Hafsah Faizal: I cannot wait to see Zafira and Nasir in We Free the Stars. Their dynamic!! Oh my gosh. Certain scenes in WHTF really made me feel things.
  • THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT by Swati Teerdhala: Esha and Kunal are two of my favorite characters ever. The chase in TTAM makes sense while also building the world and the conflict, and that’s why I loved every single interaction Esha and Kunal have. Their relationship is very complicated and what The Archer At Dawn did to me? I could write a whole essay on that topic.

2. Journey to find a specific object

I LOVE JOURNEY/QUEST BASED NOVELS! Especially when it’s about restoring magic, which can be done so well.

  • WE HUNT THE FLAME (again): While this book is definitely at a slower pace, I love the journey and how it involves the growth of the characters. I also thought the multiple POVs and players involved in the quest made the story a lto more interesting, and I can’t wait to see what Hafsah does in WFTS.
  • THE NEVER TILTING WORLD by Rin Chupeco: Odessa and Haidee have to restore their world. Also, they’re godesses. The ending of TNTW surprised me and I cannot wait to see what happens next. The sisters have very different quests, yet Chupeco is able to tie all of these facets together to create one of my favorite books of 2019.

1. Battle pair

This can be either two friends or two people who are romantically involved! I just found out about this trope a few days ago, and it took me a while to think of books that fit this trope.

  • GIRLS OF STORM AND SHADOW by Natasha Ngan: Wren and who she fights with? Oh my gosh. Wren is one of the most powerful characters, and she grows so much!! I love that she trains Lei. #LeiandWrenbacktogether2021!!!
  • WE UNLEASH THE MERCILESS STORM by Tehlor Kay Mejia: Dani and Carmen!! Dani and Carmen fighting together!! I forgot what happened in the first book and that’s ok because the action scenes with these two are amazing and I would 100% read a short story about the aftermath of this book.
  • A SKY BEYOND THE STORM by Sabaa Tahir: Laia and Elias NEED TO FIGHT TOGETHER!! I only remember them supporting each other in ATATN and I miss them together!!! I know Tahir will break my heart with this book, but it’s ok. AEITA fandom is about to rise and I cannot wait to see Laia and Elias hopefully do the same.

What are your fave tropes? Any book recs for me based on my fave tropes?

Mini Life Update + Five 2020 Favorite Books (So Far)

I can’t believe the first week of school is almost over. For virtual learning, my week went pretty well. I wish we were back in the class because I like being in the room for class discussioons vs. just seeing everyone’s face. My favorite class is probably going to be AP Psychology because I am completely new to this subject. I also found a new way to help myself since I’ll be staring at the computer for a little over six hours some days: find new songs to listen to and close my eyes for 10 minutes OR read for 10 minutes while listening to the Merlin OST.

Let’s get to the fun part of this post: five books that I’ve loved so far in 2020 that were also published this year.

  1. IRON HEART by NINA VARELA – an excellent finale that had me mentally sobbing on the floor. I am so in love with this duology, and it really is the perfect conclusion. Crier and Ayla work so well together, and so do all of the other relationships. Additionally, this duology has two of my all time favorite covers. There are so many tiny details that I only caught when I looked at the cover a bit more closely. Definitely thinking of writing a fanfic for Crier and Ayla.

  2. NOW THAT I’VE FOUND YOU by KRISTINA FOREST – I ended my summer with a few books, and this is the one of two that I am still thinking about. I preordered this in July and got it the day after release day, which was awesome. Evie and Milo make the cutest team, and I loved that this book was a mystery while also being a light-hearted romantic ya novel. I Wanna Be Where You Are is also amazing, and I am going to try to re-read it before the end of this year.

  3. WHERE DREAMS DESCEND by Janella Angeles – Wednesday Books sent me a free copy along with a few other cool items because I am a part of Shealea @ Shut Up Shealea’s Asian Bookish Creators Directory. This was probably the best moment of a very uneventful but also challenging summer mentally because it’s the first time I’ve received something like this. I highly recommend WDD because Kallia is amazing and fierce. I also love Demarco.

  4. THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS by Chloe Gong – I AM SO READY FOR THIS BOOK TO COME OUT!! I have something very exciting related to TVD that will be revealed towards the end of October/the beginning of November. DM me @solaceinreading_ if you want to know my fanpage username because this series is going to change the game, and I don’t say that about a lot of books. Juliette is another fierce character who I’d pay to teach me how to throw knives.

  5. INCENDIARY by Zoraida C√≥rdova – I would love to see more people reading this: revolution, magic, sneaking into a palace, royalty with a secret, a very motivated main character who I love: these are all elements of an enticing and magical read. I love the fact that this book deals with courtly intrigue and what it’s like to be a part of the rebellion at the same time in an organic way. Renata is just trying to figure things out, and she is confident and ready to burn down the world for [redacted] or maybe [redacted] by the end of the book. I am so excited for the second book and will be waiting in a state of anticipation until it comes out!!!

I hope you’ll pick up these books because they are seriously amazing. Now That I’ve Found You is one the #1 best ya contemporary romance novels I’ve read this year because I love celebrity romances in YA, and the incorporation of the mystery is seamless.

The YA fantasy genre revived itself because of these authors (and many authors who I’d add to this list, and that would make this post over 5k words long. I will aspire to write a post that long if I can). Thanks to all of these authors because re-reading your books are going to help me get through this school year: I feel as though I can truly escape my everyday life with your words, and I appreciate all that you do.

How Is This Going to Work?

Yeah, you’re probably thinking, “What is THIS, exactly?” Well, THIS is the fact that school starts tomorrow, so I need to set some goals for myself so I don’t get overwhelmed/burnt out/procrastinate/etc. Listen, I am one of those odd people who love school. In fact, my school taught me about Mansa Musa, the Pacific Theater (specifically, the second Sino Japanese War), a little bit about the U.S. colonization of the Philippines, and a lot of other historical figures who others might not have learned about in high school (however, this is the bare minimum of what middle/high schools should be teaching). I’ve gotten to do final projects on the history of immigration by Filipinos to the U.S. after WWII, and influential Filipino women in WWII.

So as much as I love this blogging community, I have to make school my #1 priority, especially since this is a *crucial year* for me. Why? Here are just a few reasons:

  1. I have three AP classes, am a TA, and one Dual Enrollment class. In fact, I am TA-ing for one of the most strict but also cool teachers at my school, and I am sure this teacher will not have me just sit around and make copies. This also means I still have AP exams in May (hey CB, mind cancelling these SINCE THERE’S STILL ONLINE SCHOOL AND A PANDEMIC?!!!).
  2. I need to research colleges. I refuse to elaborate since I am ignoring this at the moment.
  3. Homework. If any of my teachers ever reads this, please go easy on all of your students. Virtual learning is very different from in person learning.

Now that’s out of the way. Here are my goals on how I will balance school and blogging:

  1. Post when I can AND want to, and when I have the energy. I know I’m going to write so many essays this year. The creative writing I do on my blog is vastly different, and I will probably use the blog as an outlet to take a break from writing in the style of writing that I’m taught in school.
  2. When I feel overwhelmed, lie on the floor for 10 minutes and listen to either calming music or music that gives me confidence. I first heard this idea during Janella Angeles’ launch of her book (psst read Where Dreams Descend to fall in love with Kallia!), and it sounds like a really great idea.
  3. Blog to blog, not for the sake of creating content. Same for bookstagram. I like posting everyday when I’m in the mood, but I can’t during this first month of school. Last year, I posted everyday in December, so I think I’ll try to do that this year.
  4. Compare myself to myself. My one thought that I need to keep in mind is that I am doing this because 1. I like books, and 2. I want to share my love of books with the world. As long as I am having fun and editing my work, I will continue this blog.
  5. Focus on SCHOOL. I put a lot of pressure on myself because for a long time, I thought I had to get all A’s to get into a “good” college. Now? I need to let myself relax. This one really nice person told me in an honesty circle that I should be more confident because I am smart and motivated. I will always remember what everyone said about me, and will remember that when I’m feeling like saying negative things to myself.

Overall, setting goals makes me focus on what’s important and what I can control. I hope all of you will stick around because I am doing a really fun post with Sumedha @ The Wordy Habitat, am a part of the Spell Starter tour by Caffeine Tours, and have my first interview with one of my #1 new favorite authors in November.

What are your goals this semester/quarter? If you’re not in school, do you have any goals for September to December?

Obscure-ish Fears of An Online Book Person (ft. solutions)

This will probably be deleted, however, I need to get my thoughts out there:

  1. What if I tag authors too much? Well, authors don’t have to respond to me, but it’s cool if there is a possiblity!
  2. What if everyone is secretly talking about me? Ha. Everyone? This is where I have to tell my ego to go away for a moment because 1. This isn’t middle school, and 2. Sometimes your mind messes with you.
  3. What if I need a Twitter to grow my blog? Untrue. Also, somehow I hit 70 followers? Nice!! Thanks to everyone for sticking around.
  4. What if I don’t read enough? Well, most of the books I’ve read this year have been awesome since my goal is smaller, so I’d say I am reading the perfect amount because I haven’t wasted a lot of time on bad books/books I didn’t like.
  5. What if people think I’m doing this for fame/clout? Once again, my ego is in the way. Stop it, ego! I know that I am doing this for myself and no one else, and that’s what matters most.
  6. Do people actually want to be my friend? Yeah, you’ve maintained connections with people for over a year, so I’d say I am at least acquainted with them. (Note: there are so many Internet friends I want to meet. BookCon 2022, anyone?)
  7. What if all the ideas get taken? Doesn’t matter. I have the ability to put my own unique additions to these ideas.
  8. What if people are faking being my friend? Hmmm. Would someone who you’ve known FOR A YEAR fake being my friend?
  9. Am I too cling-y? Oh gosh. I need to let go of my middle school nightmares. Seriously.
  10. What if people think I’m online too much? Lucky for everyone, that’s going to change because school starts tomorrow!

Anyway, this is how I get my brain to slow down. The Internet is not real life. I will definitely be doing some in-depth posts about school so all of you can get to know me a bit more beyond reading, which is my main hobby. I have no posting schedule, except the book tours I need to participate in and a few ARCs I need to review. Other than that, expect about 3-4 posts a week, probably one to two during exam times. Thank all of you for following me!! The best place to talk if you want is through DMs on bookstagram: I am @/solaceinreading_.

The Burning God by R.F. Kuang: Theories

I am officially a super fan of TPW trilogy. Massive spoilers in this post! Turn back if you haven’t read The Dragon Republic. Here are my theories of what will happen in TBG: TPW #3, in no particular order:

  1. Rin and Nezha will die fighting each other. While I don’t want Rin to lose a fight because she beat Nezha in book one, I can see Kuang making her characters go through something even bigger and deadlier than before. How will this fight start? Either Rin wants to die OR someone has betrayed her again and she will do anything, even sacrificing herself, to help her army win. Nezha will probably want to kill Rin because maybe she’s killed his dad, or maybe she razed his province. Either way, if this happens, it’ll be interesting to see how Kuang holds Rin accountable for the genocide she used a god for in TPW.
  2. Rin will use the Phoenix god to commit another genocide against Nezha’s province. While this might not happen if Kuang has Rin and Nezha forgive each other/confess love (which I really hope does not happen), I feel like it would be a turning moment that would cause #1 if Rin does this after the war between Nezha’s faction and her faction ends. This might also lead to. . .
  3. Rin being exiled. If this happens, I will genuinely be infuriated. To see such a powerful character silently leave probably won’t happen, but it is up to Kuang and Kuang only. This seems very unlikely since Rin is too angry to let this happen, and because this world is too brutal to allow someone who caused a genocide to live, which leads to two choices. . .
  4. Rin becomes a goddess of death or something like that. Again, not a choice I like because it gives Rin a way out to not atone for her war crimes, however, maybe she will have to do something like what she did at the end of TPW again, like I wrote in #2. I think this would leave too many loose threads. . .so here’s option #2:
  5. Rin dies, but not in battle. Yeah, this seems unlikely to me since Rin would fight the death god before dying anyway, so yeah. Also, Rin needs to atone for her actions (although one can definitely see WHY she made that choice in TPW. That doesn’t make it right, though. It’s so hard to root for Rin and root against her because she has so much agency and uses it for horrid things).
  6. Kitay dies, leading Rin to theories #1, 2, or 4. I don’t want this to happen? I feel like Kitay has changed a lot too, but he is very intelligent and I like how his smarts are needed. This could happen if. . .
  7. Rin accidentally kills him, leading to theories 1, 2, or 4 again.
  8. OR he dies in battle, leading to theories 1, 2, or 4 again.
  9. There will be a lot of battle/strategizing scenes. Oof, I kind of hope this is balanced with Rin and the Phoenix god scenes if so because we left TDR with Rin saying that “I am the most powerful.” So this leads to. . .
  10. Rin merging with the Phoenix forever. Again, another way for her to avoid her war crimes, which I don’t like, unless. . .
  11. Rin merges with the Phoenix and this is when she battles Nezha and his god that he’s merged with closer to the end of the book. Again, this could be a variation of #1.
  12. Venka becomes the next ruler. I don’t see her as wanting to lead, but if #1 happened, who on Rin’s side would take over? I think Venka or Kitay. I want to see more of Venka in TBG for sure, though.
  13. The other country, Hesperia, will be a third major player in the war between Rin and Nezha’s side. I can see this happening, but I would rather focus on Rin and Nezha, since they are the two biggest players on the board right now, besides the Empress, which leads me to. . .
  14. the Hesperians are with Nezha, which I forgot until now. Also, there was someone named Vaisra (the Dragon Warlord! ahah!). So Vaisra has Nezha working for him, as well as the Hesperians. This looks really bad for Rin, but you have to consider. . .
  15. Rin using the power of the Southern people. Now this will happen for sure, and I think Rin will do anything to get people on board to help fight Nezha and his father, Vaisra. However, maybe Rin will run out of people to use, leading to: #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, and 12.

Overall, I have a small idea, but it’s mainly based on the synopsis of The Burning God. I know that the ending will be some kind of tragic ending, or if we do follow that Rin=Mao, then she will die of old age. This makes sense seeing as Rin will probably lead millions more to their deaths, and will have to atone for it. Do I think she has to? No. It may seem like it my theories, but that is because I think Rin could go full-on brutal and merge with the Phoenix, which is my only theory besides #15, 13, and 2 that I am at least 75% certain about.

What do you think will happen in The Burning God? Do you agree with any of my theories?