#AsianLitBingo: Wrap-up Post!

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Hi all, so I somehow managed to finish a challenge for once. I’m highkey surprised, but I actually did it! I’m so proud of me.

I managed to read five books in a row, and it was epic. I really enjoyed this event, and I met some really awesome people along the way! I also got to read about a bunch of other books I had never heard of before, and I had a lot of fun! My tbr got even longer…

So I read: Continue reading “#AsianLitBingo: Wrap-up Post!”

Graphic Novel Review: Skim by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki

I bought this book 🙂

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Skim by Mariko and  Jillian Tamaki

Edition: Kindle

Published: 01.01.2008

Catch it Here: Goodreads, Amazon, B&N

Blurb:

Heartbreakingly funny, moving and vibrantly drawn, Skim is an extraordinary book–a smart and sensitive graphic novel of the highest literary and artistic quality, by and about young women.

“Skim” is Kimberly Keiko Cameron, a not-slim, would-be Wiccan goth who goes to a private girls’ school. When Skim’s classmate Katie Matthews is dumped by her boyfriend, who then kills himself, the entire school goes into mourning overdrive. As concerned guidance counselors provide lectures on the “cycle of grief,” and the popular clique starts a new club (Girls Celebrate Life!) to bolster school spirit, Skim sinks into an ever-deepening depression.

And falling in love only makes things worse…

Suicide, depression, love, being gay or not, crushes, cliques, and finding a way to be your own fully human self–are all explored in this brilliant collaboration by cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki. An edgy, keenly observed and poignant glimpse into the heartache of being young.

*Note: I readthis as part of the #AsianLitBingo event, read until the end for details!

To be perfectly honest, I don’t read graphic novels often; I typically read manga or webtoons. So I wasn’t sure what to expect, however I random selected Skim for the #AsianLitBingo challenge, and I was pleasantly surprised.  Continue reading “Graphic Novel Review: Skim by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki”

Book Review: Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

I bought this book 🙂


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Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

Volume: One

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Historical

Pages: 393

Released: 05.16.2017

Edition: Hardcover

Catch it Here: Goodreads, Amazon, B&N

Blurb:

The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.
Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and track down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.

*Note: I’m reading this as part of the #AsianLitBingo event, read until the end for details!

I literally love Renee Ahdieh so much, and the worlds and characters she brings to us. Ergo, it was only natural that I buy and read her first book in her new series. So, while we are on this topic, I’m just going to point out that Renee Ahdieh is writing about Historical Japan, but she is indeed not Japanese. On top of that, Flame in the Mist is not 100% historically accurate, and it takes a lot of liberties, so if that bothers you, I would skip this one. I was also skeptical in the beginning, but I had seen a lot of positive feedback and decided to give it a try anyway. Continue reading “Book Review: Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh”

Book Review: Noteworthy by Riley Redgate

I bought this book 🙂

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Noteworthy by Riley Redgate

Genre: Contemporary, YA

Pages: 400

Edition: Hardcover

Published: May 2, 2017

Catch it here: Goodreads, Amazon, B&N

Blurb:

A cappella just got a makeover.

Jordan Sun is embarking on her junior year at the Kensington-Blaine Boarding School for the Performing Arts, hopeful that this will be her time: the year she finally gets cast in the school musical. But when her low Alto 2 voice gets her shut out for the third straight year—threatening her future at Kensington-Blaine and jeopardizing her college applications—she’s forced to consider nontraditional options.

In Jordan’s case, really nontraditional. A spot has opened up in the Sharpshooters, Kensington’s elite a cappella octet. Worshipped…revered…all male. Desperate to prove herself, Jordan auditions in her most convincing drag, and it turns out that Jordan Sun, Tenor 1, is exactly what the Sharps are looking for.

Jordan finds herself enmeshed in a precarious juggling act: making friends, alienating friends, crushing on a guy, crushing on a girl, and navigating decades-old rivalries. With her secret growing heavier every day, Jordan pushes beyond gender norms to confront what it means to be a girl (and a guy) in a male-dominated society, and—most importantly—what it means to be herself.

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read Noteworthy, because I have read so many cross-dressing manga narratives that I felt kind of burnt out by the whole troupe. However, I needed a book for AsianLitBingo (read until bottom for details), and I thought “why not?” So I gave it a try, and I’m so glad I did! Continue reading “Book Review: Noteworthy by Riley Redgate”

Book Review: In the Country by Mia Alvar

I bought this book 🙂


alvar-turquoiseIn the Country by Mia Alvar

Stand Alone

Genre: Short Stories, Contemporary, Adult

Pages: 368

Edition: Paperback

Published: 06.16.2015

Catch it Here: Goodreads,B&N, Amazon

Blurb:

“These nine globe-trotting, unforgettable stories from Mia Alvar, a remarkable new literary talent, vividly give voice to the women and men of the Filipino diaspora. Here are exiles, emigrants, and wanderers uprooting their families from the Philippines to begin new lives in the Middle East, the United States, and elsewhere—and, sometimes, turning back again.

A pharmacist living in New York smuggles drugs to his ailing father in Manila, only to discover alarming truths about his family and his past. In Bahrain, a Filipina teacher drawn to a special pupil finds, to her surprise, that she is questioning her own marriage. A college student leans on her brother, a laborer in Saudi Arabia, to support her writing ambitions, without realizing that his is the life truly made for fiction. And in the title story, a journalist and a nurse face an unspeakable trauma amidst the political turmoil of the Philippines in the 1970s and ’80s.

In the Country speaks to the heart of everyone who has ever searched for a place to call home. From teachers to housemaids, from mothers to sons, Alvar’s powerful debut collection explores the universal experiences of loss, displacement, and the longing to connect across borders both real and imagined. Deeply compassionate and richly felt, In the Country marks the emergence of a formidable new writer.”

**Note: I read this as part of the #AsianLitBingo event, read until the end for details!

If you aren’t aware already, I’m Filipino American, so I definitely wanted to read something about the Philippines for Asian American Heritage Month! I originally bought In the Country for my mom to read on the plane back in December; she really liked it and told me to read it too. Continue reading “Book Review: In the Country by Mia Alvar”

One Year Blogiversary! + How has blogging changed me?

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Hi all, it’s been awhile…

So I passed all my classes, and I’m moving from my house in the city to my hometown in the country! I’m going to be helping my dad on our family farm, and my mom with her business. I predict that I’ll have a lot more free time than I usually do, so I’ll try to read and blog a lot more!

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Speaking of reading, this brings me to the next thing I want to address. How has blogging changed me? Continue reading “One Year Blogiversary! + How has blogging changed me?”

Book Review: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

I bought this book 🙂


30095464The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

Volume: One

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Pages: 400

Edition: Hardcover

Published: 03.07.17

Catch it Here: Goodreads, Amazon, B&N

Blurb:

The beast raged; it punctured the air with its spite. But the girl was fiercer.

Tea is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracized in the kingdom. For theirs is a powerful, elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living—and of the human.

Great power comes at a price, forcing Tea to leave her homeland to train under the guidance of an older, wiser bone witch. There, Tea puts all of her energy into becoming an asha, learning to control her elemental magic and those beasts who will submit by no other force. And Tea must be strong—stronger than she even believes possible. Because war is brewing in the eight kingdoms, war that will threaten the sovereignty of her homeland…and threaten the very survival of those she loves.

**note: I’m reading this book as part of #AsianLitBingo, read until end for details.

Review:

I thoroughly enjoyed The Bone Witch, with it’s enticing cover, dark magic, and anti-heroes. I particularly enjoyed the world it’s built around; an Asian fantasyland. The point of view is split into two perspectives, the past and present. We begin with older Tea training a new asha about the ways of dark magic, and then we explore the world with young Tea, which is what makes up most of the story. Continue reading “Book Review: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco”