Category Archives: Reviews

Book Review: I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

I bought this book 🙂

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I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

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Stand Alone  (I think)

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance, Own Voices

Pages: 366

Published:

Catch it Here: GoodreadsAmazonB&N

Blurb:

Desi Lee believes anything is possible if you have a plan. That’s how she became student body president. Varsity soccer star. And it’s how she’ll get into Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds guidance in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Steps to True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and staged car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.

Hi all, wow, so where to start? I’ve been a kdrama addict since 2004, when Full House hit the small screen. So when I heard about this novel, I was very interested! Cute girl, cute boy, teenage angst? S i g n me up. Also, if you remember in February I wanted to make Bookish Playlists, inspired by my monthly reads! So, as kpop is 75% of my music, I’m definitely going to take this opportunity to bless you with some jams that kept creeping into my mind while reading this fabulous novel (so stay tuned)! Continue reading Book Review: I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

Book Review: Peter Darling by Austin Chant

I bought this book 🙂

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Peter Darling by Austin Chant

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Retelling, LGBT+, Adult Fiction, #ownvoices

Edition: Paperback

Published: 02.09.17

Pages: 204

Catch it here: GoodreadsAmazon

Blurb:

Ten years ago, Peter Pan left Neverland to grow up, leaving behind his adolescent dreams of boyhood and resigning himself to life as Wendy Darling. Growing up, however, has only made him realize how inescapable his identity as a man is. But when he returns to Neverland, everything has changed: the Lost Boys have become men, and the war games they once played are now real and deadly. Even more shocking is the attraction Peter never knew he could feel for his old rival, Captain Hook-and the realization that he no longer knows which of them is the real villain.

Hello, yes, this is indeed a Peter Pan retelling, and I. Am. So. Happy. I adore Peter Pan, so when I heard of Peter Darling I knew I had to have it. Even better, there is a romance with Captain James Hook, and I am 110% obsessed with it. So, without further ado, let’s get into it~ (cisclaimer: I am a cisgender queer female, so please let me know if I said anything wrong regarding gender and descriptions so I may correct myself) Continue reading Book Review: Peter Darling by Austin Chant

Makeup Review: Infinite Lip Cloud by Michelle Phan (EM Cosmetics)

I bought this product 🙂

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Infinite Lip Cloud by EM Cosmetics

Price: USD 16.00

Catch it here: EM Cosmetics Website

Hi all, so I finally FINALLY got my liquid lipsticks from Michelle Phan’s makeup line EM Cosmetics. I LOVE THEM. If you’ve tried her earlier makeup, it wasn’t all that, which I don’t think was her fault because she was working under a large brand, and didn’t have as much control over her products; but she ended up restarting her brand. So, these products were of a much higher quality. MUCH HIGHER. Continue reading Makeup Review: Infinite Lip Cloud by Michelle Phan (EM Cosmetics)

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: GoodreadsAmazonB&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: 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&NAmazon

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

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: GoodreadsAmazonB&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

Book Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I bought this book 🙂

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction

Edition: Hardcover

Pages: 464

Published: 02.28.17

Catch it here: GoodreadsAmazonB&N

Blurb:

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, Khalil’s death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Starr’s best friend at school suggests he may have had it coming. When it becomes clear the police have little interest in investigating the incident, protesters take to the streets and Starr’s neighborhood becomes a war zone. What everyone wants to know is: What really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could destroy her community. It could also endanger her life.

The Hate U Give is the debut novel of Angie Thomas, which topped the New York Times Best Seller list within two weeks of it’s release. It’s raw, real, and powerful. It 100% deserves the hype it’s been given. If you haven’t yet, go read it. It’s so important and relevant to current events happening in the USA today, and I think everyone needs to read it. Continue reading Book Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Skincare Review: St. Ives Exfoliate and Nourish Coconut Oil Scrub

I bought this product 🙂

Skincare Review St. Ives Exfoliate and Nourish Coconut Oil Scrub

St. Ives Exfoliate and Nourish Coconut Oil Scrub

Price: USD 6.99

Catch it Here: St. Ives

Description:

From America’s No 1 scrub brand* comes our first ever oil scrub. With pure grapeseed oil and 100% natural exfoliant, coconut shell powder to help nourish and exfoliate… say Aloha smooth, sweet smelling Skin!

Hi all, today I have a review on the new St. Ives oil scrubs for you! It comes in two versions, the Apricot Oil Scrub and the Coconut Oil Scrub. My skin personally doesn’t like apricot products, but I love coconut! I decided to try it after seeing some YouTubers rave about it, plus my skin has been extra dry with all of this Alaskan weather. Continue reading Skincare Review: St. Ives Exfoliate and Nourish Coconut Oil Scrub

Book Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I bought this book 🙂

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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Volume: One

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Adventure

Pages: 465

Published: 09.29.15

Catch it Here: GoodreadsAmazonB&N

Blurb:

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.

Hi all, I’m coming back at you with another book review! I finally read Six of Crows, yes I know I’m late to the party (don’t hurt me), and I actually enjoyed it! I was a little put off by the huge fanbase it has acquired, mostly because I tend to prefer less popular books. Action really is not my thing, but I feel like this had enough emotional turmoil to hold my interest. Continue reading Book Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Makeup Review: Pixi X Aspyn Ovard Glow-y Power London Lustre

I bought this product 🙂

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Glow-y Powder London Lustre by Pixi X Aspyn Ovard

Price: USD 18.00

Catch it Here: Pixi Beauty

Product Description: 

This velvety soft highlighter adds a hint of glow,creating a luminous effect. Natural mineralpowder hydrates and reflects light to brighten complexion. Created by Aspyn for all skin tones.

So I’ve never actually tried Pixi products before, they were just never on my radar, but I’ve been a fan of Aspyn for years and I wanted to try Continue reading Makeup Review: Pixi X Aspyn Ovard Glow-y Power London Lustre