5 stars · book review

ARC review: The Dragon Warrior by Katie Zhao

The Dragon Warrior by Katie Zhao

★★★★★ // 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads review

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Note: This is an OwnVoices review! But please note I’m not familiar with all the mythology present in this book. I also won this as an ARC from Katie Zhao‘s twitter giveaway 😀 Thank you to Katie for sending this my way ❤

Overall 5/5 stars!
The Dragon Warrior is a delight through and through. This is the book I desperately needed when I was the characters’ age! The humor is spot on and only gets better as you keep reading. I highly recommend this book, especially for Chinese diaspora readers. I feel so warm and tingly after finishing this and I hope you all will too.

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monthly TBR · monthly wrap-ups

March 2019 Wrap-Up + April TBR

Happy April, everyone! This is my March wrap-up post. I finished 9 books this month:

  1. Kakuriyo Vol. 2 – Wako Ioka | 5 stars
  2. Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue – Mackenzi Lee | 4 stars
  3. Game of Stars – Sayantani Dasgupta| 4.5 stars
  4. Lady Smoke – Laura Sebastian | 3 stars
  5. Warcross – Marie Lu | 4 stars
  6. Queen’s Resistance – Rebecca Ross | review | 4 stars
  7. Wildcard – Marie Lu | 3 stars
  8. Ruse – Cindy Pon | 4 stars
  9. The Dragon Warrior – Katie Zhao | (ARC) review |5 stars

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Most Anticipated Read of April: King of Fools by Amanda Foody, sequel to Ace of Shades, which I adore. I’m ready for some more shady underworld activity ushered by local noble youths.

40150608Favorite Read in March: The Dragon Warrior by Katie Zhao! I adored this book. I was lucky enough to win an ARC copy of this from Katie Zhao’s twitter giveaway. TDW is truly a delight and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a middle grade book with some cool mythology and adventure, but I would ESPECIALLY recommend it to diaspora readers because it made me feel all warm and tingly on the inside after finishing it as an OwnVoices reader. Plus, the cover is illustrated by Vivienne To who is also responsible for my much beloved Kiranmala and the Kingdom of Beyond book covers.

Least Favorite Read in March: Lady Smoke by Laura Sebastian, sequel to Ash Princess. I filmed a video review of it, so please look out for that in the future. This just felt like a rehash of the first book, down to the events of the climax.

Note: I’ll be going on a trip to Shanghai and Suzhou later this month. I’m not in the habit of bringing a trunk of books to read, but I’ll probably bring one or two along for my flights and downtime.

Continue reading “March 2019 Wrap-Up + April TBR”

miscellaneous · Year in Review

A Year in Review | Alice’s Book Awards of 2018

Hello, friends! Arisutocrat Awards 2018 is finally here (after months of delay)! I worked hard on ranking my favorite reads and favorite book characters in 2018.

Read in 2018, not necessarily published in 2018

Books

Hopefully the titles should be straightforward. For Best Book, I chose the book I thought was hands down the best in craft. My personal favorite designates the book I loved the most. All other favorite categories are ranked after taking quality and personal preference into account. Unnumbered listings signify no ranking or overall similar levels of quality/enjoyment.

Books that Brought Home Honor

Best Book of 2018: Circe by Madeline Miller

Personal Favorite: Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Perez

Favorite YA Fantasies:

  1. A Skinful of Shadows – Frances Hardinge
  2. Ace of Shades – Amanda Foody
  3. Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix – Julie Dao
  4. Sweet Black Waves – Kristina Perez

Favorite YA Non-fantasy:

  • Want – Cindy Pon
  • Shadow Girl – Liana Liu

Favorite Adult Fantasies*: 

  • City of Brass – S. A. Chakraborty
  • Jade City – Fonda Lee
  • Deathless – Catherynne M. Valente
  • Poppy War – R. F. Kuang

*Excluding Circe.

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4 stars · book review

review: The Queen’s Resistance by Rebecca Ross

The Queen’s Resistance (Queen’s Rising #2) by Rebecca Ross

★★★★☆ // 4 out of 5 stars

Previous review of The Queen’s Rising: here

Goodreads review

Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Youtube

After feeling a little kink-shamed about the Queen’s Rising (book 1) last year, you bet I’m gonna tell you how I feel about the sequel!

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monthly wrap-ups

February 2019 Wrap-Up

I finished 4 books in February and still have quite a few books in progress.

  1. Kingdom of Copper – S. A. Chakraborty | 4 stars
  2. King of Scars – Leigh Bardugo | review | 1 star
  3. The Girl King – Mimi Yu | review | 3.5 stars
  4. Daughter of the Burning City – Amanda Foody | review | 3 stars

In-Progress Reads

  1. Lady Smoke – Laura Sebastian | in progress
  2. The Girl Who Drank the Moon – Kelly Barnhill | in progress
  3. Baker Thief – Claudie Arseneault | in progress
  4. Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue – Mackenzi Lee | in progress

March TBR

  1. Ruse – Cindy Pon
  2. Queen’s Resistance – Rebecca Ross
  3. The Hazel Wood – Melissa Albert
  4. Artemis Fowl 2 + 3 – Eoin Colfer
monthly TBR · monthly wrap-ups

January 2019 Wrap-Up + February TBR

Image result for hot cocoa

Hello all, I’m emerging from the polar vortex that is the US Midwest right now. Hopefully those experiencing the cold too are keeping warm! January was a very taxing month on me, but I still got through the following reads:

  1. The Last Unicorn – Peter S. Beagle | 4/5 stars
  2. The Last Namsara – Kristin Ciccarelli |DNF
  3. The Norse Myths: A Guide to the Gods and Heroes – Carolyne Larrington
  4. Descendant of the Crane – Joan He|review| 3.5/5 stars
  5. Kakuriyo Vol. 1 – Midori Yuma
  6. The Wicked King – Holly Black |review|2 stars
  7. Artemis Fowl – Eoin Colfer | review coming  | 4 stars
  8. The Gilded Wolves – Roshani Chokshi |review | 4.25 stars
  9. Spinning Silver – Naomi Novik |3 stars

Overall, it’s intersting that one of my busiest months in awhile was also my most productive reading month in a long time! I started off my Artemis Fowl Read-AlongThrough this month, and I hope to be able to do it consistently all the way up to August just in time for the Artemis Fowl movie.

Image result for the gilded wolvesMost-anticipated read: Kakuriyo. LBR I love that fox and foody content. I already know Kakuriyo will delivery on all its promises. However, the Wicked King was my most anticipated novel for January and baby… it’s not delivery but it’s not Digiorno either. My impression is that they had to stretch the story into a trilogy because of how lacking TWK was. I’m curious to see how Holly Black ends the series, but I don’t have high expectations.

Favorite book of January: The Gilded Wolves, hands down! My monthly banner uses the cover art because I loved it so much. I actually didn’t even have this book on my radar much, but my library had it so I picked it up on impulse and I have no regrets! After my painful experience reading Six of Crows, reading the Gilded Wolves was extremely cathartic because of Roshani Chokshi’s poignant commentary about her characters’ marginalizations, which was something that I always felt didn’t ring as true in Bardugo’s work.

Least favorite book: It’s gotta be a tie between Spinning Silver and the Wicked King. I probably won’t even write a full review of Spinning Silver because it wasn’t worth my time. I found Descendant of the Crane to be a mixed bag because it was a frustrating read, but I couldn’t bring myself to hate it because of the ending.

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2 stars · book review

review: The Wicked King by Holly Black

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black

★★☆☆☆ // 2 out of 5 stars

Previous review of The Cruel Prince: here

Goodreads review

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Despite how quickly I got through book 2 of Holly Black’s Folk of the Air series, I can’t say I was too impressed.

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3 stars · 4 stars · book review

ARC review: Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

★★★☆☆  // 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads review

Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Youtube

Descendant of the Crane was one of my most-anticipated reads for 2019! To my surprise, I was lucky enough to receive a digital ARC of this book form Netgalley, so thank you to the publisher for providing me the chance to read this early! Also thanks to Joan He for providing an updated copy on top of that 😀

Notes:

1) I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Changes might be made in the final, published version.

2) This is a non-spoilery review.

3) Banner art by Feifei Ruan

Now, let’s get down to business!

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miscellaneous

Artemis Fowl Series Read-Along Announcement

Links: Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Youtube

Hi everyone! This is my planned schedule for an Artemis Fowl read-along. This is going to be pretty casual read-along and you’re not obligated to stay the entire run! At the end of each month, I’m going to write a post (and film a book talk) about revisiting the book that month so we can discuss it. If there are no takers, I still plan on going in solo!

Note: I’m currently busy in January, so my reading of the first book in Artemis Fowl will start later in the month. I still plan on getting it done, as the book is relatively short.

January – Artemis Fowl

February – Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident

March – Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code

April – Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception

May – Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony

June – Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox

July – Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex

August – Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian