4 stars · book review

ARC review: Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan

Girls of Storm and Shadow (Girls of Paper and Fire #2) by Natasha Ngan

★★★★ // 4 out of 5 stars

Previous review of Girls of Paper and Fire: here

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*single tear* Last year, Girls of Paper and Fire came out. This year, I was lucky enough to have my request for a Girls of Storm and Shadow ARC granted by the publisher! I was super excited to receive this in the mail, so thank you Little, Brown and Co. for sending GOSAS to me.

If I was lukewarm about GOPAF, I am pleasantly REELING from GOSAS. Natasha pretty much gave me everything I asked for at the end of GOPAF in GOSAS. Color me impressed!

Notes: I affectionately call the GOPAF series “Gaysian Furry books” even though I know Wren/Lei are technically only gaysian and the rest of the world is furry. I have a condensed video version of this review on my booktube channel. It is essentially a spoiler-free version of this one. I have mild-mild MILD spoilers mentioned here but I don’t go into plot detail.

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monthly TBR · monthly wrap-ups

June Wrap-Up + July TBR

Hiya everyone! I’ve been really busy late in the month of June and beginning of July, so forgive the minimalistic formatting in this post. A lot of reads were hit or miss, which is why there are plenty of DNFs on my reading progress in June.

June reading progress

  1. We Hunt the Flame – Hafsah Faizal | 1 star,  DNF
  2. Girl from the Other Side Vol. 6 – Nagabe
  3. Priory of the Orange Tree – Samantha Shannon | DNF
  4. Not Your Villain (Sidekick #2) – C. B. Lee | 3 stars
  5. A Curse so Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer | DNF
  6. The Girl Who Drank from the Moon – Kelly Barnhill | 3.5 stars
  7. Sorcery of Thorns – Margaret Rogerson | DNF, 2 stars
  8. Empire of Sand – Tasha Suri | 3.25 stars
  9. Wicked Saints – Emily Duncan |1.5 stars
  10. The Storm Crow – Kalyn Josephson | DNF

I’ve FINALLY finished Wicked Saints and The Girl Who Drank from the Moon;;; You don’t know the amount of struggle I endured trying to read these. Good news! I received an ARC of Girls of Shadow and Storm by Natasha Ngan from Hatchette Books for review! I was so ecstatic when I saw the dark blue in the UPS package.

June Favorite Read: Not Your Villain! Hands down. A special shout-out to Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri! I really loved a lot about, though my star rating kind of betrays how much I like its themes, similar to Jade City. I always love the concepts of books from Orbit, but sometimes I find the execution pretty different from what I initially expect.

Least Favorite Monthly Read: Oh boy, it’s got to be We Hunt the Flame. If there’s a prize for rotten judgement, I guess I’ve already won that because this book was not worth the aggravation. The prose was over-written and the characters were underdeveloped. I had to put this one down half way through. I had to DNF a couple of other books too, but I didn’t get nearly as far in them as I did with WHTF. Wicked Saints is another offender this month with its copy-paste xenophobia from Greg and copious descriptions of the love interest reminding us that he is a boy. Never say that fanfic can’t get published, because this is a prime example that it certainly is possible. It took me two months to finally get through, and it’s not the best $8 I ever spent, to say the least.

July Most-Anticipated Read: July 9th is the official release of Spin the Dawn by Elizabett Lim! I just wanted to shout this out because I’ve already read and reviewed Spin the Dawn as an ARC in May. I’m also really excited to read Wicked Fox by Kat Cho, coming out on June 25th. I probably won’t be able to get to it so soon after its release, but I’ve been waiting for it for what seems like forever.

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monthly TBR · monthly wrap-ups

May Wrap-Up + June TBR

I received some really great news IRL this month after 4 months of suffering in 2019! I’m going to be moving to England in the fall for school/work. I can’t wait to share more news about that in the coming months. I’m still adjusting back to my timezone after coming back from vacation in China. My life is either sleep or sleepy…

I’ve had a rough time reading books in May, but my manga experience is (BIG OK-SIGN). I have to finish a lot of books I own before going to England. I just feel bad leaving books unread while I’m away.

Reading progress in May

  1. The Candle and the Flame – Nafiza Azad |ARC review | 3 stars
  2. Kakuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits Vol. 3 – Wako Ioka and Midori Yuma | 5 stars
  3. Requiem of the Rose King Vol. 10 – Aya Kanno | 5 stars
  4. King of Fools – Amanda Foody | review |  3.5 stars
  5. Not Your Sidekick – C. B. Lee | review | 3 stars
  6. Baker Thief – Claudie Arseneault | 3 stars
  7. The Girl from the Other Side Vol. 5 – Nagabe | 4 stars
  8. Satoko and Nada Vol. 1 – Yupechika | 4 stars
  9. Spin the Dawn – Elizabeth Lim | ARC review | 3.5 stars

Most Anticipated Read of June:
Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson. I didn’t quite enjoy the story of Rogerson’s previous book, An Enchantment of Ravens, but I still thought the writing was pretty nice. There aren’t a lot of June releases I’m interested in because I’m focusing more on my backlog reading list, so this was the first one that came to mind. I’m also interested in reading The Wicked Fox by Kat Cho. You know me, I love reading about them foxes 😀

Image result for spin the dawn coverFavorite Read in May: Not Your Sidekick by CB Lee. I LOVE THIS. Superheroes and supervillains, bisexual Asian MC, futuristic post-war lore – *cluches chest* Despite rating NYS a 3 stars in my heart it’s a 5 star book. QPOC rep + a meta-human setting? You can do SO much with that. I look forward to reading Not Your Villain and Not Your Backup in the future. Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim was also a pleasant surprise. I loved the ending and can’t wait for a continuation of Maia’s story.

Least Favorite Read in May: The Candle and the Flame. Sorry, but I love character-centric stories and the detached writing in this book didn’t do it for me.


June TBR

  1. We Hunt the Flame – Hafsah Faizal
  2. Wicked Saints – Emily Duncan | in progress
  3. A Curse so Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer
  4. The Priory of the Orange Tree – Samantha Shannon


book review

ARC review: Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

★★★★ //  3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads review

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Spin the Dawn said Beaky Rights and Filial Piety, y’all!

Note: I received an e-ARC of Spin the Dawn from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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3 stars · 4 stars · book review

review: King of Fools by Amanda Foody

King of Fools (The Shadow Game #2) by Amanda Foody

★★★ // 3.5 out of 5 stars

Previous review of Ace of Shades: here

Goodreads review

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King of Fools was one of my most-anticipated reads of the year. I loved Ace of Shades, the predecessor to KOF. Well, I poured 5 days over this chunky boy, so obviously I have thoughts to spill!

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3 stars · book review

ARC review: The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad

The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad

★★★ // 3 out of 5 stars

Goodreads review

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Note: I was sent an ARC copy of this book by the publisher, Scholastic, for review. Thank you!

A novel set in a city along the Silk Road? In my YAs? Legendary. The Candle and the Flame contains a lot of things I love – the legendary amount of diversity, awesome female characters, gratuitous food mentions, a story about the importance of community and found family. As much as I love all of that, unfortunately, I found the story to be bogged down by detached writing for the main characters and plot developments that were a little too convenient. Still, Nafiza Azad’s worldbuilding is not something you want to miss if you’re looking for a book with Djinn lore, magic, and a myriad of different cultures in one setting – I’d be curious to see what this author works on next.

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monthly TBR · monthly wrap-ups

April Wrap-Up + May TBR

Hello, friends! Somehow it still ended up snowing in April where I live. Sometimes it truly feels like we only get winter and summer instead of all four seasons ;; I ended up going on vacation for the latter half of April. While I brought a book to read, I didn’t end up having time to actually do any reading. Sights to see, family to visit. I actually feel like I made a lot of progress in 2 weeks of Aprill; it’s probably just because I read Defy Me in like 2 days, though.

Read progress in April:

  1. The ShadowGlass – Rin Chupeco | DNF
  2. The Star-Touched Queen – Roshani Chokshi | DNF
  3. Defy Me – Tahereh Mafi |review | 2 stars
  4. Wicked Saints – Emily Duncan | in progress
  5. The Candle and the Flame – Nafiza Azad |review | 3 stars

Most Anticipated May Read(s): We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal + The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad!

Favorite Read in April: I’ll have to skip on answering this time around because I haven’t like most of the stuff I read or haven’t gotten far enough into the books I do like so far.

Least Favorite Read in April: Probably a toss up between the ShadowGlass and Wicked Saints, but I will give ShadowGlass credit here and say it’s at least original and has some kick to its madness. Currently I am about halfway through with Wicked Saints, and the only thing that has impressed me is the cover and the fact my copy smells a lot like a candle, which it ironically cannot hold to my expectations.

May TBR + Carryovers from April

Carryovers: Wicked Saints  and The Candle and the Flame

May TBR:

  1. King of Fools – Amanda Foody
  2. Though the White Wood – Jessica Leake
  3. A Crown of Wishes – Roshani Chokshi
  4. Song of the Crimson Flower – Julie Dao

Other news:

I received not one but two (2) physical ARCs in the mail this month. All while I was on vacation too! They are The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad and Song of the Crimson Flower by Julie C. Dao! Thank you to Scholastic and Penguin respectively for providing me with them! I can’t wait to get to reading these soon.



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


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”