4 stars · 5 stars · book review

review: Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao

Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao

★★★★★ // 4.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads review

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“A woman who can think for herself delves beneath the surface. Pulling out the threads of another’s story and applying them to your own life is the mark of a queen.”

I loved this book wow. The only reason I could rate this book lower is because there wasn’t enough of it and it ended too soon. I’m SHOOK. This book is like a call-out post for all the problems I have for mainstream YA fantasy. Julie brought her A-game here! And I was living for it!

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3 stars · 4 stars · book review

review: Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

★★★☆☆ // 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads review |video review

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Two words: Demon furries.

Natasha really knew how to target me here with the furry content and loads and loads and loads of Asian food porn and cultural references. Unfortunately I didn’t *love* this book but I do like it enough to continue the series. This is like the world of Kung Fu Panda anthropomorphic animals but demons plus humans meets a highly non-consensual version of the Selection situation. I’m trash for both KFP and the Selection, so I’m all buckled up for the ride anyway.

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4 stars · book review

review: Damsel by Elana K. Arnold

Damsel by Elana K. Arnold

★★★★☆ // 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads review: here

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Wow. This is basically literary fiction. I think you could teach an English lit course or a unit using this book because it’s that expertly crafted. Fun fact: I found my own copy in half-priced books SIGNED (made out to somebody else… but it’s mine now).

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4 stars · book review

review: Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Perez

Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Perez

★★★★☆ // 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads review: here

THIS BOOK IS INTELLECTUAL, Y’ALL. I got wrecked. I texted my best friend about it and she got wrecked. She didn’t even read this book. I’m upsetti but I don’t regretti.

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3 stars · 4 stars · book review · Uncategorized

book review: A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

3.5 stars

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings is an anthology of East and South Asian fairytale retellings and reimaginings written by a group of YA authors. I was lucky enough to find that my library system had this, so I did the proper book-hoarding thing and requested it. I’m going to review each story one-by-one

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4 stars · book review

book review: Jade City by Fonda Lee

3.5 stars | Goodreads review

Let me preface this by saying, I just don’t really like mafia/gang plot lines, hence why I rated this lower than books IMO that are not as quality as Jade City. I think this is a 4 to 4.25 star book quality-wise, but in terms of enjoyment, it took me a long time to figure out whether I liked it overall. And the verdict is – I do like this quite a bit.

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3 stars · 4 stars · book review

book review: Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

3.5 out of 5 stars | Goodreads review

Well I’ll be damned. This was pretty good!

To be more specific, I had abysmally low expectations for Ash Princess. The first 30 pages or so told me this was full of all the princess YA tropes we love to hate and hate to love. And you know… I’m all for that shit. I love princesses and the ragtag rise to power formula. Rarely is it done with 1) good writing and 2) a novel and compelling way. Ash Princess at least nails the 1st part with pretty decent writing. I did have to wait until page 400 for things to get rolling, but I’ll definitely pick up the sequel, Lady Smoke.
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4 stars · book review

book review: the City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty

4 out of 5 stars | Goodreads review

Well. Hot damn. This was a good read despite the fact that I first picked it up without knowing anything about it.

I will admit the politics were hard to follow and if I were not told that the back of this book had a glossary, I’d have resulted in drawing a political dynamic chart for myself to keep track of this shit. But I like figuring this stuff out and piecing things together, so I appreciate that the intrigue wasn’t spoon-fed to me. Would I have liked some more clues? Yeah, but I never felt like the random comments/info-bites about the different tribes of Daevabad and their religions were straight-up useless/a waste of space.
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