This summer has been a season of self-discovery for me creatively. I’ve also had the pleasure of beta-reading a friend’s work, and it’s really affirming my media literacy for YA LOL but also it shows no matter how much I can get frustrated at mainstream YA, I still have a love and appreciation for my fantasy YAs. I’m so glad I can play my part in bringing something awesome into being.
This month I read 5 books, which is around average for a me with free time, I guess.
- Jade City – Fonda Lee | 3.5 to 4 stars
- It’s like my dad ghost-wrote one of the main characters in this book and I was living with all the family-dynamics included here.
- To Kill a Kingdom – Alexandra Christo | 2 stars
- My least favorite of the bunch by a long run. This had awesome concepts but a flimsy execution. You know a romance is unconvincing when the text chooses to skip over all the detailed, poignant interactions between the two romantic leads and instead summarizes what happens.
- The Queen’s Rising – Rebecca Ross | 4 stars
- The overall reaction to this book I’ve seen on my Goodreads feed is that this was boring and this was yet again another instance I questioned people’s judgements hard. This was a surprisingly wholesome addition to the fantasy YA pool. It can even work as a stand-alone, however I feel some aspects were tied up a little too conveniently given that there will be a sequel. I personally wish a certain character weren’t killed off at the very end, but since the deed is done, I wonder what Ross is going to do in the sequel.
- A Thousand Beginnings and Endings – edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman | 3.5 stars
- This was an anthology I was excited to get my hands on because my fave Cindy Pon was featured in it. Overall, I’d say the quality varies from story to story and one might work for you which will not work for me. I think that’s the beauty of it – people can have a selection of stories to identify or not identify with. My personal faves were Cindy Pon’s the Crimson Cloak (no surprise here) and Alyssa Wong’s Olivia’s Table
- Captive Prince – C. S. Pacat | 4 stars
- This was an impulse Buddy Read with the lovely L. C. Perry because I had been saying for awhile that I wanted to do a Captive Prince series reread. When L.C. asked me to join her, I jumped on the chance so fast a;ldjksf;lkdjsf. Capri is still as good as when I read it first. I inhale-read the Capri series in maybe a week’s time back in college (during final’s week RIP) and loved it, but I definitely read it so quickly I felt I missed a lot of important details and didn’t properly appreciate the experience.
In no particular order:
- Prince’s Gambit – C. S. Pacat
- Roar – Cora Cormack
- Akata Witch – Nnendi Okorafor
- Spinning Silver – Naomi Novik
There’s a little bit of April still left, but here we go.
- Children of Blood and Bone – Tomi Adeyemi | Review – 2/5 stars
- Wonder Woman Hiketeia – Greg Rucka | 5/5 stars
- Heroine Complex – Sarah Kuhn |Review – 2.5/5 stars, DNF
- The City of Brass – S. A. Chakraborty | Review – 4/5 stars | Booktube review
- Radiance – Catherynne M Valente | DNF, on hold
- American Panda – Gloria Chao | DNF- too traumatic for me
- Windwitch – Susan Dennard | Review – 1/5 stars, DNF it was so bad
- The Belles – Dhonielle Clayton | DNF, on hold
- And I Darken – Kiersten White | Review – 2.5 stars, historically inaccurate, straight-washed Mehmed, but still an entertaining read despite all the missteps
- The Girl from Everywhere – Heidi Heilig
The Serpent’s Secret – Sayantani Dasgupta
Empire of Storms – SJM
- A Darker Shade of Magic – VE Schwab – perpetually at 33%
This month I actively went to and fro the library. Many books were checked out and never read, but I managed to finish a few.
Manga / Comics / Graphic Novels
- The Girl from the Other Side Vol 1 – 4/5 stars
- Rat Queens vol 1 – 2/5 stars – I was not a fan of the art, or the crassness. I suppose that is the appeal for some but it wasn’t for me. The lining seemed unprofessional; it was like they took the sketches and just colored over it. I really liked Dee’s character design, though.
- Wonder Woman: Love and Murder – 3/5 stars – The art was really nice, but I had a hard time believing that was ACTUALLY Hippolyta.
- Wonder Woman: The Odyssey vol. 1 – 3/5 stars – Not a particularly interesting storyline
- The Prince and the Dressmaker – Jen Wang – 5/5 stars – BEAUTIFUL, COLORFUL, EVERYTHING. This is how you panel comics. I’ve always had such a problem with the way some graphic novels are structure each page, but I literally read this in 15 minutes. It was a breeze.
- The Falconer – Elizabeth May – 3/5 stars. Enjoyable read, but nothing mind-blowing. The main couple reminded me a lot of a healthier/less annoying version of Rowealin. I did not buy into their attraction, but they were tolerable for the most part. I prefered Gavin, but the writer made it clear Aileana wasn’t into him the way I was.
- The Heart Forger – Rin Chupeco – 1/5 stars | Goodreads Review here
- I cannot even with this book. I will say it reads faster than its predecessor. I only worry about the subsequent books and how they portray Drycht because the way they treat Daanoris wasn’t exactly subtle.
- Let’s Talk About Love – Claire Kann – 3.75/5 stars – Pretty sweet and short. In my opinion the characters were a bit underdeveloped. Glad to see an ace protagonist of color appearing in YA books. All I can say is I want MORE!!!!
Time flies by so fast. I’ve been trying to build my Booktube channel some more (my channel’s named Arisutocrat, just like my wordpress 😀 ) so I did a bulk record of my reviews for Ash, A Skinful of Shadows and An Enchantment of Ravens, the last of which will post tomorrow. I made a banner for my channel shown above ^^^ but youtube cut off the doily patterns on desktop mode, so you can’t appreciate the full design so I wanted to share it here.
I’m planning on filming Bone Witch and Want video reviews this week and post on either/or Tuesdays and Fridays. I’ve been trying to keep reviews short, though I have extensive notes when I review sometimes. It’s either I have a lot of notes or no notes.
- Ash by Malinda Lo – 2.5/5 stars | Goodreads Review
- The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco – 1/5 stars | Goodreads Review
- Want by Cindy Pon – 4.5/5 stars | Review cross-posted on Goodreads
- Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor – 2.5/5 stars
- Huntress by Malinda Lo – DNF’d
- The Prince in His Dark Days vol. 3-4
The Last Wish by Andrzrej Sapkowski (part of the Witcher series) – because I heard about the netflix series, so I got curious EDIT: DNF’d
The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows – to hold me off until the sequel to Before She Ignites
- The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden – it’s hype, I’m curious.
- Shadow Girl by Liana Liu – I love the cover and I’m a sucker for ghost stories. EDIT: 4.5/5 stars
- Starswept by Mary Fan – I have the ebook! I got a lot of feelings from the first sentence. I think this is up my alley.
- A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab – on hold forever lol might read it with my bff
- The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson – I’ve already read this. I just want a hardcover copy of this to complete my trilogy collection.
- Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi (March 6th) – I’M READY!!! I AM SO READY!!!! I am trash for Shatter Me and Tahereh always delivers. EDIT: 3.75/5 stars
- To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo (March 6th) – I feel like I’ve always wanted a book about this.
- Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (March 6th) – I feel the most hype about this one there are so many March 6th releases ;;;;
- Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco (March 20th) – so I can put myself out of my misery. I already saw this at my local B&N but I don’t wanna invest money into this series. I’ll pick it up from the library eventually.
- Circe by Madeline Miller (April 10th) – I’m still hurt from Song of Achilles, I’m ready for more hurt.
- A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas (May 1st) – Already preordered it. I’m predictable.
- A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir (June 12th)
- Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson (Aug. 7th)
- As She Ascends by Jodi Meadows (Sept 11th)
- Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Marsh – dat pink cover
- Falconer by Elizabeth May – I don’t have a copy in my hands but I’m eyeing it on amazon and the cover is fab.
- Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann – I’m all for that ace protag rep.
Life update: I had 1000 pics in my downloads folder and I got it down to 500 last night lol. I’ve also been marathoning Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood (because my pal Huba said to just go straight for brotherhood) and I am not regretting it in the slightest. One of my fave shows ATLA seems to draw A LOT and I say A LOT of inspo from FMAB. I’m sure at least someone on staff read it so a lot of moments that parallel FMA ended up in ATLA.
As I’ve realized I’m a lot more productive when I just sit at my desk with tasks available to do lmao.
I only read one book in January as I was travelling a lot in the past month.
- A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge – 5/5 stars. I loved it. The main character, Makepeace, is a strong contender for best girl of 2018 and it was only January!
- Ash by Malinda Lo – 2.5/5 stars. Bland with some enjoyable magical history in the start.
Feb TBR – Courtesy of my local library bless them.
- The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco DONE
- Want by Cindy Pon DONE
- Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
- A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab
Guys, I slept through new years. And I make no resolutions besides keeping at it with the art and self improvement as always. I’m honestly all about the treat-yoself life nowadays, I’m not gonna feel bad if I don’t have to, so I guess if I had one resolution, it’s to drop the BS in life way faster.
I honestly have no recollection of this other than the books I’ll list that I’ve finished. I have the memory of a gold fish and it’s amazing that I’ve gotten this far:
- Brooding YA Hero by Carrie Ann DiRisio 👌 3/5 stars
- A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir👎 3/5 stars | Review
- An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson👎 2.5/5 stars | Review
Not exactly a good month for me in terms of quality of books I read. I feel like Brooding YA Hero tried to do too many things at once and was a bit repetitive but was still enjoyable despite that. This review (not mine) of it summarizes my thoughts about how some elements didn’t blend well together. An Enchantment of Ravens had interesting world building, but it tried to be an anti-ACOTAR type romance while hitting many similar motifs as ACOTAR does and it’s not nearly as interesting. And plus it shits all over romance while trying to be “smart” and “not like other romances.” It’s not exactly a loving jab at the tropes you see nowdays in YA paranormal romances, which COULD work, but it was just obnoxiously done here. I honestly Do Not want to remember what happened in ATATN there was some NTR and momma doesn’t like NTR even tho it is a YA romance staple at this point.
- Uprooted by Naomi Novik 👎 2/5 stars | Review
- Before She Ignites by Jodie Meadows 👍 4.5-5/5 stars | Review
- Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes 👎 2/5 stars | Review
The Wood is a great villain in Uprooted, but god the rest of the book falls flat. Before She Ignites was a gem and I’m interested in reading Meadows’ other work. Give me some dragons and political intrigue and I’m there for you. I boght Falling Kingdoms for $1 at my library and honestly I want to put this thing back on their shelves. It’s just mediocre. Everyone is TSTL and so OFC the evil king looks like a genius in comparison. Hm.
Continue reading “I have no recollection of the new years and I resolve nothing”
Hiyo, long time no update. I’m finally making an effort to consolidate my book blog and book review channel (if you can call it that), meaning what I write here will more or less reflect what I’m planning to discuss in video format if all goes according to plan. I also wanna take my GR reviews and make them more concise and coherent and cross-post them here.
October was perhaps my most active month for reading since I just got back home from school and I’ve had the chance to give into my primal, book-hording nature and procrastinate on… phd apps oops. I had to go to my local library and get a new library card since my old one, which I’ve had since I was in kindergarten, expired. RIP my dalmation sticker card. Yeah, so anyway – I love making lists and organizing what I’ve done, so here we go.
I read 5 novels this month in the following order:
- Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao – 3.5/5 stars | Review
- The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo – 3/5 stars | Review
- The Hunter’s Moon by O. R. Melling – 1/5 stars | Review
- The Killing Moon by N. K. Jemisin – 4/5 stars| Review
- The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera – DNF, 1/5 stars | Review
- A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir (currently reading)
Continue reading “October 2017 Wrap-Up”