Life + Reading Update

Hi guys.

I apologize for my weird disappearing yet not disappearing act that I’ve been doing these past few weeks.

It’s been a struggle and I finally am in the mood/have the time to tell you all about it.

So, without further ado, let’s get started!!

Continue reading “Life + Reading Update”

#YARC2020: Year Of The Asian Reading Challenge

Hola, mi amigos!! (Hello, my friends!!) Welcome back!

This year, I’ve decided to take part in the Year of The Asian Reading Challenge hosted by these 4 lovely ladies: Lily @ Sprinkles of Dreams, CW @ The Quiet Pond, Vicky @ Vicky Who Reads, and Shealea @ Shut Up, Shealea. Check out Lily and CW’s posts to see all the rules and challenge levels!

I am not Asian, however, this reading challenge sounds like a great way to diversify my reading. YARC is all about boosting Asian authors and Asian books, so I’m super excited to try it out this year!

My goal is to reach the Indian Cobra level, which is 11-20 books. All credit goes to Lily who drew all the amazing badges!!

Who knows, maybe I’ll pass it or maybe I won’t. Either way, I hope this helps me read a lot of diverse books.

TBR List:

So, I’ve decided to make a TBR for this or else, I will never bother myself later with looking for Asian books or Asian authors. I know. It’s horrible, and it’s partly the reason why I didn’t do anything with the two reading challenges that I joined last year.

I’m going to start out with a TBR of 10 books, and use the monthly recommendation lists from Lily and the other co-hosts to pick the second 10 books later.


Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao

In the Cyrilian Empire, Affinites are reviled. Their varied gifts to control the world around them are unnatural—dangerous. And Anastacya Mikhailov, the crown princess, has a terrifying secret. Her deadly Affinity to blood is her curse and the reason she has lived her life hidden behind palace walls.

When Ana’s father, the emperor, is murdered, her world is shattered. Framed as his killer, Ana must flee the palace to save her life. And to clear her name, she must find her father’s murderer on her own. But the Cyrilia beyond the palace walls is far different from the one she thought she knew. Corruption rules the land, and a greater conspiracy is at work—one that threatens the very balance of her world. And there is only one person corrupt enough to help Ana get to its core: Ramson Quicktongue.

A cunning crime lord of the Cyrilian underworld, Ramson has sinister plans—though he might have met his match in Ana. Because in this story, the princess might be the most dangerous player of all. 


Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha

A powerful and taut novel about racial tensions in LA, following two families—one Korean-American, one African-American—grappling with the effects of a decades-old crime

In the wake of the police shooting of a black teenager, Los Angeles is as tense as it’s been since the unrest of the early 1990s. Protests and vigils are being staged all over the city. It’s in this dangerous tinderbox that two families must finally confront their pasts.

Grace Park lives a sheltered existence: living at home with her Korean-immigrant parents, working at the family pharmacy, and trying her best to understand why her sister Miriam hasn’t spoken to their mother in years. The chasm in her family is growing wider by the day and Grace is desperate for reconciliation, and frustrated by the feeling that her sister and parents are shielding her from the true cause of the falling out.

Shawn Matthews is dealing with a fractured family of his own. His sister, Ava, was murdered as a teenager back in 1991, and this new shooting is bringing up painful memories. Plus, his cousin Ray is just released from prison and needs to reconnect with their family after so many years away. While Shawn is trying his best to keep his demons at bay, he’s not sure Ray can do the same.

When another shocking crime hits LA, the Parks and the Matthewses collide in ways they never could have expected. After decades of loss, violence, and injustice, tensions come to a head and force a reckoning that could clear the air or lead to more violence.


We Free The Stars by Hafsah Faizal

Zafira is the Hunter, braving the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those who defy his autocratic father, the sultan. She must hide her identity. He mustn’t display compassion. But when both embark on a quest to uncover a lost magic artifact, Zafira and Nasir encounter an ancient evil long thought destroyed—and discover that the prize they seek may be even more dangerous than any of their enemies. In We Free the Stars, Zafira and Nasir must conquer the darkness around—and inside of—them.


Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi

For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.


Love From A to Z by S. K. Ali

A marvel: something you find amazing. Even ordinary-amazing. Like potatoes—because they make French fries happen. Like the perfect fries Adam and his mom used to make together.

An oddity: whatever gives you pause. Like the fact that there are hateful people in the world. Like Zayneb’s teacher, who won’t stop reminding the class how “bad” Muslims are.

But Zayneb, the only Muslim in class, isn’t bad. She’s angry.

When she gets suspended for confronting her teacher, and he begins investigating her activist friends, Zayneb heads to her aunt’s house in Doha, Qatar, for an early start to spring break.

Fueled by the guilt of getting her friends in trouble, she resolves to try out a newer, “nicer” version of herself in a place where no one knows her.

Then her path crosses with Adam’s.

Since he got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November, Adam’s stopped going to classes, intent, instead, on perfecting the making of things. Intent on keeping the memory of his mom alive for his little sister.

Adam’s also intent on keeping his diagnosis a secret from his grieving father.

Alone, Adam and Zayneb are playing roles for others, keeping their real thoughts locked away in their journals.

Until a marvel and an oddity occurs…

Marvel: Adam and Zayneb meeting.

Oddity: Adam and Zayneb meeting.


This Time Will Be Different by Misa Sugiura

Katsuyamas never quit—but seventeen-year-old CJ doesn’t even know where to start. She’s never lived up to her mom’s type A ambition, and she’s perfectly happy just helping her aunt, Hannah, at their family’s flower shop.

She doesn’t buy into Hannah’s romantic ideas about flowers and their hidden meanings, but when it comes to arranging the perfect bouquet, CJ discovers a knack she never knew she had. A skill she might even be proud of.

Then her mom decides to sell the shop—to the family who swindled CJ’s grandparents when thousands of Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during WWII. Soon a rift threatens to splinter CJ’s family, friends, and their entire Northern California community; and for the first time, CJ has found something she wants to fight for.


Scavenge The Stars by Tara Sim

When Amaya rescues a mysterious stranger from drowning, she fears her rash actions have earned her a longer sentence on the debtor ship where she’s been held captive for years. Instead, the man she saved offers her unimaginable riches and a new identity, setting Amaya on a perilous course through the coastal city-state of Moray, where old-world opulence and desperate gamblers collide.

Amaya wants one thing: revenge against the man who ruined her family and stole the life she once had. But the more entangled she becomes in this game of deception—and as her path intertwines with the son of the man she’s plotting to bring down—the more she uncovers about the truth of her past. And the more she realizes she must trust no one…


Our Wayward Fate by Gloria Chao

Seventeen-year-old Ali Chu knows that as the only Asian person at her school in middle-of-nowhere Indiana, she must be bland as white toast to survive. This means swapping her congee lunch for PB&Js, ignoring the clueless racism from her classmates and teachers, and keeping her mouth shut when people wrongly call her Allie instead of her actual name, pronounced Āh-lěe, after the mountain in Taiwan.

Her autopilot existence is disrupted when she finds out that Chase Yu, the new kid in school, is also Taiwanese. Despite some initial resistance due to the “they belong together” whispers, Ali and Chase soon spark a chemistry rooted in competitive martial arts, joking in two languages, and, most importantly, pushing back against the discrimination they face.

But when Ali’s mom finds out about the relationship, she forces Ali to end it. As Ali covertly digs into the why behind her mother’s disapproval, she uncovers secrets about her family and Chase that force her to question everything she thought she knew about life, love, and her unknowable future.

Snippets of a love story from nineteenth-century China (a retelling of the Chinese folktale The Butterfly Lovers) are interspersed with Ali’s narrative and intertwined with her fate.


Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

How far will you go to protect your family? Will you keep their secrets? Ignore their lies?

In a small town in Virginia, a group of people know each other because they’re part of a special treatment center, a hyperbaric chamber that may cure a range of conditions from infertility to autism. But then the chamber explodes, two people die, and it’s clear the explosion wasn’t an accident.

A showdown unfolds as the story moves across characters who are all maybe keeping secrets, hiding betrayals. Was it the careless mother of a patient? Was it the owners, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? Could it have been a protester, trying to prove the treatment isn’t safe?


Unravel The Dusk by Elizabeth Lim

Maia Tamarin’s journey to sew the dresses of the sun, the moon and the stars has taken a grievous toll. She returns to a kingdom on the brink of war. The boy she loves is gone, and she is forced to don the dress of the sun and assume the place of the emperor’s bride-to-be to keep the peace.

But the war raging around Maia is nothing compared to the battle within. Ever since she was touched by the demon Bandur, she has been changing . . . glancing in the mirror to see her own eyes glowing red, losing control of her magic, her body, her mind. It’s only a matter of time before Maia loses herself completely, but she will stop at nothing to find Edan, protect her family, and bring lasting peace to her country.

Chat with me

That’s it for today friends! I hope you enjoyed reading this and maybe added one or two of these to your TBR! They all sound and look amazing!!

Are you taking part in #YARC2020? What’s your favorite Asian book, or book by an Asian author? What reading challenges are you doing this year? Any book recommendations you’d like to share? Chat with me in the comments below!!

WWW Wednesday #39

Welcome back! I hope you are having a great day! It is time for my weekly reading update, WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words.

The Three W’s are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

I missed last week’s post, so I’m going to combine last week’s and this week’s WWW Wednesday’s together.

Let’s get started!

All covers are from Goodreads

What I Just Finished:

Crooked Kingdom: I’m so happy everything turned out okay except for you know what. Why Bardugo? Why? That was pretty heartbreaking, and just awful. But I’m glad that everyone got what they wanted at the end. You can check out my possibly spoilery non-official review on GR. (Read: Nov 20)

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill was kind of disappointing. I was just left with a sense of wanting more. However, the story was pretty good. It wasn’t remarkable or anything, and it did try to cover too many subplots all at once without properly doing just one, but it was still a fun read. (Read: Nov 23)

The Long Game was amazing, and I loved all the twists. Even though this was my 3rd reread, I was still surprised and absolutely enjoyed reading this all over again. Asher, Tess, Vivvie, and Henry, they are all amazing characters. (Read: Nov 25)

That was a surprise. Crown of Midnight was so so so much better than Throne of Glass and I’m surprised. I didn’t expect this at all, and I loved how it showed more of Celaena’s assassin side, rather than just telling us how amazing she is. But I wish this mess with Chaol never happened. He doesn’t really deserve this. (Read: Dec 1)

I finished The Gilded Wolves last night, and even though I can see why it gets compared to SoC, I think it’s different in it’s own way. I really liked Zofia and Enrique, and eventually Hypnos (he’s very hard to not like), and Tristan reminded me so much of Wylan and I loved it. The heists are spectacular, and I loved how Chokshi incorporated history and math into it. It made it so much more fun to solve. (Read: Dec 3)

What I’m Currently Reading:

I’m currently reading Hungry Hearts, and I’ll be starting The Lines We Cross hopefully later today.

What I Plan To Read Next:

Next up is The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson, and Lock Every Door by Riley Sager.

Chat with me

That’s it for this Wednesday. What are you reading? Have you read The Gilded Wolves? Do you think it’s really similar to Six of Crows? Have you read any of the books above? Let’s chat in the comments below! (Be sure to link to your WWW’s so that I can check them out!)

Monthly TBR: November 2019

Good morning or afternoon or evening! Welcome to my To-Be-Read list for November 2019!

Last month, I had a TBR post, and I managed to read 13 books, which I’m super proud of. And so hopefully, maybe if I have a TBR for each month, I’ll be able to continue reading more, and catch up on my GR reading challenge. And maybe I’ll end up not reading anything at all, but I’m still pretty hopeful that this TBR will work.

Anyways, let’s get started!

In my last TBR post, I just dumped a bunch of books that I wanted to read, and their summaries together, but this time, I’m going to split them between the book that I’ve Already Read, Books that I’m going to Buddy Read, and Library Borrows/Holds. That should give this some semblance of order.


Already Read

  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. (Read: Nov. 2) This was a really great book and the end shattered me. It was a little slow, but Liesel’s adventures, her friendship with Rudy, Mama and Papa, Max, book stealing, and all the mismatched characters on Himmel Street were amazing and that ending hurt. so. much.
  • An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena. (Read: Nov. 4) A very good thriller that left me on the edge of my seat. I didn’t guess who the killer was at all, and the two twists at the end were really good.
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. (Read: Nov. 10) It was really heartwarming, and I loved the characters, their struggles, the theme of finding where you belong, and the magic of the water horses. Finn is adorable and a real gem, and I loved Puck and Sean’s relationship, and how it didn’t overpower the plot or consume each of their lives. Their bonds with their horses was beautiful and that ending was so peaceful, and perfect, and I’m so happy that I read this. (I also have a recipe for November Cakes and I’m so excited!!)

Books to Buddy Read

  • The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Buddy re-read 11/11 with Amelia (E-book)
  • The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Buddy re-read sometime in November

Library Borrows/Holds

I’m going to order these based on their due dates, the ones that I can renew, and the ones that I’ll be getting soon.

  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab. Due 11/23, E-book
  • Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. Due 11/24, E-book
  • Fire and Blood by George R. R. Martin. Due 11/24, E-book
  • The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman. Due 11/27, E-book
  • Beartown by Fredrik Backman. Renewable, Hardcover
  • The Lines We Cross by Randa Abdel-Fattah. Renewable, Hardcover

Chat with me

So all in all, I should probably read around 13 or 14 books this month which is a great number. What are you reading this November? Do you have a set TBR or are you a mood reader? Have you read any of the books above? If so, what did you think? Chat with me in the comments below!

WWW Wednesday #37

Hey friends! I hope you are having a fantastic day! It is time for my weekly reading update, WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words.

The Three W’s are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Let’s get started!

All covers are from Goodreads

What I Just Finished:

Assassin’s Masque was a good ending to the series, and I liked it. It’s like one of those series that you just read, not because you really like the book, but because it’s fun to read.

*spoilers for The Book Thief. You can skip over to An Unwanted Guest’s update if you don’t want to see the spoilers*

Guys. The ending of The Book Thief broke my heart. It left me crying. For over an hour. It hurt so much, and why? Why did that have to happen? Why did Death take them away? Rudy. Mama. Papa. Everybody. That beautiful and lively Himmel Street. And the fact that Death spoiled it ahead of time did nothing to prepare me, though I thought I was prepared. Even now, it still stings to think about it.

The original book that I was going to read by Lapena, was Someone We Know, but my library didn’t have that, so I picked up An Unwanted Guest instead. The suspense, the atmosphere, the characters, everything was done amazingly, and I did not guess who the murderer was at all. Also, the twist at the very end was pretty good.

What I’m Currently Reading:

I’m pretty excited to read The Scorpio Races (recommended by the lovely Meeghan). I’m only a few chapters in, but so far so good. I’m super interested in the water horses and how the races work.

I keep saying that I’m going to start Beartown, but I haven’t yet, and again, today, hopefully I’m going to start it. It’s been on my currently reading now for a few days, so hopefully I will actually start reading it.

What I Plan To Read Next:

I’ve got 5 books to read, and they are all from the library, and I’m trying to read them in order of when they are due, but that’s not working out well. I’m definitely going to pick up one of these 5 next, but I’m not sure which one (probably CK lol).

That’s it for this Wednesday. What are you reading? Have you read any of these? What did you think? Any suggestions for what I should read next? Let’s chat in the comments below! (Be sure to link to your WWW’s so that I can check them out!)