The Red Palace by June Hur – Anticipated Reads of 2022 // a historical korean murder mystery

A historical fiction novel?

Set in 1758 Korea??

With a quadruple homicide to solve?

SIGN ME RIGHT UP!

(Young?) Adult, Mystery, Korean-Rep

The Red Palace
by June Hur

Joseon (Korea), 1758. There are few options available to illegitimate daughters in the capital city, but through hard work and study, eighteen-year-old Hyeon has earned a position as a palace nurse. All she wants is to keep her head down, do a good job, and perhaps finally win her estranged father’s approval.

But Hyeon is suddenly thrust into the dark and dangerous world of court politics when someone murders four women in a single night, and the prime suspect is Hyeon’s closest friend and mentor. Determined to prove her beloved teacher’s innocence, Hyeon launches her own secret investigation.

In her hunt for the truth, she encounters Eojin, a young police inspector also searching for the killer. When evidence begins to point to the Crown Prince himself as the murderer, Hyeon and Eojin must work together to search the darkest corners of the palace to uncover the deadly secrets behind the bloodshed.

Expected Publication: January 25, 2022

I’ve only read one of June Hur’s books before (currently reading The Forest of Stolen Girls after a recommendation from Ele, which thank you!), and that was The Silence of Bones. I really enjoyed that because of the historical Korean rep, and I loved the complexity of the characters and how they grew as the story unfolded. It was also very interesting to see the culture of Korea at the time and learn about the customs, conflict with religion, and the kind of life that some people lived during that time.

And now, June Hur has yet another historical Korean murder mystery, and I am so excited to delve into the past with her amazing story-telling all over again. There’s something about historical murder mysteries that is just so much more fascinating than modern mysteries (probably because it’s interesting to see/learn how they would be solved without modern tools to help), and adding a new setting and culture instantly makes it 10 times more exciting.

You know, I actually took some notes when I read The Silence of Bones because I liked it so much and I wanted to remember some details so I could write a review…but I never actually did write one which is a serious shame. I might type up those notes and post them anyway, perhaps as a mini review since I don’t fully remember the book to write a more fleshed out review.

What I know for sure is, this time around with The Red Palace, I’m going to take notes and I will make sure to actually write a review at least that’s the plan. Hopefully this book will become a favorite and I’ll be screaming at kindly explaining to you guys all the reasons why you should pick it up immediately 🙂

Some questions for you:

  • Have you heard of The Red Palace? Are you looking forward to reading it?
  • Have you read any of June Hur’s books before? What did you think?
  • Do you have any recommendations for books set in Korea (contemporary or historical)?

Chat with me in the comments below!

Queen of the Tiles by Hanna Alkaf – Anticipated Reads of 2022 // muslim MC solving a mystery

I desperately want this book.

I want it so badly 😭

Words can not describe my sheer need for this.

Young Adult, Mystery, Muslim-Rep, Malaysian-Rep

Queen of the Tiles
by Hanna Alkaf

They Wish They Were Us meets The Queen’s Gambit in the world of competitive Scrabble when a teen girl is forced to investigate the mysterious death of her best friend a year after the fact when her Instagram comes back to life with cryptic posts and messages.

CATALYST
13 points
noun: a person or thing that precipitates an event or change

When Najwa Bakri walks into her first Scrabble competition since her best friend’s death, it’s with the intention to heal and move on with her life. Perhaps it wasn’t the best idea to choose the very same competition where said best friend, Trina Low, died. It might be even though Najwa’s trying to change, she’s not ready to give up Trina just yet.

But the same can’t be said for all the other competitors. With Trina, the Scrabble Queen herself, gone, the throne is empty, and her friends are eager to be the next reigning champion. All’s fair in love and Scrabble, but all bets are off when Trina’s formerly inactive Instagram starts posting again, with cryptic messages suggesting that maybe Trina’s death wasn’t as straightforward as everyone thought. And maybe someone at the competition had something to do with it.

As secrets are revealed and the true colors of her friends are shown, it’s up to Najwa to find out who’s behind these mysterious posts—not just to save Trina’s memory, but to save herself.

Expected Publication: April 19, 2022

A Muslim girl.

Solving a potential murder mystery.

Not just any potential murder mystery, but one surrounding her best friend’s death.

*incomprehensible screaming*

Y’all, I am a mystery geek. I love whodunits, I love thrillers, and one thing that I’ve always wanted ever since I started reading the genre almost 7 years ago was a Muslim girl solving the mystery.

Adult mystery books are honestly not that diverse; I’ve only seen them starting to have non-white main characters in recent years, so I never got much representation with that in any way (besides the MC being a woman). And I’m not a huge fan of the YA mystery scene because it tends to be highschool related, which was too much drama for my liking. But I have read a couple of those and enjoyed them.

But this! This is the first time ever that I’m finding a female Muslim MC solving a mystery, AND I AM SO HERE FOR IT.

Also, can we please talk about how beautiful that cover is? It’s absolutely gorgeous I love it so much 🥺

April has never seemed so far away. At least I can use this to get through the next semester, because I’ll hopefully get to have this amazing book and enjoy it as the semester comes to an end.

And hopefully, hopefully it won’t disappoint.

Some questions for you:

  • Have you heard of Queen of the Tiles? Are you looking forward to reading it?
  • Have you ever come across a mystery book with a Muslim main character?
  • What’s a book you can’t wait to read this year?

Talk to me in the comments below!

August 2021 Reading Update

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve told you guys what I am up to reading wise, so that’s what we’re going to do today.

Back in June, I did a post sharing 26 books I planned to read in the summer, and I do plan on doing an update on how that went. Some of those books I read at the start of August, and then everything else I read was kind of random.

So yeah. Let’s get started I guess.

If you can’t tell, I don’t know how to write intros anymore 🤦🏾‍♀️

Continue reading “August 2021 Reading Update”

26 Books I Plan to Read This Summer (ft. lots and lots of diverse reads)

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I know that this is an incredibly ambitious list and I might not read all of these books. But I do have them all on hold/currently borrowed so I’ll have to make an effort to read them.

I think this is the first time I’ve ever made a summer TBR post, but these books sound too good to not mention, so I figured this would be the best way to get these onto your radar. Be sure to check some of them out! There’s so much diverse representation here, and books from multiple genres, so there should be a little something for everyone.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

Continue reading “26 Books I Plan to Read This Summer (ft. lots and lots of diverse reads)”

Tres Libros Latinxs Que Quiero Leer (ft. me writing a Latinx book TBR post mostly in Spanish)

Hola amigos, y buenos días! Hoy, estoy escribiendo un post mayormente en Español. Habrá partes donde escribiré en ingles para mis seguidores que no entienden Español. Será dificil y probablemente usaré Google por ayudarme, pero intentaré.

Hey friends, welcome back! Today, I wanted to try something completely new: I will be writing this post mostly in Spanish.

I feel like I might have mentioned this before, but I love Spanish and I’m trying to be fluent in it. So, sometimes I just feel like writing everything in Spanish and that’s exactly what I’m going to do today.

I don’t know if I have that many Spanish speaking/understanding followers, so I will be doing a translation, making it a Spanish and English post just so that everybody can enjoy it. If you speak Spanish, do let me know how badly I did in the comments below (lol). Google Translate will probably be my friend a little bit, but I promise, I will put in some effort.

Entonces, creo que es solo derecho que esta post sea sobre libros latinxs que quiero leer. De acuerdo a mi cuenta de GoodReads, solo he leído un libro con representación latinx. Un libro. Solo UN libro. Pensé que habia leído más de eso, pero obviamente no. Así que, lo arreglaré por agregando tres libros con representación en español/latinx a mi TBR. (TBR significado la lista de libros que quiero leer)

So, I think it’s only right that this post should be about Latinx books that I want to read. According to my GR account, I’ve only read one book with Latinx representation. One book. Only ONE book. I thought that I had read more than that but obviously not. So, I will fix that by adding 3 books with Spanish/Latinx rep to my TBR. (TBR means a list of books that I want to read)

¡Vamos a empezar con este desastre!

Let’s get started with this disaster!

Continue reading “Tres Libros Latinxs Que Quiero Leer (ft. me writing a Latinx book TBR post mostly in Spanish)”