Favorite Asian Books of 2020

Hello friends! I hope you enjoyed My 2020 Reading Year in Review, but I just wanted to give a little bit more love and celebration to a few books that mean the whole world to me! Growing up, I couldn’t even dream that I would be able to pick from so many books from Asian authors, featuring Asian main characters, with Asian families, and just celebrating Asian lives. I truly feel more and more blessed every year, because I feel like every year this list gets harder and harder to make because we are getting more and more ownvoices stories that are going to make it easier and easier for kids to see themselves completely whole, not just bits and pieces. (Obviously publishing has SO MUCH work to do, but I can’t help but smile when looking at this list and how much overflowing love I have for these stories!) But here are my five favorite books written by Asian authors in 2020. 💕

➽ 5.) Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch by Julie Abe 

“Sometimes all you need is a pinch of magic…”

Japanese influences + Kiki’s Delivery Service inspirations + the power of friendship and having people who will unconditionally love and support you = perfection. This was truly the perfect middle-grade for me, and one that will be in my heart forever. 

➽ 4.) The Bone Shard Daughter (The Drowning Empire, #1) by Andrea Stewart

“A made thing could grow and change beyond its original purposes. I would show the Emperor: I’d grown beyond mine.”

Every pov, every storyline, every plot twist, every companion, perfection. I am still so blown away by the debut novel, the magic system, and how the last page left me feeling. I am absolutely begging for book two and more of this Asian inspired kingdom! (and more of my favorite crustaceans love story sapphics!)

➽ 3.) The Wolf of Oren-Yaro (Chronicles of the Bitch Queen #1) by K.S. Villoso

“They called me the Bitch Queen, the she-wolf, because I murdered a man and exiled my king the night before they crowned me.”

This so beautifully (and sometimes heartbreakingly) incorporated Filipino culture, I was completely immersed and utterly captivated on every page. I truly inhale read this in 48 hours and I could not be bothered to tear myself away for anything besides work. This book truly reminded me of that magical feeling that reading can give you, especially when you feel safe and seen and so in love. 

➽ 2.) The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar 

“What I want more than anything else in the world is to feel like being myself isn’t something that should be hidden and a secret.”

This book was everything and had so many perfect layers, from seeing this main character unapologetically talking about their diaspora experiences, from the real truth about fetishization, from cultural appropriation and how it is never okay, and how westerners treat Asians, but south Asians in particular. But also, this book had the perfect sapphic romance interlaced throughout, where real learning (and unlearning) happened so beautifully. 

➽ 1.) The Burning God (The Poppy War, #3) by R.F. Kuang 

“Rin had spent so long hating how she felt when she burned, hating her fire and her god. Not anymore.”

The Poppy War trilogy is truly once in a lifetime and this conclusion was honestly a work of art all itself. This series is a military epic fantasy that is ownvoices and inspired from the authors family history and the stories she learned from them. Heavy themes of war, colonization, racism, colorism, genocide, cycles of abuse, and so many different types of trauma are never shied away from. I’ve read and reviewed many books these last six years of my life, and I’m not sure a series has impacted me more than this one. Every sentence has meaning, every chapter is so well planned, every event conveys layers and layers of thoughts and feelings. History is truly created by the victors mostly with the most blood on their hands, and the stories that get told are mostly through a white and colonized lens. R.F. Kuang has done so much with these three books and they mean so much to so many Asian readers. 

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My 2020 Reading Year in Review

2020 is finally over, and somehow the year felt like it lasted a decade and a month at the very same time. I just want to wish you all (and all your families) the best in 2021, and I hope it is filled with love and happiness and good health and opportunities. I know 2020 was not only a hard year, but maybe the hardest year for a lot of us, and I will keep telling you that I love you, and that I see you, and that I’m proud of you. I promise, better days will come. But in the meantime, we can escape into some books, and blog posts, and reading statistics! 


Thanks to the amazing Brock at Let’s Read, here are some 2020 reading statistics that I was able to gather from his amazing spreadsheet that I use every single year:

━━━★ in 2019 contemporary was catching up, but 2020 fully said “never again”
━━━★ this chart truly looks close to this every year lol
━━━★ i have NEVER read this many audiobooks in my entire life
━━━★ i had a hard time with anthologies this year, sadly
━━━★ i feel like if you read mostly SFF, this chart will just automatically look like this too
━━━★ 1.) i didn’t leave my house 2.) audiobooks
━━━★ i forever will be very aware of the privilege that comes from being a US book reviewer
━━━★ that 27% purchase is mostly audiobooks !! and very thankful for my loved ones, edelweiss, & comfort rereads
━━━★ again, edelweiss & those comfort rereads (and cursed audible)
━━━★ hachette & penguin are the pub houses that were kindest to me this year, so i am very surprised by this graph. but i think in 2021 i’m going to focus on the publishing houses that want to work with me, instead of me begging for earcs that non-ownvoices booktubers get and don’t even read (fully looking at harper and macmillan lol). not being paid is fine, but not being appreciated or seen? i’m over it in 2021 fully and completely.
━━━★ why does this make me laugh? i truly couldn’t be bothered to read one classic this year? okay
━━━★ i truly found a sweet spot, i guess
━━━★ may was the 2nd worst month of my life and december was the busiest month of 2020 for me so math checks out, but can we bring july melanie back for all of 2021 please? i am begging

My Top Ten Favorite 2019 Publications:
➽ 10.) How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories by Holly Black
➽ 9.) The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
➽ 8.) Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch (Eva Evergreen #1) by Julie Abe
➽ 7.) The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar
➽ 6.) Chain of Gold (The Last Hours #1) by Cassandra Clare
➽ 5.) The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
➽ 4.) Rhythm of War (The Stormlight Archive #4) by Brandon Sanderson
➽ 3.) You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
➽ 2.) Night Shine (Night Shine #1) by Tessa Gratton
➽ 1.) The Burning God (The Poppy War #3) by R.F. Kuang


God, 2020 was such a weird year for my reading (and for falling in love with the publications from that year), but I am very thankful for this list, and these ten books, and the love and healing they made me feel for very different reasons at very different times throughout this year. I hope in 2021 I can be more confident and more unapologetic (with the book community and with other aspectS of my life) and I hope that I have an overflowing list of new favorite stories to pick from while I’m compiling that Year in Review blog post. What was your favorite read of the year? I feel like I switched between #1 and #2 many times before finally going with what felt more right. Okay friends, I’m sending each and everyone of you my whole heart and I hope 2021 feels lighter and brighter for you. I love you.

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➽ My 2019 Reading Challenge
➽ My 2018 Reading Challenge
➽ My 2017 Reading Challenge
➽ My 2016 Reading Challenge
➽ My 2015 Reading Challenge

How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories (The Folk of the Air #3.5) by Holly Black

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1.) The Cruel Prince ★★★★★
1.5) The Lost Sisters ★★★★★
2.) The Wicked King ★★★★★
3.) The Queen of Nothing ★★★★★

“Hate that was so bright and hot that it was the first thing that truly warmed him.”

How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories is an illustrated novella following Cardan Greenbriar, during many different stages in his life, while we slowly see all the different things that shaped him cruelly. The sound that left me when I opened this book and realized we were going to get present day with Jude from Cardan’s POV… be still, my hopes and dreams and heart.

Rovina Cai’s art is truly so beautiful that it renders me speechless. I was already in love with her and her art because of her work with The Wayward Children series, but this entire book feels like am immersive work of art. From the perfect color palette, to the most perfect details, she executes the vibe of Cardan and his story in a way that I don’t think another artist could.

In this story, Cardan’s life is very much impacted by a troll named Aslong who was wronged by Cardan’s father. She tells a story about a boy with a heart of stone, who finds himself in a predicament with a monster girl who won’t scare him away, until his heart starts beating again. And then all throughout his life, she tells his alternate versions of this same story, each version with a new meaning for a new version of Cardan himself.

“She was the only real thing in a land of ghosts.”

We also get to see so much of Cardan’s perspective during The Cruel Prince, much like we did with Tarryn in The Lost Sisters, and it was everything. Nicasia and Locke have much wanted character development in this book, too, and I am literally on my knees begging for Holly to just give us the trilogy in Cardan’s complete point of view. But we see Nicasia being fostered on the land because her mother, Orlagh, Queen of the Undersea, wants to start putting pieces in motion. We get to see Locke, and his empty house and even emptier heart, teach Cardan the word “cruel” on every page. And these two, in addition to a prophecy looming over this young prince, are truly the first catalysts to this story and I was so in love seeing behind the scenes. And when Holly gives us Locke’s perspective one of these years…

“Playing the villain was the only thing he’d ever really excelled at.”

Each part, each mini story, we get to see Cardan questioning who he is and who he wants to be. Not to make this too deep, but Cardan very slowly realizes that he is not responsible for the terrible acts his family committed; both to him and to the people they ruled over. He struggles with his identity of a prince who should feel like he has everything, and a boy who feels like he has nothing. But seeing him finally understand that he deserves not only love but unconditional love? Him slowly appreciating that his heart can be warm and beat unapologetically? Truly some powerful stuff.

On a personal note, I think most of you know that Holly Black is an author who means a lot to me. Her fae stories are what first got me into YA when I was young, and it really changed me as a reader and probably a human as well. I know most of you know that 2020 has been a hard year for everyone and everything, very much including my reading, so being able to curl up and read about my emotional support fae, from my emotional support author, just meant a lot to me. I truly think reading this book a day before release (bless you Waterstones and my mail person) was the best reading experience I’ve had all year, and for that alone this book was probably the easiest five star I’ve given in a year of not a lot of five star reads.

“Feels as though she has to earn the crown on her head over and over again.”

Overall, this felt like the fairytale of my dreams. Cardan is my favorite character in The Cruel Prince series (or any of Holly’s books, I think) and this truly was such a magical, wonderous, unforgettable addition to this world. I am incredibly biased over this series because so much of my heart and nostalgia are wrapped up within this world, but I honestly think there is just so much to love on every page of this book. I feel blessed to read about each time Holly gives us a new book, and this will for sure be a favorite of mine for all of 2020. Lastly, I cannot believe we really got to read about Cardan going out for boba.

Content & Trigger Warnings: abandonment, bullying, abuse, mention of drug use, humiliation, talk of cheating, and a lot of drinking.

5

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BTS Graphic Lyrics Series Review

This summer, BTS and BigHit released five graphic lyric books that tie-in with the Bangtan Universe and it was pretty much the best combining of worlds for me! All five of these books are by different artists, all who took very different approach to enhance the power of these stories, and I think I fell in love with each one for a brand new reason! But I knew that before the end of the year, I wanted to do little mini reviews of them all, and what more perfect date than the birthday of our main character, Kim Seokjin! I hope you guys enjoy!

➽ You Never Walk Alone

BTS Perform You Never Walk Alone + Spring Day @ Melon Music Awards 2017

“Baby fly fly fly fly it like it like that”

This first installment in the BTS Graphic Lyric series is the start of it all, where we get to see Jin and his current life where he is very much feeling the weight of his father’s expectations. But that weight starts to feel a little lighter when he meets six boys at school, and the seven of them have to work together to clean up a space. Soon he realizes that maybe he really doesn’t have to walk this path in life alone, while the reader gets little glimpses and hints of the different paths that are yet to come for all seven of them. And all good things must come to and end, especially the the Bangtan universe.

The art of this book is so very beautiful, and I think the color palette is perfection. The images and colors truly go together magically and fully set the stage of this heart-wrenching story. Yet, the last pages still instill so much hope in the reader.


➽ Save Me

BTS (방탄소년단) ‘Save ME’ Official MV

“Don’t wanna be lonely, just wanna be yours”

This is my personal favorite installment of all the BTS Graphic Lyric series! Instantly, from the very first page, you can tell that this story is going to take a much darker turn. While the lines of what is real and what is fake are blurring for all the members throughout, with the help of beautiful opaque papers on certain pages to really heighten the storytelling.

This installment very much focuses on Hobi and Jimin and the abandonment both of them have felt. Both are trying to be brave, make the best of the situation they are in, but they desperately want to be saved and not alone. Yet together, in the hospital, they are able to carve out their own little corner of happiness because of dance and because of each other.

TL;DR: The BigHit carousel(s) will forever haunt me.


➽ House of Cards

160723 epilogue in beijing House Of Cards BTS JIMIN 세로 focus

“Now way, now way, it’s collapsing again”

The way this installment was made for those who love to suffer from that yoonkook angst. We see Jungkook, losing his childhood quickly before his eyes, while his father leaves him and his mother. Then we get to see Yoongi, finding love and happiness in his piano because of his mother, but that all changes when he loses everyone and everything he has loved, except for a few piano keys, because of a fire.

Both of these boys are definitely descending into darkness and despair, but maybe together they will be able to find some light and hope. And this beautiful uniquely bound book, telling this tale, make the visuals feels so real and so haunting.


➽ Run

BTS (방탄소년단) ‘RUN’ Official MV

“Don’t tell me, don’t tell me, don’t tell me bye bye”

Namjoon and that train container haunt my dreams, I swear to you. This is the Graphic Lyric book that I really recommend watching the music video with, because no other BTS MV gives you as much Bangtan Universe storyline as Run. And the art in this book just adds to everything and makes the story play before you like the visual masterpiece that it is.

But we get to see Joon working impossibly long hours, while trying to take care of his family and still find happiness while achieving dreams for himself. And we also get to see Taehyung and how his father is an alcoholic who is being violent towards him and his family. Both of these young men are just looking for safety and solace, and they are willing to do anything to achieve it, but in the meantime they can find a little bit of both of those things with each other.


➽ Butterfly

BTS – Butterfly Show Music core 20160514

“Is it true? Is it true? You, you”

This last (as of now) Graphic Lyric book is a beautiful glimpse into the boys being together, being safe, and being carefree enjoying time together while Jin views it all. Yet, how the pages are also able to be turned, we can see Jin struggling with waking up and having to start all over again while Jungkook and Yoongi, Jimin and Hobi, and Tae and Namjoon are in their other alternate realities where they are struggling together.

Truly this whole story is so wild, so beautiful, and so heart-wrenching. Not only is Butterfly one of my favorite BTS songs, it just so beautifully encapsulates change, and opportunity, and how things can always get better, even if we are forced to endure not so great situations a little while longer.

I truly do not know where this story is going to end, but BTS (in this alternative reality and in our own) are soulmates and I hope they all get the happy endings that they deserve.


I truly cannot wait to see where this story goes next! I will say, that these books are kind of hard to get now, especially the box set and anything close to the original price! But Cokodive does have them singularly as of the writing of this blog post! I hope you all enjoyed, and truly there is no better combination than BTS and books for me! But I hope you’re all have the happiest of reading, the happiest of listening, and just the happiest of days and nights. I love you! 

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(if you’d like to see me unbox these books and box set!)

Other Bangtan Universe Reviews:
➽ Save Me Webtoon
➽ 花樣年華 HYYH The Notes 1 (The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, #1)
➽ 花樣年華 HYYH The Notes 2 (The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, #2)

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston | ARC Review

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ARC provided by St. Martin’s Press via Netgalley
Publication: June 1, 2021

“August doesn’t believe in most things, but it’s hard to argue that Jane wasn’t put on the Q to fuck up her whole life.”

Red, White & Royal Blue was one of my favorite books of 2019. I was able to get a very early ARC of it, and I fell so deeply in love with this alternate reality I so desperately wanted to live in as a queer biracial with a hopeless romantic heart. Casey’s prose, characters, romance, banter, and (obviously) themes were everything to me, and I knew that they would take the book world by storm with their expectation-shattering debut. But then when they announced their next book would be sapphic Kate & Leopold, with an Asian love interest? Be still, my entire heart and soul. So when I tell you that I ignored every single ARC I needed to read and review before this one for the next eight months, I say that with my whole chest because there was no way I could stop myself once it hit my kindle.

One Last Stop is a story about a twenty-three-year-old bi girl named August who has moved from university to university, state to state, looking for a place that will feel like a home she has never known. Her whole life, her mother has expected her to assist in solving a missing person case from the 70s, but August just wants to find herself, her own way, and wants to feel like she finally belongs somewhere. At the start of this story, she has made it to New York where is she going to finish her degree, and thanks to a questionably placed looking-for-roommates advertisement in a Popeyes she starts to feel like maybe she could eventually call this city and these roommates home.

The Roommates:
Niko – trans Latino psychic (good) bartender (not so good)
Myla – queer Black electrical engineer turned artist (has an adoptive Chinese mom, who really added to the story so beautifully to me, so I am mentioning it here too!)
Wes – queer Jewish tattoo artist

Oh, and I am fully in love with all three of them and the found family depicted in this book is so heartwarmingly perfect, I promise you! There are even more side characters who will easily steal your heart, too, and there is also a big emphasis on New York’s drag scene, and how queer people of color are still paving the way in 2020. This book has a very diverse cast, and we see so many different cultures, sexualities, genders, religions, and more. (There is for sure bigger body representation with August, but I’m not sure that I would say it is fat representation. I will edit this and quote an ownvoices reviewer mutual once they read and review! Also, it is brought up a couple times that August’s mom conceived her via in vitro fertilization, and I just feel like we don’t really get to see that a lot in books and I really loved that too!)

But on August’s very first day’s commute to school, where she takes the Q train subway line, she is having a bit of bad luck and an exceptionally large coffee stain. But all that luck seems to change right before her very eyes, when she meets a girl who gives August her red scarf without hesitation. She can’t stop thinking about the girl who saved her bad day, and the low chances of her being at that exact spot when she needed someone in a city that is so busy second meetings never happen, especially on the subway. That is, until she sees the girl again, and again, and starts to realize that she not only is on the Q every time August is on it, but in the exact same train car.

Oh Jane, where do I even begin? Jane is a Chinese lesbian who is displaced from the 70s in some kind of magical timeslip, where she can’t remember much of anything about her past, only what she carries in her bookbag. That is, until Jane seems to be the only person who helps her remember, while also being the only person she can’t seem to forget. Oh, and come the Mid-Year Freak Out Tag? Every sapphic in the book community with have Jane Su as their fictional crush. On God and on everything else. When I tell you Casey McQuistion wrote most everyone’s sapphic dream, I say it honestly.

But basically, since August has been taught her whole life how to solve missing persons cases, and because she is very gay and can’t stop thinking about the incredibly swoon worthy girl on the train, she decides to do whatever it takes to help not only figure out Jane’s past, but to try to rescue her from the subway she is tethered to. Even if helping her means lots and lots of kissing, maybe especially so actually.

“It’s probably going to break my heart, and it’s still worth it.”

The romance in this book? A tier above. I feel like One Last Stop gave a new definition to the word “yearning” if you want my very honest opinion. Truly, this is the type of book that will make even the most cynical of readers believe in love. The emotions (and tears) it was able to evoke from me was nothing short of astounding. And now I will be forever longing for someone to have a notebook filled with me. Like, this book is truly so goddamn romantic, and the one-liners left me utterly gasping and fully quaking.

“but none of those girls were you.”

On top of the fact that the sex scenes were probably the best I’ve read in any f/f book in my entire life. The range of sexual acts, the different kinds of sex that queer people are extra blessed to have if they want to have sex, the learning of your partner’s wants and needs and body in general; it was all just so perfect, so sexy, and so realistic. And this book was so sex positive, especially when you are in your early twenties and learning what you want and like! Also, there was a very important (and seamlessly woven in) discussion on virginity and how the concept is truly something of dated myth, especially in queer communities.

“She read about San Francisco, about the movements happening there, about Asian lesbians riding on the backs of cable cars just to show the city they existed”

Casey McQuiston constantly pays homage to the lgbtqiap+ community (especially queer people of color) who came before us, who paved the way, and who are the reason that we in present day have so many more rights and freedoms. And they do not shy away from talking about the costs so many paid with heartbreaking loss.

The UpStairs Lounge fire happened in the 1973 and was the largest gay mass murder prior to the Pulse shooting in 2016. The Stonewall riots in 1969, where people refused to be silenced and erased by the police or anyone else, and in return gave us some many civil rights advances. To HIV and AIDS activists who had to live during the Carter and Reagan administrations who not only encouraged hate with racism and homophobia, but who heartlessly let so many die, while also eventually administrated drugs that would lead to toxic overdoses, simultaneously promising a vaccine that would never come. Victims had to wait until 2003 for baseline adequate help after so many had already been lost because of the virus.

There are so many challenges still with being unapologetically who you are in present day, but it is so important to honor and remember all of the lgbtqiap+ activists (again, especially the people of color) who came before us and made what we do have today possible. And Casey McQuiston truly keeps that at the forefront and makes it the heart of this story.

“two different generations of messy, loud, brave and scared and brave again people stomping their feet and waving hands with bitten nails, all the things they share and all the things they don’t. the things she has that people like Jane smashed windows and spat blood for.”

And surrounding yourself with people who see you, amplify you, support you, celebrate you, and love you unconditionally and unapologetically is so important, too. I think it’s always really important to mention that even though Casey honors the past, they filled me with so much hope for the future, and for future generations of marginalized voices who will more easily be amplified, more easily be heard, and so much more easily be seen.

Friendly reminder, if you haven’t found a place that feels like home yet, or the people who uncondiontally love and respect you, I promise you will and I promise are never alone in the meantime. Putting yourself and your safety first will always be the most important thing in all the different stages of life. And just know I see you, and I’m proud of you, and I’m cheering for you, always. But if you ever need extra help The Trevor Project and PFLAG can be wonderful recourses.

Overall, this book just meant so much to me, and I know it is going to mean so much to so many. 2020 has been so hard, so fucking hard, on so many, and this book was the 2020 escapism that I want to fold myself into forever. I haven’t left my home’s property in eight months, but with One Last Stop I got to feel whole and happy and seen on a New York subway, while watching two girls fall in love and carve out the lives that they want, unapologetically. Truly, this book made me even more proud to be a queer Asian, I only wish I was half as cool as Jane Su.

“you’re the first thing I’ve believed in since—since I don’t even remember, okay, you’re—you’re movies and destiny and every stupid, impossible thing, and it’s not because of the fucking train, it’s because of you.”

Oh, and this will probably be my favorite 2021 publication. Happy reading!

Trigger and Content Warnings: talk of loss of a loved one, talk of death, talk of anxiety and anxiety depictions, talk of the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina, alcohol consumption, talk of homophobia in the past, talk of racism in the past, talk of hate crimes in the past, mention of gentrification, and brief mentions of blood.

5

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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Buddy read with Maëlys❤

September 2020 Wrap Up

WrapUp9
Hey friends! I know we are almost midway through October, but it has been such a busy month for me (and hopefully you’ve been enjoying the other content on the blog)! But September was a bit of a mixed reading month for me! I was able to read ten things, but not a single one earned five stars from me! 🍁

Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Such a beautiful story about culture and identity and loving all parts of yourself and your heritage. I also loved the themes of healing and art, too. Truly this was such a good read and an amazing way to start my month!

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong ⭐⭐⭐
Publication: November 17th 2020
A Romeo & Juliet loose retelling set in historical Shanghai? Whew, that premise! I wish I loved this one as much as most of my friends, but it was still a fun read with lots of discussions about colonization and microaggressions and Western lenses that PoC have to face even in their own Eastern countries

The Lost Book of the White by Cassandra Clare & Wesley Chu ⭐⭐⭐
A fun addition to the Shadowhunter world, but I truly didn’t love this nearly as much as the first book! But being back with the original gang always feels good and makes me happy. Also, domestic Magnus and Alec make my heart burst.

Beach Read by Emily Henry ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I couldn’t believe how much I loved this, and how much this cover and synopsis really leads you to believe this story will be something different. This dealt with important themes of grief and healing, and truly was a book about writers block and how sometimes things in life will uproot everything.

Vampires of Portlandia by Jason Tanamor ⭐⭐⭐
I truly wanted to love this so much more than I did, but I was still so very happy to be on an ownvoices blog tour celebrating Filipino mythos and culture. Sadly, I’ve just had some not amazing experiences with the vampire resurgence this year!

Dragon Unleashed (Fallen Empire #2) by Grace Draven ⭐⭐
Whew, I cannot believe how much this let me down. This book was truly ungodly boring, which was so surprising because the first book was so action packed! Hopefully I will learn my lesson and DNF books that can’t hold my interest, even if I loved a previous book in the series!

Nocturna (A Forgery of Magic #1) by Maya Motayne ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This was the Dragons and Tea September pick and I really loved this one! This is a magical story all about identity and language and… colonization (truly a theme of books I keep picking up)! I thought this book was so very beautiful, and the grief and abuse depictions were very heartbreakingly raw.

The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinska ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Sapphic witch queen must fall in love with the girl she is forced to sacrifice to save all her people? The angst, the yearning, the hunger of my dreams. I really loved this one and again, the grief and abuse depictions were important and also very raw and unapologetic.

The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This book was my favorite of the month! From a girl who can’t remember all her memories after being sick, to a man who will stop at nothing to find his love (while also picking up the cutest companion of all companions), and two sapphics again winning me and my heart completely over. This book was everything and I promise a full review soon!

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco ⭐⭐⭐
Publication: October 27th, 2020 
This was the hardest book for me to rate. The range of things I feel for this book is very unreal. Listen, the atmosphere of this? The settings? The premise? I couldn’t get enough. Dare I even say close to perfect? And the plot had me so very invested in every single way. But this actual story and the plot conveniences, the characters and their lack of critical thinking, the obvious plot twists? The Lord might be testing me. The whiplash I felt while reading this was a full experience and deserves a star rating of its own, truly.


What was your favorite book of September? Or even so far in October? I hope you all are having happy reading, and I hope we both have a lot more five star reads for our October reading! 🎃

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September Book Haul | 2020

I feel like September was the first month since quarantine that I’m actually able to do a monthly book haul! (Obv, I did for my birthday as well, but that was a bit of a special and blessed occasion!) I feel so honored and so thankful to be able to write up this post, and I can’t wait to share these titles with you, because some of them I’ve already read and loved, and some of them I am so very excited for! 

Purchased Books ♡


Books Sent by Publishers ♡


eARCS from Publishers ♡

What was your favorite book that you hauled in September (or even so far in October)? Is there anything on this list that I haven’t read yet that you want me to prioritize? Please let me know! And thank you so much for reading! Sending you lots of love and all the stories that make you feel seen! 💕

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