Asian Readathon 2021

I am beyond excited to take part in the asian readathon hosted by readwithcindy! We should be reading books by asian authors year round, but the month of may is dedicated to just that with fun prompts to get out of your comfort zone. I wanted to share my tbr with you guys!

  • Jade City by Fonda Lee – This is actually my book server’s readalong book so if you want to join us please follow the link to join the server! I am actually really enjoying this book and excited to see how it pans out.
  • The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang – This has been on my TBR since last summer. Have I read it yet? No. I am hoping to change it this month!
  • The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa – Another book that has been on my TBR since last summer. I got it right at the beginning of the pandemic. I heard mixed things about this book, but overall I’m excited.
  • Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner – I am hoping to get this from the library on audiobook. It has been everywhere recently so I think it’ll be a good listen.

I am hoping to also squeeze in some other reads. If you have any suggestions for books that are by authors of different countries besides the ones above please let me know! I want to re-read some of Rupi Kaur’s poetry this month as well.

Are you planning to take part? What are you planning to read?

2021 DNFs

Hello! I am writing a bit of a controversial topic today regarding DNFs aka books that were not finished. I have actively DNFd three very popular books this year. I wanted to dive into those books and explain why I made the decision to DNF or put down for another time. These are my own opinions so please do not come for me if I mention your favorite book. I have a feeling the last book on this list is gonna get me in trouble.

The first book on this list is The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab. I am the first to admit that you are either gonna love her books or hate them. I feel like there’s always a few that people don’t like but they enjoy the others she has published. I went into this book expecting it to be pretty good, but the pacing was so slow. I felt like it was hard to connect with the main character. I made the decision to DNF for the time being because I just couldn’t get into the book when I first picked it up. I do think this is one that I would like pick up again at a later point. Does the pacing even out? Let me know down below!

I feel bad saying this but I DNFed the Midnight Library by Matt Haig. I honestly could not stand the main character in this book. I read about 40% of this book which for me is a lot to read to end up DNFing it. I feel like the author gave the MC such a terrible life that she would want to change it. I think the concept is really cool, but I found it really hard to watch her dance between lives and still be miserable. It’s also really hard for someone who does suffer from anxiety and depression. Her case is severe and it honestly left me feeling rather meh after reading it. I do want to try his other book The Humans to see if maybe that’s more of my cup of tea.

The last book that is probably gonna earn me a spot in the time out corner is Crescent City by Sarah J Maas. I tried so hard to love this book, but I am not a big SJM fan. The murder mystery plot line was what sold me on this book versus her other works. I tried to read Throne of Glass, but I didn’t like it. I avoided the ACOTAR series because I’m not really into fairies. Crescent City really had the potential for me to be a good book. I made it about 51% of the book before I called it quits. The horniness of the main character and the love interest was honestly uncomfortable to sit through especially when he wanted to suck her toes. I almost gagged when I read that section of the book. I’m not a big romance reader, but I honestly had hoped that the romance wouldn’t overshadow the plot. I think that it’s different for everyone because a lot of people do really enjoy SJM and Crescent City. It just wasn’t the book for me. I don’t like romance being the center point of a story especially one like a murder mystery.

What books did you DNF this year? Do you agree with my points or do you want to try to sell me on why I should pick these books up again?

March Wrap Up

Hello! I am excited to share my March wrap up! I read five books in the month of March. That’s insane because I used to only average about one to two books a month if that. I read two books for school, one manga, non-fiction, and one sci-fi. I think that’s a pretty decent variety of books this month. I am also going to list the books I started and brought over into the month of April.

  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston – I read this book for my Black Women Author’s course I am taking for my minor. I didn’t feel a connection with the story, but I understand the purpose of the story. Janie’s life was a bit of a roller coaster.
  • Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel – It was a super fast sci-fi read with mixed media components. I really interested the interview format. It felt like a podcast.
  • Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty – It was the book I needed at the time. It really opened my eyes to death and how we cope with it.

  • Those Not-So-Sweet Boys by Yoko Nogiri – An Arc I received from Netgalley. It was honestly such a cute manga. It’s about three rich troublemakers and a girl who has to bring them back to school.
  • The Third of Grange Copeland by Alice Walker – Please read this book! It’s such a powerful book that has honestly left it’s mark on me and my class. This is her first novel that is often overshadowed by The Color Purple. I think it’s worth the read.
  • My two current reads are Crescent City by Sarah J Maas and The Last Night at the Telegraph Club. I am honestly a bit eh on Crescent City right now. I am not liking how the character development is going, but The Last Night at the Telegraph Club has got my heartstrings.

    What did you read in the month of March? Let me know in the comments!

    TBC Spring Readathon 2021

    Hello! I am so excited to announce that I am hosting a readathon with my book server in the month of April. It’ll be from April 16th to the 18th starting at midnight in your time zone. I honestly love hosting readathons because it allows me to interact with more people outside of my usual bubble. This readathon is not specifically server only. Anyone can join us by tagging us on Instagram and Twitter. I will be following and sharing the tbrs that people post! You can use the hashtag tbcspringreadathon21 on instagram and twitter as well! I am sure you guys are excited to see what the prompts are for this round.

    The prompts are pretty straight forward! You can mix and match them however you see fit. You could even find a book that covers all three. The read three books and the bonus prompts are optional! Jade City is the readalong book for my server so if you want to join in you can!

    I really hope that you guys are able to join us! Please feel free to reach out to me if you want more information about my book server and where to follow us on social media. I also wanted to thank everyone who has been following me for the past four years. I just hit 4 years on my blog and that is beyond anything I could have ever hoped for with this blog. I am so thankful that I still have a place in this community! Thank you so much!

    Book Cryptids Readalong – Jade City

    Hello! It is that time again where I announce the readalong book for my book server. Spoiler alert! I do run a bookish discord server called The Book Cryptids. I have been running it for a little over two years now. We try to host readalongs every two months to engage in the community of our server. One of my co-admins is hosting the readalong for April to May which is Jade City by Fonda Lee. We will be hosting reading sprints throughout the month of April and May specifically for the book so we can discuss in real time.

    Please feel free to join the server and join in on this readalong! I am really excited to finally dive into this world that Fonda Lee has created within Jade City. Thanks for reading my very short blog post for the day!

    February 2021 Wrap Up

    I can’t believe that February is already over! I know it’s because the month is shorter than most months by at least 2 days. Most of my reading this month has been dedicated to my buddy read and school. I am hoping next month I can sprinkle in more for fun books.

    My first book of the month was Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia with illustrations done by Gabriel Picolo. I think it was a really nice way to bring new fans into the universe. Kami Garcia does a wonderful job creating such a vibrant story for Raven. The way the art is done is honestly amazing. The muted shades of purple really resonated with Raven. I am curious to see how this ties into the second book Beast Boy. I gave it 4 stars!

    The second book I read in February was Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall. I have been trying to listen to more audiobooks this year. This was a really powerful novel about how the feminism movement forgot women of color. I read this book for more background going into my African American literature course. Mikki Kendall goes into great detail about her own struggle. The things she experienced or has seen happened to those around her.

    I read this book for my black women writers course. Our Nig was written by the first black woman writer in the US. The book was lost to history for over 100 years until Henry Louis Gates Jr. rediscovered it. The story is about a young girl who is abandoned by her mother to a family in the north. It details how they weren’t free in the north even if slavery wasn’t a thing. I think it’s a really important book that still needs to be taught today.

    My final book of February was my buddy read book. I read Dune over a span of two months. I honestly really enjoyed this space tale. There were some flaws that made me knock down the rating to a 4 star. The ending was quite rush especially for the amount of build up they gave it. I kind of expected it to be drawn out more. Overall, I definitely think it’s worth a read if you are into science fiction.

    I am quite happy with the amount of books I read in February! I am hoping that I can read a bit more in March. Have you read any of the books I have listed? What was your favorite read of February?

    Gudetama: Mindfulness for the Lazy

    I know I said that I wouldn’t be doing book reviews as often on my blog, but this book was such a cute book that packed such a powerful message. Some of you may know that I’m a huge Sanrio fan. I have always been one since I was a wee tot. Gudetama was such a cute addition to the team because he is literally just an eeg. The character became quickly loved within the community. I think tackling such a hard topic like being mindful during a time like this is very important. The comic does a wonderful job of bridging the gap between reader and content.

    This copy was provided through Netgalley for an honest review.

    This graphic novel touches the topics of how to understand your feelings, being mindful towards others, and creating a space that is healthy for you. We follow Gudetama along as he meets people going through feeling unmotivated at work, being kind towards others, and making sure they are taking the time for self care. I think that this would be the perfect graphic novel for a younger audience. I think that lessons provided in the novel would be good for younger kids to learn.

    The lessons in this book were not necessarily deep, but I believe they get the message across especially to a younger audience. This would have been the perfect book for me when I was in middle school or even high school. The conversation about burn out really resonated with me because that is something I often experience in my day to day life. The graphic novel shapes these feelings and concepts into ways that feel lighthearted and fun. It is the perfect approach into a topic that is often reserved for non-fiction novels or school.

    You can pick up your own copy on April 6th which it releases to the public. I honestly hope you guys end up checking out this graphic novel. It’s just a cute little piece that made me smile.

    Gudetama : Mindfulness for the Lazy by Wook-Jin Clark | 4/5 Stars | April 6th 2021

    Kdrama Review : Color Rush

    I want to diversify my content this year especially moving forward with this blog. I have decided to sprinkle in some reviews regarding shows and movies I watch especially because it has picked up due to the pandemic. I want to gush about this adorable eight episode kdrama called Color Rush. It’s a BL drama surrounding two boys trying to navigate their feelings for each other. The main character suffers from a type of color blindness where they see everything in shades of gray. Well, the love interest is able to provide him this rush of color whenever they are around each other.

    The main reason why I decided to watch Color Rush was to support Hyunjun who was formerly with the group The Boyz. This was his first acting gig since leaving the group. The show does have a few problematic plot lines. The kidnapping that happens towards the end was not a surprise, but it was resolved rather quickly. The ending felt rushed, but I understand that they only had so much time to fit all the concepts into eight episodes. This is also one of the first BL and kdramas I have watched so I kept my expectations pretty low. The chemistry between the characters felt a bit odd in the earlier episodes, but it seemed to pick up more towards the end.

    I do want to mention trigger warnings for suicide, attempted suicide, murder, and kidnapping. The main character’s mother has been missing for a few years so there’s this sense of dread for the main character. There’s also a theory in the world that monos (people who can only see shades of grey) are more likely to commit crimes if they lose the person who shows them the colors of the world. This is a huge plot line that runs throughout the series that fuels a lot of the actions. Overall, I do recommend this series if you want something that is super quick and easy to watch.

    January 2021 Wrap Up

    Hello! I decided that moving forward I would compile all my thoughts on the books I read into monthly wrap ups. I think personally for me it takes away the stress of doing reviews for every single book because most of the time I don’t have too much to say. I will probably still do book reviews, but I will save those for books that really moved me or deserve more commentary.

    My first read of 2021 was The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo. I must admit that this book blew my mind. I had seen it around the book community for a bit, but I was unsure if it was my cup of tea. It’s a novella that really focuses on the themes of feminism and the friendship between two women. The queen wasn’t necessarily a nice woman. She did the things she did to protect her friend, but it wasn’t always a good thing. I gave this a solid 5/5 stars.

    Lirael was a buddy read that I had started in December and finished going into January. It’s the second book in the series that takes place about 15-20 years after the first book. I honestly really enjoyed Lirael character and her little dog companion. The plot twist caught me off guard a bit because I hadn’t expected that. I’m beyond excited to continue on with the story. I think it’ll be nice to see how it ends and how the new books reinvent the story. I gave it a 4.5/5 stars.

    Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus was for my book server’s readalong book. I went into this book with very low expectations. I am not a huge fan of YA thrillers because most of the time they are predictable. I listened to this on audiobook and it felt like a podcast. I think the resolve of the story happened way too fast. One moment we are approaching the “culprit” and bam it was over. It was still a fun read. I gave it 3/5 stars.

    Citizen by Claudia Rankine was actually provided by my university. It’s a poetry collection focusing on racism and what it is like to live with it in modern society. It was a really eye opening experience to see how ingrained racism is even today. Her essays and imagery throughout the book were really bold and powerful. I definitely think it is worth the read especially if you are trying to understand how deep-rooted racism is in today’s society. I rated it 4/5 stars.

    Those are the books I have finished in January. I’m in the middle of These Violent Delights and Dune, but I do not need myself finishing them before the end of the weekend. What are some of your favorite reads from the month so far? Leave them in the comments!

    21 Books in 2021

    I decided to make a list of the 21 books I want to read in 2021. I highlighted five in a graphic below which are the ones that I see myself reading soon (within the next six months). I am not going to go into too much detail about why I picked each book, but each book will link to the goodreads page so you can read up on them.

    1. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
    2. The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
    3. Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
    4. Dune by Frank Hebert
    5. The Shining by Stephen King
    6. Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
    7. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
    8. Jade City by Fonda Lee
    9. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
    10. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
    11. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
    12. Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
    13. Skyward by Brandon Sanderson
    14. Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
    15. Artemis by Andy Weir
    16. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
    17. Red Rising by Pierce Brown
    18. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
    19. The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen
    20. Kingdom of Souls by Rena Baron
    21. Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

    These are the 21 books I hope to read in 2021. Is there any I should put towards the top of my list? I am currently reading Dune and Graceling so I’m aiming to knock those off by next month! What books are you trying to read in 2021?