My Top March Reads

March is over (?!) and it was a good bookish month with amazing releases. I managed to finish my TBR and there are 5 books on it that stood out to me:

Girls Made of Snow and Glass

March Reads 2

TWs: child abuse (emotional)

One of my favourite Snow White retellings. It subverts the tropes including the evil stepmother/queen and instead of a prince charming, we have a female surgeon charming. I also didn’t expect so much family love and loyalty. I cried.

March reads

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo

This book made me laugh so much. It’s a modern and clever retelling of Journey to the West with plenty of twists.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

TWs: domestic violence, sexual harassment

This book…oh my god. Evelyn Hugo did all that for her loved ones…Read it and you will understand.

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Love, Hate and Other Filters

TWs: racism (Islamophobia)

I really like this one. It doesn’t only deal with Islamophobia which the MC Maya faces, but her living her life as an ordinary teen with a love for movies, much to her parents’ dismay, and building a romance with a boy.

To Kill a Kingdom

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TWs: child abuse (physical and emotional), self-harm, characters with Japanese-sounding surnames being othered and foils

Killer sirens and mermaids with a taste for men (not in a romantic sense) is one of my weaknesses. While there are things that made my eyes twitch in annoyance, this book is a page turner.

What are your top reads of March? What are your anticipated reads for April?

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Book Bonus 2018

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Hello! A little something different from reviews, but still book related. I’d like to bring your attention to Book Bonus, a program by Dymocks Children’s Charities which is an organisation that helps to improve children’s literacy skills and love for books.

Connected to NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge, Book Bonus is an online read-a-thon for students, starting from 5 March until September 7 this year. It raises money to provide books to schools and students, especially those in need, through student fundraising and reading, of course. Students who raise a certain amount would be rewarded books of their choice.

This year, the goal is to distribute more books than previous years, and give teachers and students the opportunity to choose their own books that would find a home in their libraries.

For more information and to get involved or donate, visit Book Bonus. Let’s encourage kids to read and get inspired 🙂

An Empowering Read: A Review on The Witch Doesn’t Burn in this One

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TW: child abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, eating disorders, trauma, transphobia (more details are at the beginning of the book)

Even though I’m not really a poetry reader, this book of poems cut through to my soul. From the first page, the words hooked me in with their sharpness and the vivid imagery they evoked. I was surprised that this book wasn’t a fantasy or supernatural. I took witches literally. They are cleverly and powerfully used as metaphors.

I did feel empowered and better after reading. It isn’t just about women facing misogyny, it’s about rape culture/abuse, trauma and low self-esteem among other things women are forced to endure because of patriarchal societies. And the book guides you to rise above all that. So it’s also a confronting, but important read, a guide to self-healing and development of resistance.

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Rating:🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (my first 5 starred read of the year!)


Thank you Andrews McMeel Publishing and Netgalley for the e-ARC. My thoughts are based on the book and are my own.


 

A Review on Rebel Seoul

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What’s It About?

After a great war, the East Pacific is in ruins. In brutal Neo Seoul, where status comes from success in combat, ex-gang member Lee Jaewon is a talented pilot rising in the ranks of the academy. Abandoned as a kid in the slums of Old Seoul by his rebel father, Jaewon desires only to escape his past and prove himself a loyal soldier of the Neo State.

When Jaewon is recruited into the most lucrative weapons development division in Neo Seoul, he is eager to claim his best shot at military glory. But the mission becomes more complicated when he meets Tera, a test subject in the government’s supersoldier project. Tera was trained for one purpose: to pilot one of the lethal God Machines, massive robots for a never-ending war.

With secret orders to report on Tera, Jaewon becomes Tera’s partner, earning her reluctant respect. But as respect turns to love, Jaewon begins to question his loyalty to an oppressive regime that creates weapons out of humans. As the project prepares to go public amidst rumors of a rebellion, Jaewon must decide where he stands—as a soldier of the Neo State, or a rebel of the people.


My Thoughts

I’ve finally got to read Rebel Seoul. Better late than never. Despite being a slowburner, I was immersed in its world. The book has several scifi tropes that aren’t really subverted, but they’re still engaging. What got my attention was the Korean culture. It made everything refreshing and exciting.

There’s a lot of layering on the setting and Jaewon and his relationships (it is a character-driven story) that at times, I felt the pacing was slow and several chapters mundane for a book that was pitched as “Pacific Rim meets Korean action dramas”. Most of the action and rebelling happens in the last fifty or so pages. Though I did like all the drama that Jaewon faces and the simulation battles that don’t really help soldiers in real ones, I wish there were more fighting scenes where the machines the characters use for battles have more of a presence. I also wish that Tera and Ama had their own POVs since they want to be more than just weapons.

The ending made me feel things, by the way.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Enchanting and Thrilling: A Review on The Belles

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TW: ableism, lesbian character deaths, sexual assault (attempted and mentioned), animal cruelty

This book also deals with body image. Scenes may be triggering.


What’s It About?

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.


My Thoughts

[some spoilers ahead]

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