Friday, June 22, 2018

[Review] Furyborn by Claire Legrand

Furyborn by Clare Legrand

Series: The Empirium #1
Format: ARC
Rating: 2.5 stars

Release Date: May 22, 2018

Goodreads Synopsis:
When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed...unless the trials kill her first.
A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable--until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.

I received Furyborn from a Goodreads giveaway - this does not impact my review in any way.

Monday, June 18, 2018

[Review] The Summer of Us by Cecilia Vinesse

The Summer of Us by Cecilia Vinesse

Rating: 4 stars

Published: June 14, 2018 
Format: ARC

Goodreads Synopsis:
Aubrey and Rae have been planning their trip around Europe practically from the moment they became BFFs in primary school. And, now, it ought to be the perfect way to spend their last summer together before university.
But things are more complicated at eighteen than they were at ten. There's Jonah, Aubrey's seemingly perfect boyfriend, and his best friend Gabe, the boy Aubrey may have accidentally kissed. And there's Clara, the friend Rae is crushing on, hard, even though there's no hope because Clara is definitely into guys, not girls.
Five friends. Ten days. Paris, Amsterdam, Prague, Florence, Barcelona. And a messy, complicated, can-this-really-be happening love story, or two ... because how could there not be?

Thursday, May 31, 2018

[Review] A Thousand Beginnings and Endings - Edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings 

Edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman
Format: ARC
Rating: 4 stars

Release Date: June 26th 2018

Goodreads Synopsis:
Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings. These are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries.

Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate.

Compiled by We Need Diverse Books’s Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman, the authors included in this exquisite collection are: Renee Ahdieh, Sona Charaipotra, Preeti Chhibber, Roshani Chokshi, Aliette de Bodard, Melissa de la Cruz, Julie Kagawa, Rahul Kanakia, Lori M. Lee, E. C. Myers, Cindy Pon, Aisha Saeed, Shveta Thakrar, and Alyssa Wong.

A mountain loses her heart. Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity. A young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice. A young woman takes up her mother’s mantle and leads the dead to their final resting place. From fantasy to science fiction to contemporary, from romance to tales of revenge, these stories will beguile readers from start to finish. For fans of Neil Gaiman’s Unnatural Creatures and Ameriie’s New York Times–bestselling Because You Love to Hate Me.
I received this ARC from Miss Print's (Emma) ARC Adoption over here! Thank you Emma!

What a wonderful anthology! I normally struggle with more pieces in a collection than enjoy, but here it was the opposite. I loved how each short story honed in on different cultures and myths. The Filipino ones especially made me wish that I was more connected and aware of my own background.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

[Review] Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

Series: The Ash Princess Trilogy #1
Rating: 4 stars

Release Date: April 24th 2018

Goodreads Synopsis:
Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia's family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess--a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.
For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She's endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.
Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn't always won on the battlefield.
For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.

Deliciously brutal and compelling.

I like heroines with conviction. They set out on something, they get it done. Thora/Theodosia has been a captive to the Kalovaxians for ten years, after they took over her country of Astrea and imprisoned her people. After the capture and execution of one of the last Guardians, someone very dear to her heart, she decides enough is enough and she must end the reign of the Kaiser by getting close to his son, Prinz Soren.

Monday, April 16, 2018

[Review] American Panda by Gloria Chao

American Panda by Gloria Chao

Rating: 5 stars

Format: ARC
Release Date: February 16th 2018

Goodreads Synopsis:
At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents' master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.
With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can't bring herself to tell them the truth--that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.
But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?
I received this ARC from Miss Print's (Emma) ARC Adoption over here! Thank you Emma!

The moment I saw the premise for American Panda, I knew I had to read it. Why? Because it hits at my very soul. So this review will be more personal than I usual am with reviews.

Mei's going through something that many immigrant children have to deal with - juggling both fulfilling her parents' wishes after all their hard work and also trying to figure out her own dreams. For Mei, she has already been told that she must be a doctor, even though she hates germs and would rather teach and practice dance. She hides this from her parents and the rest of her family, who have brought her up in a closeted and sheltered lifestyle. Because her brother Xing has been disowned for falling in love with what her family considers is 'the wrong girl', Mei is the remaining hope for her family.