[Book Review] The Ikessar Falcon by K.S. Villoso // a study in identity, mistakes, and forgiveness

I reread The Wolf of Oren-Yaro back in August for Wikathon to prepare for The Ikessar Falcon, and while I don’t regret my decision to reread the book (because K.S. Villoso’s writing is always such a pleasure to partake in), I was truly the dumbest of the dumb for thinking that I could ever adequately prepare myself for this sequel.

Are you ready?

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[Book Review] The Girl and The Ghost by Hanna Alkaf // it started out creepy and fun, then BAM feelings

You know how you read one book and then suddenly think that, this is it – I have to get all the books that this author has ever written or will write in the future, because this book is just it for me?

That was Hanna Alkaf.

I read her debut, The Weight of Our Sky back in early 2019 when it first came out. (You can read my review here.) I enjoyed this book immensely, utterly drawn in not only by the vivid pictue of 1960s Kuala Lumpur that the author painted, but by the book’s timeless message of unity and compassion.

So when I saw that Hanna had another book coming out this year, you can bet your bottom dollar I was excited as heck to read it. I was overjoyed when my request for an e-ARC was approved and now, I’ve finally finished it and am so happy to confirm that Hanna’s done it again! This was yet another excellent work so deserving of all the love and attention from the bookish community.

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How to Get Chosen For a Book Tour

Hello friends! Today I’m finally writing a much-requested how-to blog post that I’ve been meaning to do for a while now. If you’d like to see my other how-to blog posts (this is becoming quite a series!) you can check out my Book Blogging How To tag. So far, I’ve written two: How to Balance Blogging and Working From Home and How to Make Friends in the Bookish Community.

I’ve worked with a very wide variety of book tours, both run by companies and by individual bookish influencers. I started out applying for book tours when I was a very new blogger back in 2018, and then in 2019, I started hosting some tours myself. Over the two years I’ve been on here, building my brand and engagement, I think I’ve collected enough information on tips and tricks for getting accepted onto tours!

However, I want to make it clear that I haven’t been accepted for every book tour that I’ve applied to be on. Mostly it’s been for reasons such as lack of a wide enough reach back when I was first starting out, but lately with the advent of book tours that want to prioritize own voices reviewers for certain books (as it should be!) that’s started becoming a reason for not being accepted as well. I’ll do my best to help out with the former, but for the latter, there’s not really a lot I can do (except perhaps urge you to accept the fact that sometimes, there won’t be room for you on a tour if the host is prioritizing own voices reviewers who would have a better outlook on the book than you!).

Let’s get started!

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[Book Review] Iron Heart by Nina Varela // a different look at war with a side order of yearning

Last year, I first read Crier’s War by Nina Varela and fell. In. Love. It had everything I liked in fantasy books. An alternately soft and sexy f/f romance. Complex female characters. Moral dilemmas. Enemies-to-lovers. It was absolutely perfect.

When I found out that Iron Heart, the sequel, was going to be released, and that Caffeine Book Tours was hosting the book tour, I immediately jumped at the chance and was so utterly thrilled at the opportunity to read this amazing release.

Read on to find out what I loved about this sequel! Second book syndrome? MISS NINA DON’T KNOW HER.

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Goals and Categories for Good Readance 2020

Hello friends! I’m super excited for today’s post because it’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time. I’ve long toyed with the idea of giving my bookish life the Marie Kondo treatment. And I’m talking everything in my bookish life – my physical books, my Goodreads shelves, the e-books on the Kindle app in my iPad, e v e r y t h i n g.

I just never really found the motivation to give my bookish life the overhaul it badly needed. Enter Good Readance 2020 hosted by Shealea @ Shut Up, Shealea! (Have you checked out her revamped blog yet? No? Then what the heck are you waiting for?)

As I was reading her plans for Good Readance 2020, I found myself nodding eagerly, completely inspired to get started. So here are my goals for cleaning up my Goodreads, my physical shelves, and everything else about my bookish life!

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[Book Review] Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas // acceptance, love, and tradition all rolled into one

Back in the first half of the year, kinapalan ko na yung mukha ko, as we say in the Philippines, and I requested an ARC from Aiden Thomas himself because NetGalley and Edelweiss had both rejected my request. Well, Aiden is an angel of the first water because he went ahead and sent me an ARC anyway!

I buddy read this book with Krisha and Kal and we both enjoyed this book so much. It’s the perfect blend of the old and the new and is a much-needed read for QPOC, especially Latinx QPOC.

Read on to find out what I loved so much about Aiden Thomas’s debut!

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[Book Review] Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles // the most decadent, sumptuous, elaborate book I’ve read all year

It’s been months. Months. Since I read this book. I read my ARC in April of this year. And I still haven’t been able to get it out of my mind.

Kallia and Demarco live rent-free in my head and I am totally, completely, 100% okay with that.

When I first heard about this book last year, I was sold. It was pitched as having elements of Phantom of the Opera, Moulin Rouge, and a dash of The Night Circus – plus it would feature a kick-ass female magician with a no-holds-barred approach to magic. I was so freaking ready.

Where Dreams Descend utterly surpassed all my expectations and left me hungry for more! Read on to find out why.

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Musicals, Aesthetics, and the Writing Process // Author Interview with Janella Angeles

I feel like I’ve been screaming about Where Dreams Descend for two years now. And why shouldn’t I? A book featuring a female magician that was inspired by Phantom of the Opera, Moulin Rouge, and The Night Circus? Um, hell yes?

Last year, I lost all hope of getting an ARC (because we all know the publishing industry at large hates both people of color and international readers and as a member of both communities I guess that meant I was shit out of luck). But then! The clouds parted, lightning struck – and Janella and her wonderful team hooked me up with a physical ARC! 😭

I enjoyed the book so much that I knew I just had to have Janella on my blog as part of the author interview series for Buwan ng Wika, and I was thrilled when she said yes!

Where Dreams Descend comes out August 25, so don’t forget to get your pre-orders in!

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Identity and Craft // Author Interview with Randy Ribay

Last year, the wonderful group Bookworms Unite PH put together a Philippine launch of the book Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay. Of course I attended, and ended up having an incredibly good time!

Knowing that Patron Saints of Nothing is a necessary addition to the repertoire of any fan of Filipino-authored works, I knew I had to include Randy Ribay in my lineup of authors to be interviewed here on my blog for Wikathon. And to make things even more fun, I have the absolute wonderful honor of having my good friend JM @ Just Read, JM on here because he’s the one who conducted this review with Randy!

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