Whaddup, homies? (Homie is still gender-neutral, yes?) Today I’ll be reviewing one of my most anticipated reads for 2019 (speaking of which, I’ll be talking about this year’s releases that I’m looking forward to, so keep an eye out for that post!), the East Asian inspired fantasy, The Girl King. I was semi-resigned to just having to get it on Amazon or Book Depository, but, wonder of wonders, NetGalley granted this request for me!
Too bad I really didn’t enjoy it.
I tried, I really did! It looked like it was going to be another one of those books whose praises I shouted to the heavens! (And y’all know how hard I roll for the books I love.) But it just wasn’t meant to be.
Have you been following the #EverlastingNoraPH blog tour on Twitter? I sure hope you have – the participants have been posting some pretty amazing reviews, quote graphics, playlists, aesthetics, and mood boards! And Marie Cruz’s debut, Everlasting Nora, more than deserves all the praise. It’s easily one of the best books I’ve read this year! Not to mention, the Filipino rep has got me hyped up like nothing else.
The #EverlastingNoraPH blog tour is about to end, but don’t fret. We’ve still got a few more things up our sleeves for you guys. First off is my own review for this wonderful book, followed by an interview with Marie Cruz herself, so stick around for that!
Now just because I was on a blogging hiatus didn’t mean my reading had come to a complete standstill! I read a ton of books over said hiatus that I can’t wait to review – including recent #romanceclass releases, How She Likes It by Carla de Guzman and Mango Summer by Agay Llanera, both of which were launched at the last #romanceclass event, Feels Fest 2018 (read my recap here!).
After hearing the summaries of both books, I just knew I had to have them. (Also, y’all know I am a certified first-class #romanceclass ho.) Female CEO and her single father assistant? Magic mangoes on a farm in Zambales? Um, yes? I was lucky enough to get an ARC of of How She Likes It, and managed to get Mango Summer at its intro price just shortly before it was released on Amazon.
Read on the find out what I thought of these two recent #romanceclass releases!
You know I’m always ready to step up to the plate for Asian literature and Asian authors. So as soon as I heard that Girls of Paper and Fire was a thing, you can bet I wanted to get my hands on it. I actually mentioned this title in my list 2018 Releases I Want to Buy and when Shealea of That Bookshelf Bitch got an ARC that she very gamely agreed to lend to me, I was just over the moon!
Let me tell you, Girls of Paper and Fire did not disappoint.
I tried to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible, but tread cautiously!
The cruelty of the capital and the power-hungry King Arden have scattered Bleak and her companions across the continents.
On the run in a foreign land, Bleak finds herself tied to some unexpected strangers. When the answers she yearns for are finally within reach, she must face the hard truths of her past, and take her fate into her own hands before it’s too late.
Meanwhile, secrets and magic unravel as a dark power corrupts the realm. Bleak’s friends are forced to decide where their loyalties lie, and who, if anyone, they can trust. But one thing is certain: war is coming, and they must all be ready when it does.
No one knows death like Tea. A bone witch who can resurrect the dead, she has the power to take life…and return it. And she is done with her self-imposed exile. Her heart is set on vengeance, and she now possesses all she needs to command the mighty daeva. With the help of these terrifying beasts, she can finally enact revenge against the royals who wronged her―and took the life of her one true love.
But there are those who plot against her, those who would use Tea’s dark power for their own nefarious ends. Because you can’t kill someone who can never die…
War is brewing among the kingdoms, and when dark magic is at play, no one is safe.
In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon.
But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.
As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.
Content warnings: Themes of colonialism, graphic violence and injury