[Book Review] Mexican Gothic – Silvia Moreno-Garcia // all the best things about classic gothic horror

Listen. I have been dying to get my hands on diverse horror. I absolutely love the gothic horror genre – Dracula, Frankenstein, Carmilla, The Haunting of Hill House, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – I’ve read them all, and adored every last one.

However, most of the horror books I’ve seen out there, from the classics to the more modern offerings, haven’t been as diverse as I’d like them to be. Enter Mexican Gothic, Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s latest book. I was intrigued both by the cover and the premise of a 1950s gothic horror set in Mexico, and was overjoyed when my request for an ARC was granted.

I buddy read this book with Krisha, Lili, and Whitney and was absolutely not disappointed. Read on to find out what I loved about this book!

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[Book Review] The Obsidian Tower – Melissa Caruso // political intrigue and necromancy

I’m honestly really appalled at myself that I’ve never read a Melissa Caruso book before. I requested The Obsidian Tower from NetGalley on a whim, buddy read it with Lili @ Utopia State of Mind, and absolutely ended up loving it! And now tbh I’m determined to read the rest of her books as well.

Not only is this book chock-full of amazing magic systems and political intrigue, it’s also got tons of casual queer rep. So if you’re looking to add more queer reads to your TBR for Pride Month, read on!

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When Short Books Do You No Favors: A Discussion of Song of the Crimson Flower by Julie C. Dao

I’m a fan of short books. They’re great ways to get your reading count up if you’re trying to meet a goal, and they’re a wonderful way to fit some reading into the day when you don’t have the energy or mental space for a longer, meatier book.

But sometimes, shortness just doesn’t work for the story you’re trying to tell. Sometimes, you really do need to take the time to explore your setting and your plot, and if that takes 500+ pages, then so be it. If you need to do that in order to do justice to the story that you want to tell, then you need to do that!

Unfortuantely, Song of the Crimson Flower by Julie C. Dao is a perfect example of when short books do no favors, for either the author or the reader. If you want to know why I, unfortunately, did not enjoy this book, then read on!

You can get a copy of this book here!
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[Book Review] Steel Crow Saga – Paul Krueger // fantasy post-WWII discussions of colonialism, forgiveness, and love of country

ETA 20 June 2020:

Following the allegations against Paul Krueger, I am rescinding my support of Steel Crow Saga and the rest of Paul’s books. I believe victims of harassment always, even if the harasser is someone I looked up to and deeply admired.

I have never subscribed to the belief that art can be separated from the artist, and I would be the worst kind of hypocrite if I don’t hold myself and my heroes to that same standard. I urge the rest of Steel Crow Saga fans to consider the courage people needed to muster to come forward, and to retract their support as well.

To the victims, I am deeply sorry for all that you have experienced, and I am also sorry if my outspoken support for Paul resurrected any pain, fear, discomfort, or trauma. I sincerely pray for light and healing for all of you.

***

A couple of months ago, I was applying for a senior manager position in another company. The head honcho who would be my direct supervisor if I got the job asked me what I looked to do in my spare time. I said that I liked to read, so she asked me what I was currently reading. At the time, I was participating in #SteelCrowReadathon by Shealea, so I said I was reading that. The director asked me what it was about – and that’s how I ended up spending fifteen minutes of a job interview gushing about a book.

(I got the job, by the way.)

Read on to find out what I loved about this amazing five-star read!

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How Not to End a Trilogy: The Case of The Folk of the Air

This review has been three years in the making. Lol.

When I first read The Cruel Prince back in 2018, I honestly saw the appeal. I thought it wasn’t a particularly great book, but it was a highly entertaining one. It was problematic as fuck – it portrayed a victim being in a romantic relationship with her abuser as a good thing and perpetuated that age-old super harmful stereotype of boys being mean to girls because they like them. But it was still enjoyable to read because its main character was one of the most ruthless, ambitious, cunning girls I’ve ever seen in YA fiction. I didn’t know where The Cruel Prince was going to take me, but I did know I wanted to go along with Jude Duarte.

Little did I know the Jude that developed in The Cruel Prince, the Jude that I fell in love with in The Wicked King, was going to be snatched away and replaced by a changeling (hah!) in The Queen of Nothing.

Read on to find out how I was let down by one of the most anticipated reads of the entire YA community.

(Be aware though that this discussion post is not spoiler-free!)

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Get The Cruel Prince here, The Wicked King here, or The Queen of Nothing here.

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[Mini-Review] 3 Adult Fantasies That Blew My Mind

Orbit really be out here taking our money and leaving us ready to give them more, huh?

Today, I’ll be bringing to you three fantasy books that I recently read and absolutely adored. If you’re looking to diversify your adult fantasy shelf, definitely check out this post. I’ve got three underrated gems just waiting to catch your attention. 😉

As an added bonus, they’re all written by authors of colour! And as Leo Tolstoy once said, support authors of color.

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[Mini-Review] 3 Adult Books Featuring Complex Female Characters

A couple of weeks ago, people on Twitter started acting up again (but what else is new) demanding that authors write complex female characters rather than female characters who simply fell into the archetype of “badass”. This, naturally, was not very well-received, and was also a dumb AF take. If you want to read about complex female characters, I highly suggest you check out the works of POC, queer, and/or disabled writers – you know, someone other than the usual cishet white women books you usually read?

Anyway, there have been some really great responses to this (one of my favorites is Fadwa’s video where she talks about 20 books with complex female characters – and most of them were written by POC!) so I wanted to chime in as well with a quick mini-review of three books I read recently, all of which also have complex female characters!

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Who is Centred in Your Narrative? (a discussion of Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez) – NOT SPOILER-FREE

Woven in Moonlight was one of my most anticipated reads for the first quarter of 2020, and when I finally got the chance to read it for #PhilMythReadathon (check out my TBR video here, or the announcement video here) I was super eager to get started.

Unfortunately, I ended up feeling a bit uncomfortable about how the book’s plot ultimately ended up panning out – enough to write a whole review about it, apparently.

Please keep in mind the following things: I am not Latinx and I am not Bolivian. Therefore take all of my criticism with a grain of salt.

Also, please be aware that this review contains spoilers (although I tried to keep them as vague as possible). So if you haven’t read Woven in Moonlight yet, you might want to skip this post!

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[Book Review] The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics – Olivia Waite // a sexy and scientific foray into history

Quite often, it turns out my random, on-a-whim purchases turn out to be some of my absolute favourite reads. I’d been seeing The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics on Twitter for quite some time – and I know so much of the f/f fan brigade absolutely adored it – but I didn’t actually buy it until the e-book went on sale a few weeks ago.

Once I delved into this book, I immediately understood the hype. The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics has got so much going for it, and I’m honestly kicking myself a little bit for not reading it earlier.

Want to find out why I adored this f/f historical romance so much? Read on!

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Get this book here!

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[Book Review] Untamed Shore by Silvia Moreno-Garcia // a hauntingly familiar coming-of-age and noir blend

I’ll be honest. The only reason I requested this book is because of the shark on the cover. 😅 However, I ended up absolutely loving it! (Not to mention completely and totally falling for Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s writing. Am I off to get more of her books now? I can neither confirm nor deny.)

I used to tell people that I wasn’t really interested in literary fiction. Turns out, I’m just uninterested in literary fiction written by and featuring cishet white men.

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Buy this book here!

Curious about Untamed Shores by Silvia Moreno-Garcia? Read on to find out what I thought!

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