[Book Review] My Fate According to the Butterfly – Gail D. Villanueva // a look at the drug war from a child’s POV

Ever since Gail approached Shealea, Cara, and I about hosting the #ButterflyTour for My Fate According to the Butterfly, I’ve just been super eager to finally get my hands on this book and read it. It’s premise – that of a young girl who gets caught up in Duterte’s drug war – captured both my mind and heart easily. And best of all, it was an internationally published book written by a Filipino author who grew up here, and who still lives here. Not to discount my diaspora Filipino brethren, but really – that kind of representation is irreplaceable.

I’ve sat down many times over the past few weeks to try and write this review, and here I am now: an hour and a half from my deadline, and I’m just getting down to it. A whole host of factors – mostly involving work – contributed to me not being able to get this out sooner; but mostly, it was the fact that I was (and still am, if I’m being 100% honest) kind of at a loss as to how to coherently and cohesively describe just how much I loved this book, and how much it means to me.

Naturally, I will do my best. Gail’s debut deserves nothing less!

Onward!

Processed with VSCO with aga3 preset

Purchase Links:
Amazon
Book Depository

Continue reading “[Book Review] My Fate According to the Butterfly – Gail D. Villanueva // a look at the drug war from a child’s POV”

Advertisements

[Book Review] Patron Saints of Nothing – Randy Ribay // a hard-hitting story of truth, identity, and family

I have been waiting for literal months to write this review, you guys. I first saw the cover of Patron Saints of Nothing on Twitter at the start of the year, and just from that magnificent photo complete with the Philippine flag stars behind the main character’s head, I already knew I wanted to get my hands on this book. I would honestly, legitimately kill for an ARC of this book. Really.

The bookish gods smiled down on me and influenced the kind hearts (lmfao) of the good folks over at Bookworms United PH to allow me to be a part of the #PatronSaintsPHTour, the blog tour promoting this awesome, amazing book. So huge thanks to them, and of course to Penguin Teen, Penguin Random House International, Kokila Books, and Randy Ribay for getting this whole thing off the ground.

Quick little story before hopping right in to this review: I read this book in the space of four hours while I was lying on a deserted beach on an island south of Cebu, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I was surrounded exactly by the unbelievable beauty that is so very often the first thing that comes to mind when you talk about the Philippines, but reading that book right there was a stark reminder of the lesson that Jay learns: if one is to claim being Filipino, then you have to claim the poverty, the hardship, the starvation, and all the difficulties happening in the country, and not just the beautiful beaches and mountains.

2019-03-23 06.16.22 1.jpg
Taken on a deserted beach in Malapascua Island

Purchase Links:
Amazon
Book Depository

Continue reading “[Book Review] Patron Saints of Nothing – Randy Ribay // a hard-hitting story of truth, identity, and family”

[Book Review] The Candle and the Flame – Nafiza Azad // captures the imagination with a tantalizingly slow-burn romance and a magically compelling setting

Will getting ARCs from authors and/or publishers ever cease being one of the most thrilling moments of my life?

Absolutely not.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Nafiza Azad, the author, and Amy Goppert over at Scholastic, for sending me an e-ARC. I’d particularly like to thank Nafiza, Amy, and Scholastic for offering me the e-ARC when they found out shipping restrictions prevented me from being able to receive a physical ARC. Thank you for helping an international blogger out!

2019-05-26 04.26.54 1.jpg

Purchase Links:
Amazon
Book Depository

Continue reading “[Book Review] The Candle and the Flame – Nafiza Azad // captures the imagination with a tantalizingly slow-burn romance and a magically compelling setting”

[Mini-Review] Two Romances I Absolutely Adored: Flipping the Script & You, Me, U.S.

It occurred to me the other day that I hadn’t written a review for a romance novel in a while – which is remiss of me, admittedly, because I’ve recently read two of the most amazing romance books ever. Both of them are #romanceclass books that were published this year, and I was lucky enough to be able to receive e-ARCs from the authors.

Confession time: these reviews were due ages ago. I have no excuse, except for the usual – real life, work, yadda yadda. But hopefully this post makes up for the lateness, because it’s mostly just gushing about how much I loved these two novels!

Continue reading “[Mini-Review] Two Romances I Absolutely Adored: Flipping the Script & You, Me, U.S.”

[Book Review + Giveaway] With the Fire on High – Elizabeth Acevedo // the phrase “it takes a village” in book form

You ever see a book cover and then think, whatever that book is about, you just know beyond a doubt that you’re gonna love that story? Like, the cover is just so beautiful and speaks to you so much that you know its contents are gonna be just as great?

That’s how I felt when I first saw the cover for With the Fire On High.

I mean, you all know how hard I bat for POC on book covers. And this one, with a lovely Afro-Latinx curly-haired girl in a stylish head scarf (a thing I’m learning to do to my own hair!), is just so beautiful. Plus that color palette, and the grapefruit and orange pattern all over is the right something extra that the cover needed to push it from ‘wow’ to ‘omfg I gotta read this right away!’

All of that, plus that amazing summary? Sign me the hell up! 😍

So you can imagine just how grateful I was when Karina @ Afire Pages said I was gonna be part of the blog tour, I was ecstatic! I read it in one sitting, on a Saturday when I had nothing else to do. When I was done, I literally wanted to grab the nearest person and yell at them about how good the book was – which, the nearest person was my cat, so I did grab her and tell her about good the book was, as evidenced by the photo here.

2019-05-01 04.36.19 1.jpg

Purchase Links:
Indiebound
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Continue reading “[Book Review + Giveaway] With the Fire on High – Elizabeth Acevedo // the phrase “it takes a village” in book form”

[Book Review] The Shadowglass – Rin Chupeco // a great ending to a great beginning

IT’S UP. IT’S FINALLY UP.

Y’all. I’ve been meaning to review The Shadowglass FOR FREAKING EVER. I have no excuse for being so late to the party. None. Zip. Zilch. The daeva may now devour me and sacrifice me at an altar to Tea Pahlavi.

But! Here is my (slightly self-centered) present in celebration of this amazing book’s publication! This isn’t just a review! This is…yet another rambly unedited video book review!

*in the distance, off-key kazoo starts playing*

(If you wanna check out my reviews of The Bone Witch and The Heart Forger, go ahead and click the links!)

1970-01-01 08.00.00 60.jpg

Purchase Links:
Amazon
Book Depository

Continue reading “[Book Review] The Shadowglass – Rin Chupeco // a great ending to a great beginning”

[Book Review] Descendant of the Crane – Joan He // one-part political intrigue, one-part murder mystery, all-over excellence

Picture this. Everyone on my Twitter feed and their mother had read Descendant of the Crane, a 2019 publication that was touted to be like Chinese Game of Thrones. That, plus an utterly gorgeous cover, pretty much guaranteed that this book would make it to the top of my must read list.

By mid-February, I had pretty much lost all hope of ever getting an ARC and had resigned myself to just pre-ordering and waiting for the Chinese fantasy goodness to arrive on my iPad. But then – the clouds parted and lightning struck. Edelweiss granted my request for an ARC. I screamed, took a screenshot, tweeted said screenshot, and reveled in the congratulations from my followers – as well as the dire warnings from those who’d read it already that this book would break my heart.

They were right. Read on to find out why!

1970-01-01 07-1.30.00 38.jpg

Purchase Links:
Amazon

Continue reading “[Book Review] Descendant of the Crane – Joan He // one-part political intrigue, one-part murder mystery, all-over excellence”