[Book Review] Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore // a magic that reaches across five hundred years

I first read an Anna-Marie McLemore book last year, when I finally finished Wild Beauty. I found myself utterly enchanted, and determined to read more of their books.

Read on to find out what I loved so much about this incredibly moving and lyrically-written book!

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[Mini-Review] Same Premise, Vastly Different Execution: Fix Her Up vs. A Prince on Paper

How you doin’, guys, gals, and nonbinary pals?

A couple of days ago, I shared the below tweet, asking if it was okay to comparatively review two books that handled the same trope.

The consensus was that it was fine, but to avoid tagging the authors as the usual courtesy. I spent all of yesterday taking down notes, and I’m finally ready to publish this review! For today, I’ll be comparing the books Fix Her Up and A Prince on Paper, which both deal with the fake dating trope.

That’s not their only similarity, though. Both books also feature protagonists who get into the fake relationship to change people’s perceptions of who they are as sheltered and innocent. They both also handle themes of toxic family relationships.

But the difference is, while I absolutely adored A Prince on Paper, I struggled to finish Fix Her Up and was left dissatisfied and even somewhat angry at the end.

Read on to find out why!

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[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!

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Purchase Links:
Amazon
Book Depository

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[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.

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Taken on a deserted beach in Malapascua Island

Purchase Links:
Amazon
Book Depository

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[Book Review + Giveaway] Hungry Hearts – Food Crawl Blog Tour by Vicky and CW!

Maligayang araw ng kalayaan, mga kababayan!

For today, I’m bringing to you a blog tour that I am super excited to be a part of! This is of course the Hungry Hearts #OwnVoices Food Crawl blog tour. Mucho thanks to Vicky @ Vicky Who Reads and CW @ The Quiet Pond for hosting this and for letting me join up!

Hungry Hearts is an anthology exploring how food is an important part of life and love for many different diverse cultures. It features a story from Rin Chupeco, which is what I’ll be reviewing in this post! For reviews on the rest of the short stories in this anthology, keep on scrolling to check out the Food Crawl blog tour schedule.

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[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!

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[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.

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Purchase Links:
Indiebound
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

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