[Book Review] The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso // a portrait of the Filipino woman

Listen. If you don’t know by now how hard I ball for Filipino authors – well then, allow me to take the time to welcome you to my blog, because you’re definitely new around these parts if you don’t know that about me!

I’ve been a long-time fan and supporter of Kay’s, and when I heard that her novel The Wolf of Oren-Yaro was going to be published, I was ecstatic. Not only because it’s a magnificent, unapologetically Filipino-coded high fantasy, but also because my dream publisher and favourite industry bookish people of all time, Orbit, was the pioneer that decided to take a chance on this novel. Naturally, when Shealea (whose blog is temporarily down while she makes some improvements!) announced the #HailTheBitchQueen tour, I knew I had to sign up.

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Get this book here!

Despite my hellish work schedule (which you already know all about if you follow me and my rantings on Twitter, lol) and the intimidating page count (496, y’all!), I just knew I had to sign up. And I absolutely didn’t regret it one bit.

Read on to find out why!

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[Book Review] A House of Rage and Sorrow – Sangu Mandanna // one of the most painful sequels I’ve EVER read

Okay, so – my bad. I was totally supposed to have this review out last August 22. But I totally misread Shealea’s email (oof) and I also got swamped with so much work this week (what else is new). Hence, this late review.

As per usual, thank you very much to Shealea @ Shut Up, Shealea (click the link to read her interview with Sangu Mandanna!) and Caffeine Book Tours for letting me be a part of the blog tour for this marvelous sequel! And if you haven’t read the first book, A Spark of White Fire, please do so! You can check out my review to see what I thought about it and to get to purchase links!

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Purchase Links:
Amazon
Book Depository

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[Discussion Post] Jade War – Fonda Lee // fantasy in the time of globalization

Welcome to my stop on the Jade War Tour, guys, gals, and enby pals! Thank you so much to Shealea @ Shut Up, Shealea, Caffeine Book Tours, Orbit Books, and of course Fonda Lee for letting me be a part of this blog tour, and for sending over an ARC of Jade War, a pin of Empire of Sand (click the link to read my glowing review!), and a letter from the Pillar Fonda Lee herself! The personal touches were the best thing about this package in my opinion, and I can’t think Fonda enough not only for bringing the Green Bone Saga universe into being, but for also taking the time to connect with her fans!

This is probably gonna be a long ass review, so grab your drink of choice and get comfy!

I did my best to make this review as spoiler-free as possible, but of course, tread cautiously!

Let’s get started!

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Purchase Links:
Amazon
Book Depository

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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 + Giveaway!] Spin the Dawn – Elizabeth Lim // one of the most beautiful fairy tales I’ve ever read

Mulan crossed with Project Runway? Doesn’t that sound like one of the most intriguing things ever? When I saw Spin the Dawn being pitched that way, I scrambled for any way to get my hands on ARC. Luckily, Shealea @ Shut Up, Shealea launched the #SpinTheDawnTour and I was one of the lucky folks who got a slot!

Elizabeth Lim, by the way, is a complete and utter gem. Not only did tour participants get ARCs, but she also got us pre-order goodies! However, I can’t really show off my collection until tomorrow. As I write this review, I’m at my mom’s house in the south, and unfortunately, I left my set of pre-order cards and stickers at my apartment. (Oof. 😔) I’ll take photos when I get back, but suffice it to say, the swag is super pretty and well-made! Best of all, she and Knopf Books for Young Readers have also got an international giveaway going! Everybody say thank you, Elizabeth!

More than the swag and giveaway though, I have to say that reading this book was an incredibly enjoyable journey. There were a few bumps along the way which I will talk about more here, but all in all, this was a great read that I’m eager to share with everyone.

Please note though that this review contains spoilers, so tread cautiously.

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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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