ARC Review: I Believe In A Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

31145133I Believe In A Thing Called Love
Author: Maurene Goo
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
Desi Lee knows how carburetors work. She learned CPR at the age of five. As a high school senior, she has never missed a day of school and has never had a B in her entire life. She’s for sure going to Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation-magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds her answer in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Rules for True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and fake car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Thank you MacMillan for the review copy!

I started this book with the goofiest smile on my face, and ended it with that same goofy smile intact. I Believe In A Thing Called Love follows Desi Lee, a Korean-American on her way to medical school and Stanford who gets captured by the grasps of first love. Known for her flailures in flirting, however, Desi composes a plan derived from the beloved K dramas her and her father watch to snag the crush, an artist struggling to reconnect with his father. Gripping, off-the-charts hilarity, and ultimately triumphant, readers will fall in love with Desi as she navigates her way through love and life. Continue reading

Book Review: Prophecy by Ellen Oh (The Dragon King Chronicles #1)

10129062Prophecy
Author: Ellen Oh
Series: The Dragon King Chronicles #1
Release Date: January 23, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
The greatest warrior in all of the Seven Kingdoms… is a girl with yellow eyes.
Kira’s the only female in the king’s army, and the prince’s bodyguard. She’s a demon slayer and an outcast, hated by nearly everyone in her home city of Hansong. And, she’s their only hope…Murdered kings and discovered traitors point to a demon invasion, sending Kira on the run with the young prince. He may be the savior predicted in the Dragon King Prophecy, but the missing treasure of myth may be the true key. With only the guidance of the cryptic prophecy, Kira must battle demon soldiers, evil shaman, and the Demon Lord himself to find what was once lost and raise a prince into a king.

Intrigue and mystery, ancient lore and action-packed fantasy come together in this heart-stopping first book in a trilogy.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

While I enjoyed reading Prophecy, I can’t say it was really a stand-out fantasy, other than the beautiful Korean-based setting and amalgam of action and plot. Prophecy starts off fast and deadly, continuing on with this atmosphere until the very last page. While reading, it is exhilarating and breathtaking. The action is continuous and there is honestly never a dull moment in the book. However, I found that I liked the characters on a very superficial level and couldn’t really connect to them. I would have loved to have seen a more in-depth exploration on any of the secondary characters, rather than the couple of paragraphs and pages they had. Either way, Prophecy was still a really fun ride for fantasy readers looking for a unique world and isn’t afraid of the “Chosen One” trope. Continue reading

ARC Review: Want by Cindy Pon

29387853Want
Author: Cindy Pon
Series: Book 1
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Signed/Personalized at the local indie Mysterious Galaxy

Synopsis:
Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits, protecting them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths. Frustrated by his city’s corruption and still grieving the loss of his mother who died as a result of it, Zhou is determined to change things, no matter the cost.With the help of his friends, Zhou infiltrates the lives of the wealthy in hopes of destroying the international Jin Corporation from within. Jin Corp not only manufactures the special suits the rich rely on, but they may also be manufacturing the pollution that makes them necessary.

Yet the deeper Zhou delves into this new world of excess and wealth, the more muddled his plans become. And against his better judgment, Zhou finds himself falling for Daiyu, the daughter of Jin Corp’s CEO. Can Zhou save his city without compromising who he is, or destroying his own heart?

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Thank you Simon & Schuster for the review copy!

When I read the last page of this book, I was practically stunned and basically laid on my bed, contemplating it for a solid 10 minutes before opening this review. Probably THE Young Adult Science Fiction read of the year, Want left me just wanting more. More of the immersive and vivid futuristic Taiwan setting, more of the diverse band of misfits who come together to fight against the system, more of the forbidden love romance that is as light as it is deceptive. Want was captivating from beginning to end, capturing a heist with Asian characters that is utterly unforgettable. I urge science fiction lovers and readers looking for an exhilarating adventure to hurry up and put this on their TBR! Continue reading

ARC Review: When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah

29753111When Michael Met Mina (The Lines We Cross in US)
Author: Randa Abdel-Fattah
Release Date: July 28, 2016
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Before Mina, my life was like a completed jigsaw puzzle but Mina has pushed the puzzle onto the floor. I have to start all over again, figuring out where the pieces go.

When Michael meets Mina, they are at a rally for refugees – standing on opposite sides.

Mina fled Afghanistan with her mother via a refugee camp, a leaky boat and a detention centre.

Michael’s parents have founded a new political party called Aussie Values.

They want to stop the boats.
Mina wants to stop the hate.

When Mina wins a scholarship to Michael’s private school, their lives crash together blindingly.

A novel for anyone who wants to fight for love, and against injustice.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Thank you Jenna @ Reading With Jenna for sending me an ARC!

At first glance, When Michael Met Mina sounds like a meet-cute-esque romantic comedy with a bit of forbidden love thrown in there, right? You have the opposing sides of a debate, the two main characters “meeting” at a rally, and them coincidentally going to the same school. Suffice it to say, the book was much more than a light, fluffy contemporary that I’m prone to pick up. When Michael Met Mina tackles current issues through two very contrasting lenses. Abdel-Fattah weaves introspective narratives that look at the debate of refugees in Australia in a very micro-level aspect from the alternating first-person POV’s of Michael and Mina. I thought the characters were written really well, and although Michael had a more marked character arc, Mina also went through changes in her life that she had to adjust to, character-wise. The wonderful friendships – and not so wonderful friendships – were all realistic as readers really see how the world is made up of grey ideas, neither black nor white. Continue reading

ARC Review: Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh (Flame in the Mist #1)

23308087Flame in the Mist
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Series: Flame in the Mist #1
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Publisher: GP Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.
Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she’s ever known.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Thank you Cat from Let the Pages Reign for letting me borrow your ARC!

I have some conflicting thoughts about Flame in the Mist, and will try to write out my review from someone who is ignoring hype for this book, but also as a reader who has previously loved Ahdieh’s previous duology, The Wrath and the Dawn. Although set in another setting, there are some similarities between the books that I can’t help but notice, that might have detracted from my reading. I would say that what people found tiring in Ahdieh’s previous books – perhaps the distracting descriptions of minuscule topics, the flare for the dramatics, or even a complaint in the romance – will probably be repeated in this book as well. Ultimately, I enjoyed reading this book, but it won’t be one that I’m shouting my love about. Continue reading

#AsianLitBingo TBR and Links

Hi guys! I’m extremely excited to post my TBR for #AsianLitBingo, which was founded by Shenwei @ Reading As I Am. This was all their awesome idea, but I – and a couple of other Asian bloggers – have joined onboard to help out! Suffice it to say, this is an amazing opportunity to add more Asian books, especially with #ownvoices representation, on my TBR and increase their exposure in general to the blogging community. The month will also be full of interviews, giveaways, blog posts, and a fun Twitter chat at the very end. You should definitely consider joining!

Rules:

  • Book must have an Asian main character (can be one of several main characters) and be by an Asian author to qualify. It does not have to be #ownvoices, but #ownvoices is strongly encouraged.
  • Book can be a novel, short story collection, or comic book/graphic novel.
  • Book must be read during May 1st through May 31st to qualify.
  • Review link-up will close end of June 1st at midnight PDT. The extra margin is to give people the opportunity to write up a review for a book they might have finished late May 31st. We’ll follow the honor system assuming you didn’t read the book on June 1st.

Shenwei’s masterpost has all the information you need to get started, including the amazing prizes that this challenge will have. You can find it here! Continue reading

Blog Tour: First We Were IV by Alexandra Sirowy Phone Wallpapers + Giveaway!

Hello! I’m excited to be sharing phone wallpapers for this creativity blog tour of First We Were IV, a particularly thrilling Young Adult novel of four seniors who start their own secret society. But with secret societies come a darkness as well, as these characters will soon unveil in the story. With a tantalizing mystery, the love of friendship, and an exploration of the social dynamics between a community, First We Were IV will grip readers and not let go. Continue reading

ARC Review: Noteworthy by Riley Redgate

31447601Noteworthy
Author: Riley Redgate
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Publisher: Amulet Books
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
It’s the start of Jordan Sun’s junior year at the Kensington-Blaine Boarding School for the Performing Arts. Unfortunately, she’s an Alto 2, which—in the musical theatre world—is sort of like being a vulture in the wild: She has a spot in the ecosystem, but nobody’s falling over themselves to express their appreciation. So it’s no surprise when she gets shut out of the fall musical for the third year straight.
Then the school gets a mass email: A spot has opened up in the Sharpshooters, Kensington’s elite a cappella octet. Worshiped … revered … all male. Desperate to prove herself, Jordan auditions in her most convincing drag, and it turns out that Jordan Sun, Tenor 1, is exactly what the Sharps are looking for.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Thank you Amulet for the review copy!

Not only does this story grip you from first page (actually, I was gripped from the blurb but totally sold by the first line), but Noteworthy also explores intricacies of the current day that should be, and are, discussed. Ranging from the inherent sexism that may come from male a capella groups to the exploration of sexuality and gender – and how the main character Jordan ultimately identifies as – Noteworthy composes a sonorous story that leaves readers thinking, pondering, and eventually in love with. Continue reading

ARC Review: A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

29939047A Crown of Wishes
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Series: Companion to The Star-Touched Queen
Publisher: Griffin Teen
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
An ancient mystery. An unlikely union. For one young princess in a state of peril, a dangerous wish could be the only answer…
She is the princess of Bharata—captured by her kingdom’s enemies, a prisoner of war. Now that she faces a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. But should she trust Vikram, the notoriously cunning prince of a neighboring land? He promises her freedom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together they can team up and win the Tournament of Wishes, a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor. It seems like a foolproof plan—until Gauri and Vikram arrive at the tournament and find that danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans, mischievous story birds, a feast of fears, and twisted fairy revels. New trials will test their devotion, strength, and wits. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Thank you MacMillan for the review copy!

Note: This book is a companion to A CROWN OF WISHES, and thus will have no spoilers for the previous book in the series.

Roshani Chokshi does it again with A CROWN OF WISHES, the companion sequel to her best-selling THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN, which you can find my review here. Filled with heavy imagery and a flowy prose, this book focuses on Gauri, a warrior princess who tried to take the throne and failed, and Vikram, the fox prince who wants to extend beyond his name as the next puppet king in the country his father rules. Both characters are so endearing and you really fall in love with them – and their dialogue – as we enter this magical adventure with them. Continue reading

3 A-MAY-zing YA Contemporary Books | Spotlight + Giveaways

Hello! I’ve decided to spotlight some of my favorite YA contemporary releases of the year, which all come out next month in May. I never used to like contemporary books: they would always bore me, and I never really connected to the characters. Recently though, I’ve seen an influx of phenomenal Young Adult contemporary stories with easy-to-relate to characters, extraordinary growth (while frustrating at times), and situations that deal with current issues. With that in mind, here are three that I’m exceedingly excited to see get published soon!

Fun facts:

  • These books have extremely relatable characters that just tug at your heartstrings.
  • These books all release May 2, 2017.
  • These books have been some of my favorite contemporary reads of this year.
  • These books feature superb growth both within a character and with external forces of their lives.
  • I highly recommend all of them, and I can’t wait for their release into the world.
  • So, I have giveaways for each one of them! 1 INTL, 2 US only.

Continue reading