ARC Review: Frostblood by Elly Blake (Frostblood Saga #1)

27827203Frostblood
Author: Elly Blake
Series: Frostblood Saga #1
Release Date: January 10, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
The frost king will burn.
Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.
Despite her unpredictable abilities, Ruby trains with the rebels and the infuriating—yet irresistible—Arcus, who seems to think of her as nothing more than a weapon. But before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to compete in the king’s tournaments that pit Fireblood prisoners against Frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her—and from the icy young man she has come to love.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I’ve heard pretty decent things about this book, but for some reason it never really was on my radar. When I did pick it up, however, I couldn’t put it down! While Frostblood was definitely reminiscent of other fantasies out there – Red Queen and Shadow and Bone are ones that immediately jump to mind – it also stands out on its own. With fairly quick pacing, a basic but nonetheless exciting fantasy world, and fun characters, Frostblood ensured that there was never a boring moment between its pages. Continue reading

Book Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

32075671The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
Release Date: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Five stars for this book doesn’t do it justice. It deserves ALL THE STARS. I’ve experienced so many emotions while reading this book, and will break this review down to some of the important ones. Phenomenal, uplifting, and honest, The Hate U Give follows the journey of Starr, a black teenager who finds her voice after a tragedy that makes it to national news. Continue reading

Mini-Reviews: Georgina Kincaid Series (Old School Urban Fantasy)

Instead of doing a massive series review for this six book series, I did a super mini review of each book, basically summarizing my thoughts in one rather small paragraph. It’s not often I go on an Urban Fantasy binge, but when I do I usually read a lot in one go. I’m also letting you guys know that the low(er) ratings I’m giving these books isn’t because they’re bad, but because of their sheer predictability. Plus I read this series in two days haha, and I’m not sure if it’s because it was such a mindless read or because it was good-not-great but addicting. Or maybe just my sheer tenacity for binging the series. Either way, take that as you well and let me know if you’ve read these books or thought of reading them!

Georgina Kincaid Series
Author: Richelle Mead
Books: 6 in series
Overall Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis:
The Georgina Kincaid series is a collection of six urban fantasy novels written by Richelle Mead. The series is written in a first-person perspective following the main character, Georgina Kincaid, who is a succubus with a heart working at a local book store, Emerald City Books & Cafe.

Continue reading

ARC Review: The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean (Scandal & Scoundrel #3)

31307650The Day of the Duchess
Author: Sarah MacLean
Series: Scandal & Scoundrel #3
Release Date: June 27, 2017
Publisher: Avon
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
The one woman he will never forget…
Malcolm Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven, has lived the last three years in self-imposed solitude, paying the price for a mistake he can never reverse and a love he lost forever. The dukedom does not wait, however, and Haven requires an heir, which means he must find himself a wife by summer’s end. There is only one problem—he already has one.
The one man she will never forgive…
After years in exile, Seraphina, Duchess of Haven, returns to London with a single goal—to reclaim the life she left and find happiness, unencumbered by the man who broke her heart. Haven offers her a deal; Sera can have her freedom, just as soon as she finds her replacement…which requires her to spend the summer in close quarters with the husband she does not want, but somehow cannot resist.
A love that neither can deny…
The duke has a single summer to woo his wife and convince her that, despite their broken past, he can give her forever, making every day The Day of the Duchess.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Thank you Edelweiss and Avon for the review copy!

Note: This is Book 3 of the series, but you can read them each as stand-alones. I highly recommend the previous books, though!

This book was such an emotional roller coaster from start to finish. Sarah MacLean really draws out the feels, as we follow the second chance romance of the Duke of Haven and his Duchess. While Sera and Mal appear in the first book of the series, The Rogue Not Taken, we see Mal cheating on her while she’s pregnant and Sophie – one of Sera’s sister – pushing him into a pond. He retaliates by almost ruining their family. So, Malcolm definitely had a lot to redeem in this story. Suffice it to say, MacLean has really done his character justice, as readers really feel his regret, sorrow, and suffering, as well as his ability to change for the better. Sera was strong, resilient, and willful, creating a tough time for Malcolm to win her back. As he deserves! Continue reading

Book Review: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

18051352To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han
Series: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #1
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her.

They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her, these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I’ve literally had this book on my radar since seeing the beautiful cover – what – freshman year of high school in book shelves? But I never picked it up, because I guess it was just never my type of story. Now it’s the end of senior year, and I’m about to become a freshman at college next semester. I have the admit, freshman me would have been annoyed at Lara Jean’s silliness and downright vapid actions at times. But now, I get where she’s coming from. I understand the imperfections and flaws of characters, not just on a romantic level, but a life level. And at this point of my life, I do appreciate Lara Jean being flawful and having as much growth as she did in this book. Continue reading

ARC Review: The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty (Traitor’s Trilogy #1)

31145102The Traitor’s Kiss
Author: Erin Beaty
Series: Traitor’s Trilogy #1
Release Date: May 9, 2017
Publisher: Imprint

Synopsis:
An obstinate girl who will not be married.
A soldier desperate to prove himself.
A kingdom on the brink of war.
With a sharp tongue and an unruly temper, Sage Fowler is not what they’d call a lady―which is perfectly fine with her. Deemed unfit for marriage, Sage is apprenticed to a matchmaker and tasked with wrangling other young ladies to be married off for political alliances. She spies on the girls―and on the soldiers escorting them.
As the girls’ military escort senses a political uprising, Sage is recruited by a handsome soldier to infiltrate the enemy ranks. The more she discovers as a spy, the less certain she becomes about whom to trust―and Sage becomes caught in a dangerous balancing act that will determine the fate of her kingdom.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Thank you MacMillan for the review copy!

The Traitor’s Kiss was overall extremely disappointing and discouraging. My journey from learning of this book to finishing it has been a tumultuous one, but one that nevertheless left me wishing I hadn’t wasted time in it from the first place.

This book was first brought to my attention in being a Mulan retelling, which made me extremely excited. Mulan is one of my favorite Disney princesses – or, er, generals – and also celebrates my own culture. Although it uses minor elements in terms of plot and character description similar to ones in Mulan, The Traitor’s Kiss had no other resemblance. The biggest thing that made me pause was it being advertised as a Mulan retelling… then learning the characters’ white names. Now it’s marketed as “Jane Austen meets espionage,” which is much more fitting since it’s a very-much white fantasy where POC are described as having “darker” skins – making white skin the norm and maintaining an ambiguous air about what the “darker” characters look like in general. Seriously, it’s like the author’s vocabulary in describing characters was terribly limited. Continue reading

ARC Review: White Hot by Ilona Andrews (Hidden Legacy #2)

22303684White Hot
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #2
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
The Hidden Legacy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews continues as Nevada and Rogan navigate a world where magic is the norm…and their relationship burns hot.
Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she’s used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family’s detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor “Mad” Rogan.
Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice …

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Note: This is the sequel to Burn For Me, but the review will not have major spoilers for the series.

Thank you Edelweiss and Avon for the review copy!

This sequel to Ilona Andrews’s Hidden Legacy series was seriously smoldering. The title is White Hot, and it is SERIOUSLY hot. *fans self* The Andrews team always has successful Urban Fantasies, and this one is no different! You’ll definitely have to pick up the first book, Burn For Me, before starting this one, though. Not only does Andrews explore family dynamics with Nevada’s loving and large family, but it also focuses on the slow burn romance with Mad Rogan, as well as a discovery of Nevada’s power that could change the path of her life. The world is really intricate, and so is the magic system, making for a compelling read that will never have a boring moment. Continue reading

#AsianLitBingo Author Interview: Riley Redgate

Hello everyone! I’m happy to be here with an interview for #AsianLitBingo, which is hosted by Shenwei @ Reading As I Am. They, and the rest of the cohosts, have done amazing work for this reading challenge that celebrate the month of May, which is Asian American Heritage Month. This interview features Riley Redgate, author of Seven Ways We Lie, and recently out Noteworthy.

I actually really adored Noteworthy and you can find my feature for this book over here, as well as my five star review over here. It’s definitely been one of my top 5 contemporaries for the year so far, and I really recommend you guys checking it out!

Haven’t heard of #AsianLitBingo? You can check out Shenwei’s masterpost here and my own TBR post over here. We made this interview on time for the month of May! 😀 My questions will be bolded, and the response will be the paragraph(s) underneath. Continue reading

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