Author: Sue Lynn Tan Publication date: January 11, 2021 Genre: fantasy, mythology, YA retelling My rating: 4.5/5 stars
Come for the gorgeous cover and Chinese mythology; stay for the gorgeous writing and epic scope. This book has been on my radar since it was first announced, so naturally, I was thrilled when Turn the Page Tours presented me with the opportunity to read it for their blog tour! This book is romantic, heartbreaking, and beautiful, with lush details and a strong heroine who grows from naivete into her own person. Read on for my review, as well as a sampling of some lovely quotes from the book.
Hello, friends! It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything on here that is actually from me, as opposed to a review or tour. But with 2022 officially underway, I wanted to do a brief recap of some of my 2021 reading. Apparently, my list of all the ace books I’ve read so far got super popular near the end of last year (if anyone knows how/why it took off, please let me know, because I’m as surprised as you). This past year, I read ten more books with asexual representation, and so, staying true to the format of that old post, I wanted to share those with you as well!
Obligatory disclaimer: while I am ace (and somewhere on the aromantic spectrum–labels are confusing, man), and therefore am an OwnVoices reviewer for this type of content, the ace experience is not a monolith. I try to keep my assessments of these books as objective as possible, but in my final “notes” on each of them (especially on the quality of representation), I’m purely expressing my own opinion. If you felt differently about any of them, feel free to comment and let me know!
On a related note, part of my reading goal for 2022 is to read at least 15 books with ace representation (for any and all ace spectrum identities, including demi, gray-ace, and so on). If you have any I haven’t read yet and want to suggest some for me, I’m always looking for more.
Author: Christina Davis Series: Da’Valia Trilogy (#2) Publication date: November 10, 2021 Genre: YA fantasy
Hello friends! It’s ya girl, back at it again with another blog tour, this time for Blood, Fire & Mercy by Christina Davis! I’m so happy to be helping the team at TBR and Beyond Tours to promote this indie title. While I haven’t yet had a chance to crack it open yet–gotta love the stress of finals season, right?–it sounds absolutely amazing, featuring some of my favorite things, including a thief-girl main character, dragons, betrayals, and revenge. Several of my friends read and loved the first book in this series, and I’m looking forward to getting to join their love of it soon as well. Now, read on for some more about the book and the author!
Author: Chloe Gong Series: These Violent Delights (#2) Publication date: November 16, 2021 Genre: YA historical fantasy/retelling, romance My rating: 4/5
Crackling with tension and filled with (surprise, surprise) violence, Our Violent Ends is a deliciously dark* conclusion to the These Violent Delights duology. The first book in the series smashed onto the YA scene with much fanfare, a loose retelling of Romeo and Juliet set in Shanghai in the 1920’s, substituting rival gangs for feuding houses and adding a mysterious, monstrous illness. (Also, the author was literally still in undergrad when she published it, so uh…what am I doing with my life???) In this second installment, the stakes–both personal and political–are higher than ever, and the result is an action-packed, emotional whirlwind.
*I feel obligated to point out that this exact phrase, “deliciously dark,” was also used by Natasha Ngan in describing this book. I wrote this intro before looking at her quote in the official blurb. So…if two independent minds both came up with those words, you can pretty reasonably assume it’s a valid assessment.
Like most tour posts, I’ve got a review for you, a smattering of excellent quotes from the book, and, if you stick around until the end, a giveaway that you can enter to win a copy of both books in the duology for yourself! Let’s get started.
Author: KayLynn Flanders Series: Shielded #2 (click here for my review of book 1) Publication date: July 20, 2021 Genre: YA fantasy
Hello, friends! Here we are with another blog tour for the lovely folks at TBR and Beyond Tours! Today’s book: Untethered by KayLynn Flanders, the sequel to Shielded, which was one of those “this is quite good, why is nobody reading it?” kind of books from last year. While Shielded followed the princess Jennesara, this sequel follow’s Jenna’s brother, as well as another kingdom’s princess whom Jenna befriended in book 1. These new main characters are quite different from Jenna, but they are no less lovable, and the back-and-forth of their dual-perspective narration lends a new dynamic to the story. With rogue mages, secret journeys, court intrigue, assassination attempts, and more, this is certainly a worthwhile follow-up. Stick with this post to the end for information on how you can win a copy of this book for yourself, too!
Author: Elizabeth Lim Publication date: July 6, 2021 Genre: YA fantasy My rating: 5/5 stars
Six Crimson Cranes was one of my most-anticipated reads of this year–and, I am pleased to report, it exceeded my expectations. Taking the bones of Western fairytales (especially “The Wild Swans”) and reshaping them in an Asian-inspired world brimming with its own unique mythologies, Elizabeth Lim has created a tale that feels at once classic and wholly original. Read through for my review, info on the author, and some quotes from the book, as well as my latest Bookstagram post about this beauty!
Author: Sheena Boekweg Publication date: June 1, 2021 Genre: YA historical fiction My rating: 4/5 stars
Take everything you knew about the 1920s, add in a secret network of women who manipulate the men in power to achieve social change, make it a little bit queer, write it with so many highlight-able lines, and you have…something pretty darn close to this book. The best way I can describe this book is that it is exactly what it is pitched as, and simultaneously way more than I expected. With strong female friendships, body positivity, ace and trans rep, and plenty of badass women (fighting with words and manipulation mostly, but still capable of fighting!), this was a seriously cool book.
Author: Destiny Soria Publication date: June 8, 2021 Genre: YA fantasy My rating: 4/5 stars
It seems like dragon books are making a comeback, and folks, I am here. for. it. Fire with Fire blends a contemporary setting in rural Tennessee (complete with usual teenage relationship difficulties) with a hidden world of dragons and sorcerers. With strong themes of sisterhood, loyalty, and defining yourself, this was a captivating read with a pair of compelling protagonists. In this post, you’ll find a review, some quality quotes, and–you guessed it–a giveaway for a copy of your own. Let’s go!
Author: Naomi Kritzer Series: CatNet (#2 ) (check out my review of #1) Publication date: April 27, 2021 Genre: YA contemporary sci-fi
I’m so excited to be a part of the blog tour for this book, the follow-up to Catfishing on CatNet, which was one of my surprise favorites of last year. This is a series full of queer goodness, quirky AI, and themes that are darkly and disturbingly close to the reality we’ve all been living in the past couple years. Due to a combination of final exams and some assorted technical difficulties, I’m not quite done with this bad boy yet, but so far, so great, and I have high hopes for the ending. Stay tuned for a little more on the book and a chance to win a copy for yourself!
Author: Marina Lostetter Publication date: April 13, 2021 Genre: fantasy My rating: 5/5 stars
Magic masks. A serial killer. Political intrigue. Mysterious gods. Folks, this is my favorite fantasy novel I’ve read this year–a deliciously dark tale with intricate worldbuilding, memorable (and diverse!) characters, and a nuanced portrayal of the impacts of trauma on the human psyche. I’m so grateful to Jean Book Nerd for having me as a host on this tour. Stick around for my review, more info on the book, and a giveaway you don’t want to miss!