Book Review: Blacktop Wasteland

Blacktop Wasteland 5 stars Genre: Crime fiction/thriller An amazing joyride of a book. I loved the way Cosby builds up the main character of Bug. The descriptions interwoven in the book are both gritty and poetic.  Cosby is able to really shine a light on the intertangled  nuances found across various relationships—with family, friends, and enemies. I’m especially in awe of how he depicts the father and son relationships in this book. A gripping race of a book that … [Read more...]

Book Review: The Tiger Mom’s Tale

The Tiger Mom's Tale (July 6, 2021)5 stars Genre: Contemporary women's fiction/family/Asian American This book was soooo good. I loved the complexity with which Lyn Liao Butler draws the world where Lexa lives. All the characters are very intriguing. I admire how artfully the backstory and present timelines are woven together. I also really appreciate the difficult questions that Lexa reflects on and how they haunt her. This novel is very accurate in how it depicts reality, along … [Read more...]

Book Review: How to Fail at Flirting

How To Fail At Flirting 5 stars Genre: Contemporary romance This is a novel layered with both romance and the deeper theme of partner violence. Williams does an excellent job of developing the chemistry between the protagonists while exploring Naya’s troubled past and internal turmoil. I really appreciated that domestic violence is addressed in the novel. This is definitely a steamy book (hotter than I usually read), and I enjoyed the lighter intimate connection between the … [Read more...]

Book Review: Real Men Knit

Real Men Knit 5 stars Genre: Contemporary romance I love the premise of this book with the Strong brothers running a yarn shop. This slow-burn romance really works with the two main leads. More than that, I really appreciated how Jackson weaves in authenticity about Harlem, the myriad obstacles facing the characters, and the strength of community.A winner of a romance, woven with sweet heat and much heart Find more of my book ratings and reviews here. … [Read more...]

Wordless Wednesday: Pull Quotes

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Book Review: Iced in Paradise

Iced in Paradise 5 stars Genre: Contemporary cozy mystery Hirahara pens an excellent ice-cold murder mystery in Iced in Paradise, her first book in the new Leilani Santiago series. As always, Hirahara does an excellent job of infusing interesting historical and contemporary details into her story. I particularly like the insider’s perspective on living in the Islands as opposed to the typical Mainlander view. All the characters in the novel are strong and unique. Leilani, the … [Read more...]

Book Review: Your House Will Pay

Your House Will Pay 5 stars Genre: Contemporary fiction (mystery/thriller) A literary revelation.There are no easy answers or one-sided characters in Cha’s latest novel. Instead it offers a finely drawn dual perspective about racial relations through the main characters, Grace Park and Shawn Matthews. Rooted in authentically detailed Los Angeles history, Cha pens an illuminating work about racism, family, and society—a timely read for us all. A taut novel that features a raw and … [Read more...]

#BookReview: Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune

5 stars Genre: Magical realism Pros: Strong weaving in of cultural observationsPoetic and lyricalBonus recipes Cons: Appears to be a predictable narrative (but stick with it!) Absolutely loved this book! Lim's lyrical prose really draws you in. I love the magical aspects of this book and all the cultural details artfully woven into it.To be honest, I thought this book might be very straight-forward, with its transformative recipes. I was very glad to be proven wrong and … [Read more...]

#BookReview: Exhalation

5 stars Genre: Short Stories (science fiction) Exhalation: Stories Pros: InventiveVaried styles of writingComplex narratives that really make you think Cons: Some stories didn't draw me in as much as the others Yes, Ted Chiang is amazing. I really like how he explored some of the scientific concepts and how it would really impact humans. Also, I loved how versatile Chiang is in his prose. He's able to write with a lyrical or historical air, but also able to switch to … [Read more...]

#BookReview: Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone 5 stars Genre: YA fantasy Pros: West African influence Modern-day parallelRefreshing boy-girl take Cons: Reckless choices by a character I loved the Children of Blood and Bone. The world is set in such a vivid way, with accurate turmoil shown and interesting types of people portrayed. (I also liked that Adeyemi tried to parallel modern day dynamics in her fantasy world.)  Although there were changing perspectives because of the frequent … [Read more...]