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...]

#BookReview: Binti: The Night Masquerade

"This is the year when ingenuity stands high on  the list." Let me start by summarizing: The Binti series is amazing! You should really go out and read it. I absolutely loved the first book, Binti. You can read my five-star review on Goodreads here. The conclusion to the series, Binti: The Night Masquerade, also didn't disappoint. Okorafor wraps everything up with ease. You want more details? Binti: The Night Masquerade 5 stars Genre: Science fiction Pros: A diverse … [Read more...]

#BookReview: The Hate U Give

"You  have a deep appreciation of the arts and music." The Hate U Give 4 stars Genre: YA contemporary Pros: A real protagonist Deep issues Exploration of family Cons: Quite dark for 8th graders I’ve heard so much about The Hate U Give. It lives up to its hype. I love the setting of this novel and how real it is. The struggle that Starr battles within herself and in her community also feels authentic. I did take off a star for the beginning portion of this book. … [Read more...]

#BookReview: Cinder

"You have an unusual magnetic personality." Cinder 5 stars Pros: A new kind of fairy tale retelling Smart and spunky protagonist Introduction of new races and interweaving of other fairy tale characters Cons: Changes the fairy tale quite a bit, especially the ball It’s been a long time since I’ve invested in a series, but The Lunar Chronicles is an excellent group of books to read. I’ve seen Cinder around but didn’t get to it on my TBR list because of the time investment … [Read more...]

#BookReview: Warcross

"Never do anything halfway." Warcross by Marie Lu  5 stars Pros: Fascinating technology Mysterious antagonist Smart and independent Asian main character Intriguing love interest Cons: Easily guessed the antagonist I absolutely loved Warcross. I’m a big fangirl of Marie Lu ever since she exploded on the scene with the Legend series. Yes, there are some single titles within her two series (Legend; Young Elites) that I don’t enjoy as much. Overall, though, I love her … [Read more...]

#BookReview: The Sun is Also a Star

"Now is the time to go ahead and pursue that love interest!" The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon 5 stars Pros: Quick pace Timely discussion (immigration issues, cross-cultural relationships) Love story Cons: Different narrative formats (could be disorienting for some) Belieavability about love at first sight (for those who don't think it exists) The Sun is Also a Star is an amazing book. I love how it deals with really sensitive issues like immigration and … [Read more...]