#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: The Astonishing Color of After

The Astonishing Color of After 5 stars Genre: YA magical realism Pros: Addresses the complexities of griefProvides multiple cultural referencesUses sensory poetic language Cons: Repeats color themes that may be distracting What an amazing and heart-wrenching book! I'm really glad I picked it up. It ties in cultural significance with the accuracy of feeling like an in-between girl straddling two worlds.  I love how real the novel gets about grief and the ways we … [Read more...]

Wedding Woes is out in the Wild!

Hello, Winston Wong readers! You're in luck because his latest detective adventure is out. This time Winston is prepping for his wedding day--only to be snared in a murder case. Will he find the killer in time to fix everyone's happily ever after? Find Wedding Woes on Amazon and other retailers. P.S. If you purchase now, the e-book version is having a special 99 cents sale for a limited time! … [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...]

Wordless Wednesday: Festival of Books

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Festival of Books

Hi, folks! Just a quick note to say I'll be at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books THIS SUNDAY (4/22) from 4pm-5pm! If you're checking out books and authors on the USC campus, come swing by. I'll be at booth #367 (Sisters in Crime). Thanks! P.S. Here's a pic of me from last year: … [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: The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

"Rarely do great beauty and virtue dwell together as they do in you." The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See 4 stars Pros: Immersive historical details Exploration of Akha and adoptee culture Complex and rich mother-daughter relationships Cons: Authorial voice present Switching of perspectives The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane is another great historical fiction book done by Lisa See. She is a master at capturing times past with vivid details. Her new novel is a … [Read more...]

#BookReview: Superbeetle

"Your respect for others will be your ticket to success." Superbeetle by S. Michele Chen 4 stars Pros: Taiwan setting Chinese words Cons: Some flat characters Modern family dynamics* (see note below)   I was super excited to get ahold of this. Because of its vibrant cover, I actually thought this would be a picture book. (Warning: If your kids don’t like bugs, the cover might put them off.) However, it’s actually a lovely chapter book with images scattered … [Read more...]

Angels Flight Reading

"Meaningful relationships bring meaning to life." It's nice to live in a city pulsing with culture. Once in a while, I'll pop by a reading. Sometimes they're held in cool places like Clifton's Republic, complete with stuffed animals. (Clifton's is a rebooted historical cafeteria that features woodland decor.) My impetus to go was my friend Siel Ju's newest book, CAKE TIME. Winner of the 2015 Red Hen Press Fiction Award, it officially launches April 6th, but I got a freshly minted … [Read more...]