“A stressed zillenial lesbian fights gods, gangsters, & grandmas in 21st century Penang” – Zen Cho
Honestly… SAY LESS
Hello everyone! My name is Jan, and welcome back to another blog post ◝(ᵔᵕᵔ)◜ ♥
After I saw the cover of Black Water Sister floating around Twitter, I knew that I MUST read it, I mean seriously it is GORGEOUS. Aftering hearing about a “stressed zillenial lesbian” who fights gods, gangsters and grandmas in Penang, I knew that I was automatically going to be hooked. I absolutely love stories that include ghosts and gods, especially if those ghosts and gods embody a Malaysian grandma with an attitude.
Without further ado, let’s get on with the review!
A reluctant medium discovers the ties that bind can unleash a dangerous power in this compelling Malaysian-set contemporary fantasy.
Jessamyn Teoh is closeted, broke and moving back to Malaysia, a country she left when she was a toddler. So when Jess starts hearing voices, she chalks it up to stress. But there’s only one voice in her head, and it claims to be the ghost of her estranged grandmother, Ah Ma. In life Ah Ma was a spirit medium, the avatar of a mysterious deity called the Black Water Sister. Now she’s determined to settle a score against a gang boss who has offended the god–and she’s decided Jess is going to help her do it.
Drawn into a world of gods, ghosts, and family secrets, Jess finds that making deals with capricious spirits is a dangerous business. As Jess fights for retribution for Ah Ma, she’ll also need to regain control of her body and destiny. If she fails, the Black Water Sister may finish her off for good.
I jumped into this completely blind except for the fact that the mc is sapphic and she fights ghosts with her grandma and can I say… I was well fed!
Jess was a character I could see a lot of people relating to- the type of character that’s basically stressed out about life in general and had no idea what was going in her life.
She is a closeted sapphic who is a recent college graduate and moves back to Malaysia with her parents not knowing what to do next. Moving back to Malaysia is a bit of a culture shock since she lived in the US all her life. She tries to adapt back to the culture and language and has even more stress upon her tightening relationship with her girlfriend. Just when she thinks things can’t get any worse, she becomes haunted by a ghost. That ghost more specifically being her grandmother.
Her grandmother is back and as witty and sarcastic even as a ghost. Her Ah Ma refuses to move onto the afterlife and she needs Jess’s help to get revenge on gangster Ng Chee Hin on behalf of the goddess Black Water Sister.
Even typing her name sounds cool af.
This book goes back and forth from having hilarious scenes between Jess and her Ah Ma, trying to figure what to do next and fighting ghosts, I found myself having a lot of fun reading this! I’m not Malaysian myself but I learned a lot about the culture and the folklore which were all very interesting to read!
This story has it all from fighting goddesses and ghosts, gangster gang rivalry, family secrets, a witty and fun grandma that isn’t afraid to speak her mind. While I enjoyed the story, I wished I got more explanations and more background about the culture and language as a reader who is not Malaysian myself. But I still enjoyed the book nonetheless!
Black Water Sister was a very fun and interesting book to read! If you’re the type of reader that loves ghost stories and fun adventures with a stressed zellenial who has no idea what the heck is going on, then you’ll absolutely love Zen Cho’s stunning book.
Thank you for stopping by for my review! I hope you’re all staying safe ❤
Hello everyone! My name is Jan and welcome back to another blog post ◝(ᵔᵕᵔ)◜ ♥
Welcome back to my blog! I haven’t been posting a lot because I’ve been absolutely swamped with school work and other things 😦 On the bright side, I’ve been filming a lot more for my channel and I’m excited for you guys to see it! I’ve been trying to do weekly reading vlogs and I’ve been having a lot of fun filming them, it would mean a lot if you guys checked out my channel :,)
Today I have brought you my march wrap up (I still need to film my march wrap for my channel but I thought I would get closer with you all in a blog post with what I’ve read and loved in March :,) )
Without further ado, let’s get started!
March was surprisingly a really chill month for me. I spent the majority of that month, reading, writing, talking to my friends and going on picnics! It’s been a very much needed slow and therapeutic month for me and I actually got a lot of work done!
I’ve been focusing a lot more on my writing and my books, and I feel like I’ve been really productive with that! I can only thank my friends Ais and Trin for holding me accountable whenever we read or write together LOL.
I think March was a really good month for me because I was surrounded by positive vibes, good friends and good books. I started journaling more often and it’s definitely helped my mind space 🙂
In total I’ve read 4 books, which isn’t a lot but I’m proud of myself for reading that much! (There are more books and short stories that I’ve read for class but this isn’t a discussion post about them so I won’t bore you with those details.) The books I read were AMAZING! All of them have been books that I’ve been anticipating this year or books that my friend Ren recommended for me to read and they were all just great.
What I read in March
Chain of Iron has been a book that I’ve waiting to read FOREVERRRR. Even though CC has her *moments* I’ve been really invested in the Shadowhunter Chronicles ever since I was in high school. I’ve grown attached to the characters and I’m in too deep. This book messed me up (in a good way of course!) The angst, the fight scenes, everything hooked me in from beginning to end and I can’t wait for the last book next year. How will I survive 😦 At first I was contemplating on doing a blog post for this CHOI alone but if you want to know my thoughts more in detail, click on the link above and check out my reading vlog! It contains a lot of crying and a lot of pain 😦
XOXO by Axie Oh was a gift that my friend Mari over @ macnbooks gave me after she saw that I’ve been wanting to read ARC for so long and I can honestly say… I did not like this as much as I wanted to. I feel like if I was younger in high school then I would absolutely eat this book up, but since I’m not anymore… the y/n agenda was simply too strong for me. I still really enjoyed this! I feel like it’s a book that my little sister would enjoy because she likes KPOP as well as I do 🙂 Still a really enjoyable and easy read!
As you probably already know, The Ones We’re Meant to Find has been a book that I’ve been wanting to read FOREVERRR. Once I finally received an ARC I was… screaming. At first I just thought this book was a LOST meets WE WERE LIARS but I was pleasantly surprised and shook once I saw the Black Mirror aspects come in. I could go on and on about this book but if you would to know my thoughts in more detail, check out my ARC review here.
I don’t know what’s been up with me lately, but so far I have been absolutely loving the fairycore/cottagecore aesthetic like there’s no tomorrow? Which is really weird because I do not fw the ACOTAR series at all even though that was the first fairy book I’ve actually… read. BUT my friend Ren somehow managed to convince to read The Cruel Prince andfor some reason… I cannot… put it down? I’ve been seeing the names Jude and Cardan circling around twitter for the longest time and I’ve always wondered who tf they were and finally… I found out. I DON’T KNOW WHY BUT I RLLY LIKE THE “I HATE EVERYONE BUT YOU” TROPE LIKE… I’M ABSOLUTELY TRASH. I’m surprised to say that this book was actually pretty good! I actually really liked it!
(Also look at the art of Cardan and Jude like… ABSOLUTELY INSANE…)
I didn’t really watch a lot of shows or movies this month because I was mostly focusing on books, but I still watched a good amount of film!
Okay first of all.. Penthouse… I’ve never been so invested in a kdrama like this one before. I think the last kdrama where I was hooked hooked was True Beauty and Extraordinary You. I never thought I would be so drawn into this kind of drama. Penthouse is way more mature than dramas I would usually watch. Normally I would watch wholesome, light-hearted and romantic dramas, I would’ve never thought that I would watch a drama so mature. The characters are all so interesting, their each individual plot lines have me hooked. And the overall PLOT itself is just amazing. This show really emphasizes on what privilege and power can get you, how, no matter who you are in the world, even if you’re the most toxic man to EARTH (*cough cough Joo Dan Tae) as long as you have money, you are unstoppable.
You all probably know that I am the type of person that doesn’t like any main character whatsoever and boy… Do I hate each and every character in this show. Except Shim Suyeon and Logan Lee and Bae Rona, but that’s pretty much it. Every single character in here is toxic, manipulative and they have their evil tendencies, but that’s what I LOVE.
I honestly can go on and on about this show, but I have a lot of things to say in this blog post, so maybe another time :,)
Another show I binged was the second season of Love Alarm! Ren and I watched every single episode together and it was so much fun texting each other and screaming about what was happening LMAO. Me and Ren are the type of people to hate the main mcs and main love interest and it was hilarious yelling at each other what was going on and who we hated and who we didn’t LMAOO.
I’ve also binged all four seasons of Big Time Rush in two days and… I have no regrets. I forgot how good the show was and how much I loved BTR’s music. There are no skips on their discography, I love them all so much! I became really nostalgic watching Big Time Rush again, I miss those times where I was a kid watching iCarly, Victorious and Big Time Rush over and over again. My bias was either Kendall and Logan LMAO. Who was your bias?
I really wished Lucy and Kendall ended up together. But anyways…
March was a really good month for me mentally! I got really close with some new friends and I went on very much needed therapeutic picnics with my friends from high school ❤
(I also want to mention that I got a 99/100 on my first exam for my literary theory and criticism class last month and I’m still SHOOK and really proud of myself :D)
All of my friends have been really supportive of my blog and channel and they told me that they’re all subscribed to me (even my best friend’s bf LOL) and that honestly makes me really happy! They’ve been helping me with my new books n looks concept that I’m trying to do on twitter now 🙂
I went to cali with my friends for spring break and we had a small road trip and just had a really fun time with each other :,) (you can watch clips of my smol break in my newest reading vlog!) We were all safe during our trip and spent time at the beach, melrose, and K-Town 🙂 I’m vv happy with my group of friends, they’ve all made my heart so whole ♥ (*I love you sarangbaes)
Also during spring break, I’ve been doing daily writing sprints with my friends Ais and Trin and we’ve all been writing and brainstorming ideas together for the #BIPOCFairytaleRetelling anthology submission and I’ve been having the best time writing and vibing with them (even tho they made me feel like I only have one brain cell). Being in the book and writing community has led me to have so many wonderful friends and I’ve created the best memories with them 🙂
March was a really wonderful and much needed month for me. I considered it to be one of my healing months because I actually had a really nice time.
That’s all for today’s post! Thank you so much for stopping by, I hope this month is wonderful to you all and I hope you read some amazing books 🙂 I post on channel my every Saturday and there’s a new blog post up every Tuesday!
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Hello everyone! My name is Jan and welcome back to another blog post ◝(ᵔᵕᵔ)◜ ♥
Lately since February to now, I’ve been reading like crazy. I’ve been reading books after books, binging Marvel films after Marvel films, K-drama after K-drama (who’s been watching Penthouse and Love Alarm??) and my thoughts have been just been jumbled together with everything I’ve watched/read that I must discuss with you all. But first, since I’ve been behind on my book reviews, let’s start with that 😀
If you follow me on Twitter, you’re probably aware of how badly I’ve been wanting to read The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He. Ever since I read the synopsis and the book cover got revealed on Twitter, I’ve been obsessed. I needed the book so desperately in my hands and I needed it ASAP. And finally after many months of waiting… I finally recieved the ARC! After reading Victoria @ corneliastreetreadsblog post about TOWMTF… I couldn’t be more excited to read it.
Without further ado, let’s get started with my review! ❤
Cee awoke on an abandoned island three years ago. With no idea of how she was marooned, she only has a rickety house, an old android, and a single memory: she has a sister, and Cee needs to find her.
STEM prodigy Kasey wants escape from the science and home she once trusted. The eco-city—Earth’s last unpolluted place—is meant to be sanctuary for those commited to planetary protection, but it’s populated by people willing to do anything for refuge, even lie. Now, she’ll have to decide if she’s ready to use science to help humanity, even though it failed the people who mattered most.
WeWere Liarsmeets Black Mirror in this twisting tale of two sisters, one who woke up on an abandoned island with no memory except of her sister and the other a STEM prodigy living in this dystopian Earth where every inch of life is dying due to pollution and the inevitable dangers of climate change.
I’ve read a handful of books so far in 2021, and I’m sure most of you are aware how I dislike every fictional main character ever no matter who it is because… they always have some way to annoy me.
But surprisingly, I can say that I really enjoyed all the characters in TOWMTF!!! Even I’m surprised that I liked every single character in this book! They were all interesting, complex, and I was really invested in the relationship between Cee and her sister Kasey. Immediately after reading the synopsis, I was hooked.
You get see life from two different points of view. One from Cee on her abandoned island, and one from Kasey on her dying skydome. Cee on her journey of trying to find her way back to her sister and Kasey trying to save human existence.
To those who have read TOWMTF have been discoursing over which sister they like better, whether it be Cee or Kasey. Even though Kasey is a fellow STEM student like myself, I would have to say I prefer Cee. I think that her storyline and plot throughout the book made me more interested and invested than Kasey’s did. Her determination to get off this island and find her sister tugged on my heart strings because even though Cee has no recollection of her life before, she only remembered and knew one thing. She had to find her sister. At all costs.
Kasey was more closed off and reserved. I found it hard to find her likeable because of how gray her character was. But I do admire how she set she was on trying to make the best of her skydome life. I did enjoy seeing both different points of view, one life on in island, the other life in a modern world away from a polluted earth.
I really liked the STEM side of this book as well! As a person in STEM myself, it was really interesting to see Kasey’s side of things and hard she worked for to make life livable.
At first, the synopsis of this book made me think of it as Lost meets The Giver because of its scientific environment but after reading, I can definitely see where the We Were Liars and Black Mirror aspect comes from. This book definitely rubbed me in the Black Mirror part. You have these kind of expectations and predictions for what’s going to happen until the technological side weaves in and changes everything.
Joan has a way of building up scenes and emotions that leaves me absolutely shook. The twists and turns are something that I don’t expect at all and I am still trying to process what tf happened! You don’t see these twists coming at all and that’s what I loved the most about this ARC.
I loved every aspect of TOWMTF. From being on an abandoned island, mysterious allies and brooding side characters, the scientific side of trying to save life and human existence- it just had me hooked from beginning to end. I didn’t know what to expect at all and Joan He really did that.
If you are planning to read this book or is currently reading it now, all I can say is that you are going to be completely shook reading The Ones We’re Meant to Find.
That’s all for today’s post! Thank you for stopping by, it really means a lot.
Disclaimer: This book is not for everyone. This entire series in fact is not for everyone. It touches on very sensitive topics + is very graphic. Some of the trigger warnings include: war, racism, genocide, mass rape, sexual assault, torture, cannibalism, etc. Here is the full list of trigger warnings.
Title: The Burning God (The Poppy War #3)
Author: R.F Kuang
Publication Date: November 17, 2020
Let’s get started.
After saving her nation of Nikan from foreign invaders and battling the evil Empress Su Daji in a brutal civil war, Fang Runin was betrayed by allies and left for dead.
Despite her losses, Rin hasn’t given up on those for whom she has sacrificed so much—the people of the southern provinces and especially Tikany, the village that is her home. Returning to her roots, Rin meets difficult challenges—and unexpected opportunities. While her new allies in the Southern Coalition leadership are sly and untrustworthy, Rin quickly realizes that the real power in Nikan lies with the millions of common people who thirst for vengeance and revere her as a goddess of salvation.
Backed by the masses and her Southern Army, Rin will use every weapon to defeat the Dragon Republic, the colonizing Hesperians, and all who threaten the shamanic arts and their practitioners. As her power and influence grows, though, will she be strong enough to resist the Phoenix’s intoxicating voice urging her to burn the world and everything in it?
Cue the fires.
I finally got the opprotunity to purchase final installment of The Poppy War series two months after the release date aaaand wow.
That was something.
I’ve been holding off on finishing the last book of the amazing series merely because I was too scared of finishing it and I simply didn’t want it to end. Though I am late on the train and finished this book months after everyone else finished it, I surprisingly didn’t see any spoilers.
It honestly took me forever to finish this book even though I purchased this in January and it took two of my friends to bully me into finishing it and after much anticipation and many days of bullying… I did.
The only thing I can say is: why did I put this down in the first place?
If you follow me on Twitter, you were probably already aware of my Burning God thread that I started in January and abandoned until a few days ago when I finished it. And that thread is just me being in full and utter disbelief and shock because of what on Earth was going on in that book.
Within each page I turned, it just became more and more intense. More and more heavy and more and more… mind f*cking.
Reading this book was certainly a wild ride. There were so many moments where I had to put it down simply because it was getting too much.
I loved this book and I also hated it at the same time. Much like how I loved/hated the first two. Kuang has such a way of making me want to strangle her characters physically through the pages that it was driving me insane.
I didn’t have any theories whatsoever before I dove into this book, all I know/wanted was for Rin to take Nezha down.
Before I dive deep into my review about this book, all I can say for those who haven’t read the last and gut-wrenching conclusion to The Poppy War is that it is not what you expect at all. Multiple things happen in this book that had me on the edge of my seat and I simply had to put it down because it was either getting too much or because I was too scared to finish it.
(major spoilers ahead)
Slowly throughout the book, we see Rin become… well… insane.
She became basically insane.
What I liked most about this book was that Rebecca didn’t sugarcoat anything when it came to the topic of war. This book is as brutal and violent and it really jerks you to see the real reality and devastation that happens to people when a war occurs.
What I really like about this series is how Rebecca played with time (as wars do take over several years). We literally meet Rin when she’s only like 13 and throughout the time span of when she turns 20, we see her become a shaman, a war criminal, and a mfing murderer. She literally burned a dude’s testicles off at like 18!!! What?!
Even though this series takes course over several years, the books don’t feel too rushed or too long and yet we still feel/see the growth of the characters.
Throughout the last book, we see Rin take control and become a leader and also lose her way within these pages. Rin has seen/been through unspeakable things that it didn’t really surprise me one bit to see her lose her mind and and change into someone we don’t even recognize due to what she’s experienced. She sort of became… demonized.
She’s seen too much, fought too much, seen her own comrades die in this war and betray her. We literally see her at her breaking point where the phoenix basically consumes Rin and all she sees is red.
Vengeance becomes the only thing that strives her to keep fighting in this war. The only thing she has going throughout this book is defeating Nezha and the southern coalition.
The amount of people that betrayed Rin in this book just left me shocked like man! No one likes her!!!
I also want to bring up this really intense scene that I just can’t stop thinking about. It literally lives in my head rent free. It’s the scene when Rin goes back to Tikany after the Hessians are there and they’re celebrating their departure and Rin is with Souji right when the bombs go off and she realizes that Nezha has been following her this entire time.
That scene when Rin is fighting Nezha and she sees that the Dragon god in him is much more powerful than she thought. Nezha and his ability to control the water was at a whole entire different level. Not only could he control the water but he could manipulate it to his will. The scene was so intense because it was raining hard, hard and as much as Rin tried to use her fire abilities, Nezha just kept putting it out by summoning more and more rain. It was honestly so intense that it kept me on the edge of my seat because I have been anticipating the moment when Rin and Nezha were going to meet up after Nezha’s betrayal in The Dragon Republic. To be honest I don’t really know who I was rooting for because I knew that both Nezha and Rin were both powerful as fuck and it kept reminding me of when Katara and Zuko went to fight Azula during the last episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender.And it also reminded me of that one meme where Squirtle was fighting Pikachu (even though Pikachu conducts lightningksjfks).
HONESTLY, TELL ME IT DOESN’T REMIND YOU OF THAT TOO.
(*side note when I found out Hanelei was Altan and Rin’s relative?? They’re cousins??? HUHHH)
INCEST!!! WHY INCEST???? I WOULD’VE CONTINUED ENJOYING THE BOOK IF REBECCA DIDN’T HAVE TO INCLUDE THE INCEST!!
The final book is much more darker than the first two. It has a much more realist undertone that the other two books didn’t have. While we were still centered around the story of war and destruction between two countries, there were still some light-hearted moments that made me laugh and smile and that was the relationship that Rin had with her comrades. Her anchor Kitay and the Cike. I found their adventures together and their banter to be funny and heart-warming. Chaghan and Rin’s back and forth was what honestly made me love The Dragon Republic and The Poppy War. The fact that this final book was more dark, more realistic made it have much more of an impact on me that I literally won’t ever forget. Even though the ending was certainly not what I was expecting, I know Rebecca wanted to portray realistic events of what actually happens in a war and that’s what made this book much more darker and deeper than the first two.
It is brutal and it is honest. Towards the end when Rin becomes so distrusting of everyone and her comrades until she thinks everyone’s just praying on her downfall is what made me so angry and so anxious for what was going to happen because I was getting closer and closer to the end and Rin was just becoming insane.
Finally, the ending… was not what I expected at all. It left me completely and honestly… broken.
Oh no! Jan becoming destroyed by another book? Are we surprised?
What do you do when you run over a Cupid? Do you call State Farm insurance? Sing, “like a good neighbor state farm is there?” Well, in Playing Cupid, when you run over the mystical being, you get to be cupid instead. And if you suck at the topic that is love just like our main character MeganCooper– well, all I can say is good luck, Charlie.
Title: Playing Cupid
Author: SC Alban
Publication Date: February 23, 2021
For the past five years, seventeen-year-old Megan Cooper has built a wall around her heart with little room to experience true feelings. However, her entire world shifts the moment she hits Cupid with her car driving home from finals. With his shooting arm significanting injured, she has no choice but to take his place.
Now, as Megan races to find Cupid’s final three love matches in order to meet his quota by the start of the new year, she comes face to face with the very emotions she’s been pushing away for so long.
Caught between what her head is saying and what her heart longs for, Megan must face old wounds, find forgiveness, and track down the perfect match for the one boy she can’t stand.
Thank you NetGalley for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!
Playing Cupidfollows seventeen-year-old Megan Cooper, a recluse in her senior year of high school before graduating early and going to college for early admission. She has a sort of rocky relationship with her dad and basically people in general. Following the death of her mother, her relationship with her father ceased to exist to the point where he can’t even face her anymore because she reminded him so much of his first love. During finals week, Megan is paired up with her school’s hottest jock, Jay Michaels, although nice, polite to teachers and massively attractive, he flakes out of every school assignment ever.
After driving home from her Home EC final, Megan is angered with the audacity that Jay Michaels have, flaking out on herwhen all she wants to do is get her last assignment done with so that she can be done with high school. Driving at a horribly fast rate, Megan runs over an unseen figure in the road– that figure turning out to be the love god himself Cupid.
Now with the task to do Cupid’s job for him since his shooting arm is broken, can Megan find love for other people, including herself?
This book was an easy light-hearted, humourous and very heartwarming read. After reading this book, I was left with a nice feeling in my chest and I definitely felt the loving mood that it gave me. It finally felt like was February 💖 .
However, even though I do love good fluff and cute romantic tropes in books, Playing Cupid was a solid 2/5 stars for me.
The plot itself was okay. It was simple, really. Ran over Cupid? He can’t do his job of making people fall in love? No problem! Megan Cooper is right here, and she’ll get the job done! I thought that the idea of the plot was interesting and cute, we even got to see the Cupid (Amadeo) and Megan form a kind of relationship together which I found really sweet and wholesome. But, alas, this book just added another character onto my “mcs that I can’t stand” list.
Mainly why this book fell flat for me was because of the main character Megan. For some reason I just couldn’t connect with her throughout the entirety of this book. Her personality just didn’t click with me, and I found myself cringing and rolling my eyes at almost everything that she was thinking/saying/doing.
What irritated me the most was her “I’m not like other girls” personality. I’m okay with the trope/characteristic, but the fact that the book brought up that she wasn’t like other girls all the time is what annoyed me the most. The fact that there was written dialogue by her and the main love interest saying that she wasn’t like other girls made my fingers physically curl up because of how much I cringed.
The only character that I felt that I genuinely liked was Amadeo. The Cupid Megan ran over. His character was witty, sarcastic and downright entertaining. He was the only one that got me to continue the book.
Overall, I found Amadeo and Megan’s adventure of trying to find matches all over town to be entertaining and very fluffy! It’s definitely a read for February to get in the loving mood.
I hope everyone is well! Thank you for coming by ❤
If you follow me on Twitter you probably were already aware of me freaking out over this book because I had gotten almost a third of it in when I realized… it was horror….
Call the circus.
This book was amazing, weird, downright confusing up to the very last page and yet I still ate it up. I knew about this book from my very good friend Mari over @ macnbooks and I just thought it was going to be a dark academia/witchy/underground cult going on underneath Warren University until I got up to page 76 and realized that it was indeed not that.
This book had many WTF moments, many what is going on, and many oh my god my brain moments as I continued reading.
We follow our main character Samantha who is a graduate student at New England’s Elite Warren University and she has a passion for writing and yet doesn’t really write (like me??). She really only sticks to one person during her years of Graduate school and that is her very best friend Eva. At the beginning of the book they are at this gathering for the start of the school year and both Samantha and Eva see this cohort group of girls that call each other Bunnyand we see right away how weary they are of them.
The Bunnies’ small group is called The Smut Salon and while Ava is cringing and saying how weird the Bunnies’ are, Samantha catches their attention at the event, and waves at them.
The next day Samantha gets an invitation from the Bunnies to meet with them for the very first time at their famous Smut Salon and all hell breaks loose from there.
I don’t want to say too much and spoil the fun for other people (I’m also working on my own book talk video for my channel so look out for that) but after Samantha gets involved with the Bunnies at their very first meaning, some weird shit happens.
Like. Really. Weird. Shit.
Have you ever heard the burning of a tea kettle? And the whistling sound slowly getting higher and higher as it gets hotter and hotter? That was the same feeling I kept getting as the more I read. I got to page 76 when I began getting really creeped out.
Definitely gave me Zimzalabim vibes.
At last came the point when the Bunnies went and invited Samantha’s old fling from high school to their beloved Smut Salon and that’s when weird things really start going down.
Let’s just say a few bunnie conjuring, heads exploding, cult gathering scenes later I finally digested that this book was indeed a horror book. I even got so creeped out that I bothered five of my friends to play iMessage games with me because of how scared I was.
I would say read this book if you enjoy narratives from a unreliable narrator like in The Yellow Wallpaper and if you just want to get mind-fucked in every way possible. You could not stop reading this book because of how weird it was and how Samantha just kept falling deeper and deeper into this rabbit hole with the other Bunnies…
This whole book was enjoyable to read and just made me have a lot of ???? moments which I don’t doubt other people have had also and because of the ending which still has me like…. REALLY??? THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED???
Bunny by Mona Awad definitely was a trip down a really weird rabbit hole and had me on the edge of my seat and shoulders hunched up because of creepy it was. If you enjoy horror and a very sarcastic and relatable main character who doesn’t like people (like me) then this book is perfect for you.
2020 is soon coming to a end and after a (long) journey of whatever the hell this year was, I figured what better way to wrap up the first few months of my blog with what I’m anticipating to read and watch in 2021!
This year was my year of getting back into books after a year-long hiatus. And after going through (and still going through) this pandemic, I found myself lost and back together with my first love which was reading.
Reading was the perfect escape for myself during those dreadful months of quarantine. And am I broke for ordering too much books during those months? Yes, I am, and what about it?
Not only have I been dwelling in deep with my first love that is books, I’ve also spent waayyy too much time binging TV shows and KDramas on Netflix, Disney+ and Hulu and boy, is my sleeping schedule really forked now 😀
Now that I am back with my roots, I am been exposed to wonderful literature titles and films which have always sparked an interest to me. Now that I have started this blog, I figured what other best way for an audience to get to know me other than knowing what kind of films and books I’m looking forward to in the new year? ٩(ˊᗜˋ*)و
I already have a end of year wrap up video on my channel if you want to check that out here ! (ʃƪ˘⌣˘)
I’m going to get anticipated reads out of the way first and then work my way into films im very excited to watch in the new year!
(P.S. just because it’s a new year, doesn’t mean the pandemic is over). Remember to take precautions, wear a mask and practice social distancing !
Part I. My Most Anticipated Books of 2021
Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta
I’ve been hearing so much about this book all the time over Twitter and Instagram and I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on it! Zoe is such a nice and genuine person on Twitter and I’m excited to read her debut novel. (´͈ ᵕ `͈ )
Gearbreakers comes outJune 29th, 2021. To know information about it, check it out here.
2. The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He
First of all, can we talk about how amazing the cover is? I’m stunned. Truly stunned. I first saw the cover of this book hovering around Twitter for quite some time and the synopsis really captured my attention just by the first line. Can we also talk about Asian rep? We still don’t see a lot of books with an POC main character and here we have two sisters. I truly cannot wait to see what this book has in store for us!
The Ones We’re Meant to Find comes out May 4th, 2021! To find out more about it, check it outhere.
3. The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo
A lot of my anticipated reads for the new year are going to be contained of Asian Authors! It’s going to be big year for them and I can’t wait to see what these anticipating reads have for us!
Not only is the cover for The Chosen & The Beautiful absolutely gorgeous and stunning, the story seems appealing as well. We get to see the life of a socialite immigrant in the roaring 20s and her place in this different world of privilege and money. I’m still not finished with Chloe Gong’s These Violent Delights but I am obsessed with the setting of the 1920s. We don’t get to see that much in film or books and now that it’s also in The Chosen & The Beautiful, we finally get to!
The Chosen and Beautiful comes outJune 2021. For more information, check out this link here!
4. Clues to the Universe by Christina Li
The synopsis for Clues to the Universe truly is beautiful and made me so much more intrigued every time I read it. I always will have a deep love for middle grade books no matter what because they’ve always been a comfort place when I was middle school. :,)
Clues to the Universe comes out January 21st, 2020! For more information, click here!
5. Counting Down with You by Tashinie Bhyuiyan
I follow Tashie on twitter and she is absolutely amazing omg. She’s real, hilarious and the memes she tweets about her characters and the other books she’s read is so funny. I haven’t read much fake-dating contemporary books since I was in high school but now I want to pick it back up and be back in my feels. I really do love a good wholesome, high school, slice of life fics and I absolutely cannot wait to read this in the new year (´͈ ᵕ `͈ )♥
And now on to my most anticipated films! If you didn’t know, I spend a lot of time just watching tv shows, kdramas, animes, the whole shabang bc I don’t have a life (ahaha jk… unless…?) *Disclaimer: I am a massive Marvel fan, you’ll most likely find my most anticipated films be related to Marvel. I’ll be doing reviews and theories in the future!*
Part 2: My Most Anticipated Films of 2021
The Chilling Adventures of SabrinaPart 4
I began watching The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and binged it up this year, catching up with the final season. I’ve always liked shows that have to do with witchcraft and dark magic, and this show greatly satisfied my needs for a badass main character who wanted to balance normal life and her other life as a witch.
I really like this show and I’m sad that it’s coming to an end. It was really entertaining and my favorite characters are Prudence, Ambrose and Sabrina! Season 3 was really good even though it had its Riverdale cringy moments that made me question everything that was writing. I love watching meme videos of shows and youtube and here’s my favorite one of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina if you like those types of things hehe.
I love Marvel Movies, I love the cinematic universe and how everything is lined with each other. If you don’t know, my favorite superheroes are Spiderman (so excited for new Spider-verse movie!!) and Scarlet Witch! In my opinion Scarlet Witch is the most powerful Avenger out there, (she’s the only one who made Thanos afraid for his life!! She’s crazy!!) Just when I thought I saw everything there was to Wanda and her powers, we finally have WandaVision. She’s powerful enough to create a different reality that’s crazy dude!!
(also can we talk about how there’s going to be a Halloween episode and Vision is wearing his costume from the comics omg).
To this day I still remember the discourse between Iron Man and Captain America and I remember getting into so many twitter fights with my old friend because of them, LOL.
I always wondered what happened after Captain America: Civil War and finally I’m getting the answers I need. I’m sad that Steve Rogers is no longer Captain America after growing up with him for the majority of my childhood, but I also love the relationship between Sam Wilson and Bucky and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen.
I have so many favorites in the MCU it’s insane. My top three are Spider-man, Scarlet Witch, and Captain America but my favorite anti-hero has got to be either Loki or Deadpool.
Loki has been the funniest character I have ever watched for so long, he’s literally so predictable and yet not at the same time???
Last year when I was watching Endgame with my irl friends one thing that bothered me throughout the entire film was how much they were changing up the timeline. I know Bruce said something about the past can’t change your future or whatever but I still don’t understand what he was on about LOL. When Loki took the tesseract and zoomed out of there I was like… :O NOW WHAT? I NEED ANSWERS!!
After taking my World Literature class this spring semester, I became more involved with writing than I was before and I started to read more poets and writers from the earlier times and can I just say Emily Dickinson… she was that writer.
One of the shows I started watching this year was Dickinson starring Hailey Steinfeld and she is one of my favorite actresses ever I loved her in Pitch Perfect 2 and more. I knew Dickinson was going to be about Emily Dickinson and her journey with being a women writer in the 19th century but I had no idea it was going to be so funny. The whole show is based off of satire of the earlier times and oh my god… it’s hilarious.
Not only is it humorous but it does focus on mental health and the strict gender norms that women were supposed to succumb to back then which was really interesting to watch and I felt so bad for Emily Dickinson since her own brother took her own work and she wasn’t taken seriously.
Everyone please check out Dickinson, it’s one of my favorite shows ever!
Hey! I’m Trin, owner of AllegoryOfWords— a blog dedicated to all things literary. My journey with reading has been a bit tumultuous until quarantine. At the age of nine, I immigrated to California from Viet Nam and, like most diaspora community members, I struggled with fully grasping the new language while desperately clinging onto my native tongue. Through books emerged a sense of escapism, allowing me to simultaneously learn this foreign tongue while revealing worlds I was eager to dive into, escaping the difficulties of being an immigrant, woman of color in the U.S. I learned English through Harry Potter, The Grimm Sisters, The Hunger Games, Divergent, all of John Green’s books, Deltora Quest, Eragon, and more. Fantasy was, obviously, my favorite genre! And it still is to this day.
But it was disheartening to read about characters that do not look like me, to the point of feeling like my narrative was not valuable enough to be told- or it was too much of an inconvenience to have characters that look like me to just… exist. Because of the lack of diverse characters and unending schoolwork, I just stopped reading throughout high school. I then picked up reading again after my favorite Professor gave me a book to read over quarantine, and just like that, everything clicked again; I realized that I still loved reading, but I love it much more when stories I relate to are on the pages that I’m reading–stories about immigrants, eastern mythology, cultural narratives, and so much more.
That’s why I started AllegoryOfWords. I wanted to compile a personal blog dedicated to diversifying my bookshelf, uplifting magical stories from historically marginalized writers, stories I was robbed of at a young age. So if you’re interested in following me along on my bookish journey and discovering these voices, do check out my blog and give it a follow!
Since quarantine in May 2020, some of my favorite reads include Nghi Vo’s novellas, The Sword of Kaigen by M.L Wang, The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen, Know My Name by Chanel Miller, Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim, The Poppy War trilogy by R.F Kuang, This Is How You Lose The Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong, Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan, and Warcross by Marie Lu.
I loved those books–love isn’t even a word fitting enough to describe how much I would do anything to read them for the first time again. It was incredible to flip through pages and just read about characters that look like me, with names like me, and sometimes for them to just exist in this fantasy world without the plot centering around their skin tone. That natural, fresh sense of BIPOC and queer characters simply existing and uplifting historically voices is incredible. After spending more than a decade correcting people’s pronunciation of your native name, I teared up reading Nghi Vo’s and Trung Le Nguyen’s works and their inclusion of Viet names. Even if you are not a BIPOC, I highly recommend the books above just because they tell the complex stories of humans. Some books like:
— Spin the Dawnby Elizabeth Lim
—Gods of Jade and Shadowby Silvia Moreno-Garcia
—and The Magic Fishby Trung Le Nguyen
are heartwarming stories with a diverse cast while paying homage to cultural folktales and the authors’ childhood. Others, like:
—The Poppy Warby R.F Kuang
—The Sword of Kaigenby M.L. Wang
Nghi Vo’s novellas, and Girls of Paper and Fire feature a diverse cast while including political and social commentary on critical issues such as imperialism and history. I promise you, whatever book(s) you decide to pick up from that list, you will not regret it.
That being said, my journey with diverse books is not over yet! I’m constantly amazed by BIPOC and queer authors who, despite the odds being against their favor in publishing, are constantly breaking glass ceilings and empowering individuals with their stories. Some books I still need to read are Jade City by Fonda Lee, In the Vanisher’s Palace by Aliette de Bodard, Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse, and soooo much more. My original Goodreads goal was 30 for 2020 (I didn’t have much faith in myself)! But as of December 11th, I reached 50! I’m pretty proud of myself, considering that junior year of college has been so hectic, plus the anxiety that comes with living during a pandemic.
I’d like to give the owner of this blog, Jan, a shout-out as well! Thank you thank you Jan for not only featuring me on your blog but also for being one of my first friends on book twitter! You keep me laughing on the timeline with you and indirectly motivating me to read! Not only that, Jan inspired me to start working on my WIP and to write the story that I’ve always wanted to tell. My WIP is a retelling of Viet cinderella (Tam Cam) with a feminist twist, queer characters, and mythology beasts (Viet lion, dragon, and turtle). If I somehow finish the WIP someday, I’ll be more than happy to share this reimagined fairy tale with the universe. It will be, in a way, my love letter to Viet Nam and the stories my mom told me when I was young!
I’ll wrap up this blog post for now, but again, thank you so much Jan for inviting me to your blog! I had so much fun writing this. If you’re not following Jan, make sure to do so, she has great content and works so hard on both her Booktube and blog!
“There are each other’s fiercest love, greatest danger, and only hope.”
Séverin and his team members might have successfully thwarted the Fallen House, but victory comes at a terrible cost — one that still haunts all of them. Desperate to make amends, Séverin pursues a dangerous lead to find a long lost artifact rumored to grant its possessor the power of God.
Their hunt lures them far from Paris, and into the icy heart of Russia where crystalline ice animals stalk forgotten mansions, broken goddess carry deadly secrets, and a string of unsolved murders makes the crew question whether an ancient myth is a myth after all.
As hidden secrets come to the light and the ghosts of the past catch up to them, the crew will discover new dimensions of themselves. But what they find out may lead them down paths they never imagined.
A tale of love and betrayal as the crew risks their lives for one last job.
Set in 1889, return to Roshani Chokshi’s alluring and intriguing world of 19th century Paris, and dive into this tale of mystery, heartache, and betrayal in The Silvered Serpents.
We’re back in 1889s Paris, and my respect for Roshani Chokshi has skyrocketed once again.
All I can say is: I hate Séverin. Séverin is so- just- I CAN’T STAND HIM!
We’re immediately picking right where we left off with The Gilded Wolves. After the events of the last chapter, the wolves are all grieving with the death of Séverin’s brother, Tristan.
Séverin automatically blames himself for the passing of his brother. The last act of Roujex-Jobert in book one left all of the wolves grieving in some type of way. We see Séverin become a bit of recluse, being bitter to the rest of the crew, spiting himself because of his complicated feelings for Laila, Enrique and Hypnos intertwining their feelings for each other and their own passion, Zofia and her bluntness to truly understand what is going on with the group and her own sister, and Laila’s life-or-death situation that puts her and the team at risk.
To basically sum up The Gilded Wolves, so that the amazing sequel can make sense to you, dear reader, I would describe these two books are perfect for those who are fans of Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crowsand fans who love a good modern fantasy with mythology woven into the story.
Chokshi does a fabulous job endings and left me hooked and on the edge of my seat during the last 50 pages. Everything was fast-paced, thrilling, had me almost in tears and quaking in anger and all I can do is applaud her for being able to pull off this ending for both The Silvered Serpentsand The Gilded Wolves.
Towards the end of The Silvered Serpents, I had my suspicions that the plot was going to head towards this certain trope, but it completely went another way that still left me incredible shocked and crestfallen.
When it came to that point of the book, during the last fifty chapters or so, I had my: WHAT IS GOING ON??? moment occur while I was reading. During the part where Séverin ultimately goes and gives himself up to Ruslan I was shocked, on the edge of my seat, confused and I finally thought, “wow, he really chose godhood over his own friends.”
I always had a bit of a hunch and suspected Séverin when it came him ultimately choosing his need for godhood and power over his own friends and once I read that part I was confused??? I sort of expected it but not really??? Because Séverin really was a complicated character to me and I could not see where his head was at most of the time. At one point he cares about his team, and most importantly he cares about Laila, then at another point once his dear brother Tristan has passed away, we can never really see what his true intentions are.
“i wish my love were more beautiful.”
I’ve been seeing that quote float around for quite some time after this book got released and once i learned what the context was for the quote, i became: heartbroken.
At last, I first thought this plot to be somewhat predictable but found myself genuinely happy and pleased with how it turned out. Séverin is a complicated character that continues to (annoy) and amuse me at the same time and it’s so interesting to see him make his choices and learn his reasonings for them.
All together, when it came to plot, characters, pacing, romance and the world-building, it’s all a collective 4/5 to me. I understand that it takes a while to get used to a different world and to these different characters, but there’s something about this story that doesn’t really make me stick to these characters. Ultimately The Silvered Serpentswas an enjoyable read and those who have enjoyed The Gilded WolvesandSix of Crows.
That’s all for now! Thank you for reading my review, I hope to see you in the next ❤
i just finished the last and final book of the Trials of Apollo series (The Tower of Nero) and I am completely heartbroken and sad that my favorite Camp Half Blood Chronicles are over :,(. If you don’t know I am a huge Percy Jackson fan, it was actually the first book ever that got me into reading when I was a kid and I practically grew up with this series all the way into my third year of college and I am just in pieces T_T
(there’s actual footage of myself crying because I didn’t want it to be over LOL)
when the news of the Percy Jackson Disney+ Series first came out a ton of my friends spammed my phone with the news because they knew how much this series meant to me. Percy was my very first comfort character when I was a kid and he still is!
also since my blog is still in the works of updating new content and I’m still trying to get used to blogging (alongside with my booktube channel that i somewhat forgot i had for a quick minute) i decided why not end this bittersweet journey of the Camp Half-Blood Chronicles with The Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus book tag.
i found this tag off of May @ Forever and Everly who greeted me with a warm welcome to the blogging community, i’m so happy to have found another thai friend to look up to :,)
are we surprised though? I recently just got back into reading this year after being in a long hiatus and I finally picked up The Poppy Warafter hearing so much about it from twitter and I was in complete shambles after finishing it. the representation in this book is simply what the book world has been missing and im still just :,(( i need The Burning GodIMMEDIATELY.
i (finally??) watched the movie this year after reading Crazy Rich Asians and i was just in awe of both the film and the book! i fell in love with the characters and their powerful personalities especially astrid leong and the representation of asians here!! after watching the film i wanted to find out what happened next with astrid and charlie (played by harry shum jr) so i got the next book and im vv excited to start it :,)
imagine my heartbreak when i noticed not a lot of people read the trials of apollo series after the heroes of olympus :,( i dont see a lot of apollo stans and so i would like to nominate myself as president of the apollo protection society. Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle quickly became my favorite book after finishing the percy jackson/heroes of olympus series! percy was my first original comfort character but after reading through apollo’s journey, he quickly filled that spot :,) it’s a book that gives me comfort, makes me laugh, makes me feel nostalgic etc- everyone read the trials of apollo!!
i dont read/get books that i know i would hate LOL
ahh no matter what i always have to circle back to the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series T_T. i started reading the pjo/hoo series when i was eight-years-old and ive been keeping with it ever since! i remember waiting year after year in middle for the next books to come out and i remember the actual TRAUMA i went through after The Mark of Athena and having to wait a whole year for the next book ;-;. no matter what book i read, no matter what series i finish next, percy jackson will always feel like home to me. i blame percy jackson as the reason why im painfully sarcastic now LOL.
Lady Midnight is one of my favorite reads that i re-read this year by Cassandra Clare and i have to say that i definitely like The Dark Artifices series waaaaaay more than the mortal instruments series lol. i truly do like the family/sibling dynamic that all the blackthorns have, with livvy and ty, mark coming back to the family and the rest of the blackthorns slowly warming up to him, julian and his love for his siblings all made me wish my siblings and i got along like them.
i recently read The Lunar Chronicles this year and completely fell in love with the entire series!! i remember seeing the cover of a cyborg foot in middle school and it never occured to me to pick it up until this year because of my friend. even though cinder was a great introductory book to the series, my favorite is in the entire set is Cress and i sped read this book in one night. it was full of adventure, action, humor and tension (everything that i love in a book!) i always have a soft spot for witty/sarcastic anti-heroes and this book made me laugh whole-heartedly all because of carswell thorne :,)
i readSix of Crows by Leigh Bardugo this year because of booktok and i can honestly say this is the only book that i genuinely like from booktok after reading A Court of Thorns & Rosesas well as They Both Die At The End. i finally understand what the hype is about and i!!! am!!! in love!!! the characters and their backgrounds and their stories i just WOW. kaz brekker and inej are just amazing and it’s so fustrating sensing the tension between them because you know- YOU KNOW that they just click together. the timeline doesnt ever shut up about soc and i wont ever shut up about it either.
if i could be stuck on an island with only one book in the world then i would have to say… To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. this book has a great comfort book for me ever since i was a freshmen in high school. i think this was the first book i’ve ever read in hs where there was a main asian character??? and that was sort of?? insane to me??? i’ve always been a sort of sucker for cheesy high school romance books and this one had all the fluff, all the angst, all the drama that i’ve always wanted in a book (^_^)
this whole blog post is just me going on and on about The Poppy War LOL. you can find my poppy war reading vlog here and dragon republic vlog here !! since i recently got introduced into adult fantasy and tpw was a great way for me to be able to differentiate what young adult fantasy was like from ADULT fantasy. after reading tpw and tdr i fell so immerse with the story that i just needed MORE. especially after what happened in The Dragon Republic, I simply need to know what happens now I am so ;-; I NEED IT NOW. GIVE IT TO ME NOW!
i’ve known about These Violent Delightsby Chloe Gong since she first tweeted that her debut novel will be released this year and i have been anticipating it ever since! i’ve seen her tweets and author tiktoks and they’ve been making me crave to read it even more!! a romeo and juliet 1920s shanghai retelling with a monster on the loose? sign me tf up. i already pre-ordered the book after reading the prologue and i just can’t wait to read it anymore (´͈ ᵕ `͈ )♥
i finished The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chowski in september after hearing everyone on booktwt go on and on about it and let’s just say i now believe in Roshani Chowski supremacy. the plot reminded me so much of Six of Crows but i really enjoyed the Ancient Greek puzzles and the small heists all of the characters pull off. ngl it was hard for me to get into until the third act then i was deeply invested and hurt by the time we got to the end. let’s just say i hate severin lives.
this entire blog post is just me gushing over The Poppy War and Percy Jackson huh… as you probably already guessed by now Percy Jackson has been my comfort character ever since i was eight-years-old and he’ll always be that one smartass who tested the olympians when he was only twelve years old lmao. The Son of Neptuneby Rick Riordan made me laugh so much because of Percy’s stupid sarcastic comments and because of how fluffy and badass both Hazel Levesque and Frank Zhang both were. i truly love this series with all my heart :,)
i read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald when i was sophomore in high school and it’s certainly been a while since i read it but i still hold this book close to my heart. the ending still has me messed up and daisy… oh daisy i wish i could just- okay that’s it.
of course i had to include The Tower of Nero by Rick Riordan in here :,( i know that i’m a percy stan but reading apollo’s character development in all five books made me really emotional :,(( the book overall was 5/5 for me but the only reason why i was afraid to reach the end of this book was because i just didn’t want it to end :,( sigh how will i move on??
i’m sorry chief but i really could not think of a book that everyone hates but i love hafhakfj. i either like a book or i hate it there is no in between
They Both Die At The Endby Adam Silvera. i am so sorry… i know a few of my mutuals who actually recommended and insisted i read this book but i just… i just cant with this… i read this book after my best friend checked this out at the library and complained about to me so of course i had to pick it up and… wow. this was… wow. i truly cant really phatom what i felt while reading this book but it just wasnt for me. i found the characters really annoying and stereotypical im sorry :,(
i cant even fathom how much i love the relationship between will, tessa and jem,, i know i should’ve put the infernal devices here but i wanted to put the book where we can see how much their relationship has developed once they’ve had kids of their own. so i had to include Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare because of how their love still remained as strong as when they were eighteen… it melted my heart to see how healthy and happy they were living post infernal devices and it just made my heart feel all mushy inside :,))
aaand that is all for today’s post !! i’m still trying to get the hang of blogging and i have a lot of ideas here that i cant wait to share but for the meantime i hoped u enjoyed this post and i hope to see u in the next one ╰(*´︶`*)╯ ♡