not here to be liked review

Hello everyone! My name is Jan and welcome back to another blog post  ◝(ᵔᵕᵔ)◜ ♥

It’s been a while since I’ve done a blog post, I’m vv sorry but lately it’s been hard for me to keep up with school, youtube, and blogging all at the same time but I’m trying my best!!

Today I have brought to you a review for Not Here to Be Liked by Michelle Quach and oh my gosh I loved it. I hope this review pushes everyone to grab a copy because how fluffy and good it was. So, without further ado, let’s get on w/ my review 🙂

Title: Not Here to Be Liked

Author: Michelle Quach

Publishing Date: September 14, 2021

Genre(s): Contemporary, romance, young adult, fiction, feminism, asian literature

Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Writer’s Block

Synopsis

Emergency Contact meets Moxie in this cheeky and searing novel that unpacks just how complicated new love can get…when you fall for your enemy.

Eliza Quan is the perfect candidate for editor in chief of her school paper. That is, until ex-jock Len DiMartile decides on a whim to run against her. Suddenly her vast qualifications mean squat because inexperienced Len—who is tall, handsome, and male—just seems more like a leader.

When Eliza’s frustration spills out in a viral essay, she finds herself inspiring a feminist movement she never meant to start, caught between those who believe she’s a gender equality champion and others who think she’s simply crying misogyny.

Amid this growing tension, the school asks Eliza and Len to work side by side to demonstrate civility. But as they get to know one another, Eliza feels increasingly trapped by a horrifying realization—she just might be falling for the face of the patriarchy himself.

(*note: since I’m a book review/writer based in LV, I decided to add in the bookstore where I intern at. Everyone please support small independent bookstores!!)

Even though Eliza Quan wasn’t there to be liked, I found myself liking her soooo much.

NHTBL is a story about feminism and what it means to be a feminist. We follow our main protagonist Eliza, who is a Vietnamese American girl who knows what she wants and won’t stop until she gets it. Throughout reading this, we follow Eliza’s journey towards what it means to be a feminist and accepting her identity.

This book really did remind me of people that I knew in high school and the fake performanist persona they put on. From the start, Eliza finds herself in a situation where someone uploaded her private thoughts of wasian student Len DiMartile who won their school paper’s Editor in Chief position, saying the election was rigged because she was more qualified to be Chief while everyone else merely voted for Len because he was a guy.

Many points were made.

I loved the discussion of double standards that was brought up as well as patriarchal ideas. And since this was in a high school setting where we see double standards left and right, it was easy to find this story relatable and easy to follow.

Even though Eliza’s character in fact “Not Here to Be Liked” I couldn’t help but love her. What I admire the most about Eliza was the fact that she knows what she wants and she knows who she is. Despite society ideals about a woman staying in her place and her mother’s typical expectations of what a good young asian should be like, that is, “being pretty and likeable” Eliza doesn’t let anyone change her so that she’ll be liked. Wearing dresses and putting on makeup so people would vote for her? Wouldn’t it better if people voted for her because of her experience at the Bugle and how qualified she is? But no. What I admired the most about this book was how relatable this was to me as an Asian American growing up in a society where people have certain expectations of me.

There’s this one quote that I couldn’t stop thinking because of how true it was.

“Everyone loves a girlboss until she tells you what to do”

Not Here to Be Liked Michelle Quach

And it’s so true!!! Because even though everyone praises a girlboss all across media until she actually is your boss.

Not only does Michelle Quach bring up the double standards between a guy and girl, but she also manages to bring up the girl on girl hate stigma. At one point in the book, we see Eliza in the middle of a situation where girls are slut-shaming another girl. It’s sucks to see but it’s crazy how relatable this is in real life.

Overall, I really enjoyed Not Here to Be Liked. It’s an amazing contemporary that brings up the important questions and has just the right amount of romance and fluff. Definitely a book everyone needs to pick up!!!

Thanks for stopping by, I hope everyone is doing well 🙂

Jan

the burning god review

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

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Let’s get started.

Synopsis:

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.

(c) goes to artist!

(*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?

Thank you for stopping by.

Until next time,

Jan.