july wrap up + life update

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

It’s been a fat minute since I’ve wrote a post where it’s not an ARC review 😦 I’ve been wanting to blog and upload on my yt but I’ve been helplessly busy this summer with my summer classes and internship, I hope you understand!

Now I feel like I’m in a good place mentally and physically so I’ll try my best to provide content 🙂 I hope you’ve all been well.

Without further do, let’s get on with my wrap up!

I’ve been in a really bad reading slump since summer started because I was trying to get used to juggling my internship and summer classes at the same time so I’ve only read one book in June and four books in July, but I’m still impressed that I read in general! I feel like I’ve strayed away from blogging and my content creating because of other stuff going on in my life that it impacted my mental health, but lately I’ve been picking myself and taking things slow and I’m really proud of myself to be able to get out of my funk 🙂

Reads

I’ve read a total of 4 books in July and after only reading one in June and absolutely none in May, I would say I’m pretty proud of myself 🙂

What I read in July

Ace of Spades was the book that brought me out of my reading slump and I just… I have no words. Ace of Spades was just that book. It was that good. No wonder it was an immediate best seller because what the fuck did I read??? A YA book set in a dark academic school dealing with topics such as institutionalized racism, self-identity, LGBTQ+ and more??? IT WAS JUST TOO GOOD. I think I’m going to post a review with my full thoughts because I just need to discuss them. Maybe I’ll make a video. Hm, we’ll see.

Crooked Kingdom was a book I’ve been putting aside for so long. I know I said I was going to do a reading vlog of myself reading Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom but it just. It didn’t work out. I’m sorry. I’m so disappointed with myself because I started reading this in June but I’ve been procrastinating on this for so long that it took me a whole month to finish LOL. It was okay, in my opinion. I felt like since I already knew who was going to d word it didn’t do anything special to me like I thought it would. Welp. At least I finished! 😀

They’ll Never Catch Us was an ARC I’ve recieved from PenguinTeen as part of their influencer program and!!! It exceeded expectations!!! This was a quick and lighthearted read (I mean as lighthearted as a murder mystery as could be) and was a lot better than They Wish They Were Us which is a murder mystery based in a preparatory school. I really liked the sister dynamic in They’ll Never Catch Us and it just was a good summer read for me 🙂 Of course because I’m picky this book was still all right for me LOL. To read my full review, please click here.

The Taking of Jake Livingston! I think I’ve been reading mostly thrillers this year and this book was just… wow. It was definitely something… I’ve also posted a full review on the blog and it would mean a lot if you guys checked it out 😀 To check out my full review, please click here.

Films

Uhh… I think I watched a fat amount of shows in July… I think I binged quite a few too. I have these phases where I start a show on Netflix and I absolutely won’t watch anything until I finish the show I was watching.

Okay… you already know that I’ve been obsessed with Penthouse. It’s just… that good. I mean, some of the plot twists aren’t even plot twists anymore and they keep using the “this person is actually alive” trope that it’s not even shocking anymore and I’ve pretty much gotten used to every “twist” this drama tries throwing at me but am I going to keep watching it anyway? Yes. I need to see Joo Dan Tae and Choi Seo Jin fall no matter what.

I don’t know why I randomly decided to binge The Walking Dead after giving up when I was in middle school but… I did. There’s ten seasons so far and I watched every single one of them. Did I cry multiple throughout it? Yes. Do I miss Glenn Rhee and Beth Greene? Of course I do. Did I cry like crazy watching a certain SOMEONE k word them… yes. I can’t wait for the final season. I miss Rick and Carl Grimes so much </3

Who else has been watching Nevertheless? Anyone? Anyone at all? Just me? GOD THIS DRAMA MAKES ME SO MAD!!! I started watching the Nevertheless after seeing all the hype about it go around Tiktok and I’ve been watching it with my friends every week and god… Nabi and Jae-eon irritate me sooo… much. I just want to scream at them and Nabi? NABI? MISS GIRL KNOWS HE’S A RED FLAG AND YET… At least she’s self-aware :)) Let me know if you guys are watching Nevertheless too, let’s have a watch party!!!

Also… I dyed my hair hot pink because of Bitna… she’s been on thin ice lately but I’m still in love with her. She’s an icon, she’s a legend and she IS the moment.

Personal

I’ve been very mentally drained since the start of summer because of my internship and summer classes that it’s taken a toll on me content creating and making youtube videos and writing blog posts that it makes me so sad because I really do love what I do!! But ever since I took a break from content creating, I’ve been journaling, cooking, working out and talking with my friends a lot lately and I think I’m in a better place now 🙂 My friends have been helping a lot and we’ve made a lot of memories so far this summer and I think that because of them I’ve made progress with my writing (my wips are almost done!!) and I’m in good place that I’ve been trying to get myself at for so long 🙂

I kind of blew up on my other tiktok (@tenluvr93 if you wanna follow) and I’ve been trying my best to do to THAT girl’s routine and I’m so!!! proud!! of myself!! I’ve been eating breakfast, taking my meds, working out, journaling, and the amount of progress I made from myself in the start of summer makes me so happy 🙂

My intern have helped me a lot this summer too! I’m glad we started talking to each other and helped one another through our stress. I l word them a lot ❤

Here are some pics from my summer!! Next week I’m dying my hair RED 😀

That’s all for today’s post! I’ll get back to my normal uploading schedule this week 🙂 Blog posts every Tuesday and new videos every Saturday 🙂 Thank you all for stopping by, I hope you’re staying safe!

Jan

they’ll never catch us ARC review

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

Lately, I’ve been on a reading (what’s the opposite of slump? surge?) surge for the past week now it feels weird if I don’t read for at least an hour before I go to sleep LOL. It doesn’t matter if it’s on my phone or with a physical book in hand, I just NEED to read before I go to bed.

With that being said I actually can’t believe I’ve actually been completing my ARCs? I’ve been trying to do my best to read with my friend Trin at night and I think that it’s really made me more productive with my reading so tysm Trin :3

This week I have brought to you another ARC review and it is by Jessica Goodman, the author who also wrote They Wish They Were Us, a murder mystery at this preparatory school where everyone is a suspect. Check out the goodreads link above if you’re interested!

Jessica Goodman has brought us ANOTHER murder mystery and I’m vv thankful for Penguin Teen for sending me a copy to read and give an honest review 🙂 ❤

Without further ado, let’s get on with my review!

Title: They’ll Never Catch Us

Author: Jessica Goodman

Publishing Date: July 26th, 2021

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary

Rating: ☆☆☆

Goodreads | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis

From rising star Jessica Goodman, author of They Wish They Were Us, comes a new fast-paced thriller about two sisters vying for the top spot on their cross-country team–the only way out of their stifling small town. But their dreams are suddenly thrown into peril when a new girl threatens to take away everything they’ve worked for… until she disappears.

Stella and Ellie Steckler are only a year apart, but their different personalities make their relationship complicated. Stella is single-minded, driven, and she keeps to herself. Cross-country running is her life and she won’t let anything get in the way of being the best. Her sister Ellie is a talented runner too, but she also lets herself have fun. She has friends. She goes to parties. She has a life off the course.

The sisters do have one thing in common, though: the new girl, Mila Keene. Both Stecklers’ lives are upended when Mila comes to town. Mila was the top runner on her team back home and at first, Ellie and Stella view her as a threat. But soon Ellie can’t help but be drawn to her warm, charming personality. After her best friend moved away and her first boyfriend betrayed her, Ellie’s been looking for a friend. In a moment of weakness, she even shares her darkest secret with Mila. For her part, Stella finds herself noticing the ways she and Mila are similar. Mila is smart and strong–she’s someone Stella can finally connect with. As the two get closer, Stella becomes something she vowed she’d never be: distracted.

With regionals approaching and college scouts taking notice, the pressure is on. Each girl has their future on the line and they won’t let friendships get in their way. But then, suddenly, Mila goes out on a training run and never returns. No one knows what happened, but all eyes are on the Steckler sisters.

So… I did want to like this book.

It was just okay in my opinion.

I didn’t really like Jessica Goodman’s other book, They Wish They Were Us but I thought that since this story had a sisters dynamic and this common prose of cross country “murderers” in this small town that has a history of being Murderville, I thought I would like this!!!

It was just okay LOL.

However, I really did like this book much better than They Wish They Were Us !

This book really put into perspective how women really aren’t taken seriously when they’re speaking about something and I’m glad that Jessica Goodman pointed that out in a realistic fashion in this book. “We all know teenage girls are capable of lying” that quote physically made me mad and my heart literally stopped for a second because of how true that is? Not in the sense that we do teenage girls are capable of lying, but the fact that teenage girls, women in general, are always perceived in this way that they’re never right or telling the truth and once they try speaking up for themselves, they get shut down.

Stella Steckler is competitive. It’s in her nature to strive to be the best because she knows that she is the best. She doesn’t want anything to get in the way of her full potential. Last year had been rough enough on her, with the whole scandal she had going on that cost her scholarship opportunities in Georgetown, She just wanted to focus on herself and get herself in Georgetown with her talent in cross-country. However, once new girl Mila comes into town, Stella doesn’t only worry about beating her sister in a race, but she also has to keep an eye out for a new ace. Someone who will surely take her spot.

Ellie Steckler, just like her sister wants to get out of Edgewater (or Deadwater, if you will) just as badly. She wants to beat her sister in at least one race. But with Mila in town too, she had to add another girl to the list of people she needed to outrace. But when Mila goes missing, all eyes look at the Steckler sisters.

I was genuinely surprised with the sister dynamic of this book, you can clearly tell who the two different Stecklers are, and even though all eyes are pointing at the Steckler Sister’s for Mila’s disappearance, no matter if they both don’t know each other’s secrets, all in all, they still have each other’s back no matter what.

I read this all in one sitting because I felt like I was watching beef happen right before my eyes LOL. If you’re interested in a family dynamic book, small-town murder mysteries and competitive teenage girls willing to do anything to save their ass, They’ll Never Catch Us is definitely for you.

Thank you for coming to my review! I hope you’re all staying safe 🙂

Jan ❤

the taking of jake livingston ARC review

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

Thank you once again to Penguin Teen for sending me this ARC copy of The Taking of Jake Livingston in exchange for an honest review!

Please be on the lookout for further ARC reviews in the future by Penguin Teen as I’m one of Penguin Teen Influencers for this year! Let me know what kind of content you want to see! More booktube content or more blog posts :3

Without further ado, let’s get started!

Title: The Taking of Jake Livingston

Author: Ryan Douglass

Rating: ☆☆☆☆

Release Date: July 13, 2021

pre-order and get ~spooky~ goodies for 10% off!

goodreads | book depository | barnes & noble |

Synopsis

Get Out meets Danielle Vega in this YA horror where survival is not a guarantee.

Jake Livingston is one of the only Black kids at St. Clair Prep, one of the others being his infinitely more popular older brother. It’s hard enough fitting in but to make matters worse and definitely more complicated, Jake can see the dead. In fact he sees the dead around him all the time. Most are harmless. Stuck in their death loops as they relive their deaths over and over again, they don’t interact often with people. But then Jake meets Sawyer. A troubled teen who shot and killed six kids at a local high school last year before taking his own life. Now a powerful, vengeful ghost, he has plans for his afterlife–plans that include Jake. Suddenly, everything Jake knows about ghosts and the rules to life itself go out the window as Sawyer begins haunting him and bodies turn up in his neighborhood. High school soon becomes a survival game–one Jake is not sure he’s going to win.

Content Warnings: racism, school shooting, death (graphic), violence (graphic), mentions of suicide attempt, physical and emotional abuse, mental illness, parental and medical negligence, sociopathy, sadism, attempted rape, revenge porn, gore, homophobia, bullying.

note: Ryan Douglass is an amazing human being and I’m so glad that I was able to read this ARC copy :3 ❤

Two words. BLACK. HORROR.

LBGTQ+ rep! Horror! BIPOC characters! What more could you ask? Halloween came early with The Taking of Jake Livingston.

This has been one of my most anticipated reads for this year and I can’t believe I got an ARC! Once again, thank you PenguinTeen for providing me with a copy!

The plot was very interesting and I definitely felt the horror aspect of this book come through! As most of you guys know, I don’t really do well with horror but I was greatly surprised at how I was getting goosebumps as well as getting creeped out as I read this book.

First of all, I want to talk about the pun in Jake’s name. Jake Livingston? The kid that gets possessed by a ghost? The kid that fights an undead ghost and lives to tell the tale?Amazing. Superior. Awesome.

When I first dove into this book blind, I thought I was going to get something different. From the cover I suspected an anxious teen who probably had a lot of bad things happen to him fight a ghost in the middle of this large dark academic school where secrets unfold.

Well, there wasn’t a dark academic school, but I was pleasantly surprised with this book! I loved the aspect of a possessing ghost looking for revenge and a witty queer bipoc teen fight back while going through his first ever crush. It was simply… everything.

When I first got my copy, I was surprised with how short the book was but I felt like the pacing was well done and the only thing I was disappointed in was that it wasn’t longer.

We got our medium Jake, a teenager who can see spirits deal with the ghost of Sawyer Doon, a who used to live in their town commit a terrible act on other students before eventually ending his life himself. The plot was well done and everything came full circle, starting with Jake, diving back into the backstory of Sawyer Doon and why he’s seeking revenge, and ending it back with Jake.

The only other characters I enjoyed reading were Allistar and Benji, I didn’t really care for the others but I wish I got more scenes w them towards the climax of the book!

(There are some really graphic scenes that everyone should be aware of before diving into this book and I’ve put all warnings at the top of this post!!!)

It was truly a thrilling book to read and I can’t wait to see everyone thinks about The Taking of Jake Livingston.

Thank you all for stopping by! I hope you’re all staying safe ❤

Jan

hello (from here) ARC review

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

I’m trying to update on my blog and my channel more so pls keep an eye out for more content from I’m working on it I promise T_T

Today I am back with another ARC review! If you didn’t know I am a part of Penguin Teen Influencers Program and I am so excited to share my reviews on these upcoming books! Please keep an eye out for reading vlogs and further ARC reviews for more content like this!

Without further ado, let’s get on with the review.

Title: hello (from here)

Author(s): Chandler Baker & Wesley King

Rating: ☆☆☆

Release Date: May 11, 2021

goodreads | book depository | barnes & noble |

Synopsis

A witty and thought-provoking YA love story set during the COVID-19 quarantine, written by two NYT bestselling authors, with shades of Five Feet Apart and Anna and the French Kiss .

Maxine and Jonah bump into each other in the canned goods aisle of the grocery store just as the state of California is going into lockdown, when everything changes completely. Could there be a worse time to meet? Max’s part-time job at a supermarket is about to transform into a hellish gauntlet. Jonah’s preexisting anxiety is about to become an epic daily struggle. As Max, Jonah, and their friends live together but apart through hijinks, humanity, and heartbreak, Hello (From Here) cuts across urgent matters much bigger than a teenage crush. Differences of class, privilege, mental health, and sacrifice are thrown into stark relief by the profound and personal stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic. As thoughtful, probing, and informed as it is buoyant, romantic, and funny, Hello (From Here) looks at the first two months of the quarantine and adds falling hopelessly in love to the mess.

 

Thank you Netgalley and PenguinTeen for giving me an ARC copy in exchange for a review!

This book made me somewhat sentimental about when we were on the verge of the pandemic. The stocking of toilet paper, the way everyone was confused with no idea what to do or where to begin because we’ve never been faced with such a situation like the COVID-19 pandemic before. Reading this made me actually… nostalgic? For those times. When the world was fighting for toilet paper, when people were rushing home from their study abroad trip in Europe, when people were making tiktoks after tiktoks from boredom and making dalgona coffee and just being… home. This book kind of made me… miss all of that.

I feel like hello (from here) was a different concept and very different from every contemporary I’ve read before since it not only reflected a very serious pandemic, but it touched upon what we went through when COVID-19 was on the very tip of the ice berg and we didn’t know what to do.

I did like the characters, I found them endearing and actually very relatable. I think we could see a lot of ourselves in Jonah and how he dealt with his constant anxiety and how it peaked over these unknown times. I liked Maxine as well and I liked how very… real her relationship was with her family and her friends, how they talked over Zoom and how she still had to work with her job as a groceries attendant.

The plot was nice and all but it seemed to lack some sort… substance? It seemed very… empty, I guess you could say. Half of it was plot, and half of it was these two teens trying to build a kind of romance over Zoom which I must say was very different and I liked the concept a lot but I think the way it was executed was not for me.

However, I do think that now with everyone’s gotten to learn to live during the pandemic and how we’re all very used to it, it would make everyone nostalgic for those times when we were just beginning with COVID-19. I think that teens would enjoy this book, especially when COVID-19 is over, future teens can get a glimpse of what we lived like during those times :))

That’s all for my review! Thank you so much for stopping by and I promise to upload more content in the future ❤

Stay safe and stay healthy! I appreciate you all 😀 ❤

Jan

ARC Review: Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta- Two Sapphics Killing Mechas for a Good Ol’ Time

Hello everyone! Long time, no blog post (T_T)

So sorry, so sorry life has been getting in the way and I’ve been so behind on my ARCs and reviews that I just want to scream now haha!

But of course, since I’ve been anticipating this book for so long by a very cool friend of mine, I am back to give my thoughts! (╹◡╹)♡

Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta has been a much anticipated read for me this entire year and I am so thrilled to be a part of the #GearbreakersTour !

Without further ado, let’s get started with my review!

Title: Gearbreakers

Author: Zoe Hana Mikuta

Rating: ☆☆☆☆

Release Date: June 29, 2021

pre-order here!

goodreads | book depository | barnes & noble

Synopsis

Two girls on opposite sides of a war discover they’re fighting for a common purpose–and falling for each other–in Zoe Hana Mikuta’s high-octane debut Gearbreakers, perfect for fans of Pacific Rim, Pierce Brown’s Red Rising Saga, and Marie Lu’s Legend series.

We went past praying to deities and started to build them instead...

The shadow of Godolia’s tyrannical rule is spreading, aided by their giant mechanized weapons known as Windups. War and oppression are everyday constants for the people of the Badlands, who live under the thumb of their cruel Godolia overlords.

Eris Shindanai is a Gearbreaker, a brash young rebel who specializes in taking down Windups from the inside. When one of her missions goes awry and she finds herself in a Godolia prison, Eris meets Sona Steelcrest, a cybernetically enhanced Windup pilot. At first Eris sees Sona as her mortal enemy, but Sona has a secret: She has intentionally infiltrated the Windup program to destroy Godolia from within.

As the clock ticks down to their deadliest mission yet, a direct attack to end Godolia’s reign once and for all, Eris and Sona grow closer–as comrades, friends, and perhaps something more… 

Gear up Gearbreakers, you’re in for a wild ride.

Ahaha… Zoe bestie you didn’t just… end the book like that… you ended me.

ANYWAYS, I went into this book completely blind only knowing a few details. Sapphics, mechas, and Gearbreakers.

I really had high hopes for this book and I was expecting k wording some mechas, some rich enemies to lovers beef, and two girlbosses ready to go at it at each other’s throats and can I just say… I was well fed.

This book was an absolute ride and I’ve loved so many parts of it! The pairing of Eris and Sona and how they slowly came to be after being subtle enemies, the family dynamic between Eris and her sister Jenny and the rest of their Gearbreaker squad and I absolutely loved those badass mecha killing scenes. It was a rush and such a thrill to go through and I am in absolute pieces of what this book has done to me.

It starts off kind of slow, introducing the world and the characters, Eris and Sona and where they fall into this war but then about 100 pages in, it really takes off. There’s action after action and two Asian rep MCs in a dystopian world with mechas and gods and deities and it was all very interesting to read!

I had issues following along where the plot was going, but then I realized how very much character driven this book was. I loved how Zoe wrote characters that were still trying to figure out their identity and how this war came to be a part of it. How Eris and Sona had this drive inside of them to keep going and how they continued learning more about each other every day. I especially love how Sona is trying hard to come to terms with who she is. Part bot, and part of her trying to realize how flawed the system in which she was raised in was. There was very strong character development for Sona and I admire how Zoe wrote her character and I’m excited for more things to come!

At the end of all this, I get painted with the big picture. Teenagers stuck in the middle of a war with no one else to run to except for each other, and that alone is what I love about Gearbreakers.

The start was a bit rocky and slow, but things really start picking up midway that you’re left with wondering what else is going to hit you. Especially the end. Oof, I still have not recovered.

Thank you so much for stopping by for my review friends! I hope you’re all staying safe and well ❤

Jan.

black water sister ARC review

“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!

Title: Black Water Sister

Author: Zen Cho

Rating: ☆☆☆☆

Release Date: May 11, 2021

pre-order here!

goodreads | book depository | barnes and noble |

Synopsis

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.

CW: attempted rape, homophobia, racist microaggressions

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 ❤

Jan

march wrap up | my spring days

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 🙂

Reads

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 and for 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…)

Films

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…

Personal

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!

Be sure to follow my Twitter for more bookish and annoying tweets as well as my Goodreads for bookish updates and more 🙂

Here are also some important links and resources that you need to be aware of:

anti-asian-violence-resources

info on the hijab ban in france

blacklivesmatterALWAYS

important resources & info

Stay safe,

Jan.

the ones we’re meant to find ARC review

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 @ corneliastreetreads blog post about TOWMTF… I couldn’t be more excited to read it.

Without further ado, let’s get started with my review! ❤

Title: The Ones We’re Meant to Find

Author: Joan He

Publication Date: May 4, 2021

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

pre-order here!

goodreads | amazon | book depository | barnes & noble

Synopsis

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. 

We Were Liars meets 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.

Until next time,

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.

playing cupid by sc alban ARC review

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 Megan Cooper– well, all I can say is good luck, Charlie.

Title: Playing Cupid

Author: SC Alban

Publication Date: February 23, 2021

Rating: ☆☆

Synopsis

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 Cupid follows 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 her when 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.

Image result for cupid gif

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.

Image result for you're annoying gif

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.

Image result for not like other girls gif

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 ❤

Stay safe

Jan.