Hey y’all! This is a very impromptu post, but my posting schedule has been out of sorts as I transition into ~college life~.
It’s been very busy and all sorts of unique stresses, but overall I’m having a really good time. I have really good friends, a beautiful campus, and classes I’m excited about, which I’m very thankful for. And the dining hall isn’t as bad as I complain about (and I complain a lot).
However, I’d still love to catch up with y’all about reading (and am writing this in a free hour I have before my next class). So, some small updates! (And tell me what you’ve been up to, as well!)
What I’m Currently Reading
Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron
I’m around halfway through this right now, and whew! Things are heating up.
The beginning was a little rough for me–part of which is probably due to how busy I am and how I can only read in small snippets–but some of the events early on felt a little aimless. It slowed down the novel a little, but I reached a point where I’m itching to finish the novel and see what happens next.
The magic system is really cool and definitely a highlight for this book. I think it’s exciting to have a heroine who doesn’t actually have magic, and who ends up doing almost heretical magic that harms herself in order to have magic. It’s more complicated than that, but I’d honestly categorize Arrah as almost an antihero, because she’s doing “bad” things for a good reason, and this is a region of moral grayness I love.
I know there are definitely people who won’t enjoy this very much (especially those who didn’t do well with thicker fantasies like Hafsah Faizal’s We Hunt the Flame) but it has a lot of potential and really interesting dynamics so far. I think it’s 100% worth the shot, and although I haven’t finished (and it’s out today!), I think there’s value in reading more and pushing past the beginning!
Frankly in Love by David Yoon
I am absolutely itching to pick this back up. I caved and read out of order, and instead zoomed through fifty-ish pages of this contemporary, and I’m loving it.
Frank is both an absolutely normal and extremely endearing main character at the same time. It’s 100% a romantic comedy, and although everyone knows how the book is going to end, it’s the journey that counts, and Frank has such a silly and fun and serious story going on at the same time.
Not to be like ~that~ but fans of Nicola Yoon’s almost . . . aesthetic? (Think chapter headings) will enjoy this, and fans of stories like To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (fake dating!) and When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (cultural expectations + dating!).
It’s cute and endearing and a little silly in a situation that’s very full of seriousness and parental racism. I would put a decent TW for racism here, because Frank’s parents are a perfect example of anti-blackness, anti-LatinX sentiments from the Korean (and also just entire East Asian) community. It’s not glossed over, and can be a little…surprising if you aren’t expecting this.
A Treason of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth
In all honesty, I haven’t been able to pick this up since July, but I am almost 100 pages through, I’ve just been busy. I’m going to pick it back up when my copy arrives next Tuesday (which is when it publishes!) and I’m so excited to dive back into this world of magical, sentient houses and keys and deeds and dangerous, dangerous plants and toxic relationships between sentient houses and people.
It reminds me a lot of Toxic by Lydia Kang, except not in space and with a house instead of a potentially malevolent sentient spaceship.
It’s got that dynamic between object/home and person, and it’s something I love seeing explored. And the entire aesthetic is so nice and leafy, I can’t wait to take a bunch of pretty photos of it (and finish reading!).
What I Just Finished
Eclipse the Skies by Maura Milan
THIS WAS JUST AS AMAZING AS I EXPECTED! My review already went up, so I’m not gonna spam you with more thoughts on it and instead just leave my link here, but it was such a perfect series ender. I found the conclusion to be both heartbreaking and fitting, so you really are in for a treat with this duology.
Caster by Elsie Chapman
I also have a review for this one up already, but Caster was such a pleasant surprise. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked this up, but I ended up really enjoying the gritty world, subtle diasporic Asian subtext, and the dangerous magic system and games that were being played in the story.
She’s the Worst by Lauren Spieller
My review is here, but this sister story was one I sped through really quickly on the plane. It wasn’t a long read (and took place in under 48 hours) but I really enjoyed the strong themes of friendship and sisterhood in the story. It was overall a very sweet contemporary and one that’s be great to hand to lower YA readers, as well.
What Came in the Mail
Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
This isn’t actually for me, but it’s courtesy of Tor Books because I’m giving it to a local LGBTQ+ teen group at my college for them to pass around! I mean. Lesbian necromancers. What more could you ask for?
I really hope they enjoy it and I’ll definitely share with y’all what they think of it!
Time of Our Lives by Austin Siegemund-Broka & Emily Wibberley
OH MY GOSH. I haven’t unboxed this yet, but Y’ALL. Y’ALL. It’s Time of Our Lives by Wibbroka and I could not be more hyped. I’m always down for a rom com and having this waiting for me cheers me up infinitely more. Just seeing this book lying on my desk makes me soooo happy. I’m really excited for this one because it’s going in a slightly different direction from Wibbroka’s past books (which I loved, by the way) where there’s now a dual point of view and it’s taking place on the East Coast!
So much excitement. The rom coms next year are just [insert ok hand emojis].
It’s My Life by Stacie Ramey
I got a very lovely package from Sourcebooks Fire, and am really excited for these three books? This is one I hadn’t heard of before looking at some of their upcoming titles, but it’s a novel about a girl with cerebral palsy and it deals with untold family secrets, childhood crushes coming back in town, and so much more, and I’m hoping this will turn out to be a really deep contemporary!
Reverie by Ryan La Sala
Not only am I just generally so psyched for this book, but also it came in the coolest packaging that I’ll be unboxing on Instagram later. Drag queens, sorcerers, and so much magical fantasy goodness, I’m extremely excited to dive in. Ryan is just a true gem in our world and I’m excited for the magical, rainbow-y chaos that is this book. SO SHINY. (And it’s pub date got moved to December!)
Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco
I really enjoyed The Bone Witch when I read it–almost two years ago? I haven’t had time to pick up her later books since then but I feel like Wicked As You Wish will really give me the push to get back into her books and read this first, and then finish the Bone Witch trilogy. Kingdoms, spelltech, and so much more, this book has me so excited for the fantasy magic that Chupeco has in store for us!
The Library of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey
I am really excited to dive into this one! I brought my ARC to college, but Laura was kind enough to send over a finished copy of The Library of Lost Things before it publishes officially. I’m super excited for this bookish romance feat. bad boys, hoarding mothers, girls who love getting lost in books, and so much more. I have a feeling I’m just gonna speed through this one!
What I’m Reading Next
Resurrection Girls by Ava Morgyn
This book seems like the perfect read to really get into that fall, spooky, autumnal vibe. I mean, mysteries, three generations of intoxicating but potentially toxic women, and dark, strange, and magical impulses sounds like such a fall read. It’s a small book, but I can feel myself getting into the mood for a really atmospheric story, which I know this will bring.
Scars Like Wings by Erin Stewart
I am ready for my heart to break.
This is the story of a burn survivor and her experience after being burned in a fire and I can already tell that this is going to be a really heavy & hard hitting story, but one that will probably stay with me for a very long time. From developing new friendships to trying to understand “normal,” Scars Like Wings is a hard-hitting contemporary that I’m really excited (and nervous!) to pick up.
Crier’s War by Nina Varela
I’ve heard so many good things about this f/f fantasy and I’m just. Itching. So badly. To pick it up.
Romantic fantasies have such a soft spot in my heart and I feel like Crier’s War is going to be a book that deals a lot with expectations from the people around you. But in a fantasy setting with all the rich worldbuilding and lovely magic and romance have me so intrigued, and I’m wildly excited to start.