While I don’t watch booktok content, I still spend a lot of time on tiktok and the other day I saw a video from a bookstore (I didn’t save the video so I don’t know who they are), where booksellers talked about books they wish they could read for the first time, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about what books would I choose. So today I want to share the books I came up with:
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia: this book made me feel so many things so strongly when I read it and I don’t think it would be quite the same on re-read. Also, I think the creepy moments and the horror of the reveals hit harder on the first read.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel: this book has so many different elements (a pandemic, a cult, a theater group, some graphic novels) and different timelines, and the first time I read it it was hard to imagine how they all fit together. I would love to experience again the moment when everything made sense and I saw how every thread was tied together.
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern: when I read this, I felt like I was lost in a strange and beautiful world and I was so intrigued by the mystery of this library, and I would love to have that feeling again and I think it may no be as strong on a re-read
Jade City by Fonda Lee: Something happens in this book that broke my heart and I think that feeling can really only be experienced fully the first time around.Also, the not knowing what’s going to happen next and feeling like no one is safe is not the same once you know what happened.
Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews: this series brought me so much joy, I read all 10 books in about 2 weeks and I fell in love with the characters and the world. I would love to experience again that moment when I realized that I had found something special.
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie: This book is full of suspense, secrets and lies, and I would love to read it again without knowing who is behind everything, if the accusations about the characters are true, and if anyone is going to survive. I remember trying to figure out the mystery being a really fun part of the reading experience because it felt like all the clues were there, I would love to have that again.
Only When It’s Us by Chloe Liese: beyond the fact that this book is excellent, I wish I could read it for the first time because it made me confront the things I assume about people when I meet them and it wouldn’t happen on a re-read because I’d go in knowing that the assumption is wrong.
Headliners by Lucy Parker: this book was a great romance and part of the reason why it’s the humor, I laughed out loud so many times because there were so many funny moments that came unexpectedly and I think they won’t be as funny a second time around, so I would love to be able to experience it for the first time again.
What books do you wish you could read for the first time?
Hi everyone! I’m so excited to share my may tbr, I chose most of these books to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and the other 4 books are my most anticipated May releases.
Here are the books I’m planning to read:
We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal: I had fun reading the first book in this series even if I had issues with it (here’s my full review) and I have heard that this sequel is so much better than the first book, so I can’t wait to see how this duology ends.
Jade War by Fonda Lee: I’m so scared of reading this book because I know it’s going to make me suffer, but I know I’m goign to love it and I want to read it before the last book comes out at the end of the year.
The Burning God by R.F. Kuang: another book that I’m scared of reading because I know it’s going to break my heart but I also know I’m going to love it.
Murder in Old Bombay by Nev March: as an Agatha Christie fan and in general a fan of cozy mysteries, I’m looking for more diverse books in this subgenre and I have heard nothing but great things about this one.
Tha Dating Plan by Sara Desai: I thought the first book in this series of companion novels was just ok, but this one has two of my favorite tropes: fake dating and marriage of convenience, so off course I’m going to give it a chance.
How to Find a Princess by Alyssa Cole: Alyssa Cole’s books are great, I loved the first book in this series and I can’t wait to read another f/f romance written by her because I know I’m going to love it.
What books do you want to read in May? Have you read any of the books on my tbr?
Hi everyone! This is my last post of 2020 and that’s so wild! Blogging was such a refuge for me in 2020 and I fell even more in love with it, so I’m excited to keep sharing content with all of you in 2021.
In case you missed it, the last couple of days I posted myFavorite YA Books of 2020 and my Favorite Romance Books of 2020. Check them out if you want to see what other books I loved this year. Today, I want to talk about 10 adult books that I loved in 2020. These are all books that I read in 2020 even if they didn’t come out in 2020 and the only rule that I had was that I couldn’t have two books from the same series.
Without further ado, here are my top 10 adult books of 2020:
The world-building and magic system in this book are unique, captivating and devastating at the same time. The way the society in this book mirrors our society is smart and poignant. There are so many twists, some that I saw coming and some that I didn’t, but they all make sense to the story and make it more interesting. I loved Syenite and Alabaster and I’m heartbroken over everything they went through. What this book has to say and how it says it is so powerful and heartbreaking that it left me feeling hopeless and it took me a long time to recover but I think it was worth it.
The writing in this book makes it feel like reading a myth or fairytale, it is so engaging. The Mayan mythology is captivating and lush, and since it’s a mythology that it’s not often used in fantasy books, this book is full of gods and mythical creatures that feel unique. This book is set in 1920’s Mexico and the mix of the mythological elements and the ‘modernity’ of the Jazz Age works well and gives this story an even more unique touch. Finally, the main characters, Casiopea and Hun-Kamé, who is the Mayan god of death, are both very engaging characters and their journeys and character development were fascinating.
This is a quick, fascinating, and thought-provoking read. It focuses a lot on the scientific and technical side of space travel but the truly interesting thing is that Becky Chambers doesn’t forget about the impact that the discoveries, the advancements, and the search for those things have on people and environments. Also, there are a lot of queer characters in this book, which I love.
This book was so powerful. I was captivated the entire time while reading, I was amazed by the way the author takes all of these different elements (a pandemic, a cult, a theater group, some graphic novels) and different timelines and ties them all together in a way it makes sense and it’s interesting and meaningful. I found all the characters and storylines incredibly fascinating. This book made me really sad while reading it, but it also made me feel thankful and, in the end, it gave me hope.
This book is brilliant. I’m not the biggest fan of Military fantasy, but this series does it so well that I’m really invested in the story. The way this book talks about war and power is grim but fascinating. I think the main reason I enjoy this series and this book so much is that it has given me some characters that I adore. I still love Kitay as much as I did in book 1, this book made me fall in love with Venka and I love the angsty, complicated relationship between Rin and Nezha. Also, this book discusses colorism, colonialism, and the role of religion within colonialism in such a thought-provoking way.
This book may have one of the coolest premises ever, it’s like the Godfather with martial arts and magic. It’s such a unique book! Fonda Lee does an amazing job of describing the action scenes in this book and the way she incorporates martial arts is incredible. The clan war element of the story is so interesting, this is a very intense book and I was completely invested in everything that was happening. I think I cared so much because I LOVED the main characters, who are siblings that are incredibly loyal to each other and they won my loyalty too. This book broke my heart at one point, I was devastated but it was SO GOOD.
This book is whimsical, nonsensical, and peculiar and the writing is absolutely beautiful. This book doesn’t have a defined plot; it’s full of metaphors and stories within stories, so it can be very confusing and, by the end, I felt like I only understood parts of it; and since it feels like you are reading a story, a myth, a fable, most of the characters feel like characters in that story and not like real people. But I didn’t dislike any of that. While I read this, I felt like I was lost in a strange and beautiful world. I loved and I was invested in all the stories within stories, I was intrigued by the mystery of this underground library, I was captivated by everything.
I love the characters in this book, monstrous women are my favorite thing in the world, and I love their relationship with each other and the found family aspect of the book. The premise of this is so unique, the daughters of famous scientists from classic gothic literature work together to solve a mystery that it’s linked to their lives. Also, I love the funny and unique structure in which this book is told, the fact that the characters interrupt the narrative to give their commentary on what’s happening. Basically, I love everything about this.
This is a hopeful and heartwarming book that explores the idea that prejudice keeps growing and wins when people stay silent in the face of it and live comfortably in their bubbles. The concept of this book is fascinating, well-executed and it mirrors a lot of real-life situations, this book is set in a world where magical beings exist and there’s a lot of prejudice against them. The main character in this book is so endearing and the children are cute, funny, lovable and so compelling. The sweet, loving relationship between the main character and the kids is my favorite part of the book. Also, there’s a very sweet m/m romance in this!
This creepy, atmospheric, and disturbing book. The writing is beautiful and captivating while being simple and unpretentious, and the main character is three-dimensional and flawed, while being charming and bewitching. This story is so effective in being scary because even when it’s not clear if there are ghosts, magic, or other supernatural things going on, the real villains of the story are manipulative, abusive, disgusting men that you could find anywhere in the world and anytime in history. This book is creepy from very early on, Moreno-García made my skin crawl with the simplest scenes, sometimes nothing too scary was happening but with one perfectly crafted phrase, I was spooked. Also, this includes important commentary on sexism, colonialism, and eugenics that gives depth to the story.
What are your favorite Adult books that you read in 2020?
Hi everyone! Today, I’m sharing my list of favorite new-to-me authors of 2020. This list doesn’t include romance authors because I wrote a separate list for my favorite new-to-me romance authors since I read so much romance.
These are all authors I can’t wait to read more from:
Erin Morgenstern: For a while, I have been looking for fantasy books that were more whimsical and magical and less grim and sad and Erin Morgenstern gave me exactly what I wanted. The Starless Sea is so nonsensical and fairytale-esque and the writing is so beautiful.
T.J. Klune: The House in the Cerulean Sea is everything I didn’t know I wanted, T.J. Klune managed to write a story that was hopeful and heartwarming while still talking about serious topics like privilege, prejudice, and complacency.
Romina Garber: Romina Garber took me back in time, Lobizona made me feel so nostalgic, it’s the perfect YA fantasy. Garber does an amazing job of having a unique world and a really cool made-up sport, and at the same time, integrating so many elements from Argentinian culture and discussing difficult topics like immigration.
Amparo Ortiz: The award for the coolest concept ever goes to Amparo Ortiz, the idea of a made-up sport played by humans and dragons is incredible. The expansive world building, the complex history behind the made-up sport and the captivating writing style are some of the strengths of Blazewrath Games.
Fonda Lee: Fonda Lee’s ability to write an intense, fast-paced story, with the coolest and most realistic combat scenes is outstanding. But the true strength of her writing is in her characters, I emotionally invested in all of their lives and suffer with them the entire book.
R.F. Kuang: I’m not the biggest fan of Military fantasy, but it’s so well done in The Poppy War Series that R.F. Kuang has made me feel very captivated and engaged with the story. The way Kuang discusses war, colorism, colonialism, and the role of religion within colonialism is very powerful. But I think the main element I love from her books is the characters, which are very complex, interesting and morally gray.
N.K. Jemisin: N.K. Jemisin created a fascinating, unique and devastating world for her The Broken Earth Series. She made me feel invested in her characters and then she made me pay for it. The way certain elements of the story mirror our society is smart and poignant.
Emily St. John Mandel: The way Emily St. John Mandel included so many different elements in Station Eleven is masterful. She manages to weave together storylines that seem completely unrelated, from a nomad theater group to a cult to a mysterious town in an airport. St John Mandel did an amazing job keeping her story intriguing and captivating.
What are some amazing authors you discovered in 2020?
Hi everyone! Today I’m going to talk about the books I have loved the most in 2020 so far. I didn’t include romance because I’m doing a separate post for my favorite romance books of the year since I read so many and since my way of rating and viewing romance vs other genres is so different.
Without fruther ado, here are my top 5 books of 2020 so far + some honorable mentions:
*Click the book titles to go to the Goodreads page*
This book is like the Godfather with martial arts and magic
An incredibly cool and unique book. It’s set in a city, where there are technology and magic and there are two powerful clans who are fighting for dominance, there’s also so much political intrigue and the clans are so powerful that the government has to consider them and negotiate with them.
The main characters are siblings that are loyal to each other, I loved them so much and they have my loyalty too.
A very intense book and I was completely invested in everything that was happening. This broke my heart at one point, I was devastated but it was SO GOOD.
Interesting commentary on profit vs cultural significance
The writing is beautiful and captivating while being simple and unpretentious.
The haunted house in this story is a secluded, declining, rotting house with no working electricity and strange echos, it’s located in a small abandoned mining town in the middle of nowhere and it has a cementery in the backyard.
This book is set in 1950 Mexico and that brings very unique elements to the story.
the villains are so effective because even in this setting where it’s not clear if there are ghosts, magic, or other supernatural things going on, the villains are manipulative, abusive, disgusting men that you could find anywhere in the world and anytime in history.
Important commentary on sexism, colonialism, and eugenics.
It explores the idea that prejudice keeps growing and wins when people, who have the privilege of not being affected by prejudice, stay silent and live comfortably in their bubbles
The main character is so endearing
A fascinating and well-executed concept. In this world, magical children are sent to orphanages or special schools and the main character’s job is to make sure the children are in safe environments while staying objective and detached. The problem is that the kids are “safe” doesn’t mean that their situation is fair or right.
the children are the absolute stars of this book. They are cute, funny, lovable and so compelling.
This book was really dark and unexpectedly fast-paced
Inspired by the Second Sino-Japanese War, it portraits the horrors of war in a very realistic and grim way. This is a grimdark/military fantasy.
This is action-packed and there are a lot of brutal, violent scenes
it has a power-hungry main character. She starts as ambitious and driven but as she faces discrimination and unfairness and sees the terrible things that are happening, she goes through a huge transformation and becomes very ruthless
Once I finished this book I was shocked and I truly didn’t know how to feel.
I have a thing for Moreno-Garcia’s writing if it’s not obvious by the fact that two of her books made it to the list. The writing in this book made it feel like reading a myth or fairytale, it was so engaging.
The Mayan mythology was captivating and lush, and since it’s a mythology that it’s not often used in fantasy books, this book was full of gods and mythical creatures that felt very new and unique.
This book is set in 1920’s Mexico and the mix of the mythological elements and the ‘modernity’ of the Jazz Age worked well and gave this story an even more unique touch.
The main characters, Casiopea and Hun-Kamé, who is the Mayan god of death, are both very engaging characters and their journeys and character development were fascinating.
My favorite YA book
Incendiary by Zoraida Cordova: this book has an intricate magic system, vivid characters, twist and turns that will keep you at the edge of your seat and an ending that will leave you wanting more.
My favorite novellas
To be Taught If Fortunate by Becky Chambers: This was such a quick, fascinating, and thought-provoking read. It focuses a lot on the scientific and technical side of space travel but the truly interesting thing is that Becky Chambers doesn’t forget about the impact that the discoveries, the advancements, and the search for those things have on people and environments. Also, there’s a lot of queer characters in this book, which I loved.
All Systems Red by Martha Wells: a quick and entertaining story. Murderbot, the security bot that is the main character, is likable and engaging and their voice captivated me from the very beginning. This book has great humor and an interesting plot.
What are the best books that you have read in 2020 so far? Have you read any of my favorites?
Hi everyone! Today, I want to share my wrap up of all the things I read in May, but before that I want to encourage you to support the protests going on right now against the murder of Black people by the police, which were sparked by the murder of George Floyd. If you want to know how to help, click this linkwhere you can find where to donate, petitions to sign, where to text or call to demand justice, and other useful information.
In terms of my wrap up, I rank all the books I read from my least favorite to my favorite book of the month. The ranking is not enterily dependent on rating, so there can be books with lower ratings that are higher on the list than books with higher ratings and that has to do with my enjoyment of the books.
Without further ado, here are the books I read in May:
*Click the book titles to go to the Goodreads page*
My Least Favorite Book of the Month
This month there wasn’t one book that I truly disliked, so for my least favorite of the month I chose a disappointing romance:
20.Meet Cute Club by Jack Harbon (3 stars): The writing was flat, I was bored and the characters were two-dimentional. But there were some cute moments and the steamy scenes were actually really good. (My review)
The “I Mostly Liked Them, But…” Books
These are books that I had significant issues with, but they had redeeming qualities that made me mostly enjoy them:
18. Guarding Temptation by Talia Hibbert (3,5 stars): Solid novella! The main couple in this was cute and there were a couple of really steamy scenes, but I didn’t care about the plot at all.
17. Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai (3,5 stars): I liked this and while I really liked the main couple, their relationship relies too much in the past. 10 years is a long time and people change and I feel like this book would have been better if it showed the characters falling in love with the people they are in the present and it didn’t rely so much in them being in love in the past.
16. Grave Peril by Jim Butcher (3,5 stars): This is my least favorite book of the series so far. It took me a long time to get into it because 1) this book starts in the middle of a “case” so I wasn’t as invested in it as I was with the cases in the other books and 2) I usually don’t like very religious characters and this book opens by introducing a new and very religious character. The second half of this book is a lot stronger than the first and I liked how it ends.
15. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende (3,5 stars): I wasn’t invested in what was happening in this book and I didn’t care about the characters for most of this book. But the last 100 pages of this are brutal and brilliant, I teared up reading them, I was incredibly emotionally affected by everything that happened and I suddenly cared about all the characters and their safety. And the ending! The commentary of this book on the cyclyc nature of violence is brilliant and the depiction of the social, political and economical situation in Chile in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s is outstanding.
14. Yours in Scandal by Lauren Layne (3,6 stars): This book started really strong, the banter and chemistry between the characters was great, but the transition from the flirty relationship of the beginning to a more romantic relationship was lacking something.
The Ones I Liked
The ones I liked are books that I had really small issues with, but after I finished themI hadmainly positive feelings towards them:
13. Yes, No,Maybe So by Becky Albertalli(3,7 stars): The friendship in this book is so cute and the political aspect of it is really interesting. This book feels like a conversation starter about the link between the personal and the political, how that link particulary affects minorities, and how we shouldn’t engaged politically only when it’s easy or convenient for us but, at the same time, how self-care within political activism is incredibly important.
12. Unforgettable by Melanie Harlow (3,8 stars): This book pleaseantly surprised me and it ended up being my favorite of the series. The romance is great and it has a very positive depiction of adoption. (My review)
11. The Governess Game by Tessa Dare (3,8 stars): I really liked this, the little girls are the best part of this book and the relationships that both main characters have with them are so sweet and I loved seeing how all of them learned to trust each other. My main issue with this is that it took me a while to actually believe or be invested in the romantic relationship between the main characters.
10. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (3,8 stars): This wasn’t an enjoyable read, but it was brilliant. My main problem with this is that I really dislike terrible parents in books and this book was asking me to look beyond them being terrible parents to understand the traumas and expectations that their childhoods had caused and understand that they couldn’t see what they were doing to their kids, and I had a hard time doing that. But I really liked how it explored the different ways in which women and people of color experience otherness
9. A Gentleman in the Street by Alisha Rai (3,9 stars): THIS IS SO STEAMY!! I loved both of the main characters, they have so much chemestry and such a captivating dynamic. Also, this is incredibly sex positive which I LOVED. The heroine is japanese and bisexual.
8. Wanna Bet? by Talia Hibbert (3,9 stars): I really liked the characters in this book and their relationship. This is so emotional and angsty and I loved it. My main complain is that the ending was a bit hasty, but overall this was really good.
The Ones I Really Liked
I consider books I really liked the ones I really enjoyed, but they are not new favorites:
7. Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo (4 stars): The writing – as always with Elizabeth Acevedo- was fantastic. I just wish that the two main characters had met sooner and that we got to see more of them intarcting and bonding. This was such an emotional read and the ending made me tear up.
6. The Trouble with Hating You by Sajni Patel (4 stars): I loved a lot of things about this book, but especially the relationship between the main characters, Jay was so patient and kind, I loved their banter and the whole hate to love, slow-burn romance worked so well with these characters and I was so invested in their relationship. (My review)
4. Fool Moon by Jim Butcher (4 stars): I liked this one more than the first book in the series, it was quick and entertaining. The different types of werewolves in this book were fascianting and the fact that no one could be trusted kept me gripped.
3. China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan (4 stars): This is such a fun read! I was fascinated by how excessive and opulent all the descriptions of wealth are, the strongest element of this book is that sucks you in into this world of privilige that’s so far removed from normal life. I was interested in all the characters and storylines and I’m specially invested in Astrid story.
2. The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang (4 stars): This book was really dark and unexpectedly fast-paced (at least it felt that way to me). I was completely invested in the story and once I finished the book I was shocked and I truly didn’t know how to feel, I still don’t. This was really good, engaging and thought-provoking.
My Favorite Book of the Month
My favorite books of the month can have different ratings depending on how good a particular reading month was. This month one brilliant book that instantly became one of my favorite books:
1. Jade City by Fonda Lee (4,7 stars): This was so intense and I was so invested. The concept of this story is unique and captivating and I LOVED the characters so much. This book broke my heart but it was SO GOOD. It’s definitely a new favorite book for me.
What were your favorite and least favorite books you read this month? Have you read any of the books on this wrap up? Do you agree with my opinions about them?
Hi everyone! I hope you all are doing well and staying safe! I have been in an unexpected hiatus for the last two weeks and I thought I would give you a little life update about why that happened before getting into the books I’m hoping to read in May.
Unfortunately, my grandfather passed away at the beginning of april (it was unrelated to what’s been going on in the world) and that, on top of the lockdown and all the stress because of current events, proved to be too much and I had to step away for a while. There’s also a more lighthearted reason, I started to watch The Office for the first time a week ago and I’m already on season 6, it has absolutely consumed my life and because of that, it took me even longer to come back. But now I’m ready and excited to talk about books again!
Most of the books on my tbr for May are written by Asian authors because it’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. I also included some new releases that are coming out in May and that I’m really excited for!
As always, I have a list below with the goals and challenges that I want to keep track of in 2020 and I chose an emoji that represents each one. Next to each of the books on my tbr, I’ll put the emoji of the goal or challenge that that book is going to help me fullfil.
Read 20 fantasy books in 2020 (🔮)
Read 35 books by Latinx authors in 2020 (🔥)
Keep reading diverse books: by Asian authors (☁️), by black authors (🌞), other #ownvoices rep (🌈)
Read 50 books by the #StartOnYourShelfathon challenge (⭐)
Read the 20 books on my tbr for the #StartOnYourShelfathon challenge (💫)
Read a book from a genre that’s not fantasy or romance (🦄)
Without further ado, here’s my May tbr:
🔮☁️⭐The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang: I have been meaning to read this and lately I have been hearing people whose recommendations I trust talk about how much they love it, so I’m finally picking it up.
🔮☁️ Jade City by Fonda Lee: one of my friends loves this book and while I wasn’t that interested when I first heard about this, her excitement made me really want to read it
☁️⭐🦄 Want by Cindy Pon: I have been meaning to read this for SO LONG and it’s finally time