Wrap-ups & TBR


My definition of productivity is finding more books to add to my TBR and then painstakingly carving out space on my schedule to read them while trying not to dwell on the fact that I’m a college student with little time, and even less money.

Hello, friends! I’m posting this after midnight on March 1st which is MY BIRTHDAY! I’m officially 20 years old and that sounds…..fake and horrifying. I can’t believe 14 years old me thought people in their 20s were adults when in reality, being an adult is just being dragged into the most depressing sort of party where everyone is just fumbling around, bumping into each other, and asking where the free food is.

I hate being so clumsy with words when words mean so much but I’m genuinely grateful for this community. Thank you, everyone, for the kind words, the support, the birthday wishes, the unexpected book gifts. I can’t fully articulate how much these acts of kindness mean to me and how they alleviate the sting of spending yet another birthday alone, in a city where I don’t have any close friends to celebrate with, in a country that’s an ocean away from home. I appreciate you guys more than you know.

Anyway, I should probably stop here before the situation becomes more maudlin than anyone could abide. *covers up feelings with aggressive sarcasm* So, without further ado, here’s my March TBR! Continue reading “BOOKS I WANT TO READ IN MARCH…AND OTHER STUFF”


Review: On the Come Up by Angie Thomas


Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.

RATING: ☆★☆★☆

It’s Angie Thomas’ world and she’s just allowing us to live in it. Continue reading “Review: On the Come Up by Angie Thomas”


Review: King of Scars (Nikolai Duology #1) by Leigh Bardugo



Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

[softly, from under a pile of blankets] what the hell was that ending?

I finished this book and the moment wavered in voluminous silence. And then, the whole world rushed in. Disbelief came first, then surprise. Then the full scope of the ending struck me with a pang of bewildered anger, that this unexpected and extraordinarily horrid thing should happen only for the story to just… stop.

So, as I said, what the hell.

Continue reading “Review: King of Scars (Nikolai Duology #1) by Leigh Bardugo”


Review: Jade City (The Green Bone Saga #1) by Fonda Lee


Magical jade—mined, traded, stolen, and killed for—is the lifeblood of the island of Kekon. For centuries, honorable Green Bone warriors like the Kaul family have used it to enhance their abilities and defend the island from foreign invasion.

Now the war is over and a new generation of Kauls vies for control of Kekon’s bustling capital city. They care about nothing but protecting their own, cornering the jade market, and defending the districts under their protection. Ancient tradition has little place in this rapidly changing nation.

When a powerful new drug emerges that lets anyone—even foreigners—wield jade, the simmering tension between the Kauls and the rival Ayt family erupts into open violence. The outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones—from their grandest patriarch to the lowliest motorcycle runner on the streets—and of Kekon itself.

Jade City begins an epic tale of family, honor, and those who live and die by the ancient laws of jade and blood.

RATING: ☆★☆★☆

Jade City is set in a world where jade confers great strength and power to those who can wield it—without risking madness or a lethal propensity to the Itches.

More than a quarter of a century before, the island nation of Kekon was freed from the imperial thrall of the Shotarians. Ever since, the jade-wielding warriors of No Peak and Mountain—the two largest clans in Kekon’s capital city—have worked together in their complex webs of favor and obligation, indulging the unending performance of glad-handing and compromise, but the candle of their fragile, flexible alliance is burning at both ends and lighting their way to irreversible violence. The Kekonese had thought the war was in the past, but it seems it refuses to remain there. Continue reading “Review: Jade City (The Green Bone Saga #1) by Fonda Lee”

Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Things That Make Me Pick Up a Book

What makes me pick up a book?

The short version of the answer is: reading is what saves me from the otherwise cataclysmic experience of being a human being, and it’s also a perfect way to distort reality into some sort of meaningful event despite the holographic realm which we occupy rendering all of our choices meaningless.

This is the longer version: Continue reading “Top 10 Things That Make Me Pick Up a Book”

Book Tags

Books I WANT to read, but don’t want to READ

For someone who claims to love books, I sure do spend a heck of lot of time not reading them. Today’s post is going to be about books that I want to read but the process of actually picking them up is a parallel to some disgruntled, jaded old man reading the newspaper in the morning, or like, some hapless chap taking doomed steps up a few rickety wooden stairs to a guillotine.

Okay, that escalated way too quickly. But, point is: life is so hard when you have +200 books on your TBR list and very little time or motivation to pick them up.

This amazing tag was created by my friend, Jamieson, at Jamishelves. Thank you so much for tagging me! THIS WAS FUN!

Alright, now, let’s get into the list! Continue reading “Books I WANT to read, but don’t want to READ”


Review: The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf

35614314A music-loving teen with OCD does everything she can to find her way back to her mother during the historic race riots in 1969 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in this heart-pounding literary debut.

Melati Ahmad looks like your typical moviegoing, Beatles-obsessed sixteen-year-old. Unlike most other sixteen-year-olds though, Mel also believes that she harbors a djinn inside her, one who threatens her with horrific images of her mother’s death unless she adheres to an elaborate ritual of counting and tapping to keep him satisfied.

But there are things that Melati can’t protect her mother from. On the evening of May 13th, 1969, racial tensions in her home city of Kuala Lumpur boil over. The Chinese and Malays are at war, and Mel and her mother become separated by a city in flames.

With a 24-hour curfew in place and all lines of communication down, it will take the help of a Chinese boy named Vincent and all of the courage and grit in Melati’s arsenal to overcome the violence on the streets, her own prejudices, and her djinn’s surging power to make it back to the one person she can’t risk losing.

Content warnings: Racism, graphic violence, on-page death, OCD and anxiety triggers.

RATING: ☆★☆★

The Weight of Our Sky is a labor of pain, but it’s also a labor of tremendous love. Continue reading “Review: The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf”


Review: The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious #2) by Maureen Johnson


All Stevie Bell wanted was to find the key to the Ellingham mystery, but instead she found her classmate dead. And while she solved that murder, the crimes of the past are still waiting in the dark. Just as Stevie feels she’s on the cusp of putting it together, her parents pull her out of Ellingham academy.

For her own safety they say. She must move past this obsession with crime. Now that Stevie’s away from the school of topiaries and secret tunnels, and her strange and endearing friends, she begins to feel disconnected from the rest of the world. At least she won’t have to see David anymore. David, who she kissed. David, who lied to her about his identity—son of despised politician Edward King. Then King himself arrives at her house to offer a deal: He will bring Stevie back to Ellingham immediately. In return, she must play nice with David. King is in the midst of a campaign and can’t afford his son stirring up trouble. If Stevie’s at school, David will stay put.

The tantalizing riddles behind the Ellingham murders are still waiting to be unraveled, and Stevie knows she’s so close. But the path to the truth has more twists and turns than she can imagine—and moving forward involves hurting someone she cares for. In New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson’s second novel of the Truly Devious series, nothing is free, and someone will pay for the truth with their life.

RATING: ☆★☆★

How am I supposed to….go on being a person after that ending?

Let me preface this by stating that this entire review could be replaced by a footage of me striding down a big hallway in a fancy period gown yelling “fuck fuck fuck” because that would more accurately sum up all my feelings. Continue reading “Review: The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious #2) by Maureen Johnson”


Review: Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy #1) by Emily A. Duncan


A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy…

Ah yes, the place I truly dwell, a damp and cold eternity of endless disappointment.

Fine. I’m just being dramatic (again). But seriously—being this sensitive is really inconvenient. Your most anticipated book of the year doesn’t live up to your expectations and you have to cancel your plans for the day to be angry about it. Continue reading “Review: Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy #1) by Emily A. Duncan”