hiatus announcement

hi friends,

I’m taking a short hiatus! I announced this a while on Twitter but I’m posting this one here in case people haven’t seen that. While I was planning my schedule last month, I realized how burnt out I was and also how I didn’t have much left to post. I decided to take a break during this time for the first time in 4 years of blogging (really, the 2.5 years of blogging consistently).

Again, this hiatus is short (relatively); I’ll be back in August for the Gilded Wolves readathon (which you should join us for!). Hopefully, I can take this month to recharge, read, and catch up on writing the posts planned for August.

I’m taking a break from this blog specifically, but I’ll still be active on social media! Follow me on Twitter and Goodreads for reading updates.

love you all and see you in August,

Michelle xx

the gilded wolves + the silvered serpents readathon

We’re back! Join me and Mana for our second readathon for The Gilded Wolves! This time, we’re reading The Gilded Wolves and The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi before The Bronzed Beasts comes out on September 21. Everyone’s welcome, whether you’ve read the books before or not!

Follow along with the hashtag #thegildedwolvesreadathon on Twitter and Instagram. Since we’re reading two books, the readathon’s a couple of weeks longer. We’ll end the readathon with a Zoom Event with Roshani (more on that below) and some more fun events! Check out the schedule below for more details.

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REVIEW: The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould

**I received an ARC from the publisher through Netgalley (thank you, Wednesday Books!). These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.**

the dead and the dark cover

Book: The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould

Release Date: August 3, 2021

My Rating: 4 stars

Rep: lesbian protagonists, bisexual Latino main character, gay main character; (lesbian author)

CW: murder, homophobia, homophobic violence, attempted drowning, child death

Summary: Courtney Gould’s thrilling debut The Dead and the Dark is about the things that lurk in dark corners, the parts of you that can’t remain hidden, and about finding home in places―and people―you didn’t expect.

The Dark has been waiting for far too long, and it won’t stay hidden any longer.

Something is wrong in Snakebite, Oregon. Teenagers are disappearing, some turning up dead, the weather isn’t normal, and all fingers seem to point to TV’s most popular ghost hunters who have just returned to town. Logan Ortiz-Woodley, daughter of TV’s ParaSpectors, has never been to Snakebite before, but the moment she and her dads arrive, she starts to get the feeling that there’s more secrets buried here than they originally let on.

Ashley Barton’s boyfriend was the first teen to go missing, and she’s felt his presence ever since. But now that the Ortiz-Woodleys are in town, his ghost is following her and the only person Ashley can trust is the mysterious Logan. When Ashley and Logan team up to figure out who—or what—is haunting Snakebite, their investigation reveals truths about the town, their families, and themselves that neither of them are ready for. As the danger intensifies, they realize that their growing feelings for each other could be a light in the darkness.

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REVIEW: Like a Love Song by Gabriela Martins

**I received an ARC from the publisher through Netgalley (thank you, Underlined!). These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.**

like a love song cover

Book: Like a Love Song by Gabriela Martins

Release Date: August 3, 2021

My Rating: 3.5 stars

Rep: Brazilian protagonist, Jewish bisexual love interest, lesbian Pakistani-American side character, bisexual Brazilian-American side character; (Brazilian author)

Summary: This debut paperback original romance follows a Latina teen pop star whose image takes a dive after a messy public breakup, until she’s set up with a swoon-worthy fake boyfriend.

Fake boyfriend. Real heartbreak?

Natalie is living her dream: topping the charts and setting records as a Brazilian pop star…until she’s dumped spectacularly on live television. Not only is it humiliating—it could end her career.

Her PR team’s desperate plan? A gorgeous yet oh-so-fake boyfriend. Nati reluctantly agrees, but William is not what she expected. She was hoping for a fierce bad boy—not a soft-hearted British indie film star. While she fights her way back to the top with a sweet and surprisingly swoon-worthy boy on her arm, she starts to fall for William—and realizes that maybe she’s the biggest fake of them all. Can she reclaim her voice and her heart?

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REVIEW: So We Meet Again by Suzanne Park

**I received an ARC from the publisher through Netgalley. These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.**

so we meet again cover

Book: So We Meet Again by Suzanne Park

Release Date: August 3, 2021

My Rating: 3.75 stars

Rep: Korean-American protagonist, love interest, and side characters; Korean-American author

CW: sexism

Summary: When up-and-coming investment banker Jess Kim is passed over for a promotion, laid off in a virtual meeting, and then overhears why (“she’s already being overpaid anyway for a woman” and “Asians are worker bees, not someone who can drum up new deals”) she delivers an “eff you guys” speech and storms out of the building. Not sure what’s next, she moves back home to Tennessee with her domineering Korean mom, who tries to set her up with her pastor’s son Daniel Choi, an M&A lawyer by day and a successful video game streamer by night. Turns out he’s swoony and smart, not the awkward preacher’s kid she remembers. With his help, Jess launches a Korean cooking YouTube channel focused on easy meal prep for busy professionals.

All is going well until her mom walks on the show mid-live recording and argues about cooking technique. While she hates being berated by her mother in front of the world, it actually works in their favor—they go viral!

Soon her cooking channel becomes an actual media company and brand. When a client is suddenly interested in buying Jess out, she finds herself sitting across the table from the very investment firm she quit not so long ago. But there’s just one other problem: Daniel, the guy whose been helping her and that she’s been falling for, is the firm’s new general counsel.

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REVIEW: Heartbreak for Hire by Sonia Hartl

**I received an ARC from the publisher through Netgalley. These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.**

heartbreak for hire cover

Book: Heartbreak for Hire by Sonia Hartl

Release Date: July 27, 2021

My Rating: 3.5 stars

Rep: Korean-American side character

CW: emotional abuse

Summary: Brinkley Saunders has a secret.

To everyone in the academic world she left behind, she lost it all when she dropped out of grad school. Once a rising star following in her mother’s footsteps, she’s now an administrative assistant at an insurance agency—or so they think.

In reality, Brinkley works at Heartbreak for Hire, a secret service that specializes in revenge for jilted lovers, frenemies, and long-suffering coworkers with a little cash to spare and a man who needs to be taken down a notch. It might not be as prestigious as academia, but it helps Brinkley save for her dream of opening an art gallery and lets her exorcise a few demons, all while helping to empower women.

But when her boss announces she’s hiring male heartbreakers for the first time, Brinkley’s no longer so sure she’s doing the right thing—especially when her new coworker turns out to be a target she was paid to take down. Though Mark spends his days struggling up the academic ladder, he seems to be the opposite of a backstabbing adjunct: a nerd at heart in criminally sexy sweater vests who’s attentive both in and out of the bedroom. But as Brinkley finds it increasingly more difficult to focus on anything but Mark, she soon realizes that like herself, people aren’t always who they appear to be.

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#waitingonwednesday: not here to be liked


As you might know, I keep track of a list of Vietnamese books and authors, so this book has been on my radar for a while. I want to read it so badly and was crushed when I was rejected for an ARC. But it’s almost out! Not Here to Be Liked by Michelle Quach releases September 14.

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REVIEW: The Donut Trap by Julie Tieu

**I received an ARC from the publisher through Netgalley. These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.**

the donut trap cover

Book: The Donut Trap by Julie Tieu

Release Date: November 2, 2021

My Rating: 5 stars

Rep: Chinese-Cambodian-American protagonist and side characters, Chinese-American love interest, Vietnamese-American side character; (Chinese-Cambodian-American author)

Summary: Julie Tieu sparkles in this debut romantic comedy, which is charmingly reminiscent of the TV show Kim’s Convenience and Frankly in Love by David Yoon, about a young woman who feels caught in the life her parents have made for her until she falls in love and finds a way out of the donut trap.

Jasmine Tran has landed herself behind bars—maple bars that is. With no boyfriend or job prospects, Jasmine returns home to work at her parents’ donut shop. Jasmine quickly loses herself in a cyclical routine of donuts, Netflix, and sleep. She wants to break free from her daily grind, but when a hike in rent threatens the survival of their shop, her parents rely on her more than ever.

Help comes in the form of an old college crush, Alex Lai. Not only is he successful and easy on the eyes, to her parents’ delight, he’s also Chinese. He’s everything she should wish for, until a disastrous dinner reveals Alex isn’t as perfect as she thinks. Worse, he doesn’t think she’s perfect either.

With both sets of parents against their relationship, a family legacy about to shut down, and the reappearance of an old high school flame, Jasmine must scheme to find a solution that satisfies her family’s expectations and can get her out of the donut trap once and for all.

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LIST: pick an emoji and i’ll rec you a 2021 release (pt. 3)

It’s time for round three: pick an emoji and I’ll recommend you a 2021 release from July through September! You can also see part 1 (January through March) and part 2 (April through June). Hopefully, you’re finding new releases off these lists!

As always, adult releases are marked as such; also, the emojis aren’t spoiler-y and are mostly attuned to the cover or the general summary of the book.

Continue reading “LIST: pick an emoji and i’ll rec you a 2021 release (pt. 3)”