REVIEW: Furysong by Rosaria Munda

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

furysong cover

Book: Furysong (The Aurelian Cycle #3) by Rosaria Munda

Release Date: August 9, 2022

My Rating: 5 stars

Rep: bisexual main character, gay main character

CW: burnings, blood, branding, grief; mentions of past coercive sexual relationship, threat of rape

Summary: In this explosive conclusion to the epic trilogy that began with Fireborne, Annie and Lee are fighting for their lives—and for each other—as invading dragonfire threatens to burn their home to the ground.

A new revolution is underway, and nobody will emerge unscathed.

In New Pythos, Griff is facing an execution by the dragonborn, who are furious at his betrayal. He has allies on both sides seeking to defy his fate, but the price of his freedom might come at a dear cost. And Delo will have to make a choice: follow his family, or finally surrender to his conscience.

Meanwhile, Annie must race home to hatch a plan to save her Guardians and their dragons. With Callipolis on the brink of collapse and the triarchy set to be reinstated, she may be the one person who can save the city—if she can overcome her own doubts about her future.

Lee is a revolutionary at heart, but now he’ll have to find a way to fight with diplomacy. Going up against the dragonborn court and a foreign princess, he faces a test of loyalty that sets his head against his heart.

As the fate of Callipolis darkens, Annie and Lee must determine what they are willing to sacrifice in order to save each other, defeat their enemies, and reclaim their home.

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REVIEW: If You Could See the Sun by Ann Liang

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

if you could see the sun cover

Book: If You Could See the Sun by Ann Liang

Release Date: October 11, 2022

My Rating: 5 stars

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

Summary: “Utterly unique, thought-provoking, and wonderfully written… a thrilling ride that hooked me from start to finish.” —Gloria Chao, author of American Panda and Rent a Boyfriend

In this genre-bending YA debut, a Chinese American girl monetizes her strange new invisibility powers by discovering and selling her wealthy classmates’ most scandalous secrets.

Alice Sun has always felt invisible at her elite Beijing international boarding school, where she’s the only scholarship student among China’s most rich and influential teens. But then she starts uncontrollably turning invisible—actually invisible.

When her parents drop the news that they can no longer afford her tuition, even with the scholarship, Alice hatches a plan to monetize her strange new power—she’ll discover the scandalous secrets her classmates want to know, for a price.

But as the tasks escalate from petty scandals to actual crimes, Alice must decide if it’s worth losing her conscience—or even her life.

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REVIEW: Foul Lady Fortune by Chloe Gong

**I received an ARC from the the author as a friend (thank you, Chloe!!!). These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.**

(All quotes are taken from an ARC and should be checked against a finalized version of the book.)

foul lady fortune cover

Book: Foul Lady Fortune (Foul Lady Fortune #1) by Chloe Gong

Release Date: September 27, 2022

My Rating: 5 stars

Rep: demisexual Chinese protagonist, bisexual Chinese protagonist, bisexual Chinese main character, Chinese trans woman main character, aromantic asexual side character; (Chinese-Kiwi author)

CW: violence, blood, mentions of human experimentation

Summary: From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of These Violent Delights and Our Violent Ends comes the first book in a captivating new duology following an ill-matched pair of spies posing as a married couple to investigate a series of brutal murders in 1930s Shanghai.

It’s 1931 in Shanghai, and the stage is set for a new decade of intrigue.

Four years ago, Rosalind Lang was brought back from the brink of death, but the strange experiment that saved her also stopped her from sleeping and aging—and allows her to heal from any wound. In short, Rosalind cannot die. Now, desperate for redemption for her traitorous past, she uses her abilities as an assassin for her country.

Code name: Fortune.

But when the Japanese Imperial Army begins its invasion march, Rosalind’s mission pivots. A series of murders is causing unrest in Shanghai, and the Japanese are under suspicion. Rosalind’s new orders are to infiltrate foreign society and identify the culprits behind the terror plot before more of her people are killed.

To reduce suspicion, however, she must pose as the wife of another Nationalist spy, Orion Hong, and though Rosalind finds Orion’s cavalier attitude and playboy demeanor infuriating, she is willing to work with him for the greater good. But Orion has an agenda of his own, and Rosalind has secrets that she wants to keep buried. As they both attempt to unravel the conspiracy, the two spies soon find that there are deeper and more horrifying layers to this mystery than they ever imagined.

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LIST: my top ten favorite reads of 2022 (so far)

It’s been. an interesting year of reading for me…and by that, I mean I’ve had so many lackluster reads. However, I still managed to find a ton of new favorites! I know people usually do faves of the year halfway through the year, but I just wanted to share mine a little early. So without further ado, here are my top ten favorite reads of 2022 (so far)!

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REVIEW: Only a Monster by Vanessa Len

only a monster cover

Book: Only a Monster (Monsters #1) by Vanessa Len

Release Date: February 22, 2022

My Rating: 5 stars

Rep: biracial (Chinese-Malaysian, white) protagonist, gay side character; (biracial (Chinese-Malaysian, Maltese) author)

CW: blood, mentions of torture

Summary: With the sweeping romance of Passenger and the dark fantasy edge of This Savage Song, this standout YA contemporary fantasy debut from Vanessa Len, is the first in a planned trilogy.

It should have been the perfect summer. Sent to stay with her late mother’s eccentric family in London, sixteen-year-old Joan is determined to enjoy herself. She loves her nerdy job at the historic Holland House, and when her super cute co-worker Nick asks her on a date, it feels like everything is falling into place.

But she soon learns the truth. Her family aren’t just eccentric: they’re monsters, with terrifying, hidden powers. And Nick isn’t just a cute boy: he’s a legendary monster slayer, who will do anything to bring them down.

As she battles Nick, Joan is forced to work with the beautiful and ruthless Aaron Oliver, heir to a monster family that hates her own. She’ll have to embrace her own monstrousness if she is to save herself, and her family. Because in this story . . .

. . . she is not the hero.

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TOUR / REVIEW: The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh

**I received an ARC from the publisher through Netgalley for this blog tour (thank you, Colored Pages Book Tours and Feiwel & Friends/Fierce Reads!). These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.**

the girl who fell beneath the sea cover

Book: The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh

Release Date: February 22, 2022

My Rating: 4.5 stars

Rep: Korean inspiration and characters; (Korean-American author)

Summary: Deadly storms have ravaged Mina’s homeland for generations. Floods sweep away entire villages, while bloody wars are waged over the few remaining resources. Her people believe the Sea God, once their protector, now curses them with death and despair. In an attempt to appease him, each year a beautiful maiden is thrown into the sea to serve as the Sea God’s bride, in the hopes that one day the “true bride” will be chosen and end the suffering.

Many believe that Shim Cheong, the most beautiful girl in the village—and the beloved of Mina’s older brother Joon—may be the legendary true bride. But on the night Cheong is to be sacrificed, Joon follows Cheong out to sea, even knowing that to interfere is a death sentence. To save her brother, Mina throws herself into the water in Cheong’s stead.

Swept away to the Spirit Realm, a magical city of lesser gods and mythical beasts, Mina seeks out the Sea God, only to find him caught in an enchanted sleep. With the help of a mysterious young man named Shin—as well as a motley crew of demons, gods and spirits—Mina sets out to wake the Sea God and bring an end to the killer storms once and for all.

But she doesn’t have much time: A human cannot live long in the land of the spirits. And there are those who would do anything to keep the Sea God from waking…

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REVIEW: Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen

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

violet made of thorns cover

Book: Violet Made of Thorns (Violet Made of Thorns #1) by Gina Chen

Release Date: July 26, 2022

My Rating: 5 stars

Rep: East Asian-coded protagonist, bisexual brown side character, lesbian side character; (Chinese-American author)

CW: self-harm in a ritual/magical context, body horror

Summary: A darkly enchanting fantasy debut about a morally gray witch, a cursed prince, and a prophecy that ignites their fate-twisted destinies—perfect for fans of The Cruel Prince and Serpent & Dove.

Violet is a prophet and a liar, influencing the royal court with her cleverly phrased—and not always true—divinations. Honesty is for suckers, like the oh-so-not charming Prince Cyrus, who plans to strip Violet of her official role once he’s crowned at the end of the summer—unless Violet does something about it.

But when the king asks her to falsely prophesy Cyrus’s love story for an upcoming ball, Violet awakens a dreaded curse, one that will end in either damnation or salvation for the kingdom—all depending on the prince’s choice of future bride. Violet faces her own choice: Seize an opportunity to gain control of her own destiny, no matter the cost, or give in to the ill-fated attraction that’s growing between her and Cyrus.

Violet’s wits may protect her in the cutthroat court, but they can’t change her fate. And as the boundary between hatred and love grows ever thinner with the prince, Violet must untangle a wicked web of deceit in order to save herself and the kingdom—or doom them all.

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LIST: 2021 reads that emotionally WRECKED me

2021 was…something that happened yet I also cannot believe it’s almost over. I was hit by persistent reading slumps as well as a lack of time this year particularly; it’s very sad. But! While I had a lot of mediocre reads this year, I also had a lot of reads that emotionally wrecked me, more so than last year’s list. It didn’t help that a lot of my recent favorite series ended this year either.

As usual, this list only contains books that I read for the first time this year, no rereads. Actually, I’ve been rereading far less this year, which probably explains why I’ve read less since those usually account for much of my reading challenge.

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REVIEW: Year of the Reaper by Makiia Lucier

year of the reaper cover

Book: Year of the Reaper by Makiia Lucier

Release Date: November 9, 2021

My Rating: 4.75 stars

Rep: gay side character

CW: implied torture, gore, illness (plague), amputation, mentions of human experimentation

Summary: The past never forgets…

Before an ambush by enemy soldiers, Lord Cassia was an engineer’s apprentice on a mission entrusted by the king. But when plague sweeps over the land, leaving countless dead and devastating the kingdom, even Cas’ title cannot save him from a rotting prison cell and a merciless sickness.

Three years later, Cas wants only to return to his home in the mountains and forget past horrors. But home is not what he remembers. His castle has become a refuge for the royal court. And they have brought their enemies with them.

When an assassin targets those closest to the queen, Cas is drawn into a search for a killer…one that leads him to form an unexpected bond with a brilliant young historian named Lena. Cas and Lena soon realize that who is behind the attacks is far less important than why. They must look to the past, following the trail of a terrible secret—one that could threaten the kingdom’s newfound peace and plunge it back into war.

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REVIEW: Jade Legacy by Fonda Lee

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

jade legacy cover

Book: Jade Legacy (The Green Bone Saga #3) by Fonda Lee

Release Date: November 30, 2021

My Rating: 5 stars

Rep: East Asian-inspired setting and -coded characters, gay biracial main character; (Chinese-American author)

CW: violence, gore, blood, torture, mentions of suicide and rape

Summary: The Kaul siblings battle rival clans for honor and control over an East Asia-inspired fantasy metropolis in Jade Legacy, the page-turning conclusion to the Green Bone Saga.

Jade, the mysterious and magical substance once exclusive to the Green Bone warriors of Kekon, is now coveted throughout the world. Everyone wants access to the supernatural abilities it provides, from traditional forces such as governments, mercenaries, and criminal kingpins, to modern players, including doctors, athletes, and movie studios. As the struggle over the control of jade grows ever larger and more deadly, the Kaul family, and the ancient ways of the Kekonese Green Bones, will never be the same.

Battered by war and tragedy, the Kauls are plagued by resentments and old wounds as their adversaries are on the ascent and their country is riven by dangerous factions and foreign interference. The clan must discern allies from enemies, set aside bloody rivalries, and make terrible sacrifices… but even the unbreakable bonds of blood and loyalty may not be enough to ensure the survival of the Green Bone clans and the nation they are sworn to protect.

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