Crazy Rich Asians

Title: Crazy Rich Asians
Author: Kevin Kwan
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Doubleday
Release Date: June 11, 2013
Rating: ★★★★★

Rachel Chu goes to Singapore with her boyfriend, Nick Young, to attend his best friend’s wedding. However, she doesn’t realize what that will entail. When one girl overhears them discussing travelling to Singapore, the news spreads like wildfire back to Singapore and to Nick’s mother. She has to investigate everything she can about Rachel. Though her last name is Chu, she isn’t a Chu of the Taiwan Plastics company. She grew up in the U.S. with her single mother, which is unacceptable to the Singaporean elite. Rachel soon finds out that she doesn’t fit in with their lavish lifestyle. This story is filled with gossip, family drama, parties, and lots of shopping.

I loved this book! The elitist attitudes of the characters were quite funny. Nick’s mother reminded me of Mrs. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. Instead of looking for her daughters to marry into a fortune like Mrs. Bennet, Eleanor wants Nick to marry someone with their high status.

Though the book was very funny, it was quite serious at times too. There was lots of family drama. Many of the girls were also very mean to Rachel just because she isn’t as wealthy as them.

Though there were many characters, most of whom were related and in the same general age group, I was able to distinguish between them all. They all have distinct personalities. Sometimes I find ensemble casts in books confusing because they blend in with each other, but it worked in this book.

I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series soon!

New Release: The White Road

Title: The White Road
Author: Sarah Lotz
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Simon and his friend Thierry created a site called “Journey to the Dark Side.” Thierry wants to get more viewers, so he sends Simon to the cave Cwm Pot, where three boys died years ago. Simon goes in with a guide named Ed, who he found online. Ed is creepy and paranoid, so Simon gets really freaked out. When it starts raining, the cave starts to flood and they get trapped in the cave. Eventually Simon climbs his way through the water to the exit and gets rescued. Later, Thierry sends him to Mount Everest to get videos of the bodies of climbers that have been left on the mountain. He befriends another amateur climber, Marcus, who has gone to the mountain for personal reasons. Simon decides to help Marcus with his task, but he ends up becoming haunted with his own demons.

This book was fairly dense at the beginning. The description of Simon going through Cwm Pot was very descriptive. Since I’m not familiar with spelunking, this was all new information for me.

The second part of the book takes place in Mount Everest, which was very interesting. I didn’t know anything about the expeditions that go up the mountain, so I found it fascinating!

Though the story was quite dense, I really enjoyed it. In the end it turned into a psychological thriller that was very interesting. I also learned a lot from the story. This book is great for people who are familiar with climbing mountains and those who are not.

Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes: A No Bullshit Guide to World Mythology

Title: Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes: A No Bullshit Guide to World Mythology
Author: Cory O’Brien
Genre: Humour, Mythology
Publisher: TarcherPerigree
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Rating: ★★★★★

My favourite courses in university were my Greek mythology classes. I find those stories fascinating. Cory O’Brien loves myths too, so he retells a variety of world myths in this collection. He covers everything from Greek to Hindu to Chinese to Native American myths. He even discusses “American” myths, which are the stories of the founding of the United States.

This book is hilarious. He tells each story in a blunt way, though the general story is correct. He draws attention to the promiscuous acts of Zeus in Greek mythology and the gold loving dwarves in Norse mythology.

Though O’Brien makes fun of the absurdity of these myths, in the conclusion he is more serious. The mythologies of different cultures have a lot in common. They all have a creation myth and a myth where the gods destroy the humans on earth. It’s amazing how these cultures that are so distant in geography and in beliefs can have the same plots in their mythologies.

I loved this book. It is quite explicit at times, but the myths are very funny. I really enjoyed it!

Book Haul: May Uppercase Box

This month’s Uppercase Box is so adorable! 

On top of the bag are super cute iron-on patches of a book and a cat!

The book is a YA story about how winning the lottery can change a teenager’s life. It sounds exciting!

My favourite item is the pair of earrings! Each earring is a different book shape. I’m going to save them for a special occasion!

Throne of Glass

Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: August 7, 2012
Rating: ★★★★★

Celaena Sardothien is an assassin who has been living in a prisoner camp for a year. One day the Crown Prince Dorian requests to visit her. He has selected her to be his champion in a battle to find a new champion for his father, the King. He promises her that if she wins, she can work for them as their champion for four years and then she will be free. The captain of the guards, Chaol, trains her and supervises her security. She has to be under lock and key at all times, since she is the most talented assassin in the world. Her identity is kept a secret throughout the competition for her protection and to help her win. The champions in the competition are eliminated through tests. However, some are murdered under mysterious circumstances. The murders don’t follow a pattern though, so Celaena is scared that she could be next. Her only wish is to make it to the end of the competition so she can win her freedom.

This was a very exciting book. It was fairly long, but the pace was consistent.

It has a third person narrative. It switches to give the perspective of different characters, though it usually follows Celaena. This gives some insight into what the other characters are doing or thinking. It also builds the mystery of who is behind the attacks, because it makes many people look suspiscious.

I really like this story and I’m excited to read the rest of the series!

Mythic Vol. 1

Title: Mythic Volume 1
Author: Philip Hester
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Rating: ★★★★

Mythic Lore Services is a company that solves the problems of supernatural beings in the world. Waterson is the leader. He is immortal, and has been around for thousands of years. Waterson, Nate, and Cassandra are one of the teams that work for Mythic, but when a bunch of robots start destroying the world, they end up being the only team left. This first volume covers them fighting off a variety of mythical creature.

The premise of this graphic novel was so interesting. I love mythology. I like how mythical creatures are brought into the real world in this story.

At times, I found the story and pictures confusing. There were so many different sides to the fight, from the Mythic team to the mythical creatures to the robots. There were many fight scenes where the explosions made it unclear what exactly was happening. Also, each issue in the volume followed a different creature attacking the earth, so by the time I figured out who one character was, they were gone.

The ending of this graphic novel was very good. It was a bit of a cliffhanger and now I want to go find out what happens next!

Speed of Life

Title: Speed of Life
Author: Carol Weston
Genre: Middle Grade, Young Adult
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Release Date: April 1, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

Sofia Wolfe lives in New York with her father. Her mother died from a brain aneurysm a year ago. She goes to an all-girls private school. One day, Dear Kate goes to her school to do a presentation. Dear Kate is an advice columnist for Fifteen magazine, and Sofia’s best friend Kiki is obsessed with her. They sneak into the presentation for parents at night, which both girls convinced their parents to attend. Kiki hopes that her mother and Sofia’s father will start dating. As Sofia deals with confusing issues about growing up, and without a mother figure to speak to, she starts emailing Dear Kate her questions. When Sofia’s dad starts dating someone, she doesn’t want to hear about it, but she emails Dear Kate asking for advice. This all derails when she meets her father’s new girlfriend. Then Sofia not only has to think about the loss of her mother, but also her dad’s new girlfriend, his girlfriend’s teenage daughter, having her first boyfriend, and the possibility of moving and starting at a new school.

I couldn’t put down this book! I liked that the age level for it is between middle-grade and young adult. I don’t think there are enough books for this in between age, which is important to have. Sofia’s perspective is more middle-grade since she is just graduating from middle school and starting high school. However, she has to face many teenage issues when it comes with her dad’s girlfriend’s daughter.

This book also talked about many issues that teens face but may be afraid to ask. This comes out in the questions that Dear Kate is asked in her column. Girls, such as Sofia, feel more comfortable asking her questions through email, rather than speaking to someone in person about these awkward topics.

Sofia also mourns her mother and faces the possibility of her father remarrying, which is a real issue for many young girls. I like the way this story deals with these difficult parts of life in a positive way.

This is a great book for both young readers and parents alike!