‘Waiting on’ Wednesday – January 16

This is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. In this post we highlight a book that’s highly anticipated.

The book that I’m waiting on this Wednesday is On the Come Up by Angie Thomas. The release date is February 5, 2019.

Goodreads Synopsis:

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. 

What books are you waiting on this week?

Top 5 Wednesday – Most Disappointing Reads of 2018

This meme is hosted by Lainey from Thoughts on Tomes. The Goodreads Group for Top 5 Wednesday can be found here.

This week’s prompt is Most Disappointing Reads of 2018. I don’t usually like writing about the books I don’t like, so this prompt is a little different for me. These are the books that I gave the lowest ratings in 2018. (A note about my ratings: I don’t usually go below 3 stars anymore because if I am able to read the book, I think the author deserves at least an average 3 stars. If I am unable to read the book, or it is absolutely terrible, then I will give less than 3 stars, but I don’t think I gave any books less than 3 stars in 2018.)

1. The Mistletoe Murders and Other Stories by P.D. James

2. Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica

3. Curse of the Arctic Star (Nancy Drew Diaries #1) by Carolyn Keene

4. Very Rich by Polly Horvath

5. The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

What were your most disappointing reads of 2018?

Review: Dragon Pearl

Title: Dragon Pearl
Author: Yoon Ha Lee
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publisher: Disney Book Group, Rick Riordan Presents
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: January 15, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898

Goodreads Synopsis:

Rick Riordan Presents Yoon Ha Lee’s space opera about thirteen-year-old Min, who comes from a long line of fox spirits. But you’d never know it by looking at her.

To keep the family safe, Min’s mother insists that none of them use any fox-magic, such as Charm or shape-shifting. They must appear human at all times. Min feels hemmed in by the household rules and resents the endless chores, the cousins who crowd her, and the aunties who judge her. She would like nothing more than to escape Jinju, her neglected, dust-ridden, and impoverished planet. She’s counting the days until she can follow her older brother, Jun, into the Space Forces and see more of the Thousand Worlds.

When word arrives that Jun is suspected of leaving his post to go in search of the Dragon Pearl, Min knows that something is wrong. Jun would never desert his battle cruiser, even for a mystical object rumored to have tremendous power. She decides to run away to find him and clear his name.

Min’s quest will have her meeting gamblers, pirates, and vengeful ghosts. It will involve deception, lies, and sabotage. She will be forced to use more fox-magic than ever before, and to rely on all of her cleverness and bravery. The outcome may not be what she had hoped, but it has the potential to exceed her wildest dreams.

This sci-fi adventure with the underpinnings of Korean mythology will transport you to a world far beyond your imagination. 

Review:

This was an exciting story!

I loved the mix of folklore and a futuristic setting. Min is a Fox, so she is a shapeshifter. She lives on a different planet, but they take the form of humans since those are most common. There was a lot of science fiction, since most of the story took place on spaceships, but the background came from Korean folklore.

This story was so fast paced. I read it in just one day! It felt like a whole series because so much happened. It was thrilling in some parts too, because there was a lot of danger. Min started out as an innocent teenage girl, but she put herself in a lot of risky situations in a short amount of time.

I also like the diversity of the characters. The characters had Korean names. There was a character who preferred gender neutral pronouns. It takes a while to get used to a single person being referred to as “they,” but this was a great way to include gender diversity in the story.

What to read next:

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

Have you read Dragon Pearl? What did you think of it?

Top Ten Tuesday – Debut Authors I Read in 2018

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and it is now hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is New-To-Me-Authors I read in 2018, but I narrowed it down to Debut Authors I Read in 2018. These are authors who published their debut book in 2018. Here’s my list:

1. American Panda by
Gloria Chao

2. The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth

3. Son of a Critch: A Childish Newfoundland Memoir by Mark Critch

4. Tara Takes the Stage by Tamsin Lane

5. The Exes’ Revenge by Jo Jakeman

6. Kiss of the Royal by Lindsey Duga

7. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

8. The Window by Amelia Brunskill

9. The Queen’s Rising (The Queen’s Rising #1) by Rebecca Ross

10. The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

(All photos taken from Goodreads)

Owlcrate Unboxing – November 2018

This is my unboxing for the Owlcrate November 2018 box!

I love this pillowcase with a quote from An Ember in Ashes by Sabaa Tahir.

Now I’ll have to start writing letters so I can seal them with this bookish seal!

This is a wishing bracelet craft. You write a wish on a paper and then roll it up so it becomes a bead to put on a bracelet.

This is a cute postcard. And I love the Dumbledore sticker with Fawkes!

Unfortunately, my skull flowerpot broke before I opened it. It looks like it was a cool item.

The book is Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan. I’ve seen this book everywhere so I can’t wait to read it!

The December theme is Power of Illusions!

Did you get this crate? What did you think of it?

Litjoy Unboxing – November 2018

Here’s my unboxing for the Litjoy November 2018 box!

This is a great candle called Forbidden Forest! My collection of literary candles keeps growing!

This is a pouch from the book included the crate. I love it! I’m going to keep my pin collection in it.

This is a great bookmark from Ink and Wonder with a quote from Harry Potter. The print is of Feyre from A Court of Thorns and Roses.

This month’s book is The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson. I had never heard of this book before, but it looks great!

The trading cards are two characters from the Shadowhunter series. I haven’t read the series yet, but I hope to read it soon!

Did you get this crate? What did you think of it?

Review: Ash Princess (Ash Princess Trilogy #1)

Title: Ash Princess (Ash Princess Trilogy #1)
Author: Laura Sebastian
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: April 24, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898

Goodreads Synopsis:

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia’s family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess–a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She’s endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn’t always won on the battlefield.

For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.

Review:

This book was so good!

Theodosia is in a unique position in this story. She is living with the people who invaded her castle when she was a child and killed her mother. She is their prisoner, though she doesn’t always live like one. She is put on display, and is often beaten in front of an audience. Now it’s time for her to rise up and take her place as Queen.

I liked how Theo was positioned in this story in relation to the royals. In many contemporary fantasy novels, the main character is placed below the royal family, usually in a servant place. However, this one was different since Theo was more of a prisoner or hostage. I liked this twist.

The story got a little slow and repetitive in the middle. However, the last 100 pages were so fast paced, I could hardly put the book down. There were some twists at the end, which have made me so excited about the next book!

What to read next:

Lady Smoke (Ash Princess Trilogy #2) by Laura Sebastian

Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard

Have you read Ash Princess? What did you think of it?