Many thanks to Antee @ReatAtMidnight and @litcelebrasian, you two have definitely pushed me to be more purposely reading Asian authors 🙂
I did manage a Bingo! for the first row and am going to keep on reading for the 4th column just because I’ve started & want to finish regardless of the actual reading challenge period ending.
Here are books I’ve read and/or am currently reading
Cindy Pon: Serpentine
3.5 out of 5 stars
Well, I knew there’s some sort of serpent involved but I didn’t think exactly what or how it will be in the book so it kinda caught me by surprise which is a good thing. And the ending was even better than what I’d expect.
What I wasn’t sure about was the relationship between the MC, Skybright (a handmaiden), and her mistress, Zhen Ni. In fact, what I’m not sure about is mostly Zhen Ni… probably just because I don’t like her (maybe she seems a lot more like me?! lol). I’m not very keen on the love interest either; I just didn’t get the feels there…
I do love the setting of historical China, the familiar social structure (not that I’d want to live in those times! well, maybe except to dress up like them), and the Food! oh my, the food! Some red bean buns, please 🙂
Shveta Thakrar: Ghost Notes
5 out of 5 stars
Eeek! Who know such a short story can be so completely & fully creepy. It’s given me the shivers! It is beautifully written with its very atmosphere so eery… I can see & feel the slices of moonlight through the window, beautiful music playing, and that ending, Gasp! Do read it (follow above link); it’ll only take 5 minutes or so & so very worth it.
Melissa de la Cruz: The Isle of the Lost
4 out of 5 stars
One of those books I picked up for a challenge without really considering what I’m getting myself into. So, when I started reading and found that this book is about the descendants of those fairy tale’s villains… let me just say, there were some air-punching moments. I mean, why didn’t anyone write this sooner!? Although, really, who wanted to have kids with these villains, errrr… that’s besides the point…
It’s such a clever story with all villains exiled and their descendants mixing & learning villainy but are they the villains their parents wish them to be… that remains to be seen. There are 4 POVs in this novel: Mal (daughter of Maleficent), Jay (son of Jafar), Evie (daughter of the Evil Queen), & Carlos (son of Cruela de Vil). They are all in the teens and as mischievous as you’d expect. Something happened which then requires them to go on a quest (hey, it’s a fairy tale!) in which they found… themselves.
The Isle of the Lost is a coming-of-age tale with a twist. Do who your parents are dictate you who are? Do your grooming and their expectations have any say in who you choose to be? And what about what your heart is telling you? I do love this tale of empowerment, being able to raise yourself beyond of what’s expected.
Renee Ahdieh: The Wrath & The Dawn
4 out of 5 stars
A beautiful retelling of 1001 Nights as I’ve always loved Shahrazad; being a brave and proactive heroine. However, this novel isn’t about the stories and Shahrazad only trying to live for another dawn. In this novel, she also wanted revenge. And to know why. Why is the Caliph murdering his brides come the dawn.
There are so many likeable characters in this book aside from Shahrazad including but not limited to the Caliph, Despina (Shahrazad’s handmaiden / Caliph’s spy), Tariq (Shahrazad’s chidhood love), etc. I’ve so many questions left though so I’m leaving my full impression after the finale to see whether they’re all brought altogether neatly or not. But I’ve definitely have loved spending some time in this part of the desert.
Julie Kagawa: The Iron Daughter – I didn’t get to this one but I will sometime in July, just to finish off this challenge to my own satisfaction 🙂
Aliette de Bodard: The House of Shattered Wings
I’m still reading…
I have to admit that I’m not a fan of angels in fictions. I guess I have my own views of what angels should be and have found none in fiction which I’m happy with. Yea, ok, I’m just a grump lol
Seriously, though, I loved the title so that’s why I’m attempting the read and 100 pages, I’m rather hooked with the setting… somewhat like a post-apocalyptic France with Notre Dame in ruins [insert cry face] and the mystery. I’d probably finish reading in the next couple of days.
Aisha Saeed: Written in the Stars
5 out of 5 stars
A few nights ago, I decided that I’m going to kick-start reading this book; a few chapters before writing a blog post but uh… that didn’t happen. Instead, I was completely taken by this story that I couldn’t stop reading. In fact, I stayed up late to finish this book.
Written in the Stars is actually heartbreaking story. What do you do when you straddle two cultures? When both of these cultures are actually pulling you apart? Which do you pick; the one to make your parents happy but you miserable or one that you’d be happy but your parents miserable? This. Never an easy choice.
Being an immigrant myself, I do sometimes feel trapped by my parents’ rather Asian expectations and yet, I do believe that I have expectations which my sons will feel they may be trapped by. For me, this book is really a lesson for the future where my sons may make their own choices & learn from their own mistakes.
Whilst the protagonist in this story rebelled against her parents’s wish for arranged marriage, the author herself actually agreed to & happy with her marriage (according to the author’s note at the end of this book). This is a very interesting contrast and yet, both appears to have hinged on the individual choice.