Posted in Review

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh [ARC REVIEW]

I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, however I do acknowledge that I am behind schedule and the book has already been released.

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea is a feminist retelling of the Korean myth of Shim Cheong, a tale that I knew nothing about before picking up this book but now I am in awe of. The book opens with Mina – our protagonist – volunteering (or maybe sacrificing) herself as the Sea God’s bride to spare her brother and the girl he loves. She is swept away to the Spirit Realm, setting out to wake the Sea God and bring an end to the storms that leave entire villages in despair once and for all. However, she doesn’t have much time: a human cannot survive for long in the Spirit Realm, and there are many people who will do anything to stop the Sea God from waking.

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Posted in Review, Sharon Kernot

The Art of Taxidermy by Sharon Kernot [REVIEW]

I got an eARC of this book from NetGalley, but it came out a year or so ago so I think it’s just an ebook in exchange for an honest review.

A quick description of the story: Lottie collects and cares for dead animals, hoping to preserve them and save them from decaying. Her father understands her scientific mind. Her aunt wants it to stop and for her to behave more like a ‘girl’. Her mother died long ago, and she’s finding ways to be closer to her.

A warning: as the plot focuses on Lottie’s fascination with dead animals, there are some detailed descriptions of the bodies decaying and how they get taken apart and put back together for taxidermy. It’s not too intense, but this might not be a book for you if you’re easily squeamish.

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Posted in Nora Sakavic, Review

The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic [REVIEW]

So, it took me a while to be convinced to read this book, even though I’ve seen nothing but praise for it. But, to be fair, it’s an interesting pitch: an American college sports team, the Japanese mafia, explicit torture, murder, mutilation, drugs, and a lacrosse-like game, all described in dramatic detail that puts a soap opera to shame. The narrator is the runaway son of a murderous crime lord. And my favourite thing about this book is that it all sounds ridiculous and over the top and wild, but as you’re reading it it’s so easy to go with the flow, and all of it seems incredibly real.

What I’ve noticed from reading other’s reviews is that the story is very dividing: you either love it or you hate it. Well, you love it, you like it a lot, or you hate it with every fibre of your being. I’m one of the people who loved it.

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Posted in Cath Crowley, Reading, Review

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley [Review]

I got this as an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, but it turns out the book came out months ago, so this isn’t really that ‘advanced’.

Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry, and she tucked a love letter into his favourite book in his family’s bookshop the day before she moved away. She waited for him, but he never came. Now, she’s returned to the city – and to the bookshop – to work alongside him, although she’d rather not see him for the rest of her life. But she needs the distraction: her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore.

As Henry and Rachel work side by side – surrounded by books (*quiet screaming*), watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages – they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough.

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Posted in Emily X.R. Pan, Reading, Review

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan [Review]

Shoutout to NetGalley (like usual) for giving me an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

A description of the book: Leigh – half Asian and half white – is certain that her mother turned into a bird when she died by suicide. She travels to Taiwan to meet her grandparents for her first time, and she’s determined to find her mother in bird form. She ends up chasing after ghosts and uncovering family secrets while making a new relationship with her grandparents.

I’m very conflicted about what star rating to give this, because I feel like it deserves a high one? But, three stars is ‘liked it’, and four stars is ‘really liked it’, and I think I just ‘liked it’. So three stars isn’t a bad rating.

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Posted in Cat Clarke, Reading, Review

We Are Young by Cat Clarke [Review]

I got an eARC copy of this book from NetGalley ahead of the book’s release in exchange for an honest review.

Having read ‘Undone’ a few years ago (a book that’s had a pretty secure spot as one of my favourite books of all time), I knew that Cat Clarke was an author to keep an eye out for, and that’s a huge part of the reason why I requested this book. I enjoy how she doesn’t make a massive deal of LGBT+ representation and includes it casually, unlike many other YA authors. She also throws a lot of other major contemporary issues into her stories in a way that is neither romanticised or sugar-coated.

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Posted in Melissa Albert, Reading, Review

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert [Review]

So, for me, this is one of those books where the cover is the best thing about it. I didn’t actually have a cover – I got an eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review – but I’ve seen pictures from people who received physical copies and it does look gorgeous.

I would usually only give something a one or two star rating is it’s problematic or I have a personal vendetta against it because it reminds me of exams, but I’m giving this one a low rating because it’s just so boring. I feel like it’s marketed as a fantasy, but I was two-thirds into the book when I finally reached the fantasy aspect, and at this point I had stopped caring about the story entirely. This book feels more like ‘Alice in Wonderland’ rewritten as a YA mystery, and mystery is a genre that I’m not a huge fan of reading, so that could be why the story didn’t work for me.

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Posted in Alexandra Christo, Reading, Review

To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo [Review]

I’m sad that I don’t have a physical copy of this book – the cover is gorgeous and I imagine it’s shiny and I want to take endless photos of it – but I did get to read an ARC from NetGalley just ahead of the book’s release, in exchange for an honest review. Shoutout to NetGalley. I read this book in mid to late February, and I’ve decided to wait until the night before the book is released to write the review.

First and foremost, I have a huge soft spot for books revolving around the ocean, whether it involves pirates, mermaids, sirens, sea creatures, or any mix of those things. When I first heard about this story, I knew that I had to request it, and I was ecstatic that it appeared in my library.

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Posted in Beauty in the Breakdown, Personal, Writing

I wrote a book!

If you follow me on social media, you might have seen that I’ve been planning on self-publishing it for a while. Now, the story is finished, meaning that this little dream is finally becoming a reality. The book is now available for purchase on Amazon. Here is what it looks like:

Since I haven’t worked out the best plan for promotion yet, I decided that I would do a tag so I can explain the book further to anyone who is interested.

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