August Wrap Up

General Comments

I tend to be a planner. I make lists of all the books I want to read, and I categorise them, then re-categorise them, then prioritise them, and by the end of all that, I haven’t read as much as I want.

In August I participated in #RetellingAThon, which was fantastic, because I read heaps. I felt really motivated, especially because it would contribute toward my goals for Retelling Reading Challenge. I’m goal oriented, and without a deadline I tend to procrastinate.

This increase in reading meant that I neglected my blog to a shocking degree. I think I only posted three things last month. I suppose I’ll spend September catching up.

Books Read

Key:

📚Retelling Reading Challenge 📚

*Retelling Reading Challenge Bingo card *

🏮Year of the Asian Reading Challenge 🏮

💕2019 Release 💕

*📚The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White ⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Egyptian mythology
  • Easy read
  • Plot twist was a bit obvious

*📚💕Gods of Jade and Shadows by Silvia Moreno-Garcia ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Mayan mythology
  • Worldbuilding was immersive, but sometimes felt a bit clinical
  • Pacing dragged in places

📚🏮A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Retelling of the Mahabharata
  • Everything was fantastic – the writing, characters, plot, worldbuilding

*📚Ophelia by Jackie French ⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Retelling of Hamlet from Ophelia’s POV
  • Got sick of the cheese references
  • “Romance” was annoying
  • Loved the twist on the original

*📚Illyria by Elizabeth Hand ⭐️⭐️

  • Not a retelling of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night
  • Not much of a plot
  • Beautiful writing

📚I, Iago by Nicole Galland DNF 16%

  • Retelling of Othello from villains POV
  • Hated Iago and his narration
  • Got sick of the military descriptions

📚Prince of Shadows by Rachel Caine ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

  • Retelling of Romeo and Juliet from Benvolio’s POV
  • Fast paced, interesting read
  • Good writing
  • Traumatic scene in which a gay man is murdered

📚💕The Girl in Red by Christina Henry ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Retelling of Little Red Riding Hood
  • Post apocalyptic dystopia
  • Love Red as a character
  • Gripping story

📚💕Robbergirl by S. T. Gibson ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

  • Retelling of The Snow Queen from the Robber Girl’s POV

📚Sea Witch by Sarah Henning DNF 55%

  • Prequel to The Little Mermaid
  • The Sea Witch’s backstory

📚Jane Steele by Lindsay Faye DNF 10%

  • A sort of retelling of Jane Eyre
  • Didn’t like the MC, or the narration

*📚Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Retelling/prequel to Peter Pan
  • Tinkerbell as narrator

*📚The Collector’s Society by Heather Lyons DNF 52%

  • Sequel to Alice in Wonderland
  • Interesting premise
  • Soft magic system trying to be a hard magic system and failing
  • Constant pining for male lead was tedious

📚Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

  • Prequel to Anne Of Green Gables
  • Character driven book
  • Wonderful writing

Mary Shelley by Catherine Reef ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

  • YA biography about author of Frankenstein

The Bronte Sisters by Catherine Reef ⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • YA biography about authors of Jane Eyre, Agnes Grey, and Wuthering Heights

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • The story of my favourite red-headed orphan

The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • A complicated murder mystery
  • Listened to the BBC dramatisation as well

Currently Reading

📚The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton

Murder At the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

📚💕Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

What I watched

Little Women (2017) (rewatch)⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

I love this story, and I think this is a fantastic adaptation.

Otherhood ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was funny and I love the actresses.

Derry Girls (season 1) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I laughed so hard I actually cried. In almost every episode.

Derry Girls (Season 2) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

See above.

Instinct (season 1) ⭐️⭐️⭐️

I neither love nor hate this.

Australian Ninja Warrior (2019) ⭐️⭐️⭐️

There’s something really addictive about watching people climb things and fall in water.

Veronica Mars (2019) ⭐️⭐️⭐️

That ending killed me.

Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Descendants 3 ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Detective Pikachu ⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was cute, but not something I’ll go out of my way to watch again.

Maleficent (rewatch)⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I love the twist on the original tale of sleeping beauty. This is probably the best role I’ve seen Angelina Jolie play.

And Then There Were None ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was completely addictive. Only parts 1 and 2 had aired on television, but mom and I couldn’t wait so we purchased the last part on iTunes.

The Librarians (Season 1) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Currently Watching

Moon Lovers Scarlet Heart Ryeo (rewatch)

The Librarians (Season 2)

Carnival Row

Currently Playing

Yoshi’s Wooly World on Wii U

Blog Posts I Liked

Why Plagiarising Reviews is Bad (Because Apparently it Needs to be Said) by Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky

Ode to the Quiet Woman by Shri @ Sun and Chai

Ice Cream Combinations Inspired by Books by Alexis @ Cinnamon Summers

5 Reasons to Read Classics// ft. Recommendations by Olivia @ Purely Olivia

Loved This Ghibli Film? Read This Book! by CW @ The Quiet Pond

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#RetellingAThon Wrap Up

Throughout the month of August I participated in #RetellingAThon. Each week had a different theme, and I chose to join #TeamFairyTale led by Umairah @ Sereadipity. Despite only completing two books that week, it was my second best week in terms of pages read. Go figure?

A surprising number weren’t true retellings, but were rather prequels or sequels. I’ll note that briefly for each one. My mini reviews for most of these are coming soon, so if you’re interested, watch out for them in September.

Stats

Books finished: 11

Books DNFd: 4

Books Still Reading: 2

Pages Read: 3912

Mythology

Total pages read: 876

A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Retelling of the Mahabharata
  • YA Fantasy

The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White ⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Features Egyptian gods and goddesses
  • YA Fantasy

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Features Mayan mythology
  • Historical Fantasy

Shakespeare

Total pages read: 1250.

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett ⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • A retelling of both Macbeth and Hamlet
  • Fantasy Satire

Ophelia Queen of Denmark by Jackie French ⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Retelling of Hamlet
  • YA Historical Fantasy

Illyria by Elizabeth Hand ⭐️⭐️

  • Not a retelling at all. It just featured Twelfth Night as a plot point
  • (YA) Contemporary Romance

Prince of Shadows by Rachel Caine ⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Retelling of Romeo and Juliet from Benvolio’s POV
  • YA Historical Fantasy
  • CW: Violence, murder of homosexual character, violence against women, blood, suicide, death, homophobia

I, Iago by Nicole Galland DNF 16%

  • Retelling of Othello
  • Historical Fiction

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton (Still Reading)

  • Retelling of King Lear
  • Fantasy
  • POC Rep

Fairytales

Total pages read: 964

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning DNF 55%

  • Backstory of the sea witch (Ursula in the Disney movie) from The Little Mermaid

The Girl in Red by Christina Henry ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Retelling of Little Red Riding Hood
  • POC & Disability Rep
  • Science Fiction Dystopia

Robbergirl by S. T. Gibson ⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Retelling of The Snow Queen from the Robber Girl’s POV
  • F/F romance
  • YA Fantasy

Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly (Finished September 1, so it doesn’t really count) ⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • A sequel to Cinderella from a stepsister’s POV
  • YA Fantasy
  • Disability Rep

retelling-a-thon-week-4-prompts.png

Classics_TBR.jpg

Classics

Total pages read: 822

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye DNF 10%

  • A sort of retelling of Jane Eyre
  • Historical Fiction

The Collectors Society by Heather Lyons DNF 52%

  • A sequel to Alice in Wonderland
  • Fantasy

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Retelling of Peter Pan from Tiger Lily’s POV
  • YA Fantasy
  • POC & LGBT Rep

Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • An imagining of Marilla Cuthbert’s backstory from Anne Of Green Gables
  • Historical Fiction

July Wrap Up

General Comments

July was a very mixed bag for me. I honestly don’t remember a lot of it because I was sick with a sinus infection, and was fainting etc. But my birthday was good. It was a four day celebration, which was exhausting, but wonderful. I got new clothes that fit me, so I’m feeling pretty happy about that. Other than that, my Gran was in hospital twice and had to have major neck surgery, which has thankfully gone very well.

Books I Read

Albert: A Life by Jules Stewart ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

This was a well researched read about a fascinating man. At the 3/4 mark my interest started to wane, but had that not been the case I would have rated in 4 stars.

Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

This is the third book in the Discworld series, and the first to introduce witches. I love Pratchett’s humour, the way he weaves words, and his worldbuilding. As usual, the plot was solid, and I appreciate the themes. I like the characters, but I don’t always think they’re particularly complex. I find his novels enjoyable to read, but lacking emotional punch.

The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I loved a lot about this book. It’s told mostly from Ana’s POV, but it’s interspersed with transcripts from trial interviews. The descriptions were amazing, and the world building was really immersive. I think the themes were probably the standout part of The Kingdom- free will, AI, autonomy, and genetic modification just to name a few.

Florence Nightingale by Catherine Reef ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was a young adult biography about England’s most famous nurse. It was easy to read, well researched, and included images. It doesn’t shy away from the darker aspects of life, and provides plenty of context to Florence’s story.

Perception by Terri Fleming ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

This is essentially a Pride and Prejudice sequel revolving around the middle Bennet sister, Mary. I quite enjoyed this. It was sweet and well-written. The only thing I really didn’t like was the portrayal of most women as silly and frivolous.

Currently Reading

Past Forward: Essays on Korean History by Kyung Moon Hwang

Hungry Hearts edited by Caroline Tung Richmond and Elise Chapman

Mary Shelley by Catherine Reef

What I Watched

Shazam.jpg

Shazam ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Anne of Green Gables.jpg

Anne of Green Gables (1985) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The_Hundred_Foot_Journey_(film)_poster.jpg

The Hundred Foot Journey ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Downton Abbey.jpg

Downton Abbey (Season 1) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Miss Fisher.jpg

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (rewatch) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Agatha_Christie's_Marple.jpg

Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple (season 5-6) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Eureka.jpg

Eureka ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

A Few Best Men.jpg

A Few Best Men ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Currently Watching

My Life is Murder

Catch up on my Blog

Wicked Fox|| Kat Cho (Mini Review)

June Haul

Retelling Mini Reviews|| The Tea Master and the Detective, Unmarriageable, & The Cold is in Her Bones

Fairytale Mini Reviews|| Blanca & Roja/ I’m the Vanishers’ Palace/ Girls Made of Snow and Glass

Descendant of the Crane|| Joan He

Perception|| Terri Fleming [Pride and Prejudice Mini Review]

Blog Posts I Liked

Favourite Fantasy Worlds I’d Love to go on Holiday to by The Orangutan Librarian

Desdemona and the Deep Review by Susan @ Novel Lives

The Golem and the Jinni Review by Dina @ SFF Book Reviews

Fairy Tale Retellings Still Focus on Appearances – And I Think it’s Lazy by Briana @ Pages Unbound

YouTube Videos I Liked

Star Trek: Picard – Official Teaser | Prime Video

I cannot find anyone else who is as excited about this as me. I love Picard, I love Next Gen, and I love Sir Patrick Stewart.

Fruits Basket 2019 Official Trailer 2

I can’t believe I didn’t know about this for so many months.

The Truth About Memory Loss by Jessica Kellgren-Fozard

This is my every day life. I have multiple sleep disorders that impact my memory, so this really resonated with me.

August Anticipated Releases

Polite Society.jpg

The Gossamer Mage by Julie E. Czerneda

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

Polite Society by Mahesh Rao

A Dress for the Wicked.jpgAll the Bad Apples.jpgThe Downstairs Girl.jpg

A Dress for the Wicked by Autumn Krause

All the Bad Apples by Moira Fowley-Doyle

The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

June Wrap Up

General Comments

June was a decent month reading-wise. Personally, it was not so great. My grandma was in hospital for a week, and she has to go back to have surgery on her neck. Then I got very very sick. As a result, I haven’t written as many reviews as I had hoped to in my weeks off. Here’s hoping July is better.

What I read

Victoria the Queen by Julia Baird ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was a great general biography of Queen Victoria from birth to death. I think as a primer it is an excellent starting point. It was well researched and very easy to read.

The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

There was so much to love about this book! It had a bit of everything: Djinn, racial and religious diversity, an enthralling plot, complex interesting characters, as well as a slow burn romance. I highly recommend.

Teeth in the Mist.jpg

Teeth in the Mist by Dawn Kurtagich DNF 51%

In this retelling of Faust, we follow three female MCs living in different centuries who all have a connection to Mill House. The atmosphere was creepy, and initially I was really interested in the unfolding mystery. By time I got half way not much had happened and I was getting bored.

The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’m not sure how to describe this book, but I’ll try. It’s about twins who are children of the Protector, the ruler of the land. But it’s also about power, both political and magical, which is concentrated in the upper classes. There’s magic and rebellion. There’s also LGBT+ representation: children are genderless, and eventually make the choice to become male or female.

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This Chinese inspired fantasy was a completely addictive read. I finished it in two sessions, which is almost unheard of for me. It had a bit of everything: a murder mystery, forbidden magic, court politics, the looming threat of war, complicated family dynamics, a legal trial…

Miranda in Milan by Katharine Duckett DNF 32%

This was a YA novella based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest. It was more of a sequel than a retelling, set in Milan after Miranda and her father, Prospero, have returned triumphant from exile. It promises a mystery and a f/f relationship. I found the dialogue was stilted and there was little suspense despite the supposed mystery.

Wicked Fox by Kat Cho ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

As a fan of Korean dramas, I was super excited for this. I won’t say that I was disappointed, but it was very predictable to someone who has watched a lot of dramas and knows a lot about Korean mythology. It was an entertaining read, and I’d still recommend it.

Currently Reading

Equal Rites.jpg

Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett

This is the third Discworld novel, and the first featuring the Witches. The basic story involves a wizard passing his powers to an eight son of an eight son… only it’s not a son, it’s actually a daughter.

Albert.jpg

Albert: A Life by Jules Stewart

Continuing my reading about the Victorian era, I’m halfway through a biography about Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria. He was a fascinating man, and very talented.

What I watched

 

Good Omens ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The scenes between Michael Sheen and David Tennant really made this tv adaptation truly marvellous.

victoria.jpg

Victoria (season 3) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I love this series so much, and I can’t wait for season 4. I find Victoria and Albert absolutely fascinating, both individually and as a couple.

Avengers Endgame.jpg

Avengers: Endgame ⭐️⭐️⭐️

I admit, I bawled my eyes out watching this. But afterwards I felt sort of disappointed. I don’t think this movie was as clever and well crafted as Infinity War, and there are a lot of plot holes. It feels like the writers completely undid all the amazing set up they previously did, and Thanos went from being a complex bad guy, to a cardboard cut out villain.

Kinky Boots ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Catch up on my blog

DNF Reviews|| Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, Teeth in the Mist, & Miranda in Milan

May Bullet Journal Flip Through|| Pokemon Theme

YARC mid-year Check In

Retellings Reading Challenge Check In

SFF by Asian Authors|| Recommendations

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

Why I Write DNF Reviews|| Discussion

T10T || Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2019

Blog Posts I Liked

To be clear, I liked a lot more posts than this. I just don’t feel well and I’m rushing to finish this wrap up.

Check Your Ability: On Ownvoices Disability Representation by Shri @ Sun and Chai, featuring Sabina Post and Lillie Lainoff

This is probably my favourite post of the year. It’s a discussion covering a lot of related topics around disability representation in fiction and being a disabled author. I’m not doing it justice, but it is fantastic, and you should read it.

Welcome to CW’s Hungry Hearts Food Crawl – Where I Tried Food and Cuisine From This Delicious Anthology by CW @ The Quiet Pond

This was such a unique and fun post to read. CW tried food mentioned in the anthology, and shares the experience with the reader. I’ve never come across anything quite like it, but I devoured every word (ha ha, I’m so funny.)

May Wrap Up

General Comments

I had high hopes for May. I planned to participate in both Asian Readathon and Ramadan Readathon. I failed miserably. I read like 5 books. I’m just not really very good at readathons and TBRs. I need to accept it. I’ve decided I’ll just stick to year-long reading challenges.

I’m also announcing a semi-hiatus during June. I’m probably only going to post once or twice a week, depending how I feel. I want to concentrate more on reading and catching up on writing blog posts. In the last couple months I’ve scheduled a few posts, then forgot to actually go back and finish them before they’re published, so I’ve had to take them down. I’d like to get a handful of posts ready to go so I don’t have to stress about it for a while.

What I Read

Conservation of Shadows by Yoon Ha Lee 🇰🇷 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Seven Days by Rihito Takarai 🇯🇵 ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Forest of a thousand lanterns.jpg

Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal 🇵🇰 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Want by Cindy Pon 🇹🇼 ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao 🇻🇳 DNF 66%

Currently Reading

Victoria the Queen by Julia Baird

What I Watched

Lego Masters (Australia)⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Watching people make cool stuff out of Lego, what else do you want to watch three nights a week?

Victoria ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Haven’t finished all three seasons, but I love this. The costumes, the writing. All of it. Victoria was such a fascinating woman.

The Passage ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My mom and I marathoned this in one day. It’s completely addictive, and nothing like I thought it was going to be. Twelve-year-old Saniyya Sidney held the entire show together beautifully.

New Amsterdam ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Oh My God. What an ending!

The Hustle ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Amusing, but average.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Decent, but a bit underwhelming.

Book Haul

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad

The Bone Charmer by Breeana Shields

Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

Victoria The Queen by Julia Baird

Elizabeth The Queen.jpgMarie Antoinette.jpg

Elizabeth The Queen by Alison Weir

Marie Antoinette by Antonia Fraser

Catch Up On My Blog

April Wrap Up

April Bullet Journal Flip Through

Romance in YA Discussion

Books with Phenomenal Worldbuilding

Dark of the Moon || Tracy Barrett

Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach|| Kelly Robson

A Thousand Ships|| Natalie Haynes

Conservation of Shadows|| Yoon Ha Lee

Here, The World Entire|| Anwen Kya Hayward

June TBR

Blog Posts I Liked

Why I Think Retellings Should Focus On Themes As Well As Plot by Briana @ Pages Unbound, where she talks about the difference between a book that is inspired by another literary work, and a retelling of that work.

Connecting With A Self I’d Forgotten #RepresentationMeans by Shri @ Sun and Chai where she talks about how meaningful it was to see part of her identity, as a Desi woman and bharatanatyam dancer in particular, reflected in the pages of Roshani Chokshi’s The Gilded Wolves, and how important representation is.

Muslim Voices Rise Up – Muslim Fantasy Authors In Conversation over on Fadwa’s Word Wonders featuring Karuni Riazi and Nafiza Azad chatting about Muslim representation in fantasy, diversity, the experience of being a Muslim author among other things. The whole series of Muslim Voices Rise Up that have been shared this month have been amazing, so a big thanks to the hosts, Fadwa, Adiba and Aimal!

YA Books With ‘Heavy’ Topics Are Necessary by Fadwa @ Word Wonders, where she talks about the importance of discussing topics such as trauma, abuse, mental illness, and even sex, in YA literature.

YouTube Videos I Liked

Wind Princess – Official Trailer (Nausicaa Tribute)

April Wrap Up | Best and Worst Month of 2019? #Fantasyathon @ Beautifully Bookish Bethany

Upcoming Releases I’m Excited For

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson (June 4)

Wicked Fox by Kat Cho (June 25)

The Evil Queen by Gena Showalter (June 25)

 

April Wrap Up

April was a big month so I took a week off blogging (mostly because my cat punctured a rather deep hole in my thumb while I was medicating him, and because I speared by other hand with a mechanical pencil, so I actually had no working hands to type with). Therefore I didn’t catch up with my reviews, or work on any of the recommendation posts I wanted to. Hopefully you’ll get to read some of them this month! *Fingers crossed*

I did read more than I expected I would, finishing four books and three novellas. I started out the month with a plan to read certain books, but mid-month I was struggling so I just axed my TBR and read whatever I felt like reading. If I make a really long and varied TBR I can stick to it, but forcing myself to read books, for whatever reason, just ensures I won’t read anything.

My boy, Gizmo, had to have his sinus drained, and they gave him this unfortunate haircut.

He normally looks like this:

And here’s a photo of my girl, Latte, just because she’s beautiful:

Book Haul

The Sword and the Dagger.jpgWicked Saints.jpg

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He – A Chinese-inspired fantasy featuring a murder mystery and court politics.

The Sword and the Dagger by Robert Cochran – A YA historical fiction novel set during the crusades featuring a Christian Princess, a Knight, and a Muslim assassin joining forces on an epic quest.

Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan– An Eastern European inspired (YA) Fantasy about clerics and gods and blood magic and war.

City of a Thousand Dolls.jpgSenlin Ascends.jpgThe Widows of Malabar Hill.jpg

City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster – Nisha, an orphan grows up in a city of orphans who are trained in the arts. After starting a forbidden relationship and dreaming of life outside the walls, other girls start dying and Nisha must solve the mystery before she is the next victim.

Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft – Set in an alternate steampunk timeline, a man and his wife honeymoon at The Tower of Babel. He gets separated from her, and faces all sorts of crazy situations and dangers in his quest to find her.

The Widows of Malabar Hill by Balli Kaur Jaswal – An adult historical mystery set in 1920s Bombay, featuring the first Indian female lawyer investigating a will that will leave the man’s widows penniless.

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Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Sujata Massey – I don’t know much about this aside from it involves Punjabi widows and a writing class, presumably where they write smutty stories.

Conservation of Shadows by Yoon Ha Lee – A short story collection that blends sci-fi and mythology, featuring important themes (such as colonisation, war, grief etc.) and amazing worldbuilding.

Books I Read

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In the Vanishers’ Palace by Aliette de Bodard ⭐️⭐️ Sci-Fi/Fantasy Novella – This is a Vietnamese inspired retelling of Beauty and the Beast. The worldbuilding was the highlight for me. It’s set in a futuristic world where creatures called Vanishers have destroyed the environment (and the fabric of reality). Frankly, a lot of the plot was confusing and somewhat convoluted, which is why I didn’t give it a higher rating.

Empress by Ruby Lal ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Non Fiction – This biography follows the life, from birth to death, of Nur Jahan, the twentieth and favourite wife of Moghul Emperor Jahangir. It was easy to read and well researched, and provided a lot of context about the society, culture, religion etc. that she lived in.

White Lotus by Libbie Hawker DNF 35% Historical Fiction – Set in Ancient Egypt, White Lotus blends fact and fiction, telling the story of the haetera Doricha. Her life was inspiration for the oldest extant variation of the Cinderella tale. The book wasn’t bad, I just wasn’t really in the mood to read it, so I hope to come back to it at a later date.

Dark of the Moon by Tracy Barrett ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ YA Historical Fiction – A retelling of the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, told from the dual perspectives of Ariadne and Theseus. I thought the worldbuilding was wonderful, and I really appreciated how the author explored a fully realised religio-political system where women held positions of power. I liked that the fantastical elements were given realistic explanations, such as the nature of the Minotaur. I also liked that the author rendered both Ariadne and Theseus as sympathetic and complex individuals, which is completely missing in the original iterations of the myth.

The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ YA Fantasy – The second in The Bone Witch trilogy, The Heart Forger continued the story of Tea on her path of vengeance. Told again in two narratives, The Bard narrates the present, while Tea narrates the events that led up to this point. In The Heart Forger the two timelines are quickly converging. While book one focused on character development, worldbuilding, and the backstory, book two is full of action. Full review to come.

Gods, Monsters and the Lucky Peach by Kelly Robson ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Sci-Fi Novella – For a fairly short novel(la) this packed a punch. Again, I think I need to write a full review for this one. In short, it features humans in a speculative future where the environment has been destroyed. Minh is an ecologist and habitat restoration specialist who applies for a project that involves time travel. There’s a lot of scientific, management sort of stuff, which I found kind of fascinating. It also explores an intergenerational friendship between two women, and the realities of time travel.

The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Sci-Fi Novella – This seemed to be a kind of Sherlock Holmes retelling, but I’m unsure if the comparison was an intentional one on the author’s part. In this version, Watson is a sentient spaceship with PTSD, and the Sherlock character is a drug addicted genius. It had an interesting plot, the worldbuilding was fascinating, and the characters were well developed considering it’s only 88 pages long.

A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Historical Fantasy – This is a feminist retelling of The Iliad. It follows the women connected with The Trojan War, whether they be slaves or goddesses, wives or daughters, allies or enemies. It was so carefully crafted and sensitively rendered that I both laughed and cried. I don’t think I can express all my thoughts succinctly enough for a wrap up, so watch out for my full review.

Currently Reading

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton: This is a feminist fantasy retelling of King Lear by Shakespeare. So far the writing is beautiful, and the atmosphere and worldbuilding are completely enchanting. The four main characters are all very distinctive, and seem to have a lot of promise. It is quite long, and the pacing is languid, so I’m struggling a bit to stay engaged with the plot.

TV/Movies I Watched

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 2⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Exotic Marigold Hotel⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Second Exotic Marigold Hotel⭐️⭐️⭐️

Doctor Strange (Rewatch)⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Megan Leavy⭐️⭐️⭐️

Nancy Drew and the Vanishing Stair⭐️⭐️⭐️

Green Book⭐️⭐️⭐️

Catch up on my Blog

March Wrap Up

March Bullet Journal Flip Through

Things That Make Me Want to Pick Up a Book | Top Ten Tuesday

Bunny Books|| Easter Recommendations

Year of the Asian Reading Challenge

The Gilded Wolves Review

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Quotes

YouTube Videos I Liked

The Best YA Book of 2019? | The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg Review by Bethany @ Beautifully Bookish Bethany

May Bullet Journal Plan With Me | Koi Fish Theme by Pypah’s Art

Defacing Six of Crows by iLiveforbooks

Nevernight (Spoiler Free) Review by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes

Blog Posts I Liked

This was such an amazing month in the blogosphere and I read soo many fantastic, thoughtful discussions. I had such a hard time narrowing down which ones I thought were most deserving of linking. So I went crazy. I just want everyone to read all these phenomenal posts too!

Discussions

#DiverseBookBloggersDiscuss: Desi Voices. Desi Stories by Aradhna from Open Pages on Fadwa’s Blog Word Woonders

Overweight, underrepresented: Where are all the fat people in literature? by Shruti @ This is Lit

Things I want to see more in YA books by Amanda @ MetalPhantasmReads

Trigger Warnings: What Are They, And Do We Need Them? by Penny @ Read Yourself Happy

My Favorite Rating System: CAWPILE by Cat @ Pages & Plots

A Four-Star Book is not a Bad Book by Stephanie @ Adventures of a Bibliophile

‘Kilig’ and Other Alien Terms For Aromantics by Zia @ Accio! Blog

Do Characters Need to Be Relatable? by Krysta @ Pages Unbound Reviews

Miscategorizing Adult Books As YA (Discussion) by Briana @ Pages Unbound Reviews

In Defense of Flawed Characters by Krysta @ Pages Unbound Reviews

Disability the Forgotten Child of Diversity by Rebecca Thorne @ Diversely Creative

Book Reviews

ARC Review: A Thousand Ships by Foxes and Fairy Tales

Want by Cindy Pon – A Cornerstone of YA Sci-Fi by CW @ A Quiet Pond

Review: The Silence of the Girls | The Iliad, by Briseis by Jolien @ The Fictional Reader

Books: Gods, Monsters and the Lucky Peach by Chelsea @ Spotlight On Stories

The Merciful Crow – Margaret Owen by Namera @ The Literary Invertebrate

A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy by Chloe @ The Elven Warrior

Consequences of Conquest: Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen by Alexia @ The Bookworm Daydreamer

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He || ARC Review by Rain @ Book Dragonism

Romanov by Nadine Brandes// Might work as non-fiction, but not as fiction by Tasya @ The Literary Huntress

Most Anticipated May Releases

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A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

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The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad

Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

The Bone Charmer by Breeana Shields

Let’s Chat!

How was April for you? What were your reading and watching highlights? Let me know in the comments below!

March Wrap Up

March started out pretty slowly. I was reading a fair bit, but not really finishing anything. By mid-March I had to switch to focusing on a single book at a time in order to actually complete a book.

I did spent a considerable amount of time working on my bullet journals and digital planners during that time though, so I’ll have a couple posts about those in April if you’re interested.

Other than that I’ve been cooking a lot, and I watched a ton of trashy tv. I’ve also started Hydrotherapy for my Chronic Fatigue/Fibromyalgia, and I’m really enjoying it, so March was a pretty decent month overall.

Books I read

Blanca and Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This Swan Lake/ Snow White & Rose Red retelling features Latinx sisters facing a family curse which results in one sister in every pair being turned into a swan. The writing is beautiful, the atmosphere is magical, and there is sensitive transgender and LGBT representation.

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I DNF’d this book last year, and I’m really glad that I have it another chance. Tea accidentally resurrects her brother, and discovers she is a Bone Witch. The world building is absolutely fascinating and very detailed. The plot was good, but somewhat slow paced. I loved the magic system, and the exploration of gender roles.

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Set in 19th century France during the Universal Exposition, this novel centres around a magical heist and features a diverse cast. It was a fun novel that explored a few darker themes, such as colonialism/imperialism.

The Cold is in Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Slated as a Medusa retelling, this book takes inspiration from the myth, but tells a completely different story. It is about cursed girls and an affinity for snakes. It read very much like a fairytale, and speaks to all the girls out there who are told to be good, and quiet, and obedient.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor ⭐️⭐️⭐️

In terms of enjoyment, I would give this book 4 stars. Set primarily in Prague, it follows the story of Karou, her human friends, her demon/monster/chimaera family, and a mysterious winged man. Laini Taylor’s writing has this amazing ability to suck me in, and I powered through this. I liked the characters, and even though the plot was a bit predictable I enjoyed it a lot. The magic system was also cool, but disturbing.

An Affair of Poisons by Addie Thorley ⭐️⭐️⭐️

An alternative magical history set in 18th century France, this reimagines The Affair of Poisons, in which a palm-reader and her followers attempted to poison the Sun King, asking what would have happened had she succeeded.

Currently Reading

Empress: The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan by Ruby Lal

This non-fiction book charts the life of Nur Jahan, the twentieth and favourite wife of Mughal Emperor Jahangir, who co-ruled with him in the 17th century. She was intelligent, politically savvy, brave, and completely badass.

White Lotus by Libbie Hawker

Set in Ancient Egypt, this historical novel blends fact and fiction, taking inspiration from the oldest variation of Cinderella, blending it with the life of the hetaera Rhodopis, a contemporary of Aesop and Sappho.

TV/ Movies

New Amsterdam ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is probably the best medical drama I’ve watched in years. It has heartache, it has humour, and it has hope.

Isn’t It Romantic? ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Rebel Wilson, Adam DeVine & Liam Hemsworth star in this satirical romantic comedy that had me in stitches.

Captain Marvel ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

WOW. I didn’t think I was going to like this movie, but dad wanted to go, so mom and I went with him. There’s so much to love in Marvel’s latest release. The characters: Veres, Fury, Goose. The action and humour and drama. The coolest, most epic fight scene in ages. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s definitely worth it.

Call the Midwife (Season 8) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The latest season of Call the Midwife is just as amazing as the previous seven. I’m crying by the end of every episode. Happy tears. Sad tears. Doesn’t matter. Every. Single. Time.

Catch up on my blog

February Wrap Up

Stain|| A. G. Howard

Fairytale Retellings|| Recommendations

February Bullet Journal & Digital Planner Flip-Through

Winterglass|| Benjanun Sriduangkaew

Crimson Bound|| Rosamund Hodge

Series I Won’t Continue (Even Though I Liked the First Book)

2019 Retellings reading Challenge || Quarterly Wrap Up

The Bone Witch|| Rin Chupeco

March Book Haul

First Lines That Had Me Hooked

YouTube Videos I Liked

Planning

Plan With Me | Bullet Journal – Simply Sweet by Jann @ Jannplansthings

Plan With Me | March Bullet Journal Setup by Jann @ Jannplansthings

Plan With Me | Bujo Weekly – Space Cat Gets a Friend by Jann @ Jannplansthings

PLAN WITH ME APRIL- Bullet Journal Suomi 2019 by Roosa @ Roosa Mononen

Discussions

I’m SICK of Black Trauma Porn – Blackathon Discussion by Jesse @ Bowties & Books

WHY ARE FEMALE CHARACTERS WRITTEN TERRIBLY? by __ @ The Book Pusher

What NOT To Comment on a Negative Book Review | Discussion by Theresa @Ivymuse

This book will wreck me: Opening Sentences That Had Me Hooked!!! by Noria @ Noria Reads

More Popular Books I’ll *NEVER* Read by Theresa @ Ivymuse

Recommendations

10 Non-Western Fantasy Book Recommendations | Fantasy Recommendations # 2 by Bethany @ Beautifully Bookish Bethany

Dark Fantasy & Morally Grey Characters: 11 Book Recommendations | Fantasy Recommendations # 3 by Bethany @ Beautifully Bookish Bethany

Blog Posts I Liked

Discussions

#DiverseBookBloggersDiscuss: Busting some Indian myths and Stereotypes by Prags on Fadwa’s blog @Word Wonders

Discussion & Rambles // What makes a great plot twist? by Xandra @ Starry Sky Books

Understanding and handling your bookworm: A guide by Shruti @ This is Lit

How-To Do A Character Study (i.e. Loving on Characters!) by Dani @ Perspective of a Writer

Reviews

review: a shiver of snow and sky by Jolien @ The Fictional Reader

Descendant of the Crane, Joan He – Book Review by Judith @ Chain Interaction

Review: The Fever King by Victoria Lee by Acqua @ Acquadimore Books

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon | Review by Ruby @ Rubysbookblog

Blog Tour Review | The Shadow Glass (The Bone Witch #3) by Rin Chupeco by Melanie @ Mel To The Any

Recommendations

[Reading Recs] #AroAceApril: A-spec Reading Recommendations by faerieontheshelf

Recommendation Time: A List Inspired by Shadow and Bone by Acqua @ Acquadimore

Hot Off The Press: April 2019 by Jen @ Pop Goes the Reader

Interviews

Who Stokes the Fire: Talking About The Bone Witch and World-Building With Rin Chupeco by Rain @ BookDragonism

Going Undercover // An Interview With Book Cover Illustrator, gg by __ @ Novels and Waffles

Most Anticipated April Releases

Books

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Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

Murder mystery, forbidden magic, and court politics all come together in this Chinese- inspired world.

The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala

This is a story about a rebel assassin and soldier prince, drawing on Indian history and Hindu mythology.

Upon a Burning Throne by Ashok K. Banker

Inspired by the Maharabhata, this has political intrigue, a royal test to determine the future ruler, and rebellion.

TV and Movies

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The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 2: Premiers April 5 on Netflix

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Her Private Life (Korean Drama):  Premiers April 10

Let’s Chat!

What were the highlights of your month? Let me know in the comments below!

2019 Retellings Reading Challenge|| Quarterly Wrap Up

My quarterly wrap up for the 2019 Retelling Reading Challenge is a little late, but here it is. Because I’ve done reviews for most of these I’ll only give you dot point notes, and I’ll link to my full reviews if you want to know more of my thoughts on any given book.

DNF

Alcestis by Katherine Beutner

Historical Fantasy

  • Retelling of the Alcestis myth
  • Pacing was very slow
  • Didn’t like where the plot was heading, so DNF @ 65%

The Silver Handled Knife by Frances Thomas

YA Historical Fiction

  • Retelling of the Oresteia from Elektra’s POV
  • Pacing was all over the place
  • Felt more like a summary of the myth, rather than a retelling
  • Narrative jumps back and forward
  • Felt no connection to any of the characters

2 stars

For the Immortal by Emily Hauser

Historical Fantasy

  • Retelling of Heracles, Theseus & Amazons myth from Admete and Hippolyta’s POVs
  • Plot and characters interesting
  • Writing needed editing (some sentences were grammatically incorrect)
  • Wish I read series in order

3 stars

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Fantasy

  • A Feminist retelling of Snow White with LGBT representation
  • Focus on relationship between Queen Mina and her stepdaughter Lynet
  • Both live with the heavy unrealistic expectations of their fathers
  • About the family you choose, and moving beyond the expectations placed on you

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

YA Fantasy

  • Retelling of Little Red Riding Hood in French inspired world
  • Solid plot, worldbuilding, and characters
  • Disability representation- Armand, the male lead, is an amputee
  • Themes of penance and redemption
  • Liked the contrast between organised religion and the folk believes still popular in rural areas

4 stars

Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore

YA Fantasy

  • Latinx retelling of Snow White & Rose Red, with Swan Lake mixed in
  • Gorgeous writing
  • Setting was otherwordly
  • Worldbuilding as a whole was magical and whimsical
  • Loved the relationships between the sisters, Blanca & Roja, as well as their relationships with the parents, and with Page and Yearling
  • Loved the LGBT (especially transgender) representation, which was moving and sensitive
  • About writing your own story, not living the one others choose for you

Stain by A. G. Howard

YA Fantasy

  • Retelling of The Princess and the Pea, with other fairytale elements
  • TW: Child abuse, violence
  • Magical, fantastical descriptions
  • Themes of found family, embracing your scars
  • Huge book, and the pace is meandering

Winterglass by Benjanun Sriduangkaew

Fantasy Novella

  • Retelling of The Snow Queen
  • Magic system was dark and creepy
  • Two main characters with third person present tense narration
  • Enjoyed the plot and characters
  • Lots of gender diversity (neutral, non-binary, transgender etc)

A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

YA Fantasy

  • Retelling of Beauty and the Beast
  • Disability representation (cerebral palsy and amputee) was positive and sensitively portrayed
  • Adored the characters
  • The new twist on the fairytale was unique

Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer

YA Fantasy

  • Retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon with other fairytale influences
  • Magical, whimsical world with wintry atmosphere
  • I loved the plot and the characters
  • There was a library full of mirror books!

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

YA Fantasy

  • Retelling of The Goose Girl
  • TW: Animal death
  • Focus on MC development from a shy princess to confident young woman
  • Themes of friendship, identity and self-confidence
  • Low on romance
  • Magic was interesting. I liked that the predisposition was innate, but it required practice. Also appreciated that it wasn’t the solution to every problem

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Historical Fantasy

  • An LGBT retelling of The Iliad from Patroclus’ POV
  • Love the writing- super easy to read
  • Worldbuilding was well done
  • Some scenes were quite violent and disturbing
  • Centres around Patroclus and Achilles’ relationship

Here, The World Entire by Anwen Kya Hayward

Historical Fiction Novella

  • Retelling of Perseus myth from Medusa’s POV
  • TW: Rape
  • Beautiful writing
  • Sympathetic and poignant reflection on three key scenes in Medusa’s life

5 stars

The Children of Jocasta by Natalie Haynes

Historical Fiction

  • Retelling of Oedipus and Antigone myths from the perspectives of Ismene and Jocasta
  • Writing was excellent
  • Engaging and interesting plot and characters- told from two POVs, one in past, one in present
  • Liked the twist on the original myth- completely believable
  • Vivid worldbuilding
  • Discussion about writing your own history, and the unknowable effect other people can have on you

February Wrap Up

Hello and welcome! So I’m here writing my second wrap up for the year and I’m wondering how we got here so quickly. I read four novels and one novella this month, and DNF’d two other novels. I also watched three Korean dramas, and did a ton of bullet journaling/digital planning, so watch out for related posts in March if you’re interested.

Books I Read

Stain by A. G. Howard ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Review to come in early March)

YA Fantasy

Retelling of The Princess and the Pea with little mermaid and other fairytale vibes. Lush descriptions. Retains fairytale atmosphere. All about found family and embracing your scars. Bawled my eyes out because I loved Crony so much.

CW: Violence, child abuse

A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

YA Fantasy

Retelling of Beauty and the Beast. There was positive disability representation, which I really appreciated. As a person with disabilities it is quite uplifting to read about characters who are more than their disabilities, while still acknowledging the difficulties and limitations they face. I loved the side characters. I loved the main characters. I liked Kemmerer’s interpretation of the curse. The only thing I didn’t enjoy was the ‘twist’ that continues the story into the sequel. I thought it could have been a standalone.

Winterglass by Benjanun Sriduangkaew ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Review to come in March)

Fantasy novella

Retelling of The Snow Queen set in an Asian coded land. Had huge gender diversity. Nuawa is a gladiator, Lussadh is general, and they’re both quite serious, brooding characters. Dark and enthralling magic system where ghosts provide energy to power cities.

Alcestis by Katherine Beutner DNF 65%

Historical Fantasy

The pace was quite slow. When Alcestis finally made her sacrifice for her husband, she ends up being some sort of sex slave for a creepy goddess. Wasn’t a fan of the direction it was going so I quit.

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Review to come in March)

YA Fantasy

This is more like a 3.5 stars. I wish I could have rated this much higher than I did, but my expectations were ridiculously high, so I thought there would be a lot more to love. That being said, this is a good book. The writing is easy to read. I liked the exploration of themes surrounding family and identity. Magic system was simple but interesting. The worldbuilding was good. Has LGBT rep. I understood both main characters, but I found that I wasn’t really that connected to them emotionally.

The Silver Handled Knife by Frances Thomas DNF 16%

YA Historical Fiction

Retelling of the Oresteia from Electra’s point of view. Writing seemed to be for a younger YA audience than I usually read (I’m not saying it’s too YA, I’m saying it’s closer to Middle Grade and I just don’t enjoy that personally). The plot was like reading a superficial summary of the original myth, and it jumped around a bit at the start. I felt no connection to the main character, so I wasn’t invested in what she was narrating.

Crimson Bound by Rosalind Hodge ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Review to come in March)

YA Fantasy

Retelling of Little Red Riding Hood set in a French inspired world. I liked the mythology, it had a mixture of Christian inspired beliefs mixed with pagan ones. Easy to read. The characters were well crafted and I enjoyed the relationships between them. The themes revolved around regret and salvation, and were explored thoughtfully.

Currently Reading

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

I DNF’d this books last year, but have decided to give it a second chance because the worldbuilding was interesting and the second book is apparently much better. It’s about a necromancy, monsters, and magical geisha (called asha).

The Social Life of Inkstones: Artisans and Scholars in Early Qing China by Dorothy Ko

This non-fiction book, written by academic Dorothy Ko, charts the lives of artisans, scholars and other workers connected with the production of inkstones during the Qing dynasty. In doing so, she explores not only the material culture of the period, but also the political, artistic, social and economic influences.

Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore

This is a retelling of both Swan Lake and Snow White & Rose Red. Blanca and Roja are from a family cursed by swans. Every generation one sister is turned into a swan. There’s LGBTQI and Latinx representation.

Korean Dramas

My Love From the Star/ You Who Came From the Stars (rewatch) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Fantasy/Romantic Comedy starring Gianna Jun & Kim Soo-Hyun

Gianna Jun plays a top actress (haha) who ends up getting involved in a scandal, and she develops a relationships with her neighbour, who is a serious straight laced alien from the stars. Their romance is adorable, Gianna Jun is hilarious, and Kim Soo-Hyun is phenomenal.

Moonlight Drawn by Clouds/ Love in the Moonlight ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Historical Romance starring Park Bo-Gum & Kim Yoo-Jung

This is a pretty standard story of a girl dressing as a boy to make money in the Joseon period, who catches the attention of a rich boy (who happens to be the crown prince). She ends up pretending to be a eunuch at the palace, and hilarious hijinks ensue. The romance was cute, and I liked the friendships among the main characters. Also Park Bo-Gum has such a gorgeous face.

Oh my Venus (rewatch) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Romantic Comedy starring Shin Min-Ah & So Ji-Sub

This features a romance between a lawyer with hypothyroidism, and a personal trainer/chaebol. It is seriously the cutest thing ever. The supporting characters are hilarious, and the message about weight/beauty was well executed. I liked that the emphasis was on being healthy, rather than thin.

Currently Watching

The Umbrella Academy

She Was Pretty (Korean drama)

The Empress Ki (Korean drama)

Catch up on my blog posts

I Started a Bullet Journal || January Flip Through

January Wrap Up

Three Books I’ll Give A Second Chance and Why 

How To Read More || Some Ideas

2019 Retelling Reading Challenge TBR

Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

The Children of Jocasta by Natalie Haynes

YouTube videos I liked

Good Omens – Official Teaser Trailer | Prime Video

The Hustle – Official Trailer (Universal Pictures)

Bookish Names You May Be Mispronouncing by Kazzie Athena

Cocoa Daisy March Unboxing by Rachel Blundell

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James In-Depth Book Review (non-spoiler) by Beautifully Bookish Bethany

10 Worst SFF Tropes by Elliot Brooks

Reacting to your assumptions by Piera Forde

Blog posts I liked

Reviews:

The Cold is in her Bones by Peternelle Van Arsdale by Vicky @ Vicky Who Reads

Review: We Set the Dark on Fire by Kaitlyn @ Kaitlyn Gosiaco

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco by Beatrice @ Confessions of a Pinay Bookaholic

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson Review by Chloe @ The Elven Warrior

Discussions/Opinions: 

We Are More Than Our Marginalisations by Fadwa @ Word Wonders

Reviewing bad LGBT Books: A Conflict by Hollie @ Hollieblog

Top 10 Bookish Things That Drive Me Nuts by Amanda @ Metalphantasmreads

Writing pet peeves | things I hate to encounter in books by Jolien @ The Fictional Reader

Recommendations/memes:

50 book recommendations for Year of the Asian Reading Challenge 2019 by Nandini @ Unputdownable Books

Binding of Bindings: Ball Gowns & Royals by Jenaca @ jenacidebybibliophile

Book Recs: 10 Quietly Magical Books by Charlotte @ Reads Rainbow

Top Ten Tuesday: Places Mentioned In Books That I’d Like To Visit by Chloe @ The Elven Warrior

T10T: Fictional Places I’d Like To See by Acqua @ Acquadimore Books

Top Ten Tuesday// Bookish places I’d like to visit by Kate @ Reading Through Infinity

Blogging:

I Font It That Way// How To Choose The Right Font For Your Blog by Kat @ Novels and Waffles

How in the World I Make My Graphics // A Step- By- Step Tutorial by Kat @ Novels and Waffles

My Rebranding Journey + Four Things To Ask Yourself While Rebranding by Kat @ Novels and Waffles

Most Anticipated March Releases

The Fever King.jpgThe Cold is in her Bones.jpgSherwood.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fever King by Victoria Lee

YA Fantasy

Set in a future America where a magical viral plague threatens humanity, our hero Naom is changed by the magic. Now, as a technopath, he becomes involved with the elite of the nation Carolinia.

The Cold is in Her Bones by Peternelle Van Arsdale

YA Fantasy

I am obsessed with Greek mythology retellings, and this looks like a really interesting and unique take on the Medusa myth.

Sherwood by Meagan Spooner

YA Historical Fantasy

Sherwood is based on the premise that Robin of Locksley is dead, and his fiancé, Maid Marian, has to step into his shoes to help the people of Nottingham. How? By becoming Robin Hood!

Let’s Chat

What did you read this month? What new releases are you looking forward to reading?  Do you like Korean dramas? Let me know in the comments below!

Fairytaleathon Wrap Up

I had really hoped to have read a lot more during Fairytaleathon, but I only ended up finishing two books. Still, they were both 4 star reads, so I guess I can’t complain too much. So without further ado, these are the books I read.

Challenge 4: Winterglass by Benjanun Sriduangkaew

Fantasy Novella

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

What I liked:

  • The magic system and world building was dark and enthralling – you can injure a person’s shadow or spirit, ghosts are used as energy to power cities etc.
  • There was huge gender diversity, and it was portrayed as normal, which was awesome (and confusing for me to start with, but I was so there for this)
  • Our two main characters, Nuawa and Lussadh, were both quite reserved, cold, strategic, and blunt, but I really quite liked both of them, and I felt they were complex and consistent. I understood their motivations, and was able to sympathise with them.

What I (sort of) disliked:

  • I did balk at the use of the term Occidental to begin with, because of the associations with Orientalism. I think perhaps it is a case of the author taking back power and agency by re-appropriating terms that were traditionally used to ‘Other’ Middle Eastern and Asian peoples, and thus oppress and dehumanise them. But that is just a guess, and I still felt a bit uncomfortable with the use of the term. I just feel that any kind of term that raises those connotations and divisions between people just perpetuates the same kind of thinking.

Challenge 3, 6, & 8: A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

YA Fantasy

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

What I liked:

  • It’s a retelling of Beauty and the Beast!
  • Great disability representation! The main character, Harper, has cerebral palsy, and I thought it was handled realistically and sensitively.
  • The twist on the original allowed Rhen and Harper to interact with a range of people, as well as avoiding some of the more disturbing connotations that people dislike in Beauty and the Beast, like bestiality and Stockholm syndrome.
  • The side characters were awesome!
  • Rhen and Harper’s growth was well handled, and their relationship was built on respect and trust.

What I disliked: 

  • I felt it would have been better as a standalone, and wasn’t that impressed with the twist to keep the series going.
  • The main villain, Lillith, was really flat and stereotypical. I wanted a bit more than a sadistic witch with a bad temper.
  • I felt that the worldbuilding as a whole wasn’t that strong. Days later, I can’t remember much of the setting at all.

 

Let’s Chat

What are your favourite fairytale retellings? Have you read either of these books, and what did you think of them? Let me know in the comments below.