Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Big Summer

In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I use Fridays to look ahead to upcoming releases that I’ve been excited about! This time it’s Big Summer by by Jennifer Weiner. In a twist this week, this is actually a book I’ve been steadfastly ignoring as it’s been thrown in my face by bookstagram and Goodreads and Amazon recommendations and basically every outlet I have related to reading. It’s kind of a hate-to-love relationship with the book, and here’s why…
Expected Release: May 5, 2020

  • I didn’t expect to be interested in this, actually. I’d seen it everywhere and finally read the synopsis and… well, it actually sounds like it’s just what I need right now. Lighthearted and silly with the character growing and learning about themselves… and also, love. ^.^
  • Jennifer Weiner is the host for Booksparks’ SRC2020 (Summer Reading Camp) which I signed up to be a part of this year for the first time. I don’t think I’ve read any of her books, and she’s hosting this event, and this book is on the reading list. So no better time to give it a shot, right?
  • Usually, I’ll actively avoid reading really popular new releases because I’m so sick of hearing about them by the time they come out and I’m worries that and the hype will mar my reading of it. But in this case, I’m going to take a risk and try reading a popular release with everyone else right when it comes out. I’m hoping I’ll be able to have fun reading together with a community! We’ll see…

Six years after the fight that ended their friendship, Daphne Berg is shocked when Drue Cavanaugh walks back into her life, looking as lovely and successful as ever, with a massive favor to ask. Daphne hasn’t spoken one word to Drue in all this time—she doesn’t even hate-follow her ex-best friend on social media—so when Drue asks if she will be her maid-of-honor at the society wedding of the summer, Daphne is rightfully speechless.

Drue was always the one who had everything—except the ability to hold onto friends. Meanwhile, Daphne’s no longer the same self-effacing sidekick she was back in high school. She’s built a life that she loves, including a growing career as a plus-size Instagram influencer. Letting glamorous, seductive Drue back into her life is risky, but it comes with an invitation to spend a weekend in a waterfront Cape Cod mansion. When Drue begs and pleads and dangles the prospect of cute single guys, Daphne finds herself powerless as ever to resist her friend’s siren song.

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast-Forward Friday: Good Boy

In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I use Fridays to look ahead to upcoming releases that I’ve been excited about! This one is, I’m hoping, not going to totally break my heart. Focusing on dogs as a pathway, Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs by Jennifer Finney Boylan might be a heartbreaking/hilarious format for a memoir.
Expected Release: April 21, 2020

Why wait on this one?

  • Who can resist a story of dogs? Their very inclusion in the story promises antics and lessons learned. I can’t have a dog at my current residence, so I desperately need to live vicariously for this.
  • But then again… including dogs kind of implies that I’m going to have my heart broken as the author is forced to leave these dogs one way or another. Early deaths, forced abandonment, tragic accidents… I know they’ll shatter me, but such is life. And I’ll probably have my heart broken at least six times.
  • This also promises to be a memoir that we see more in recent years of a person recognizing themselves and transitioning to reflect who they truly feel they are. In short, as the book blurb says, “how a young boy became a middle-aged woman.”

n her New York Times opinion column, Jennifer Finney Boylan wrote about her relationship with her beloved dog Indigo, and her wise, funny, heartbreaking column went viral. In Good Boy, Boylan explores what should be the simplest topic in the world, but never is: finding and giving love.

Good Boy is a universal account of a remarkable story: showing how a young boy became a middle-aged woman—accompanied at seven crucial moments of growth and transformation by seven memorable dogs. “Everything I know about love,” she writes, “I learned from dogs.” Their love enables us pull off what seem like impossible feats: to find our way home when we are lost, to live our lives with humor and courage, and above all, to best become our true selves.

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: If I Had Your Face

Unlike Throwback Thursday, I’m using Fridays to look ahead to books publishing soon that I’m excited for! Today’s is If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha.
Expected Release: April 21, 2020

Why wait on this one?

  • It’s set in Seoul. That alone is pretty much enough for me. After living in Korea and absolutely falling in love with it and now not being able to go back for probably a while with the whole pandemic thing, I NEED MORE OF IT SOMEHOW!!!
  • For all that I love Korea, I also know it has flaws. Reading about the lives of women trying to navigate a society that can’t quite move past stereotypes and rigid gender expectations is alternatively heartbreaking and empowering.
  • It sounds like this will weave several stories and perspectives together, which I adore. I’m anticipating women standing alone and realizing they can trust each other to lean on for strength.

Kyuri is a heartbreakingly beautiful woman with a hard-won job at a “room salon,” an exclusive bar where she entertains businessmen while they drink. Though she prides herself on her cold, clear-eyed approach to life, an impulsive mistake with a client may come to threaten her livelihood. Her roomate, Miho, is a talented artist who grew up in an orphanage but won a scholarship to study art in New York. Returning to Korea after college, she finds herself in a precarious relationship with the super-wealthy heir to one of Korea’s biggest companies. Down the hall in their apartment building lives Ara, a hair stylist for whom two preoccupations sustain her: obsession with a boy-band pop star, and a best friend who is saving up for the extreme plastic surgery that is commonplace. And Wonna, one floor below, is a newlywed trying to get pregnant with a child that she and her husband have no idea how they can afford to raise and educate in the cutthroat economy. Together, their stories tell a gripping tale that’s seemingly unfamiliar, yet unmistakably universal in the way that their tentative friendships may have to be their saving grace.

Posted in Release Day!

Just Published: Empress of Salt and Fortune!

Reminder that Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo released today! See why I’ve been excited for this book, or grab a copy of your own at Barnes & Noble!

With the heart of an Atwood tale and the visuals of a classic Asian period drama The Empress of Salt and Fortune is a tightly and lushly written narrative about empire, storytelling, and the anger of women. A young royal from the far north is sent south for a political marriage. Alone and sometimes reviled, she has only her servants on her side. This evocative debut chronicles her rise to power through the eyes of her handmaiden, at once feminist high fantasy and a thrilling indictment of monarchy. 

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: The Empress of Salt and Fortune

Unlike Throwback Thursday, I’m using Fridays to look ahead to books publishing soon that I’m excited for! Today’s is The Empress of Salt and Fortune, by Nghi Vo. And oh my, does it have promise.
Expected Release: March 24, 2020

Why wait on this one?

  • Magic. Throw magic into any book and I’m immediately more likely to want to read it.
  • Revenge. I’ve read Coriolanus and Foul is Fair, okay; I know the pitfalls of vengeance. And yet, I still delight in those who pursue it, for all their faults and failures.
  • Political intrigue. Sometimes tedious, but sometimes exquisite, I trust that Vo will weave me a tale of royalty that I will love like my Korean dramas.
  • Imperial Chinese themes. I love the cultural requirements, the physical setting, and the mindsets that come with it. Plus the usual character traits and growth that accompany it, like the loyalist who turns coat or the man who is but a figurehead for the woman truly controlling it all.

A young royal from the far north, is sent south for a political marriage in an empire reminiscent of imperial China. Her brothers are dead, her armies and their war mammoths long defeated and caged behind their borders. Alone and sometimes reviled, she must choose her allies carefully. Rabbit, a handmaiden, sold by her parents to the palace for the lack of five baskets of dye, befriends the emperor’s lonely new wife and gets more than she bargained for. At once feminist high fantasy and an indictment of monarchy, this evocative debut follows the rise of the empress In-yo, who has few resources and fewer friends. She’s a northern daughter in a mage-made summer exile, but she will bend history to her will and bring down her enemies, piece by piece.

Posted in Release Day!

Just Published: The Fox & The Little Tanuki Vol. 1 by Mi Tagawa!

Reminder that The Fox & the Little Tanuki, Vol. 1 by Mi Tagawa (⭐⭐⭐⭐) released today! Check out the review here or grab a copy of your own at Barnes & Noble (they deliver so no trip needed 👍🏽).

Recommended: yes ♥
For a sweet light story, for drama mixed with humour, for characters you’ll love

You already know you’ll love it

Long ago, the gods granted a few special animals great powers… but not all those animals used their magical abilities for good! Senzou the Fox Spirit in particular grew too brash and arrogant, abusing his strength until the gods imprisoned him for his bad behavior. Three hundred years later, he’s finally been released, but only on one condition– he can’t have his any of his abilities back until he successfully helps a tanuki cub named Manpachi become an assistant to the gods. Unfortunately for Senzou, there’s no cheating when it comes to completing his task! The magic beads around his neck make sure he can’t wander too far from his charge or shirk his duties, and so… Senzou the once-great Fox Spirit must now figure out how to be an actually-great babysitter to a mischievous little tanuki or risk being stuck without his powers forever!

Posted in Release Day!

Just Published: That Can Be Arranged by Huda Fahmy!

Reminder that That Can Be Arranged: A Muslim Love Story by Huda Fahmy (⭐⭐⭐⭐) released today! Check out the full review here or grab a copy of your own at Barnes & Noble!

Recommended: Yes!
For insight into what it’s like to have a modern-day arranged marriage (note it’s not a FORCED marriage), for a funny story about finding yourself and finding love

Chaperones, suitors, and arranged marriages aren’t only reserved for the heroines of a Jane Austen novel. They’re just another walk in the park for this leading lady, who is on a mission to find her leading lad. From the brilliant comics Yes, I’m Hot in This, Huda Fahmy tells the hilarious story of how she met and married her husband. Navigating mismatched suitors, gossiping aunties, and societal expectations for Muslim women, That Can Be Arranged deftly and hilariously reveals to readers what it can be like to find a husband as an observant Muslim woman in the twenty-first century.

Posted in A Picture's Worth

A Picture’s Worth: Classics & Crime

Words have always carried more weight with me than images – give me a book over its movie any day – but I do love to see the beautiful images other people create when they’re in love with a book. That’s not my strength, but I can certainly appreciate it in others! So here’s a few of my faves based on what I’ve been reading recently.

Anna K.

Heard of this from a friend who had picked the book up in BOTM and on some research saw I was the only of her Goodreads friends who had read the Tolstoy original. 😂 She let me borrow it, and OH. MAN. It’s been fascinating. I have lots of thoughts. One of which is that the colors of the cover are gorgeous, and yet feel at odds with the expected content of the story. Nonetheless, people will do gorgeous things with it.

Capturing the classiness of the families within; well, the surface-level class, anyway. They’re actually all pretty messed up.

Once again harnessing some of the posh lifestyle of all (barring Dustin) within the novel. Love the cover play on this one, really cute effect! Continue reading “A Picture’s Worth: Classics & Crime”
Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Sin Eater

Unlike Throwback Thursday, I’m using Fridays to look ahead to books publishing soon that I’m excited for! Sin Eater by Megan Campisi is one I haven’t heard much about, but sounds absolutely fascinating.
Expected Release: April 7, 2020

Why wait on this one?

  • The idea of a sin eater is morbid and fascinating. I have so many questions that I’m desperate to see answered, like the symbolism of each food item to each sin, and if the girls are truly “inheriting” the sins and will face punishment for them after their own deaths.
  • Hearing the sins of the damned is like the most shocking gossip possible. That’s not usually something I’m interested in, but since May’s crime was stealing bread, I’m suspicious of what other crimes people committed.
  • The MC, May, will probably be a dark-hearted witch. I’m angling for a vibe similar to Foul is Fair or The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein. I guess I’m in a bit of a mood for darkness right now!

The Sin Eater walks among us, unseen, unheard
Sins of our flesh become sins of Hers
Following Her to the grave, unseen, unheard
The Sin Eater Walks Among Us.

For the crime of stealing bread, fourteen-year-old May receives a life sentence: she must become a Sin Eater—a shunned woman, brutally marked, whose fate is to hear the final confessions of the dying, eat ritual foods symbolizing their sins as a funeral rite, and thereby shoulder their transgressions to grant their souls access to heaven.

Orphaned and friendless, apprenticed to an older Sin Eater who cannot speak to her, May must make her way in a dangerous and cruel world she barely understands. When a deer heart appears on the coffin of a royal governess who did not confess to the dreadful sin it represents, the older Sin Eater refuses to eat it. She is taken to prison, tortured, and killed. To avenge her death, May must find out who placed the deer heart on the coffin and why.

Posted in Release Day!

Just Published: Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales!

Reminder that Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales (⭐⭐⭐) release today! Check out the review here, or go to Barnes and Noble to grab a copy.

Recommended: Sure
For an easy romance read, with some fun parallels to a classic story before developing into it’s own

I like the characters staying vague enough to let me imagine them still

Ollie has the perfect summer romance with the perfect guy during a vacation to the other side of the country. Unfortunately, Mr. Perfect (aka Will) ghosts Ollie – hard – once it’s time for Ollie to head home. So when Ollie shows up, very much at the same school as Will, things get… tense. Especially since Ollie starts his first day by accidentally outing Will to three of his classmates. Will denies his name by being unwilling to own the truth of who he is to his family and friends, inevitably trampling Ollie’s heart in the process. And frankly, Ollie is sick of it. Unfortunately, he’s not sick of Will. And so he makes the best life he can with what he’s given.