T5W: Prettiest Books With Flowers on the Cover

I’m one day late again but that’s just because of my poor time management skills (I was reading), and today’s yesterday’s topic really inspired me! Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted on Goodreads. Feel free to join the group here. The theme for this week was “April Showers bring May Flowers” and we got to pick some of our favourite book covers that had flowers on them!

The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World by Laura Imai Messina

My first pick is a book I read in April and completely fell in love wih. It takes place in Japan in 2011 in the aftermath of the tsunami, and it’s a stunning book about grief. In addition to that, it has a really beautiful cover featuring cherry blossoms and of course, the phone booth that people can use to call the people they miss the most.

A Curse of Roses by Diana Pinguicha

Princess Yzabel has a curse: everything she eats turns into flowers in her mouth. In order to free herself from this fate, she binds her life to that of a beautiful enchanted Moura. This book was absolutely stunning, and so is its cover.

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

Honestly this cover is so stunning, I can’t even. It has everything. Danger and flowers, and it matches the book so perfectly. If you don’t know what this one is about, it’s a Romeo & Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai in the wake of a mysterious disease, and it’s more than you could wish for. It’s enemies to lovers at its finest. I loved it to pieces and I can’t wait for the sequel.

Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles

How pretty is this one??? This book is heartbreaking and it made me cry but it is so important. Jay Coles will be releasing his next book Things We Couldn’t Say this year and I’m really looking forward to reading it!

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

I’m ashamed that this one wasn’t the first book that came to my mind when it comes to covers featuring flowers because seriously, it is so on point. Felix Ever After is a stunning queer coming-of-age story and I loved it with all my heart. (This flower crown is also stunning and I love it.)

Runner-ups: There was honestly so many that could have worked for this prompt, and since it was hard to pick I decided to briefly mention the following two: Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi and Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed which are, in addition to having pretty covers, both excellent books.

And that’s it for today! Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful day!

Monday Reading Update #3

I’ve been reading a lot these past few months — or this past year, actually! — so I decided to try and make weekly reading updates in addition to my monthly wrap up posts. We will see how that goes in the future, for now this is my third attempt!

What I just finished reading: Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo

After binge reading Shadow and Bone on Netflix, I knew the next step was to read this one, and I can finally say: I am up to date with the Grisha novels (I haven’t read the short stories/tales yet though). It took me a few books to really fall for this universe, but I am entirely smitten at this point, and I’m so glad that I ended up giving these books a try. As for this one in particular, I have grown to love Nikolai, Zoya and Nina — and Hanne of course — and I was really happy to journey with them for a little while longer.

What I am currently reading: Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers

This one was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and I am enjoying it SO MUCH. The writing is absolutely beautiful and I am pretty sure that it will end up on my list of favourite books of the year, if not my fave books ever. For now in terms of writing it’s way up there with This Is How You Lose the Time War, and in terms of the story itself, the characters are way too relatable for starters, and I also really enjoy that this is about people in their late twenties that don’t know what to do with their lives because I’m pretty sure that’s where I’ll be in a couple years. Anyway, this book is excellent.

What I want to read next: The Strangerworlds Travel Agency vol.2 by LD Lapinski

The French translation for this one was released just last week, and I was waiting for it (the publiser sent me an ARC but it arrived after the publication so I didn’t have the time to read it). Anyway, I absolutely loved the first book and I’m really excited to travel back to this universe! I also feel that I don’t read enough middle grade novels, so I’m excited!

And that’s it for today! I hope you have a wonderful week, and wish you happy reading!

Belated T5W: Underhyped Stars

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted on Goodreads. Feel free to join the group here. The theme for this week is “underhyped stars” aka books that deserves more hype! I picked five books that I barely see on social media, and totally deserve more hype and love. Hope you will check them out if you haven’t read them yet!

I know it’s Friday but my draft was almost ready and I forgot about it until now so here we go!

Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim

This one immediately came to my mind because I feel like I don’t see it at all on bookstagram and booktok. The sequel, Ravage the Dark, was released in March and it’s been living rent free in my mind ever since I finished it. It starts out as a retelling of the count of Monte Cristo, and expands into its own universe. May I add: it’s a great fantasy with a cast of amazing queer characters, what else could I ask for?

I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rishi

This one is a sci-fi set around the concept of Earth receiving a warning that the world is going to end within a week: what would you do then? Between radio messages and trying to be reunited with missing family members, I Hope You Get This Message follows three teenagers who have to make decisions, and want to live until the end. This was a beautiful book, with flawed & human characters who deserve to be hugged. I don’t know why I barely see it around, it definitely deserves more readers!

Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian

This book completely destroyed me. In the best possible way. I do see it around a bit on instagram but I just think that more people should read it. And I guess I was looking for an opportunity to talk about it again. It takes place in 1989 during the AIDS crisis and follows three teenagers. It’s a story of friendships and first love, and finding yourself. To read with a Madonna album and a box of kleenex nearby. But seriously, I love this book with my whole heart.

What Stars Are Made Of by Sarah Allen

This was one of my recent reads, and I definitely think it should be more well-known. It’s an adorable, uplifting middle grade book which follows a 12 year-old girl who was born with Turner syndrome, and wants the world to know about Cecelia Payne, the woman who discovered what stars are made of. It was a truly inspiring read, which reminded me once again of how much I love middle grade books. I recommend this one from the bottom of my heart!

And finally, King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender

I see Felix Ever After everywhere on bookstagram and that’s amazing, this book is excellent and so important. But have you heard of King and the Dragonflies? It’s a middle grade novel and it’s absolutely stunning. It’s a book about grief, following a little boy who just lost is brother, and who is also questioning his sexuality after his best friend comes out as gay. Truly, this book is amazing and I wish I saw it more on social media because it deserves all the praise!

And that’s it for today, thank you so much for reading ~

Monday Reading Update: Take #2

I’ve been reading a lot lately and not writing much in terms of book reviews, except when it came to my monthly wrap up posts, so I’m going to try and write some more updates. We’ll see if that’s something that lasts on the blog: in the meantime, I’m excited!

What I just finished reading: Hullmetal Girls by Emily Skrutskie

I picked up this one after I found out about it in a list of book recommendations featuring aroace people, and I’m so glad that I did! It terms of my space gays cravings, I was definitely satisfied. The story takes place 300 years after humanity started living in space, and follows two girls who decided to “take the metal” and become Scela: members of the part human, part robot army that defends their government. But the people are restless and a revolution is brewing. The future of humanity is at stakes, as well as everything that they believe in, and they will have to make choices. This is a rather short sci-fi novel (it’s about 300 pages) but the world building was excellent, and I really love the main cast of characters. Full rating: 4 stars.

What I’m currently reading: Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett

It’s been SUCH A LONG TIME since I first added this book to my TBR and I’m so glad that I finally picked it up. It’s a YA novel with a queer cast, featuring a main character who is HIV positive and navigating high school life, and first love. I’m really enjoying it so far! (And I also just noticed that Camryn Garrett will be releasing a new book in May, which also looks absolutely incredible!!)

What I’m hoping to read next: Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo

First of all, King of Scars is my favourite novel in the Grishaverse so far, so obviously I’m really looking forward to reading the sequel. It’s been sitting in my kindle ever since its release. And second of all, I just finished watching Shadow and Bone on Netflix, and I am most definitely in the mood for more Grisha contents!

Compared to last week:

I finished both While Paris Slept and You Owe Me a Murder, and I really enjoyed both of them. I made some progress with Dread Nation but I haven’t finished yet, I’m hoping I can do so before the end of the month. And I also had the time to read The Aunt Who Wouldn’t Die by Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay, which is a short novel about three generations of Begali women, and I really loved it. It has bits of magic and humour, and women who do whatever they want in the face of adversity, and I definitely recommend it.

T5W: Brighter Days

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted on Goodreads. Feel free to join the group here. The topic for today was “brighter days” aka books that brought a smile to your face and I picked up five YA (or like, older YA) romances that made me swoon endlessly. I’m still unsure where I stand on romance when it comes to my own life but I do know a cute romance book always lightens up my mood, and makes me think of Spring/Summer!

I’ll Be The One by Lyla Lee

First of all, this book is amazing. Second of all it features one of the most strong-willed characters I’ve read about it contemporary YA. And third of all, the romance is absolutely adorable. Blend in a kpop contest and some wonderful friendships, and you have I’ll Be The One. This book was truly inspiring, and reading it just put me in a good mood overall, so I thought it would fit on that list perfectly! [TW for fatphobia and homophobic parents]

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

I had heard so many great things about this book, in particular when it comes to the anxiety rep, so I had to check it out and boy did it not disappoint. This will probably be my favourite read of the month! We follow Penny as she leaves to college, and Sam who works at a coffeshop and is dealing with a hard breakup. An unlikely bond form between the two of them when they meet, and they begin exchanging texts constantly. Relationships are so much easier that way… Until real life gets in the way. I read this almost in one sitting, and I love dit with all my heart. I would definitely it if you are looking for a soft romance! [TW for depression and anxiety]

Love from A to Z by S. K. Ali

This was one of my absolute favourite reads of last year, and one of the most wholesome romances ever. Seriously, I couldn’t put this book down. We follow the two main characters, Adam and Zayneb who meet once at the airport, and a second time through people they know. They both have a journal of wonders and oddities, they have a lot in common but also seem to live a world apart. This book was absolutely stunning. It deals with many important topics of life, such as family, grief, friendships but also racism and more. The characters are unique and will always hold a special place in my heart. [TW for racism and islamophobia.]

Rent a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao

This was also one of my recent reads. I listened to the audiobook in January I believe, and I completely fell in love with it. First of all, the concept is absolutely perfect. It is THE fake dating trope and I’m not sorry to say that it always works with me. Second of all, I loved the fact that the characters were very human, they made mistakes but they always tried their best to follow their dreams.

The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth

The concept of this book was too perfect for me not to fall in love with it. Over the course of a summer, Saoirse and Ruby decide to go to cliché dates, the ones that lead the main characters in a movie to fall in love with each other, as a sort of falling in love montage, but of course, they promise each other that this is just for the summer, and that they will not actually fall for each other. I will let you guess what happens next… Honestly, just give me books with plots that approaches that of a trope-y fanfiction and I will simply fall in love with them. If you haven’t read this one yet then I would definitely recommend it, especially as a summer read and summer will be here soon!

And that’s it for today, thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have a wonderufl day!

Monday Reading Update!

I’m not being inactive on here on purpose, it just seems that I find it hard to get inspiration these days, so I’m going to attempt something new!

What I just finished reading: LORE by Alexandra Bracken

Ever since I first heard of this book, I knew that it would be right up my alley, and boy was I right. Considering how much I loved the Passenger duology, and how I’m undeniably obsessed with Greek mythology, this just made perfect sense. LORE is set in modern day New York, in a world where gods become mortal for a week, every seven years. During this short period of time, the decendants of ancient warrior families will try to hunt them down to take over their power. Lore is the last one of her bloodline, and has sworn that she would not take part in the Agon this time. That is, until she finds the goddess Athena wounded on her doorstep, and forms an unlikely alliance with her.

LORE is a bloody tale of friendships and vengeance. It’s full of great plot twists, and it kept me on edge until the very end. I’m so glad I decided to pick up this book, and it’s definitely worth all of the hype in my opinion! Full rating: 5 stars.

What I’m currently reading: Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Dread Nation is basically a historical fiction with zombies, which follows Jane, a teenage girl who has always been trained for fighting. Although I’m not necessarily a fan of zombie novels, I really wanted to give this one a try because of the many great reviews. I picked up the audiobooks a couple weeks ago, and I really enjoyed it so far. Hopefully I get to finish it soon!

And While Paris Left by Ruth Druart

This one is a historical fiction set in between Paris during WWII and the US during the cold war in the 50s. The author left us an ARC at work on Sarturday and I was supposed to read it over the weekend but I actually forgot my copy at my parents’ yesterday (that’s on me for carrying too many books to count) so I’m a bit late on the schedule but I actually believe that I can still finish it by Wednesday morning? We shall see.

What I’m hoping to read next: You Owe Me a Murder by Eileen Cook

The French translation for this one was released very recently and I received an ARC, so hopefully I find the time to read it especially considering I haven’t read much kidlit/YA books for work these past few months. The concept is as follows: two girls promise each other that they would accomplish one murder for the other one. No motive, it’s the perfect crime. One doesn’t think too much of it, that is, until the other one actually goes through with it, and waits for the other part of their bargained to be fullfilled…. I simply love the concept for this one, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Eileen Cook made of it!

And that’s it for today! What have YOU been reading?
I wish you all a wonderful week!

Book Recommendations: WWII Historical Fiction

It’s become a bit of a running joke with my coworker that every time a customer asks me for a historical fiction novel, I will find them something that was set during WWII. And more often than not they will agree with me that it’s a great pick! I’ve read a few in French, but there are also some that are available in English. For some reason, this particular topic really fascinates me. So let’s just face it, there are really some excellent books about this time period, and here are some my favourites.

The German House by Annette Hess

Is this post an excuse to talk about this book because I haven’t mentioned it in forever? Maybe so. We will never know. The only thing that matters is that it was excellent. The German House actually takes place for the most part during the Nurnberg trials. We follow a young woman who works as a translator for the Polish witnesses during the trials. What she did not expect was how this would unveil a whole part of her family history. This book was absolutely stunning. It’s a fascinating story about life choices and whether or not we end up being brave, and I am pretty sure that this is a book I will never forget.

House on Endless Waters by Emuna Elon

This one was one of my latest reads and it kept me on edge until the very end! We follow a reknowed writer who traveled from Israel to Amsterdam for the promotion of his new book. While visiting the Jewish Museum there, he stumbles upon a video of his mother at a wedding, holding a small child in her arms. Except that child isn’t him, and he has never heard of him before. These events will set him up on a deep personal journey to find out the truth about himself and the life of his family during the war. The writing is excellent, and overall this book was absolutely stunning.

The Paris Library by Janet Skeskien Charles

The Paris Library is also a book I read quite recently. It is set during two different timelines, between Paris during WWII and a small American town called Froid in the 1980s. We follow Odile who is very passionate about books and works at the American Library in Paris. Throughout the war, the employees tried hard to keep a good service, and protect their Jewish customers. It’s an aspect of Paris’ history I didn’t really know much about but it was very interesting to read about. And through the book, we discover bit by bit how she ended up marrying an American soldier at the end of the war, and moved to the other side of the world. This book took me by surprise, and I really enjoyed it!

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

You probably heard of that one before but that doesn’t mean it’s not excellent. We follow a young girl whose parents are communists, and leave her in the care of another family in the countryside during the war. The couple who adopts her is also hiding Max in their basement because he is Jewish. An unlikely friendship will form between the two of them, in between drawings and a few stolen books. What’s so special about this book is that it’s told from the perspective of death, and it’s absolutely stunning. I cried SO MUCH at the end, but it was absolutely worth it. If you haven’t read it yet, the among that list this is the one you should be reading.

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

You probably also heard of that one before as well, and I also cherish it with all my heart. Through the book, we follow two teenagers. The first one is Marie-Laure, who left Paris during the war to stay with her grandfather in Saint-Malo, and Werner, an orphan who naviguates Nazi Germany. Their paths become entangled through a mysterious radio program. This book is a bit chunky, but it’s simply impossible to put it down. It’s absolutely beautiful.

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

This one completely broke me. Don’t get me wrong, it was worth it, but it was also heartbreaking. If you’re going to read one book by Tatiana de Rosnay it should be this one (or The House that I Loved which is also excellent and heartbreaking but not the topic of today). It takes place in Paris and we follow a young girl called Sarah who hid her brother in the cupboard of their apartment before her family was deported. We will follow her through her escape attempts and the people who protected her in the French countryside until the end of the war. I read this one a long time ago but it has stayed with me since.


And that’s it for today! Feel free to recommend me more of them, my TBR is already out of control anyway, and it’s not like this fact has stopped me from adding more books to it before!

March Reading Wrap Up

Well here we are again, I can’t believe it’s April already. I read fourteen books this past month, which turned out honorable.

Young adult:

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is hands down the best book I have read this year so far. It’s a YA historical fiction that takes place during the 1950s in San Francisco’s Chinatown. We follow Lily Hu, a teenage girl who is coming to terms with her sexuality and attraction to women, and is slowly falling for her classmate Kate. It is a beautiful coming of age story that also deals heavily on family and frienship, and I loved it with all my heart.

Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi ⭐⭐⭐⭐
(Children of Blood and Bone vol.2)

I’d been meaning to pick up this sequel since forever, and I’m so glad that I finally did! I really love the universe that Tomi Adeyemi has created. The characters are amazing. They are flawed but also brave, and will fight for the things they believe in. I really love the relationship between Zélie and Amari in particular. This story is full of plot twists and of course, it ends on a cliffhanger once again. I cannot wait for book 3!

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo ⭐⭐⭐⭐
(The Grisha Trilogy vol.3)

It’s been forever since I picked up the Grisha Trilogy and I had yet to read the last instalment. With the TV show coming on Netflix (can you guess I’m excited?) I had to finish it at some point. I really enjoyed this last book, even though I had a basic idea of the direction it was going to take since I had already read the Six of Crows duology. And now I can’t wait to read Rule of Wolves!

Love, Creekwood by Becky Albertalli ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I needed a quick, cheerful audiobook to listen to while doing my cooking the other day, so I picked up this one. It was adorable and I was super glad to be reunited with these characters. And on that note, I’m really excited for Becky Albertalli’s upcoming release Kate in Waiting!

Ravage the Dark by Tara Sim ⭐⭐⭐⭐
(Scavenge the Stars vol.2)

It seems like March was the month during which I picked up many sequels. That doesn’t happen very often, so I tried to make the best of it. I actually picked up this one as soon as I received it, and I’m so glad that I did. Scavenge the Stars starts out as a genderbent Monte Cristo retelling, but really shapes into a story of its own. I absolutely loved the cast of characters, and the sequel really lived up to the first book. I feel like I don’t see this duology enough around it, but if you have read it, I would love to see your thoughts!

Adult fiction:

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I’d heard so many great things about this book I had to check it out eventually, and boy did it not disappoint. It’s absolutely worth all the hype and I completely loved it.

House on Endless Waters by Emuna Elon ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This book was a stunning historical fiction. We follow an author who traveled to Amsterdam for the promotion of his book. While visiting the Jewish Museum, he stumbles upon a video of his mom right before WWII. She is attending a wedding and holding a small child in her arms. Except he has no idea who that child is. This will lead him on a personal quest about his family and their whereabouts during the war. This book kept me on edge until the end and I absolutely loved it.

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell ⭐⭐⭐⭐

And another historical fiction! This one is set during the late 16th century, and follows Shakespeare before he became the reknowed playwright we know of today. We meet his wife and three children, and witness the death of his 11 year-old son Hamnet. A few years later, he will write the play Hamlet in his honour. This book was absolutely beautiful and I’m so glad that I decided to read it.

French novels:

Le coeur en laisse de Line Papin ⭐⭐
Baisers de collection d’Annabelle Combes ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
De mon plein gré de Mathilde Forget ⭐⭐⭐⭐

French graphic novels:

Le jardin de Gaëlle Geniller ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ne m’oublie pas d’Alix Garin ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

And lastly one manga: Weathering With You vol.3 by Makoto Shinkai ⭐⭐⭐

Belated T5W: Books I Wish Had A Sequel

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted on Goodreads. Feel free to join the group here.

First of all, I want to acknowledge how ironic it is that I decided to participate in Top 5 Wednesday because we all know how bad I am at picking up sequels (although I did read three sequels this month! But I’m not deluding myself, it’s probably a glitch in the matrix). So yeah, wishing more books had sequels doesn’t seem like such a good plan, but here I am nevertheless.

May include mild spoilers!

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

I know I keep saying that I oversold this book to myself, and that it ended up not reaching my expectations because those were too high. But alternatively, hear me out: I simply want to know what happens next! I want to know what happened to Henry and Adeline because despite it all, I care about them.

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

Don’t get me wrong, I did love the ending for this book but I also felt like it left room for more! [Spoilers ahead] Basically the whole book is announcing that the situation is bound to get better, and after we discover that the mysterious character was actually Tierney’s unborn daughter I found myself wanting to read about her story instead.

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Again, yes the arc of the story made sense. But I simply loved this book so much. I could read more of Kiko’s story. What she did with her life. How she got better, how she healed. I could read Akemi Dawn Bowman write about anything let’s face it.

Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali

I know the book ended in a time jump in the most perfect way possible, but still that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have enjoyed seeing Adam and Zayneb through their college years, and honestly through their whole adulthood as well. This book was both excellent and wholesome, and I loved it with all my heart.

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

This book takes place over the course of a day, and I am pretty sure that I also read it over the course of just one day. A lot of things happen, but it somehow makes sense in the end. But after the epilogue I found myself wanting for more. How Daniel and Natasha moved on with their lives. Do they are do they not have a future together? I want more! I want to know! Books with an epilogue that takes place a couple years later only leave me craving for more, and yes that applies to both of the last picks on this list.

And before I conclude this post, let me just mention a few sequels that I should read instead of hoping more books had sequels (yes this is a callout to myself, I’m just hoping that if I keep doing this I will end up actually reading the books). The list includes: Iron Heart by Nina Varela, The Camelot Betrayal by Kiersten White, Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor, A Dream so Dark by L.L. McKinney, City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare (let’s not even get down that road) And I’m sure there’s more but that’s enough of a callout for today!

More Book Recommendations #StopAsianHate

After the events of last week, I wanted to recommend a few books by Asian authors that I’ve read recently and absolutely fallen in love with. I know this is not much but if it can encourage you to spread love not hate, and to diversify your shelves, then that’s a small step.

Rent a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao

This is one of my favourite reads of the year so far. It follows Chloe, a college students, who decides to rent a boyfriend in order to escape an arranged marriage with a boy she despises. Except when she signs that contract, she might get more than she bargained for… Following the dual perspective of Chloe and Drew, an art student who plays fake boyfriend in order to earn a living, this book is the fake dating trope by excellence. Because of course, they’re going to fall in love and will have to get of the tangled mess of lies they have put themselves in!

I also really enjoyed Gloria Chao’s previous book American Panda which is a college romance as well.

I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee

I gotta start by admitting that I was afraid of picking up this book because I was worried that it was going to be too cliché. I’ve seen my fair share of kdrama, and I was a bit worried but that was for no reason! This book was absolutely amazing and I love it with all my heart. It has fat rep and queer rep, an amazing cast of diverse characters, friendships, a kpop competition, and of course, a cute romance. This was such a feel-good book, and I am so glad that I discovered it.

On a side note, if you have enjoyed this one and would like to check out some other kpop related books, then I would recommend Scandalized by Tara Frejas! I read it a few years ago, and really enjoyed it. You should definitely read it if you like romance books with drama on the side!

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo

This was one of my most anticipated reads for the year and boy did I not disappoint. It’s a historical fiction set in San Francisco’s Chinatown in the 1950s, and we follow 17 year-old Lily Hu who discovered a lesbian night club called the Telegraph Club with one of her classmates in the midst of navigating her own sexuality as well as her parents’ expectations. It’s the story of a girl who wants to build aircrafts, and who falls in love with a girl who dreams of flying one, and I think that’s pretty cool. This is hands down one of my favourite reads of the year so far.

I’ve been dying to read Malinda Lo’s book Ash for years, and now I want to read it even more. It’s a queer retelling of Cinderella, and I’m really curious about it.

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

I wanted to include at least one middle grade book on this list! Of course, it could have been Roshani Chokshi’s Aru Shah, but I talk about this one enough, and I decided to pick a standalone instead. Dragon Pearl is a blend of science fiction and Korean mythology. We follow thirteen year-old Min who comes from a family of gumiho (shapeshifter foxes). As her brother goes missing, she will do anything to find him, and potentially right the wrong that has been done to him and their family. This book was full of adventures and plot twists and I really enjoyed it.

Yoon Ha Lee is also the author of adult sci-fi series Ninefox Gambit and Phoenix Extravagant which I’m really curious about!

Displacement by Kiku Hughes

How could I also not include this graphic novel in my post? I simply had to. Through the story, we follow the main characters as she embarks on a journey to discover what happened to her grandmother during the second world war, as she was relocated in a Japanese-American internment camp. This book was heartbreaking and eye-opening, and one more reminder that we shouldn’t forget the past, and stop replicating it so much. A must read.

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

I feel like I don’t talk about this book enough on here. It’s a retelling of Romeo and Juliet set in 1920s Shanghai as a strange sickness have appeared, and we follow the heirs of two rival gangs. The setting is both glamorous and dangerous, and makes for an absolutely stunning book. Yes, enemies to lovers is the superior trope, but lovers to enemies? Mutual pining despite the very fact that you very much don’t want those feelings? Excellence, I am telling you. Add on top of that a brilliant cast of diverse characters, a plot that thickens with every page, and there you have it. I cannot wait for the sequel. (Warning: as expected from the title, this book can get quite violent, but if you don’t mind the graphic depictions of body gore then what are you waiting for? It is absolutely brilliant.)

The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang

This was my latest read! After seeing so many people recommend it on bookstagram, I finally decided to give it a try, and what can I say, y’all were right. This book is absolutely excellent. It’s a high fantasy set in a land inspired by the history of China, and its military strategies and collective trauma. The world building is super fascinating and I simply couldn’t put it down. I have ordered the sequel already, and I cannot wait to get my hands on it. [TW: graphic depictions of violence and rape.]

In addition to that here’s on top of my head some more books I also absolutely loved and encourage you to read!

Frankly in Love by David Yoon: in a few words, a YA coming-of-age with fake dating. This book was super cute and moving and I cannot recommend it enough.

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman (or really, any book by this author. She is fantastic and I cannot wait for her next release which is this time going to be SFF!) [TW: anxiety, depression, suicide.]

On Earth We Were Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong: this was one of my favourite reads of 2020. It’s a letter from a son to his mother, it’s queer, and the writing is absolutely beautiful.

And finally Starling Days by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan which is another book that stayed on my mind for a while after I finished it. It deals with quite heavy topics such as depression and suicide but it was also such an important read. [TW: suicide, depression.]

And bonus: on top of my TBR: Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi, Wicked Fox by Kat Cho and The Vegetarian by Han Kang, which I all cannot wait to read!