An Update on YARC 2019

When I learned about the Year of the Asian Reading Challenge, I knew that I had to take part. I’m always trying to discover more diverse books, so this was the perfect opportunity. I pledged to read between 11 and 20 books during the year (ideally at least one each month) and so far I have read 10! I figured a proper update was long overdue, so here is the list of all the books I read… And loved!

Novels:

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman
Rep: mixed Japanese/American

One of my first reads of the year, and I completely fell in love with it! Starfish is a beautiful coming of age story, with a main character who struggles with anxiety as well as her mixed Japanese/American heritage and her mom’s abuse and constant racist comments. It’s a just wonderful book, and it made me really emotional.

Kiko deserves all the love. (Full review)

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
Rep: Indian and Filipino/Spanish

This one is actually the book that introduced me to Roshani Chokshi and made me fall in love with her writing. It’s a brilliant heist-like plot — think Six of Crows except it’s set in Paris during the Exposition Universelle aka my favourite setting ever. It has a set of characters coming from various places around the globe, all with different cultural heritages and I really loved that about it. As for the author, I’m pretty sure I don’t need to introduce her by now! (Full review)

Aru Shah vol. 1 and 2 by Roshani Chokshi
Rep: Indian

Basically my new favourite thing to talk about these days. As soon as I heard this series was going to happen, I knew I had to read it (it took me long enough!) The concept: through a bet with a classmate, Aru accidentally awakes an ancient divinity, and suddenly she has 10 days to save the world. This is a fantastic book about Hindu culture and mythology. I devoured book one as well as book two ❤️

The Weight of our Sky by Hanna Alkaf
Rep: Malaysian

This book was brilliant. It takes place during the riots of 1969 in Kuala Lumpur, and I learned a lot about historical events that we, as Europeana, hear nothing about in school. This book was absolutely brilliant and I definitely recommend it. It’s a bit of a punch-you-in-the-face kind of book, but it’s just brilliant. The main character has OCD at a time where it was not treated nor easily diagnosed, and that was in my opinion brilliantly portrayed as well. So yes, all I have to say basically is:

(Full review)

Un Amour de Mille Ans by Akira Mizubayashi
Rep: Japanese

This one I read in French. The author is Japanese but has also lived in France for a great part of his life — so has the main character of the book. It’s a story about music and love, and it’s very beautifully written, in a way that’s unexpectedly moving. If you asked me what genre this book was, the best answer would be literary fiction. It’s somewhat of a quiet story, but one that left an impact on me, and I’m not going to forget it any time soon. I just learned that his next novel would be released in August so I’ll try to check it out as well! This book had been sitting on my shelves for 2 years, so I’m really glad that I finally got to read it!

Quests and Quandaries by Alda Yuan

The representation is harder to describe for this one but it’s definitely a call out to fantasy novels featuring one white/caucasian character after another so I thought it would deserve a place on that list!

What I found really interesting in that book is that although it is set in a fantasy land, there are several occasions where the skin of the MC, Rahni, is referred to as not white, and she is described like a South Asian character would be. In addition to that, she notes several times that fairy tale characters are often imagined as white and that it’s just prejudice, and I thought that was a sad reflection of our society. She’s a very sarcastic and realistic character, and I’d love to see more like her!

Mangas / graphic novels:

Manabu vol. 1 and 2 by Masako Yoshi
Rep: Japanese

A slice of life kind of manga in two volumes set in the 1980s featuring the life of a teenager living in Tokyo with her sister while their parents found work in Germany. It’s a story of friendship and first love that follows the characters throughout high school, and I thought it was really sweet!

Two Women by Song Aram
Rep: Korean

A very interesting graphic novel about the friendship between two women through the beginning of their adult life. They both live very different lives — one lives in Seoul, the other in the countryside; one gets married, the other doesn’t. Basically, it’s a powerful story about women living as best as they can. I don’t think it has been translated into English yet, but I definitely hope that it will!

On my TBR:

The Vegetarian by Han Kang (Korean). Really, I’ve been meaning to read this book since forever. And although I probably won’t get to read all the books on this list, this is a high priority!!

Novel Without a Name by Duong Thu Hong (Vietnamese)

There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon (Indian)

KAEROU by B. Jeanne Shibaharu (Japanese)

We The Survivors by Tash Aw (Malaysian)

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami (Japanese)

Wildcard by Marie Lu (Japanese)

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (Chinese American)

Emergency Contact by Mark HK Choi (Korean American)

Please feel free to add some if you feel like I should absolutely read them!

Izzy + Tristan : Critique / Review

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I will first review the book in French, as I received it as part of a partnership with the website lecteurs.com, through a program promoting YA novels that were published this year (both French books, and books that were just translated as is the case here!) So if you’d like to read my review in English, please scroll down!

Possible TW for: violence, death, racism


Pour commencer je voulais remercier le site lecteurs.com qui m’a envoyé un exemplaire de ce livre en échange d’une chronique dans le cadre des Explorateurs Young Adult ! Cela n’influence mon opinion en aucun fait.

Izzy, brillante première de classe, rêve de devenir médecin. Tristan, petit génie des échecs toujours désireux de devenir meilleur, vit dans l’ombre de son super populaire cousin Marcus. Lorsqu’ils se rencontrent, tout bascule. Un enchaînement d’événements qui les dépasse semble avoir été déclenché…

Izzy + Tristan est une réécriture résolument moderne de l’histoire de Tristan et Iseult (ce dont j’aurais du m’apercevoir dès le début !). On retrouve bel est bien les personnages de cette légendaire histoire du Moyen Age, brillamment transposés dans le Brooklyn des années 2010. Je suis une très grande amatrice de réécritures, et une fois encore j’ai été conquise !

Tristan comme Izzy sont des personnages très attachants. Ils n’ont pas forcément toutes les chances de leur côté, mais veulent tout faire pour réussir dans la vie. Ils se rencontrent, et c’est le coup de foudre d’une manière qui leur échappe totalement. C’est un roman qui est très beau à lire, et qui en même temps porte à la réflexion sur les préjugés raciaux et sociaux, ce qui était pour moi une très bonne surprise.

Le frère d’Izzy m’a beaucoup agacée avec ses préjugés et autres attitudes hautaines, mais c’était dans l’ensemble un personnage plutôt réaliste et nuancé, ce que finalement j’apprécie — et je ne vous en révélerait pas plus ! En ce qui concerne le reste du panel de personnages, je suis une grande fan de Brianna, l’amie un peu excentrique d’Izzy. J’ai beaucoup aimé le fait que l’auteure arrive d’ailleurs à réutiliser certains éléments de l’histoire d’origine à travers son personnage : c’était bien vu !

J’ai vraiment passé un bon moment à lire ce livre. Tout n’y est pas rose (contrairement à la couverture !) mais c’est aussi ce qui fait que l’histoire est si bien faite. A travers le prisme d’une histoire d’amour vieille comme le monde, Shannon Dunlap pointe du doigt les privilèges raciaux, les préjugés sociaux, et les violences policières. Je ne suis pas près d’oublier cette lecture !


As I started this book, I soon realised that it was a retelling of the tale as old as time that is the story of Tristan and Iseult. And yes, I should have known that sooner. But this also means that I started the book not really knowing what to expect! For that, kudos to my slow brain…

Title: Izzy + Tristan
Author: Shannon Dunlap
Genre: Contemporary, Retelling
Release: 2019
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The story:

Izzy is a brilliant student who dreams of becoming a doctor. When her parents decide to move to Brooklyn, her twin brother won’t hear of it, but she doesn’t really care.

Tristan is a genius at chess, and aims to play nationally. He lives with his aunt, and most of the time, is in the shadow of his slightly older and super popular cousin Marcus.

One night, at the end of the summer, they paths cross and their lives are changed for ever. A stream of inevitable events has been unlocked, and there’s no going back…

My thoughts:

I loved this book. I started it not really knowing what to expect, and I completely fell in love with the characters. They are all deeply human, with their quirks and flaws, and I really loved this about them. There is no all black, or all white. It was rather realistic, and very appropriate for a retelling of Tristan and Iseult!

I was mostly confused by Hull (Izzy’s brother) because I couldn’t figure out whether he was just an asshole, or a kid who needed therapy. Maybe he was both. Although I didn’t really like him, he was an interesting character. As for the rest of the cast, I really loved them: especially Brianna, who, with her quirks, managed to introduce to the plot elements of the original story I wouldn’t have thought to see there!

There’s no doubt, this was a strong case of love at first sight. I’m not always a huge fan of it, but I think that (despite all the melodrama) it really worked well here.

In addition to that, this book discusses racial and social prejudice as well as racism and police brutality. I have to admit that I didn’t see all of it coming, but I thought it was really well executed. And it was a really interesting way of turn this old tale into a modern story. Please let me know your thoughts on that aspect of the story if you have read it as well, I would love to hear them!

Overall, I had a really good time reading this book. It went places I didn’t really expect in the best possible heartbreaking way, and all of that with really endearing characters. A great discovery!

Top 5 Wednesday: Summer Romances

Top Five Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Lainey @GingerReadsLainey and she has passed down the torch to Sam @ThoughtsOnTomes. For more information and for future topics you can check out the goodreads group.


As there are no official topics for the summer, I’m just making up things as I go. After reading Love, Life and the List I suddenly felt a surge of love towards the summer romance trope, and decided that I MUST talk about it in a T5W post, so here we go!

In no particular order:

Love, Life and the List by Kasie West

One of my latest reads! Love, Life and the List is the story of two best friends who over the summer realise that they are attracted to each other, and can’t live without one another. It’s extremely cliché, but at the same time it makes up for a perfect beach read!

The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen

I read this one such a long time ago, but it has always been one of my favourites since then. It’s another book that gives an important role to family, which I always enjoy. But it also has fabulous summer jobs, food and a fantastic catering truck, and obviously the sweetest summer romance (what else could you expect from Sarah Dessen? She’s awesome at it!) I really loved the characters in that book, and I will always cherish it.

The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson

For this one, I’m going to focus exclusively on the first part of the book when Mel and Avery start dating because they were so adorable and sweet together. The first stages of a relationship are really important and sweet (says the wise person who has never dated anyone, anyway that really makes a girl dream so yeah). And even if only half of The Bermudez Triangle counts as a summer romance I still wanted to included on this list.

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

This one is another book that has everything I like in it! It’s about family and friendship and first love, and it’s just the sweetest thing. In addition to that, Molly works in a fantastic crafts shop for the summer!

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

This book was so adorable it deserves hands down a spot on this list. It’s so pure. I love how it’s taking place at a science camp. And I love Dimple’s character. She’s smart and she knows what she wants, a perfect contrast to Rishi who is trying his best to do what his parents want. It was also very interesting to delve into the Indian culture and the arranged marriage aspect of it. I highly recommend it if you haven’t had the chance to give it a go yet!


And that’s it for this week! Please feel free to recommend some other summer romances in the comments, as I am always looking for more!

Love, Life and the List: My Review

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I had been meaning to read another Kasie West book ever since I finished P. S. I Like You which was, as a matter of fact, almost three years ago (I’m barely surprised that it took me this long…) So of course, when I picked it up Love, Life and the List at the Paris Bookfair earlier this year, I knew that the time had finally come. Four months and one TBR attempt later, here I am. I finally finished it (in one day, dare I say!) and I loved it.

Title: Love, Life and the List
Author: Kasie West
Release: 2017
Genre: YA Romance, Contemporary
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The story:

Last summer, Abby confessed to her best friend Cooper only to take it back right away because she was afraid of his reaction. This summer, as they are getting ready to enter senior year, she has decided that she will, truly, get over him. But when her boss at her museum tells her that her paintings lack of emotion, she realises that things won’t always go as planned. She makes up a list of things she wants to do in order to become a better person, and improve her art.

Other books this reminded me of:

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman, because in both books we witness a girl trying all she can to improve her art. It was interesting as well that both dealt with mental illness: in Starfish Kiko, the main character, has anxiety and some kind of PTSD, while in Love, Life and the List, Abby’s mom is said to have agoraphobia, and also probably anxiety to some extent. I also thought it was very interesting to include a main character who had a parent with a MI, because it’s definitely something that can affect teenagers, and something that’s not eady to deal with. (Full review of Starfish)

The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson, this time because both books feature a summer romance, as well as my favourite romantic trope of all times, aka best friends to lovers. Unlike The Bermudez Triangle, Love, Life and the List only takes place over the span of a summer, but it also mentions how the balance of a friendship group can be changed by romance, which is probably why it reminded me of it so much. (Full review of The Bermudez Triangle)

My thoughts:

Love, Life and the List was exactly the right amount of cliché that I wanted. It’s a REALLY slow burn romance but I absolutely loved it. It’s about two best friends falling in love without noticing, and trying not to because they enjoy each other’s company as friends, and are scared to lose one another. It’s also a great book about family and friendship which I always enjoy. I loved the fact that it was featuring a bunch of kids all talented in their own ways: Abby is a painter, Cooper is a racer, Elliot is a sculptor, and of course, we have Lacey who is a wannabe actress. It overall featured an ecclectic cast of characters, and all of them were likeable which I loved.

Through her list, Abby got to grow a lot, and try new things which is super important in my opinion. She read classics, met new people, and overcame some of her fears. It was in that aspect a beautiful coming-of-age story (and I’m always here for those!)

Overall, this was a very enjoyable read, and just the perfect dose of sugar I needed on my day off! If you are looking for a sweet YA romance featuring BOTH of my favourite tropes: summer romance + best friends to lovers, then this might be the thing for you!

Please feel free to let me know your thoughts if you have read it as well 😊

Wayfarer: My Review

 

I read Passenger two years ago and I absolutely LOVED that book, so obviously Wayfarer had been on my TBR ever since, but as I clearly don’t have my priorities straight, it took me this long to actually pick it up. In my defence, it’s a BIG CHUNKY book. But oh boy was it worth the read!

Check out my review of Passenger if you’d like!

Title: Wayfarer (Passenger #2)
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Genre: YA Fantasy, Time Travel
Release: 2017
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

⚠️ Warning: Spoilers for Passenger ⚠️ as well as this one, sorry I need to ramble ⚠️

Wayfarer picks up right where book one ended, with Etta and Nicholas separated by centuries, and their timeline disrupted by the Ironwood. Throughout the book, they are forming alliances while trying to be reunited, avoiding their enemies and finding the astrolabe that could restore the original timeline, or put an end to time-traveling in general.

While Nicholas travels through time and space with the help of Sophia and a mysterious girl called Li Min, Etta encounters her father for the first time, and finds out that Julian — Nicholas’ half brother, and heir to the Ironwood — is actually alive. New players in the search for the astrolabe make themselves known, and new enemies arise.

While I found that the book could get a teeny bit slow at some points, I really enjoyed it. It was nice to meet some new characters such as Julian, Li Min and Etta’s father Henry. It was also really interesting to see the dynamic between Nicholas and Sophia evolve compared to book one.

All of the characters really grew, and managed to make important decision after important decision, always hoping that they were making the best choice. And while Nicholas decided to trust one after another people who would end up betraying him, Etta managed to live some pretty awesome adventures while trying to save the world. As for Sophia, I liked her more and more with each chapter, and I really loved her relationship with Li Min.

We did get some interesting flashbacks of Rose Linden’s life when she was a kid but that was not enough for me to empathy with her. On the other hand, Julian and Henry were really the cherry on top of the cake that was this amazing cast of characters. I also love that fact that this book addresses questions of racism and sexism when Sophia, Li Min and Nicholas travel back in time, and I think it did so quite well and interstingly (correct me if you think I am wrong).

So yes, overall I am really glad that I finally got to read this book. I’m always discovering new books and adding new things to my TBR, so it’s actually nice to see it with one less book on it sometimes! My biggest regret is that I read it in French while I read the first one in English, and the translator decided to translate most of the characters’ names which was HELLA CONFUSING at first, but once I had fallen back into this amazing universe, I managed to get used to it. I think time travel stories are fascinating, and this one was executed fabulously. In addition to that, it works really well as a duology. It managed to surprise me with plot twists until the ending, but I couldn’t have expected for a better one.

Things I Want To Do Because Of Books

A more accurate title would be “things I want to do because of books and movies and TV shows and fiction in general” but I figured that would be slightly too long so I decided otherwise. Anyway, I was procrastinating last night and thinking about all of the things that I wanted to do with my life, and how I did not want to miss out on things I could possibly enjoy, which is how I came up with today’s topic. In addition to that, I realised that I hadn’t posted in a while so I figured it was time that I did!

So anyway, while I mostly know what I want to do with my life — I know that I love books and I always will, and I’m going to learn how to be a corrector — there are also a humongous amount of places I want to visit, and awesome things that I want to do, and hope I will eventually get around to doing, so here’s a glimpse at that list of things, inspired by all the fictional worlds that I like to visit!

I want to move to a small island in Greece and start over my life. (Mamma Mia).

I want to move to Roma and finally start learning Italian for good while eating lots of ice cream and delicious pizza (Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert).

I want to travel half way across the globe to open my own second hand bookshop in a small town, where I would sell my own books: those I have read because I loved them & can recommend them, and those I haven’t read because they deserve to be read (The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald).

I want to get lost in Prague and discover small art galleries (Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor).

I want to go on a spontaneous trip to Brighton or Scotland (A Quiet Kind of Thunder, and Sara Barnard’s books in general).

I want to go on a crazy insane road trip with my friends (Paper Towns by John Green).

I want to go to a café in the middle of the night and write melodramatic thoughts in a very personal notebook (Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen).

I want to get my act together and commit to a writing project (Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell).

I want to climb up Arthur’s Seat (One Day by David Nicholls) — I actually got to do that when I was in Edinburgh, but now I want to go back to visit some more historical and haunted places (City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab).

And sometimes I wish I were as badass as Rosa Diaz (Brooklyn Nine Nine).

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Or I want to give up on everything and start over, go live in an Ashram for a few months and focus on myself and my mental health (Eat, Pray, Love — again).

I want to be transported to a magical land (Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige) or maybe one day wake up and find out that I have a parent who is an actual Greek God (Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan). And OF COURSE I want to go to Hogwarts.

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I want to live on a ship, and travel through time and space (Passenger by Alexandra Bracken). The Tardis is also acceptable. I would love to become The Doctor’s companion.

I want to go to the Exposition Universelle (The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi) or simply live in the fascinating city that was Paris in the 19th century (The House I Loved by Tatiana de Rosnay).

I want to be the first human to set foot on the Earth after more than a century (The 100).

we back bitches

And thanks to books, I can do all of that. But most importantly I want to travel the world, and I swear I’ll get to do this one day. Basically, I love those two quotes and want to live by them both:

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads only lives one.” — George R. R. Martin

“The world is a book and those who do not travel only read one page.” — St Augustine

And that’s it for today folks! Feel free to share in the comments some things that you have been dying to try, and places you’ve been meaning to visit because of books. And of course, have a wonderful day!

La Vie Rêvée des Chaussettes Orphelines: Ma Critique

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Je ne sais pas qui du titre ou de la couverture m’a attirée le plus lorsque nous avons reçu ce livre au boulot. Ou peut-être était-ce la maison d’édition (la même qui a publiée la version française de Daisy Jones & The Six, que je venais donc de lire). Mais une chose est sûre, dès que j’ai lu le résumé, j’ai su qu’il me fallait lire le livre en entier. Et je l’ai dévoré. C’est le premier livre de Marie Vareille que je lis, mais surement pas le dernier ! Et je suis ravie d’avoir découvert cette auteure.

Ce livre est magnifique, et terriblement émouvant. Mais tout d’abord, quelques mots sur l’intrigue. Alice, la trentaine, est une jeune américaine qui débarque à Paris. Elle a tout l’air de vouloir redémarrer à zéro sa vie (sans que l’on sache vraiment pourquoi) et atterrit finalement dans une start-up dont le but est la création d’une application qui réunirait les chaussettes orphelines. Alors même qu’elle a clairement dressé des barrières autour de son cœur, et fait de son mieux pour ne s’attacher à personne, elle se retrouve entourée de personnages uniques, passionnés, et tous plus attachants les uns que les autres.

La vie rêvée des chaussettes orphelines est vraiment un livre qui fait chaud au cœur. Les chapitres alternent entre la vie d’Alice à Paris en 2018, où l’on voit clairement que la jeune femme a vécu un traumatisme sans vraiment savoir de quoi il s’agit même si on en apprend un peu plus au fur et à mesure que l’intrigue avance, et le journal intime de la jeune femme entre 2011 et 2012, alors même qu’elle tente désespérément de tomber enceinte. On retrouve à travers ces pages de journal également des pans tout entiers de sa jeunesse, qui développent notamment sur sa relation avec sa mère, et avec sa sœur Scarlett. Petit à petit, les vides se comblent et les questions reçoivent des réponses. L’intrigue est délicatement menée, et en ce qui me concerne, je ne m’attendais pas du tout aux différents retournements de situation ; et je suis ravie de m’être laissée surprendre !

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Les crises de panique d’Alice m’ont brisé le cœur, et en même temps on ne peut s’empêcher de se demander quand tout a commencé. On sent bien qu’entre les événements du journal et les événements du présent, elle a vécu un événement traumatique, mais il faut attendre chapitre après chapitre pour saisir véritablement l’ampleur des dégâts.

L’histoire comporte de nombreux rebondissements — et je ne vous en dirai pas plus ! Mais on garde le suspense jusqu’à la fin, ce qui fait que je suis restée tenue en haleine jusqu’à la dernière page. Petit bonus que j’apprécie toujours à travers mes lectures : les références à la pop culture comme Harry Potter et La Reine des Neiges… Je ne sais pas pourquoi, mais je trouve que ce genre des références rajoute un petit côté humain à mes lectures, et ça me fait toujours plaisir.

Enfin bref, pour conclure, j’ai beaucoup aimé ce livre, et je n’ai presque pas pleuré. C’est très bien écrit, et on n’a pas envie de le poser. C’est un livre qui parle de deuil, et de la famille, mais aussi de musique et d’amitié. Les personnages y sont à la fois originaux et attachants. Et plus d’Alice, qui est un personnage très touchant, et de son chat David Bowie, j’ai vraiment eu un coup de cœur pour son équipe de collègues, et pour ses amies Angela et Saranya. La vie rêvée des chaussettes orphelines est un livre qui va vous surprendre, et qui fait chaud au cœur : une super lecture pour l’été !

Verdict: un solide 4/5. Et en ce qui concerne mes prochaines lectures, je vais essayer de lire Ma vie, mon ex et autres calamités cet été !

Aru Shah and the Song of Death: My Review

I finally read the second book in the Pandava Quartet and I’m so glad that I did! I find myself reading more and more middle grade books these days, partly because of work, but also because I love them dearly. And Aru Shah and the Song of Death was no exception.

Title: Aru Shah and the Song of Death (Pandava Quartet #2)
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Release: 2019
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The story:

It picks up right where The End of Time left, as Aru and Mini get a glimpse at their new sister. And that’s right before they’re all accused of thievery and given 10 days to right a wrong they had nothing to do with, unless they want to be kicked out of Otherworld and have all of their memories erased.

Aru, Mini and their new sister Brynne are sent on a new quest along with boy next door Aiden. On the way, they will meet new friends, new prophecies, and make new enemies. And once again, the story ends on a cliffhanger!

My thoughts:

I think my favourite thing in this book was the humour. The narration is clever and witty, which makes it all the more impossible to put the book down. A second close in terms of my favourite things about this book is the Hindu mythology. In this book, we learn more about the history of the Pandava brothers (who are now reincarnated as sisters, although the weight of the original brothers weighs on them constantly). We also meet new divinities and places, and they’re all absolutely amazing. It’s really refreshing to read about divinities I’m not really familiar with. I love Roman and Greek mythology but I know about it, and I’ve read about it A LOT so it’s nice to have something keeping this atmosphere / universe that I like, but with completely new stories!

And my third favourite thing was obviously the characters. I love the dynamic between Aru and Mini, they’re both so precious. And I thought that Brynne and Aiden were a great addition to their little family. I love how they’re all different. They all have hardships in their lives, mostly related to their parents and / or their parents’ expectations for them, or (at least) in Aru’s case her classmates. But they’re all trying their best, they’re smart and refuse to give up in the face of adversity. Honestly, they all deserve a giant hug.

*Cue my new favourite hug gif*

We also got briefly introduced to the last two sisters at the end of the book and let me tell you I can’t wait to see how that will turn out in the sequel!

One thing I regretted though was that I would have loved to learn more about Aru’s mom and her past. Hopefully I will get a few answers in the next book!

Oh and before I forget, this is a small thing but it makes the book so much better in many ways: Aru is full of pop culture references which is both sweet and hilarious, and sometimes super random, and I love it so much! In the first book she wandered through the kingdom of the dead in her Spiderman pyjamas, and this time she dressed up as Gandalf for her birthday party. Despite the whole saving-the-world thing, she is and remains a kid and I absolutely love how she is portrayed. She is so precious. And as I recommend Aru Shah and the End of Time to as many customers buying books for young readers as I can, I am so glad that I can give these kids such a great model to follow! Aru is imperfect and inspiring at the same time, and I love her. I can’t shut up about this book, and every time someone buys it, it makes me immensely happy.

So… To conclude, I can’t wait for book 3, and I can’t wait for book 2 to be released in French so I can promote it as well! Have you read this one yet? If not, what are you waiting for?

(PS: check out my review for book 1)