May Wrap Up 2023

A pretty solid month for me with some new found favourites that I am adamant will make it onto my Top 10 books of the year!

  • I read 10 books this month
  • Genre: 6 fantasy, 2 literary fiction, 1 sci-fi and 1 mystery
  • Gender of authors: 7 men and 2 women
  • Race of authors: 5 asian authors, 3 white authors and 1 latino author
  • Age range: 5 YA and 5 adult
  • Format: 9 paperback and 1 hardback.


  • Prompt: High Fantasy
    • The Burning God
    • Elantris
    • Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Vol.1
    • Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End, Vol.5
    • Claymore, Vol.1
  • Sequel Challenge:
    • The Burning God
    • Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End, Vol.5

Elantris – Brandon Sanderson (DNF)

I am devastated to say that I DNFd my first ever Brandon Sanderson book. I never thought I would see the day where I would do so! Unfortunately, while this book had interesting characters and plot, the pacing was just so incredibly slow and boring that I could feel a reading slump forming. So I had to put it down. I don’t think I will ever go back to reading it.

Termush – Sven Holm (2 stars)

A dystopian novel re-issued for modern day audiences. This book was fine. It was a lot shorter than I expected and I felt that its page count put it at a disadvantage. I wanted more detail, more exploration, just a lot more. This story felt very surface level and I blinked and it was over.

The Mill House Murders – Yukito Ayatsuji (3 stars)

Another instalment in Ayatsuji’s Locked Room mystery series. I preferred this book a lot more to the first book in the series, The Decagon House Murders. Better atmosphere, more engaging characters, a plot which genuinely shocked me and I felt satisfied with the ending rather than stumped.

Claymore, Vol.1 – Norihiro Yagi (3 stars)

This is my official read through of the manga after I watched the show last year. I think if I didn’t already know the story – this rating would be higher. But I thought the story and the world was engaging and I look forward to reading more. I do believe this series might have been discontinued though so we shall see how many volumes I can find.

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Vol.1 – Hayao Miyazaki (4 stars)

Also a manga I picked up because I watched the adaptation first. This time round though I enjoyed the manga a lot more. The artwork is beautiful as per for Miyazaki and I love Nausicaa with every fibre of my being. I will say though. that the plot is hard to follow at points so despite its beautiful art, clear striking message about protecting our planet I have to deduct a star. Sometimes I had no idea what was happening!

Lies We Sing to the Sea – Sarah Underwood (4 stars)

Despite me saying I was going to stop reading greek myth re-tellings… here I am! This book had a lot of people talking back when it was announced so I was interested to see my thoughts on this book. I ended up really enjoying it. I loved the setting, the characters, the plot. It was so far removed from what I was expecting it to be. For clarification, this book is not an Odyssey re-telling. It takes inspiration from the death of Penelope’s handmaidens at the hands of Odysseus and says what if? The book is set hundreds of years after the Odyssey and it’s only mentioned a handful of times. The book truly focuses on the characters of the present than the past.

The Burning God – R.F. Kuang (4 stars)

The final book in the ground-breaking Poppy War trilogy. Overall, it was good but it was not my favourite book in the series. I had the ending spoiled for me last month so that defiantly hindered my enjoyment as I already knew what to expect. I also think this book’s plot was the weakest of the 3 books and I wasn’t as engaged as I had been with the others.

Trust – Hernan Diaz (5 stars)

An unexpected favourite here! Very Great Gatsby meets Succession vibes. This story tells the story of a billionaire and his wife; their relationship, rise to fame, their philanthropy and her illness. This story is told 4 times, in 4 different ways. As you read this book you try to unearth whose version of the story is actually true. I thought it was incredibly impressive for an author to take the same story and write it in so many different ways with different narrators and through different mediums. I felt like I was solving a puzzle.

Yellowface – R.F. Kuang (5 stars)

Probably, my favourite Kuang book to date! I have a more detailed review up on my blog but this book was just so incredibly engaging and exciting. I loved being in the mind of someone as complicated and unlikable as June. It was so interesting to not be following the hero of the story but the villain. Delving into the failings of the publishing industry was very interesting indeed (though I do wish Kuang went even deeper).

Yellowface Review

Authors June Hayward and Athena Liu were supposed to be twin rising stars: same year at Yale, same debut year in publishing. But Athena’s a cross-genre literary darling, and June didn’t even get a paperback release. Nobody wants stories about basic white girls, June thinks.

So when June witnesses Athena’s death in a freak accident, she acts on impulse: she steals Athena’s just-finished masterpiece, an experimental novel about the unsung contributions of Chinese laborers to the British and French war efforts during World War I.

So what if June edits Athena’s novel and sends it to her agent as her own work? So what if she lets her new publisher rebrand her as Juniper Song–complete with an ambiguously ethnic author photo? Doesn’t this piece of history deserve to be told, whoever the teller? That’s what June claims, and the New York Times bestseller list seems to agree.

But June can’t get away from Athena’s shadow, and emerging evidence threatens to bring June’s (stolen) success down around her. As June races to protect her secret, she discovers exactly how far she will go to keep what she thinks she deserves.

The Promised Neverland Series Review

Life at Grace Field House has been good for Emma and her fellow orphans. While the daily studying and exams they have to take are tough, their loving caretaker provides them with delicious foods and plenty of playtime. But perhaps not everything is as it seems… Emma, Norman and Ray are the brightest kids at the Grace Field House orphanage. And under the care of the woman they refer to as “Mom,” all the kids have enjoyed a comfortable life. Good food, clean clothes and the perfect environment to learn—what more could an orphan ask for? One day, though, Emma and Norman uncover the dark truth of the outside world they are forbidden from seeing.

Spoiler free!

April Wrap Up 2023

Not my best month, no 5 star novels and I didn’t get to my entire April TBR 😦

  • I read 17 books this month
  • Genre: 13 fantasy and 4 mystery
  • Gender of authors: 6 women and 6 men
  • Race of authors: 7 white authors, 4 Asian authors and 1 collection of varied authors
  • Age range: 11 YA and 6 adult
  • Format: 9 paperback and 8 ebook


  • Prompt: Mystery
    • The Ashes of London
    • Moriarty the Patriot, Vol.2
    • The Cloisters
    • Final Acts
  • Sequel:
    • Moriarty the Patriot, Vol.2

Final Acts edited by Martin Edwards (DNF)

This was just a super uninspiring murder mysteries with slow pacing and engaging writing. Which is a shame as I loved some other collections I have read.

Scarlet by Genevieve Cogman (DNF)

Nothing particularly bad about this fantasy re-telling of The Scarlet Pimpernel. I just couldn’t stay engaged and for a fantasy book promising vampire aristocrats there weren’t many at all!

Soggy Landing by Alec McGovern (2 stars)

I couldn’t actually tell you what this graphic novel was about. I really liked the art style but that was about it! The plot was all over the place and not cohesive at all and it felt gory and sexual for no real reason.

Twin Crowns by Catherine Doyle & Katherine Webber (3.5 stars)

A super fun and action-packed fantasy romance with major Parent Trap/Princess and the Pauper vibes. I loved the world-building, the romance (Team Shen) and I thought the magic was super cool. I will say it took some time for the plot to properly going at first and a bit too much telling and not enough showing for certain aspects of the narrative.

At Midnight edited by Dahlia Adler (3.5 stars)

Overall, I had a really great time reading these stories and I loved the amount of love, representations and magic I saw in these pages.

Sugarplum – 2 stars
In The Forest of the Night – 5 stars
Say My Name – 3.5 stars
Fire and Rhinestone – 3 stars
Mother’s Mirror – 3 stars
Sharp As Any Thorn – 2.5 stars
Coyote in High Top Sneakers – 4 stars
The Sister Switch – 3 stars
Once Bitten, Twice Shy – 3 stars
A Flame So Bright – 3.5 stars
The Emperor and the Eversong – 5 stars
The Littlest Mermaid – 2 stars
Just a Little Bite – 5 stars
A Story About a Girl – 5 stars

The Cloisters by Katy Hays (3.5 stars)

A book for academia fans and art fans everywhere. A really engaging story following a young art historian as she works at the prestigious The Cloisters renowned for its collection of medieval and Renaissance art. This started off super strong and I was so absorbed in the story and the interpersonal dynamics of the main characters but unfortunately this book ended in a super predictable and cliched way for my personal liking.

The Ashes of London by Andrew Taylor (4 stars)

A really detailed and engaging historical crime novel. I will say that the mystery definitely takes a back seat in order to bring the historical fiction side of the novel to be highlighted. I would have preferred more mystery content but our two main characters are super captivating that I didn’t mind. My favourite part of this whole novel was the atmosphere. This book is set during and just after the Great Fire of London and Taylor did a great job weaving the terror and grief throughout the novel. You felt just as suffocated.

The Promised Neverland Series Vol.15-20 by Kaiu Shirai (5 stars)

What a way to end the series!!!! I want to give a standing ovation to this series and the author. So masterful. But… if I have to be picky I will say that Vol. 20 includes one of my least fave tropes and while I think it was the only answer to the tricky puzzle the author put himself in. I am still not a fan of the trope. Apart from that one tiny thing. 10/10! I cried.

Other books I read but couldn’t form coherent thoughts about at this current moment in time:

  • Yona of the Dawn. Vol.1 by Mizuho Kusanagi (4 stars)
  • Moriarty the Patriot, Vol.2 by Ryosuke Takeuchi (4 stars)
  • Fierce by Mathieu Burniat (4 stars)
  • A Magic Steeped in Poison by Judy I. Lin (4 stars)

March 2023 Wrap Up

  • I read 16 books this month
  • Genre: 5 mystery, 4 sci-fi, 3 fantasy, 2 historical fiction, 1 spy novel and 1 poetry collection
  • Gender of authors: 9 women and 7 men
  • Race of authors: 8 white authors, 7 Asian authors and 1 black author
  • Age range: 8 adult, 6 YA and 2 middle grade
  • Format: 10 paperback, 5 ebook and 1 hardback


  • Prompt: Mystery
    • Usotoki Rhetoric Vol.1
    • Murder in Mesopotamia
    • Whose Body?
    • Promise Boys
    • Tokyo Express
  • Sequel:
    • Murder in Mesopotamia
  • The Wonderful Stag, or the Courting of Red Elsie

Nocean by Efa (2 stars)

This was a post-apocalyptic graphic novel that I read through Netgalley. Unfortunately, it didn’t really meet my expectations plot wise but I thought the art design was stunning!

Tokyo Express by Seiko Matsumoto (2.5 stars)

A Japanese post war classic crime story. It was super engaging in the first third and I found the ending result to be entertaining but the middle section of the book was incredibly boring. You spend most of the book watching the detective read a myriad of transport time tables and at first it was novel but by the 4th timetable I was bored.

Leo in Little Pieces by Mayana Itoiz (2.5 stars)

Another graphic novel through Netgalley this time a World War 2 memoir. A really interesting look at a first-hand experience of what it was like living in France at the time of WW2. I will say I found the narrative structure to be confusing as well as the art design not being, particularly to my taste.

The Strange – Nathan Ballingrud (3 stars)

A sci-fi western. The first I have ever read this genre mix. I loved the setting of a western-esque town on the planet Mars! The plot started off super interesting but I think the author was trying to do too many different things half way through the story I started losing interest and all the points didn’t really tie up.

Red Dust White Snow – Pan Huiting (3 stars)

I think the theme so far this month is an amazing start but a less-than-amazing ending. I loved everything about the beginning of this story. I was fully on the 5 stars train but after the 50% mark, the story just fell away from the author. I felt that this book should have been longer as it felt that the author forgot they had to wrap up the story and rushed the ending while the plot itself felt unfinished or under-explored.

Promise Boys – Nick Brooks (3 stars)

A really interesting YA thriller that tackles systemic racism, toxic masculinity and the education system. Specifically on how it affects black and brown boys. I thought the use of multiple POVS and multi-media was incredibly engaging and really pushed this theme of assumptions and how they can harm people. I thought the characters were really interesting. But I felt that the mystery itself was disappointing and not structured amazingly.

Whose Body? – Dorothy L. Sayers (3.5 stars)

A re-read from a book I listened to last Summer. I enjoyed this re-read more than the audio version. Peter Wimsey is a really engaging character and I think Sayers does an amazing job at the dialogue in this book. Incredibly entertaining. My favourite scene had to be the scene where Wimsey figured everything out in his living room. I was also not expecting the PTSD representation so much within this book.

Murder in Mesopotamia – Agatha Christie (4 stars)

Continuing on with my Hercule Poirot read-through. I had heard very bad things about this book so I went in with quite low expectations but I ended up enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. I normally hate when Poirot isn’t in the story from the beginning but I found the first 100 pages to be engaging without him. This probably would have been a 5-star if it wasn’t for the complete 180 of an ending which was too over the top even for me.

The Trial of Lotta Rae – Siobhan MacGowan (4 stars)

A heart-breaking historical fiction novel about a woman who is let down by the man who was supposed to give her justice. I normally tend to read historical mysteries or historical fantasies so this was my first pure historical fiction novel in a long time AND I LOVED IT! MacGowan’s writing is so incredibly beautiful and her characterisation of Lotta Rae is amazing. Not only is it amazing but watching how she writes Lotta’s continuous growth and constant changing was masterful.

Juniper Mae: Knight of Tykotech City – Sarah Soh (5 stars)

A super fun graphic novel for a 7+ audience. With beautiful art design, a great female protagonist and the cutest frog-like sidekicks I have ever seen!

Spy x Family Vol.1 – Tatsuya Endo (5 stars)

I am so happy I finally got my hands on this series! Every great thing I heard about this is very accurate. I love the setting, the comedic writing and the characters. FOUND FAMILY IS THE ULTIMATE TROPE!

Some other books that I didn’t feel I had enough to write a mini review about:

  • A Passing on of Shells – Simon Lamb (3.5 stars)
  • The Wonderful Stag or the Courtship of Red Elsie (3.5 stars)
  • Usotoki Rhetoric Vol.1 – Ritsu Miyako (4 stars)
  • The Promised Neverland Vol.14 – Kaiu Shirai (4 stars)
  • The Girl from the Other Side Vol.2 – Nagabe (4 stars)

Speak of the Devil Review

Seven women stand in shock in a seedy hotel room; a man’s severed head sits in the centre of the floor. Each of the women – the wife, the teenager, the ex, the journalist, the colleague, the friend, and the woman who raised him – has a very good reason to have done it, yet each swears she did not. In order to protect each other, they must figure out who is responsible, all while staying one step ahead of the police. Against the ticking clock of a murder investigation, each woman’s secret is brought to light as the connections between them converge to reveal a killer.