Subaru by Masahito Soda, Vol. 1 & 2

Five year old Subaru no longer has time for friends or play. Kazuma is dying and slowly forgetting everything, even his twin. Subaru visits him every day, talking and dancing all to try to make him remember her. And he always does by the end of the day. Encouraged by a friend to try a ballet class, Subaru does and falls in love with the dance.

 


Asian Readathon Challenges Met:

1. Read a book written by an Asian author: Soda is Japanese.

2. Read a book featuring an Asian character or written by an Asian author who you can relate to: Subaru is a ballet dancer and I took 16 years of dance classes (including ballet). She’s also clear in her distaste to compete while it took me a while to start enjoying dance competitions.

3. Read a book featuring an Asian character or written by an Asian author who is different from you: Subaru had a twin that ended up dying due to a brain tumor whereas I have never had a twin and my older sister remains in good health. 


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Stain by A.G. Howard

Rating: 5/5 stars Stain.jpg

Pages: 516

Series: N/A

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings, Romance

Publication date: January 15, 2019

 

Scorch trotted up and snuffed her fuzzed head. He then sat on his hindquarters to gawk at her. “Humans are strange creatures. Moved to tears by emotions. Moved to laughter by physical exertion. And you, tiny trifling thing, are the strangest of all.”

(Ch. 17, p. 265)

Lyra, a princess incapable of speech or sound, finds herself cast out of her kingdom of daylight by her wicked aunt. Saved by a witch who steals her memories and raises her in an enchanted forest, Lyra is disguised as a boy known only as Stain. Meanwhile, the prince of thorns and night is dying. The only way for him to break the curse is to marry the princess of daylight as she is his true equal. But while Lyra is finding her way back to her identity, an impostor princess appears to steal her prince and crown. To win back her kingdom, save the prince, and make peace with the land of night, Lyra must be loud enough to be heard without a voice and strong enough to pass a series of tests.

I have yet to read an A.G. Howard novel that I didn’t love, and Stain is no exception. This novel brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion, yet at other times make me laugh out loud. I fell in love with the characters and felt heartbreak when they did.

While I won’t go too in depth on the subject because it would be considered a pretty big spoiler, there were two characters in this story that held my heart in their hands. I was instantly in love with them and wanted nothing but the best for each. Both of these characters sacrificed so much in order to bring the two kingdoms together and both of them managed to pull tears from me. While both challenging at times, they were two of the sweetest and most caring creatures I’ve ever had the pleasure to spend time with. I look forward to doing it all over again the next time I pick up this book.

Lyra goes through unprecedented challenges in her world, all to prove that she’s worthy – and all without knowing that she’s doing it. She must prove that she’s tough enough to sleep on a bed of nails and loud enough to be heard without a voice. Born a rose and stripped of her thorns, Lyra proves time and time again that though she might have been stripped of everything she’s ever known she’s still a strong spirit that won’t be broken.

While I found this book to be slow at times, every word is worth it. Those slow moments sometimes held the most important clues and only looking back on them did I see how truly impactful the scenes were. Howard is amazing with words and I look forward to reading anything else she writes.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who’s interested in twisted retellings of fairy tales. Stain is an amazing retelling of the Princess and the Pea, all while being twisted into something almost unrecognizable. Almost, but not quite. The unique spin on this classic tale is one of the things I loved most about it. And if you love this read, I highly recommend reading Howard’s other novels as well.

One of the things I love so much about Howard’s novels is that they’re so great to jump back into time and time again. Having first been introduced to her works through Splintered in high school, I can honestly say that I adore going back and reading everything I have by Howard. I’ll be here, shielding my heart for the emotional turmoil within Stain, until I’m again able to jump into this story and feel the emotions packed into its pages.

 


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Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini

Rating: 5/5 stars Sea Prayer.jpg

Length: 48 pages

Series: N/A

Genres: Poetry, Fiction, Short Stories, Historical Fiction, War, Refugee

Publication date: September 18, 2018

 


 

Reading Challenges Met:

1. Read a book written by an Asian author: Hosseini is Afghan.

3. Read a book featuring an Asian character or written by an Asian author who is different from you: I have never been a refugee, nor do I have children.

 


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2020 Asian Readathon TBR

Having enjoyed this Readathon so immensely last year (my 2019 TBR and Wrap Up), I look forward to participating again this year. If you haven’t heard of the Asian Readathon before, it’s a month long Readathon in May created by Cindy (from ReadWithCindy) all about reading, enjoying, discovering, and appreciating Asian authors.

For more information about the Readathon, I suggest checking out their Twitter “@asianreadathon” as it is already been quite active for the Readathon. This is also an easy way to find the Master List of Book Suggestions and Reading Goals/Prompts for the Readathon.

**For anyone who’s discovered my TBR system for the first time, I’ve organized the books on my TBR by Physical BooksAudioBooks, and eBooks. Oh, and Library books, too. **

While I expect to deviate from this selection of books slightly, and to add to it as the month progresses, here is my (current) TBR for the Readathon:

 


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Her Majesty’s Necromancer by C. J. Archer

Rating: 4/5 stars Her Majesty's Necromancer.jpg

Pages: 246

Series: The Ministry of Curiosities, Book 2

Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Steampunk, Historical, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Romance,

Publication Date: August 24, 2015

 

“He has parents, I know that much.”

“Does he?” Gus asked mildly. “Thought he was spawned by the devil.”

“Or the Reaper.” Cook grinned as he held out a plate with a scone on it. “That be why he’s called Death.” (Ch. 2)

Bodies have started going missing from the cemetery, leaving Lincoln and the Ministry of Curiosities to wonder if there’s something supernatural going on. Of course, as a lowly housemaid, it isn’t Charlie’s job to get involved in Ministry business.

Instead, Charlie begins an investigation of her own. Searching for details about her birth mother and making inquiries into Lincoln’s past might very well keep Charlie busy in her limited spare time. Especially when what she’s learned has the power to destroy the fragile trust growing between them.

This novel continues my descent into love for the Steampunk genre. I really did enjoy seeing Charlie start to understand her powers and how using them might be beneficial, seeing Lincoln try to come to terms with relying on others. I enjoyed seeing them trying to use their enhanced knowledge of the occult to solve crimes happening around them.

I might not know as much about history as my sister (who just so happens to have a history degree), but I greatly enjoyed seeing the mesh of Victorian England and fantasy. I loved seeing the way that the past seemed so effortlessly mixed with advanced technologies/techniques, of medical “advancements” in ways I never would’ve dreamed of.

On top of expanding my horizons in regards to genres, Archer did a fantastic job at expanding this world and its characters and making it all feel real. I almost felt like I was right there with Charlie as she tried to decipher Lincoln’s moods, when the gang was joking around with each other. Winding my way through London with Charlie felt like I was actually tagging along on her adventures – those that were both intentional and not.

Once again I find myself on the edge of my seat, waiting to see where the story will go next. I love hanging on Archers’ words and eagerly await the time that I can pick up the next book in the series, Beyond the Grave. Further, I can’t wait to see what else the Steampunk genre has in store for me. In case it wasn’t obvious, I certainly recommend giving this book – and this whole series – a read.

 


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May TBR

Though I haven’t had the best track record of reading the books off of my TBRs, especially as of late, I still hope to read all of the follow books. While it’s true that I’ve been finding it harder than usual to get into a book with everything going around right now, I’m hoping to push through it and read these (hopefully fantastic) books.

I also hope to read some books for the 2020 Asia Readathon. I’ll be making another post in the next couple of days around the books I plan to read for this and highly recommend joining if you’re interested. This Readathon is to inspire people to read more books by Asian Authors and runs throughout all of May.

**For anyone who’s discovered my TBR system for the first time, I’ve organized the books on my TBR by Physical Books, AudioBooks, and eBooks. Oh, and Library books, too. **

 

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April Wrap Up

 

I have to admit, having so much spare time at home is wrecking my reading. I know that I have all this extra time to read now that I’m not going out to do things, but I’m still finding it harder to sit down and focus on a story. Where I used to be able to read a book in one sitting, no matter how engaged I am to a story, I find myself needed to get up and do something else. I guess working from home isn’t going to be a longtime goal for me – I like being able to separate my work time and downtime a little more.

Of course, Yzma is absolutely loving all of the time I’ve been spending at home. If she wasn’t a spoiled puppy before hand (and trust me, she was), she certainly is now! Daily puppy playdates (weather permitting) and lots of cuddles just makes her crave attention even more. I worry about how she’ll react to me going back into work full time, but that’s a problem for future me. For now, here are some cute puppy pics of Yzma enjoying her spoiled life.

 

 

Without further ado, here’s my reading stats for this month:

 


 

For reference: Physical books, eBooks, and AudioBooks. Library books.

 

Total books completed: 6

Total pages read: 1,699 pages (avg. 336 pages per book)

 

Completed Books:

  1. The Angel of Evil by Kenneth B Andersen (The Great Devil War, Book 3)[4.5 stars]
  2. Miss Match by Lindzee Armstrong (No Match for Love, Book 1)[4 stars]
  3. Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick [5 stars]
  4. The Kiss Thief by L.J. Shen [5 stars]
  5. To Dream is to Die by Sarah Lampkin (Dead Dreamer, Book 1)[3.45 stars]
  6. To Wake the Dead by Sarah Lampkin (Dead Dreamer, Book 2)[4 stars]

Dedicated Blog Posts:

  1. The Angel of Evil by Kenneth B Andersen
  2. Gemini Keeps Capricorn by Antya Sunday
  3. Pisces Hooks Taurus by Antya Sunday
  4. Cancer Ships Aquarius by Antya Sunday
  5. This Time by Azaaa Davis
  6. Miss Match by Lindzee Armstrong
  7. That Night by Azaaa Davis
  8. Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
  9. The Kiss Thief by L.J. Shen
  10. To Dream is to Die by Sarah Lampkin
  11. To Wake the Dead by Sarah Lampkin

 


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