Hello! It’s been 5 months since I last blogged and I am delighted to say that I’m back! This year has had a messy beginning for everyone and I hope you all understand why I have not been blogging for the past coupe months. I will explain it all in this overview along with some books and music I’ve been indulging in lately!
Number of Books Read: 47
I am quite behind on my goal of 200 books this year which is quite disappointing but I cannot say I could’ve possibly read that many with all that has happened thus far.
Since I have not been blogging, I will list some of my latest and greatest reads in a “mini review” format!
This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading. Thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, grows into something more. Something epic. Something romantic. Something that could change the past and the future.
Except the discovery of their bond would mean death for each of them. There’s still a war going on, after all. And someone has to win that war.
I can’t recommend this book enough. This text is a science-fictional romance that speaks of yearning, gender normality, and unconditional love. It’s quite short and any reader can finish it within a couple hours if they are as engrossed as I was. I highly recommend reading the text multiple times to fully enjoy it’s weighted lyricism and beauty—an emotional masterpiece.
Slay by Brittney Morris
By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only Black kids at Jefferson Academy. But at home, she joins hundreds of thousands of Black gamers who duel worldwide as Nubian personas in the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. No one knows Kiera is the game developer, not her friends, her family, not even her boyfriend, Malcolm, who believes video games are partially responsible for the “downfall of the Black man.”
But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, news of the game reaches mainstream media, and SLAY is labeled a racist, exclusionist, violent hub for thugs and criminals. Even worse, an anonymous troll infiltrates the game, threatening to sue Kiera for “anti-white discrimination.”
Driven to save the only world in which she can be herself, Kiera must preserve her secret identity and harness what it means to be unapologetically Black in a world intimidated by Blackness. But can she protect her game without losing herself in the process?
Morris does a wonderful job creating an emotional and action-packed “tour de force” surrounding the ideas of inclusivity, community, and realism. Elements of mystery and sci-fi are incorporated into this story conveying international and local black experiences through realistic and strong characters. I definitely cried while reading this, and I truly believe it will shake any reader’s heart who devours it.
The Princes Gambit and Kings Rising by CS Pacat
Prince’s Gambit synopsis:
With their countries on the brink of war, Damen and his new master, Prince Laurent, must exchange the intrigues of the palace for the sweeping might of the battlefield as they travel to the border to avert a lethal plot.
Forced to hide his identity, Damen finds himself increasingly drawn to the dangerous, charismatic Laurent. But as the fledgling trust between the two men deepens, the truth of secrets from both their pasts is poised to deal them the crowning death blow . . .
Kings Rising synopsis:
His identity now revealed, Damen must face his master Prince Laurent as Damianos of Akielos, the man Laurent has sworn to kill.
On the brink of a momentous battle, the future of both their countries hangs in the balance. In the south, Kastor’s forces are massing. In the north, the Regent’s armies are mobilising for war. Damen’s only hope of reclaiming his throne is to fight together with Laurent against their usurpers.
Forced into an uneasy alliance the two princes journey deep into Akielos, where they face their most dangerous opposition yet. But even if the fragile trust they have built survives the revelation of Damen’s identity—can it stand against the Regent’s final, deadly play for the throne?
I don’t know why I waited so long to finish the ‘Captive Prince’ trilogy but I’m so glad I did because holy shit these last two books had me on such a reading hangover I was out for weeks. Beautifully constructed world building, plot, and character development that wretched my heart and kept me on my knees for the entirety of the way. The fact that I can seamlessly string together all three books amazes me and I am undoubtedly re-reading the trilogy to find whatever jewels Pacat may have hidden weaved within it’s pages.
So much has happened since my last post before my blogging break in early February; from COVID-19 to me getting a job and studying!
In late February I was hired at Barnes & Noble which is the absolute dream! I work as a cafe barista and bookseller and it’s been fun so far in the little experience I’ve had before COVID-19 reigned terror in the Bay Area. That kept me pretty busy but simultaneously gave me the chance to read and purchase plenty more books for book reviews!
When COVID-19 started to take it’s toll on the world, students were pulled out of school and to be frank, teach themselves at home. This made learning what I needed to be learnt incredibly hard and took a lot of time out of my days next to studying for AP exams. I was drained and didn’t have the motivation or energy to blog as I was not used to studying all day on my own with little guidance. Balancing blogging with school and other hobbies has always been a weakness of mine, but I’m glad to say that I’ve improved drastically!
I am excited and happy to be back as a blogger, and I hope you all are finding balance in your lives as well!
Here is some music I’ve been listening to lately: