BOOK REVIEW | Come on In

Tuesday, 13 October 2020


 Started: September 4, 2020 | Finished: September 28, 2020

This exceptional and powerful anthology explores the joys, heartbreaks and triumphs of immigration, with stories by bestselling and beloved YA authors who are themselves immigrants and the children of immigrants.

WELCOME

From some of the most exciting bestselling and up-and-coming YA authors writing today...journey from Ecuador to New York City and Argentina to Utah, from Australia to Harlem and India to New Jersey, from Fiji, America, Mexico and more... Come On In.

With characters who face random traffic stops, TSA detention, customs anxiety, and the daunting and inspiring journey to new lands, who camp with their extended families, dance at weddings, keep diaries, teach ESL, give up their rooms for displaced family, decide their own answer to the question "where are you from?" and so much more, Come On In illuminates fifteen of the myriad facets of the immigrant experience.

My Review: 4/5 stars

I received this book as an advanced copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

When it comes to anthologies, there's also going to be stories that I love and want more of, and ones that I didn't love so much. That is how this book went for me. There were some stories that I loved so much that when they ended, I wanted more. Then there were some stories that I can't even remember now because I just wasn't as invested in them as I was with others. This book also wasn't what I was expecting, I thought it was a non-fiction anthology where the writes wrote from their personal perspective. I'm sure all did draw from their own personal experiences, but I didn't realize they would use fictional characters. I still loved it, either way, I think it was just that I went into it thinking one thing and had to readjust but luckily that wasn't too hard to do. 

I really enjoyed getting to read all the different stories on varying types of immigration that happens to a multitude of people on a consistent basis. It's eye-opening and educational which is always a worthy read, so I massively enjoyed the book for that. If I wasn't in the middle of trying to read 3 books at once (don't ask me why because even I don't know), I would have flown through this one because it was a really good read, and I highly recommend reading it.

MENTAL HEALTH | World Mental Health Day

Saturday, 10 October 2020


Today is World Mental Health Day! As someone who has a few mental health disorders, I thought it would be best to talk about it some more today. I've made it no secret I have a severe anxiety disorder coupled with depression. I also have social anxiety. I'm sure there's more, but I've only scratched the surface, and I'm too scared to delve deeper into my psyche to find out more. I know I should, I know I need to look into getting therapy, but it's something I'm working towards, I'm just not there yet. My doctor wants me to join a virtual group therapy session before they can recommend one-on-one therapy. But given my social anxiety, even in a virtual setting, I've been holding off. It's an exhausting illness, there's no doubt about that. 

As I've said in past posts recently, I feel really derailed this year in terms of my mental health. I feel like I was getting myself into a really good place at the end of 2019. I had newfound confidence after getting my license. I was ready to tackle more life goals after that, and I thought 2020 was going to be the year to get more life stuff on track. But you never know when a global pandemic is going to happen, and it completely knocked me down a peg or two or twenty in terms of my confidence and overall mental health. I feel almost like I'm back at square one. I'm stressed beyond my limits, I'm tired all the time, and I just feel like I can't catch my breath. 

What I have started to get into is journaling my anxious thoughts. It does feel nice to have a place to put my thoughts and feelings, a way to let them out without feeling like I'm burdening others with my problems. I'm constantly worrying that I'm saying or doing the wrong thing all the time. I feel like I either care too much or I'm not caring enough. It can be very overwhelming. In times like that, I feel like I need to get my thoughts out before I go insane, and journaling has really been helping so far.

I won't go into this too much because I do feel like I've said a lot over the last few weeks on here about where my mental health is at. But I leave it all to the comments now. If you have a mental health disorder, and you want to talk about it, please feel free to do so. Also, if you have any resources on mental health that you think would help not only me, but anyone reading this, then please share that in the comments as well. If I had the energy and was better prepared, then I would do more research, but seeing as I'm writing this the night before World Mental Health Day, I'm just not going to be much help to anyone.

BOOK REVIEW | Fangirl Vol. 1

Sunday, 4 October 2020


 Started: September 28, 2020 | Finished: September 28, 2020

The manga adaptation of the beloved novel by #1 Bestselling author Rainbow Rowell!
New York Journal of Books

Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, everybody is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life. Cath's sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath just can't let go. Now that they’re in college, Cath must decide if she’s ready to start living her own life. But does she even want to if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Cath doesn’t need friends IRL. She has her twin sister, Wren, and she’s a popular fanfic writer in the Simon Snow community with thousands of fans online.  But now that she’s in college, Cath is completely outside of her comfort zone. There are suddenly all these new people in her life. She's got a surly roommate with a charming boyfriend, a writing professor who thinks fanfiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome new writing partner ... And she's barely heard from Wren all semester!


My Review: 5/5 stars

I received this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Fangirl is still to this day one of my favourite books! Since I finished reading it, I always thought it would be awesome to re-read in a graphic novel/manga book format. I'm so happy with the way it turned out, and I can't wait to read the next volumes in the series. I'm also excited to see it in it's finished form as well. The illustrations were so well done, and I love what they've captured from the book and put into the book. Reading this has made me want to re-read Fangirl again.

Book Review | Shadow of the Fox Series; Potential Spoiler Warning

Thursday, 1 October 2020


My main goal for this year was to read all the ARC's (that most are no longer ARC's) on my Netgalley account. Both Shadow of the Fox and Soul of the Sword were on there, so this seemed like a good series to read to knock two off the list. But I also had heard really good things about the series as well, and with good reason, as I loved it. As this is a series, I will try my best to keep my reviews as spoiler-free as possible, but I wouldn't read my reviews for Soul of the Sword or Night of the Dragon unless you want to know where the story is going or if you've already the series, of course.



Started: July 19, 2020 | Finished: August 4, 2020

Synopsis
One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.

Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.

Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.

There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.

With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.

My Review: 4/5 Stars

This book had me hooked from the start with its character building and action. I really enjoyed the journey the characters went through. Yumeko started out as a naive girl who didn’t know anything outside of the temple she grew up in and learned more about the world the more she ventured out on her mission. Tatsumi started out as a very hard and emotionless person, to someone who was learning to feel emotions and to trust others. I also liked the side characters that ended up joining them along the way on their journey to complete their mission. I’m really looking forward to the next in the series, going to start that very soon. 

Started: August 17, 2020 | Finished: Sept 2, 2020

Synopsis

One thousand years ago, a wish was made to the Harbinger of Change and a sword of rage and lightning was forged. Kamigoroshi. The Godslayer. It had one task: to seal away the powerful demon Hakaimono.

Now he has broken free.


Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has one task: to take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple in order to prevent the summoning of the Harbinger of Change, the great Kami Dragon who will grant one wish to whomever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, who for centuries was trapped in a cursed sword, has escaped and possessed the boy she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.

Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with the Master of Demons in order to break the curse of the sword and set himself free. To overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness, they need one thing: the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross once again, the entire empire will be thrown into chaos.
My Review: 4/5 Stars

I will admit, I found this one a bit slower than the first. I don't know if that's just me or not. The last quarter of the book is what had me bump up my star rating. I still really enjoyed the book, and am in enjoying the series immensely. I'm excited to finish it off with the third book! I liked Yumeko's journey on learning more about what she's capable of with her kitsune powers. I wasn't expecting Okame and Daisuke's relationship to progress the way it did, but I was so here for it! I'm really interested in finding out the state of Tatsumi in the next book after what he went through in this one. Overall, I did really like this one, just preferred Shadow of the Fox a bit more. I've already started Night of the Dragon because I need to know what happens to all these amazing characters!


Started:
Sept 4, 2020 | Finished: Sept 29, 2020
Synopsis
  
Master storyteller Julie Kagawa concludes the enthralling journey into the heart of the fantastical Empire of Iwagoto in the third book of the Shadow of the Fox trilogy. As darkness rises and chaos reigns, a fierce kitsune and her shadowy protector will face down the greatest evil of all. A captivating fantasy for fans of Sabaa Tahir, Sarah J. Maas and Marie Lu.

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has given up the final piece of the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers in order to save everyone she loves from imminent death. Now she and her ragtag band of companions must journey to the wild sea cliffs of Iwagoto in a desperate last-chance effort to stop the Master of Demons from calling upon the Great Kami dragon and making the wish that will plunge the empire into destruction and darkness.

Shadow clan assassin Kage Tatsumi has regained control of his body and agreed to a true deal with the devil—the demon inside him, Hakaimono. They will share his body and work with Yumeko and their companions to stop a madman and separate Hakaimono from Tatsumi and the cursed sword that had trapped the demon for nearly a millennium.

But even with their combined skills and powers, this most unlikely team of heroes knows the forces of evil may be impossible to overcome. And there is another player in the battle for the scroll, a player who has been watching, waiting for the right moment to pull strings that no one even realized existed…until now.

My Review: 4/5 stars

I really liked this one!! It was probably my favourite in the whole series. I thought it was a solid final book for the series, full of a lot of action, and tying up loose ends. I'm just not sure how I feel about the ending, and that's why I knocked off a star. I love the author's writing style though, and I'm definitely going to have to check out her other books after reading this series. We lost a good amount of characters in the end which surprised me how many, but each death scene was so well written, and as a reader, you felt for each one. Some of the characters I was expecting to lose, but there were some that surprised me that we lost them as well. Overall, this was a really good solid trilogy that I enjoyed reading. It's always nice when all the books within a series are enjoyable and fun to read. 

Have you read the Shadow of the Fox series? What are your thoughts on the series?
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