Reading update: I’m separated from my TBR!

So I took an early Thanksgiving break and came back home a little early. Now, I’m unexpectedly staying longer than I initially planned to. The issue? I only brought two books with me. And I just finished reading one of them. I just didn’t have the space in my carry ons to bring more books because I had to bring my law books, notebooks, and laptop to study. I had no room. 

Now I’m left with the other book I brought and a book that accidentally got mailed here to my old address. The rest of my 60+ TBR books got left behind. There were some books on there that I really wanted to start reading soon. I also left behind my other currently reading book.  

Now I’m in a dilemma of what to do after I finish these two books. Should I buy more books? Start an e-book? (I’m really terrible at reading those but maybe my desperation can change that) Or just wait until I get back?

Only time will tell! Stay tuned to see how this tragedy ends. 

Review: Hearts Unbroken

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Click the picture to purchase the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★½

I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Candlewick Press) as well as from LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers. Yes, I ended up with two ARCs because I had sent a review request to the publisher (which they granted) and had entered to win the book on LibraryThing (and ended up winning a copy).

I was so excited to read this book because I have read very few books about the Native American experience and wanted to learn more.

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I loved the premise of the book and the message behind it. Native Americans and their experiences are always swept under the rug when it comes to racial inequality, so it is important to have books like this out there. I learned a lot from this. For example, L. Frank Baum’s racist attitudes towards Native Americans. I never knew that because it never gets mentioned.

I also liked how the author incorporated some Mvskoke words into the story. It was a nice touch.

However, the book’s execution was a bit lackluster. To me it just seemed like there was a lot going on. Not only was there a lot about racism but there were also a little bit of slut shaming and bullying thrown in the mix too. This was all on top of a romance story too. I wished the book would just focus on one main issue, instead of trying to throw it all in. It would have had more focus and been more impactful that way.

Overall, the book had a powerful message despite a few flaws in the execution.

Review: Sleep, Merel, Sleep

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Click here to purchase the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★★

This was such a cute children’s book! As a 23 year old with no kids, I’m not necessarily the target audience, but I still liked it. 

Since this book was about dreams it gave me a lot of Alice in Wonderland vibes. The main character, Merel, encountered many interesting and unique characters throughout her journey. A few of them reminded me of various Alice characters. For example, King Marmott reminded me of the Queen of Hearts because they were both pretty awful rulers who chased after the title character. 

The other characters were great as well. I especially loved Merel’s encounter with the moonfish. That was my favorite part. 

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The book had a whimsical quality about it that went perfect with the dream theme. The author created a beautiful world with her prose.

I loved how the flashbacks to Merel’s real life were woven into the story. Each little flashback gave insight into Merel, her life, and her sick baby brother. 

I would have loved to seen a map or illustrations because I feel like that could take the book to a whole other level. 

I also wished the book was a tad bit longer, but that’s probably because I’m an adult not a kid. The book is an appropriate length for a young reader. 

Overall, this book was a fun adventure through a child’s dreamland that both kids and adults will enjoy. 

Review: The Fashion Intruder

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Click here to purchase the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

I was so excited to read this because it was about a transactional lawyer who leaves the legal world for the fashion world. As a law student who loves fashion, this book was right up my alley!

The book started off a bit messy. There were a lot of little one or two paragraphs from other characters’ viewpoints which made the book a little confusing in the beginning since I had no idea who they were. But once the book and the story got going, it all became much clearer.

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I loved how the book showcased the intricacies of the fashion world and all the politics that go into it. The fashion world is definitely tough and this book showed that.

I also enjoyed the jet-setting atmosphere. The main character was always traveling somewhere glamorous. As an American, I envy how easy it is to travel from one country to another in Europe. 

There was a reference to Lana Del Rey that I just have to mention because it was just so perfect. The novel states, “Although Sofia could swear she’d put her phone on silent, she suddenly heard the loud sound of Lana Del Rey’s ‘Salvatore’” (156). That song was so perfect for the character since she’s Italian and “Salvatore” is such a dreamy song that makes you wish you were in Italy.

Overall, this was a fun look into the European fashion world. It’s has a The Devil Wears Prada vibe but set in Europe. 

Life update: Finals season, writing assignments, and finding time to read

Hello! It’s been quite a while since my last life update. Law school is killer the first semester because there are like no breaks. The only breaks we get are Labor Day (1 day at the beginning of the semester) and Thanksgiving break (3 days towards the end of the semester). Aside from that there is nothing. It’s nonstop school.

The semester is winding down now. We only have a few classes left before finals start in December. It’s so crazy how fast this all went.

Right now everyone is working hard on our big writing project due before Thanksgiving.  It’s not hard, just a lot to write. And since it is legal writing, you have to cite a lot. Like sometimes after every sentence. Tedious I know.

Recently, I’ve been finding time to read which is amazing. I’m not getting through as many books as I used to and I still have a ton of unread books, but I’m slowly making progress.

So that’s it from me. But before I sign off I just want to say that if you enjoy my blog or my other social channels, please consider buying me a coffee on Ko-Fi. To do so just click here.

Thank you so much for reading. Let me know what you’re up to in the comments.

xoxo,

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Review: Shelter of the Most High (Cities of Refuge #2)

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Click here to purchase the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher (Bethany House) in exchange for an honest review. 

This book is the second in a series and I did not read the first book. Like a lot of Christian fiction series, the first book centers on one of the characters in this book. The fact that I did not read it did not hinder my comprehension of the story. Anything that happened in the previous book was explained fully in this one, so it it totally possible to read this as a stand-alone. 

This was also my first time reading biblical fiction so I had no idea what to expect or if I would even like it. Luckily, I ended up really enjoying it. 

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The book captured my interest from the very first page. We are immediately thrown into the action of when Sofea and her cousin are kidnapped by pirates. Sometimes books can take too long to get the actual storyline, so I was happy to see this book get right to it. As a whole, this book had quite a bit of action and excitement which I wasn’t expecting (but loved). 

There was a really good balance of the religious elements. I never felt like it was too much or too preachy. It was woven into the story beautifully. 

The only thing that prevented me from giving this 5 stars was that I didn’t connect much with Sofea. I wanted a little bit more from her. I connected with Eitan no problem, but Sofea not so much. 

All in all, this was an exciting tale and if you are looking to get into biblical fiction, consider picking up this book/series. 

 

What Lara Jean means to me

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It’s been a few months since To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before hit Netflix and I’m still in love with it. I’ve probably seen it at least 10 times (I watch it about once a week). I’m currently listening to the soundtrack while writing this blog post.

I’ve never felt this way about a character before. I remember when I first read the book back in January of 2016. It was the first time I read a book and was like So this is what representation feels like. Lara Jean is half Korean and half white. I am half Filipino and half white. To see and read about a character that was also half and half, was life changing. I related to so many little aspects of Lara Jean’s life. Like the fact that we both hate driving (fun fact: I still do).

I remember people had criticisms about Lara Jean and said that she was “childish.” I never thought that because she was totally me in high school. Being more “innocent” is not a bad thing. I personally think it’s kind of an Asian girl thing. I think a lot (but obviously not all) Asian girls are a bit more innocent than other girls and that is totally okay. I love that Lara Jean normalizes this innocence.

I read the sequel immediately afterwards and fell in love with Lara Jean even more. The third book came out when I was a Senior in college and I didn’t want the book to end because I didn’t want to leave Lara Jean and her story. I was too attached.

Then I got into law school and the weekend before school started, the movie came out on Netflix and took Lara Jean to a whole new level. I loved Lara Jean in the books, but movie Lara Jean was exactly what I needed.

It was crazy to see an Asian American female lead character in a movie. And not just any movie, a movie that everyone was obsessed with. My heart swelled with Asian pride. Who would have thought that Lara Jean would have this kind of impact?

As much as I related to book Lara Jean, movie Lara Jean is literally me right now. And that is what makes her so special to me.

Lara Jean gives me hope. Hope that the shy Asian girl can get the hot guy. That Asian girls are not invisible. That we can get our own Peter Kavinsky. That we don’t need to be like every other white female lead in a rom-com. We are enough just the way we are. And that is the most powerful thing of all.

Just think about it. When have you ever seen a female lead like her?

Lara Jean inspired me this semester and is literally the reason why I’m getting through law school okay. I will often ask myself, What would Lara Jean do?, whenever I find myself in an awkward situation. I even had a crush on a gorgeous boy this semester and I’m a bit embarrassed to admit it, but I wrote him a letter (that I never ended up giving to him and never will because he dropped out of school).

Flashback to just last week on Halloween. Nobody in my section dressed up at school except for me and this one other Asian girl. And guess who we were? Lara Jean. I was wearing her airport outfit and she was wearing LJ’s party outfit. Another Asian girl (who first saw my outfit on my Instagram) commented on how much she loved my dressing up as LJ. Crazy what the power of representation can do. Lara Jean was just the second Asian character I have been for Halloween (the first being Mulan). I haven’t dressed up for Halloween in years (the last time was in 5th grade when I was a pirate) but I just had to because I finally had someone worth being.

Basically, Lara Jean is so important to me because she represents so much. She empowers and inspires us Asian girls. Thank you Jenny Han for creating her and sharing her with the world.

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Ponytail. Check. Sunglasses on top of head. Check. Necklace. Check. Striped sweater. Check. Skirt with buttons. Check. Too many feelings. Double check. Let’s do this.