Review: Plain Bad Heroines

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Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher (William Morrow Books) in exchange for an honest review. 

This was such a unique read! 

The best part of this book was definitely the overall vibe and aesthetic. It had a slightly creepy and gothic feel that ran throughout the entire book, even the present day parts. There was also a fair amount of humor and satire that worked well with the gothic vibes and made for an interesting juxtaposition. 

The structure of the book was very clever. The story within a story element was well done and very engaging. I also liked the footnotes. They were very entertaining and added even more humor to the story.

The story started out very strong, but I was a little disappointed at the end. It didn’t live up to my expectations. I was expecting more of a big reveal or an “a-ha” moment. There are still some things that I am a little confused on. 

This book is classified by horror, but many other reviewers say they find it to be very light on horror. I agree with that and I would say that it is more of a gothic horror. The horror is more of a gothic creepiness than any sort of gore or violence. 

The book also has illustrations throughout the book which I found to be a nice touch. There is even a map of the school which made navigating the story easy. 

Overall, I enjoyed the aesthetic of this book the most. I recommend it if you’re looking for something a little different to read.

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Review: Cute Mutants Vol 1 (Cute Mutants #1)

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free as part of an Instagram book tour (MTMC Tours specifically) I did to promote the book. 

Omg this book!

First off, I loved all the characters. They were each so unique and I loved seeing them come together as a team. My favorite was Alyse (aka Moodring). I loved how supportive she was of Dylan and the whole team. 

The story was well thought out in terms of both the external (dangerous villain on the loose) and internal (identity, friendship, love). There was a good balance between the two. 

I also really loved all the geeky references thrown in. Since this is a book about mutants, there are numerous references to X-Men. But there were also references to other geeky things. For example, there were a couple of references to Avatar: The Last Airbender (one of my favorite shows). 

Lastly, you gotta love all the queer representation in this book. Dylan is pansexual. Dylan’s parent is non-binary and goes by the name Pear (such a clever name!). Lou is transgender. The list goes on and on. In general, it’s rare to find queer representation in superhero stories ,so the fact that there is so much in this book means a lot. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this fun and queer superhero story with a lot of heart. 

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Review: Mooncakes

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received an ARC of this book for free from The Book Drop.

Omg this book was so cute! It was cozy and fluffy and just plain adorable! 

First off, I loved the artwork! I had an ARC so I only had a little bit of the full color artwork, but from what I saw, it is amazing. The artwork gave the book a really cozy and autumn feel, which matched the entire vibe of the book. 

I also loved the representation. Nova is queer, Chinese American, hard-of-hearing, and has two grandmothers who are in a relationship with each other. Tam is non-binary and also Chinese American. I loved how all of these elements were incorporated into the story. For example, Nova’s hearing aids get talked about a lot throughout the book. 

The supporting characters were great as well. Nova’s friend, Tatyana, was awesome and I loved their friendship. Another standout was Nova’s cousin Terry (if you’ve read the book, you’ll know why). 

Also the bookshop/cafe that Nova’s grandmothers own is the cutest thing ever, especially the special room dedicated to the witchy books. 

The storyline is fairly simple but it worked. This is just a feel good graphic novel and a straight forward plot was exactly what it needed. 

Overall, this is the perfect fall/Halloween read! 

Review: Amelia Westlake Was Never Here

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Rating: ★★★★½

I received this book for free from The NOVL in exchange for an honest review.

This book was so good!

First off, the premise is absolute genius. Creating a fictional student named Amelia Westlake to fight school injustices was such a clever idea. The injustices were a wide range of issues such as sexual harassment, homophobia, and elitism in private schools. 

The pacing of the book was spot on. Everything happened at appropriate times and nothing felt rushed. There was never a time where I felt that the story was being dragged on for too long. 

Another thing I liked was how real it was. Not everything got wrapped up super neatly at the end which is what happens in real life. Some things take a long time to resolve and mend. There were two things in particular at the end that a lot of authors would have magically fixed, but I’m happy that the author went a different route.  

The reason why I didn’t give it the full 5 stars was because the romance felt like it was missing something. I was looking for that special spark between the characters, but never quite saw it. 

Overall, I really liked this book. I loved the feminist messages and the issues it touched upon. It’s a powerful read while still being light-hearted and fun. 

I received this book for free from The NOVL in exchange for an honest review.

Review: The Lost Coast

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Rating: ★★★½

I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Candlewick Press) in exchange for an honest review. 

I had such high hopes for this book, but it ultimately did not live up to my expectations. 

Let’s start with what I did like. 

I liked the diversity. There was a lot of sexual (lesbian, ace, etc.) and racial diversity. One of the girls was Filipino which I was super happy about since I’m Filipino. I love seeing Filipino representation.  

I also liked the aesthetic of the book. The descriptions perfectly captured that foggy, mystical, Northern California vibe. 

Now on to what I didn’t love. 

There were a lot of point of view changes throughout the book which really made it difficult to understand especially in the beginning. Each POV would last for only a few pages so it ended up being a bit jarring and all over the place. 

As for the storyline, it wasn’t exciting. It felt kind of blah to me until the end which is when things finally got interesting. 

I also wished the book focused more on June and Hawthorn. They were my two favorite characters and I wanted to explore more of their backstory. 

Overall, this book had some good moments (Queer POC witches for the win!), but didn’t reach its full potential.