Spin the Dawn (The Blood of the Stars #1) by Elizabeth Lim – #BookReview

Goodreads: Spin the Dawn (The Blood of the Stars #1)
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Diverse Reads
Panda Rating:

A gifted tailor in disguise.
Three legendary dresses.
The competition if a lifetime.

On the fringes if the Great Spice Road, Maia Tamarin works as a seamstress in the shop of her father, once a tailor of renown. She dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for us to marry well.

When a royal messenger summons her ailing father to court, Maia poses as his son and travels to the Summer Palace in his place. She know she her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to save her family from ruin and achieve her dream of becoming the imperial tailor. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

The competition is cutthroat, and Maia’s job is further complicated by the unwelcome attention of the court enchanter, Edan, who seems to see straight through her disguise. But nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three gowns so dangerously beautiful, it will take a quest to the ends of the earth to complete them…

Tell me, why did I take so long to read this? Spin the Dawn is pitched as Mulan meets Project Runway and with such a unique premise, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this #OwnVoices Asian inspired fantasy. I was wary when I started reading it (because I was really let down by another Asian inspired fantasy last year) but I’m so glad this one didn’t disappoint! Not to sound cheesy or anything but it was so magical! It didn’t take long for me to fall head first into the story and to find myself caring deeply about its characters. 💞

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Goodreads Monday – Renegades by Marissa Meyer

It’s the first Goodreads Monday of 2020, friends! This weekly meme was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners and it invites you to pick a book from your TBR and explain why you want to read it. Easy enough, right? Feel free to join in if you want to! I’ll be using a random number generator to pick my books from my insanely long GR Want-to-read list.

This week’s book is Renegades (Renegades #1) by Marissa Meyer. First of all, can we take a look at this awesome cover? I love it! This YA fantasy/sci-fi was added to my Goodreads TBR in 2017! It has a pretty good 4.16 average with 46k+ ratings and 8k+ reviews.

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Top 5 Saturday: Unread Books by Favourite Authors

I’m back this week for another Top 5 Saturday, a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books. This week’s topic is: books by favourite authors, but as it’s a Top 5 Saturday and I usually focus on books that are on my TBR or books that I haven’t read yet, I’ve turned it into unread books by my favourite authors. Narrowing down this list was surprisingly tough because I really suck at picking favourites and there are just so many, how do I pick only five?! Even with my favourite authors there are still plenty of books that I need to read because really, will there ever be enough time? In no particular order…

I’ve admittedly only read The Shadow of the Wind but I was so blown away by it that Zafón was quickly added to my favourite authors list. If you haven’t read it, I’d highly recommend it! 🖤 The Angel’s Game is the second book in The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series and I’ve shamefully had it sitting unread on my shelf for TOO LONG!

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Friday Favourites: Fictional Families

Hello, hello and welcome back to another Friday Favourites, dear friends! This’ll be the first Friday Favourites of the year and there are some small changes to note. Last year this weekly meme was hosted by the wonderful Kibby @ Something of the Book! However, this year Kibby has passed the torch on to Lorraine @ Geeky Galaxy. This week’s topic is: favourite fictional families.

My thoughts immediately went to my favourite found families when I saw this prompt but I felt like I had focused a previous post on found families and I was right. In a previous Friday Favourites I shared my favourite character team ups and in that post I basically shared all my favourite found families 😂 So with that done, I decided to suck it up and focus on plain ol’ fictional families and let me tell ya, I struggled because my memory is so awful *why 😭* But after some scouring of my Goodreads shelves, I came up with this smol list of five that I came across last year and who I absolutely loved!

I adored the relationship between Ryn and her siblings. Their love and dedication for one another, even if they might not always agree with each other, was heartwarming. Their banter was also fun and totally relatable!

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The Toll (Arc of a Scythe #3) by Neal Shusterman – #BookReview

Goodreads: The Toll (Arc of a Scythe #3)
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopia
Panda Rating:

It’s been three years since Rowan and Citra disappeared; since Scythe Goddard came into power; since the Thunderhead closed itself off to everyone but Grayson Tolliver.

In this pulse-pounding conclusion to New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman’s Arc of a Scythe trilogy, constitutions are tested and old friends are brought back from the dead.

You know when you’re so excited to read a book and then you finish it and you’re left feeling pretty… whelmed? Not over or under whelmed just… WHELMED? I think that’s kind of how I feel after finishing this series. I don’t know, I’m honestly kind of confused!

“You can whisper, and people will still hear thunder.”

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#TopTenTuesday: Most Recent Bookshelf Additions…

It’s that time of the week again, friends! We’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: the ten most recent additions to my bookshelf. I’m taking this to mean my actual (physical) bookshelf and not my Goodreads TBR shelf.

Have I mentioned yet how I’m looking to cut down spending on new books in 2020? The plan is not only to save money but it’s also an attempt to cut down on my unread physical shelf! But let’s also be real because I’m only hooman and when it comes to books I have little to no control (and I know I’m not alone in that); especially when it comes to that FOMO feeling! It gets me every time 🙈 So while I have added a *few* books to my shelves lately, I’ve also been doing pretty good at holding back, if I do say so myself! Here’s what I got:

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Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe #2) by Neal Shusterman – #BookReview

Goodreads: Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe #2)
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopia
Panda Rating:

The stakes are high in this chilling sci-fi thriller, in which professional scythes control who dies. Everything else is out of human control, managed by the Thunderhead. It’s a perfect system – until it isn’t.

It’s been a year since Rowan went off-grid. Hunted by the Scythedom, he has become an urban legend, a vigilante snuffing out corrupt scythes in a trial by fire. Citra, meanwhile, is forging her path as Scythe Anastasia, gleaning with compassion. However, conflict within the Scythedom is growing by the day, and when Citra’s life is threatened, it becomes clear that there is a truly terrifying plot afoot.

The Thunderhead observes everything, and it does not like what it sees. Will it intervene? Or will it simply watch as this perfect world begins to unravel?

“That’s exactly what the scythedom is: high school with murder.”

A somewhat slower paced sequel to Scythe but it is no less enjoyable. I savoured learning more about this dystopia and I became even more invested in the characters. I loved the Thunderhead and as a reader, I felt its helplessness to do anything very acutely!

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Goodreads Monday – Dune by Frank Herbert

Welcome back to another Goodreads Monday, a weekly meme was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners and it invites you to pick a book from your TBR and explain why you want to read it. Easy enough, right? Feel free to join in if you want to! I’ll be using a random number generator to pick my books from my insanely long GR Want-to-read list.

This week’s book is Dune (Dune Chronicles #1) by Frank Herbert. This is another pretty well known classic science fiction/fantasy novel! Surprisingly I only added it to my Goodreads TBR in November 2018! On Goodreads it has an impressive 4.22 average stars with 662k+ ratings and 18k+ reviews.

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Top 5 Saturday: Unreliable Narrators

I’m back this week for another Top 5 Saturday, a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books. This week’s topic is: unreliable narrators! This is a pretty interesting topic to look at and it’s surprisingly one that I don’t think I’ve explored in any of my posts. When I think of unreliable narrators I definitely think of thrillers/mysteries first and foremost, but of course I had to rely on the handy dandy site that’s Goodreads to help me figure out if any of the books I have on my TBR have unreliable narrators!

I’m also going to make this v. short because I’m literally sick AF and due to shitty airline policies I’d still have to pay $500+ to reschedule my flight, even with a medical certificate stating that I’m unable to fly. Plus, they wanted to put me in medical quarantine and when I asked if they do that and deem that I’m unable to fly will I still have to pay for rescheduling the flight, they said YES. Fuck that shit. Sorry — I try not to swear much on here but I’m bleeding tired and over this BS and I feel like utter and total shit. Here we go on a 10 hour journey…

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The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin – #BookReview

Goodreads: The Immortalists
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Family Saga, Magical Realism
Panda Rating:

If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life?

It’s 1969 in New York City’s Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes.

The prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in ’80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.

“Our language is our strength.
Thoughts have wings.”

It was difficult for me to write this review so apologies if it’s more nonsensical blabber than anything. I really enjoyed this touching novel about family and death. It sounds morose and it certainly isn’t the most fast paced storytelling, but as the story dove deeper into each characters’ life, I found that I couldn’t put the book down and very quickly sped through the pages. The Immortalists is a family saga that explores faith and the idea of destiny/fate. It asks readers the timeless question: if you could learn when/how you die, would you do it?

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