Blog Tour Review: The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He

Today is my stop on the TBR & Beyond Tours for The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He.
Special thanks to Netgalley and Roaring Brook Press for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Be sure to click on the banner below to check out the rest of the amazing bloggers on tour!

Goodreads: The Ones We’re Meant to Find
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: 04 May 2021
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction/Climate Fiction
Panda Rating:

One of the most twisty, surprising, engaging page-turner YAs you’ll read this year—We Were Liars with sci-fi scope, Lost with a satisfying resolution.

Cee awoke on an abandoned island three years ago. With no idea of how she was marooned, she only has a rickety house, an old android, and a single memory: she has a sister, and Cee needs to find her.

STEM prodigy Kasey wants escape from the science and home she once trusted. The eco-city—Earth’s last unpolluted place—is meant to be sanctuary for those commited to planetary protection, but it’s populated by people willing to do anything for refuge, even lie. Now, she’ll have to decide if she’s ready to use science to help humanity, even though it failed the people who mattered most.

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#TopTenTuesday: Places in Books I’d Love to Live!

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Places In Books I’d Love to Live

I honestly thought that this topic would be much easier than it ended up being but that could possibly be because I am dead exhausted right now but of course, I can never plan posts ahead 😂 We also don’t need to read me harping on in this post so I’m gonna keep it as short and sweet as possible! Most of these places are fantastical/fictional worlds but some places are real and they’re on my bucket list to at least visit in this lifetime! Also, there’s a very good chance that I’d die very quickly in most of these worlds but … they’re also too amazing to pass up. Without further ado, here are ten places I’d love to live in!

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The Spring Cleaning Book Tag

Happy Thursday, friends! We’re so close to the weekend (although my weekend has personally already started since I work part time) and yet I’m still doing things at the last minute! I wasn’t sure what tag that I wanted to do today (not that I have a shortage in my back log) but I saw Alexis @ The Reading Addict post the Spring Cleaning Book Tag and it looked like fun so I decided to give it a go today! Yay! 😆

The creator of the Spring Cleaning Book Tag is Amanda @ Between the Shelves.

The Rules

  • Link back to the original post
  • Tag as many friends as you want
  • Have fun!
1. Getting started: A book series you’ve been wanting to read

Ooh, there are *so* many but I’ll go with the Blood and Ash books. This series is literally everywhere and it seems to be so well loved that I’m honestly surprised I never even heard about it before the second book came out last year (and now I can’t stop seeing it everywhere)! 😂 I’ve never read a book by Armentrout before so I’m definitely curious to see if it’ll work for me!

2. Cleaning/organizing the closet: The best way to organize books

I haven’t chosen a favourite way of organising my shelves. Before moving last year I had them organised by colour and size but that got pretty chaotic as I continued to buy books after running out of shelf space (don’t judge me). I now have them organised by hardcover/paperback and by size (from left to right lol). Looking at my shelves, they come across as slightly chaotic but I swear there is some method to my madness! 😉

3. Getting rid of unnecessary things: Book/series you no longer need

I actually removed quite a few books by Liane Moriarty and Melissa de la Cruz towards the end of January (although they’re still hanging around cos I haven’t decided where to give them away — it’s not that easy in Indonesia)! I was in denial but I finally came to terms with the fact that these two authors are just not for me and that I might as well purge the books to make room for ones that I will (and do) enjoy!

4. Get some air: Your favorite light-hearted read

There are so many possibilities but I’m gonna put Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu. This is a webcomic series that I discovered last year and I read through in one sitting because it was so good and addictive! I love the art work, I loved the characters who pulled at my heartstrings and the romance was also super sweet and wholesome. I highly recommend it! 😍

5. Clean out the kitchen cupboards: Favorite food-themed read

Oof, a toughie! I think I’m gonna go with Sourdough by Robin Sloan. I think this is a pretty underrated book (and author!)? It’s quirky, relatable and it was just a whole lot of fun to read! It also made me really crave sourdough 😂

6. Dust the shelves: What’s the fifth book on your bookshelf?

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I’ve really enjoyed the Gaiman books that I’ve read so I don’t know why I haven’t read this one yet especially since I’ve heard lots of good things about it! Love the illustrations by Chris Riddell, too 😃

7. Wishing for the end: A 2021 release you’re really excited about

SO MANY?! I currently have 114 books listed on my GR 2021 Releases shelf 😂 I’ve also made this post about anticipated releases. So… I’m just gonna share five here cos I’m bad at choosing! 😉

8. Long but satisfying: The longest book series you’ve read.
L-R: The Assassin’s Blade, Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire, Queen of Shadows, Empire of Storms, Tower of Dawn, Kingdom of Ash

Ooh, I think this would be the Throne of Glass series which has seven books (eight with the novella). I admittedly haven’t finished the series–I still have to read the last book but I’ve been putting that off cos I hardly remember what happened before that and I plan to do some re-reading (although who knows when that’s ever going to happen at the rate my re-reads list is piling up 😂)!

And that’s a wrap, folks! That was a lot of fun and it was the perfect easy tag that I fancied doing today 😍 I won’t be tagging anyone specifically but link back if you do the tag as I’d love to see your answers! Have you read any of these books or are they also on your TBR?

#TopTenTuesday: I Liked It… But I Can’t Remember Much About It…

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Books I Really Liked but Can’t Remember Anything/Much About

Today’s topic is actually books with funny titles but I wasn’t feeling it so I’ve decided to go rogue and do prompt #374 (just for reference today’s prompt is somewhere in the 540s!) from 2018.

I go on about how my memory really fails me a lot and well, it’s true. Prior to writing reviews and having a book blog, I read a lot of popular titles that I remember loving at the time but that I cannot for the life of me remember much about now. There are books I read maybe 5-6 years ago? I mean, you’d think that since I loved them so much, enough to rate them 4-5 stars, I’d remember more about them right? So very wrong. 😂 I’d probably be able to tell you the gist of what happens and maybe even something of what I loved about the book but if you ask me about plot or character specifics, it’s very likely I’ll draw a blank! There are maybe one or two titles on here that I remember more bits about but I think if I were to pick any of these up again it might almost be like reading them for the first time (maybe, almost, likely)! On that note… Here are the books!

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Top 5 Saturday: Books I’d Gift Others!

Welcome back to another Top 5 Saturday! Just in case you don’t know Top 5 Saturday is a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and it’s where we list the top five books (they can be books on your TBR, favourite books, books you loved/hated) based on the week’s topic. You can see the upcoming schedule at the end of my post 🙂 This week’s topic is actually: Gift Books (Books you got as a gift, would give as a gift or have given as a gift.)

This prompt has made me realise that… I’ve never really been gifted books before! Hmm… 🤔 I mean, I’ve won giveaways, I’ve had books given to me based on request but I’ve only received a book as a gift three times that I can recall. I’m finding that a little hard to believe and we know my memory is terrible, but I really can’t think of any other times other than a random Secret Santa (Doctor Zhivago), a random “you-like-to-read?!” gift from a family friend (Catch-22), and a summer reunion gift from my bestie (a Nora Roberts book)! That’s a little sad…? LOL, but I digress! 😂 Since it is what it is, I’ve decided to focus today’s post on five books I’d love to gift people! Most of these will come as no surprise to many since I’ve gushed about these books quite often but I’d love for others to also experience the magic of these books ❤️

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ARC Review: The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

Thanks to NetGalley and Faber & Faber for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads: The Death of Vivek Oji
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publication Date: 20 August 2020
Genre: Literary Fiction, Realistic Fiction

Panda Rating:

What does it mean for a family to lose a child they never really knew?

One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens—and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom.

Note: The quotes below are taken from an advanced/unfinished copy and are subject to change in the final version.

TL;DR: This was an incredible and heartbreaking story about the complexities of love, sexual and gender identity, and self-acceptance in a society that doesn’t accept or acknowledge your existence. It’s about loss, grief, fear and secrets. It’s a stunningly written book that I would highly recommend, although I will say it might not be for everyone as it does involve taboo relationships (sexually explicit) that some readers might find uncomfortable or disturbing. There are still months left to go in 2021, but so far, this is hands down one of my favourite reads of the year!

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ARC Review: Ever After Always by Chloe Liese

Special thanks to Chloe Liese for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Ever After Always (Bergman Brothers #3)
Publication date: 12 January 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

Buckle up for an emotional journey of hijinks, heartache, and a hot slow-burn in this marriage-in-crisis romance about going the distance to make love last.

I’ve spent twelve years loving Freya Bergman and twelve lifetimes won’t be enough to give her everything she deserves. She’s my passionate, tender-hearted wife, my best friend, and all I want is to make her happy. But the one thing that will make her happiest is the one thing I’m not sure I can give her: a baby. With the pressure of providing and planning for a family, my anxiety’s at an all-time high, and I find myself pulling away, terrified to tell my wife how I’m struggling. But when Freya kicks me out, I realize that pulling back has turned into pushing too far. Now it’s the fight of a lifetime to save our marriage.

I love my cautious, hard-working husband. He’s my partner and best friend, the person I know I can count on most. Until one day I realize the man I married is nowhere to be found. Now Aiden is quiet and withdrawn, and as the months wear on, the pain of our growing distance becomes too much.  As if weathering marriage counseling wasn’t enough, we’re thrown together for an island getaway to celebrate my parents’ many years of perfect marriage while ours is on the brink of collapse. Despite my meddling siblings and a week in each other’s constant company, this trip somehow gets us working through the trouble in paradise. I just can’t help worrying, when we leave paradise and return to the real world, will trouble find us again?

GET YOUR COPY: Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK)

Note: The quotes below are taken from an advanced/unfinished copy and are subject to change in the final version.

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#TopTenTuesday: Favourite 2020 Reads!

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Favourite Books of 2020.

I can’t believe that it’s already time to make this list because wow, what a year 2020 has been, eh? I mean, we all know what kind of year it was and although not all of us had the worst one, I think the general mood of 2020 has been pretty despondent. I’m definitely not expecting things to magically turn around in 2021 but I am hoping that it’ll at least be marginally better than this one (I’m keeping my expectations low though so that I might be pleasantly surprised)! 😂

That said, it was a pretty great year for books/reading and I’m sure many of you will agree! Although it actually wasn’t my best year, I did get to some pretty fantastic titles that I’m sure will stick with me for a while to come. Unsurprisingly, I’m notoriously bad at picking ‘favourites’ so this list was a bit of a struggle 😂 It took me way too long to narrow it down and definitely don’t be surprised by the few honorary mentions at the end! I’m really keen to see what 2021 brings in terms of reading and I’m hoping that I’ll get to even more of my backlist because let’s face it, it gets bigger with each year that passes! Now without further ado, here are my favourites for the year…

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Book Review: Bad Blood by John Carreyrou

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup
Genre: Non Fiction, True Crime
Panda Rating:

In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup “unicorn” promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood tests significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at $9 billion, putting Holmes’s worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn’t work.

For years, Holmes had been misleading investors, FDA officials, and her own employees. When Carreyrou, working at The Wall Street Journal, got a tip from a former Theranos employee and started asking questions, both Carreyrou and the Journal were threatened with lawsuits. Undaunted, the newspaper ran the first of dozens of Theranos articles in late 2015. By early 2017, the company’s value was zero and Holmes faced potential legal action from the government and her investors. Here is the riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, a disturbing cautionary tale set amid the bold promises and gold-rush frenzy of Silicon Valley.

This review was written on 19 December right after I finished reading it!

First of all, wow. WowwowwowwowWOW.
Second, I’ve only ever read one non-fiction that I devoured so quickly and I think I read this one even faster!
Third, JUST. WOW!

I really don’t know how to write this review right now because (clearly) I’m still a little shook. My brain keeps asking: did I just read a science fiction thriller or did this actually happen? I honestly can’t remember the last time I swore so much and so loudly while reading–there was a lot of “WTF, GTFO, and are you forking serious” going on during this read but I just couldn’t help myself! 😂 I had no intention of finishing the book today when I picked it up and decided to purchase the audiobook, but this was 100% unputdownable. I do think the audiobook is what helped me get through this so quickly though and I would definitely recommend it (I listened on 2x speed)!

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#TopTenTuesday: Books I’m Thankful for in 2020!

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Thanksgiving/I’m Thankful for… Freebie!

When I saw the prompt for this week I wasn’t really sure that I was feeling it, plus, we also don’t celebrate Turkey Day but I let the prompt simmer for a while and then decided I’d just share ten books I’m thankful for (sorry for the unoriginal idea lol)!

We all know what a hellacious year 2020 has been, more so for some than others, and all the ways that has impacted various aspects of our lives including reading. So I thought it’d be fun to take a look at the ten books that I am especially thankful to have read this year! Whether it’s because they brought me joy and gave me all the heartwarming feels, or it took me out of the nightmarish reality that we’re all living in, or it just really helped me process emotions and was a cathartic read (intended or otherwise)! Basically, these books helped me to keep going this year and I’m very thankful for them! Picking only ten from the 100+ books I’ve read is going to be tough AF but let’s see what I come up with! Maybe I’ll include some honorary mentions 😂

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