Top Ten Anticipated Books For The Rest of 2017

TTT June-Dec 2017

Note: Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

When I’m not reading, or even when I am meant to be reading, you can invariably find me snooping on Goodreads or sighing wistfully at online book retailers, searching out for my next preorder. Narrowing my wishlist for the rest of 2017 down to just 10 (ahem, plus two) was entirely too challenging – but perhaps it will be good training for an exercise in self-restraint when the books do come out (haha, who am I kidding).

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Want by Cindy Pon:  Cindy Pon wrote Silver Phoenix and Serpentine, two Asian fantasy abundant with intriguing folklore and mouth-watering food description. It’s a no-brainer that I’ll be all over Want, her first foray into science fiction. The beautiful cover by illustrated by Jason Chan also demands to be displayed face out on my bookshelf.

The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera: One female Qorin warrior, one divine empress, a shared prophecy, a star-crossed love that will conquer demons, a blurb promising ‘even gods can be slain…’ – I am shook, OK, I needed this book in my life the moment I found out about its existence. It’s also blurbed by Victoria Schwab, Roshani Chokshi, and Seanan McGuire, my hype meter is through the roof.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng: Everything I Never Told You was an exquisite heartbreak. I was utterly captivated by Celeste Ng’s writing style, especially the way she conveys emotional weight in the most mundane of actions. I absolutely cannot wait to see what she brings to the table with this new release. Continue reading “Top Ten Anticipated Books For The Rest of 2017”

10 Reasons I’ve Avoided Certain Books

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog, and it’s been a longer while since I did a TTT post – so today is a happy celebration of my return to both the blogging world and list-making.

My absence was due to an unplanned trip to Vietnam. Although it’s the country of my birth, I haven’t revisited in over a decade as the majority of my family is now based in Aus/NZ. The experience was surprising, challenging, nostalgic, and gave me a million reasons to revisit again soon!

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Back to TTT: as most of you know, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week, the topic is Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly NOT Want To Read A Book. I’ll be discussing books I’ve DNF’d, series I’ve abandoned, and books I’ve wholly avoided altogether in today’s post.


Genre Snobbery: 

You’d think that as an adult with a reading pile of at least 50% pure YA, I would embrace all fiction and realise that genre snobbery is a pretentious lie concocted by old cishet white men too afraid to venture from their comfort zone. Sadly, there are certain corners of the bookstore I rarely venture to, these include:

1. Crime: I really enjoy watching crime on TV or in movies, or even manga, but I could never quite get into it in novel format. My only brushes with the genre is Gone Girl, and a couple of Japanese crime novels. Perhaps I am just missing the great ones, but the Crime section with its uniformity in both covers (dark shades, silhouettes, giant author name) and title (always inevitably referencing an unnamed ‘Girl’) currently holds no appeal to me. Continue reading “10 Reasons I’ve Avoided Certain Books”

Top Ten Tuesday: Must-Reads for Fairy Tale Enthusiasts

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Vector of knight in shining armour by freevectors.com. Graphics by yours truly.

I love doing Top Ten Tuesdays, I just wish I could be more consistent about it. This week’s theme is a semi-freebie, you’re meant to give your recommendation to a particular subset of people. I decided to target those who, like myself, adore fairy tales. I won’t be covering fairy tale retellings, because I’ve done that before. Instead, I want to recommend stories which follows fairy-tale narratives and possess the same timeless quality.

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1. In The Night Garden by Catherynne Valente: Regulars of this blog will know that I mention this book in basically 80% of my recommendation posts. It’s my favourite of all time – and I plan to reread and review it on the blog this year to hassle you all into reading it (again). This is very loosely based on 1001 nights. Valente accomplishes the extraordinary feat of writing an expansive and immersive tale – spanning several lives and a multitude of stories. It’s multifaceted, subversive, and powerful. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday: Must-Reads for Fairy Tale Enthusiasts”

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Romantic Tropes

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke & The Bookish!

It’s been a while since I’ve joined a Top Ten Tuesday, but since my fangirl heart love shipping above all – I couldn’t resist the Valentines special! Now, I am usually one to turn my nose up at tropes and slam them in my reviews, but since it’s the season of commercial love and all, I want to be positive.

As a reader, I am not ashamed to say that there are some tropes I just dig, no matter how many times I’ve seen the story played out its course. There’s something comforting about a romance that plays in familiar territory, yet have enough twist and emotions behind it to hold you to the tale. Sometimes I don’t want unique, I want a well loved tale told in an earnest voice.

Here’s a selection of my absolute favourite shippy tropes, if you have these in your book – chances are I’ll read it!

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1.  Arranged Marriage

I am not quite certain how my obsession with arranged marriage turned love began. Perhaps it was by seeing my grandparents interact while I grew up. Perhaps it was some TVB series I watched when I was younger, but I love seeing a pair forced together by circumstances – and learn to love after they tie the knot.

Bookish examples include:  The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh, Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes.

Bonus points if it takes place in a luxurious royalty setting, where one of the party is completely out of their depth in the new environment. I want drama!

Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Romantic Tropes”

Top Ten Tuesdays: Top Books On My Fall TBR

Top Ten Tuesday, TTT

It’s actually spring in Australia, so I guess this is more my summer reading TBR – but I’ll roll with the rest of the world 😀

I had the idea to make this Top Ten Tuesday resemble magazine advertisements, it sounded really cool in my mind but my execution failed spectacularly lmao.  I also had some surprise family visits so I could only do seven books!  I AM SORRY. REAL LIFE CALLS.

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1) SOUNDLESS by Richelle Mead because it’s an Asian fantasy with a kickass cover, how could I NOT love it? Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesdays: Top Books On My Fall TBR”

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Fictional Personification of Death

As always, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke & The Bookish! I like being TOLD what to do, so I struggled a little with this book’s freebie topic.  However, I decided to focus on Death in fiction for this week.  I’ve always had a fascination with how authors gives Death life, and the wisdom or humour that these personifications usually imparts! Here are my favourites…

Credit of image goes to Freepik, my favourite place on the Internet
Credit of image goes to Freepik, my favourite place on the Internet

Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Fictional Personification of Death”

Top Ten Tuesday: Young Adult Book Syllabus

I am so excited for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  I can’t wait to see what everyone else is going to write up. WARNING: my options are a bit contrived, eep.

Top Ten Tuesday, TTT1. If I Taught:  Psychology 101

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I Would Recommend:  All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Why:  Because it’s a startling look into depression and survivor’s guilt.

Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday: Young Adult Book Syllabus”

Top Ten Tuesday: Fairy Tale Retellings

As mentioned multiple times on this blog, fairy tale retellings are my favourite ever.  So this Top Ten Tuesday made me jump in glee.  As always it is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish!

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The first fives are some of my all time most beloved books.  Catherynne Valente and Juliet Marillier appears twice each because they are literary goddesses, for whom I am not worthy.

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1.  Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier is my favourite Beauty and the Beast retelling ever, and I have encountered them in numerous iterations.  From the setting, to the complex characters, to the intense, passionate romance – every part of this book is perfect.

2.  Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier is the book that made me converted from a fan to blind adoration and worship. Based off The Six Swans, this is a heartbreaking, intense, ultimately rewarding tale about the world’s best sister and her struggle to save her brother.  Also the romance? Swoon.

3.  In The Night Gardens + The City of Coins & Spices by Catherynne Valente is the 1001 Nights retelling everyone should be reading.  I reread this series once a year, I will never shut up about it, I will also never stop being amazed at the sheer genius and mastery of language and plot in this story.  There are literal hundreds of tales being tied together seamlessly.  All the characters defy expectations, and amazing female characters bursting at the seams. Omg, read it, read it.  I must review it when I reread it this year.

4.  Deathless by Catherynne Valente gave me the world’s worst book hangover.  This is a retelling of the Russian fairy tale Koschei the Deathless.  At first a fairy tale, then a devastating tale of war, ultimately a dark story about love and finding one’s identity and omg feels.  I want to reread this one, but the last time I read it I literally could not pick up another book for a whole week.

5.  Fables by Bill Willingham is so fun, subversive, unexpected, and with amazingly beautiful art.  I don’t often read graphic novels but I go gaga for this one.  If you like Once Upon A Time TV show, you should be throwing yourself at these books because they are amazing and possibly better.

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6.  The Child Thief by Gerald Brom, I always knew Peter Pan was kind of an asshole (all kids are :P) so I am totally all for a dark retelling of it.

7.  Speakeasy:  12 Dancing Princesses (possibly the world’s cutest fairy tale), the Roaring 20s, and CATHERYNNE VALENTE.  I must have it.

8.  The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness I’ve read and really enjoyed though it’d decidedly different from all his other novels (all his novels are different from one another, that’s why I love him).  Plus it’s based on an Asian fairy tale not often portrayed at all in fiction (the only other instance I can think of is the manga Ceres).

9.  The Darkest Part of the Forest in Holly Black sounds like a very interesting retelling of Snow White, plus it has good reviews from sources I trust.  I am intrigued!

10.  The Sleeper and The Spindle:  Neil Gaiman, some princesses that saves themselves, and gorgeous illustrations.  How do I not already own this? *goes off to bookdepository*


For more fairy tale retellings check out my two lists HERE & HERE.

What are your favourite retellings? THOUGH LBR I AM STALKING ALL YOUR TTT POSTS AS SOON AS I WAKE UP.

Top Ten Tuesdays: Last 10 Books Acquired

As always, this Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

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So I got a new credit card this month, and I totally needed to rack up enough points to be eligible for some Qantas Frequent Flyer freebies.  At least, that’s the excuse I’m going with, since somehow I got 10 books in the last 2 weeks?!  I’ve already read 5 of them, and on my 6th, so at least I am being productive… RIGHT?

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1.  Archivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher Stace was totally getting some buzz on both The Midnight Gardens and The Book Smugglers, so I *had* to have it. As far as I can tell, it’s about a girl who hunts ghosts to remain an Archivist.  To be honest I know very little about it, but I trust the opinions of the ladies who have been heaping the book praises so I’m very excited to check it out.  2.  Armada by Ernest Cline was from Netgalley, I was so ecstatic to be approved for for title!  I just finished it this afternoon and holy nerd-reference galore batman! It was a fun, quick read. 3.  Way Down Dark by James Smythe was recommended by The Diva Booknerd, and I loved this gritty scifi.  Full review here.  4.  Golden Son by Pierce Brown was pretty much an instant purchase the moment I finished Red Rising – 11 out of 10, a flawless sequel! Review scheduled to be published tomorrow.  5.  The Young Elites by Marie Lu was acquired on Kindle because I am in the mood for some fantasy, and I have never read a Marie Lu book so why not?

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6.  Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine has an awesome premise: The Library of Alexandria still exists and is pretty much the most powerful force in this world! The setting did not disappoint, but I had doubts about the characters – I still really enjoyed it, so review to come this week!  7.  Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch was purchased because I saw Kynndra give it good ratings and she has awesome book taste – plus a world centred around seasons ala Game of Thrones? Yay!  8.  Bone Gap by Laura Ruby I bought through Book Depository because there’s no Kindle version, it’s a fairy-tale for adults which is my favourite genre of books ever.  I started reading 9. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes today and omg why did I not get onto this bandwagon earlier?  I am snobby about high fantasy in YA because the worlbuilding is always a bit thin, but this book is incredibly entertaining and has the potential to be meaty.  I am so ready to love this series, you guys.  Finally, A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray was a buy because of the comparison to Cloud Atlas, one of my favourite movies last year.


So have you all been as terrible as I am in terms of bookish self control? Share your list!  If you have read any of the above, please let me know what you thought of them/link me to your review!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Top Ten Tuesday Topics (that I’ve never done)

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This is my first ever Top Ten Tuesday, the meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  The theme this week is fortuitously favourite Top Ten Tuesday, so I have the opportunity to do them all at once.  I’ll give my top pick for each topic.

1.  Top Ten Book I’ve read so far in 2015
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E.Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic,  V E Schwab

Four different Londons. One debonair cross-dressing heroine. Thieves, pirates, magicians. Royals. A plot that never loses its steam. Engaging dialogue.  Really, I could go on and on.  So far this is my absolute favourite read of this year.

2.  Ten Fairytale Retellings I’ve Read/Want To Read
Orphan’s Tale Duology for Catherynne M. Valente

Catherynne M Valente

This is probably my favourite series of all time, and it’s criminally underrated.  A creative retelling of 1001 nights, the stories in this book are masterfully interwoven.  All the characters are plotlines forms an intricate and carefully crafted web that spans over two books, four main stories, and numerous characters.  The prose are lyrical, beautiful, provoking.  The female characters really shine in this book. It is strength and feminism done right. I can’t recommend it enough, please read it!

Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Top Ten Tuesday Topics (that I’ve never done)”