Wednesday, July 04, 2018

The Anthology We Have Been Waiting For: A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

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The Anthology We Have Been Waiting For: A Thousand Beginnings and Endings
A Thousand Beginnings and Endings
Ellen Oh
Genre: Anthology, Mythology, YA
Publication date: June 26th, 2018
by Greenwillow Books

GoodreadsPurchase
Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings: these are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries. 

Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate.

Compiled by We Need Diverse Books’s Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman, the authors included in this exquisite collection are: Renée Ahdieh, Sona Charaipotra, Preeti Chhibber, Roshani Chokshi, Aliette de Bodard, Melissa de la Cruz, Julie Kagawa, Rahul Kanakia, Lori M. Lee, E. C. Myers, Cindy Pon, Aisha Saeed, Shveta Thakrar, and Alyssa Wong.

A mountain loses her heart. Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity. A young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice. A young woman takes up her mother’s mantle and leads the dead to their final resting place.

From fantasy to science fiction to contemporary, from romance to tales of revenge, these stories will beguile readers from start to finish. For fans of Neil Gaiman’s Unnatural Creatures and Ameriie’s New York Times–bestselling Because You Love to Hate Me.
-A copy was provided by Greenwillow Books for review-

There have been so MANY amazing anthologies on my radar this year but A Thousand Beginnings and Endings might have been my most anticipated for the year. 

I’ve talked this about a lot so I sometimes feel like a broken record, but it is an important point and a huge part of my love and excitement for this anthology so it is worth repeating. I grew up without much rep which was weird and confusing. Obviously, this review is not meant to be an analysis of my trauma but even as a teen, this was so evident when I’d open all those angel/vampire books that were soaked in Christian and western myth. Myths I grew up on, or other people grew up where never part of mainstream media even though they were all cool and all fascinating with potential to make for amazing stories! 

My first taste of seeing Hindu mythology on paper was when I read The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi. It was very validating and freeing to see a part of my culture in a book! ANYWAY, SO. THIS ANTHOLOGY. It is a collection of Asian myths and folklore, written by Asian authors. We aren’t just talking East-Asian (as such is often the case when people say ‘Asian’) WE’RE TALKING South-East Asian, South-Asian, ALL OF THE THINGS. 

I’ve now written three paragraphs without saying a single thing about the actual stories but you know, anthologies aren’t really easy to review and a long-ago gave up on trying to review every short story in an anthology.

Here is what I can say. This stories in this anthology are written by a group of talented authors. I didn’t love every single one of them but I did like all of them very very much and loved a good deal of them.

Top 3 Stories

Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi

Chokshi is known for her re-creations of Indian folklore but this time she is re-creating a Filipino folklore about a mountain spirit, a diwata and a villager who fall in love. There is vengeance, forbidden love, heartbreak, betrayal and death. Basically, all the good things. 

The Smile by Aisha Saeed

I am not really sure what to say about about The Smile other than it was just really well-written? It is about Naseem who Prince Kareem’s courtesan. After a series of incidents, she slowly becomes aware of how her relationship with Prince Kareem has basically left her with no control over her life and choices. She then begins the fight to regain control over her life and her freedom. Basically, The Smile is very empowering and just one of the best in this anthology.

The Crimson Cloak by Cindy Pon

THIS ONE IS ALSO A FORBIDDEN STORY between a cow herder and an immortal goddess. Our main character has never had a flirtation with a mortal like her sisters but when a slight flirtation turns into full-fledged love, she must deal with the consequences. The Crimson Cloak has no vengeance like Forbidden Fruit but it is much more heartbreaking and melancholic. 

 

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

What I’ve Been Reading: June Update

What I’ve Been Reading: June Update

Posted by on 07/02/2018 • 2 Comments

YAY! We’re officially half-way through the year. And my yay was definitely not sarcastic. No indeed. Nothing has really changed. I continue to be stressed and semi-functioning but I did read a bunch this month so I am pretty happy. I’ve also officially read 161 books this year and I am hoping that means I’ll hit the 300 mark this year. WHO KNOWS. WISH ME LUCK, FRIENDS. 

 

       

It was a pretty good month for backlist TBR smashing and I am happy I got so many sequels read! I have a bunch more checked out so hopefully, I’ll get more books read and ticked off that SEQUELS-TO-READ tbr. My favorite sequels were the remaining books in the Gallagher Girl series. Omg those booksssss. They changed my life.

Diverse Books Out June 2018

Diverse Books Out June 2018

Posted by on 07/01/2018 • 2 Comments

HELLO AGAIN. I missed doing the May round up which sucks but this time I am back and back on time for a round up of June releases. Anyway, just a reminder that these round ups are primarily YA/MG. I try to be as thorough as possible so if I miss something or if a book I’ve included has bad rep, please let me know!

                 

 Any of these on your TBR? What are you most looking forward to diving into??

Fresh Batch (July 1st – 7th)

Fresh Batch (July 1st – 7th)

Posted by on 06/30/2018 • 0 Comments

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

Game of Secrets Kim Foster Publication date: July 3rd 2018by Sky Pony Press

Goodreads Purchase

Felicity Cole sells flowers in the streets of Victorian London to feed herself and her young brother. But she has a close-guarded secret–her brother is a Tainted, born with special abilities that society fears and a shadowy organization called the Hunstsman scours the country to eliminate. When Felicity becomes the target of one of these individuals, she discovers something horrible: she’s Tainted, too.

Rescued by a mysterious gentleman on the eve of execution, she’s whisked away to a school funded by Queen Victoria, established to train selected…

#MuslimShelfSpace Recommendation List

#MuslimShelfSpace Recommendation List

Posted by on 06/27/2018 • 2 Comments

This recommendation list is partially inspired by recent events and also something I’ve wanted to do for a while. It is definitely the bare-minimum (probably not even that, tbh) and we all need to be supporting our Muslim-identifying authors, friends and foe. So here is a list of some wonderful books/authors you should have on your TBRs and should be supporting!! It is by no means a thorough list and a much much MUCH better resource would be the Hijabi Librarians blog. 

1. Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

2. Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali

3. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

4. Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

5. Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan

6. Furthermore by Tahereh…

Summer Road Trip: Mariam Sharma Hits the Road by Sheba Karim

Summer Road Trip: Mariam Sharma Hits the Road by Sheba Karim

Posted by on 06/25/2018 • 0 Comments

That Thing We Call a Heart was one of my favorite books of 2017 so obviously, when I heard about Mariam Sharma Hits the Road, I was ecstatic and ready to dive in. This review is particularly hard because even though, overall, I definitely enjoyed Mariam Sharma Hits the Road, there were times when I felt let down by some of the things the characters said.

I am grappling for words as I attempt to describe my feelings because I want to be respectful and clear that these experiences aren’t invalid but one of the biggest dichotomy in the book is how Mariam is raised vs how her friends are raised. Mariam grew up in a household that wasn’t religious or super connected to their cultural roots and her mom was super…

Fresh Batch (June 24th – 30th)

Fresh Batch (June 24th – 30th)

Posted by on 06/22/2018 • 0 Comments

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings Edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman Publication date: June 26th 2018by Greenwillow Books

Goodreads Purchase

Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings: these are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries.

Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate.

Compiled by We Need Diverse Books’s Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman, the authors included in this exquisite collection are: Renée Ahdieh, Sona Charaipotra, Preeti Chhibber, Roshani…

Really Funny and Over-the-Top: Save the Date by Morgan Matson

Really Funny and Over-the-Top: Save the Date by Morgan Matson

Posted by on 06/21/2018 • 2 Comments

Save the Date is neither unpredictable nor does it really break any moulds. It is exactly what you would expect it to be and it is fucking amazing. If you, like me, are a connoisseur of rom-coms & chick-flicks and are upset by how few are being made lately, this book is what you deserve.

Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this week, her family home is being sold, and her brother who she nor her parents have spoken to in almost two years is gonna be coming back for the wedding. To add to the stress, Charlie’s long-time crush and her are feeling the sparks which makes things awkward because a certain brother is crashing with her crush instead of with the fam. Charlie just wants…