Genre: Adult


Friday, August 23, 2019

An Adventure Worth Reading: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

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An Adventure Worth Reading: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Gods of Jade and Shadow
Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Genre: Adult, Adventure, Fantasy, Mythology
Publication date: July 23rd, 2019
by Del Rey

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The Mayan god of death sends a young woman on a harrowing, life-changing journey in this dark, one-of-a-kind fairy tale inspired by Mexican folklore.

The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own. 

Yet this new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather’s room. She opens it—and accidentally frees the spirit of the Mayan god of death, who requests her help in recovering his throne from his treacherous brother. Failure will mean Casiopea’s demise, but success could make her dreams come true.

In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey from the jungles of Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City—and deep into the darkness of the Mayan underworld.
-A copy was provided by Del Rey for review-

It’s been a while since I finished Gods of Jade and Shadow and yet its managed to linger in my mind. I start every single review I’ve written this year of a fantasy book by stating that I’ve been struggling with fantasy lately but I don’t think that statement truly encompasses how much I’ve been struggling. Part of it is my mood but I think a huge part of it is that fantasy these days is just not the kind of fantasy I grew up loving? I love journeys and adventures through foreign lands. I love fantasies that have strong plots driving them forward. I love fantasies that are fairy-tale-esque. 

When Casiopea’s father died, her mother and her were forced to move in with relatives. Of course, in exchange for their ‘generosity,’ Casiopea’s grandfather expects them to take on a large portion of the household chores and thinks it is perfectly acceptable to demean them. One day, Casiopea opens a chest she shouldn’t have, and finds that it contains a God. The God of Death to be precise. She ends up getting roped into a centuries old battle between two brothers (who happen to be Gods) and is forced onto a journey she was neither expecting nor asked for.

I am struggling with words right now and trying not to summarize this book but oh my god, I love this book so much. Several years ago, I read A Hundred Thousand Kingdoms which I adored and Gods of Jade and Shadow is reminiscent of it in all the best ways. 

Casiopea cannot be cowed. Not by her horrible relatives who have mistreated her her entire life and not by the God of Death. She might not truly have a choice about accompanying Hun-Kame but she is out on a journey to embrace the world and find happiness. ANYWAY, I LOVE CASIOPEA. She is such a well-written and well-rounded and all the wells of the world character. I love the way her strength is portrayed. I love seeing her assimilate into a world she hasn’t had access to before. I love her excitement about the tiniest things. She isn’t just a cardboard ‘badass female lead,’ she has depth. She is scared, excited, nervous and also falling in love for the first time.

There is a romance and it is absolutely delightful. I love how much the romance is written as sort of Casiopea’s coming of age rather than something that happens by accident. It affords so much control to Casiopea who has had none before. Hun-Kame is also a delightful grump who I love with all my heart. These two kids work very well together.

The pacing of the plot is great and just right so that my attention did not drift as I was reading. I love that while they are on this journey to recover body parts and also take revenge, there is room for them to explore the world and come across things they hadn’t before. Casiopea trying new things, haircuts, styles in general is so much fun to witness. Mayan mythology is weaved throughout this book and the way it makes the world come to life was fantastic.

If I did a command + f right now, I’d probably come across a lot of repetition of certain adjectives but I am sorry, I just have a lot of love and excitement for this book and a very limited vocabulary. The Gods of Jade and Shadow is truly a delightful read and not one worth missing. 100/10 would recommend.

4.5 Stars
4.5 Hot Espressos

Disappointing: The Toll by Cherie Priest

Disappointing: The Toll by Cherie Priest

Posted by on 07/25/2019 • 2 Comments

I love southern gothic with a dash of horror and I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by Cherie Priest so when I came across The Toll, I was curious. I ended up being disappointed. Maybe this book never stood a chance because I read it in the midst of an extreme book hangover from finishing Spin the Dawn but here we are.

For one, there are too many different POVs for my liking. Sometimes many POVs work, especially when distinguished. They were not distinguished in this case so the transitions were always sudden and it took me a bit to figure out who I was following. Honestly, it wasn’t until I hit the 33% mark that I was actually able to differentiate the names and the voices of the characters. So for…

So Much Food and Softness: Natalie Tan’s Book of Fortune by Roselle Lim

So Much Food and Softness: Natalie Tan’s Book of Fortune by Roselle Lim

Posted by on 07/19/2019 • 0 Comments

Here is the thing about Natalie Tan’s Book of Fortune, it is sweet with a dash of magic and an incredible amount of food porn. For those reasons, I was immediately drawn in and enjoyed the book. But, the writing is not quite there so even though the story itself is wonderful, the way it is written and told isn’t? 

First things first, this book is not a romance for those romance readers eyeing this book. It is a story about love but not necessarily romantic love. 

Natalie Tan comes home for the first time in years after her mother passes away. They parted on bad terms and Natalie never got to bridge the gap that emerged between the two. A letter her ma-ma left behind for her imparts her…

Potentially the best Pride and Prejudice Adaptation: Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

Potentially the best Pride and Prejudice Adaptation: Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

Posted by on 07/02/2019 • 8 Comments

I’ve been going through a reading slump lately and starting a book takes a lot more effort than I would like. When, I picked up Ayesha a couple days ago, I was really sad I couldn’t get into it so I put it down and continued binging Brooklyn Nine Nine. Because I had it for review though, I decided to pick it up again  and push through. I ended up going to bed at 5:30 AM because I legitimately did not want to put Ayesha at Last down.

I first read P&P in 10th grade and watched the BBC adaptation alongside reading it. I thought the Colin Firth adaptation was the peak of P&P adaptations. Reading Ayesha at Last has made me completely reevaluate that opinion. This thoughtful, creative retelling…

Thoughtful and Adorable: The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

Thoughtful and Adorable: The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

Posted by on 06/12/2019 • 0 Comments

I am still recovering from this book as I write this review so excuse the rambling but oh my god??? Why did this book want to HURT ME LIKE THAT??? I am genuinely feeling a little nauseous lol.

The nausea has nothing to do with how the book was, just about certain events I won’t dive into. Rest assured, if you do read this book and have some serious feelings afterwards, please talk to me so we can all cry together. A HAPPY CRYING CIRCLE.

If you are not a fan of any kind of angst, you should probably skip this book because there is a lot of it. Sometimes it felt unavoidable, other times it was frustrating but honestly it wasn’t actually an issue for me. I…

Relevant, Funny and Swoony: A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole

Relevant, Funny and Swoony: A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole

Posted by on 04/30/2019 • 1 Comment

Idk how its possible but each book in this series has been as good as or better than the previous one and I am just truly in awe of Cole’s talent. I’ve been reading romance for a while now and I truly feel that Cole is changing the landscape of romance literature. Not only is A Prince on Paper unbelievably swoony and adorable, it also takes on really big and relevant things. It isn’t afraid to dissect racism and call out colonialism, we see fake news and propaganda make an appearance and we also see our MC deal with emotional and mental abuse from a parent.

When Nya’s father is arrested and sent to prison for attempting to poison Naledi, she can finally start living her life. She runs…

Review: Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

Review: Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

Posted by on 04/17/2019 • 4 Comments

This one messes with your head, guys! I love psychological thrillers, and this had me totally creeped out from very early on. It also had me puzzled with the mystery of the fairy-tale-like storyline. With each new chapter we’re given a new layer of this mystery that makes absolutely no logical sense, but can’t deny that it’s all happening. I kept wondering if this was just a big mind-game with a huge twist that would turn everything on its head. Or if I was just completely overlooking a small detail that would make everything clear. I loved it!

Being a mother myself, I couldn’t help but relate to what Lauren was going through. The exhaustion, the lack of help, the loneliness that comes from having a new born (I can’t…

The Beginning of An Exciting Family Saga: The Takeover Effect by Nisha Sharma

The Beginning of An Exciting Family Saga: The Takeover Effect by Nisha Sharma

Posted by on 03/26/2019 • 0 Comments

I absolutely adored My So-Called Bollywood Life when I read it last year so when I found out that Nisha Sharma was writing another book, specifically an adult romance, I was all aboard. When I found out the series would follow a wealthy Sikh Punjabi-American family, I WAS EVEN MORE EXCITED (which I didn’t know was possible but whatever.)

The Takeover Effect is a quick read. The pages just sort of fly by. That said, it did take me more than half the book to actually be invested in the characters and the plot. I don’t know if I can even point out a specific reason why this was but I didn’t really click with the book until shit hit the fan.

And when shit hit the fan, IT HIT…