Pub Week REVIEW: Rogue Justice

Avery Keene is amidst an impeachment scandal that took down the President. He is trying to claw his way back into power by discrediting her. Then a judge turns up dead and she witnesses another be murdered. So from page one there is non-stop action as she tries to figure out one conspiracy while extracting herself from another.

This one is a super complex political thriller where there are a ton of characters who all have serious motives (ie world domination). Avery is a good heroine, although I wish we got more of her rather than her in a room where people are talking at her, but when she was in charge I really enjoyed it.

Read this one if you enjoyed The Night Agent.

Thanks to Doubleday books for the gifted copy. All opinions above are my own. This one is out tomorrow, add it to your TBR!

Would you ever consider running for office?

REVIEW: The Great Reclamation

We meet Ah Boon when he is just a boy in a small village. His father and uncle are fisherman and he expects his life will be the same. He is a boon to his family and the village when he can find a set of mysterious islands that are bountiful with fish. As he ages, Singapore’s future is uncertain through the Japanese invasion and the press for independence. He is often unknowingly and unwillingly thrust into the politics of the time. Following his childhood love Siok Mei and then just trying to do the best for his family and his village puts him in situations that really make you ponder and break your heart.

Even though there is a little magical realism in the beginning, I’m not sure it needed it. The history we learn here of Singapore is so engrossing and, at times, heartbreaking. I appreciated that the islands offered hope and refuge but I would have loved this story either way. It really explored identity and culture and the choices that shape our lives. The realities of colonialism are laid bare as a prosperity and culture are at odds throughout Ah Boon’s life. 

Read this one if you liked Pachinko or Peach Blossom Spring. This would make a fabulous TV series.

I read this one in honor of AAPI Heritage month, are you prioritizing any reads by Asian or Pacific Islanders this month?

REVIEW: Sea of Tranquility

Emily St. John Mandel does it again… I slept on this one a little bit because pandemic dystopia felt a little too raw when this one came out. But Station Eleven is also pandemic fiction and it’s one of my all time favorites.This one is equally unique and layered and heartbreaking.

I’m not even going to try to summarize other than to say you get a little of the artistic depth you also get in Station Eleven as well as characters who make unexpected choices. While the chapters are short and the time in each period is short, there is so much emotion and each is really thought provoking.

It’s definitely a book you need to focus on to read, it skips time periods and has time travel with lots of characters. But if you stick with it, it’s worth it, the ending is a wow. Also, love that part of it takes place on a moon colony!

Thanks to Knopf for the gifted copy. All opinions above are my own.

If you had the opportunity to time travel, would you take it? Would you go forward or backward in time?

Friday Feature: Dykette

An addictive, absurd, and darkly hilarious debut novel about a young woman who embarks on a ten-day getaway with her partner and two other queer couples.

Sasha and Jesse are professionally creative, erotically adventurous, and passionately dysfunctional twentysomethings making a life together in Brooklyn. When a pair of older, richer lesbians—prominent news host Jules Todd and her psychotherapist partner, Miranda—invites Sasha and Jesse to their country home for the holidays, they’re quick to accept. Even if the trip includes a third couple—Jesse’s best friend, Lou, and their cool-girl flame, Darcy—whose It-queer clout Sasha ridicules yet desperately wants.

As the late December afternoons blur together in a haze of debaucherous homecooked feasts and sweaty sauna confessions, so too do the guests’ secret and shifting motivations. When Jesse and Darcy collaborate an ill-fated livestream performance, a complex web of infatuation and jealousy emerges, sending Sasha down a spiral of destructive rage that threatens each couple’s future.

Unfolding over ten heady days, Dykette is an unforgettable love story at the crossroads of queer nonconformity and seductive normativity. With propulsive plotting and sexy, wickedly entertaining prose, Jenny Fran Davis captures the vagaries of desire and the many devastating places in which we seek recognition.

This one published on Tuesday so grab it today!

Have you ever gone on a vacation with a friend or friends? How did it go?

REVIEW: The Adult

“As Nora slept, I imagined a cold creek rolling through the grooves of her mind. A dream where their inner thoughts were rinsing themselves, basking in the streaming water. I thought it would be wonderful to go to sleep, full of complication, full of knots, and for those dense points to have drifted free by morning.”


Natalie is a college freshman living in the big city for the first time. She grew up rather sheltered and is suddenly experiencing independence and all the world truly has to offer. She’s a bit introverted and shy. We follow her as she meets her dorm mates, takes her poetry class and meets an older woman in the park. She is quickly overwhelmed and searching for comfort and finds it with this older woman. But she hides herself from her friends, not telling any of them she is gay or who she is really seeing. 

The narrative reminded me a lot of a Sally Rooney novel. Fischer really well captures that moment of youth where you are really testing the waters of who you are away from your parents. Natalie reminded me a lot of my early college days where I was trying on new personas and trying decide what was important to me. I felt so deeply for Natalie when she realizes what is really going on and yet most of the novel was frustrated with her naivety and willingness to keep things at surface level. 

The writing style is really beautiful and while a lot of it takes place in and around a poetry class, it was really accessible, especially for someone like me who finds poetry daunting. I would say to read this one if you liked My Dark Vanessa or Vladimir (although there is no explicit scenes in this one, the themes are similar).

Thanks to Algonquin Books for gifted access via Netgalley. All opinions above are my own. This one is out May 23rd so add it to your TBR!

Did you go to college? If so, where? Do you use your degree? If you didn’t go to college, did you do any specific career training?

Pub Week REVIEW: Seven Rules for Breaking Hearts

“….if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that love doesn’t play by the rules in the first place.”


Margo wants nothing to do with love. Her parents divorced when she was in high school and it left her with some relationship trauma. She and her best friend, Jo, have made a career out of podcasting about how great life is as single girls. But now Jo is getting married and they need to figure out how to move forward with a podcast that doesn’t really represent them. Jo’s wedding is taking place over two weeks in Catalina, paid for by podcast sponsors and Go has the brilliant idea to break their rules as an experiment. Her subject of choice is the groom’s best friend, who happens to be a boy who she dislikes after a few run ins in high school. Over the two weeks, she quickly learns that she may be in for more than she bargained for.

This is one of those cute rom-coms that you can’t help but enjoy even though it uses some common tropes. Go is more than immature for her age and does a ton of growing in the two weeks, some of it is definitely cringey. But more in a “I’ve been there sort of way” than anything. I liked that the characters were well fleshed out and quirky. I enjoyed their banter and if you’re a steam person, there is definitely some of that, although you’ll have to wait for it.

Read this one if you liked Unhoneymooners, People We Meet on Vacation or The Hating Game. It’s a perfect beach read! It’s out now!

Thanks to Wednesday Books for gifted access via Netgalley. All opinions above are my own.

Do you listen to podcasts? Do you have a favorite?

Pub Day REVIEW: Yellowface

Juniper and Athena are writers. One successful and one not. Their friendship is of convenience until one night Juniper witnesses Athena’s death. Before she leaves the apartment she swipes Athena’s latest manuscript and decides to rewrite and publish it. It’s a sensation but quickly people wonder about a white woman writing a masterpiece about Chinese oppression under a vaguely Asian pseudonym. The madness begins there… as Juniper tries to hide the truth and reckon with the ghost of Athena stalking through her conscience.

What a car crash of a book! The main character is entirely unlikable and every choice she makes is giant cringe but boy did I enjoy every second of it. The weaving of the story with the scathing takedown of the publishing industry and a unique take on the impact of race is masterful. I’m not sure who the perfect audience is for this one except people who love trolls, comeuppance and a wild descent into madness. 

I sweated my way through every second of the audiobook but loved every second of it. I was tempted to take half a star off because the baddie was a bit obvious but then the last few chapters turned me back around. Definitely a 5 star reading experience.

Read this one if you liked The Plot or Kill all Your Darlings.

Thanks to Harper Audio for gifted access via Netgalley. I did go on to purchase a copy. All opinions above are my own.

What’s the last book that blew you away?

REVIEW: Famous for a Living

Cat is an influencer, living in NYC, phone in hand documenting everything. But when she makes a bad deal, she is forced into hiding. She retreats to her uncle’s national park to lick her wounds and let the criticisms settle. But she is anything but outdoorsy and it is the middle of winter. When she shows up with a ton of suitcases and phone in hand, one of her uncle’s rangers immediately criticizes her. His judginess is something she’s felt before but it rolls off him in waves now. She needs to find a way to survive the wilderness and figure out her next move.

This one is definitely more of a women’s fiction / finding yourself / empowerment read than a romance or romcom. Don’t get me wrong, it has its cute, quirky, flirty moments but you’re going to wait a long time til you get any action and even then it’s very PG. I like that. Cat is a bit immature and one note but she is desperately trying to find her way, even if that way is the exact one she started with… This one’s a great pallatte cleanser or fun beach read but probably won’t shake your soul or stick with you for any length of time.

Thanks to Booksparks for the gifted copy. All opinions above are my own.

If you could be an influencer (for anything other than books of course) what would you choose?

REVIEW: Aloha Vietnam

Nguyen gives us a snapshot of life for a family who are coping with adapting to a new culture in a new country, doing everything they can to assimilate without losing their culture. But when their daughter is struck by a sudden medical crisis, they all must figure out how to understand what is happening and how to cope. 

I was struck by the raw truth of Ahn’s bipolar disorder and how it impacted her relationships and her hopes and dreams. The initial crisis she suffers is well documented from all sides, her own fears, her parents uncertainty and her doctor’s desire to help. What is also really well illustrated is the lack of clear communication about the fact that this is a lifelong condition and that while genetics play a role, it is not a blame game situation. It is hard to read Ahn’s parents questioning what they have done wrong and how their actions have led to the life they lead and Ahn’s struggles. The exploration of culture on mental illness and how it impacts understanding is really well done. I appreciated the depiction of Ahn’s struggle to feel her true self was blunted by the medication and how her self harm offered relief but real dangers.

This is the perfect read for both AAPI Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness month, it covers both topics and how they interplay perfectly. There are a lot of serious topics here so proceed with caution, however if you have someone in your life with mental illness, this may help build empathy.

Thanks to Book Publicity Services and the author for the gifted copy. All opinions above are my own.

If you could move to another country, which one would you choose?

REVIEW: The Dead Romantics

Florence is making it as a ghostwriter for a famous author in NYC. She was run out of her small town for being too strange. It’s hard not to be strange as the daughter of a funeral director, especially one who can communicate with ghosts. After a heartbreak she has lost her mojo and her due date is looming. She must face a new editor and ask for an extension. He of course is attractive and unyielding. As she flounders, she gets the devastating news that her father has died. When she gets home, there is so much to deal with, her family, her old friends and that hot editor who now appears to be a ghost?

I liked the quirkiness of this one but wasn’t wowed by it in anyway. I didn’t connect with Florence or her family. I didn’t really feel the sparks with her and ghost boy and her troubles didn’t really feel substantial enough for me to care. 

I do love the sprayed edges on this @fairyloot edition but not enough to keep it on my shelves. This copy is up on @pangobooks for sale if you’re interested. (Don’t worry I read a digital copy so this baby is unopened.)