Book Review: Girls of Paper and Fire

A group of enslaved girls rise up to fight for their dreams in this lush and diverse young adult fantasy | Review by Nandini @ Unputdownable Books

Author: Natasha Ngan

Genre: Fantasy

Age Range: 13+

Published: By Hodder & Stoughton on November 6th, 2018

Content Warning: Sexual assault, rape, violence and death

Format I Read: Kindle e-book

Grade: Exceeds expectations

Book Review: Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (post graphic image)

Book Synopsis (section header)

Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class of people in Ikhara. Ten years ago, her mother was snatched by the royal guards, and her fate remains unknown. Now, the guards are back and this time it’s Lei they’re after – the girl with the golden eyes, whose rumoured beauty has piqued the king’s interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but oppressive palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit a king’s consort. There, Lei does the unthinkable – she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens her world’s entire way of life. Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.

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Book Review: The Astonishing Color of After

Family, grief, love, splashes of colour and magic - The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan | Review by Nandini @ Unputdownable Books

Author: Emily X. R. Pan

Genre: Contemporary, magical realism

Age Range: 13+

Published: By Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on March 20th, 2018

Content Warning: Depression, suicide, death of a parent

Format I Read: Hardcover

Grade: Outstanding

Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird.

Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life.

Alternating between real and magic, past and present, friendship and romance, hope and despair, this is a novel about finding oneself through family history, art, grief, and love.

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Top 10 Anticipated Contemporary Books of 2019

10 2019 contemporary releases on my 2019 TBR | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. How it works is that each Tuesday the host assigns a topic and then posts their top ten list that fits the topic. Every blogger can create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well and link to the host’s. The topic for January 29th, 2019 is: The Ten Most Recent Additions to My To-Read List.


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Book Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Cutesy rom-com and so much more with wonderful Korean-American rep - To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han | Review by Nandini @ Unputdownable Books

Author: Jenny Han

Genre: Contemporary

Age Range: 13+

Published: By Simon and Schuster on April 15th, 2014

Content Warning: Dead and absent parents, breach of teenage privacy

Format I Read: Audiobook

Grade: Outstanding

‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

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Book Review: Empress of All Seasons

Hunger Games-esque plot meets Japanese folklore - Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean | Review by Nandini @ Unputdownable Books

Author: Emiko Jean

Genre: Fantasy

Age Range: 13+

Published: By Gollancz on November 8th, 2018

Content Warning: Tough love parent, gory violence and death

Format I Read: Kindle e-book

Grade: Exceeds expectations

Note: I received a free digital ARC of the book via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review

In each generation, a competition is held to find the next empress of Honoku. The rules are simple. Survive the palace’s enchanted seasonal rooms. Conquer Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, and you can marry the prince. All are eligible to compete – all except yokai, supernatural monsters and spirits whom the human emperor is determined to enslave and destroy.

Mari has spent a lifetime training to become empress. Winning should be easy. And it would be, if she weren’t hiding a dangerous secret. Mari is a yokai with the ability to transform into a terrifying monster. If discovered, her life will be forfeit. As she struggles to keep her true identity hidden, Mari’s fate collides with that of Taro, the prince who has no desire to inherit the imperial throne, and Akira, a half-human, half-yokai outcast.

Torn between duty and love, loyalty and betrayal, vengeance and forgiveness, the choices of Mari, Taro and Akira will decide the fate of Honoku.

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Book Review: The Wicked Deep

Title: The Wicked Deep

Author: Shea Ernshaw

Genre: Young adult paranormal fantasy

Format: Hardcover

Published: By Simon Pulse on March 6th, 2018

ISBN13: 9781481497343

Grade: Exceeds expectations

The Wicked Deep

Synopsis

Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow… where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town. Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under. Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters. But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

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