Blog Tour | Tokyo Dreaming // In which I get exactly what I want

Greetings readers!

I have the wonderful opportunity to be part of the blog tour for this new, wonderful book! If you remember, last year I was swept off my feet by the incredible book Tokyo Ever After. It promised me a Princess Diaries-esque vibe and boy oh boy did it deliver.

That being said, Tokyo Ever After left me with one specific want after I turned the last page: a royal wedding please between Mr. Crown Prince Dad and Ms. Professor Mom. Emiko Jean said, “Yes, Rendz. For you, anything.” And boom…here we are one year later with a sequel!

It didn’t go down exactly like that, but I did indeed receive the royal wedding drama that I wanted.

Many thanks to the publisher for providing a copy for review!

Synopsis:

Return to Tokyo for a royal wedding in Emiko Jean’s Tokyo Dreaming, the sequel to the Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick and New York Times bestseller Tokyo Ever After

When Japanese-American Izumi Tanaka learned her father was the Crown Prince of Japan, she became a princess overnight. Now, she’s overcome conniving cousins, salacious press, and an imperial scandal to finally find a place she belongs. She has a perfect bodyguard turned boyfriend. Her stinky dog, Tamagotchi, is living with her in Tokyo. Her parents have even rekindled their college romance and are engaged. A royal wedding is on the horizon! Izumi’s life is a Tokyo dream come true.

Only…

Her parents’ engagement hits a brick wall. The Imperial Household Council refuses to approve the marriage citing concerns about Izumi and her mother’s lack of pedigree. And on top of it all, her bodyguard turned boyfriend makes a shocking decision about their relationship. At the threat of everything falling apart, Izumi vows to do whatever it takes to help win over the council. Which means upping her newly acquired princess game.

But at what cost? Izumi will do anything to help her parents achieve their happily ever after, but what if playing the perfect princess means sacrificing her own? Will she find a way to forge her own path and follow her heart?


The Review

Much like the first book, I really enjoyed the court drama. Only this time it got on a much bigger scale now that Izumi and her mom were both being scrutinized by the public eye. The book does a nice job of exploring, once again, the criticism faced by women in media and the pressure put on them to conform and be puppeteer-ed by the opinions of others. What I loved about this book is that Izumi encounters different experiences and different opinions from various women in her life who all have to deal with similar, if not the same, kind of pressure.

As in the previous book, there is quite a wonderful cast of characters to be found. I think my favourite evolution over all from book one is that the Shining Twins were fleshed out and their “villainy” was given some more nuance. They were honestly the highlight characters for me, despite their less than wonderful scenes.

And here comes the juicy bit…I never thought that I would say that I enjoyed a love triangle…and I continue to hold onto that statement precariously. HOWEVER, this one was actually very well done, in my humble opinion. We had the awful break up, the ruse of fake dating and then the real fall-in, only to be confronted by The Choice and its aftermath. Bottom line is that Eriku is a sweetheart and Akio is the loyal first love. My oh my. Decisions. Decisions.

Romance aside though, I really enjoyed Izumi’s struggle for her purpose. She spends much of the first part of the book wondering what her next move is going to be and then spends the rest of the book on a path that she is still not sure is for her. Anyone who has ever struggled with the blank page of the future can relate to her troubles, even if we are not princesses of Japan needing to impress an entire nation. Deciding what to be, what to do and who you are is a challenge for everyone.

All in all, the book was cute. Was it missing some of the hijinks from the first book, maybe. But if you want to enjoy a sweet book with an extra dash of court drama then I highly recommend it for you. AND if you were hoping for a little more of a taste between the parents love story, the glimpses this book offers will surely satisfy that hunger!

Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Recommend: Yes! For my romantics and royal enthusiasts!

Let me know what you think! Have you had the chance to pick this one up yet? What love-triangle books have caught your eye lately? Do you prefer modern fairy tales or more historic ones?

Happy reading!

Rendz

New year, new endeavors | Ringing in 2022! // While also summing up the end of 2021

Greetings readers!

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

Let’s just get to the bare bones of it: I have taken a significant step back from this space. This past year was just a lot, in terms of you know school, and the pandemic and other things and well Real-life Rendz got carried away with real life.

It didn’t help that I hit a massive reading slump and had exactly zero time to read for fun while I was juggling everything.

All this to say that I missed this space. I missed the moments of creativity and outreach that came with writing up posts and publishing them. Nonetheless, I did also enjoy taking a bit of a breather from the bookish-sphere as well.

Still I have a few things that I want to share with you!


The End of 2021: A Rendz Reflection

Half a year’s worth of reading

So I didn’t read really anything after September that was for me, but that doesn’t mean I can’t highlight the wonderful books that I did read in the months before hand!

It was difficult to narrow down, but I did manage to reach a top 5!
1. Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet by Laekan Zea Kemp
2. Infinite Country by Patricia Engel
3. Velvet was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
4. Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado
5. The Chronicles of a Bitch Queen by K.S. Villoso (yes a series, but still)

But of course I also had to bring up some honourable mentions like:

Flamefall by Rosaria Munda
Some Other Now by Sarah Everett
Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Bouley

From what I gathered in my wrap-up, I leaned on contemporary books to get me through the year. Of course I read some jaw dropping, amazing fantasy books, but contemporary books had me living in my feels as well. I needed the fun and the fluff and I was very grateful to find these stories to carry me through the year!

And though I read nothing from September to December, the BOOK MAIL WAS ON FIRE!

RIP to my wallet, she served me well. But I am not sorry. I got some really amazing books in the mail. New releases that I can’t wait to jump on, some older books that I have BEEN wanting to get. Most of them are fantasy, so I am predicting some intense adventures this 2022!

Here is just a snippet of the SMG mail I got over my unexpected hiatus. I’m sure no one is surprised.

And to wrap up this 2021 reflection I have to shout out the reason I made it through those final intense months of the year.

BTS.

I’ll be honest, never saw this coming. Obviously, I knew about BTS, how could I not? But I was one of those foolish people who never paid full attention to them — the shame I feel T^T.

But now ~~now~~ I’m paying attention.

And while technically you can trace my origins with BTS to their Fake Love era, the Butter era really marks my entry into the fandom. You know the drill, I just googled them to know their names and I’ve been down the rabbit hole since.

To be very honest they are just what I needed to stay afloat for the second half of 2021. My nature is to obsess to distract myself from the anxieties of my everyday. (Maybe not healthy, but I cope) Usually I turn to books, but after hitting a huge slump and finding no energy to be artistic, I found myself struggling to keep the worries at bay. Is it cheesy to say that this band helped me get out of my head? Maybe, but it’s true.

And it’s not just the band itself, but the whole internet culture surrounding them. Some of it is intimidating for me, but the memes, YouTube compilations and TikToks are probably my favourite thing in the world right now. ARMY is so talented and funny, I love it.

And if you’re wondering, I have a new favourite song like every week (literally trying to catch up on 8 years worth of music), but the ultimate number 1 is Pied Piper. (A song about obsessing? Very me.)


So What Comes in 2022

I’ll Be Around, but I’ll Mainly be Chilling

I don’t want to be stressed by this space (anymore), so I want to take it easy. I’ll write posts and reviews as I can (it took me a whole month to put this together). Even if it is just a thought or two every now and then, eventually it will compile into a full post right? But I will most likely be more focused on keep a more regular posting on my Instagram, so please visit me there to if you have the space to!

Reading Will Also Be Chill

I am going with the flow. No set TBR. No reading goal. I just want to live my best reading life and actually get through all that book mail I got these past months.

Also, I am going to seriously restrict myself when it comes to requesting. Having yet to complete some reviews from last year, it’s only fair that I take my time to get those done. Plus, requesting just heightens my anxiety when I can’t finish in time and with the amount of reading I have to do for school this year…yeah, I gotta take it easy on this one. It’s going to be hard. I will fail and give into temptation because I can never deny myself an anticipated read (my downfall), but I am going to try. I’ve already started so yay, good start but I need to keep up the good energy to keep going. Please send good vibes.

I’ll Be Making My Rounds

Of course, I can’t just stick around for myself. I miss visiting your pages. I miss seeing all your creativity and reading your reviews! Be sure, I’ll make my rounds eventually to say hi and obsess over you!


I’m hoping this first month of 2022 has been relatively smooth going for you all, and if you’ve already had some times, I’m sending you all my love to get through the rough patches.

My wish for you all this year are to read some amazing books! Tell me, what are you most excited for!

Happy reading!

Rendz

Oddly specific and very curious reading cravings I’ve had as of late | Reading Slump Diaries

Greetings readers!

How has your reading been as of late? Because if you ask me…it’s not been so great. It’s sort of an odd reading slump where I still have some amazing reads, but my desire to pick up a book comes and goes in the blink of an eye. Real-life Rendz has been quite busy and this summer has been different for me, so while I miss reading I find myself having trouble to get into the groove of it.

However, this doesn’t mean that I never think about reading. In actuality, I’ve been doing lots of day dreaming about what kind of books I want to read and it has led to the discovery of some odd but intriguing book concepts. These reading cravings aren’t books that necessarily exist, but if you have a recommendation that you think fits the vibe, hit me up!

Middle school drama with a hint of summer adventure

Yes, it specifically has to be middle school drama because I feel nostalgic for the grade school life. I also feel like the tween years are the prime age to have summer adventures that completely change lives. I want trials of friendship, tests of courage and family hijinks. In terms of genre, I’m good with either something contemporary or fantastical, though I would have to say I’m leaning towards the former. For reference I want to feel that nostalgia for my middle school years when I read The Penderwicks, the Accidentally series and other Candy Apple books

Accidentally Fabulous (Accidentally, #1; Candy Apple #12)

A magical forest setting that is both chilly and cozy

Let me tell you now that I’m craving a magical forest setting because I am nostalgic for Narnia vibes and For The Wolf left a bad taste in my mouth with its lackluster setting. But more than anything I want a new special twist to this kind of setting, I don’t know exactly what but something that makes this trope fantastical in a new light. I want goosebumps and thrills but also whimsy and wonder! It can be any age range, but I was really hoping for a middle grade book maybe. I don’t know how well adult or young adult might fit this! Or maybe I’m just hoping for any kind of news on the sequel of The Barren Grounds. Hmmm….

The Barren Grounds (The Misewa Saga, #1)

A sports rom-com with an emphasis on the COM – I want to laugh, first and foremost.

For some reason I want to read about the athlete life but in a comedic setting with love and laughter! I know a lot of sports romance books out there are a lot more smexy, but I really want the laughs. Like can it be both ridiculously hilarious and swoony? Does such a book exist? If it does, I wants it. I’m currently reading Isn’t It Bromantic which has a bit of this vibe, but still not as humourous as I’m craving you know? I want love yes, but more than anything I want the laughs!

Isn't It Bromantic? (Bromance Book Club, #4)

An urban fantasy (but like a non-cheesy one please)

Believe it or not, I want something sassy and fantastical but make it *modern* If I had to confess my one problematic bookish trait, it’s that I don’t love and often put down urban fantasy books without giving them much of a chance. (Just look at the judgmental title of this section *shame on me*) This is very wrong of me, I admit. And I need to be more open to reading these stories, which is why I’m kind of loving that I’m having a bit of a craving for a story like this! I never thought the day would come, but here it is. I have ZERO knowledge of UF books, so please bestow me with your expertise!

Conor Mckenna Fah GIF by FoilArmsandHog

Let me know what you think! Do you ever get oddly, specific reading cravings during reading slumps? Do you have any recommendations to match any of these moods? How do you find your way back to reading?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

Most Anticipated Reads of the *Second* half of 2021 | The gift that keeps on giving

Greetings readers!

Can you believe we are already half way through the year!?!? What?!?! And boy has it been a year…I hope this post does honestly find you in good health and if not, I hope it at least brings you some comfort.

Since we have made it to July, I figured it would be good to do a recap of how much of my anticipated reads I have read and of course list the books I am excited for coming in the next six months!!

So let’s get on with it!

The Recap

In my last post I listed about 2-4 books I was super excited for each month coming to grand total of 19 anticipated reads!

Of those 19, I have…
*Read 14
*And have enjoyed the majority of them considering my average rating among them is about 4.08

So let’s just say that 2021 has been giving the GOODs so far and I cannot wait to see what is coming our way next!

Alright…on to the reason we are all here

The List

JULY

Book Cover
Six Crimson Cranes (Six Crimson Cranes, #1)

Isn’t it Bromantic by Lyssa Kay Adams – Yes, The Russian’s book!! Vlad is my favourite character above the rest and I can’t wait to see him shine in the spotlight!

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim – I’ve been eagerly waiting this one ever since we got that snippet of this story in Unravel the Dust!

AUGUST

Velvet Was the Night
The Heart Principle (The Kiss Quotient, #3)

Velvet was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – Do I need to explain?!? It’s SMG people, of course I am highly anticipating it every day of the week! Lucky for me, I got an early copy 🙂

The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang – IT’S QUAN’S STORY EVERYONE. MY SWEET QUAN. So if you can’t tell, Quan is my favourite and I will be inhaling this book once it comes out.

SEPTEMBER

The Bronzed Beasts (The Gilded Wolves, #3)
Beasts of Prey
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The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina

The Bronzed Beasts by Roshani Chokshi – A final installment that is sure to be glamorous and emotionally destructive!!! I am ready!!!!!!!

Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray – This one pushes all the right buttons for me!!! I mean a dangerous alliance to hunt down an ancient creature while the main characters keep their motives secret from each other? Yes, give it to me!

Walking in Two Worlds by Wab Kinew – A new Indigenous YA novel about a virtual reality?!?! Yes, sign me up. I am here for this.

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Cordova – An adult Latinx novel about a family of witches and secrets! This sounds like the most perfect fall read, I cannot wait!

OCTOBER

Jade Fire Gold

Jade Fire Gold by June C.L. Tan – Chinese mythology + rich magic + epic slow-burn romance is a recipe for EPICNESS. This book sounds so incredibly amazing. I can already tell its going to be one of the biggest releases of the year and I AM HERE FOR IT.

NOVEMBER

Gilded
A Rush of Wings
Skin of the Sea

Gilded by Marissa Meyer – Yes, the queen of retelling is back with a Rumpelstiltskin remix! I know I shouldn’t compare it to TLC and I will try my best not to…but I’Il be thinking about them the whole time probably XD

A Rush of Wings by Laura E. Weymouth – Laura knows how to hook me with her fairy tale stories so I am 10/10 excited for this story of swans, magic and monsters!

Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen – Say it with me know *MERMAIDS* and *VENGEFUL GODS* ahhhhhh what a combination! I wants it.

DECEMBER

I actually have nothing set in stone for December yet…I sure as the months go on, more than one book will be added to the list but for now I leave this space open!


Let me know what you think! What books are you eagerly anticipating now that we have entered the second half of the year? What was your favourite book from the first half of 2021? Anyone have any recs for December?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

March/April Wrap-Up & May TBR | I’ve been busy living my best (Shadow and Bone) life!

Greetings readers!

So it has been a while since I’ve come at you with a wrap-up, hasn’t it? Let’s blame it on the fact that the end of the school semester was quite an end. I won’t go into much detail, but it is the reason I’ve been feeling a little unmotivated and uninspired with some of my blog posts. I hope to come with new material soon. Perhaps a fun tag or two!

In terms of reading though…I have had an incredible time with my reads. No lies detected. I’m at that point where I am reading faster than I can review, but it just means that I’ll have lots of great reviews coming your way soon.

wrap-up-3

What Rendz Read

~ March ~

Truly, Madly, Royally by Debbie Rigaud 3.5/5 🌟
Once Upon a Quinceañera by Monica Gomez-Hira 3/5 🌟
Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet by Laeken Zea Kemp 5/5 🌟
The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (re-read) 5/5 🌟
Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert 4/5 🌟
Fireborne by Rosaria Munda (re-read) 5/5 🌟
Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Bouley 4.5/5 🌟
Kisses and Croissants by Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau 3/5 🌟

Grishaverse Re-Read!
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

~ April ~

The Light of the Midnight Stars by Rena Rossner 3.5/5 🌟
Flamefall by Rosaria Munda 5/5 🌟
Make a Scene by Mimi Grace 5/5 🌟
Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls by Kaela Rivera 4.5/5 🌟
The Ikessar Flacon by K.S. Villoso (re-read) 5/5 🌟
Anchored Hearts by Priscilla Oliveras 3/5 🌟

Grishaverse re-read!
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Highlight book(s): Apart from my phenomenal rereads of The Ikessar Falcon, The Beautiful Ones and The Grishaverse reads, the top spots goes to Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet, Firekeeper’s Daughter, and Flamefall!

Lowliest book(s): Nothing was truly lowly. I enjoyed all of my 3 stars they just needed more pizzazz.

The Haul

March

Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet by Laekan Zea Kemp

April

Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo
Velvet was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng by K.S. Villoso
Tigers, Not Daughters by Samantha Mabry

Other Going Ons

New Cover for CERTAIN DARK THINGS

As always, I try to be Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s #1 hype-person and this past March the cover for her re-release of the Mexican vampire novel she wrote was revealed and it is stunning! There is so much symbolism and colour to behold! I loved the original cover, but this one…this one has the pizzazz and spark that I’m sure will intrigue many a reader to pick it up!

Certain Dark Things
via Goodreads

My Grishaverse Re-read Extravaganza!

In preparation for the show, which I talk about below, I decided to do a grand Grisha Reread and it was the best decision. I know, I know, I shouldn’t have. I really need to get focused on those ARCs that I have, but I am pleased to say that I did in fact read the majority of my e-ARCs in time (getting reviews up is another matter entirely) but all will be updated soon hopefully. But anyways. I indulged myself with this reread and I can’t complain. I enjoyed myself immensely. It hasn’t been that long since my last reread of Shadow and Bone, Six of Crows on the other hand…that is a duology I haven’t picked up since I read it the first time around when this blog was just beginning. To be concise. I loved it. I loved everything about reading these books again because 14 year old Rendz was living her best life and I want that girl to have her best!

I Attended to Bookish Events with Publishers!

Let’s just say that there are plenty of books to look forward to! Both HCC Frenzy and Penguin Teen CA had some amazing teen book previews at the end of April and I was lucky enough to attend (virtually, of course!). Wow, friends. We YA Lovers have lots to look forward to in the coming months! Here are some titles I am excited for:

Sisters of the Snake (Ria & Rani #1)
Beasts of Prey

I binged Shadow and Bone & lived my BEST life.

Yes, I really did spend roughly 9 hours in my room Friday, April 23rd 2021 to watch the entire series in one go. Lunch and bathroom breaks were really the only moments of not-watching that I had for most of the day. And I regret ABSOLUTELY NONE OF IT. I have waited how long for this show? Ages. Big question: Did I enjoy it? HELLS YES. MY goodness. I was screeching alongside my cousin as we shared thoughts, predictions and critiques over a series of audio and video messages on Snap Chat XD. This adaptation was definitely not perfect, but it had heart in it. I think it did a great job of melding these two different series together and bringing these beloved characters to life! 10/10 recommend you watch it (mainly because I need high ratings for a season 2! but also because it is really good!!)

As for me…I’m stalking the actors and watching cast interviews like its my job.

Posts of the Months

I’ve been feeling a little creatively dry with blog content as of late. I’m trying to find some interesting tags or discussion topics to tackle so it you have any suggestions, I would love to know about them!

Get to Know the Fantasy Reader Tag

This was a really fun tag to take part of! Even as a serial fantasy reader I know I am always lacking or missing out on some sort of amazing story so please direct all your recommendations to me!

Infinite Country | Review // A short, but mighty read

It’s a 200 page book that you all need to read.

Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet | HOV Book Tour // Review + Fan Art

I made some fun fan art for this book that I hope you all check out!

5 Reasons to read The Beautiful Ones | In other words…I lived my best life reading this masterpiece again!

I mean the title says it all. 🙂 This is one of my top SMG books, I ~need~ you all to read it. And if you love it, I need you to come yell at me about it.

Anchored Hearts by Priscilla Oliveras | Release Blitz + Review!

A quick review for the summer romance readers! The sunny days are coming and I anticipate some romcom bingeing in my future.

TBR

TBR

Well as always, I’m going to be slightly ambitious with my TBR 🙂 I will always try my hardest to get to as many books as possible I just need some good luck and good vibes from you all!

I also happen to start my summer semester this month so…le sigh. I need to take that into account as well.

Since it is Asian Heritage Month in Canada and in solidarity with my American friends celebrating AAPI Heritage Month, I plan on reading books by API authors as much as I can 🙂 I’m excited because there are some good ones of my shelf calling out to me! And it should go without saying, but a friendly reminder that we should be supporting API voices 24/7/365 and not only in May!

The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng by K.S. Villoso
Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean
Realm of Ash by Tasha Suri
Rising Like a Storm by Tanaz Bhathena

Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo
Indivisible by Daniel Aleman

And that’s all I have planned for now. I feel like I’m in need of some more romance-y reads especially considering I have some heavy fantasies that will leave me emotional distraught. Any recommendations by API romance authors are welcome!


Let me know what you think! What have you read this month? What books did you get? What books are you looking forward to reading!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

January Wrap-Up & February TBR | This semester came for my neck, but my reads keep my going

Greetings readers!

Happy Valentine’s Day, my loves!

What’s new for you? How have you been holding up? I can’t say anything new has been happening in my corner of the internet. I know my blogging has been slow this past month and well…it will probably continue to be slow because if you can tell from the title of today’s post, my school work is really trying to end me!

But my dear friends, this has only made me realize how wonderful it is to be a reader! Books have been a major escape for me as I fumble with my school and I am so blessed to have had such an incredible reading month to start off 2021!

So let’s get onto it, shall we!

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What Rendz Read

A Thief Among the Trees by Sabaa Tahir – 4.5/5 stars
The Ikessar Falcon by K.S. Villoso – 5/5 stars
Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado – 5/5 stars
The Degenerates by J. Albert Mann – 4/5 stars
Charming as a Verb by Ben Phillipe – 4.5/5 stars
I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You: A Letter to My Daughter by David Chariandy – 5/5 stars
Infinite Country by Patricia Engel – 5/5 stars

Highlight Books: Well as you can see they are all pretty much highlight books! I can’t believe how blessed I am to have had such a wonderful January reads! If I had to pick a top book it would be a three-way tie between The Ikessar Falcon, Fat Chance, Charlie Vega and Infinite Country.

The Haul

I haven’t been buying much as of late because well…hehe…money is really something I can spend too much on on books right now. I want to lol but it is not in my best interests. That being said I did get Skyhunter by Marie Lu came in the mail the other day! And I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of Infinite Country by Patricia Engel by the publisher which is very awesome!

Other Going-Ons

Geez if I could remember I would tell you….

Oh wait, one thing!

Shadow and Bone Netflix News

So we now have a teaser trailer, a release date and promo posters!!! I was screaming for the entire day when I saw these beauties!! I just couldn’t stop staring at them. *sobs for an eternity* I would love to hear what you all thought! What was your first reaction? How many times have you stared at them since? Because I am telling you that I have been looking at these beauties ever since that day!

Posts Of the Month

New Year, New Look, Still all about the Books

Pine Island Home | Review // A sisterhood read!

Most Anticipated Reads of the first half of 2021 | The books this year are here to give me LIFE

The Bookish Feels | Books that are emotional roller coasters

Fat Chance, Charlie Vega | Review // THE Contemporary book to read this February!

TBR

TBR

I know we’re already half way through the month, but I’m really playing this month by ear. So far I’ve read:

Love in English by Maria E. Andreu
The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna
Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

For the rest of the month, I plan on getting through some upcoming ARCs! I went on a Netgalley binge…and let’s just say I have lots of reading to do. As for my other reads, I will be prioritizing books by Black authors as it is Black History Month. This doesn’t mean that February is the *only* month we celebrate Black excellence and stories, but it is the month where we can be extra supportive! As for me, some reads I have planned are:

Like Home by Louisa Onomé 
Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory
Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory
The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson
Make a Scene by Mimi Grace
Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud

Let me know what you think! What have you read this month? What books did you get? What books are you looking forward to reading!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

Most Anticipated Reads of the first half of 2021 | The books this year are here to give me LIFE

Greetings readers!

This year we are going to get some amazing books, friends. We are in for some outstanding and mind-blowing reads and people I am living. This year, like last year is going to come with its obstacles, but I am very comforted by the thought that there are so many books coming up that are just totally going to knock it out of the park (or at least I hope they will!)

So let’s get started!

January

Happily Ever Afters
Concrete Rose (The Hate U Give, #0)

Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant – I am always on the hunt for fluffy goodness in my YA contemporary reads and this is it friends!

Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas – I am so excited to see what young Maverick is like! He was one of my favourite characters from THUG

February

The Gilded Ones (Deathless, #1)
Like Home
Fat Chance, Charlie Vega

The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna – A new fantasy that I have a good feeling is going to sweep the reading world off its feet! I mean a whole army of magical girls sounds epic on its own!

Like Home by Louisa Onomé – It was pitched as a great read for fans of On My Block and Elizabeth Acevedo and honestly that was enough for me! Looking forward to this story about friendship and community!

Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado – I’m in the middle of this and I AM LOVING IT! It is such a gorgeous story I can’t wait to finish it!

March

Lost in the Never Woods
Firekeeper's Daughter
Once Upon a Quinceañera
Act Your Age, Eve Brown (The Brown Sisters, #3)

Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas – I am here for the Peter Pan premise and this cover!!! I just know that this will totally knock me off my feet!

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley – Indigenous YA literature!!! We love to see it! We have to support it! I went to a virtual book event featuring the author last year and she said some pretty interesting things about her research! I’m excited!

Once Upon a Quinceañera by Monica Gomez-Hira – Any and all books that are even remotely related to quinceañeras get put on my radar! I am so excited for this debut!!!

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert – I LOVE the Brown sisters so much! But I am MOST excited for Eve! She is the youngest sister like me! And she is totally chaotic! This is going to be amazing!

April

Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet
Witches Steeped in Gold (Witches Steeped in Gold, #1)
Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls
The Light of the Midnight Stars

Somewhere Between Bitter & Sweet by Laeken Zea Kemp – This is one book I have been waiting for since its announcement! Here is just a snippet of what I was promised: “[a] stunning story of first love, familial expectations, the power of food” This is going to be amazing!!!

Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart – I am here for Caribbean witches. I repeat: I am here for vengeful, magical Caribbean witches!!!!!

Cece Rios and Desert Souls by Kaela Rivera – A mesoamerican mythological magical middle grade read! Yes. WE ABSOLUTELY LOVE TO SEE IT! I am here for this!!!!!!!! I need everyone to talk about this because I know it will blow my mind!

The Light of the Midnight Stars by Rena Rossner – I adored Rossner’s first novel and I am so excited she is coming out with another book! If you want Jewish folklore and fantasy in your life then you definitely need her books on your shelves!

May

The Beautiful Ones
The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng (Chronicles of the Bitch Queen, #3)

The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – I just got approved for an ARC on Netgalley!!!!! AHHHHHHHH!!!!! SO I’m going to read my ARC and then probably read my finished copy again because I can never get enough of this story!

Bitch Queen Book #3 by K.S. Villoso – The first two books took my breath away, I can only imagine what the finale will do to my soul!!!! I am here for it! I am here for my destruction! If you haven’t picked up this adult fantasy series, you better go do it NOW!

June

A Psalm of Storms and Silence (A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, #2)
Blood Like Magic (Blood Like Magic, #1)
The Jasmine Throne (Burning Kingdoms, #1)
Sisters of the Snake (Ria & Rani #1)

A Psalm of Storms and Silence by Roseanne A. Brown – Who isn’t anticipating this sequel?? A Song of Wraiths and Ruin swept the world of its feet, the sequel deserves the exact same, if not more, attention!

Blood like Magic by Liselle Sambury – Black witches in near-future Toronto!!!!!!!!!!!!! YESSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is all I needed to know, that is all you need to know!

The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri – Empire of Sand is one of my favourite books of all time! I am here for this new epic fantasy with forbidden magic, morally grey sapphics and vengeance!

Sisters of the Snake by Sarena and Sasha Nanua – I am so excited that my fellow Canadian booklovers are going to publish another book! Sarena & Sasha’s new book is going to be The Fantasy Novel to read this year, I hope you have it on your radars!


And done! While these aren’t the only books I’m anticipating this month, these are the ones I’m hoping to yell about the most when I get around to reading them hehe!

There are so many good books coming our way this year! I would love to hear what books you have on your radar!

Keep an eye out for part two coming sometimes soon or not…It will get here when it gets here hehehe

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

If You Liked this Telenovela, You’d Love this Book| Reminiscing on the ole’ days!

Greetings readers!

If there is one thing I know about myself it is that I got my love for dramatic flare from watching telenovelas. Hundreds of episodes of misunderstandings, chaos, messy villains, brutish fights and love triangles leaves an impression on a girl.

Now I was really young like 6-9 years old when my family went through their intense telenovela phase. I remember coming home from school to my cousin’s house where my aunts, older cousins and sisters sat around the TV to watch a novela. Then when our dad picked us up and to took us home we watched another novela! I was young and not very interested, but believe it or not I paid some attention!

We are less involved in watching novelas today, especially since the Latinx channel stopped showing them on cable TV. Now only that aforementioned cousin’s family still regularly watches novelas XD It’s basically their family time, I love it!

All this to say that my telenovela knowledge is minimal at best, but it is there. I may not have been so invested, but they are still a staple image in my childhood memories. And like I said, they are probably 99.99% responsible for the reason I love drama and scandal! XD

So why not reach into my memories and pair books with telenovelas? Anything for Latinx Heritage Month, I say!

REBELDE

Rebelde Single.jpg

via Wikipedia

Your high-school drama with musica! It’s the novela of my childhood days. My sisters and cousins used to watch it after school and on the weekends. I don’t really understand anything that went on, but I do remember the songs.

Book Rec: Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera

nlb

I know what my RBD peeps are thinking. This book is all about Bachata and RBD was more of a pop rock, but both are about Latinx teens living their best musical lives so, I’m leaving it! I know I haven’t read it YET, but the connections are there I can feel it.

CÓDIGO POSTAL

cp

via IMDb

I remember very little about this novela other than it was a bunch of surfer teens getting into trouble, falling in love and having fun at the beach! When I asked my cousins about it, the best memory they had of it was the theme song! Which had me thinking that a lot of telenovelas have iconic theme songs!

Book Rec: Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno

ddrs

Rendz, you haven’t read this book either! I know, I know. BUT. I really caught on to the sea themes and from what I can tell from the synopsis this book is about teens by the sea falling in love, trying to figure out their futures. It might turn out that the sea theme is all they have in common, but I think they are still a worthy match XD!

AMOR REAL

Amor real" (2003) tv posters

via CineMaterial

My cousin was/is obsessed with this novela! I cannot even tell you the amount of times she has re-watched it or scavenged YouTube for clips! It’s a historical romance set in post-Independence Mexico. It is dramatic AF. From the plot to the characters to the costume to the twists and turns. I have a few memories of seeing this one on TV, but I think I paid more attention to the clothes than what was going on!

Book Rec: The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

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While not set in Mexico, this gorgeous novel sweeps us into this Belle Epoque world full of beauty, betrayal and romance! I love this book so much! It gives us POVs of all three main characters including the “villainess” which I totally think this fits the telenovela bill perfectly.

Note: This book will be re-released on May 11, 2021!!!

Other honourable telenoleva mentions:

ALMA INDOMABLE – A diamond in the rough/Cinderella/good-girl vengeance story. Make of that what you will.

RUBI – Villain origin story. She is fierce and brutal and quite honestly a queen.


That’s it for me friends! Let me know what you think! Have you ever watched a telenovela? Do you ever match books with shows you watch? Which Latinx book are you looking forward to reading?

*Please Share and/or Donate = Link to a master list of how you can help/educate yourself on Black Lives Matter and other humanitarian movements across the globe*

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Tune & Title Tuesdays | It’s Britney Bitch

Greetings readers!

I really had no idea what song to do this week because I haven’t really been listening to music these past few days. But randomly I just started belting out this song Monday evening and I thought: Why not!?

Look. I am not Britney’s biggest fan, but you could say I am a Britney Spears fan-ish. She was one of the firsts artists whose music we had on our first computer growing up. My favourite song of hers EVER is “Lucky” and I would listen to it on r e p e a t. I would even reenact the music video!!! I was that obsessed.

Yet, that is not the song I’m focusing on today o_o

STILL I love this song too

Tune: I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman – Britney Spears

I sing this alllllll the timeeeee. I just feel in my bones sometimes XD It’s a great tune, it has some long notes, it has Britney’s signature ohwowhowohwo XD. It’s perfect for those melodramatic teenage moments when you’re trying to be grown up but you just haven’t reached that point yet. But it’s also about just trying to figure out who you are on your own. It’s a great song, I can’t deny it.

Title: The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera

The Education of Margot Sánchez
via Goodreads

A teenager who’s just trying to figure out who she is on her own???? That would be one Miss Margot Sanchez. My girl goes through a lot to try and figure out who she is. And along the way she messes up enormously. But it is a really great book. Her journey has so much to offer. It’s hard, it’s embarrassing, but it is so so important. I enjoyed reading every minute of it even though I raged *for reasons* And while Britney might not capture the image of the book, the song definitely does.


Let me know what you think! Are you a Britney fan? Have you read this book? Did you have or are you still going through a period of figuring out who you are?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

get-reaidng

May Wrap Up & June TBR | Just trying to keep it together

Greetings readers!

Well hello everyone. I hope that you are taking the necessary precautions to ensure your safety and keep in good health. Times are really tough right now and I hope that you are reaching out to your friends and loved ones.

In terms of reading and being bookish, y’all I’m actually keeping up with my blog schedule, what???? Well that’s a first for me and honestly I’m very proud of myself!

wrap-up-3

What Rendz Read

Fireborne by Rosaria Munda 📘 (ARC) (4.5/5) Review
Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor by Ally Carter 📘 (ARC) (4/5) Review
Winter by Marissa Meyer 🎧 (5/5)
Wires and Nerve Vol. 1 by Marissa Meyer 📘 (5/5)
Wires and Nerve Vol 2.: Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer 📘 (4/5)
The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall 🎧
The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith 📘 (45) Review
Well Met by Jen DeLuca 🎧 (2.5/5)  Review
Always Never Yours by Austin Sigmund-Brokka and Emily Wibberley 🎧 Review
Curse of the Night Witch by Alex Aster 📘 (ARC) Review
The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant 📘 (e-ARC) RTC
Salty, Bitter, Sweet by Mayra Cuevas e-📘 Review
Parental Guidance by Avery Flynn e-📘 Review

13 books! I beat my total from last month! I honestly could have done more but there was one point in the month where I got lazy. Also most of these were books I got from my digital library since all my holds came in at practically the same time!

Highlight Book(s): Fireborne was really good, but it can’t top the emotions I went through while rereading TLC and The Penderwicks!

Lowliest Book(s): The Court of Miracles and Salty, Bitter, Sweet really lacked for me.

night witch


The Haul

NOTHING. NOTHING. NOTHINGGGGGG.

Nothing except for digital library books.


Other Going Ons

I only have one summer course and it is really out to get me

I had so many things planned to do while I was home and since I was only taking one course I thought that I could keep up with my art projects and reading schedules but no. Of course not. Here I am struggling to learn and have fun at the same time. While I can’t say the course is very stressful, it is heavy and I resent having to take it. But it is what it is and I hope I at least learn something!

Penguin Teen Virtual Events

Penguin Teen Canada has hosted some pretty cool virtual  events this month and I was so grateful to be a part of them! My partner and I even won the Trivia Night they had one day and I was so excited! So many great authors joined in, including Marie Lu!!!! It was just a great way to spend Friday nights talking about books!


Posts of the Month

Tune & Title Tuesdays

May 5, 2020
May 12, 2020
May 19, 2020
May 26, 2020

Tune & Title Tuesdays

My Favourite Book Children | I Am A Mother of Many

My Favourite Book Children

Rereading The Lunar Chronicles | Audiobook Edition // I. am. still. so. obsessed.

Rereading the Lunar Chronicles

Animal Crossing New Horizons Book Tag

BOOK TAG!

My Signed Books Collection | Second Edition

MY SIGNED BOOK COLLECTION


TBR

I have a plan people! If I get to every single book is another story entirely, but I have a plan and I am so very excited!

  1. Legend Series Reread leading up to Rebel by Marie Lu
  2. Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega
  3. Con Sabor Reading Challenge: The Moon Within by Aida Salazar, Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova
  4. Hunted by the Sky by Tanaz Bhathena
  5. Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim
  6. Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno (also for CSRC)

Plus whatever digital books I get from my library! You just never know exactly what you’re gonna read!


Let me know what you think! What have you read this month? What books did you get? What books are you looking forward to reading!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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