Anticipated Releases || May

Friday, May 20, 2022

 Huzzah! And so the series continues! (Just late again this time...) In this post, I'll be talking about books coming out this month that I'm interested in - from 'just on my radar' all the way to 'I would like that now, please'. If this post has caught you by surprise, and you have no idea what I'm talking about, please refer back to my January to March post, and my April post, for a little context! On we go!


May

~ 3rd - Book Lovers by Emily Henry

~ 24th - Blue Period v8 [manga]


Actually very little to talk about this month... and because I am quite late with this post, I have already read one of them. ^^; So, let's just get on and talk about Book Lovers by Emily Henry. I have previously read Beach Read, and also People We Meet on Vacation by this author, and absolutely adored both, so I was extremely eager to get my hands on Henry's newest book - and let me tell you, it did not at all disappoint. I zipped through this in two days (might've been less if I hadn't taken time away from reading for things like eating meals and spending time with loved ones. Henry just writes romance where I really care about the characters, and so I'm ultra-invested in what happens to them. And sometimes (read: often) I just need a little bit of fun! And this was fun, with serious topics mixed in. Utterly fantastic.


As to the Blue Period manga... I think both volume 7 and 8 have been much postponed from the dates I originally had at the start of the year (when I made my list). Quite a few things have been, and that's super understandable considering the times we live in right now. Still looking forward to their release later in the year/next year!


A very light month indeed, and I think that's going to be more of the norm as we go through the year. I hope to continue making these posts, though, as I find I'm quite enjoying them! Even when I'm kind of late... Love to all who read!

Book Review || Elektra by Jennifer Saint

Thursday, May 19, 2022

 



Elektra
Jennifer Saint
26th April 2022

I read Jennifer Saint's first book, Ariadne, last year and absolutely loved it. I know some people felt like it was a little too close to the original myth of Dionysus, but having only a small amount of experience of that I enjoyed it immensely. 

I had a little more knowledge of some of the events in this book, and found that I knew where things were going which was kind of good in a way. Jennifer Saint somehow conjures this feeling of utter dread during the course of the book - so much sadness and anger and thoughts of revenge and wanting to bring about justice for all the women in this book. As it's told from several different perspectives: Clytemnestra, Cassandra, and finally Elektra herself, each story has elements of happiness in it, that eventually change into something else.

I think that's kind of why it took me so long to read this, honestly. Just because I tended to feel so many emotions as I read from each person's point of view, and as the dread became thick and choking, I had trouble going back to it. But the writing, like in Ariadne, is just so beautiful and lyrical, that I kept coming back regardless. Jennifer Saint has such an amazing way of creating words that envelope you, making it hard to fall out of the story at all - it's like an amazing weaving that you can't help studying to see if you can find more details that you missed before.

I will admit that I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as I enjoyed Ariadne, and I think that just is to do with how sad and at times horrifying this tale is. But I do think Jennifer Saint's writing is absolutely gorgeous, so I will be coming back for whenever her next book releases.

7/10 beautifully wrought daggers in the dark.

{I received a review copy of this book from Hachette in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings are my own. Thank you!!}

Manga-ing My TBR || Blue Period [volumes 1 to 6]

Friday, April 15, 2022

 Ever since I got back into manga in June of last year, I've been regularly keeping up with a few series. I'd like to chat about them in a series of blog posts, and, to be honest, it will mostly be me gushing because... if I'm going to invest money and time into continuing a series, I have to really like it first! XD


Anyway, first up is Blue Period by Tsubasa Yamaguchi. To find out more about this series, please check out the synopsis >here<.



Honestly, I am not really sure where to start. Let me first let you know where I'm at with this series - I bought and read volume one last year, and then speedily devoured whatever volumes I could get my hands on (at the time of writing, I own volumes 1 to 6, excluding volume 3 which keeps going out of stock in so many places wow). As of just recently, I have finished reading volume 6 and now have to wait a few months for volume 7 to come out. I have not watched the Netflix anime series as yet - I'm really enjoying the manga at the moment and would kind of prefer to keep going with that for now, if I'm honest. Plus I'm already watching about three differents animes so...

This series is... so good. I have only had an issue with gender representation/deadnaming/incorrect pronouns in volume one (it has kind of continued on past that, but like... it's kind of complex? And the character on the receiving end of it seems to be okay with it/hasn't asked for specific pronouns to be used... Basically, I just feel like it could be handled better, but I think it also does a decent representation of how difficult it can be to figure things out as a queer person myself.) But, otherwise, I have just been really loving everything about this series.



It's so interesting, and it certainly fires me up creatively. I love learning about different things to do with art, different artist's work, and also about how artists portray themselves or the way they see the world through their work. The characters are really brilliant, too, and I really love learning more about each one. I wasn't sure I was going to like being in Yaguchi's head so much, but I've actually found him to be so relatable and interesting. I actually feel like I can't have a favourite character in this series, weirdly, because each scene just seems to make me love a different character more. Although, we do kind of spend a lot of time in Yaguchi's mind, so maybe I like him the best? Hard to say.


Either way, I really think this is a fantastic series, and I really can't wait to see where it's going. If you plan on buying the volumes, though, a word of advice: try to grab whatever you can when you see it, if at all possible. Because of a lot of stuff going on with the publishing industry (covid delays, paper shortages, etc.), many manga are not being reprinted regularly, so it can be hard to come across them sometimes, and you'll find yourself, like me, waiting several months to try and pick up volume three to complete your collection (of what has been published in English so far, that is). I do highly recommend reading it, though, if you are at all interested!




Book Review || Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li

Monday, April 11, 2022

 


Portrait of a Thief
Grace D. Li
12th April 2022

Oh, how I love being surprised and enjoying things so much more than I even thought! I was intrigued by the synopsis of this one - college students banding together to steal art back for the country it was taken from? Sign me up. But I also know myself, and I know I don't always like crime books - they're a bit too "gritty" for me generally speaking (says the person who revels in blood and gore in high fantasy... onwards!). When this arrived, I decided to sit down and read the first chapter or so, just to see if I felt like I was going to like it or not. And let me tell you, the rest was history.

Grace D. Li has such a lyrical and downright beautiful writing style - each chapter, and each perspective, gave these little moments of pause, where the character found themselves thinking about all manner of things, or just witnessing the unfolding of their own lives, and I was blown away by how Li was able to make me feel nostalgic or reminiscent for a life that I had never lived, and will never live. Each character is so beautifully drawn, failings and all, and don't even get me started on how well she painted each scene so that I felt like I could have been there with the characters as it all unfolded.

This story also manages to tackle big issues, like the theft of art from their countries of origin being displayed in museums and galleries where they are actually little more than the spoils of war, or items secretly stolen and yet somehow now the possessions of predominantly white powers around the world. It also looks at the experience of being the child of immigrants, or a child immigrant, and the difficulties of belonging, feeling like a part of one place, or possibly part of neither. Class, race, and even ties to family of origin and how they can get so hopelessly tangle: all are woven into this extraordinary book. I had to keep checking the author bio at the back of the book to confirm that this is a debut novel

If this is a debut, I cannot wait to see what Grace D. Li does next. I enjoyed every minute of my time with this book, and already have plans to reread it. Highly recommend.

10/10  bubble teas, ready to be drunk. (I think that may be my highest rating ever. XD)

(I received a review copy of this book from Hachette in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings are my own. Thank you!!)

Mini Picture Book Round-Up Review

Monday, April 4, 2022

 Occasionally, reading a picture book is just a fantastic way to chill out, or look at some good art, or learn something new. Sometimes it's all of the above. And when I receive picture books for review (thank you to the publishers!), I will sit down with my partner and we will read aloud to each other and it's lovely. So here are a couple of picture books that we have read recently in mini-review form! <3



Wombat Underground
Sarah L. Thomson
Illustrated by Charles Santoso
11th January 2022

This one is about the wildfires that Australia experienced in 2019 and 2020, and is based on stories of animals taking refuge in wombat burrows. The book is beautifully illustrated - and I mean beautifully. Each animal and all of the surrounding flora are lovingly depicted, and you can see each hair on the wombat, each quill on the echidna. Pair that with the spare, but still emotional story-telling, and this book is a winner. There's a little section at the end that answers a few questions about the books content, and I really appreciated that it was written out a little more there.
This book is fantastic, and I think fulfills all my needs in a picture book - beautiful, emotional, and also educational. A real winner.

10/10 wombats dozing underground.

(I received a review copy of this book from Hachette in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings are my own. Thank you!!)



Our Country: Ancient Wonders
Mark Greenwood & Frane Lessac
2nd February 2022

I was drawn to this one as I want to learn more about Australia this year and this seemed like a lovely picture book romp that might help me do that. Well, this was certainly educational. But I found it just wasn't really for me. Let me elaborate - each double-page spread talks about a different location, and gives a shorter, more picture-book-style narration, and then a larger more complex section going into a little more detail, and usually also a single sentence to describe basically what the location says about our country (for example, in an area talking about fossilised tracks, it refers to the fact that dinosaurs used to walk here).
This was good, but also kind of confusing in a way. It felt like it was trying to be three different books at once - each one for different levels of readers. While other readers may like this, I didn't really, and my partner and I kind of found ourselves struggling to read the book without getting sleepy (granted, we read this after a pretty long day, but still).
The illustration is really colourful and I loved how vibrant and saturated the whole book was. I also liked that the endpapers were maps, although I couldn't really find some of the locations spoken of on the map, which I found odd. The illustrations, whilst vibrant, were not really a style that I enjoy, and I found that also took me out of the book, along with the sometimes very specific, and sometimes very vague, story-telling.
All in all, not one I enjoyed, but still glad it exists.

5/10 old gumtrees.

(I received a review copy of this book from Walker Books in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings are my own. Thank you!!)


Anticipated Releases || April

Friday, April 1, 2022

 Look! Here I am again! And in a timely manner this time! ^_^ A very short time ago, I posted a ridiculously long summary of the books I had been anticipating in January, February, and March. (Psst! You can find that >here< if you'd like to catch up!) And now I am back to talk about what I'm excited for this month!

Similarly to before, the basic key is: regular text is something I've just got on my radar, italicised text is something I am moderately interested in, and bold text is something I am ridiculously excited for and will probably be preordering. On we go!


April

~ 12th - An Arrow to the Moon by Emily X. R. Pan

~ 12th - Blue Period v7 [manga]

~ 14th - HEDGEWITCH BY SKYE MCKENNA AHHHH

~ 19th - Fevered Star (Between Earth and Sky #2) by Rebecca Roanhorse

~ 19th - The Discord of Gods (A Chorus of Dragons #5) by Jenn Lyons

~ 28th - Elektra by Jennifer Saint

~ 28th - Paint with Thread by Emillie Ferris


Okay. Wow. I'm looking at this month and am just kind of amazed by how many of these I'm super excited for.

Starting with An Arrow to the Moon, I'm quite excited for this one. I was really surprised by Emily X. R. Pan's debut, The Astonishing Colour of After, which I ended up really loving, so I am tentatively excited to pick this one up.

Next we have another volume of Blue Period, however I suspect this one has been pushed back to June, unfortunately, so I will just have to be patient there. >.<

Hahah okay on the 14th we have Hedgewitch, which I am ridiculously excited for because Skye is actually a friend of mine and I absolutely freaking love this book. I cannot wait for it to finally be out in the world so I can tell everyone to buy it and read it and just fall in love with it as much as I have. I am just so excited for Skye, and her book and writing deserve all the praise and love. (I also have an ARC version of this, and am hoping to take photos of it soon for my bookstagram <3)

Next up, Fevered Star, which is the second book in the Between Earth and Sky series. Over time, I've actually gotten more excited for this, so I think I would now change this from italics to bold, but that's partially because I've started to remember the characters and the story and oh my goodness I want more please. And so I shall soon have! Planning to preorder this one, to be honest.

The Discord of Gods is something I mentioned in a blog post not too long ago, as I read the fourth book in this series, The House of Always, in March. And if I let myself gush about this too much more, I may just implode, so suffice to say I will be preordering this book and hopefully devouring it as soon as it get into my grubby paws. (Not grubby actually, I am a very clean badger.)

Ahhh Elektra. I am definitely excited for this one, but still a little tentative? I loved Ariadne, which was Jennifer Saint's debut novel, so I guess I'm just a little nervous to go into her second novel. Will it be love at first read once again? I guess that remains to be seen.

Oh and finally we have Paint with Thread. This is actually a nonfiction selection, literally about embroidery techniques, but I'm so excited about it. I follow the artist on Instagram and just love their work, so I'm very much looking forward to getting a copy of this to devour. (And for those that didn't know, yes, I do a little bit of embroidery myself :3)


And that's it for this month! Anything on my list you're also excited about, or have I perhaps given you something to look into? Anything I didn't mention that you are dancing with excitement for? Please do tell me if you feel so inclined!


Love to all who read. <3


Releases That I Anticipated || January to March

Monday, March 28, 2022

 I honestly debate with myself about doing posts like this every year. This year, I decided I would! But then didn't do it for several months (and this is going up at the end of March... -.-;)... So I thought I would do a little mostly back-dated post for the first few months of the year, maybe talk a bit about some of the releases I have gotten my hands on, and then from here - who knows? Maybe monthly? Maybe every three months? We shall see.... <.<

Anyway, the layout of the list will be exactly the same as how I set it up in my master google doc - you will see the dates I had at the start of the year for most things (often these change, so please do your own research if you are interested in any of these!), and I have a very basic key for indicating my interest in a book. If it's in regular text, that means I'm kind of interested, might not buy it, but definitely want to see what other people think when it comes out. If it's italicised that means that I'm slightly more interested, and may pick up a copy when it comes out. If it's in bold, then that means I am super excited about it, and will probably preorder a copy/get a copy immediately after its release. Pretty basic! And sometimes I surprise myself by being more or less excited about something as I get closer the release date. So yes, please take these designations with a grain of salt, as they can change at any time! On with the show!


Please note: I have provided links to Goodreads for each book I mention, however: some of the manga is only listed in Japanese on there as far as I can find, so apologies for that! Good for adding to your shelves on Goodreads, not so good for telling you what it's about! If anyone would like a post on a specific manga series and what it's about/how I'm liking it, please just drop your request down in the comment section <3


January

~ 4th - Ragna Crimson v4 [manga] ORDERED

~ 5th - The King’s Beast v4 [manga] ACQUIRED

~ 11th - The Amber Crown by Jacey Bedford 

~ 11th - The Bone Spindle by Leslie Vedder (review copy received)

~ 18th - Temple of No God (Hall of Smoke #2) by H. M. Long [preordered, but delayed]

~ 19th - Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan ACQUIRED


Okay, let's chat about this list. To be honest, we start with one that seems to have been delayed - at least, I haven't found it in any of the usual places that I acquire manga, so I have recently ordered a copy online. Ragna Crimson is the manga series that I actually started with back in June last year when I decided to get back into manga - I found book one at my local Dymocks and decided to give it a go, and really enjoyed it. I have been continuing with it as volumes become available to me and I have the funds for them. The King's Beast is kind of similar - I got into it much later in the year last year, but I have wanted to continue reading so I preordered it at said local Dymocks and have since read it - I still love this series, even though it's not quite a five star series for me just yet. The art is absolutely beautiful, though.

The Amber Crown I heard a little bit of buzz about last year, so I added it to my list to keep an eye on. I haven't really heard anything about it, so this may be one to do some more research on! Maybe my local library has a copy...

The Bone Spindle I was lucky enough to receive a review copy of, but, even though I enjoyed the first 20% of the book, I stalled badly on it after that. Still going to go back to it soon and see if I can rediscover my joy in it, but it remains to be seen. Daughter of the Moon Goddess is actually similar - whilst I bought my own copy, I absolutely loved the first 20% or so, but then stalled and have yet to go back. We shall see!

Finally, Temple of No God is one I'm really excited to get my hands on, so I preordered it at my local Dymocks, only to be told that it had been pushed back to May. Australian release dates are really weird, so it's been hard to see the book available to buy on Book Depository and such-like, but I will work hard to be patient until it comes in for me here. I loved the first book, Hall of Smoke, so this also gives me more time for a re-read beforehand!



February


~ 15th - House of Sky and Breath (Crescent City #2) by Sarah J. Maas ACQUIRED

~ 15th - Bright Ruined Things by Samantha Cohoe

~ 15th - The Case Files of Jeweler Richard v1 [manga]

~ 15th - Blue Period v6 [manga] PREORDERED

~ 17th - The Embroidered Book by Kate Heartfield RESERVED LIBRARY

~ 22nd - The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh RESERVED LIBRARY 

~ 22nd - Ragna Crimson v5 [manga] ORDERED


Ah, and here we are in February. The release of the awaited second book in the Crescent City series by Sarah J. Maas. You better believe I preordered this chonky bean, and read it immediately as soon as I had my little mitts on it. I really enjoyed it - perhaps not as much as the first book, but still really loved it. Really glad I preordered it, too!

Bright Ruined Things.... I...honestly have no idea why I put this on here? I don't even remember what it's about. I might need to look into it again XD

The Case Files of Jeweler Richard is an anime that one of my besterest friends recommended to me. I watched the whole thing and loved it, and wanted more. When I saw there was going to be a manga, I added it to this list immediately. Despite that... I still haven't ordered it or anything. I'm... not sure why. I need to rectify this. [Note: I just discovered this was a series of light novels first!]

Blue Period is a manga series that I absolutely love. (I am also aware that it's an anime series on Netflix, but I'm enjoying my experience with the manga so far, so I will probably be continuing in this way for now, and will probably watch the anime later on. I am absolutely brimming with excitement that volume 6 is on its way to me as we speak, particularly because one of my favourite characters is featured on the cover. Excitements!

The Embroidered Book had a bit of buzz around it coming into this year, and I have seen some booktubers I love really adoring it, so I added it to my list. I'm really happy that my local library is getting in a copy, so I will be giving it a go sometime soon and may get my own copy if I love it a lot.

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea just sounded fantastic, and the cover is gorgeous. Also extremely happy that my local library will be getting a copy, and feeling very lucky that I have access to libraries. Yay libraries <3

Finally, another volume of Ragna Crimson. Huzzah!



March

~ 1st - Blue Period v5 [manga] ACQUIRED

~ 1st - The Ivory Key by Akshaya Raman

~ 2nd/3rd - The King’s Beast v5 [manga] ORDERED

~ 8th - Crowbones (The World of the Others #3) by Anne Bishop ORDERED

~ 8th - A Far Wilder Magic by Allison Saft


Okay, I recognise that volume five of Blue Period is in March, whilst volume six was in February, but look, I'm just doing the best I can, and so are the publishers. But, basically, volume six has been somewhat delayed, and I already have a copy of volume five, so... success! I guess?
The Ivory Key... another one that I saw a little bit of buzz about last year that I have since heard virtually nothing about, so I might need to get back to researching it.
Another volume of The King's Beast... more excitements...
Ah! Crowbones! I cannot describe how excited I am for this one to arrive. (Also, damn are these hardcovers expensive!). I started this year in a bit of a reading slump, so I started re-reading the books in The Others series, which The World of the Others is kind of a spin-off from. And these books are seriously such a comfort read for me. I wish I owned more of them in their beautiful hardcover goodness, but my collection is a bit sporadic. Nevertheless, happy to (hopefully soon) have this one to add!
And, finally, because this post is way too long already, we have A Far Wilder Magic. I am so intrigued by this one. It seems magical and dark and interesting. I want to see what other people are thinking of this one, but I may see about getting my hands on a copy soon. Because, I mean, clearly my TBR is not full enough?

And there you have it, folks! If anyone took the time to sit down and read through this, I am absolutely amazed. I really enjoyed writing this, but not sure anyone else is interested in my ramblings about anticipated releases. I am already getting excited about things coming out in April, though, so I will try and have that post up in a more timely manner, so it's less me summing things up, and more me jumping up and down (virtually, of course) with excitement.

Anything that came out in these months that you were excited for? Anything I didn't mention? Please do feel free to comment, though I also understand the way of the lurker <3

Love to all who read!

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