The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

35068705Title: The Poppy War

Series: The Poppy War #1

Author: R.F. Kuang

Pub Date: 2018

My Rating: ★★★★★

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

When Rin aced the Keju, the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies, it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard, the most elite military school in Nikan, was even more surprising.

But surprises aren’t always good.

Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.

For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .

Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.

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ARCs I’m reading next

I must admit that I often get to click-happy when I’m on Netgalley, and I end up with too many ARCs to review. I fallen behind with my reading, but I’m dedicating next few reading weeks to reading ARCs I got recently, so I review them around their publication date. Here’s a list of ARCs I’m reading next.

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Watching You by Lisa Jewell (pub. December 26th, 2018) is a mystery thriller, set in Bristol, England. The nicest neighborhood in the city is not the sort of place where people are brutally murdered in their own kitchens.  But it is the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you. Synopsis: As the headmaster credited with turning around the local school, Tom Fitzwilliam is beloved by one and all—including Joey Mullen, his new neighbor, who quickly develops an intense infatuation with this thoroughly charming yet unavailable man. Joey thinks her crush is a secret, but Tom’s teenaged son Freddie—a prodigy with aspirations of becoming a spy for MI5—excels in observing people and has witnessed Joey behaving strangely around his father.
One of Tom’s students, Jenna Tripp, also lives on the same street, and she’s not convinced her teacher is as squeaky clean as he seems. For one thing, he has taken a particular liking to her best friend and fellow classmate, and Jenna’s mother—whose mental health has admittedly been deteriorating in recent years—is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam is stalking her. 
Meanwhile, twenty years earlier, a schoolgirl writes in her diary, charting her doomed obsession with a handsome young English teacher named Mr. Fitzwilliam… 

The Furies by Katie Lowe (pub. May 2nd) is a murder mystery. In 1998, a sixteen-year-old girl is found dead on school property, dressed in white and posed on a swing, with no known cause of death. The novel opens with this image, as related to us by the narrator, Violet, looking back on the night it happened from the present day, before returning to relate the series of events leading up to the girl’s murder.

The Snakes by Sadie Jones (pub. March 7th) is a family drama, following recently married couple. From blurb: “Trying to escape London, they drive to France to visit Bea’s brother at the hotel he runs in Burgundy. Disturbingly, they find him all alone and the ramshackle hotel deserted, apart from the nest of snakes in the attic. When Alex and Bea’s parents make a surprise visit, Dan can’t understand why Bea is so appalled, or why she’s never wanted him to know them; Liv and Griff Adamson are charming, and rich. Tragedy strikes suddenly, brutally, and in its aftermath the family is stripped back to its heart, and then its rotten core, and even Bea with all her strength and goodness can’t escape.

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The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee

32711705Title: The Dazzling Heights

Series: The Thousandth Floor #2

Author: Katharine McGee

Pub Date: 2017

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

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Previous book in the series: The Thousandth Floor


Synopsis from Goodreads:

All that glitters is not gold.

New York City, 2118. Manhattan is home to a thousand-story supertower, a breathtaking marvel that touches the sky. But amid high-tech luxury and futuristic glamour, five teenagers are keeping dangerous secrets…

Leda is haunted by memories of what happened on the worst night of her life. She’ll do anything to make sure the truth stays hidden—even if it means trusting her enemy.

Watt just wants to put everything behind him…until Leda forces him to start hacking again. Will he do what it takes to be free of her for good?

When Rylin wins a scholarship to an upper-floor school, her life transforms overnight. But being there also means seeing the boy whose heart she broke, and who broke hers in return.

Avery is tormented by her love for the one person in the world she can never have. She’s desperate to be with him…no matter the cost.

And then there’s Calliope, the mysterious, bohemian beauty who arrives in New York determined to cause a stir. And she knows exactly where to begin.

But unbeknownst to them all, someone is watching their every move, someone with revenge in mind. After all, in a world of such dazzling heights, just one wrong step can mean a devastating fall.

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Pretty covers of January 2019

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Looking at the pretty covers in the Contemporary section I found two that caught my eye Golden Child by Claire Adam and Elsey Come Home by Susan Conley. First is about father’s search for a missing son, and is set in rural Trinidad. The second book is about a former painter, who drowns her unhappiness in alcohol and constant worry, whose husband is giving her an ultimatum to go on a mountain retreat or they are done.

I rarely find pretty covers in the mystery and thriller section, but in January a translation of French novel – The Last of the Stanfields by Marc Levy will be published and I adore the cover. It’s a novel about a journalist who received alluding to a crime committed by her deceased mother. She meets a stranger who received a similar letter about his mother, which brings them to a journey into their families’ past.

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The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

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Title: The Wedding Date

Author: Jasmine Guillory

Pub Date: 2018

My Rating: ★★★★☆

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Buy on Book Depository | Wordery


Synopsis from Goodreads:
A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in a fun and flirty debut novel.
Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally do. But there’s something about Drew Nichols that’s too hard to resist.
On the eve of his ex’s wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend…
After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she’s the mayor’s chief of staff. Too bad they can’t stop thinking about the other…
They’re just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century–or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want…

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2019 releases by my favourite authors

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Aurora Rising – May 7th

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.


My previous reads by the authors: Illuminae | Gemina

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My first Book Depository orders

Let’s go down the memory line, and see what are my first ever English books I bought. The first ever book I attempted to read in English was of course Harry Potter. I was obsessed with this book, so it was an obvious choice for me to read it in English. I never actually completed this book… My first Book Depository orders don’t represent the books I read in English first, before I invested my own money into those books I was borrowing books from my aunt. But after a while her books weren’t enough, and I had an enormous fascination with Lena Dunham and feminism at this point (first one is long gone, second is still with me), so here are the books I bought at this time, back in 2015.

First order: January 6th, 2015

The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.

by Adelle Waldman

9780099558996

I’m pretty sure I bough this book because it was mentioned in Lena Dunham’s book or mentioned somewhere by her. I loved this book. I don’t remember much of it right now, but when I think about the book I just remember that I enjoyed it. Maybe I’ll re-read it soon to check my feelings about it now?

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