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It’s Monday! What are you reading? May 16th, 2023

It’s Monday! What are you Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn from Book Date, a place to share and discuss what we’ve read in the past week and what we’re in the middle of or are planning to read this week.

It’s been quite a long time since my last post due to health issues. Thank you to everyone who sent messages and supported me during the time. I’m super glad to be back and hope to catch up with what has been happening in your lives!

Belated Happy Mother’s Day, best wishes and lots of gratitude to all mums in the world!

What I read / listened to last week:

Seoulmates by Susan Lee

Light, cute, and superficial? On one hand, I could definitely relate to Hanna’s ongoing struggle with her heritage and identity as well as her fear of abandonment issues, on the other hand, the narrative focused more heavily on Hannah’s feelings and Hannah’s experience, while Jacob’s story also had a lot of potential which didn’t exactly get explored in depth.

From the blurb:

Hannah Cho had the next year all planned out—the perfect summer with her boyfriend, Nate, and then a fun senior year with their friends.

But then Nate does what everyone else in Hannah’s life seems to do—he leaves her, claiming they have nothing in common. He and all her friends are newly obsessed with K-pop and K-dramas, and Hannah is not. After years of trying to embrace the American part and shunning the Korean side of her Korean American identity to fit in, Hannah finds that’s exactly what now has her on the outs.

But someone who does know K-dramas—so well that he’s actually starring in one—is Jacob Kim, Hannah’s former best friend, whom she hasn’t seen in years. He’s desperate for a break from the fame, so a family trip back to San Diego might be just what he needs… that is, if he and Hannah can figure out what went wrong when they last parted and navigate the new feelings developing between them.

Her ex-boyfriend wants her back. Her former best friend is in town. When did Hannah’s life become a K-drama?

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir- yep, the one line description on the cover sums it up pretty well. If you’re planning to read this gothic fantasy sci/fi thriller (good luck to anyone trying to define the genre it’s written in), it helps to know that you will be thrown into a dark world and will spend a large part of the book in a state of uncertainty. At some point, the story seemed to lean heavily towards a mystery and I felt almost as if I was getting my bearings…then things went back to being properly gothic and horror-like. The moment Gideon started fighting, I couldn’t help falling in love with the author’s writing and the main character who never let me down throughout the book.

One word description: unique.

From the blurb:

The Emperor needs necromancers.

The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.

Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit.

Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die.

Of course, some things are better left dead.

What I am reading/listening to now:

An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard

From the blurb:

There is a dark secret that is hiding at the heart of New York City and diminishing the city’s magicians’ power in this fantasy thriller by acclaimed author Kat Howard.

In New York City, magic controls everything. But the power of magic is fading. No one knows what is happening, except for Sydney—a new, rare magician with incredible power that has been unmatched in decades, and she may be the only person who is able to stop the darkness that is weakening the magic. But Sydney doesn’t want to help the system, she wants to destroy it.

Sydney comes from the House of Shadows, which controls the magic with the help of sacrifices from magicians.

What I’m reading /listening to next:

Vita Nostra by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko

From the blurb:

The definitive English language translation of the internationally bestselling Ukrainian novel—a brilliant dark fantasy with “the potential to be a modern classic” (Lev Grossman), combining psychological suspense, enchantment, and terror that makes us consider human existence in a fresh and provocative way.

Our life is brief . . .

While vacationing at the beach with her mother, Sasha Samokhina meets the mysterious Farit Kozhennikov under the most peculiar circumstances. The teenage girl is powerless to refuse when this strange and unusual man with an air of the sinister directs her to perform a task with potentially scandalous consequences. He rewards her effort with a strange golden coin.

As the days progress, Sasha carries out other acts for which she receives more coins from Kozhennikov. As summer ends, her domineering mentor directs her to move to a remote village and use her gold to enter the Institute of Special Technologies. Though she does not want to go to this unknown town or school, she also feels it’s the only place she should be. Against her mother’s wishes, Sasha leaves behind all that is familiar and begins her education.

As she quickly discovers, the institute’s “special technologies” are unlike anything she has ever encountered. The books are impossible to read, the lessons obscure to the point of maddening, and the work refuses memorization. Using terror and coercion to keep the students in line, the school does not punish them for their transgressions and failures; instead, their families pay a terrible price. Yet despite her fear, Sasha undergoes changes that defy the dictates of matter and time; experiences which are nothing she has ever dreamed of . . . and suddenly all she could ever want.

and possibly…

Harrow The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

How did your last week go and what are you reading this week?

31 replies on “It’s Monday! What are you reading? May 16th, 2023”

      1. That’s great. I had to take about a month off from my blog a year ago, after getting a somewhat rough case of COVID, and I remember the good feeling of getting back to blogging after I recovered.

        I hope you’re feeling better and that you continue feeling better!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Joyce! Blogging is such a wonderful part of our lives..Just reading other people’s posts and knowing we’re on the same wavelength makes any day better. Have a great week, my friend!💜💜💜

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Welcome back! I’m sorry you’ve been sick. I always think people are doing something fun when they’re gone. I just finished Hello Beautiful which I recommend as a big family drama told from multiple points of view but it did have a few mistakes which in my opinion should have been caught. I’m from Chicago and went to Northwestern in the era of the main characters so I am not only familiar with the geography, I’m familiar with the era. I’m guessing this wouldn’t bother most people, but it bother me. Overall, it’s well written and an interesting story. I also read I Kissed Shara Wheeler which was also a mystery not just a YA romance making it far more interesting than I anticipated. It deserved the attention it received.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Laura! It’s nice to be back 🤗🤗🤗
      I’d love to read Hello Beautiful sooner or later. I’m afraid I will be totally oblivious of the mistakes you’ve mentioned, but I can relate to your feelings. I don’t always feel easy when a popular book is set in ‘my childhood landscape’. I keep telling myself that this is fiction and authors are free to re-imagine past, present and future, and it’s fine as long as the authors do their research thoroughly. Beta readers also help to pick on anything non-authentic, but sometimes mistakes slip in… and they bother me. Just my little rant!🤗
      Have a wonderful reading week!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know, it’s just easy enough to check facts. There was also one phase used that was not of the era in the beginning that actually made me crazy – it was from a previous generation or maybe earlier! so I really had my radar up. 😉 My next book (MY BOOK!) had a cover reveal today! It was on a picture book blog and I reblogged it! ☀️

        Liked by 1 person

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