July 2019 Recap [part one, reading] yes I’m not meeting my goals for YARC19, what about it

Another month went by, and it was another month of me failing at this yearly reading challenge.

By this reading challenge, I am talking about the Year of the Asian reading challenge.

Which I’m failing.

Also, my bluetooth mouse keeps on failing and disconnecting really randomly, so that is really just spicing up my blogging game!!! It’s really just a *special* surprise for me to move the mouse and oh wow! it’s not working!

My last mouse also broke, so… what does this mean. Why am I so bad at using mouses.

Anyways, I decided to update the way that I format my monthly reading recaps!! Instead of listing all three covers and then proceeding to talk about them, I am now aligning the cover alongside the text, so that you can actually see the cover when I talk about them.

{all covers link to their Goodreads}

reading stuff

books i read


Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan [reread] ★★★★★

— I was actually so scared to reread this because I thought that maybe I wouldn’t like it as much as I did the first time, but surprise: I actually loved it so much more!

I think now, I was able to appreciate the themes of it more and just how much I enjoyed the romance, while before I was kind of speeding through it? Also, I thought I would be bored in the beginning because of the traveling scene, but I really wasn’t! (Everybody say thank you Natasha Ngan.) Buddy read with Ilsa! [blog review]


Fake It Till You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen ★★★☆☆

— I mean… enemies-to-lovers but also, fake-dating is kind of amazing. And the fact that the moms are trying to match-make them? GOLD. However… this wasn’t as good as I thought it would be.

The narrators both had really young voices compared to what I thought they would have, and they were both so NAIVE oh my god. (Even though the pining was cute.) Also, for some reason I thought that the love interest was going to be Vietnamese, but he isn’t, which really surprised me. There’s also some mild cheating going on, which was wild and made me sad. [goodreads review to come]


Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan ★★★★★

— Was this disappointing? Yes. Am I still giving it five stars though? YES. I love Natasha Ngan and this world so much, so leave me aloneee.

I mean, objectively, this book’s plot? Not perfect. An actual well-done climax? Nonexistent. BUT I LOVE LEI AND WREN AND I JUST HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS FOR THEIR ENTIRE GROUP AND of course I am rating this five stars because my heart is emotional and I am emotional. Also, this book really adds another dimension to some of these characters, which I just love. Buddy read with May! Who hasn’t tagged me in their goodreads review??? RUDE. [blog review to come around release date!!]

There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon ★★★★★35583527. sy475

— Wowowowow this might be my favorite Sandhya Menon book!! This was SO cute and I love Ashish and Sweetie so so so so much. (And I am 100% hype for the next one, 10 Things I Hate About Pinky.)

This was also really, really hilarious and I’m just a huge fan of how family was represented positively within this book while also showing how a lot of family members… can be conservative and have terrible and misguided views. [goodreads review to come]


Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett ★★★★★

— Wow, I mean, I was a little disappointed with Jenn’s Alex, Approximately, but THIS ONE WAS SO GOOD. I love Lennon so, so much and I am here for his two moms??

When I found out that Lennon had two kind moms and that those were who the main character (lmao I forgot her name)’s dad hated, I KNEW HE WAS A TERRIBLE PERSON. Anyways, 100% here for these camping trip shenanigans and the banter. There’s a particular cave/snake scene that was just high quality and 11/10. (Also, this book mentioned this horror manga, The Enigma of Amigara Fault about these human-shaped holes in a mountain, and you all should read it because I read it and I’m scarred now. Like, that LAST PANEL.) [goodreads review to come]

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The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen ★★★★☆

— Uhhhhh so… I liked this. Enough to give it four stars!! However, that was only after I read in about 130 pages and finally got invested enough to care about the main character, Fie, and Tavin. Jasimir is a little wimp.

And I mainly forced myself to read through the first section because I had to read this for a blog tour, so if you try this out, you might straight up just DNF because nothing interesting happens within the first 100 pages. However, the world and concept is actually kind of amazing!! Here for the tooth magic. [blog tour review to come!]


overall reading analysis

Y’all, this reading month was actually kind of great because I didn’t rate anything less than four stars? (Although I might have rated Fake it Till You Break It three stars. BUT IT’S TOO LATE.)

edit: I’m changing the rating of Fake It till You Break It to three stars instead of four LMAO

average rating: 4.5

favorite book: Either There’s Something About Sweetie or Starry Eyes. Both were actually excellent.

least favorite bookFake It Till You Break It… not to roast this book but I am actually so sad. Also, does the first 30% of The Merciful Crow count? Because that was painful.


books i read for #yarc2019

link to YARC information

Yes, I *am* forever crying because I only read FOUR!!!! books that qualify for YARC, when Jade City was supposed to be my fifth, but then when I had 2 hours and 50 minutes of the audiobook left… it was returned to the library.

I am… deceased. I was going to wake up at like, 7am to hurry and finish the novel, but guess what: I went back to sleep.

Anyways, besides the fact that I have a lot of regrets, I read four books:

  • Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan [ownvoices Malaysian-Chinese representation]
  • Fake it Till You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen [ownvoices Vietnamese representation, biracial relationship (white love interest)]
  • Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan [ownvoices Malaysian-Chinese representation]
  • There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon [ownvoices Indian representation; side m/m relationship]

However… I was going to give myself ONE more book for YARC because I read 24 volumes of manga (Boku No Hero Academia), but… I have decided not to. Because I have always made a big distinction between manga and Western novels in my head ever since I was young?? AND IDK IT JUST FEELS WEIRD TO ME.

So, my current count is 17/50, and I’m clearly living at the peak of my reading challenges.

In August, YES I am going to be reading a short poem book and a graphic novel to boost up those numbers. Of course.


goodreads reviews i wrote

I literally did not write a single Goodreads review. 😎 (which is shown where I say “goodreads review to come” a million times.)



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Jade City is currently a buddy read with Lily, Tiffany, and trashcan!! (And yes, Lily did finish the book ages before the rest of us.) And I’m going to be buddy reading Lucky Caller with this icon, Melanie.

But… for the rest… please let me know if you want to buddy read!!


physical book haul

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Thank you so much to Shenwei for sending me The Beautiful!!! The rest were from pubs so thank you to The Novl, Penguin, and Albert Whitman!! (In order!!) (Of course I couldn’t not request the sequel of Ignite the Stars. WHO WOULD I BE.)


digital book haul

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Uh… apparently I’m whitelisted for Macmillan, which means that I can download any of their titles on Edelweiss!!! (I don’t know how that happened but lmao thank you.) Anyways, all of these except for Small Spaces & Infinity Son were titles that I straight up just downloaded. YES, I DID GO WILD… and there are more titles I want to download omg.

Also, Small Spaces was available as Read Now on Netgalley and… it released in 2018 and also, was a PDF. Like, okay.

I’m probably going to be buddy reading All-American Muslim Girl with Khadidja, Gideon the Ninth with Ilsa, and The Girl The Sea Gave Back with Shealea, but for the other titles: if you want to buddy read, seriously let me know!


most anticipated books for next month

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I mean, you could also read my post about my most anticipated releases of the second half of 2019 or you could not (and be a cool kid). So what is it, be cool or read my posts??

Anyways, of course I want to read The Downstairs Girl because it’s an ownvoices Chinese novel so…. how could I not. Also, I don’t really understand Crown of Coral and Pearl but I think that it’s an arranged marriage but she falls for the brother sort of thing?? WHICH MAKES ME JUST FEEL BAD FOR THE NON-BROTHER. WOW. I’m a fan of that cover though.


past reading goals

I always forget that I do goals, and I STRAIGHT UP WAS GOING TO POST THIS without talking about my past reading goals. Wow.

  • read 7 Asian books

✘ Nope!! Wow. I overestimate myself all the time.

  • read the arcs I need to (especially the Merciful Crow)

✘ Kind of?? Well, I read The Merciful Crow!! Certainly not Shatter the Sky, though, the book that uhhh published July 30th! Jokes on you!!!

  • write seven Goodreads reviews!

✘ NOPE!! This is sad and hilarious at the same time. BYE.


future reading goals

  • read all of my required school books !!oh my god!! (there are four in total)
  • read all of my physical arcs that have released or are releasing august and september
  • write 4 goodreads reviews
  • read 8 books
  • read 7 asian books


tell me your thoughts 2

How was your reading in July? What reading challenges did you participate in or are you going to participate in? Have you given a subjective rating of five stars before (and what books)? Are you scared that it’s August now??? BECAUSE I AM. I’M NOT OK. 


  1. I did not know YARC was a thing! I’m starting late, but going to join on in since I just checked out four books from Asian American authors this weekend. It’s unfortunate that Fake It Til You Make It wasn’t a good book because I’m always looking for more Vietnamese authors to read and support (but I’m not a fan of YA books).

    I’d recommend reading On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong. It was a really beautiful book!

    ✰ maidoesthings.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG yes pleaase join in on YARC!! It’s going to be amazing and there are also linkups and it’s just overall?? a 10/10 experience (except for the stress of not meeting your goals.. ahaha.) Maybe still try Fake It Till You Make It if you’re very interested in the concept!! I really did enjoy some of the pining in it, lmao.

      On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous sounds really interesting!! What’s it about? ❤


  2. It sounds like you read some awesome things in July, which is always good (and some disappointing things, but that is unavoidable sadly). And kudos for MAKING challenges for yourself, even if you didn’t meet them all because that is still a thing. I am too scared to even challenge myself at all, okay, so honestly I admire people who do. My favorite reads from July were House Arrest and Knock Out by K. A. Holt. They are written in verse and I don’t have a lot of experience with that but I absolutely loved them.
    I don’t even do star ratings for books. My ratings are all over the place and it just doesn’t make sense to me.
    YES. I am scared that it’s August. Where does the time GO? The older I get the fast time leaves me and I feel like tomorrow I am going to wake up and I’ll be a grandma and I’ll be like…what happened? There are still so many books I need to read!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AHAHA I am bad at challenging myself.. or I challenge myself but don’t rise up to the challenge?? AND I END UP DOING NOTHING. It’s terrible.

      Oh I haven’t read anything by K.A. Holt, but I do love books written in verse!! They’re so fun to consume and I feel like I always read them quicker than books that I read in prose.

      Omg my star ratings are also all messed up!! They’re totally not consistent to the previous years as I’ve just become more critical and cynical recently and now I rate a lot of things really low lmao.

      I’m 100% not okay with the passage of time. PETITION TO MAKE IT STOP? I’m ALSO scared that I’m suddenly going to be a grandma and not even remember anything!! YOU’RE RIGHT, there are books we need to read.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. yesssssss I’M PROUD OF YOU FOR MAKING IT UP IN THE LAST HALF. Lmao… I’m doing really really badly in YARC too so seriously, do not worry about it. We’re all getting the really cute badges anyways… also that’s a good idea for ratings on emotional level!! I try to balance it between both, but for some books I just impulse-five-star lmao

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I got approved for infinity son as well I’M SO EXCITED. i also impulsively downloaded gideon the ninth and there will come a darkness and i have no idea how i’m gonna read them both by the end of the month! You’ve got me scared for GOSAS, especially since I didn’t enjoy GOPAF as much as I’d like, but i *may* be getting an arc so we’ll see. I hope u you have a wonderful august–i can’t believe it’s August!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YESSSS omg impulse downloads for There Will Come a Darkness & Gideon the Ninth?? WE APPROVE OF THOSE IN THIS HOUSE!!! I literally impulse-downloaded so many titles and it’s bad… guess how many unreviewed titles I have on EW? It’s over 20!!! Hahahaha I am not okay. AHHH GOOD LUCK WITH GOSAS. A lot of people have been disappointed, but I was more invested in the characters than the plot so if you’re the same, you may have a good time?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the new format of your reading wrap up! Omg I need need NEED to read Girls of Paper and Fire! I’m so conflicted about whether or not I should read Fake It Til You Break It – it sounds so adorable but I’ve heard such mixed reviews & if there’s one thing I hate in books, it’s CHEATING so I don’t know… 😕

    Hope you have a great August!! 😊

    💛 Ngoc

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh, thank you so much, Ngoc!! I’m really glad you like my new format. ❤ OKAY YOU SHOULD READ GIRLS OF PAPER AND FIRE SOON especially because of the *sequel* and you'll need to read the sequel right after GoPaF!! I liked Fake It Till You Break It, but like… it was kind of forgettable to me? So I wouldn't totally, totally recommend. It was a really easy and fun read though!

      I hope you had a good August! ❤


  5. So glad to hear that you’ve loved Girls of Paper and Fire (+ the sequel) so much, because I still haven’t read it, but would really like to soon 😱 What really boosted my YARC was reading manga for the first time, it was a nice experience 🙂 Good luck with all your goals, I hope you have a great August 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, I totALLY RECOMMEND reading those two books soon!! I’m really excited to see where the third book goes and I hope that it’ll just be a really solid trilogy, ahhh!! Ooh, isn’t manga so amazing? IT’S JUST SO ADDICTING FOR ME and I love it so much! What manga/s have you read?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I really hope that I’ll get to them 🥰 It’s really great to switch things up and read some manga! So far I’ve not read much, only the Orange mangas & they got some Zelda manga in my library as well 🙂 what are your favorites?


  6. Ahh I’m really sad that GoSaS disappointed you but was still good?? I’m nervously/eagerly anticipating reading it because I don’t want to be let down but then again if I’m invested in the characters I can enjoy the book no matter what the plot is, so I think I’ll end up liking it more than I think I will.🙃

    I’m glad you loved There’s Something About Sweetie so much! I’m hoping to read it soon because I loved When Dimple Met Rishi so much (although I didn’t love From Twinkle, With Love by the same author).

    Happy reading in August!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YEAH I really don’t know how to describe my experience with GOSAS… we have a love-hate relationship, haha!! I think if you don’t care about the plot, then you’ll enjoy GOSAS a lot!! ❤ I hope you have fun reading about it, because I really love the new cast of characters!

      I think you'll definitely like There's Something About Sweetie! I didn't like From Twinkle, With Love like you, and SWEETIE has a more mature voice than TWINKLE!! It was just generally more funny and didn't have a lot of aspects that annoyed me with TWINKLE! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. highlight of this entire post: you talking about your bluetooth mouse continuously disconnecting bc thats an ABSOLUTE mood.
    my trackpad was giving me issues last month (thankfully its fixed) but this is the relatable content that i signed up for

    nooooo i wanted fake it till you break it to be the asian enemies to lovers that the world was waiting for 😭😭 absolute tragedy

    you got so many amazing books in your hauls omg i hope to be seeing lots of 5 stars from you soon (or else ill cry) AND LETS 👏 GET👏 THOSE👏 YARC👏 READS👏 MOVING👏YOU GOT THIS👏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you so much me and my bluetooth mouse aim to be relatable <33 also I AM FOREVER MAD that my bluetooth mouse literally disconnects like every other second and I'm not over it!! also glad your trackpad is fixed omg



      Liked by 1 person

  8. I read Frankly in Love and it’s the best of 2019 for me so far. Eclipse the Skies is high on my TBR as is any book Sandhya Menon writes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG really?? That’s amazing, and now I’m really, really hyped for Frankly In Love. YESS I love meeting other people who are excited for Eclipse the Skies!! That series deserves more hype tbh. Sandhya Menon is a romance queen and I’m so excited for all of her future novels.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m so sad that Fake It Til You Break It was a bit disappointing, this book sounded so, so so good 😦 I still want to read it, but I’ll lower my expectations I think, thank you for the heads up! And Starry Eyes ahhh so happy you loved that one I can’t wait to read it!! 😀
    I hope you’re having a wonderful month ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you read Fake it Till You Break It, def tell me your thoughts bc I’m super super interested to hear from a Contemporary Queen like you, lmao. Yeah, I had The Highest expectations, so you might enjoy it more with lower ones? AHHH READ STARRY EYES READ STARRY EYES IT IS ACTUALLY A LOT BETTER THAN ALEX APPROXIMATELY!!! ❤ Hope you had a great August!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yesss, GOPAF was really good the second time around and I actually appreciated it so much more, now that I wasn’t so absorbed in the plot bc I knew what was happening!! I definitely recommend you try out Starry Eyes, I think you might like it!


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