This isn’t a weekly feature, but I lurk around Amazon so frequently that I’ll definitely be doing more volumes of this! I also make Twitter threads about limited-time Kindle deals so be sure to follow me on Twitter and check out the #QuickKindleSteals hashtag. Also, make sure that you have the free Kindle app installed in your device before purchasing any of these books.
Title: A Spark of White Fire
Author: Sangu Mandanna
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Copy: Physical ARC
In a universe of capricious gods, dark moons, and kingdoms built on the backs of spaceships, a cursed queen sends her infant daughter away, a jealous uncle steals the throne of Kali from his nephew, and an exiled prince vows to take his crown back.
Raised alone and far away from her home on Kali, Esmae longs to return to her family. When the King of Wychstar offers to gift the unbeatable, sentient warship Titania to a warrior that can win his competition, she sees her way home: she’ll enter the competition, reveal her true identity to the world, and help her famous brother win back the crown of Kali.
It’s a great plan. Until it falls apart.
Inspired by the Mahabharata and other ancient Indian stories, A Spark of White Fire is a lush, sweeping space opera about family, curses, and the endless battle between jealousy and love.
Despite being heavily influenced by the ancient epic Mahabharata and other Indian lore, there is nothing quite like Mandanna’s latest novel – A Spark of White Fire is an absolutely unique, genre-defying gamechanger in YA. I’ll admit that I have never read the Mahabharata (although after reading this novel, I definitely plan to eventually get to it) so I don’t know how much material was adopted in the story. Nonetheless, by the end of it all, A Spark of White Fire is truly an incomparable gem of a space opera.
Tell me, while you’re scrolling through your Twitter feed (instead of working on the blog post you swore you’d finish today), do you ever come across a tweet from an author promoting their book and internally question why it is that you haven’t read it yet? And then minutes later, the same thing happens again: an author talking about their book, you wondering why it’s still in your TBR? And then this eventually turns into a vicious cycle of interest, confusion, guilt, and finally, shame?* Because why haven’t you read it, Shealea, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?
* If you can relate to this emotional rollercoaster, then let me send a ton of virtual hugs in your way! There is nothing to be ashamed of, lovely! If, on the other hand, you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, I suspect you’re still living in denial – and that’s okay, too.
I think you get what I’m saying. I follow a lot of incredibly kind, undeniably awesome authors, but for some of them, I haven’t read any of their books (which is a huge, gaping loss on my part, really). This is due to numerous factors: unavailability of books in my local bookstores (aka the struggles of every third-world country), time constraints because of college, prior commitments, and more often than not, my being a financially strapped college student (I am ridiculously broke, and if you could leave a little something in my tip jar before you close this tab, I will love you).
Regardless of the reason, I can’t help but feel more than a tad guilty about it. It’s not that I think these authors are upset with me for following them on Twitter despite having not read any of their books. But!!! It’s really just me wanting to befriend these authors. Me wanting to start tweeting them praises about their books! Me wanting to flood their Twitter notifications with colorful heart emojis! Me wanting to yell into the Twitter void about how much I love their books! ME WANTING TO GIVE THESE WONDERFUL AUTHORS ALL THE LOVE AND PRAISE AND SUPPORT THEY DESERVE!!!
However, in the long weekend that I spent back in the province (and miles away from the dreadful noise and abundant pollution of Metro Manila – thank the universe), my little sister invited me to watch Sierra Burgess Is a Loser with her. It turned out that the little pirate had illegally downloaded* a copy, which made me feel less horrible about indirectly supporting the film.
* I’m staunchly against pirating entertainment material, but I am also honest enough to admit that I have very little qualms about unpaid downloads of harmful and/or problematic material. Consider it a small act of rebellion and protest.
I’ve decided against writing a full review of this film because (1) I think there are enough critical, profound commentaries on Sierra Burgess Is a Loser that can more eloquently discuss the issues in the film than I ever could; (2) I don’t have a lot of free time on my hands; and (3) I’m too lazy to write a detailed review.
Instead, I’ve decided to share 101 of my thoughts as I watched Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, which, I believe, nicely and sufficiently represent my opinion on its content. I tried my best not to delve too much into the big spoilers of the film, but proceed with caution* anyway! Things are about to get really angry and occasionally yell-y.
Title: The Kiss Quotient
Author: Helen Hoang
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.
Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases–a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.
It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice–with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan–from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…
Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic.
I went into The Kiss Quotient with only the faint knowledge that it’s an incredibly hyped romance novel written by an Asian woman. I did not bother learning anything else about it or reading its synopsis before diving in. With that said, I was very much pleasantly surprised that this book follows the love story between a career-driven, autistic woman working in STEM and an artistic Vietnamese-Swedish love interest working as a male escort. It is also very much worth noting that The Kiss Quotient is #OwnVoices for its Asperger’s Syndrome, biracial, and Vietnamese representation.
Title: 500 Words or Less
Author: Juleah del Rosario
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Poetry
Copy: Digital ARC
To put it quite bluntly, I have a lot of mixed feelings about 500 Words or Less, especially when in relation to the expectations that I had before diving in. After learning that Juleah del Rosario is a Filipino author, I was incredibly excited to read her debut novel told in verse (being a Filipino myself and all that). I’ve only read one verse novel before — The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, which I ended up thoroughly enjoying. However, for me, 500 Words or Less seemed to pale in comparison.
500 Words or Less follows a Chinese-American girl who cheated on her now-ex-boyfriend with his best friend and, in doing so, lost her relationship and severely tainted her reputation in school. In an attempt to save face among her peers, Nic capitalizes on her writing skills and begins offering her fellow senior students to write their college admissions essays for them.
According to Google, falls begins on the first day of September and lasts until the last day of November – so that’s the timeframe I’m working with. If I’m wrong and Google has betrayed me without my knowledge, feel free to correct me!
Anyway, for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, the prompt is ‘Books on My Fall 2018 TBR’. I recently discussed why I’m not the type to make TBR posts, and if you read that post, you would understand why I’ve decided to share science fiction and fantasy releases from Asian authors that will be (or have already been) released in Fall 2018.