“She…hoped. And hope was dangerous. Hope was the most vicious evil of them all, the thing that had managed to thrive in Pandora’s box among misery, and disease, and sadness—and what could endure alongside others with such teeth if it didn’t have ghastly claws of its own?”
– Chloe Gong, These Violent Delights
These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong (These Violent Delights, #1)
Published: November 17, 2020 Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books Category: YA Genre: historical, fantasy, retelling, romance Pages: 463 My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5 stars) Goodreads page
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Perfect for fans of The Last Magician and Descendant of the Crane, this heart-stopping debut is an imaginative Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai, with rival gangs and a monster in the depths of the Huangpu River.
The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.
A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.
But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.
[ This synopsis was taken directly from Goodreads. ]
“It is an illusion to assume we choose whom we love. I cannot change how I feel about you. I would move the sun and the moon if it meant being with you.”
Elizabeth Lim, Spin the Dawn
Title: Spin the Dawn Series: The Blood of Stars, #1 Author: Elizabeth Lim Published: July 9, 2019 Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers Genre: YA fantasy, retelling, romance Pages: 392 My Rating: ★★★★☆ Goodreads page
This review is spoiler-free!
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Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.
Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.
Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.
And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.
Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renée Ahdieh.
[ This synopsis was taken directly from Goodreads. ]
Title: A Curse So Dark and Lonely Series: Cursebreakers, #1 Author: Brigid Kemmerer Publisher: Bloomsbury YA Genre: young adult, fantasy, fairy tale retelling, romance Pages: 489 My Rating: ★★★★☆ Goodreads page
I’ve created a dream cast one time before a couple years ago (check out my Throne of Glass Dream Cast here), and I had a fun time discovering new actors and actresses as I scoured the internet to find the perfect person to fill the role of each character. I thought it was due time that I try and make another dream cast, but this time for a different beloved series: The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.
I don’t know a lot of actors or actresses, meaning I don’t know much about their acting skills and styles (because I don’t watch a lot of TV shows or movies). Because of that, I chose these people you’re about to see solely based on their looks. I know that’s not how actors are chosen, but I’m so clueless when it comes to celebrities. Just keep that in mind.
I was bored so I thought I could play a little fun game called Kiss, Marry, Kill with the characters from The Lunar Chronicles.
If you don’t know what the game is, it’s basically where I take a set of people (in my case, characters), put their names in a cup, and draw three names. Then I have to decide who to kiss, marry, and kill. It’s that simple.
Just a warning, if you have not read the full series and don’t want to be spoiled, I highly suggest you finish reading the series (because it’s amazing) before reading this post. I include characters that are introduced later in the series and I don’t want to spoil any surprises for anyone who hasn’t experienced the awesome world that is the Lunar Chronicles.
I don’t know about you, but I’m currently on a To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before high right now. After watching the movie, Peter and Lara Jean are all I can think about.
(I probably won’t stop fangirling about them for a while. Just a warning. Speaking of fangirling about Noah and Lana, I read this Buzzfeed article about them and I honestly can’t handle how cute they are together. Just when you don’t think they could get any cuter they hit you with something like this.)
Anyway, I wanted to suggest some books for those who are looking for some cute book relationships after watching/reading To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Girl (or guy), I get it. I can’t handle the adorable-ness either.
Some of these book/series are mega popular and you’ve probably already read them, but I hope you find some gems in here that you haven’t tried out.