Reviews

Daughter of the Moon Goddess-Sue Lynn Tan

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2.5 ⭐

Titles are inherited, talent might be blood-bound, but true greatness lies within.

there are over a hundred feelings that a human experiences in their lifetime and as i closed this book, i felt a dull disappointment. 

i know that this is a fantasy favourite all over Goodreads and bookstagram but unfortunately not one for me. this was underwhelming and nothing particularly stood out to me, except the chinese influences and inspiration. considering that this a retelling of the chinese moon goddess chang-e i thought there would be more of a focus on her and houyi rather than her daughter. 

this book begins with action with xingyin being forced to flee her home and hide from the celestial emperor who had imprisoned her mother. 

the characters and narration + pacing didn’t work for me and they’re arguably the most important parts of a story, aside from the plot. 

i couldn’t connect to any of the characters, xingyin the least.  her personality remains a constant throughout the novel. the only thing i knew about her was that she loved her mother and was brilliant at archery. 

there is a love triangle which is rather cliche. you have your typical friendly-charismatic-friend-turned-lover vs a tall-dark-handsome-mysterious-guy. while the romantic angst was entertaining, the mutual jealousies and rivalries were not 😂 
also there was zero chemistry and i don’t GET the attraction! I’d prefer for xingyin to end up with no one but if i absolutely had to chose, i’d say liwei and that’s only because I’m tired of  ✨ mysterious ✨ guys in YA.

Once you had seen the full moon, the crescent lost its charm.

the plot is pretty wild and all over the place but i admit to being hooked in the last third. it’s quite a ride from xingyin training with the prince, then choosing the life of a soldier in the army to being whisked away on a quest. 
however the narration was extremely detached and what should’ve been a breathless experience turned into something as boring as a maths lecture (i swear, I’m not exaggerating lol)  
over the course of 500 pages there’s zero character development or change in tone.

objectively this book is quite action packed but the formula of 2-3 chapters build-up, 1 chapter action then 1 chapter resolution did not work for me. as soon as the climax would reach its peak, there would be a swift resolution and then a change of scene. 

there’s a lot of change of setting and plenty of action as well but the latter is overshadowed by the flowery writing. 

the dialogue as well took a while to get used to and i found it too stiff and formal for my liking -though that might have been to set the tone of the novel 

Was this where all paths to love led? Heartbreak, whether through separation, betrayal, or death? Was the fleeting joy worth the sorrow that came after?

the writing is gorgeous and I’ve highlighted dozens of quotes on my tablet but it took away the glitter of the plot for me. in certain cases -such as caraval – the prose and plot work together. however daughter of the moon goddess was not such a case for me. 

I’m surprised that this is a duology since all the main subplots have been resolved and xingyin seems to have made her choice with regards to the love triangle… 

overall, this was a disappointment and one of the many cases where the hype has led me astray. i’d tentatively recommend this to people who enjoy YA fantasy that is heavy on the prose.

“Yet as much as I loved him, I loved myself more. And as I was discovering, there was no end to love—it was something which grew and renewed endlessly, expanding to encompass each new horizon. Family. Friends. And other lovers, too—none of them the same—yet each precious in their own way.

thanks for reading!
Goodreads | My blog | Storygraph | Pinterest | Instagram
-ash ❤

Reviews

Mini Review Bundle!

Welcome, welcome- my beloved nemesis’, despised friends’ and unknown strangers’ from the far off corners of the internet. Welcome to my blog!

y’know.. i do this adorable thing where i promise to review a book and actually review it 94862387 months later, lol. it’s honestly ABOUT TIME i write some reviews, lol. i’ve been promising to review ‘letters to the lost’ ‘the charm offensive’ ‘the henna wars’ etc, since like, 2021 lol. however, today [saturday] is the day i finally *gasp* review them. aaand, it’s not one, but three mini reviews! *cue round of applause*

it’s literally 2am and i’m probably not making sense so going to shut up now enjoy this jumble of my midnight thoughts ❤

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Reviews

Instructions for Dancing-Nicola Yoon

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it doesn’t matter that love ends. it just matters that there’s love

ohhh hell, this book! i thought that i would be getting myself into another cute, instalove-y romance, similar to yoon’s previous books. someone really should’ve warned me that this would pierce my heart and make my cry.

although the blurb isn’t misleading, -it sums up the start of the book perfectly- it definitely gives the image of a tender, starry eyed romance which this book is not. it follows evie, who became cynical after her dad had an affair with another woman and left her mother.
a while after her dad’s affair, evie mysteriously acquires the ability to see the end of the romance of any kissing couple. this further leads to her distrust in romance

kinda predictable, right? cut out the magical realism aspect and this could be your cliché romance:
girl meets boy. guy promises to change girl’s mind. girl falls in love with guy. aaaand everyone lives happily ever after.
yeah, no.

despite how it might seem, this is not a love story

it is not a love story, rather it is about loving wholly, despite knowing that it will end. about living life fully despite the hurt and anguish- that maybe some things are worth the pain.
this message has been said over and over again, in hundreds of books but the way the theme and message was incorporated, separated it from other preachy books.

the ending left me in tears. it’s quite easy to guess but i somehow this 300 page novel wriggled its way into my heart.

TW/CW for Cheating in a relationship, depression, break-ups, divorce, death of a friend (recounted), car Accident and death due to car accident (recounted) discussions about death and afterlife, mention of death due to heart issues, grief and alcohol consumption.

i read this book through some tough times (should’ve checked the trigger warnings haha) maybe that made a difference and heightened my experience. maybe i wouldn’t enjoy it if i read it now.
regardless, this changed my perspective and hit hard.

so, if i loved it so much, then why 4 stars (and not five)
well.. this is that awkward moment when i shrug and weakly laugh ‘cause i don’t know the answer either. it just didn’t hit That Specific Spot of 5 stars. it was a touch too cheesy and i wish the magical realism aspect had been explained better.

these are just minute dislikes though, i’ll definitely be on the lookout as for what Yoon writes next.

…it’s a bit funny y’know, how most of the YA books that promise romance, break my heart and those that promise tears, make me swoon and laugh.

give this a chance if you like bittersweet romcoms that’ll break and make your heart.

The problem with broken hearts isn’t that they kill you. It’s that they don’t

thanks for reading!
Goodreads | My blog | Storygraph | Pinterest | Instagram
-ash ❤

Reviews

We Hunt the Flame-Hafsah Faizal review

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We hunt the flame, the light in the darkness, the good this world deserves.

i think the reason i find this review arduous to write-compared to others- is because i simply do not give a damn about this book. which is really a pity because i could enjoy it-in audiobook perhaps-if i cared enough about an atmosphere driven fantasy book. reading this book was more task than leisure and i cannot describe the utter relief that fell upon me when i turned to the last page. 

We Hunt the Flame is an arabian inspired fantasy featuring Zafira -a Hunter who cloaks herself as a man- and Nasir -an assassin who goes by the title ‘Prince of Death’-  whose paths intersect when Zafira is sent by a silver witch, to find a lost artefact, and Nasir sent to hunt her. 

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Reviews

The Foxhole Court-Nora Sakavic review

subjective & objective: 4.25⭐
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“It’s not the world that’s cruel. It’s the people in it.”

hi im ash and wildly obsessed with these messed up characters. like hello why didn’t I get to this book before?? Anyone care to explain?? IT’S SO GOOD- I WOULD DIE FOR THE CHARACTERS!! 

i legitimately do not know how to get these Thoughts into a Proper Review,,, so enjoy this (non spoilery) bullet point list!! 

✨The plot was so good shsjsksjdhd
it has found family, broken boys being obsessed with a sport and also about mafia, blood and gangs. I have no idea HOW the author does this but it is AMAZING!! angst. pain. torture. i don’t have a heart because this book broke it, bye im going to go sob over this MASTERPIECE forever.

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