Rambling & Writing

Pretty Deadly Words #2//in which there are wicked girls who want to burn the world down & idiot boys platonically in love

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

for someone who claims to be half in love with fantasy, i read very few books that aren’t well, fantasy-with dragons (or phoenixes) and witchcraft and cASTLES AND QUESTS [clamps self]
not that i’m saying that books without flying creatures and castles aren’t fantasy, (okay that’s exactly what i’m saying lol) it’s just that, they’ve been ‘staple’ form of fantasy for years and suddenly i’m seeing a decline in them.

so it is only natural that i, your resident coffee-addicted-writer would take it upon themself and write an adult (new adult?) medievalesque european fantasy! ooh and it also has copious bits of murder and burning as it’s set in the midst of the witch trials! *claps hands* it is fun.

Rambling & Writing

Pretty Deadly Words #2

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

hello and welcome back to the second pretty deadly words post! here’s a bit about it:

What is it about?
Pretty Deadly Words is a monthly meme for writers. it’s co-hosted by ash @inkwordsandash and anoushka @dippedinink. each month we will post ten questions for you to answer. they’ll be based on your writing project and your writing in general. it’s designed to help you understand your plot, characters, their personality traits, flaws (etc) and your writing style!

and you can check out the FAQ and first post here. before we dive into the questions, a shoutout and thank you to everyone who participated last month ❤ i LOVED reading their answers, click on the link to check them out yourself!

Riddhi @ Whispering Stories
Lotus @ Pages of Starlight

here are this month’s questions!

1. how did you get your idea for your current WiP?
2. is this your first WiP?
3. have you ever cowritten before and if yes, would you do it again?
4. tell us the genre of your WiP!
5. pitch of current WiP (eg, aces of spades is pitched as ‘get out’ meets ‘gossip girl’ but make it black and queer)
6. what’s the premise?
7. do you have an aesthetic?? if yes, do share it!
8. what are you enjoying the most, while writing this?
9. are you facing any difficulties, if yes do share! people might be able to help you out ❤
10. and finally, summarise your WiP in (only) five words!

i’ll be answering a little later as i am utterly swamped with ✨life✨
looking forward to reading everyone’s answers :]

thanks for reading!
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-ash ❤

PS: happy pride everyone!

Wrap Ups, TBR and Yearly Extras

What Happened in May? || stranger things!!! & a whole load of bookish disappointments (AND COLD COCOA <3)

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

how is june almost upon us?? wHAT HAPPENED TO APRIL AND MARCH AND FEBRUARY??

i vaguely remember a ‘may’ shaped month passing by but i can’t be sure?? WASN’T IT JANUARY YESTERDAY?? #cueexistentialcrisis
i seriously want to rewind and go back to february 😪 i did not utilize that month properly.
let’s all collectively agree to destroy the concept of time because it’s clearly doing us no good, lol.

five very important things happened to me in may
(1) i went and travelled to a very secret place [spoiler alert: it had snow] and *surprise* *surprise* it was an absolute blast!!
(2) i kicked procrastination and!! responded to comments!! pls let’s ignore the fact that i’m a month late
(4) i discovered the pure joy of cold cocoa. i take back everything about hot chocolate being the world’s greatest invention and am giving that spot to cold cocoa. it literally restores your life back to you kdsjfghs
(5) i’m just,,,,casually obsessing over three books and they’ve taken over my absolute EXISTENCE


Daughter of the Moon Goddess-Sue Lynn Tan

find this review on goodreads
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!
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-ash ❤

Book Recommendations + Lists

Let’s Make Our TBR Piles Taller Than Us! (may-august book releases)

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


but let’s be real, our tbr is *already* taller than us and has killed us 😪 we’re just ghosts hungrily devouring books before we fade away.

2022 is really blessing us (and cursing our tbr) with pretty covers and fantastical premises 🙌🏽 pretty covers (and icecream tbh) hold this world together.

there is a lot of horror and thriller i’m hyped for! as well as a few retellings and there are a few south asian books that i’d die for. and as always, i’m delighted to see a rise in queer books- we’re really getting all the sapphic books this quarter! and i’m estatic to see books featuring trans and nonbinary characters kjfhjdskfh. just, more polyam and disabled rep pls. i feel that they get left out whenever we talk about diversity.. a lot of sequels releasing too! oleander sword, final gambit, glow and misrule to name a few.

it’s a bit surprising that thrillers and horrors dominate this list- because fantasy & coming of age contemporary were my most read in 2021- but you can’t hear me complaining! the first quarter of 2022 really outdid itself with fantasy though😂 i spy a lot of coming of age contemporary for the third (&last) quarter of 2022! i am getting all my favourite genres this year and i see no wrong 🙌🏽 and of course, romcoms are blossoming as usual, aha.

2022 book releases (january-april)

without further ado, let’s get to the list! twelve books + five honourable mentions per month, with titles linked to goodreads ❤  books that i am reallyyy hyped for have a little lightning symbol (⚡) most of them are YA novels but a few are adult

may is truly giving us all the queer contemporary books y’all guys… and they’re SO MUCH sapphic content, i’m!!!
i kissed shara wheeler’, ‘just your local bisexual disaster’ and ‘burn down rise up’ are going to make or break this year..

See You Yesterday//may 3rd-a book starring a plus sized jewish girl who’s stuck in a time loop with her academic rival, including but not limited to enemies to lovers; slow burn; ‘hotel accidentally gave us the honeymoon suite’… ALSO ‘ADOPTING’ DOGS??
(⚡)The Many Half-Lived Lives of Sam Sylvester//may 3rd-a YA comtemporary-mystery about a nonbinary autistic teen solving a 30 year old mystery!! also they’re asexual! *cue unhinged screaming*
(⚡)Burn Down Rise Up//may 3rd//the blurb: “Stranger Things meets Get Out in this Sapphic Horror debut from nonbinary, Afro-Latine author Vincent Tir-
(⚡)I Kissed Shara Wheeler//may 3rd- so this book is has: sapphic rivals to lovers, chasing a ghost through parties, puzzles, secrets revealed on monogrammed stationery. name one person who can resist this?? go on, i’ll wait.
(⚡)Book of Night//may 3rd//did you hear that holly black debuts into adult fantasy with a book about sHADOWY THIEVES AND AND SECRET SOCIETIES???
When Women Were Dragons//may 3rd-see i’m a mere mortal…. how can i not smash the ‘want to read’ button with THAT title?
(⚡)Breathe and Count Back to Ten//may 10th-literally all the goodreads reviews are five stars and it has also been called ‘a deeply profound love letter to the disabled community’ [source] so why yes of course i’m going to read it! also we need more books ft disabled characters.
(⚡)The Summer of Bitter and Sweet//may 10th-an ownvoices book about a queer [demisexual] Métis Nation teen in canada who has a complicated relationship with her father & is simultaneously falling for her best friend?? y e s
Dead End Girls//may 10th-a girl faking her death?? her plans being skewed by a cousin who wants in?? and a gorgeous cover like that?? [also i’ve heard it’s sapphic??]
The Ghosts of Rose Hill//may 10th-a novel in verse about a biracial, jewish girl falling in love with a soft ghost and a mysterious, shadowless man fascinated with her!!
(⚡)Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster//may 26th-THE TITLE IS THE MOST RELATABLE THING EVER😭
The Stardust Thief//may 27th- a book that’s based on one thousand and one arabian nights that features ‘a legendary smuggler, a cowardly prince and a quest across the desert to find a legendary, magical lamp.‘ is honestly everything i’ve ever wanted.

Prince of Magic and Lies//The Agathas//Misrule//When You Call My Name//Rebel Skies

june is doing everything for my horror heart y’all… maybe i’ll finally get into the genre this year 🤞🏽and there are so many queer books in all sorts of genres, i’m so freaking happy!!
also,,, did i hear a south asian hindu-inspired fantasy with nagas and garudas?? retelling of the illaid with trans woman achilles?? I’M SCREAMING AND CRYING!!

(⚡)Hell Followed With Us//june 7th-qUEER UNHINGED HORROR Y’ALL!! also i’m so glad to be alive in a world where there are trans & autistic kids being represented in horror. 🙌🏽this is what i mean when i say ‘give me diversity in all forms’
(⚡)Wrath Goddess Sing//june 7th- me, before i knew this book exists: hmm tbh i’ve never believed/thought that achilles was a trans woman. i prefer miller’s the song of achilles’ to any other trans retellings of the illiad
(i still *do* prefer miller’s interpretation of the illiad though, lol)
(⚡)The Gravity of Missing Things//june 7th-did someone say bISEXUALS AND CONSPIRACY THEORIES BECAUSE I LIVE FOR THEM!!
TJ Powar Has Something to Prove//june 7th-i heard hairy desi girls and came as fast as i could!!
A Botanist’s Guide to Parties and Poisons//june 7th-the title and cover dazzling and why yes that’s why this book is on my tbr 😂
(⚡)Little Bird//june 7th-if it’s a sin to add books to your tbr because of pretty covers then i’m going to burn in hell for this one…
(BUT JUST LOOK AT THAT COVER)-me @the devil when i die
We All Fall Down//june 7th-the blurb: “The first book in a dark fantasy YA duology by the author of What Big Teeth, about the power and danger of stories and the untold costs of keeping magic alive, perfe-“
me: i heard ‘power of dANGEROUS STORIES’ AND CAME HERE SHRIEKING AND CRYING!! arc gods… please here my prayers!
The Path of Thorns//june 14th-this one has ‘portraits missing from the wall, mysterious potions, locked rooms’ and That my friends, is my aesthetic when it comes to horror!!
(⚡)Juniper & Thorn//june 21st-a gothic horror with fairytale vibes, you say??the fact that i have to wait for two months for this is a crime!
Our Crooked Hearts//june 28th-according to the author this has ‘a haunted library, very bad decisions, middle of the night vibes, l i a r s, and liminal spaces’ so I!!NEED!!
The Song That Moves the Sun//june 28th-i know literally nothing except i want to read the book because of that cover!!
(⚡)The Dream Runners//june 28th-*screams incoherently* did someone say hindu-inspired fantasy!! also that cover is something I’ve been waiting for my entire life!! although several indian soap operas are based on the concept of nagalok, i’ve never seen it in a book.

Glow//Home Field Advantage//Before Takeoff//Not Good For Maidens//This Vicious Grace

july is for all the thrillers 🙌🏽also queer fantasy ahh!! i love how the covers for july are either dark with blue/black hues or colourful and vibrant, haha.

(⚡)What Souls Are Made Of//july 5th-dESI GOTHIC HISTORICAL FICTION BY TASHA SURI?? i will sell my soul to the devil for an arc. also,,, ‘wuthering heights’ retelling?! y e s
Who We Were in the Dark//july 5th-the cover is gorgeous and this is a contemporary with thriller vibes! so basically my aesthetic!
(⚡)They Drowned Our Daughters//july 12th-look at me in the eye and tell me you can resist that cover!! also creepy waters are my L.I.F.E. i’ve been in love with them since mcmahon’s ‘the drowning kind’!
What Moves the Dead//july 12th-the cover is doing Things for me (& not in a good way!) but all the goodreads reviews are 4-5 stars aaand this is a retelling of poe’s ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ so why not?
Wake the Bones//july 12th-supernatural thrillers!!
Just Like Home//july 19th-i heard this had a sERIAL KILLER FATHER & HAUNTED HOUSES!
Dauntless//july 19th-filipino!!sapphics!!are the reason!! i live!!
(⚡)Strange and Stubborn Endurance//july 26th-queer fantasy books with royalty & political intrigue restore my will to live.
(⚡)A Girl’s Guide to Love & Magic//july 26th- (i) the cover is so vibrant and colourful (ii) the blurb paints this as ‘a celebration of Haitian and Caribbean culture, and a story of first love, vodou, and finding yourself […]‘ -hOW CAN I RESIST??
Into the Sublime//july 26th-i was going to gave this a pass but that blurb convinced me- so if this disappoints i *will* cry.
(⚡)The Valkyrie’s Daughter//july 26th-ownvoices queer norse mythology fantasy books are what i live for, tbh.

A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting//Boys I Know//Black Mouth//We Made It All Up//The Promise of Lost Things

august is a mixed bag, a few sequels i’m anticipating, a few historical fantasy books with thriller and mystery peppered in! cover artists have really done themselves this august 😂❤️

(⚡)The Honeys//august 2nd-a lush atmospheric horror x dark academia following a genderfluid character who’s uncovering the mystery behind their twin sister’s death?? this book had me at ‘atmospheric horror x dark academia’ but a genderfluid MC makes me so much more excited ahh!!
(⚡)The Book Eaters//august 9th-the title alone has me convinced to read this. plus the blurb literally says ‘Out on the Yorkshire Moors lives a secret line of people for whom books are food, and who retain all of a book’s content after eating it. To them, spy novels are a peppery snack; romance novels are sweet and delicious. Eating a map can help them remember destinations, and children, when they misbehave, are forced to eat dry, musty pages from dictionaries.‘ so how in the seven realms do you expect me to *not* smash that tbr button?!
(⚡)The Monsters We Defy//august 9th-the blurb: okay so this is a heist that a woman must pull off in order to save her community
me: hmm interesting but nothing new
the blurb: alsooo this woman can communicate with spirits
me: ooh i’m listening
the blurb:…it’s a historical fantasy that entwines african-american folk magic, history and romance together in a bundle of 380 pages
me: …..
(⚡)The Oleander Sword//august 16th-i want MORE of priya and malina, my morally grey-tastic sapphics 😭this book will end me and i am begging it to be painful (because who am i if not a masochist?)
The Drowned Woods//i’ve never been ~in love~ with welsh mythology,,, but i heard this has heists which i’m wildly in love with!!
(⚡)Babel, or The Necessity of Violence//august 23rd-did someone say rf kuang debuts in dARK ACADEMIA?? and unpacks colonization?? good god this is the book i’ve been waiting my entire life for.
Belladonna//august 23rd-a haunted house? a cursed orphan? a suspicious illness? and a stunning cover
(⚡)A Taste of Gold and Iron//august 30th-if you think i can resist that cover…you are wrong. also an achillean romance in an ottoman empire-inspired world?? h.e.l.l. y.e.s.
Nothing More to Tell//august 30th-i heard that this has a teen journalist who has an internship at a true crime show aaaand is trying to solve the murder of her favourite teacher!
Eternally Yours//august 30th-(cover not revealed yet) honestly, i don’t care about paranormal books -much less anthologies- but the AUTHORS!!
The Final Gambit//august 30th-why yes i’m reading this just for the resolution of the love triangle, lol. i have a feeling she’ll end up with grayson ☹️
Three Kisses, One Midnight//august 30th-the fact that roshani choksi is contributing to a romance-anthology is enough to make me add this to my tbr. also there’s a character named ‘ash’ 👀

This Is Why They Hate Us//Meet Me in Mumbai//No Way Home//These Fleeting Shadows//The Undead Truth of Us

whew, that’s a lot of books! i’d apologise for making your tbr piles larger than they should be but tbh…that’s exactly why i wrote this post 😂


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