This blog, Shut up, Shealea, does not use a star-rating system in reviewing books. Instead, I rate books according to how highly or how intensely I would recommend them to other readers and, in some cases, even people who don’t consider themselves to be huge readers. I hope you find something you like!


This space is reserved for all-time favorites that I instinctively, immediately recommend to practically every person I encounter, regardless of their reading preferences (and sometimes, regardless of whether or not they’re looking for a recommendation in the first place), because I am 110% confident that they would — at the barest minimum — enjoy them. These are books that I absolutely loved and that I genuinely believe to be objectively phenomenal. I have nothing else to say except: pick them up and start reading now.

Click on the book covers to read my reviews!

The Shadow Glass by Rin Chupeco
Jade City by Fonda Lee
Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

These are excellently written books that I think everyone should prioritize in their to-be-read/to-read piles! I immensely enjoyed them, and I will most likely rave about them for the rest of my life. Additionally, in situations wherein I’m asked for a recommendation for so-and-so genre or with so-and-so characteristics, these titles are most likely to come first to mind.

Which books do I highly recommend? Find them here.


These are great, enjoyable books — albeit not the kind that would be universally loved by everyone. It is likely that these books specifically appeal to a niche group of people. Nonetheless, I believe they’re worth picking up, and I would still recommend them to an audience.

Which books do I recommend? Find them here.


These are good or great books that I think are nicely written and have significant merits. However, they either contain a substantial amount of harmful/offensive/triggering material or are vaguely problematic/controversial. Hence, although I wouldn’t immediately write them off, I have to emphasize that readers should dive in very carefully.

Which books do I recommend with caution? Find them here.


This classification covers a very wide range of feelings: from books that I found to be really underwhelming or disappointing, to books that bored me to the point of tears, to extremely problematic books that I think should be thrown into the sun. Some of these books may still appeal to other readers, but um, it’s a solid no from me.

Which books do I not recommend? Find them here.