With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo: A compelling story that set my feelings on fire (ft. giveaways)

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo: A compelling story that set my feelings on fire (ft. giveaways) With the Fire on High
With the Fire on High
by Elizabeth Acevedo

an ARC review (physical)
to be published 07 May 2019
young adult & contemporary

tagged for authors of color (black authors), #ownvoices, poc representation (black, latinx, biracial/multiracial), & lgbtqiap+ representation (sapphic)

read the full synopsis.

With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.

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5 outrageous things I’ve done for the love of books

5 outrageous things I’ve done for the love of books

Quick story time (or maybe not — I do tend to babble). I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember. Literally. When I was a little girl, my lola (Filipino for grandmother) read books to me every single day, especially right before my bedtime. According to her, I immediately became obsessed with it.

Every night, I would go to her room, carrying two or three books with me, and ask her to read all of them in one sitting. More often than not, after she finished reading, I’d still ask for more. It got to the point where lola actually tried to deceive me by skipping a few pages here and there (I assume it’s because she wanted to get rid of me more quickly) — and naturally, three-year-old me called her out on her attempts every single time. Feeling defeated (and likely really fed up with me), lola decided to teach me how to read on my own. In the end, I learned my alphabet, as well as how to read, before many of my older cousins did (#flex).

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Shealea vlogs for the first time? (ft. ya girl losing her voice over Descendant of the Crane)

Shealea vlogs for the first time? (ft. ya girl losing her voice over Descendant of the Crane)

When I first arrived in Kuala Lumpur last week (can you believe that the start of #KateLeaLumpur was exactly a week ago?), I jokingly “vlogged” about my arrival. I was running on nearly 48 hours of sleep deprivation, but my haggardness was outweighed by how excited I was to travel outside of the Philippines with a friend, instead of with my family member — and yes, it was a huge first for me. Plus, the airbnb that we got was too fancy and wonderful to not film. You can easily watch the video on Twitter (cough, don’t forget to give me a follow while you’re at it, cough).

Kate @ Your Tita Kate and I have been high-key hyping up our trip to Kuala Lumpur for months (honestly, I could not have asked the universe for a better traveling companion!), and us being us, we will most likely recount our adventures in Malaysia on our respective blogs sometime soon. Hopefully. But I digress.

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COVER REVEAL & BLOG TOUR: War of Mist by Helen Scheuerer

COVER REVEAL & BLOG TOUR: War of Mist by Helen Scheuerer

Hello, friends! As y’all know, when I’m not championing books by Asian authors, I like to hunt for underrated literary gems — a lot of which are found in the indie or self-published side of this virtual town. Aside from Secondhand Origin Stories by Lee Blauersouth (I’m giving away a couple of copies here!), I absolutely adore The Oremere Chronicles by Helen Scheuerer.

With morally gray characters your heart will loyally root for, an immersive plot that’ll always keep you on your toes, and a terrifying fantasy realm where magic is forbidden, this trilogy truly has it all! I easily fell in love with Heart of Mist, the first book in this YA fantasy series, and I was left even hungrier for more after finishing its sequel, Reign of Mist. With that said, I am incredibly happy to reveal the third and final book to all of you!

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THIS IS NOT A DRILL: Revealing the cover of The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco

THIS IS NOT A DRILL: Revealing the cover of The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco

Friends, as the title of this post suggests, this is not a drill. This is actually happening. I am not even exaggerating when I say that I never ever imagined that I would be given the honor to write this post. In case you’re still a little bit lost, you can easily refer to the incredibly unsubtle hint I dropped on Twitter recently:

Yep, I can officially tick off “reveal the book cover of my favorite author queen’s upcoming release on my blog” off my book blogging bucket list! I am extremely ecstatic and humbled to announce that today, I am introducing the book cover of Rin Chupeco’s next YA fantasy novel, The Never Tilting World, to all of you!

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Unveiling the cover for Secondhand Origin Stories by Lee Blauersouth (ft. an INT’L giveaway!)

Unveiling the cover for Secondhand Origin Stories by Lee Blauersouth (ft. an INT’L giveaway!)

Today marks an extremely special day about a book that’s personally close to my heart. If y’all have been following my blog before it rebranded into the golden brown, sunflower-filled space it is today, then the title Secondhand Origin Stories might strike a familiar chord to you. I’ve gushed and lovingly screamed about this wonderfully diverse literary gem on more than one occasion. In fact, I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to organize a blog tour for this book, the #SHOSPH blog tour with a huge bunch of talented, passionate bloggers.

There are honestly so many aspects in Secondhand Origin Stories (written by the amazing Lee Blauersouth) that I absolutely love — its family-centered superhero plot, its remarkable bluntness in tackling social issues, its heartwarming portrayal of friendship and loyalty among a diverse group of superpowered teenagers, and the list stretches interminably. With that said, I am genuinely overjoyed to inform all of you that Lee Blauersouth’s self-published YA debut is celebrating its first year! Yep, today marks the first book birthday of Secondhand Origin Stories.

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21 Sapphic romances that’ll make your heart soft on Valentine’s Day

21 Sapphic romances that’ll make your heart soft on Valentine’s Day

In just a few days, we’ll be celebrating Valentine’s Day! Unless you’re recently single and constantly busy (like me) and will be spending the whole day hosting a nationwide event for college students (also like me). Nevertheless, whether you’re currently in a happy, healthy relationship or not*, I genuinely believe that there is a romance novel out there for everyone!

I recently realized that 80% of my bookish blabbering** is about books that fall under the science fiction and fantasy genres. Although SFF holds a large, arguably dominant space in my heart, believe it or not, I also enjoy reading romance (gasp!). Especially the kind of romance that’ll leave me feeling soft, vulnerable, warm and all sorts of mushy on the inside.

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