Mini Reviews #26: May – June 2022 Reads

I Hear the Sunspot by Yuki Fumino

Rating: 5 out of 5.

THIS IS SO WHOLESOME I CAN SEE WHY SO MANY PEOPLE LOVED IT (❁´◡`❁) It’s been a while since I read manga so it took me some time to adjusts and figure out the order of the panel. The first few pages were a bit confusing due to this, but once I found my footing, it’s really easy to fell for the story! I love the dynamics between Kohei and Taichi and how they open up to each other. Taichi is very exuberant and outspoken despite of his background, while Kohei is more reserved. At first their friendship is purely transactional- Taichi helps Kohei take notes during lectures, while Kohei brings lunch for Taichi. But as they spend more time together, Taichi’s way of treating Kohei’s normally got them really close with Kohei opening up not only to Taichi, but also other people. This story talks a lot about disability too- with Kohei losing his hearing as an adult, he talks about his experience on how isolating it is as well as how we others disabled people. One of the things that struck me is also the assumptions, that we assume all deaf people can use sign language and what does it mean for them. It’s fluffy friendship and romance, but it is also filled with important topics and I highly recommend you to pick it up!

Because of a hearing disability, Kohei is often misunderstood and has trouble integrating into life on campus, so he learns to keep his distance. That is until he meets the outspoken and cheerful Taichi. He tells Kohei that his hearing loss is not his fault. Taichi’s words cut through Kohei’s usual defense mechanisms and open his heart. More than friends, less than lovers, their relationship changes Kohei forever

Moonglass by Jessi Kirby

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Reading this book made me realized how much I missed reading Sarah Dessen books! Those type of books released in the early 2010s really bring comfort with the idyllic beachside lives, light romance, nostalgic vibes, and they tend to age really well. This one is one of a great example, I love how close the relationship between Anna and her dad; despite the distance between them it’s clear how much they care about each other. There are a lot of new people Anna’s met at the beach, including her two new friends Anna and Jillian. Anna is the usual richer population of the small beach town and she’s portrayed as such, but I love how Anna gave Ashley benefit of the doubt and looked deeper than her surface shallow rich girl appearances. And Ashley is a great, supportive friend! I would love to have time between them more because I felt she got sidelined by Jillian 😦 Jillian is a friend Anna met in the running team; I’m glad Anna befriend her and doesn’t fell into the girl hate trope as the top runners in the team because they seem to truly understand each other. I love how we get to see more of Anna and her life outside of the loss of her mother and the romance; we got to see how she loves to run and how surfing and diving scenes connected her with her dad. Speaking on the romance, I think the love interest is great and it’s kinda cute, but I don’t really care about the romance since it’s very very light.

I can’t believe it was released 11 years ago!

I read once that water is a symbol for emotions. And for a while now, I’ve thought maybe my mother drowned in both.

Anna’s life is upended when her father accepts a job transfer the summer before her junior year. It’s bad enough that she has to leave her friends behind, but her dad is moving them to the beach where her parents first met and fell in love; a place awash in memories that Anna would just as soon leave under the surface.

While life on the beach is pretty great, with ocean views and one adorable lifeguard in particular, there are also family secrets that were buried years ago. And the ebb and flow of the ocean’s tide means that nothing, not the sea glass that collects along the shore, and not the truths behind Anna’s mother’s death, stays buried forever.

The Ghost Garden by Emma Carroll

Rating: 2 out of 5.
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I forgot where I found out about this book, but the prospect of a quick horror MG really appeals to me! I expected something more creepy but it turns out to be geared towards more educational for children regarding the events surrounding WW1. It’s not that disappointing though- the book was very easy to read, it’s very quick and I enjoyed the illustrations in the book. I also really enjoyed the setting, how the Longbarrow House was described and how we got to explore them through Fran and Leo’s explorations. I also love our main character Fran; she truly felt like a great child and a sister, and I like how her friendship with Leo developed. I wish this book’s was longer though.

SUMMER 1914. When Fran unearths a bone in the garden of Longbarrow House on the same afternoon that Leo breaks his leg, it must surely be just a coincidence. But Fran can’t shake the uneasy feeling that the events are somehow connected, and there is a shift in the atmosphere that leaves her troubled and anxious. Roped into keeping wheelchair-bound Leo company, Fran is forced to listen to his foolish theories about the looming threat of war in Europe. But as the pair start to uncover more secrets buried beneath the garden, they dredge up threatening shadows of the future, and Fran begins to fear that Leo’s dire predictions might be coming true…

Queen of Historical Fiction, Emma Carroll, makes her Barrington Stoke debut with a powerful, evocative, and spine-tingling story of childhood on the brink of war.

Siren Queen by Nghi Vo

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I received an eARC of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

DNF at 39%

Unfortunately I had a hard time reading this book. There’s just not a lot of things happening, the plot moves forward really slowly. There were too many name droppings of this actress, of that studio owners, and of certain movies which truly gives Luli a vibe of established people. And while I appreciate the metaphors of monster and magic with hollywood, the lack of action made this really boring. I want stories about people, about events, and there’s just neither in this book.

“No maids, no funny talking, no fainting flowers.” Luli Wei is beautiful, talented, and desperate to be a star. Coming of age in pre-Code Hollywood, she knows how dangerous the movie business is and how limited the roles are for a Chinese American girl from Hungarian Hill—but she doesn’t care. She’d rather play a monster than a maid.

But in Luli’s world, the worst monsters in Hollywood are not the ones on screen. The studios want to own everything from her face to her name to the women she loves, and they run on a system of bargains made in blood and ancient magic, powered by the endless sacrifice of unlucky starlets like her. For those who do survive to earn their fame, success comes with a steep price. Luli is willing to do whatever it takes—even if that means becoming the monster herself.

Siren Queen offers up an enthralling exploration of an outsider achieving stardom on her own terms, in a fantastical Hollywood where the monsters are real and the magic of the silver screen illuminates every page.

5 thoughts on “Mini Reviews #26: May – June 2022 Reads

  1. Lovely reviews! I am intrigued by Moonglass, I have to say it. I really loved these early 2010s books ahah and I feel like I might want to go down memory lane sometime 🙂


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