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Hiatus – with hopes of returning

Hello friends. I hope all of you are well, and, as always, that you are reading a delightful book.

Starting today, I will be going on an indefinite hiatus.

There are several reasons for this, so, without making this a terribly long post, I thought I would share them with you:

1. I need to focus on university and my research.

I think everyone can relate to this. I’m also conducting research, which is really cool and something I’m really excited about. As I enter June, I’ll be bringing all the data together and will be running analyses and writing up my results (which sounds like oodles of fun). I’ve also been let on that this research may offer great opportunities for me and team, so I want to do the best I can.

2. I want to revamp my blog.

I think my blog can be so much better than it currently is, so I am going to revamp it. I’ve talked to a few bloggers (you know who you are; thank you) and have come to the decision that revamping my blog will give me the energy that I need. However, because of #1, revamping won’t be in the cards for awhile or it will be a very slow process.

3. I want to focus more on my art.

I’ve started drawing more frequently now, and I’m really enjoying it and it has been very rewarding. I recently started an Instagram, and I’m going to be more active there! Follow me there if you’d like to see more of my art, follow me!

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Author Interview: Zen Cho – Author of Sorcerer to the Crown and Spirits Abroad #AsianLitBingo

Hello everyone! I hope you are all having a good week and are reading some wonderful books.

It gives me great pleasure to announce that I have a guest on my blog today: Zen Cho! She is a truly phenomenal writer, one that I personally look up to, and I am so excited to be sharing my author interview with her. Zen Cho has written one of my favourite fantasy books of all time, Sorcerer to the Crown, and she also write a fantastic novella, The Terracotta Bride, which you might have seen me rave about on my Twitter!

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When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon – Perhaps the best YA rom-com I’ve read, ever

Summary:

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

My review:

This book made me remember what it was like to fall in love for the first time. 

This flawless debut has everything that you want in a romantic comedy: a gorgeous romance that will make you swoon (as I did, and believe me, the concept and act of swooning is very foreign to me), characters that you will adore, and, most importantly, a story with a big big heart. 

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday #13 – Southeast Asian Protagonists

diversity-spotlight

Welcome to my thirteenth Diversity Spotlight Thursday! This wonderful weekly blog meme was created and is hosted by Aimal at Bookshelves and Paperbacks! For more information about the meme, please read the announcement post here.

My participation in this meme is to help me with one of my reading goals: to read books with a variety of perspectives, especially ones different from my own. Every two weeks I will share with you:

  1. A diverse book you have read and enjoyed
  2. A diverse book that has already been released but you have not read
  3. A diverse book that has not yet been released

I wanted to do a theme for this week’s Diversity Spotlight – so this week’s theme is: books with a Southeast Asian protagonist!

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Book Recs: Diverse Middle Grade Books

Before this year, I never read middle grade books. Being in my mid-20’s, I knew I was well beyond the target audience for YA; I felt way too old for middle grade books, felt like it would be too juvenile, felt like it wouldn’t be something I’d like. I was a massive skeptic. And then I read Flying Lessons and Other Stories.

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When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah – A much-needed, humanizing discussion about the refugee crisis

Summary:

When Michael meets Mina, they are at a rally for refugees – standing on opposite sides.

Mina fled Afghanistan with her mother via a refugee camp, a leaky boat and a detention centre.

Michael’s parents have founded a new political party called Aussie Values.

They want to stop the boats.
Mina wants to stop the hate.

When Mina wins a scholarship to Michael’s private school, their lives crash together blindingly.

A novel for anyone who wants to fight for love, and against injustice.

My review:

It’s been such a long time since I have read a book that possessed such electrifying energy. I don’t find it difficult to put a book down, but with When Michael Met Mina, I genuinely struggled. Needless to say, I was addicted.

When Michael Met Mina is a powerful combination of political discourse and lived experiences, contributing to the conversations and debates surrounding the ongoing global refugee crisis. Continue reading

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Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan – A sweet little story about bravery and community

Summary:

Amina has never been comfortable in the spotlight. She is happy just hanging out with her best friend, Soojin. Except now that she’s in middle school everything feels different. Soojin is suddenly hanging out with Emily, one of the “cool” girls in the class, and even talking about changing her name to something more “American.” Does Amina need to start changing too? Or hiding who she is to fit in? While Amina grapples with these questions, she is devastated when her local mosque is vandalized.

Amina’s Voice brings to life the joys and challenges of a young Pakistani American and highlights the many ways in which one girl’s voice can help bring a diverse community together to love and support each other.

My review:

Books like Amina’s Voice are the reason why I started reading diverse middle-grade books. There is something so delightful and special about these books that capture the innocence, optimism, and wonder of children and their stories.

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